Tag Archives: koi fish

What is a butterfly koi?

Butterfly Koi
Butterfly Koi

Some basic facts about butterfly koi

Some people don’t see the charm or uniqueness of butterfly koi and think of them as the “black sheep” of koi.  We have even heard people say butterfly koi are not real koi fish!  Simply not true!  As many other DO know, butterfly koi can be some of the best koi in any koi collection!

How did the butterfly koi originate?

Brown and grey carp with long fins were found in Indonesia in the early 1980s.   A NY company heard about them and bought some but then they thought they were too ugly to sell.  But, a group of curious breeders at Blue Ridge Fish Hatchery heard about them and decided to order some too.  They took their odd-looking long-finned fish and bred them with their finest traditional koi fish.   They actually turned out great!

The long finned koi ended up being robust and disease free.  They could also be bred in many beautiful colors.  An original Blue Ridge breeder was named Wyatt LeFever.  When his young son first went to see the fish, he said “Dad they look like butterflies.”  The name is still used today for the fish.

Butterfly koi size

Butterfly koi become more and more impressive as they grow.  Their fins keep growing until the blood vessels can’t sustain the fins to be any longer. The older the fish, the longer and more impressive the finnage. A full-grown koi can almost like a long, slinky dragon moving through the water..

The fish may not be as large as traditional koi, but they can run from 36-40 inches in the right pond with the right food.  Butterfly koi are pleasant and graceful and a delight to watch swim.

Is a butterfly koi a “real” koi fish?

Yes, they are.  In the past, Japanese koi enthusiasts did not appreciate the long-finned  koi.  Over time, Japanese breeders started seeing the beauty and value in the fish, partially from their immense popularity in the United States.  Now the butterfly koi are a very popular koi fish pond choice.   For more information on koi ponds in the Philadelphia area, contact us.

Philadelphia pond help

Need Philadelphia pond help?  We are the company to call.  Here’s a recent video we had made that shows explains why you should hire AquaReale for your pond needs  Call us at 215.880.6811 with any questions.

Tips for a Healthy Philadelphia Koi Pond

Philadelphia Koi Pond
Philadelphia Koi Pond

Tips for a Healthy Philadelphia Koi Pond

Want a Healthy Philadelphia Koi Pond this summer?  Ponds have a joy and beauty that make your summer even more relaxing and enjoyable.

You want to make sure your water feature is healthy and functioning at 100 percent during the warmer months.  And when the temperatures rise above 80 degrees, there are some things you can do to help.   Here are our recommendations:

Health of Your Philadelphia Koi Pond Fish

Keep an eye on your fish. Do your fish seem stressed out, gasping for air close to the water’s surface or especially close to a fountain or waterfall?

Increased activity and warm pond water go hand and hand, and that increased activity also means your fish require more oxygen when less oxygen is available, thus creating a vicious cycle. Stressed fish often begin to develop diseases, and soon enough you’ll have a domino effect.

We recommend adding oxygen to your pond by placing an aerator or AquaForce® pump in your pond. You can also install a fountain with a pump if your pond doesn’t have a waterfall or stream. Make sure all areas of the pond are skimmed and the water circulated. And keep in mind that waterfalls, streams, and even fountains play a huge part in the oxygenation of the water in your pond.

Philadelphia Koi Pond: Beat the Heat

There are certainly some preemptive measures you can take in order to keep your pond from becoming a warm, unhealthy mess. It all starts with a well-designed water feature. Depth, plant coverage, shade, and circulation should all be considered when designing and building a pond. A minimum depth of two feet is suggested; the bottom of the pond will remain cooler.

Of course, you’ll also want to stock your pond with a lot of plants to provide shade for the fish. A good rule of thumb is to provide plant coverage of approximately 1/3 to 1/2 of the pond’s surface area.

And finally,  one of the most important parts of pond design is circulation. If possible, you’ll want to place your biological filter and mechanical filter across the pond from each other, so that your pond receives optimal circulation.

Additional Philadelphia Koi Pond Summer Tips

  • If you feed your fish, feed them in the morning and be careful not to overfeed. Uneaten food decays faster in warmer water and can pollute the pond.
  • Be sure to remove dying leaves and flowers before they have a chance to decay in the warmer water.

Each season has its own challenges and summer is no exception. The bottom line is that you need to keep an eye on your pond and let your fish and plants do the talking.

If you have a balanced ecosystem, you’ll find it much easier to maintain the health of your pond, fish, and plants. Contact us for more information or with any questions.

