Zooming Around The World: 2020 Atlantic-OASE Virtual Conference

Hey All! It’s Demi, we’re all still fired up about our first Virtual Atlantic-OASE Professional Contractor Conference last Wednesday and Thursday. Zoom allowed us to reach hundreds of attendees from Europe to Australia, Mexico to Canada without a hitch, and without the hassles of travel, masks and distancing.

Jeff Weemhoff, President of Atlantic-OASE kicked off the Conference, welcoming attendees around the globe from Aurora, Ohio. Next, Thorsten Muck, CEO of OASE Living Water, presented a riveting recap of how OASE started, and where we’re going, speaking from World Headquarters on the other side of the world. When the head of the world’s largest manufacturer of water feature equipment speaks, it’s the real deal and we were very excited to have him join us!

Next up, from Michigan, our recently promoted Training Manager, Jim Chubb, showcased OASE Advanced Filtration systems, and how they dovetail perfectly with Atlantic’s Skimmers and FilterFalls. From a mile high, Kyle Weemhoff and Sean Bell continued the theme of ‘Two Is Better Than One’ with a detailed look at a Denver pond with both an OASE pump-and-filter setup and a traditional Atlantic skimmer/falls combo. We’re calling this the “A-O Water Feature.” It’s the perfect combination of both brands to create the ultimate water feature.

After a short break, newest member to the Marketing Team, Leah La Farciola, flew attendees via camera drone all through the 170,000 square foot facility. The highlight was the SandBox Training Center, something we’ve been working on for a couple of years on paper and has finally come to fruition! The Training Center combines the hands-on training areas you’d expect to find (it ain’t called “SandBox” for nothing) with a beautiful fully landscaped façade and “back yard”, complete with sod lawns, plantings, walks and patios. Not only can we train in the dirt and host on-line events year-round regardless of weather, we now have an indoor backdrop for Marketing’s photos and videos. We’re ALL thrilled. Next Frayne McAtee covered calculations for single and multi-nozzle fountain systems, followed with participants continuing lively discussions of the benefits of the pair-up in Round Table discussions.

The first day of the Conference ended with attendees splitting up into ‘Zoom Rooms’ to network during a virtual Cocktail Hour – mine was the Long Island Ice Tea Room.

Day Two opened with Frayne and yours truly presenting New Products – new filters for smaller water gardens and hardscape features, Product Bundles that add water and light to hardscapes and cool new hand-hammered brass bowls similar to the Copper Bowls but heavier, with an amazing patina. My friend and Category Manager, Maximilian Colditz, was up next with an informative presentation on state-of-the-art Natural Swimming Pools from Germany, a topic of particular interest to many, including me. Frayne followed up with what’s coming to North America for Natural Swimming Pools. Then, we Zoomed back to the States where Regional Manager, Sean Bell, unraveled the knots of Estimating Hardscape Water Features. Jim Chubb batted cleanup with an in-depth inspection of the latest in remote control of filters, pumps and lighting via wifi and applications with the Easy Garden Control system or EGC.

In closing Thursday afternoon, Jeff Weemhoff, presented the President’s Award to renowned sustainability expert, fitness coach and award-winning designer and builder of water features Mike Garcia of Enviroscapes LA for his years of teaching the responsible use of water in the landscape. The Pond Monster, Lloyd Lightsey, presented the Monster Award to Art of the Yard’s Shane Hemphill and Heath Webb for their selfless and constant support of other contractors across the industry. Jeff ended the Conference with the presentation of the APC Contractors of the Year Award to Jason and Tony Lenox and their crew at Ponds Inc. of Illinois for their public promotion of excellence in pond construction and practices. “The Conference went off without a hitch”, commented marketing director, Kendahl Kreps, “but we’re looking forward to seeing everyone in person next year!”

Thank you to everyone who attended or registered and watched the conference on demand this year!

