What do you think of aquascape - the company


TheFishGuy

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So I have been an aquascape loyalist for a couple years now, but recently have been noticing that while they do have some great pumps and other products of that sort, they have started introducing a whole bunch of other things that you “have” to use to have a balanced and healthy pond, which I am so very aware is bs. ( specifically a line of chemicals )

and while every company has their not the greatest aspects, I am starting to feel like this company is taking advantage of people instead of trying to just help them have the best water feature possible, so I started this thread to open up the discussion, what do you think of aquascape the company?

( this is in no way meant to bash or drive people away from this company )
 
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addy1

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I have no feelings one way or the other, since I use nothing from them. A lot of companies push their chemicals, it makes them money.
 
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My only experience with Aquascape products is a skimmer and waterfall, and compared with The Pond Builder's skimmer and waterfall (which I also own) I would choose Aquascape .

I love Aquascape pond designs (some are truly brilliant) , but I question some of the comments I've read in their magazine or heard one their videos. I think a lot of their ponds are way to shallow for koi

I'm not sure if they push chemicals solely to gain profit, they may very possibly believe that it's the only way to achieve healthy water quality...I'm glad we know better!
 
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I believe the hobby would not be where it is today without aquascapes. While they do offer products I do not use nor do I see myself ever using hopefuly. People who are over weight want to find a miracle cure like a pill to remove the problem. well i feel it is the same here, while people understand that netting out the leaves as they drop. vacuuming out the bottom when needed or back washing your sand filter as required. it's because it's usually the easy way out. It makes money for aquascapes and it gives people what they want. I do add a biotope to the water each spring but thats it
 
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I think as long as the products they sell are not harmful, it's not a big deal to provide them for sale. We on the Pond Forum know that most of them are not necessary if you cooperate with Mother Nature. It's kind of like going for a great haircut and then seeing all the crazy expensive hair products you can buy -- but you don't have to. Even at the dang dermatologist, there are so many unnecessary and super expensive products and procedures you can purchase. That niche of medicine has gone from specializing in legitimate skin diseases to becoming an anti-aging focused business. I think with so many things, you learn to just tune out the "extra noise" and focus on the basics. But - Fish Guy - I hear what you are saying!
 
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I'm a big Aquascape fan - I won't pretend I'm not. There's not a pond supply company out there that doesn't sell all the additives and chemicals. I understand why they do it from a business perspective - you want to be that one-stop for people for all things pond. But I've been in their store countless times and asked a million questions and not one time was the answer "you should buy this bottle of stuff". They talked us through building our bog when there was little information out there on how that would even work. They are happy to answer any question you might throw their way, even when you are DIYing your way through your first build. When we needed a new pump and called them about buying one, they steered us to another company that could sell us an Aquascape pump cheaper - they won't undercut their retail customers.

And I agree with @GBBUDD - if it weren't for Aquascape, none of these other companies would be where they are today. It was one man's (well, boy actually) love of turtles that drove him to design and innovate and improve and learn. The whole industry grew with him and his company. It's really an all-American story.

I love Aquascape pond designs (some are truly brilliant) , but I question some of the comments I've read in their magazine or heard one their videos. I think a lot of their ponds are way to shallow for koi

I'm not sure if they push chemicals solely to gain profit, they may very possibly believe that it's the only way to achieve healthy water quality...I'm glad we know better!

I think the proof is in the pudding their @Gemma - they've built hundreds and hundreds of ponds for koi and have never had one fail because it wasn't deep enough. I know there are different schools of thought on that, but they've shown that a garden pond with koi doesn't need to exceed 24 inches, even in Chicago.

And I'll say it again - they don't "push" chemicals, but they do sell them. Is it for profit? Sure. But you can't run a business without making a profit. And they definitely DO NOT believe that chemicals are the only way to achieve healthy water quality. They are the ones on the leading edge of using bog filtration. They understand eco-system ponds better than any pond builders out there. I don't know what magazine you're talking about - I know they published one many years ago, but I wouldn't hold anyone to old information. Lots has changed in the pond world.
 
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@Lisak1 it's a matter of personal opinion, I don't doubt that they are super knowable when it comes to pond building but to me a koi is much happier in a pond deeper than its own length...again just my opinion.
 
