Help Me -- writing a guide for newbies

Koi

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Hi guys -- I am writing a guide for newbies who are building koi ponds and just getting started.

What is/was your biggest question(s) that you had when you were getting going?

I want to write this with lots of meat, and once I have it done - I will send everyone who helps me out a free copy (either PM me or email me at jason at poolspondsandpumps dot com)

THANK YOU -- I am excited to get this project off the ground and hope you all will help me out.
Jason
 

addy1

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well don't have a koi pond, just will be goldies and plants.
 

Koi

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Sorry -- I should have been clearer - What do you guys have for questions regarding starting/building ponds.. not just koi -- any kind in particular. Just let me know what kind you have/will have -- and what your biggest questions/issues are.
Thanks again,
Jason
 

Koi

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Well -- I hopefully have the answers -- the others I will get. This is kind of a labor of love -- I had a bunch of questions when I started.. and figured most feel the same way.

SO.. looking for questions from the group.. preferably.. ideas are good too.. :)
 

addy1

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Search the construction area, the newbie area, everybody has posed a lot of questions.

You will get a wide range of issues
 

hewhoisatpeace

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Big question I had - pumps. External, submersible, gph, and amp draw. Think I've made a good choice with my external Artesian, it has done very well. Questions about this issue, feel free to ask.

Had a lot of other questions too.
 
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I would ask all the questions here and look at the answers.
I've seen answers to questions here that are not true.
Some answers are just opinions.
 

koiguy1969

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I agree with DODAD, many answers are a matter of opinion. some answers are neither right or wrong just a matter of opinion or preferrence. every pond is different for many reasons...size, depth, fish load,location, sun exposure,finances( my biggest obstacle), the list goes on. there are some general guide lines, but those can be open to variations. but the biggest difference is ...is it a "garden pond with fish" or a dedicated "koi pond". most folks here have garden ponds with fish, DODAD and a few others have dedicated koi ponds.
 
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Beyond the basics of constructing that first pond, I think the biggest paranoia I had was what to do or expect to happen...

- Biological filters: Do's and don'ts. Seeding the filter with the right bacteria is good, but then don't go ruining your cultures by flushing the filter with tapwater.
- Cloudy water: It's going to be cloudy for the first several weeks. A pond has to cycle, just like a fish tank. Don't lengthen the period or ruin your pristine waterby dumping in a ton of chemicals to clear the water.
- The first algae-bloom: Oh god what is all this green stuff in my water! Suggest natural ways of controlling algae such as hyacinths/water lettuce or UV filters.
- Water changes? I'd never heard of this until coming to this site. How often and how much?
- Protecting from predators: Cats, raccoons, large birds - these can all be a danger to your fish. Providing lots of floating plants and hiding places will help them live longer.
- Preparing for Winter: Protecting the pond from falling leaves, reducing fish feedings, when to stop feeding the fish, preparing various types of heaters, keeping the pumps running despite water freeze.
- Spring cleanup: vacuuming the bottom, cleaning filters, when to start feeding the fish, kick-starting bio-filter bacteria.

Another topic which I haven't found as many answers to is what more can you do to establish a more natural balance to your pond?
- Types of fish: Sure everyone does comets and koi, but I've been finding info on bottom-feeders such as weather loaches to help with the cleaning. And of course such goodies as mosquito-fish for pest control. What else would survive the near-freezing temperatures of most ponds, and would be useful towards reducing the required maintenance of the pond?
- Frogs: It took four years, but my first frog finally appeared this year and has made his new home. I think any type of frog is beneficial towards reducing the unwanted insect population around a pond. Any other benefits from them?
- Dragonflies: By planting tall vertical grasses around a pond, you can attract dragonflies which are not only fun to see, but have voracious appetites for mosquitoes, and their larvae will also take care of newly-hatched mosquitoes in the water.
- What else is beneficial to have in or around the pond?

Hope that gives you some ideas to work with. Can't wait to see the results!
 

Koi

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Wow - This is great. I agree with the comment about opinions vs fact. Many things are not set in stone... I will keep that in mind. Let keep it going!! I am going to have lots of work to do :).. Thanks, Jason
 

hewhoisatpeace

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I'd talk about doing a fishless cycle, with plain household ammonia. You can safely dose a lot higher than fish could stand, and get your bacteria started much more rapidly than with fish. A corollary benefit is that no fish would have to chance death or suffer unnecessarily in an immature pond. Meta search to find fishless cycle ammonia application rates, and while the pond is without fish, baking soda can rapidly raise pH to more acceptable levels than are sometimes in the tap, with the benefit of raising kH as well.
 

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