About the Author:


Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

2020 Virtual Conference – Classes, Camaraderie and Communion

It’s that time once again, although this year has “encouraged” a number of business and lifestyle changes, for all of us, everywhere. 2020, wow! We’ll be meeting virtually, but that hasn’t affected the lineup at all.

We’ll kick off two days of classes, camaraderie and communion with live introductions from President Jeff Weemhoff here in Aurora, Ohio and CEO Thorsten Muck from World Headquarters in Horstel, Germany. As befits the greatest strength of Atlantic-OASE, our theme Two Brands Are Better Than One echoes throughout the event. Day One, classes on Advanced Filtration and the A-O Water Feature offer solutions for perfect water clarity by combining American ecosystem and European pump-in-pond methodology. We’ll have updates on products and the new Training Center (don’t miss that!), a tour of the factory, Round Tables with all your friends here and a Virtual Cocktail Party, a BYOB schmooze and booze.

Day Two will kick off with New Products, always a favorite, then Natural Swimming Pools, THE up-and-coming new water features, with my buddy Max Colditz from Across The Pond, a Continental expert on Natural Swimming Pools, review the latest in WiFi-enabled equipment control and host more Round Tables before Jeff closes the Conference. Along with all of our live classes the two days, we’ll have a section of prerecorded classes to go watch at your own leisure! We’ll go over quoting hardscape projects and chat with special guest Jason Lenox about the challenges of LARGE ponds and boulders, show you how to shoot videos and photos with a drone, learn social media tips for your business and more!

Along the way we’ll be sending you a bunch o’swag, offering exclusive pre-recorded content for you to enjoy anytime and giveaways and streaming our always-anticipated annual Awards Ceremony. Guests from around the world have already registered (Hi David!) – what are you waiting for? See you soon! Demi

Click here to register!

About the Author:


Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

Caring For Aquatic Plants For Every Season

Nature can be punishing when bad chemistry or persistent disease from an imbalanced ecosystem throws a pond into chaos. A slight miscalculation or delay in addressing the cause and all can be lost; life itself relies on knowledge of plants and how we take care of their aquatic environment.

With every season comes a list of must-do’s, can’t-it-waits and let’s-hope-it-doesn’t-happens. Creating an evolving things-to-do list, by season, should minimize risk to aquatic plants.


After spring blasts us from hibernation to assess our pond’s winter damage, we break out our work ethic and tools of the trade and begin the transformation of spring cleaning.

After all, your home extends beyond your house. Pond plants rely on a pond’s ecosystem to ensure a healthy environment during their most active months. Divide and repot plants, when applicable, and introduce new marginal, bog and floater plants—whichever might bring balance to the habitat. But take note: the pond also expects the plants to do their part. Plants with deep roots break down toxins and excessive nutrients into needed oxygen. So the entire ecosystem needs to be on its best behavior and work together.

Perhaps the most impactful spring chore is a thorough vacuuming of the pond from top to bottom. The PondoVac series from OASE—PondoVac Classic and the PondoVac 3, 4 & 5—will remove large debris including leaves and anything else that accumulated over the fall and winter months. This simple chore provides pond plants a good start to the season.


A good deadheading of aquatic plants, on a consistent basis throughout the summer, helps keep the pond neat and tidy. Remove any foliage that is browning, leaning or deteriorating into the pond. FlexiCut 2 in 1 with it’s adjustable head makes deadheading an easy chore without risk to the pond liner. This reduces debris build-up in the pond and provides room for new plant growth. Keep the pond free of debris with the OASE PondNet for skimming or OASE EasyPick pond pliers with a telescopic handle to remove leaves and small branches.

The summer season also demands maximum aeration to prevent mosquitos and algae blooms and a range of threats to aquatic plants. Water gardens are ideal habitats for a variety of freshwater plants and pond creatures, but only if that pond offers sufficient oxygen levels through aeration.

