When we moved here, Al's sister lived next-door. She had a pond that I (John) fell in love with. Not so much the pond, but those 'goldfish' with the brighter colors and fearless dispositions. I stuck my hand the water and they came over to check me out! "Too cool," I thought to myself. A fish with a personality. "Hey, Al -- I need a pond!" So, it was off to Home Depot for 6 prefabs. We made two sets of 3 cascading ponds, one flowing into the other. A filter in the lowest of the 3 ponds pumped up to fall at the first. A few rocks to hide the plastic lip and we were ready for koi! Not quite.........
After adding what I later found to be too many koi for that small environment, Al tried to persuade me to sticking with goldfish. Uh, uh --- I'd been bitten by the charm of these creatures and needed to have them in my life. Lucky for me, Al has a way of overdoing things. He heads to the pool supply people and gets a 15' x 27' swimming pool and drops a 45 mil pondliner in it. I'm thinking, "cool -- that'll hold A LOT of koi!" He knows what I'm thinking and says, "go slow -- they'll grow...you don't NEED that many..", knowing full well that I wouldn't listen. Quite a few koi were killed due to our (mostly my) direct or indirect negligence.
After a year or two of maintaining (thinking that we were anyway) the pond, we got access to the internet. A guy named Roark was posting on a site that I started to visit, to pick up little bits of info here and there. He explained water quality to me in a way that it all made sense. Things started getting good. His site is must for anybody who wants to do right by their koi. www.click2roark.com If you read something on our site that sounds like it's from his....well, i hope he doesn't sue me for plagiarism........or for misquoting........ :)
Once we realized that most of the koi books by most of the koi experts were useless, and that most of the garden centers and pet shops didn't really have a clue, we were able to move ahead. Yes, there are a few good ones out there, but if they can't tell you the importance of KH in a koi pond, I'd suggest you get another book or koi/pond supplier. Running filters 24/7 and regularly testing your water is a must. It IS all about water quality.
Koi have personality. I found out as time went on that koi also have individual personalities. Some have a need for attention (yes, they do seem to enjoy being handled) and others could truly care less about interacting. There are some breeds that have a tendency to be more on the friendly side such as the ochiba shigure, the chagoi and the soragoi. Not a guarantee, but odds are better than not that you'll get a friendly one. With a little perserverence, it'll be tough to NOT have a friendly koi of any variety.
Our business grew out of a need that almost threw itself into our laps. I have an almost compulsive need to breed any animal that I own and the koi were no different. When they spawned for the first time, we lost the eggs....."hey, Al -- we gotta build something to save the babies! I know they're gonna do it again!" Al had a little more downtime then, so off he was drawing, measuring, cutting and building. I helped. :) As time went on and we got better with selective breeding and we opened the doors to start selling koi and carry the necessary products. Word of mouth has been our best ally in advertising. We appreciate our customers who appreciate us!
The amount of products out there in the world of koi is almost limitless and it's growing continually. Some of the products are good, and some are not. We do not carry everything. We do carry everything you'll need for a proper koi pond. We specialize in raising HEALTHY koi and making bead filters to suit your pond's needs. We do not sell online. We will ship food, test kits or other hard goods that can be sent through the US Mail. People ask, but I don't know if we'll ever get into shipping koi. At this point in time, it's not something that we feel comfortable doing.
Allan's always had a knack for making things work right and work well. He enjoys tinkering and adapting things to make them more functional.
John likes playing with the koi.