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Design Tips
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:
  • Deeper is better as it provides more volume that is easier to maintain.
  • Steep sides at least three feet benefit keeping the Blue Heron from stepping into your pond and eating your fish.
  • No rocks on the bottom that trap fish waste and debris that leads to fish health issues.
  • Install a bottom drain and preferably an aerated domed one to create self cleaning.
  • Skimmers capture floating debris before it settles and keep the surface clean.
  • Use a quality external pumps with leaf trap that is self priming.
  • Why buy a cheap filter only to replace it later with a better one. Get a good one!
  • Install a UV and get the correct flow through it to enjoy a clear pond year round.
  • Feeding Koi the right food (Kenzen), can greatly improve your water quality and possibly even less health issues.
Let us help you enjoy the pond hobby. We offer experience and knowledge at no charge!
Build Tips
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:
  • Rubber: Most ponds are build using EPDM 45 Mil Firestone Pond Guard rubber liner. It is reasonable in cost and conforms to shapes with the one drawback of having flaps. Rectangle ponds can avoid the flaps showing in the pond by doing hospital type corners that place the flap folded backwards behind the sides and the seam or opening to the flap is in the very corner.


  • Concrete being very strong and somewhat permanent uses re-bar metal grid much like that of a swimming pool and a shot-Crete or gunite method of applying the concrete by a professional with the equipment that injects air into the mixture to create a strong result. When dried, it will need a sealer applied to the surface unless one was introduced into the concrete mixture. Common method of sealing it is the same method used for swimming pools and it is called a plaster coat. Its a 50/50 mix of Portland cement and sand. This also permits mixing black concrete die into the plaster coat.


  • Another method for sealing up any pond is called Polyurea. It is by far the most favorable and strongest. It results in a beautiful prayed on liner that contours to the surface and binds to skimmers and bottom drains for water proofing. Along with its benefits goes the price. Water and fish can be added immediately after the crew are done. The application is prayed directly onto any surface and has high strength and elasticity. So much so, that it is sprayed on the underside of military vehicles to prevent them from being blown into multiple parts from road side bombs in combat.


Raised sides: At the very least, the perimeter of the ponds edge should have some berm to it to prevent any possible chance of landscape run off into the pond that may bring mud or any chemicals used around the pond. The advantages to an 18 inch raised seat wall are many. Less debris from winds blowing in from the yard. Easy to sit and enjoy the fish closer up. Safer for children with less chance of falling in. The Koi are less intimidated by your shorter appearance.

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!)

We are here to help. Give us a call: 360 588-0140
SkagiTek
Equipment Tips
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:
  • Skimmer: Fish safe and removable basket, no pads that tend to clog with algae.
  • Pump: Attached strainer basket. Low RPM Baldor Motor.
  • Filter: Easy to use and capable of backwashing in minutes not hours.
  • UV Light: Brand name and sized right for pond volume and geographical location. Flow rate is critical for success.
Maint. Tips
The following are suggestions needed in maintaining a pond:
  • Skimmer: Weekly cleaning expected
  • Pond bottom: Removal of accumulating leaves and debris when needed especially during Fall
  • Pump leaf trap: Weekly cleaning expected
  • Mechanical filters: Weekly cleaning expected
  • BioFilter: Dependent on design; i.e. Bead Filters – weekly, pad filters – checked for slowing and pre-filters weekly.
  • Ultraviolet light (UV): Replace lamp once every 9000 hours of operating or once a year when it has been run 24/7 which is typical
  • Water testing: Weekly testing once the pond is established with fish and the biofilters are cycled (0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites, 7.2 or higher PH )
  • Water replacement: Typically 5% of water should be replaced weekly to benefit nutrient levels and water quality. Now being consider the best solution to water perimeter stability is a constant trickle or flow through of water entering into the pond through a charcoal filter to remove possible chlorine and other contaminants.