Waterfalls are effective for aeration and serve to beautify, too. Expect the waterfall to attract birds and other grateful inhabitants to pond banks. OASE offers energy efficient pond and waterfall pumps with advanced technology that ensure a clean and clear waterfall with stable oxygen levels. These pumps work to reliably circulate water with extremely low energy output. Try the OASE waterfall spillway—it’s durable, low maintenance and blends seamlessly into the background. But it’s impact is impressive.

Fall & Winter

Remove pond plants from plant shelves and place them in a lower/deeper section of the pond to ensure roots don’t freeze. Not all plants take kindly to submersion through the winter—some require a temporary new home until the spring returns and the sun and warmth are here to stay.

Fall is also a season to divide aquatic plants, including water lilies and iris. Continue to ensure your pond is free of debris from falling leaves—another task for the OASE EasyPick. Remove dying plant foliage from the pond with the OASE FlexiCut 2 in 1 as it can eventually pollute the water. After plants have ceased growing, cut back and lower the pot to the bottom of the pond.

Some tropical plants can bloom throughout winter if brought inside and kept in a tub container with at least six hours of light—or remove the tuber from the pot after the foliage has died.

All aquatic plants are different so it’s important to research the specific needs of each plant. Luckily, resources are aplenty. The 21st century has brought technology—efficient, economical, user-friendly technology. Solutions to every pond plant scenario are hashed out online by water garden enthusiasts.

Original OASE Living Water article can be found here.

Getting Spooky with the InfiColor Light System

The InfiColor Color Changing Lights are so much fun to play with on a normal basis but, I was so excited to get my hands on the app to change it to fit in with the seasons! Halloween time is right around the corner, so what better time to show you some fun color combinations for October.

Did you know you can use the Atlantic Color Changing lights for more than just your water features? Be creative with them! I’ve seen some pretty unique things done with the lights, like setting a Cabo Wabo Tequila bottle on top to create a one-of-a-kind lighted fountain for a Tequila-loving client. If you’d like to see how that turned out, check out Atlantic-OASE Professional Contractor, Cazee Ponds‘ Instagram post!

How cool would it be to have color changing Jack-O-Lanterns? Since Halloween is my favorite holiday, I knew I had to give it a try! Along with the Colorfalls, I used two ring lights inside the pumpkins to get my Color Changing Halloween vibes. You can put your lights in your pumpkin in a number of different ways: cutting a hole in the top for the cord to pop out the back, a hole in the back to run the light and cord through, or, what I did, cut a hole out of the bottom of my pumpkin big enough to set the pumpkin directly on top of the light.

Using the InfiColor smartphone app, I created some Halloween custom light patterns that I thought would look festive. I was thinking oranges, purples, greens and yellows.

Customize your Halloween lights however you see fit and adjust the speed and transitions to make your yard festive for the spooky season. See some of the fun I had below!

You can also mix it up with still colors and have multiple colors displayed. I played around with changing the color of the Colorfalls and made it a different Halloween color from the pumpkins for some great color combinations!

All of the different color combinations looked so great and I couldn’t choose a favorite. If you wanted to get real advanced with it, you could always create a different custom color pattern for each light zone and time it up to change colors of each zone at the same time.

What combinations did you come up with for the Halloween season? Share them with us on social media and tag us!

Instagram: @atlanticwatergardens

Facebook: Atlantic Water Gardens

Twitter: @AtlanticWG

About the Author:

Caitlyn Winkle

After graduating from the University of Akron, Caitlyn joined Atlantic-OASE in the fall of 2019. Caitlyn manages the social media and online content for the company. She also supports the Atlantic-OASE Professional Contractor (APC) Program and Marketing Departments in creating marketing and advertising strategies and plans.