How to plan a Philadelphia pond renovation

Philadelphia pond renovation
Philadelphia pond renovation

How to plan a Philadelphia pond renovation

Now that spring has FINALLY arrived, you are back outside and possibly thinking about what you want to do as a Philadelphia pond renovation.    If your pond or water feature is still in the dreaming and wishing stage, now’s a great time to start planning!

Some people view ponds as simply a part of their house, like an addition. When it is done, it’s done.  While this is true with some projects, a pond is always evolving and changing as a living organism.  Don’t be afraid to plan a Philadelphia pond renovation for your pond to make it what you want right now.

Maybe you want the water to go in a different direction or you want a blog filter.  Philadelphia pond renovations can also include a stream or waterfall addition or even a pondless waterfall in another part of your yard.  Ponds revision possibilities are endless!

What to do now?

Get your ideas on paper!  While your dreams and wishes are still fresh in your mind, it’s the perfect time to get your thoughts down.  How to start?  Let’s think about what you want and how you plan to use your pond. What does your perfect Philadelphia pond renovation look like?

Items to consider when planning your Philadelphia pond renovation:

  • What’s speaks to you when you’re out? A spring in the woods? A stream at the mountain?  A bubbling rock at the beach?  Once you know what you like, it’s easier to recreation these on a much smaller scale.
  • What do you enjoy most about water gardening – the plants, fish, frogs, turtles, birds, or terrestrial landscaping? Build your dream pond with that as your emphasis.
  • What do you like (or dislike) about your existing pond?
  • What places have you visited that look and feel “perfect” to you? A stream in the mountains?  A spring in the woods?  Recreate aspects of these places on a smaller scale.
  • Where do you spend most of your time when you’re at home?  Will you spend more time outside or inside?  Plan with that in mind.
  • What would make your yard a “paradise?”
  • Would you like to be able to swim with your fish in a natural swimming pond?

When you answer these questions, you’ll be well on your way to enhancing or creating your own aquatic paradise. AquaReale is here for all your pond needs—for everything from a Philadelphia pond renovation to a full pond installation. Reach out today to see how we can help make your dreams a reality.

How much is a Philadelphia pond cleaning?

 

Philadelphia pond cleaning
Philadelphia pond cleaning

Do you need a Philadelphia pond cleaning?

Do you need a Philadelphia pond cleaning?  Does your pond have green or murky water? Is the algae taking over?  Is there a buildup of sludge or mulch?  Are your fish being eaten or sick?

Ponds of all sizes need to be cleaned at least once a year.

How much is a Philadelphia pond cleaning?

We get asked that a lot.   The true answer is—it depends (we have average pricing listed at the bottom.) Pond cleanings are a vital part of the maintenance process.    The more time you wait between cleanouts, the more time, effort and money it will cost to clean.

The pond cleaning in Philadelphia cost depends on three main factors:

 

#1—The size of the pond.

#2—The condition of the pond

#3—How long it has been since your last cleanout.

#1:  Pond Size.

The larger the pond, the more expensive it will be to perform a Philadelphia pond cleaning.    Larger ponds also can be retention ponds or mud bottom ponds, which need to be dredged and have a whole different cleaning process. Most ponds run from between 8 x 8 feet to 11 x 16 feet.  Ponds can be much larger as well.  We work on smaller ponds as well, some as small as 2 by 2 feet.

#2: Pond Condition

Aside from size and regular maintenance, the overall condition of your pond will be an important factor in determining how much your Philadelphia pond cleaning will cost.  Certain physical characteristics of your pond can factor in as well, including the type of filtration and whether you have a bog, wetland or negative edge environment.

#3: Time since last cleaning

Pond cleaning prices also vary depending on when you last had maintenance on your pond.   The better a pond is maintained, the less work it will take to do a full clean out.

Anything cleaned longer than a year ago will be charged a higher price to account for the extra time and materials needed to clean the dirty pond.

 Philadelphia pond cleaning cost

Philadelphia pond cleanings start at $700 for an 8.5 x 11 pond that was cleaned the previous year and increase from there.  Most cleanings are in the $850 range.

No matter when you choose to do your clean up, the important thing is not to wait too long.

Remember, starting your water garden season with a clean slate will cut down on in season maintenance down the road.

Contact us to schedule your pond cleaning and start enjoying your pond or water feature today!

Philadelphia Pond Fish: How many is too many?