    When adding water - Be sure to use a d-chlorinator chemical or other treatment if your using water that contains the smallest amount of chlorine. Most all cites water do contain some. Same treatment is needed for water containing Chloramines


We are here to help. Give us a call: 360 588-0140
SkagiTek
Feeding Tips
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 5 ingredients are Herring meal, Potato starch, Squid meal, Dried whole egg, Garlic. By not having any corn products, it permits the whites to be there brightest. Read More ->

We are here to help. Give us a call: 360 588-0140
SkagiTek
Health Tips
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.
  • Fish waste accumulating anywhere in the pond or system and not being removed regularly. (Bad Bacteria thrives on waste)
  • Water parameters (Ideal levels: Ammonia 0, Nitrites 0, Ph 7.0 – 8.4, Nitrates 0-60 ppm, Alkalinity > 30 ppm )
  • Recent introduction of some pond plants. (Plants from other ponds can bring issues - The use of potassium permanganate (PP) is one way to treat the plants bare roots and kill off unwanted issues or bacteria. Use caution and understand the risks when using PP!)
  • Perimeter landscape eroding into the pond bringing chemicals (Pond perimeter should have a raised berm) Neighbors spraying up wind either fertilizers or bug sprays (Keep neighbors informed that it can kill off your fish)
  • Wild birds from other lakes visiting our pond. (Suspected to bring flukes)
  • Lack of oxygen during hot weather (Warm water holds less oxygen). The largest fish dies first with low oxygen levels.
  • If Lava rock is used in any part of your filtering system, it should be replaced each winter (Underlying beneficial bacteria trapped in the pores will rot and cause health problems enough to kill off all the fish)
  • Feeding with Kenzen Koi food benefits Koi health, water quality, less waste, less ammonia. All the areas that we need to be concerned with.


We are here to help. Give us a call: 360 588-0140
SkagiTek
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 dyeing 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.

We are here to help. Give us a call: 360 588-0140
SkagiTek
Koi pond equipments number one task is maintaining water quality. We offer FREE expert advise to help you get it right.
The first task is to trap fish waste via the pond bottom intake or bottom drain. Using an energy efficient Performance Pro Artesian pump helps to trap other debris in the pump basket while the fish waste is then trapped in the bio filter. The GCTek filters make for easy mechanical and biological filtering. Once the pond water has passed through any of GC Tek's biological filtration systems, it then travels through a sterilizer A.K.A Ultraviolet light for clarifying algae before returning to the waterfall and pond.

Kenzen Koi Food

Superior ingredients and extensive research resulted in a Kenzen Koi food that produces almost no waste.Kenzen Koi Food

The food that will
benefit Koi health and water quality! Plus Feed through the winter!

Read More ->

True Bio 5 Filter
True BiO 5 biological pond filter
True Bio 10 FilterTrue Bio 10 biological pond filter

True BiO Filters

Our True BiO Filters provide the highest quality biological filtration available for ponds in a small package.

These filters offer the highest amount of biological surface area over any other pressurized filter on the market.GCtek Alphaone plus system pond filtering system

Read More ->

GCTek Alphaone Koi Pond Filter

AlphaONE Plus System

The AlphaONE Plus systems provide complete filtration for ponds ranging from 2,500 to 25,000 gallonsGCtek Alphaone plus system pond filtering system

The right components and the best pricing guaranteed.

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Variable Speed Pump

The Variable Speed pump permits you to save on energy while getting the flow you want!E Z Variable Speed pump

The EZ digital panel makes it easy to turn on or off and setup.

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Using the right Koi food can:

  • Permit feeding down to 38 °F water (3.33 °C)
  • Reduce harmful fish waste
  • Reduce fat
  • Improve water

Learn more



SkagiTek is a leading dealer for GC tek filters and all of GCtek pond equipment authorized by the owner of GCTek Gary Cryer


Kenzen Koi Food in stock!

Digital Testers

Quick and easy testing using either a Salinity digital tester for salt levels or the PH digital tester.Digital salt and PH tester

SAVE when buying both!

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AlphaONE Filters
Guaranteed Best Prices plus fast, FREE Shipping!
Lowest prices on line

     
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