Tools That Don’t Suck: Flag Dolly

As water feature installers, my sons and I are used to hard, dirty and sometimes dangerous work. We enjoy what we do, whether it’s digging ponds, plumbing pumps, rolling boulders or tweaking waterfalls. We also value anything that makes the job faster, easier or more fun. We’re always looking for tools, apps or gadgets that save time & effort, eliminate stress, add to our comfort on the job or are just fun to use. Often a buddy will turn us on to one. I’d like to return the favor by passing our favorite Tools That Don’t Suck along to you. 

Sometimes the perfect tool doesn’t exist, so you have to make it. I’m reminded of Lloyd Lightsey’s answer to the perennial problem of leaving the brand new pond as clean as possible so the customer gets that perfect first impression. Not easy to do with rocks that always seem to be covered in magic clay – you know, the stuff you think was washed off that instantly dirties up the pond even after two rinses. Well, Lloyd took matters into his own hands and built a ‘trummel’ to wash his gravel spotless before installing. Ask him about it sometime, definitely a TTDS.

We had a situation that demanded a totally new tool at the job we’ve been working on whenever quarantine has allowed. I don’t say that lightly; we actually got chased out when the Governor closed down the entire state to New Yorkers March 28 – by the National Guard! When restrictions eased, we went back to finish, and ran into a problem. Our customer had asked for a bridge or peninsula over a tiny watercourse at the foot of a natural stone bluff. All machine access had been cut off. The stone we wanted to use wasn’t massive, but a triangle five feet on a side, almost four inches thick, weighs over five hundred pounds.

(You might be interested in how we calculated the weight of the stone. The way we figured it, it’s the area of a triangle – ½ Height x Base, or in this case the crazy formula for an equilateral triangle. You can look that one up. Either way, it works out to over 10 square feet, times the thickness at 3.6”/12”  = 3 cubic feet, times 170lbs per cubic foot for granite = 510 lbs)

The challenge was, we had to travel 150 feet through a long narrow trellised garden, then take a hard right through a narrow gate. There wasn’t enough room to put four men, or even three on it, and there were only two of us on site anyway. We had to come up with another way.

Enter the Flag Dolly. Like most useful tools, it’s very simple – four wheelbarrow tires bolted to a 4×4 chassis. I drilled the 4×4 to accommodate two 5×8”x18” threaded rods for the axles, then bolted on a pair of filled puncture proof tires, so the dolly could be tilted backwards for turns without deflating. I bolted two air filled tires to the ‘front’ of the 4×4, to absorb any shocks from holes and cobblestone borders we had to traverse.

Loading turned out to be easier than anticipated, after we managed to get the horizontal flag vertical, which wasn’t fun but eminently doable. Then we rotated the vertical stone forward onto the carefully placed and braced dolly. Once placed, moving the stone actually went quite smoothly. By the end of the run I was confident enough to have my man Kevin let go long enough to shoot a short video.

Necessity is one heck of a mother.

About the Author:


Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

Faster, Easier Fall Cleanups with Atlantic-OASE

After years of draining ponds down to do major cleanups, with the hassle and risks of catching and containing fish safely, we’ve modified our fall cleanups to two shorter visits using Atlantic-OASE products to make things easier. Here are 4 innovations that cut the time we spend by more than 50%, spread out over two visits.

OASE Pondovac 5 – Instead of waiting for all the leaves to come down where we are on Long Island, we start the cleanup early with an initial visit to vacuum out the leaves that start to fall before Halloween. The Pondovac 5 effectively picks up leaves and debris down to about 4 feet without roiling up the water, so we can spot clean the heavier pockets quickly and easily. The vacuum is designed to pull debris into a leaf bag and pump out excess water continuously, no stopping until the large bag is full, and it takes only a minute or two to empty. If they haven’t already switched, we set our fish pond owners up with hi carb, low protein fish food to fatten fish and reduce ammonia loads. Find them here.

Atlantic Pond & Garden Protector – We then set up the second line of defense against leaves, the PGP. Great for ponds and water features up to about 12×18, which covers the majority, the Protector is a net system with fiberglass supports that arch over the feature, holding the net securely high above the water. Leaves tend to blow off the net instead of dragging it under water, and it’s a perfect support for spooky webs and other Halloween decorations. Find them here.

