MY POND PROFILE
In 1996 I was a happily divorced woman embarking on a life of my
own, something I never dreamed of before. I own the family home
(the one I grew up in) in Uniondale, NY, and work my butt off to
keep myself in the style I was never accustomed to. That said, I
have a number of hobbies, one being koi. At this time, I have approximately
60 rapidly-growing koi in my backyard. I embarked on the pond and
koi hobby in 1990 with a small preformed pond 4x 6 about
13 deep. I added one koi and several goldfish.
The second pond was necessary, 6x8 18 deep, by
the third year. Koi can outgrow a pond rather quickly and as a hobbyist
and nature-lover, I was suffering to watch the koi in such a cramped
As we learn more about a hobby like koi keeping, we
most assuredly realize what we presently have is not adequate. To
enjoy my garden and pond(s) I added a deck. In 1996, (the third
pond) with the help of my two sons we installed a dream-come-true
18 x 9 pond, three foot deep, after I won a 20x30 45mil.
EPDM liner in a Mid-Atlantic Club show raffle. I was hooked! Three
years later, my koi had again increased in number and size. This
pond, the do-it-yourself model was 18 long by
8wide and 3deep. I had problems keeping the water clear
while the fish were growing even more rapidly and did two upgrades
to the filter system before realizing the flat bottom was the problem.
The dirt was not filtering out the bottom drain like it should.
So when it came time to expand the gallonage of the
pond (at the time was 3,400-gallons), the obvious decision was to
dig deeper. Just couldnt really go much wider with the house,
deck and garage already in the way. As koi use different muscles
swimming vertically this was the right choice for both me and the
This time, I asked a local pond builder to draw up a plan for
a new pond. It was time to pay the experts to do their job. I wanted
the large moss-rock and had been photographing their work so I knew
they would build a pond I would love. We haggled a little over price
and decided to shave some cost by using a lot of the original rocks.
We added a waterfall on one end and stream with three small ponds
flowing into the pond from the other. The present pond was the fourth
pond installed in the backyard of a 50x 100 plot, with
Cape Cod house in the center and a detached garage. It was now 6
½ to 7 ½ ft. deep in the center.
I did the landscaping. They did the pond. They added some water
plants, such as Typha Latifolia, to hide the side of the garage.
Their trademark is the use of bogs and small river stone to create
an irregular shape, such as in nature, and beach areas.
Then I planted Myosotis to soften the edges of the pond and a low-growing
hedge of variegated Japanese sweet flag (Acorus gramineus Variegatus)
as demarcation line between water and beach just below the deck.
I do not have a traditional koi pond. I have a non-traditional koi-water
garden pond. I was an avid horticulturist long before I knew about
koi. I planted Buttercup (Ranunculus acris) along the stream and
Houttaynia (chameleon vine) beside the brick walkways. Sedum decorates
and overhangs the waterfall bringing a lovely splash of yellow.
For the upgraded filter, we incorporated the traditional vortex
system with a bubblebead capable of filtering for twice the amount
of fish presently in the pond. The vortex is fed by a bottom drain,
about 6 ½ or so deep at the center of the pond, and
flows into a second vortex for the removal of the heavier detritus,
into the Lim Dragon Series ¼ HP pump (with pre-pump basket),
and then to the bubblebead filter. From the bubblebead the water
is pumped back into the pond through the waterfall and two bog-situated
outlet jets. The flow to each is regulated by a slide valve. The
second pump is 1/3 HP Sequence used to circulate water from the
skimmer to the stream. There are two 40-watt UV lights connected
sequentially between the bubblebead and the waterfall. There are
no dead water zones. The water turnover is twice an hour. Cleaning
the vortex is accomplished by pulling a slide valve allowing the
water to be drained into a six-foot sump. From the sump, the dirty
water is circulated around the yard by a sewage pump through 1 ½
and 2 lines. The yard is both watered and fed by the pond
simultaneously. An automatic refill replaces the water drained off
without any dragging and hassling with a garden hose. It is discretely
hidden beneath the Japanese maple.
After the ammonia is neutralized into nitrate, the nitrate is eliminated
by the vegetable filtration which includes the stream and bogs.
Control of mosquito and midge larvae is done by weekly applications
of Microbe-Lift/Biological Mosquito Control (very effectively!).
My pond is planted and designed as a four-season pond. There are
rocks with character, shapely trees with decorative bark, evergreens
and collection of interesting shaped leaves throughout the year.
During summer you can't see the statuary, but winter produces special
effects. The fall is spectacular with the striking clump-forming
white birch dropping golden leaves; the Japanese maple (dissectum)
overhanging the pond turns scarlet; this is echoed by Burning Bush
Euonymus hedging the back corner and accented by bright chartreuse
of the spirea and other plants. The splash of burnt orange of the
white-flowering dogwood brings it all together. In spring, the entire
yard is under planted with daffodils, crocus and naturalized species
tulips. Year-round the yard is encompassed by a tall taxus hedge
giving me a sense of privacy and seclusion. Trumpet vine covers
the side and roof of the garage. Hummingbirds are regular visitors
here as are my neighbors, friends and family. It is my perfect garden
- Carolyn Weise
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