The pond has several really interesting features. We dug the pond with two "bellies" or deep ends - this way the fish don't have to be handled AT ALL for pond cleanout. See, the pond's filtration is basically "undergravel" or "upflow" gravel filtration, a time honored tradition in the pond industry since before I was born. Beneficial bacteria reside on the gravel in the system, which break down solids, and digest chemical and physical wastes. The benefits to using gravel filtration are that the carrying-capacity of the filtration is enormous and the maintenence is very very low - like, 363 days a year effortless.
Other criteria in this pond's construction:
• The pond would be deeper than a watergarden. Where practicable and legal, four to five foot is the optimal depth. More depth complicates visibiity, stratification and oxygen delivery to the deepest parts.
• At least two 'deep end' areas 4 feet or deeper, which have a true, full six to eight foot radius for swimming by large fish should be provided.
• The pond should have hiding areas so that with any warning at all, Koi have a place to hide from Herons or other airborne predators.
• The Koi will not eat plants if they are well fed and have gravel to sift. Naturally occurring nematodes, copepods and mollusks from the gravel seem preferable to Koi than greens when given a choice.
• Gravel on the bottom of the pond increases carrying capacity by more than tripling the bio-available area for beneficial nitrogen reducing bacteria to grow.
• Rocks at the water's edge or which are used under the water could be round edged so large fish are not injured as they lumber over these rocks
• It would be a joy for there to be a "shallow" area where the fish could cruise around some established plant material and or be fed, perhaps two feet deep.
• Where the Koi pond owner wanted almost ZERO Heron risk, there would be no wading spots for purchase of the Heron.
• Feeding Koi is the single most enjoyable interaction between the animals and their owner. If the pond had one or two large character rocks, over a deep end, or some other feature specifically designed for the purposes of feeding fish and interacting with them, it would be a positive selling/design point.
• The selection of a gravel bottomed pond that uses bog filtration was simple for Dr. Johnson, who, as a frequent traveller needs a rarely maintained filter with the longest service interval possible. The only other filtration system that comes close is Vortex filtration which is very space intensive.
• Dr. Johnson is 370 pounds and needs rock to be relatively stable at the ponds edge.
Here's a list of the people who were on site and built my pond.
Ed Beaulieu, Jacob Carter & Tommy Hill (Bobcat), Mark Willoughby, Tony Watkins, "Cutie-John" Stehmeier, Joe "Nice Nips" Butler, Richard Panten, Mark Carter, Jeremy Anders, Lee Vought, Robby Mitchell, John Cenicola, Ryan Singleton, Joe Higginbotham, Dale "Whoa" Vnuk (Backhoe), Eric PondDigger Triplett, Jo Carter, Dan Bitcom (Videographer), Randy Young, Sam Brawner, BJ Linger, Chris "Shu" Tallerico, Mike Heron, David Panten, Andy "Super Scalp" Gundrum, Mike Reagor, Dave Blocksom, Brian Dahle, Ed and Tara Gallagher