Our Journey With Koi Ponds


To me the biggest difference between a koi pond and a water garden is that in building a regular pond or water garden you concentrate on the beauty of the overall pond. When building a Koi pond that is taken into consideration, but more importantly you are building a pond to enhance the enjoyment and the beauty of the Koi.


I used to think a fish was just a fish and could not understand why people would spend so much on their fish and why their ponds were so different. I then received a call from a customer who wanted us to come and install a filter on her pond. I went out, installed the filter and saw her pond. She explained to me why rocks in a pond were a bad thing as well as why you needed so many draws, inlets and outlets. I left her house totally confused and wondered why someone would have a pond like that. A pond where you could see liner, see draws and have pumps that sat outside of it. Over the next year, with my curiosity getting the best of me, I began reading and researching Koi ponds. That customer has become a great resource and along the way, she has given me many Koi magazines to read. That is when I was first introduced to the magazine, KOI USA. I began reading about different types of Koi, the varieties, the colors and what makes them truly special creatures. It seemed like I could not read enough. I think I read three years worth of magazines in just a couple of days. While my knowledge of Koi ponds was growing, I was being introduced to many people who were in the hobby. The same advice was given to me by more than one of those people. If you really want to learn more about Koi, you should to get KOI USA magazine.

As our story continues, we had just come off of our biggest year as a pond company and won some awards for pond building excellence when we met a client named Dr. Roy Durbin. Dr. Durbin’s filtration had frozen and we were called in to fix it. I have been a field tester for Emperor Aquatics since 1995, so filtration is something I know best. Along with the support of Emperor Aquatics, I would put our knowledge of filtration up against any out there. While we were rebuilding the doctor’s filtration, we became members of the Rocky Mountain Koi Club. As I had stated before, we have won some pond building awards so I was very interested in seeing what we could do in the Koi club. The club had a photo contest going on during the month and we decided to enter some photos of the pond that won our company the award of excellence. The pond that won us all the awards and accolades did not even get a single vote at the Koi club. Interesting… it truly is a different beast.

Help for sick koi by Professional Ponds

Through the Rocky Mountain Koi Club, I have met some amazing people who have helped me with my understanding of what a good Koi pond is. I would like to thank Larry Lunsford who has been ever so patient in helping me understand why things work the way they do in Koi ponds. The customer I mentioned earlier is now our Koi Health Consultant and has taught me so much about the beauty of the fish. She is also the person that first introduced me to KOI USA magazine and has given me multiple books on filtration as well. Again, even though I thought I knew a lot about pond building, my knowledge was minimal about building the proper Koi pond. I also would like to thank Barb and John Flowers who have convinced us to get involved as well as introduced us to multiple people who have been great teachers.

I would also like to thank Dr. Durbin for trusting us to deliver a fantastic end project for him. We often joke with each other that his pond is like on the job training. While building his pond we have learned what ICF’s, RDF’s, MLD’s and BD’s are. Yeah, I know confusing, huh, but guess what we know now.