Static Suction Prefilter: SSP

Posted by Kent Wallace on June 23, 2009. Continue Reading

Koi Nations Articles

Did you know that Living Water Solutions’ owner, Kent Wallace, writes a featured column in Koi Nations Magazine? You can find great articles written by Kent in every issue of Koi Nations!

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or call 480-987-3600

or write to:
Koi Nations
9115 E. Baseline Rd. Ste. C-102
Mesa, AZ 85209

Posted by Danielle Alegre on September 11, 2008. Continue Reading

Spring Pond Protocol Flyer

Posted by Danielle Alegre on September 10, 2008. Continue Reading

The Big Do’s and Don’ts

When building or designing your pond
Don’t use swimming pool equipment for ponds!
- Pond requirements are very different.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t need a bottom drain!
- Unless you want to be up to your knees each year hauling fish muck out of the
bottom while your fish are stressing in a bucket waiting to return to their pond, a
bottom drain is a must.

Don’t put rocks on the bottom of your pond!
- Probably the most common and worst mistake you can make. Rocks trap debris,
eventually producing bad bacteria. Given time your pond liner or concrete will have
a beautiful carpet of algae that doesn’t impair the water quality or clarity of your
pond water. You won’t see it as algae but simply different colors on the pond floor.
Your fish will love it and it contributes to the overall health of a living water

Don’t have a shallow pond!
- Fish need depth in order to grow. Additionally, your fish will also need protection
from the sun and from predatory animals, such as large birds that may be attracted to
your pond ecosystem.

Do consider the long lifespan of koi!
- Koi are a long term investment. Some koi have been documented to be over 100
years old.

Do choose a location where you can see your pond for enjoyment as well as

Do add a UV light!
- This is an absolute must, especially in the southwest because of the intense heat and

Do add protective areas in the pond design!
- Providing shaded areas and hiding spots will allow fish to “hide” if necessary and
rest in the shade.

Do go as BIG and as DEEP as you can!
- Large deep ponds are extremely beautiful and much more healthier and attractive
than small shallow ponds. You and your fish will really benefit from this initial 1
decision. A larger pond does not mean more maintenance, often it is less because the
water conditions are more stable.

When your pond is complete
Don’t add fish all at once!
- The filter must be seasoned and it is best to start with “starter” fish which are not
expensive. These fish will assist in starting your bio filter.

Don’t over stock your pond!
Follow this golden rule: “One inch of fish per ten gallons of pond water”
This amount of fish will do well if your pond is adequately filtrated and regular water
changes are done.

Don’t add fish or plants from unknown sources!
It is best to go slow. One unhealthy fish can infect your entire pond resulting in
death and great expense. Plants can carry pathogens and parasites.
Always quarantine new fish and plants. Fish and plants that are not properly
introduced to your pond may kill every fish in your pond.

Don’t over feed!
- Only feed your fish as much as they can eat in 5 minutes.

Don’t let your family and friends surprise you with gifts of fish and plants!
- Some one is likely to do this for you not realizing the risk, so let them know.

Don’t forget to remove the chlorine from the water before adding fish!

Do take advantage of your local AKCA Koi Club!
- For more information and how to reach your local club see

Do let your pond “season”!
- The first year, your Living Water pond will go through many cycles in order to
achieve the proper balance. Too much interference can prolong and complicate this

Do test your water daily during the initial start up phase!
- Usually about three weeks.

Do test your water weekly thereafter!

Do name your koi, enjoy them and relax knowing you have done the very best in
creating a special home for these wonderful creatures! 2
Your fish will bring you so much joy and completely change the character of your
You will be surprised at how relaxing it is spend time with your fish.
- Your pond will definitely be a rewarding investment which will improve your yard
and your life!

Avoid these common mistakes!
Ponds are too shallow
Ponds are too small
Ponds don’t have a drain
Ponds have no UV light
Ponds have too many fish or fish are overcrowded
Fish are being over fed
Fish are being over medicated
Ponds are poorly made
Pond filtration is not adequate or poorly installed.
Pond water is not tested
New fish are not initially quarantined and are diseased

Posted by Danielle Alegre on July 28, 2008. Continue Reading

Filtration: The three step process


Think of a pond as a mini waste water treatment plant. Fish waste, plant material,
blowing dust and landscape debris collect in the water. Without a surface skimmer and a
bottom drain the water stratifies resulting in waste material sinking to the bottom where it
decomposes. Without removal, this waste remains in the pond creating anaerobic
bacterial action. This smelly, black, green anaerobic bacteria is toxic to fish. Removal of
this waste is essential to water clarity and quality. Without a bottom drain the only
alternative is for the pond owner to vacuum, scoop, net or worse yet drain the pond and
start over.

A two phase drainage system allows for water to flow from the pond in the first phase
through the filter system. The second phase removes waste products and sediments from
this filtration system and delivers them to the garden or sewer system.

The first phase of drainage takes water from the surface and the bottom of the pond. The
surface skimmer removes floating debris such as falling leaves and the bottom drain
removes the heaviest material. Proper designing the pond without dead areas pushes the
water flow through the pond to direct the debris to the drain and skimmer. This water is
then delivered to the filtration system where it is cleaned and returned to the pond.


Pre-filtration allows for the removal of the heaviest material from the pond bottom before
the water enters into the bio-mechanical filter. Without this stage all the pond debris
would enter the final stages of filtration lowering efficiency and increasing maintenance.

The latest developments in pre-filtration are vortex settling tanks. These are round tanks
from two to five feet in diameter with a cone shaped bottom. The water enters the tank
from the side at an angle creating a “whirlpool” flow. This flow pulls the heavy debris
into the bottom of the tank where it settles in the cone. By opening a valve outside of the
vortex tank the debris flushes into the garden or sewer.

From the top of the vortex tank the pond pump continuously pulls the cleanest water from
the tank and sends it to the bio-mechanical filter.


It is possible to have too little filtration but it isn’t possible to have too much filtration. A
bio-mechanical filtration system is the last stage of filtering your pond.


This filter is a protected environment where two types of bacteria live. The first type of
bacteria converts the ammonia rich water produced by the fish into nitrites. The second
type of bacteria converts the nitrite rich water into nitrates. These Nitrates are then
eliminated through regular maintenance when flushing the system to the garden or sewer

Any pond containing fish needs a minimum of ten percent of total pond volume in the
filtration. (500 gallons of filtation/5000 gallon pond).

Newer, state of the art bio-mechanical filters are easily cleaned with air blowers and back
flushing. Depending on fish load and type of filter the cleaning interval can range from
weekly to every three or four months and taking just a few minutes to complete. Because
the biomechanical filter is a protected home for the bacterial colonies which are the heart
of the pond filtration, the longer the cleaning interval the better. Cleaning is only
required when the system becomes restricted or you notice a change in water quality.

Posted by Danielle Alegre on July 28, 2008. Continue Reading