news 2010

Dec 8 2010
Bob sent me a pic of his pond with the waterfall almost complete. Still lots of plants and tweaks to make. See the work in progress pic below [Oct 3rd entry]. Bob has also started a facebook page - GTA PONDS - visit it out here

I also visited a client in Kitchener to pick up some fish. They have constructed a giant 3,500 gallon tank in the basement which is pretty impressive and great for over wintering and quarantining fish. Because of this, exceptional growth with the fish has been achieved

Nov 26 2010
Almost completed the season as we are just finishing off pond closings. Got back from Ray's on the 14th. Great trip ! A lot of amazing fish. I will aim to get a page together over the Winter will a lot of pics. For now I have attached a few pics

During the Winter we are open on Saturdays only. However, I'm at the shop every day to check on things and make improvements - so if you would like to stop by just give a quick call first

Oct 26 2010
Another client has lost his fish with a 30% water change without using water conditioner. Something you just can't forget and expect to get away with. Also examined a fish that was under long term ammonia exposure. Very emaciated. Ammonia does negatively effect a fishes ability to utilized nutrients which would account for that

Installed a spillway today - took a few hours to chisel away and get it in place. Had it custom made with heavy stainless steel by a client who has a steel business. Excellent job. Also replaced the pump which was a 13 amp hayward. I see this all the time, huge draw pumps when not required. Given the plumbing setup and desired flow rate, the new performance pump is doing the job for only 2 amps ! Huge difference in the hydro bill

Oct 13 2010
Sad note yesterday, we got a call from a client who left their hose on. 150 dead fish, 8 maybe will survive due to the chlorine and chloramines in the tap water. This tragedy is easily avoidable, we sell an dial auto refill that works via volume, not time. So regardless of hose pressure, you can set it from 50 gallons all the way up to 1600 and it will shut off automatically. We hear of these sad fish kills about once per month during the season - its simple math, if you use a hose to refill your pond you will eventually forget...

New shipment coming in on Monday, we are closed so available for viewing on Tuesday. I plan to take some good pics and put up a slide show. These fish are fully quarantined and ready to go, 6 - 10 inch in size, mostly gosanke

Oct 3 2010
We are currently working on a waterfall and retaining wall job. Couple of interesting things. First, the client "got his questions answered" from a local nursery. In discussion with him, the answers he received were incorrect and given by someone who really had no business taking an advisory role. Then he spoke to one of our competitors. His advice was to rip everything out and start "fresh". The existing liner, which is rather large, is in great shape. There was no need to scrap it. I really couldn't believe it

See the completed falls above in our Dec 8 entry

Checking the competitors website, I got a great chuckle out of his myth busting page. The predators myth busting fails to mention mink and suggests you scare a water bird [Heron] - with a jet of water ! Electric shock is the way to go...For some real predator advice, visit our page. I could go on, there are 1-2 good pieces of advice but it boils down to one simple thing. A fish pond is not natural - so natural approaches won't cut it. You need to augment that with better filtration and take advantage of better technology. Suggesting river rock on the pond bottom is a good idea, and you don't need a 3 foot deep pond is rubbish. In the long run, the fish lose. These items aren't a matter of opinion or a different approach, the fact is that they are quantifiable inferior

Making my way back to Ray Abels this November, after missing last years trip. Just too busy to go last Fall, but looking forward to getting some good pics and seeing a bunch of great koi this time around

Sept 21 2010
Just finished a small job of installing a 40" vortex and redoing the waterfalls. It replaced a "liner vortex" which really didn't work and the client was unable to flush it. Suffice to say, it was a filthy mess

A new client came into the shop on the weekend. Talking with him, his new pond would be ready later this week. I found out it was built by "Aquarium _______". Anyway, with the word aquarium in your name, it would suggest that ponds is not your area of expertise. It turns out that is 2500 - 3K gallon pond will be filtered with an external pressure filter. No skimmer, no bottom drain....After I showed him some of our setup equipment, I think it hit home. Unfortunately too many people seem to show up at the shop having not done any research and frankly not thought things through

On our main 1800 gallon tank, we have a vortex w/reticulated foam + matala going to a Dolphin 2100 and returning to the far end of the tank via EP5 UV and venturi. A 0.60 Aquadyne bead filter fed by a 3030 gph Performance Pro Pump, returning via venturi. Lastly we have a 25 gallon rotating media filter running on a separate circuit. With 6K in flow per hour, we are turning over the system every 20 minutes...