OASE FiltoClear Pressure Filter with UVC – To round out our first visit, we’ll clean out the skimmer and fall box and backwash the FiltoClear. This small, easy to hide filter backwashes with a few pulls of the handle and no mess at all, in contrast to the waterfall box, and clears the water after our visit in no time. We’ve added a FiltoClear and an AquaMax pump to our ecosystem ponds were clients demand perfect water quality, and the combo really delivers. We can even offer the Clear Water Guarantee as long as we follow the simple sizing guidelines. That’s our two-man, one hour October visit, which keeps customers happy until after Thanksgiving. Find them here.

Typhoon Air and Diffuser Kits – After Turkey Day, late enough so most of the leaves are down, we’ll go in once more for the pruning and final cleanup. The Pond & Garden Protector will have kept the leaves outside the perimeter; after we clear them away with a blower, we’ll set up our air for the winter. We move the diffusers from the deep spots where they were needed in the summer, to the edges where they keep a hole free of ice in winter without disturbing the “warm” water at the bottom. Cool fact – unless it freezes all the way solid, the densest water at the bottom will stay at a balmy 38 degrees, regardless of how cold the air gets. We’ll backwash and drain the FiltoClear, shutting off the intake for the winter. Finally, we’ll clean and service the pump, which stays in for most of our fishponds and pond-free features but gets pulled from fountains and stored for winter. Find them here.

Advantages – Cleaning up twice saves us the hassle of trying to schedule everyone before their Thanksgiving get-together but still brings in the same revenue. We don’t remove or even disturb the fish this way, which really lowers stress levels, especially with high value fish. The two visits do double the travel time, but we spend far less time total, and we charge the same, in two more palatable payments. And our customers seem to appreciate the extra visit even if we’re not there nearly as long total. It’s a win-win all around.

About the Author:


Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

Add a Water Feature and Save the Bees, Part II

For World Bee Day in March, Jim and Caitlyn spoke about how bees need water, and how water features such as the OASE Quintet installed by Mike Garcia of Enviroscape LA provide a source of clean, chlorine-free water for all pollinators, bees included. If you missed that blog you can find it here: Add a Water Feature and Save the Bees. For World Honeybee Day August 15th this year, I thought we might look at how people have used water to attract and keep bees in other cultures.

The Maya of the Yucatan Peninsula value their Stingless Bees so highly they consider them royalty – they call them Xunan-kab, Royal Lady Bee.

There are sixteen species of Melipona bees in the Yucatan. They make their hives in hollow trees in the wild, but the Maya found out, over three thousand years ago, that there’s an easy way to get the bees to nest anywhere they want. The would-be beekeeper just needs to provide a source of water below a piece of hollowed out log, capped at both ends, with a single hole to get inside. The bees will colonize the log and start to produce a delicious dark, citrusy honey highly valued for its flavor and its medicinal and antibacterial qualities. Xunan-kab honey is very valuable, worth $50 a liter versus $2 for European bee honey, so beekeeping has resurged in popularity, probably saving Melipona from extinction in the wild. Water features have also surged in popularity in the area – coincidence? I think not!

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About the Author:


Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

Tools That Don’t Suck: Kneeling Pad

As water feature installers, my sons and I are used to hard, dirty and sometimes dangerous work. We enjoy what we do, whether it’s digging ponds, plumbing pumps, rolling boulders or tweaking waterfalls. We also value anything that makes the job faster, easier or more fun. We’re always looking for tools, apps or gadgets that save time and effort, eliminate stress, add to our comfort on the job or are just fun to use. Often a buddy will turn us on to one. I’d like to return the favor by passing our favorite Tools That Don’t Suck along to you.

