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koi pond & water gardens 2000

Our second pond - the original pond totally rebuilt

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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!

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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 away.

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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 the pond.

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 it?

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 sores.

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.

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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.

1999 2000 2001
2002 2002-2
2003 2003- 2
2004 2004-2


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