Friday, April 20, 2012

2012 Parade of Ponds

2012 Parade of Ponds presented by Touch of Paradise Designs, benefitting Memories of Missing Smiles Children's Memorial Park
Come join us Saturday, April 28th from 9AM-4PM for the 2012 Parade of Ponds and see what your backyard could look like with a "Touch of Paradise"! This free self guided tour will allow you to see examples of our work from satisfied customers in Ocala and The Villages. You can download the tour map here. Start wherever you like, and visit as many locations as you wish. Staff will be available at our office for the duration of the tour to discuss designing your own "Touch of Paradise." 
Donations will be accepted at our office, located at stop B on the Ocala tour map, and 100% of the proceeds will benefit the Memories of Missing Smiles children's memorial park in Ocala. Their mission is: "To provide a fitting tribute and an enduring memorial for the children loved and lost in our community, and to provide a place of healing, support, compassion, and hope for family members, friends, and the community who have experienced the death of a child at any age." You may also dontate on their website if you wish to do so, if you cannot come by the office. 
Come enjoy our work, and help us raise money to keep the MOMS Park looking great!
What: 2012 Parade of Ponds (self guided tour)
When: 4/28/12 9AM-4PM
Where: Ocala and The Villages
Cost: Free, Donations are accepted!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Brief History of The Koi

La Koi
The word koi is derived from the Japanese word for carp including both the dull grey mud fish and the brightly colored show fish we treasure today. Koi is also a homophone for another word in the Japanese language meaning love or affection, Koi are therefore a symbol of love or friendship in Japan. The Japanese word for what we call Koi is Nishikigoi.
 Koi are a variety of fish that have been developed using selective breeding of the domesticated common carp. Carp were domesticated thousands of years ago for food because of their ability to thrive in various extreme conditions.  It was during this time that the selective breeding of the Prussian carp for color enhancement led to the development of our common goldfish, which today have been recognized as a completely separate species from the carp. Selective breeding of the common carp for color enhancement began in the 1820’s in Japan. By the 20th century, a number of color patterns had been established, Most notably, the red and white Kohaku, but it wasn’t until 1914 at the annual exposition in Tokyo that Koi were introduced to the outside world. The hobby of Koi keeping, and Koi ponds quickly exploded throughout Japan and soon the world.
Like most fish Koi reproduce by spawning .The female lays the eggs and one or more males fertilize them.  This breeding habit is ideal for breeders who would like traits of one or more males to be introduced to the offspring.  Koi can also breed with goldfish but the offspring prove to be sterile. If Koi are allowed to breed freely they will quickly revert to the natural coloration of the common carp within a few generations.
The red on white Koi (Kohaku) is considered the traditional Koi and is the most sought after among Koi enthusiasts. On the other hand the butterfly Koi is not recognized by many as being a true Koi because the species was developed by cross breeding the traditional Koi back with the wild Indonesian Long Fin River Carp. Although the initial cross breeding was done to produce a more cold hardy species which was a success, the more predominate results are the beautiful long flowing fins. Butterfly Koi are shunned in most of Europe and Asia but are praised in the United States, giving them a new and welcome name. The American Koi.
For more information, pond supplies, or standard and American Koi visit our website at You can also sign up for our newsletter and receive more informative pieces like La Koi. Thank you for reading and happy water gardening from all of us here at The Pond Hub. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Koi Pond Ecosystem

Pond Blog

The Koi pond ecosystem is a self-sustaining and living circle of life.  Koi ponds are more intricate than many people may think.  So what is an ecosystem?  An ecosystem pond is a community or network of living organisms that live together and support each other for their survival.  So what makes up an ecosystem?  In order to have a healthy Pond that lives and self sustains itself you need to make sure that you have these five major components in your pond system. 
(1)    Biological filtration and beneficial bacteria.  Biological filtration is an all-natural filtration process which occurs when microorganisms remove and digest organic material and nutrients.  Microorganisms are beneficial bacteria or a pro-biotic that work in symphony to reduce sludge, uneaten fish food, fish waste, and other excess nutrients.  Excess nutrients are ammonia, nitrites and nitrates that cause poor pond water quality and clarity.  Biological filters such as Pondineer DuraFalls are designed to remove suspended or floating materials from your pond water and also contain the filter media in which the beneficial pond bacteria will live and digest organic material.
(2)    Rocks and Gravel. Gravel is placed on the bottom of a fish pond to cover the pond liner, similar to covering the bottom of a fish tank with gravel.  Typically, pond owners line their ponds with gravel up to 1” in diameter. Gravel- and rock-lined ponds protect the pond liner from UV rays which deteriorate the pond liner and add weight to prevent the pond liner from shifting and bubbling.  Gravel and rocks also add a decorative element to a fish pond.  Fish pond bottoms become covered with sludge that forms from fish waste, and dead and decaying plant material.  Rocks and gravel provide surface area for beneficial pond bacteria to grow that will eat away the sludge and promote improved pond water quality.  The bacteria that grow on the gravel are the same bacteria that grow in a biological pond filter.  A gravel layer will make cleaning a fish pond easier since it removes much of the sludge the same way the biological pond filter removes organic material and excess nutrients.
(3)    Aeration/circulation. There are many common pond problems that can be alleviated with aeration; most importantly, the oxygen levels and circulation of material within the 'water column'.  Aeration improves Koi and pond fish health by injecting and maintaining normal oxygen levels in your pond.  Aeration allows pockets of toxic gas and ammonia that form in the pond to release out of the water.  The pond pump creates the circulation action that allows for waste to flow into a skimmer filter that will catch floating debris and clean the water more thoroughly.   The capture of surface debris reduces the unsightly growth of algae at the surface of a pond and prevents excess organic material from sinking to the pond floor.  Circulation also creates the surface current action that prevents mosquito breeding.
(4)    Fish (Koi). Fish are also necessary for the pond ecosystem.  Fish, especially koi eat algae and excess plant debris.Koi are in the carp family and like the carp, they thrive on pond sludge, algae and muck.  Fish also produce ammonia and digested plant material which feed your ponds beneficial bacteria.  Koi are also the main reason why many people build ponds.  Koi are colorful, social and they add beauty and character to any water garden. Koi have been the object of millions of peoples hobby’s for many years and are also one of the most sought after fish for dedicated fish hobbyist. 
(5)    Aquatic plants. Having aquatic plants in your pond will help to filter the water by turning fish waste and excess nutrients into food for the plants.  Aquatic plants will also provide oxygen for your fish.  By covering the surface of the water with floating plants or water lilies, they will help protect your pond fish from predators.   Aquatic plants also promote a perfect habitat for fish spawning.  From an aesthetic view point, aquatic plants help to break up the hardscape in your typical koi pond and add color and beauty to your water garden. 
  These five components create a natural balance in a ponds ecosystem that will ensure that your pond will be self-sustaining and as low-maintenance as possible.  If you were to remove any one of these 5 components the pond will become out of balance and your pond will require extra maintenance.  It really is simple to own a “low” maintenance pond and the secret to creating that “low” maintenance pond is this.  Make sure you have all 5 components listed above in your pond system. . For more information or products for your koi pond or water garden please visit our website at or give us a call at 1-877-364-8238 from 9-5 Eastern Time.