After years of kneeling there are certain accessories we don’t even think about working without. We take them for granted, but maybe they actually rise to level of a TTDS (Tools That Don’t Suck). For example, these photos show the pocket I’m in – sharp rock, no flat spots, all points and ridges. I’m working down the wall and across the bottom, attaching liner to rock. There’s no way to avoid kneeling, and your knees wouldn’t last a minute unprotected. The solution that we found our way to, maybe you did too? Is double knee pants and kneeling pads.

We like pads with yellow stripes on the back, look for a “23-in x 11.5-in Foam Kneeling Pad”, for just twelve bucks. You can find all kinds and brands of foam kneeling pads out there but if you want to find one easily Lowe’s sells them here. These pads get a workout. Constantly underfoot, so to speak, they get stomped and rolled over by every tool and fool on the property. They hold up to a surprising amount of abuse before they tear, and we keep using the pieces until they shred.

Now sure, I have worn about six different kindsa strap-on knee pads, with long pants and shorts, in winter and summer, and always had trouble with either slippage or irritation to the back of the knee. This makes perfect sense. Either they’re loose enough to be comfortable and they slip, or they’re tight and they rub. Not any more. These days I wear Craftsman double knee cotton duck pants and throw a pad or two down. I know, sounds sweaty, but I’m actually comfortable in 80-degree weather (with a breeze), unless they get wet.

So, I want to hear what you use to kneel on sharp rock. Are you a kneeling pad fan, or do you prefer traditional kneepads with straps? Sound off below in the comments!

About the Author:


Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

So You Want to Put in a Koi Pond!

There are many good reasons to want to keep ornamental carp, known as koi fish. First and most of all, they are friendly, engaging creatures that will recognize and respond to you. It’s a great feeling to see a whole shoal of happy, HUNGRY jewel-colored fish churning the water to reach you. Yes they learn, quickly and well, to expect food, but they respond to you whether you have food for them or not, every time. It’s delightful. 

They are very beautiful animals by any measure. Their colors are marvelous, with hues from the deepest reds through orange, true gold, silver, pearly white, black, greys of every shade, even blues. Many varieties sport glittering reflective and metallic scales, in different patterns on their bodies, that literally sparkle in sunlight. Their fins can be equally enchanting, especially those of the type commonly known as butterfly koi. When they aren’t racing to you for food, their long flowing fins swirl around them as they dance gracefully in a synchronized ballet, the rhythmic, circular patterns they describe soothing, relaxing, almost hypnotic. One can get lost for hours just staring at their languid movements in a deep, clear pool, I can personally assure you. 

But to enjoy them at their best you must provide a healthy environment for them. The best koi ponds will ideally be large and deep enough for the fish to exercise in both horizontal and vertical directions; three feet is usually cited as the minimum depth for happy koi. The optimal volume per fish is harder to pin down, but experts and aficionados (koi kichi) like 100 gallons per inch of fish; bigger is always better as far as volume goes. That said, koi will adapt to smaller bodies of water, but they will not attain the same size and run the risk of greater mortality in smaller, shallow ponds for a number of reasons, including more exposure to predators and greater temperature and pH swings.  

Water quality is critical, especially with animals that feed (and defecate) with such gusto. In Japan many ponds have a constant source of fresh spring water to flush out wastes, but that doesn’t work here, so adequate circulation and filtration is a must. Figure on running the entire volume of the pond through the filtration system once per hour. A 5,000 gallon pond should optimally run 5,000 gallons per hour through the filter. Although quality and clarity are totally different issues, with some of the best koi in the world coming out of clay ponds with totally opaque water, that doesn’t work for our ponds. We want to see the koi in polished water, so secondary treatment by ultraviolet light helps keep algae suppressed and water gin-clear. 

