Most people upgrade the first pond multiple times after learning lessons from each and further research. We are here to help you with either your first pond or upgrade your existing pond as right as possible. We welcome your questions 360 588-0140
A few points to help guide you:
50 years of pond experience, General contractor, designer, attended multiple Koi wet lab classes and helped hundreds upon hundreds of architects, contractors and home owners build ponds with great success, we are happy to share with all of our customers any help to make it as easy as they like to get it right.
Larger ponds are easier to maintain: With a larger pond comes a larger volume of water and its parameters that are effected much slower. A small pond is actually the hardest to manage and maintain. Maintaining Alkalinity to stabilize the Ph is easier in a larger pond. The Ph and temperature swings in smaller ponds are more stressful to Koi. Back washing a filter on a large pond helps drain off up to 5% for reasonable water changes that benefit nutrients. While backwashing a filter on a small pond may nearly drain it.
Steep sides and why: The number one predator to Koi is the Blue Heron. With steep sides, it is near impossible for them to wade in to get your fish. They will stand on shallow Lillie pots or rocks and eat Koi. They will stab the extra-large Koi and toss them to the outer side of the pond to get them out of the way so they can get the medium to small ones that they can eat.
Depth of pond: The long term standard has been three feet as the minimum. When going less than that, the water is likely to change temperatures more rapidly that can cause stress to the Koi. It also starts to make it easier for predators to find places to stand and capture the fish. Too shallow and the fish are in danger of rubbing their bellies occasionally when startled which can cause injury open for infection. Four to six feet is preferred and many will go to even eight feet or more when they are serious about raising champion Koi. Koi develop strength and girth by swimming up and down, not long distances.
Water Volume reduces fish stress: With volume comes more places for the fish to wonder and find comfort away from predators or activities like the kids soccer ball bouncing into the pond. Depth enables them to stay away from the Blue Heron that takes so many Koi. Raccoons are not likely to get in the pond, yet will attempt to hang over and swipe at any fish close to the side.
Rubber liner, concrete or other:
Permit or not: All cities have different viewpoints and code that is different. Be sure to call them and ask questions. Some cities do not require permits for a pond, yet will want one for any electrical work. They may ask about any type of auto fill and require a simple anti siphon valve preventing possible pond water back into the city water system.
Piping: PVC and ABS are widely used. PVC is also available in flex. Most pond water plumbing is done with 2 inch piping. If your pipe runs are going to be 30 feet or longer, use 3 inch piping for as much of the run as possible. When gluing PVC to ABS, use a combination glue. The pumps used often only pump 5 – 7 psi of pressure which is considered very low and safe.
Copper anything: Simply put, NO! Copper if used for any part of the plumbing or water feature can permit leaching of the copper into the water and cause copper toxicity to the koi. Beware of brass as well because brass contains copper. Typically happens at low levels of Alkalinity in the water.
Under Water lights: After seeing what stray voltage can do to fish, it would be better to install lighting that shines down into the pond. Underwater lights whether they are low voltage or not, can begin to experience weakened seals that are suppose to keep water out. The may continue to operate just fine while zapping your fish every time they are turned on. A fish found dead that has an arched look is dead from electrical shock.
To test for stray voltage, drain the pond to the point to place the light in a bucket of water. Turn on the light. Test the water in the bucket with one probe of an electrical volt test meter and then touch the other electrical tester probe to a ground. It should read zero volts. (Do not stand in or touch water during any part of this testing!)
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Quality equipment saves you not only money in the long run, it saves time and frustration. A simple example would be purchasing an external pump designed for ponds that is energy efficient. It will pay for itself in the first year alone just in electrical savings when compared to a submersible pump that costs less then a couple hundred dollars up front to purchase yet has a life expectancy of 3 years or less while drawing 3 times more amps in electricity.
What to look for:
The following are suggestions needed in maintaining a pond:
We are here to help. Give us a call: 360 588-0140 Consider our own True Bio filter and its benefits. It really has amazed many customers in its performance.
Food manufactures typically suggest water temperatures to start or stop feeding. Most brands suggest start feeding lightly at first letting the digestive track develop the ability to digest and to stop feeding when the water temperatures drop below 55 *F.
One brand (Kenzen) has engineered a food from research of a Koi’s natural diet that is highly digestible. The balance of energy to fuel metabolism and protein to optimize body growth is formulated to help Koi reach their maximum potential. The Kenzen food is not limited or dependent on water temperatures because of its ingredients. By feeding with Kenzen, your feeding your fish a food that has no fillers, one that is easy to digest, very nutritional that they can assimilate and produces over 80% less waste when compared to other well-known brands.
Kenzen Koi food top ingredients are Herring meal, Potato starch, Dried whole egg. By not having any corn products, it permits the whites to be there brightest. Read More ->
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Even with a well-designed Koi pond, you may encounter health issues with Koi. The following are some ideas to consider when attempting to determine the source or cause to a fish showing signs worth treating.
We are here to help. Give us a call: 360 588-0140 If you need more biological filtering, consider our True Bio filter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is an external pump better? An external pump is a smart decision. The external pump costs more to purchase, yet draws over 70% less in amps resulting in 70% less electricity used. The external pump typically has a Baldor motor that has been known to keep running 24/7 for up to 11 years. Most submersible pumps die between 1.5 to 3.5 years. Its also much easier to access when needed. Many are self priming with a built in leaf trap.
How many bottom drains? Most ponds under 5000 gallons will do fine with one bottom drain provided the bottom tapers some towards it. Larger ponds will have larger bottom surface areas and adding additional bottom drains permits being able to remove debris from around the pond to avoid pilling up of crud. Consider installing an aerated bottom drain to benefit cleaning of the ponds bottom of debris.
Do I need jets? Jets close to the surface are useful as needed based on a ponds design for moving water from corners or surface debris to the skimmer. Jets installed lower in the pond can benefit moving debris based on a ponds design or need towards the bottom drain. Installing at least one below surface return controlled by a 3-way valve to the waterfall benefits a pond design by permitting the ability to divert any amount of the waterfall flow directly to the pond for many reasons throughout the year. Perhaps your waterfall is splashing just a bit and your pond is loosing water. Divert some to the below surface return to reduce the splashing.
Why is a shelf a problem in a pond? It may permit a safe way for someone to get out, yet makes it inviting for dogs to get in. Blue heron prefer to wade in and are known to eat several Koi in one visit. Suggest making the shelf if needed at least 2 feet or more from the surface. Also be aware that fish waste may accumulate and cause water quality and health issues if it remains in the pond.
Why should I spend so much for a good filter? The purpose of the pond is to enjoy your environment and not be a slave to the maintenance. Good filters typically can be cleaned in 5 minutes and last a very long time because they are reliable. Bead filters are designed to never need the media replaced.
How long will the beneficial Bacteria live in my filter when the power goes out? One biologist mentioned that at around 8 hours in an enclosed filter the oxygen levels are reduced enough for them to start dying off. Should your filter media be exposed to oxygen, your results are likely to be longer. Some have used a battery operated air pump to supply additional air to the media. Another source agreed, yet mentioned that they all do not die off in a 24 hour time and once the system is back up, the remaining live bio begin to thrive. Keep in mind, a ceramic media like the media used in our True BiO filter remains very wet for longer than any plastic media and is capable of keeping the needed bacteria alive longer.
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True BiO Filters
Our True BiO Filters provide the highest quality biological filtration available for ponds in a small package.
AlphaONE Plus System
The AlphaONE Plus systems provide complete filtration for ponds ranging from 2,500 to 25,000 gallons
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Using the right Koi food can:
Variable Speed Pump
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