Philadelphia Pond Fish
Philadelphia Pond Fish

Philadelphia Pond Fish Ratios

Most Philadelphia ponds include Philadelphia Pond Fish.  Do they say water or wooder?  (Philadelphia humor).  In fact, fish are often the reason people get a water garden in the first place!  Fish are fun to watch.  Many kids, including our own, name their fish.  It did make for an awkward experience when our daughter named our fish for our neighbors and then a fish died and she proudly told the neighbor her namesake was dead!

While Philadelphia Pond Fish create a memorable experience, they can also bring headaches to water quality if you go overboard when stocking fish. Too many fish in the pond creates an imbalance in water, so you’ll want to make sure you’re smart about the number and size of fish that you place in the water garden.  If you have too many fish, they won’t be healthy.

How much water per Philadelphia Pond Fish?

Philadelphia Pond Fish typically need 10 gallons of water for every inch of their length, but keep in mind they will grow larger over the years. So no matter how tempting it might be to add just a few more fish, be careful not to overstock! Some pond experts even go so far as to recommend only ½ inch of fish per 10 gallons of water as a maximum stocking density.

If you’re a fish fanatic, you may find yourself with a pond containing 2 or even 3 inches of fish per 10 gallons of water and the fish seem to be fine. However, the density and ecological strain of this loading can turn your pond into a fragile system. The pH tends to sag, the fish tend to grow more slowly, and disease can become a common occurrence.

Too many Philadelphia Pond Fish

It’s very difficult to salvage sick fish in a pond that’s overcrowded. Most likely, Mother Nature will sadly pick off your favorite fish to achieve her ideal stocking density based on the system the fish are in, and then the remainder may recover.

So before adding another fish to your koi collection, make sure you have ample space so that all your fish are ensured a happy, healthy home! Contact us for more information.

 

Main Line Fish Pond Aerator and Heater

 Main Line Fish Pond Aerator and Heater
Main Line Fish Pond Aerator and Heater

Do you need to install a Main Line Fish Pond Aerator and Heater?

Let me begin by saying if you don’t have fish in your water garden it is not necessary to install a Main Line Fish Pond Aerator and Heater. An argument can be made that one is more important than the other;  however, both can keep an area of the pond surface free from ice.

During the winter months your fish are still producing waste and CO2. Decomposition of the fish waste and any organic material during the winter produces harmful compounds that will rob the water of oxygen causing stress to the fish. If water toxicity levels get too high the fish could die.  When the pond is not frozen the gasses escape through the surface. Thus it is essential to keep an area in your pond free from ice. Both a fish pond deicer and a pond aerator pump have positive and negative points, so let’s take a closer look at both.

Main Line Fish Pond Aerator and Heater: De-Icer

 This is the easiest way to keep your pond free of ice. The electric pond heater is designed to heat the area around it, not the whole pond. It will not change the overall temperature of the pond water. Most electric pond heaters are thermostatically controlled therefore it can be plugged in and it will work. The negative side to heaters for a pond is if it gets really cold or windy the space around the fish pond water heater can freeze over creating a dome. It’s important to protect the fish pond heater from the wind, and if it gets really cold, check it often to see if it is frozen.

Main Line Fish Pond Aerator and Heater:What is Aeration?

The pond air stones do a good job of keeping a space open in the ice. Exactly what is pond aeration? A pond aeration system adds oxygen to the water column. As the air is moving through the water it allows the organic compounds that are in the water to attach and when the bubble hits the surface the gasses break apart releasing them safely into the atmosphere.

The negative to pond aerator pumps is the potential for the cool air to super cool the water. During winter months, keep the air stone a foot above the bottom of the pond keeping the warmer water just below the air.  If the air compressor is out in the cold air it is transferring that cold air to the pond water. This could cause the fish to die. Consider covering the winter pond aeration system with an insulated cover or put it in a heated building.

In winter, oxygen & gas exchange is crucial for the survival of your fish. If you don’t have a  Main Line Fish Pond Aerator and Heater yet, it’s not too late. Contact us today to get a pond aerator or a pond heater, your fish will thank you!

Philadelphia Fall Pond Maintenance

Philadelphia Fall Pond Maintenance
Philadelphia Fall Pond Maintenance

Bright bursts of gold, orange and red in the trees signify an important event for your pond–  It’s time for some Philadelphia Fall Pond Maintenance.   Preparing your pond for the winter greatly reduces the amount of work you need to do in the spring to get your pond in tip-top shape.