Finally, for the healthiest, most vibrant koi, the pond shouldn’t be overcrowded. This is where we have to overcome our own nature, because koi keeping is a powerful addiction. We see an especially beautiful fish and we need to have it. Not only do we always want more of them, but they grow to a pretty impressive size. Forget the four-inch-long cutie you brought home from the pet store. Koi grow to 2-3 feet long and upwards of 30 pounds under ideal conditions, and if they’re happy, they are also procreating like crazy. If you’re not very careful and very disciplined, pretty soon you can walk across the pond on their backs. 

All that said, once you get the bug you’ll never be free of it, so remember these guidelines. 

  • Build It Bigger! The one comment we hear from just about every customer after a couple of years is, we should have made the pond larger and deeper from the start. 
  • Oversize the filtration. The largest skimmer you can install reduces the frequency of emptying the net or basket. The larger the biofilter, the less often you will need to clean it. The less maintenance the happier you will be, and the more filtration, the cleaner and clearer the water. (Plus, you will be able to better support that greater-than-optimal number of fish that you will almost certainly end up with.) 
  • DON’T OVERFEED YOUR FISH, even if they beg, and they will! Too much food means too many nutrients in the water, overloading filtration and vastly complicating maintenance. Also, no matter how much they seem to want to eat, the last thing you want is obese, unhealthy fish. Feed them once a day as much as they can eat in 5 minutes, turning off the pumps to keep uneaten food from accumulating in the skimmer.   

If you’re interested in koi keeping, Atlantic-OASE has everything you need, from kits that make pond construction easy, to advanced filtration that cleans itself and reports back to you via WiFi. You might start by checking out the information at the Atlantic Water Gardens University on our website, and remember, we’re always here to help. Good Luck, and Happy Ponding!  

About the Author:


Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.

Fun Facts for National Koi Day

In honor of National Koi Day, I thought I’d mention some facts about koi that you may find as interesting as I do.

The term “koi” or “koi fish” is technically incorrect.

That’s right, just like the name of our favorite megamonster Gojira (not “Godzilla”), Westerners got the name wrong. Our finny friends are actually nishiki-goi, colored carp. If you look up the work “koi”, you’ll find the translation is “love”, and the word refers to the physical act, not the Platonic ideal. Oh well, too late to change now, but at least it’s good for lots of overseas giggles.

The fish we call koi have been cultured and bred for so long that their digestive tracts have partially atrophied.

Only about 60% of the food they ingest actually gets digested, one of the reasons they are such prodigious feeders. (And poopers!)

Koi are not only affectionate but intelligent.

They recognize their owner, come when called and can be taught tricks like ringing a bell for food. Our Miss Piggy was with our family for 17 years and knew all of us by our silhouettes and voices. She would race to us when we approached, lifting her head out of the water to be petted, eagerly taking food from our fingers. When she died after a major snowmelt dumped road salt into our front yard pond, we were devastated.    

Barring accidents or predation, koi can live a long, looooong time.

Here in this country 10-20 years is considered a long life; in Japan the average is closer to 50 years, but under ideal conditions colored carp can live for many decades, even centuries. The oldest nishiki-goi on record, a scarlet fish named Hanako (‘flower girl’) was born during the Tokugawa era of shoguns and samurai. Treasured for her unusual color and affectionate nature, her original owners the Koshihara clan built her a spring-fed pond at the foot of Mt. Ontake in the mid 1700’s. In the 60s, two of her scales were taken and analyzed in a lab. Just like trees, scales exhibit growth rings that can be counted to reveal age. The laboratory determined her birth date to be the year 1751, making her 226 years old when she died on July 7th, 1977 (7-7-77)! National Koi Day, July 7 was created in her honor.

If any of these fascinating facts about our favorite pond pets pique your interest in having a koi pond installed, find an Atlantic-OASE Professional Contractor near you on our Find A Contractor page and stay tuned for our next blog “So You Want to Put in a Koi Pond!”

About the Author:


Demi has been in water garden construction since 1986. As Atlantic’s Director of Product Information, if he’s not building water features, he’s writing or talking about them. If you have a design or construction question, he’s the one to ask.