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@Lisak1 it's a matter of personal opinion, I don't doubt that they are super knowable when it comes to pond building but to me a koi is much happier in a pond deeper than its own length...again just my opinion.
I would agree but i think it's back to the almighty dollar again . I have built the pond at 6 feet deep , this required planning extra shoring and concrete. The bog at the same again required concrete walls . The dead pool as i call it an extension of the pond ment to be shallow and thin at one end was a weekends project. very easy to dig and rock as it is 30" or less Koi are a river fish Not pond . so they will be found in the shallows of the river or pond. This area and the stream almost required hardly any planning at all it was almost like auto pilot. This again is why i believe is one of the reasons they sell mainly 3 foot deep ponds . The liability is also another consideration i almost bet the damn insurance company has a clause if you stay under x feet for so many ponds your insurance is x instead of y if they are all over that depth. Another reason and advantage to the shallow pond is ease of cleaning . while the 6 foot depth requires a lot more work trying to pull leaves up from that depth.
 

Jhn

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I like them as others have said their innovations and ideas changed the way ponds are kept. Even now they are the only company I-have found that offers low voltage powerheads ( just an in pond water mover to create better circulation for those that aren’t familiar with the term from the aquarium hobby). I haven’t bought one yet but am thinking about it, to adda couple into the pond extension to help push everything towards the intake bay. All stores offer chemicals for this and that, because they make money off them and the bottom line is they are all in it to run a business and you can’t do that without making money.... always a perk though if you love what you do at and make money doing it.
 
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@GBBUDD - all good points. A deeper pond is more challenging to build and may run into issues with village ordinances, HOA rules, or insurance company preferences. Plus a pond that you can get into to clean is more manageable for most people.

As far as whether koi are happier in a deeper pond - who knows? I've never asked mine! haha! Overall I think water volume is more important than depth, but whether there's an ideal depth I have no clue. I just know that koi thrive in ponds in the midwest as long as they are at least two feet deep.
 
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Another thought: Some people really enjoy having all the "bells and whistles." They can afford it and think it is fun. If having an Ion-gen thingie is exciting to them, it's fine. Some people love gizmos and gadgets and others just like the basics. Some hobbyists also like having a heavier fish load, which requires more intervention for keeping the water quality high. As others have pointed out, Aquascape has also moved more in the direction of wetland filtration over time. I was just watching one of their videos where they had a giant wetland filter as well as another smaller one -- really using nature to get the job done. I especially love listening to Ed Beaulieu get excited about aquatic ecosystems. They are learning over time, like we are. And they are a business, doing work and selling products for profit. Overall, I still think they are great ambassadors for pond-building and pond-keeping education.

Your questions and consideration of all this stuff are very mature. It's good to ask questions! (And have you noticed we in the older generation are thrilled to share our opinions!? :ROFLMAO: ;) )

Personally, TheFishGuy, I have often thought the Aquascape team would be tickled to meet you! I bet your passion for ponding would remind Greg Wittstock a lot of himself at your age! :)
 
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@GBBUDD - all good points. A deeper pond is more challenging to build and may run into issues with village ordinances, HOA rules, or insurance company preferences. Plus a pond that you can get into to clean is more manageable for most people.

As far as whether koi are happier in a deeper pond - who knows? I've never asked mine! haha! Overall I think water volume is more important than depth, but whether there's an ideal depth I have no clue. I just know that koi thrive in ponds in the midwest as long as they are at least two feet deep.
Lisa, I think I read that deeper is better for developing the body, re shape and vitality. The idea is that when a fish swims top to bottom, there's different muscles being used/developed. In a shallow pool, and if a koi is 30+ inches, there's not going to be any of that happening. So, for my money, I do believe 3' is minimum but 4' better toward this end.
 
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Your questions and consideration of all this stuff are very mature. It's good to ask questions! (And have you noticed we in the older generation are thrilled to share our opinions!? :ROFLMAO: ;) )
It's just someone willing to listen to us ……...
Lisa, I think I read that deeper is better for developing the body, re shape and vitality. The idea is that when a fish swims top to bottom, there's different muscles being used/developed. In a shallow pool, and if a koi is 30+ inches, there's not going to be any of that happening. So, for my money, I do believe 3' is minimum but 4' better toward this end.
Oh don't get me wrong I am allllllllllllllllll for a deeper pond yes to vac out the leaves in the spring and fall I have had to modify my MATALA cyclone vac by adding hard line pvc to the end of the vac is it easy to maneuver nope..... I push the 20 feet of pipe across the pond and control it as it falls to the bottom where I have a second piece of pipe taped to the side to hold the vac pipe up so it does not pull in the rock and get clogged. and pull the pipe across the bottom. But take my word for it using the vac in dead pool is so much easier at 30 " deep . but I would never not build the pond without at least a 4 foot deep area
 
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I wish my pond was deeper than 3.5 feet, we originally wanted it 4 feet, but large tree roots prevented it. Anyway.......I think depth helps larger fish ( koi ) survive winter weather better. Mine stay in the deepest area of the pond during the coldest weather.
 