Aug 29 2010
We put in a small pond this past month - mainly for a few goldfish and some waterplants. Pictured right is me tweaking the waterfalls. Summer is certainly winding down although it is still quite warm outside - it was 30 today

Clients are starting to book tanks for winter boarding and we have deicers on sale during September. Will be photographing one of this years larger projects next week. Planning lots of upgrades to the site this Winter

Aug 4 2010
We are just finishing up are first major project of the season. We had a very busy Spring with servicing and several smaller jobs. Notably, pond rebuild to incorporate a concrete collar. As 1 client said, it took 13 years but eventually his main waterfall stone started to tilt into the pond

Kevin called me back last week, apparently his fry are growing very quickly in the pond. His mature pond [lots of food] has a lot of plants with just a few large fish, so he isn't losing very many fish. We will try to pull the bulk out in the Fall

July 5 2010
Well the heat wave has started here in Toronto. Need to watch the oxygen levels and it was a wake up call when Tony phoned me tonight to say his power was out and he couldn't get his generator going. The backup plan was the powerbox from Canadian Tire - everyone should consider having at least this if not a full blown generator

We should be starting a new pond build this week and I'm helping a client tape his pond folds tomorrow. Planning on visiting Ray Abels this November as I missed it last year after 4 consecutive years. Things are going well at the shop and we still have a good selection of Japanese koi available. We are now closed Mondays although still there and I had 6 people stop in today

June 9 2010
Did a service call yesterday and spotted a ton of fry that look about 20 days old [pic right]. It is early this year for spawning, due to the exceptionally warm April. We have completed a couple of minor rebuilds in the last 2 weeks - installing a concrete collar was part of the scope. It took 13 years for the rock to tilt with one of the ponds, but tilt it did. Always best to go with a collar to begin with. Did some leak repair today, PVC liner no less. These type of liners should really be outlawed, along with anti kink hose

May 11 2010
Our shipment arrived in good shape with some really nice fish. Some fish have sold, but there are still a lot of solid fish available. More waterplants are coming in at the end of the week - although the recent cold weather will be hard on the hyacinths and lettuce. We have installed some lights above our new tanks to better illuminate the new fish

May 4 2010
Renovations are essentially complete and so far the feedback is very positive. Many waterplants have arrived and more will be coming in. The Japanese Koi shipment will be arriving this Thursday, very exciting time of year. We are still quite busy with pond openings and a few small jobs. The weather is great with the season about 3 weeks ahead this year. Not nearly as many dead fish as I thought there might be this Spring due to the long winter and false start to it in October of last year

We now have 8,000 gallons of water at the shop

Apr 4 2010
Renovations are almost complete and things are coming together. The exciting part is the additional water volume which will allow us to house more fish. We are currently ordering a lot of stock. Plants and fish will be in later this month and our large Japanese shipment the beginning of May. Pond openings are starting this upcoming week - we have had tremendous weather this year with some warm record setting days. Looking forward to an exciting 2010 !

Mar 7 2010
I'm currently busy renovating the back of our shop. Building 11 new tanks against the wall and rearranging everything for a cleaner more consistent layout. We will have about 3K more gallons for our fish stocks which will help greatly. Also, a large 250 square foot mezzanine to store product. It's warming up and we are looking forward to getting back to work and starting another season.

We have hired another respected koi enthusiast who is happy to lend a hand on weekends. This will help greatly during the spring rush having 3 people in the shop to help. In this hobby, most people want 20 minutes+ of your time, not 2 minutes. So this can lead to longer waiting times during the busy season but we hope to alleviate that with this new hiring

For those interested in ponds builds, please feel free to drop in to discuss your plans NOW. In May, we don't have a lot of time for this and would need to book an onsite meeting

Feb 12 2010
Well I have just returned from the 41st. All Japan Koi Show. My koi will just never look the same. It was a great experience. We visited breeders for the 3 days and the show for 3 days. A lot of koi in a short period of time but it was great. I just created an outings page with some pics of the show. I will also create a page on some of the breeders we attended when I get a chance. There will also be a 20-25 minute video shot at the show available on our free catalogue / Video disc this year - just stop by the shop and pick yours up or place a mail order and we will include it

If you are thinking about going to Japan, just do it. but I would recommend going during the show rather than the during the Fall harvest if you are more interested in seeing than buying fish

Jan 1 2010
Happy New Year. The final touches on the trip to Japan are in place and it should be a great experience. I will shoot a lot of photo's and videos. Also planning a major renovation to the back of our shop in February. It has become overrun with product in the last couple of years and its becoming progressively harder to keep things tidy and organized. We will be constructing a bank of new tanks to give us more water and a better display

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