Pond tips

Those taking the tour were given a guide to the pool sites, along with advice for building a pond. Some of the points for would-be pond owners are:

• Build the pond where you can see it easily from the home. This provides enjoyment when you can't go outside and also allows owners to see at a glance if anything is going wrong at the pond - such as predators.

• Koi fish ponds should be a minimum of three feet deep, four or five feet is better. Floor should slope to the bottom drain at the deepest point of the pond. Drain pipe should be a minimum of 2 inches, but the bigger the better.

• Pond shape can be formal (square, rectangle, round) or a natural shape, dictated by the terrain. Avoid "dead" areas were water would not circulate.

• Getting oxygen into the water is critical, and most often a waterfall will do it. The water must drop at least a few inches for aeration. Air injection also works for those not wanting a waterfall. Aerating plants are also helpful.

• Filtration is vital to keeping the pond healthy. The larger the filter in relation to the pond, the better. Mechanical filters take out the solids, biological filters take out or convert fish matter and degrading materials. Both is best, but the biological filter is a must.

More tips

• Keep a spare pump in case one breaks down.

• Use a ground fault interrupter on the electrical system.

• Don't try to hurry things; it takes four to eight weeks for a pond to establish equilibrium.

• Don't scrub the filters too well; there's good bacteria there.

• And finally, keep an eye out for blue herons. This is a predator who loves koi. Ditto pelicans. Nets protect koi, but it's best to stay alert.


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