news 2012

Dec 2
We started another rebuild as the first 2 pictures below illustrate. One of our competitors made a very pleasing looking pond, however on closer inspection there were quite a number of technical problems. Rebuilds account for about 80% of our work, many of these built by "pond experts". I'm planning on putting up a new page this Winter - Paradox Ponds to illustrate just how bad a lot of this work really is

During one of our pond closings I snapped a shot of how much debris a vortex can collect in short order. However, a quick flush and it was all gone, instead of being at the bottom of the pond. A bottom drain is really the only way to go

  • We started rebuilding this pond in November
  • ICF is great for collars, especially with loose soil
  • Vortexes settle out amazing amounts of detritus
  • I have been putting together this filter system for an indoor pond

I'm also working on an indoor pond for a long time client. I'm consulting while a contractor is putting together the actual pool. The filter was a challenge to get in as the space it tight. The first visit I just dry fitted everything, wasn't ready to commit to any gluing

Pond closing are just about complete, then I will be planning this years trip to Japan. We are going to hit the South this time, as well as Niigata and take in the show in Tokyo. Going to be fun. Bought a new sony handycam which has an amazing IS system, basically almost as good as a glidecam. I will come back with some very smooth shots
Oct 29
Some really sad news received last week, Ray Abell, a great guy with some fantastic koi appreciation skills had passed away on Oct 18, on his 61st. birthday. I went down to his annual Nishikigoi of Niigata harvest 7 times, starting in 2005 and first met Ray in 2001 at the Texas AKCA event. He was always accommodating and friendly. He will be missed. Some pics of his 2008 event

We moved some fish for one of our clients a couple of weeks ago. He had purchased a tosai sakai kohaku from us June of last year. The fish is now about 20 inches, with a nice thick tube and pattern. These sakai fish really seem to grow for our clients, if you have a little patience, you can have a good sized fish within 2-3 seasons

  • I always came back from Ray's place with renewed enthusiasm
  • Patio greenhouse anchor
  • Pretty nice conformation on this 2.5 yr. old koi

We are also putting up greenhouses now. If you are unable to pound a post into the ground [due to a patio etc] you can use cinder blocks as the above photo illustrates. Again, these Winter covers provide a huge benefit to the fish

Our hours will be reduced in November, we are now closed Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We are generally in the shop for at least 1 hr. around 11 am on the closed days if you need to stop in - just double check with us
Sept 30
We got a call from a client claiming a shrew was attacking his fish. My first reaction was no, that has to be a mink. But apparently there is in fact a water shrew, which dives under water and catches fish. You learn something everyday ! Will have to add that to our koi predators page

Our hours are reduced for October, we will be closed Mondays and Wednesdays. In November, we are also closed Fridays. December to April - open Saturdays only or by appointment

  • A new koi predator ?
  • This fish does perfectly fine missing 1 operculum
  • Our shipment of Sakai Koi
  • Greenhouse covers are inexpensive and provide huge benefit

Did some pond servicing for a long time client and snapped the above pic. Apparently the fish was born without an operculum. Pretty easy to check the gill condition of this fish

Very excited about our new shipment of Sakai of Hiroshima ake nisai. Some really nice fish came in. Pics are on our koi for sale page

Now is the time to consider covering your pond for Winter. If you get your cover up soon it will stop leaves from entering the pond as well as boost the water temperature. Complete instructions here. We have lots of greenhouse poly in stock
Aug 30
I headed down to New Jersey to hookup with my good friend Darren Lucas [Nature's Touch Ponds] for the Kodama Koi Appreciation Seminar last weekend. Great trip, great info. I will be putting up report page in our Koi Info / Events section

Our BBQ went well but I did hope for a bigger turnout ! We are going to do it all again next year so for those who missed it, there will be another opportunity

We started rebuilding yet another pond about 2 weeks ago. We got most of the stone work done today in fact. This pond includes a bottom drain with external vortex etc.

  • The lectures were informative and we got to study many koi slides
  • The master himself netting out fish for closer inspection
  • We finished rebuilding this pond about 3 weeks ago and the client is thrilled
  • I visited this pond we built last year for some servicing and everything is maturing nicely

We are still working hard with builds and servicing, another project will likely start this Tuesday. We are making great use of our new tripod hoist, it is the kind of tool that makes you wonder what you did without it
July 29
We have just started a pond rebuild with rock hard soil ! Even the impact hammer is having a tough time

Looking forward to our Aug 18 + 19 BBQ - Hope to see a good turnout and we will have some special sales going on too

Last weekend was tragic, a long time client lost 9 of 10 fish. The pond was overstocked and a gardener was the likely culprit somehow pulling the plugs from the pond while planting some yews

  • Fish die quickly in low oxygen levels
  • We repaired this leaky stream last year - see the video in our video blog section
  • We installed the plumbing and filtration on this pond

I also visited a new client whose stream we repaired last year. He is very happy the leak is no longer an issue and that he is now dealing with us. I also took another photo which is the current photo of the month

Also stopped by 1 of our earlier projects from this year which was a pond extension. We worked on the filter / liner installation, another company did the hard and soft scaping. The fish were looking good and I saw 4 frogs in the new stream
June 29
Huge Spring rush this season and we have been working on 4 projects, all completed in roughly the last 2 weeks. [1st 2 pics below] Unfortunately we lost a 15 x 15 project as the client couldn't wait 2-3 weeks for us. Rushing is a bad idea and we see this far too often - maybe we will see him in a couple of years for the rebuild to make the pond deeper, structurally sound and with a bottom drain. It's a fine line trying to convey to a client what you can do without sounding like your overselling or putting down the competition. I was upset we lost this job not just because we could use the work, but also because I know what he will be getting and it isn't going to be pretty