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I thought my koi would as well, as the pond is 6 feet deep but they don't. They hang out in the cave and the tunnel at least a foot and a half from the bottom and I had a foot of ice this year and I have already seen the two largest koi. some may ask why isn't the tunnel and cave at the bottom it's because of my two main drains I originaly was going to leave the pumps running all winter and I was afraid they would get sucked in as a couple smaller koi have.
 
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I'm going to agree with Lisak1 pretty much wholeheartedly. I learned the art of ponding while hanging around with the old Aquascape 'gang' almost two decades ago. Brian Helfrich (who is the most wonderful person imaginable!) personally designed & oversaw our pond construction back in the Chicago suburbs in 2002. Ellen & Ed Beaulieu are amazing people as well (if you're into 'Goat Yoga' go visit her at their new farm!!) Greg Wittstock is an entrepreneur who found a marketable 'nitch' and I don't begrudge him making a living doing what he has always loved. Are some of their products produced for profit? Well... yeah! It IS a business, after all, and if it didn't make a profit then Aquascape might just fold & then where would the ponding world be? The powers that be at Aquascape have been the cutting edge leaders in the backyard ponding world for a very long time now & I hope that they will continue in that way for a very long time to come.

As far as how much room or depth that koi "need"... I will once agree with Lisak1 that there are numerous (more numerous to count) ponds in the Chicago area at 2' of depth housing koi with no problems. I (personally) think that they do better with more surface area to get the needed quantity of water vs. depth for the same amount. I do have an area in the middle of my current pond that is 3', but the vast majority of the pond averages 18" (total volume about 3200 gallons) The fish have lots of room to swim (over 30' end to end) with a short 'stream' area coming in from the side where one of the biofalls is. During the cold months/weather/water temps. (and at night in the warmer times of year) the fish all hang out in the bottom of the deep area, with the smaller ones hiding in the built in caves (well, the smart ones do. we do occasionally lose fish to the local raccoons... sigh)
 
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Aquascapes video the most beautiful backyards in the world is what got me hooked on the pond.

I don't know how much this video cost aquascapes but it was money well spent ….
 
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Is it anthropomorphism ? If I was one of those Koi I would want more than 2ft of depth... But that doesn't mean it's what the Koi actually want or need.


This is an aquascape pond and this guy lost his catfish during the cold weather. Bit off topic, but what do you guys think was the cause of his catfish dying? I feel like if he was going to have weather like that then he would've been better off having a deeper pond. (disclaimer I appreciate some parts of america had very bad weather this year and this is catfish not koi)

My comment on the video was " I would've recommended having the pond pumps off during the coldest days. Circulating the water out and back into the pond drops the water temperature a lot faster. The deeper the pond the better, rightly or wrongly I am an advocate of ponds having at least one area that is a lot deeper than the rest so that fish have somewhere to go where the water is less exposed to the elements. "
 
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Is it anthropomorphism ? If I was one of those Koi I would want more than 2ft of depth... But that doesn't mean it's what the Koi actually want or need.


This is an aquascape pond and this guy lost his catfish during the cold weather. Bit off topic, but what do you guys think was the cause of his catfish dying? I feel like if he was going to have weather like that then he would've been better off having a deeper pond. (disclaimer I appreciate some parts of america had very bad weather this year and this is catfish not koi)

My comment on the video was " I would've recommended having the pond pumps off during the coldest days. Circulating the water out and back into the pond drops the water temperature a lot faster. The deeper the pond the better, rightly or wrongly I am an advocate of ponds having at least one area that is a lot deeper than the rest so that fish have somewhere to go where the water is less exposed to the elements. "
I didn't watch the entire video, but the pond pictured there is WAY too small overall - not just in depth - for fish of any size. How many gallons is it? When you have a very small water volume, you will definitely have more problems with temperature swings.
And as far as what koi 'like' ? Obviously I haven't asked them, but watching the way they swim around - they don't go in circles. A six foot deep pond at six feet in diameter has over 1200 gallons of water, but I'd venture to say that a largish fish would prefer that amount to be spread out over a much longer/wider area with less depth. Just my opinion - later today I'll go out & try asking my fish. :sneaky:
 

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