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koi pond & water gardens 2000
Our second pond - the original pond totally rebuilt
Here's the first glimpse of the pond as one turns
the corner, past the garage, and faces the back yard.
The original pond was almost undisturbed, but a new
addition to the right made it almost three times as large and much
more sophisticated than the first pond.
The dirt dug out to form the new addition was saved
and used to berm around the new pond perimeter. This berming had
worked in the past to deter raccoons and we wouldn't give it up.
Much more sophisticated additions: a skimmer with
a heavy duty pump at the far end of the old pond, with tubing leading
to a bio-filter The bio-filter is three layers of filter padding,
weighed down by lava rock - the rough surfaces are the media for
bacteria to thrive. Water flowed from the new, larger, "top"
pond, down to the original, "lower" pond.
We trimmed off a large oak tree branch that had shaded
the original pond. Now, because of too much sunlight, we had problems
with green water. A UV light was added later in the season.
Both sections of the pond had ledges for potted plants
and shallower water areas for marginal plants. Both parts of the
pond had boulders and river rock at the bottom.
Couldn't even guess how many tons of rock and flagstone
were laid here - one piece at a time!
The new waterfall is shown in the first two pictures. To the right
of the waterfall, dirt was left for a planting bed which contains
tallgrass, hosta, and low growing perennials. To break up the monotony
of so many rocks and boulders, we planted low growing "stepables"
in crevices between the rock.
The photo furthest to the right shows the small second waterfall
from the upper pond to the lower pond. The ground level here is
actually the same, the optical illusion is caused by the fact that
the pond area to the right can fill up higher, but the lower pond
is restricted by the placement of the skimmer door which draws water
Left picture: For the most part, the potted plants did well on
their ledges, however, windy days, and sometimes nosy fish, would
topple the pots, which we'd have to retrieve from the bottom of
Middle picture: the berm edges were tamped down and flattened,
the layer of flagstones on the top were great for seating, displaying
garden ornaments and potted plants.
Right picture: the bottom of the smaller pond. The water here
is actually about thirty inches deep. Looks shallower, doesn't
We lost a lot of fish this season because of water changes during
the pond addition. We removed all the fish & moved them to
a 25 gallon aquarium tank when the old pond was drained to install
the skimmer. The fish were put into the new pond after a day or
two, but we had to remove them again because of a leak. Because
of all the changes, the fish became stressed and developed ulcerated
Our plan was to segregate the koi from the goldfish. Koi in the
top pond and goldfish in the bottom pond. Of course, the fish
had other plans. The koi would ride down the small waterfall to
the lower pond, and once there, would have no way to get back
up. In the picture to the right, there is a small yellow koi in
the middle of a school of comets and orandas.
A painful lesson in 2000 - a visiting blue heron.
What a beautiful bird! How thrilling to have such a majestic
guest! Yeah, right, until you see that bird with your largest
koi hanging out of his bill!
Herons are very patient birds. They'll fly up to an out of reach
branch and patiently wait until you leave to resume their brunch.
Our solution to the flying predator problem: a ledge for fish
to hide under when they feel threatened. The ledge is a piece
of flagstone propped on two bricks. After a short time under water,
the flagstone has darkened and is now almost invisible.