  • Moe keeps turtles and we were the 3rd. company he hired to get this pond built !
  • Another classic rebuild to include a bottom drain and vortex. Withing a week this pond was crystal clear
  • I helped Domenic and his wife rebuild their pond
  • Paradox Ponds - YES, the hose is actually installed in the waterfalls

We are starting another project next week. Really big pond with some good points. But we are seeing a lot of bad stonework, which this pond has some of, as well as very weak technical design. I was speaking with Brent and we both agreed we have just not seen a pond built by another company and said "wow - this is pretty good"

We are also putting in a lot of barrel filters this year which replace pressure filters. Easier to clean, more filter media and they last forever, these barrel filters really do the job
June 4
Our first pond build of the season was completed over a week ago. Another classic rebuild, this pond now has a bottom drain and much greater volume

We are currently working on 3 main projects, 1 of which is a fairly large pond which we are collaborating with a Landscape Stone company. We have had a very busy Spring and it's difficult to keep pace

  • This is a 1 ton hoist with a 1 ton block & tackle
  • Working on the finishing touches of this rebuild
  • Some pretty nice gosanke came in

I have finally purchased a tripod hoist. An excellent tool for the larger 300+ lb. stone you need to place. Great for when you can't warrant the cost of a bobcat or don't have easy access. Looking forward to putting this to use soon

Finally got some pictures of our early May shipment up on the site. Sorry for the delay
May 7
It has been a very busy Spring for us with all the pond openings. Our fish shipment came in last week and looks great - Over 300 Japanese koi ranging in size from 4 - 12". For those who we are holding fish for, we expect them to be ready for pickup in about 10 days

We have just begun construction, another rebuild of a small pond
April 1 2012
The home show was fun and we chatted to a lot of people. Also saw a few of our competitors and reaffirmed that our pricing, product and knowledge is still number #1

The weather has turned cold again but we are well underway with our pond openings. We are also getting a lot of product shipments in and hope to be fully stocked by mid April, waterplants should be in shortly too

We have updated our main 2K gallon tank with a bakki shower. The improvement in water clarity is noticeable. We are now selling these units. We open 7 days a week starting tomorrow

  • Thanks to all of those who stopped by our booth
  • We are loving our bakki shower, the water is much clearer
  • We used liquid rubber to seal this leaking copper fountain
March 8 2012
Was just checking in with a new client I had met last Spring. He called us in regards to wanting to rebuild his pond. After having it a few years, he had realized the problems and knew what he wanted to avoid. After a consult, liner delivery and many emails back and forth, he came up with a really good result. And lucky for him, he told me his Dad loves to dig and that he powered through the excavation quickly

  • Alex totally bought into the concept of the bottom drain
  • He also took the time to tape the liner folds down
  • I really like the large shelf he incorporated for plants. A new deck beside the pond too !

March 2 2012
Unfortunately I have had reports of 3 mink attacks this Fall/Winter from clients - 2 individuals lost all of their fish which is very sad. Mink have become a real serious problem over the last 2-3 years. We have had a very good success rate with electric fences. We can set them up for you, or can advise you on how to set it up yourself. The cost for a typical pond is about $170 for the parts

The home show will be on in 2 weeks. As I tweeted, I do have a limited number of free tickets and they are going fast. Stop in the shop, make a purchase and a pair is yours if you ask. Think I have 6 left

We have had an unseasonably warm Winter - this is good news for the fish, however, Spring is still a very dangerous time and it is advisable to do a good water change and add some salt. See more info on our seasonal care page. Of course, we are available to open your pond if you like
February 1 2012
I will be presenting at the Willowdale Aquarium Society on Wednesday Feb 15, 7:30. The topic is pond construction, and I will be showing a video of a complete build of a 10 x 20 foot pond

Well, the website has finally gone live. I started this process on Oct 30th and it has taken at least 200 hrs. Suffice to say it is done...for now...we all know these things are never done. To fully take advantage of this site [the web in general], you should not be using Internet Explorer [IE] as you browser. It is a nightmare to code for and does not support the rich experience offered by firefox, google chrome and opera. These browsers are free, take 5 minutes to install and are vastly superior security wise and feature wise

I'm off to Grenada for 8 days. Should be a fun getaway. Taking my underwater camera and will get some video of some saltwater fish
January 23 2012
The sale went great and I thank those who showed up. It was nice to talk fish and ponds in the off season

The new website is in the final stages. Working on more videos now. Most of the layout and writing are complete and I'm really happy with the new look and over haul of many of the pages
January 7 2012
Working frantically on the new website. It is really coming together but is taking a lot of work. Will be uploading a lot more video which I think is helpful. Revamping every page, updating information, chopping out a lot of superfluous verbiage as well

Also getting ramped up for our sale, it happens next weekend - 20% off everything both Sat. & Sun. 11 - 4

A client called and almost lost some fish because his air stopped - he has some nice big kohaku. Luckily he had a venturi and they came back, even though they were on the surface floating. This is strange - usually once they reach a certain point they don't come back...glad they did

December 2 2011
Almost finished the season, a greenhouse to put up on Monday and maybe a couple of other odds and ends and the year is done. Hard to believe, but some welcome relief

Went down to Ray Abel's in mid November, disappointed at the abbreviated harvesting but it was still awesome seeing some high end fish. I met up with Darren of Natures Touch Ponds in Washington and we drove down together from there
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