Fall’s lacy, colorful leaves look pretty floating on your pond’s surface, but eventually they’ll sink to the bottom where they’ll decay and wreak havoc with your water quality. As leaf matter decomposes, the balance of your water changes and can become toxic for your fish.

Philadelphia Fall Pond Maintenance Option: Netting your Pond

Netting your pond is an easy, obvious choice for addressing leaf control. It doesn’t take much time to set the net up over your water garden, and the hours of future work it saves you is priceless. AquaReale can net your pond for you, as part as your Philadelphia Fall Pond Maintenance.

Philadelphia Fall Pond Maintenance Options: Checking the Skimmer Basket

If you choose not to net your pond, you’ll need to make sure that you’re checking the pond’s skimmer basket every couple of days to remove the pile-up of leaves. Luckily, this is an easy task and doesn’t take much time. Once you pull the leaves out of the basket, be sure to toss them in your compost pile.

Philadelphia Fall Pond Maintenance Options: Clean the Debris from Your Pond

Finally, if you failed to net your pond and all those colorful, floating leaves have found their way to the pond’s bottom, you’ll want to remove them before they decay into ugly sludge that has to be cleaned out in the spring. Grab a long-handled pond net and scoop the debris from the floor of your water garden. Or if you don’t mind getting your feet wet, wade on into the pond and fish them out by hand.

Whatever your strategy to combat the onslaught of beautiful fall foliage that floats into your pond, you can rest assured that your efforts to control it now, will be well rewarded come springtime. With some Philadelphia Fall Pond Maintenance, you will have all the help you need to head into a beautiful spring season with your pond.

For more information on Philadelphia Fall Pond Maintenance, contact AquaReale.

 

Philadelphia Koi Pond Myths Debunked

Philadelphia Koi Pond
Philadelphia Koi Pond

Philadelphia Koi Pond Myth #1The presence of rocks and gravel make it difficult to clean your pond.

Reality   Rocks and gravel offer a natural place for aerobic bacteria to colonize and set up housekeeping in your Philadelphia Koi Pond.   This bacteria breaks down the fish waste and debris that would otherwise accumulate in the pond and turn into sludge. Regardless of your pond’s location (i.e. close to trees and loads of leaves), or how many fish you have in it, you’ll find that having rocks and gravel in your pond not only makes it look better, but it makes it healthier as well. So contrary to the myth, having rocks and gravel on the bottom of your pond actually allows Mother Nature to clean up after herself.

Philadelphia Koi Pond Myth #2The more filtration, the better the pond.

Reality   Believe or not, you can over-filter a pond. Tight filter pads in your skimmer pick up the smallest particles of debris, causing you to be cleaning the filtering mechanism out constantly. Fish in the wild certainly don’t swim around in bottled water. If you can see a dime on the bottom of the pond, then the water clarity is just right for your fish and filtering past that create headaches instead of eliminating them.

Philadelphia Koi Pond Myth #3:  Koi can’t be kept in a pond that also contains plants.

Reality   In a naturally balanced ecosystem, Koi and plants complement and need one another. In nature, fish feed on plants. As a result, the fish produce waste, which is broken down by aerobic bacteria on the bottom of your pond, which, in turn, is used as fertilizer by the plants to grow and produce more natural fish food.

Philadelphia Koi Pond Myth #4: Your pond must be at least three feet deep in order to keep Koi.

Reality   There are thousands of two-foot deep ponds around the country, full of happy and healthy koi. The water in a two-foot deep pond will generally only freeze eight inches down, even in the coldest of climates, because of the insulating qualities of the earth that surrounds the pond.

Philadelphia Koi Pond Myth #5You can’t be a koi hobbyist and a water gardener.

Reality   Not true! You can raise koi and have a beautiful water garden. The koi can grow up to be just as beautiful and just as healthy as they are in traditional koi ponds – and you’ll love them just as much!

Philadelphia Koi Pond Myth #6:  You have to bring your fish inside for the winter.

Reality   Fish do fine during the coldest of winters as long as you give them two feet of water to swim in, oxygenate the water, and keep a hole in the ice with a de-icer, allowing the naturally produced gasses to escape from under the ice.

For more answers or to see what we can do for you, please contact us!

Philadelphia Koi Pond Myth #7:  I should locate my pond to the lowest part of my yard.

Reality:   This is probably the worst location for your investment because of the run-off that can creep its way into your pond. When your pond is positioned near your house, you can take in the beauty and tranquility of your pond when entertaining friends or lounging on your deck.

For more answers or to see what we can do for you, please contact us!