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 FORTUNA

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.

Spring

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.

Summer

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.

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 FORTUNA

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.

Atlantic-OASE Staff Picks: BioTec Screenmatic²

I was recently asked to write on my favorite Atlantic-OASE product. I did not have to give it a second thought. Immediately knew which product I was going to share my thoughts on. 

But first, a little background. I have had a pond in the back yard for many years. It was built with the American standard of filtration or equivalent to the ecosystem style pond. It has a skimmer, a large pump, and a filter falls (biological filter in the waterfall). The water has always been crystal clear, and beautiful. I have never seen a visible algae problem as the plants grow each season and out compete for nutrients. But in recent years an issue had become more and more recurring, and that is increased maintenance. It had gotten to the point of cleaning the skimmer every 4 days. This does not sound too tough, but when you travel for work as I do it can be problematic. 

Enter my new favorite product from Atlantic-OASE, the BioTec Screenmatic² filter with an AquaMax Eco Premium Pump. Let me tell you, when the idea of putting a pump in the bottom of the pond was first suggested, I did not react that well. Now six months later, it was the best decision I have made where the pond is considered. I have gone from always maintaining my pond to actually enjoying my pond. 

You see, the standard of just a skimmer and falls works just fine, but there is always going to be maintenance. Depending on the fish load and plants, the maintenance will vary from pond to pond. In my case, I have a medium to large fish load, a ton of plants and we like to see the fish eat. A simple helpful option would be to remove some of the fish and reduce the load, but if you know me, that wasn’t realistic. As I mentioned before, I never had water quality or clarity issues but, the skimmer net was clogging about every four days. The debris in the net was always a hair like substance and was fine enough to clog the net.

After adding the BioTec Screenmatic², it took about 2-3 weeks for the skimmer maintenance to reduce then go away. It has now been right at 4 months and the skimmer is still functioning properly with out fail. Prior to installation the skimmer would clog and not let water pass. 

The BioTec Screenmatic² is a flow through filter with biological and mechanical filtration. It automatically separates debris by using a self-cleaning screen depositing coarse debris into its removable tray. The intelligent cleaning sensor detects pollutant levels entering the filter and automatically activates the screen. It is very cool to watch your pond filter clean itself. 

This is not just an endorsement of a product it is a testimonial. This filter has changed my lifestyle. It solved two problems while enhancing my lifestyle. First was the question of what was clogging the skimmer net. By the time I cleaned the skimmer it was a black hairy substance covering the net. It turned out that I have a good growth of a carpet style algae on the rocks in the bottom of the pond. The fish would scrape the rocks clean and continually release the algae into the water column for the filters to remove. Now that there is a way to remove it from in the pond, the skimmer stays clear and ready for larger debris. I did not realize this until I checked the removable debris tray from the filter. 

The second problem it will be taking care of, my yearly cleanout. You see, with just a skimmer and falls and a medium to large fish load, my filtration was in efficient. Debris would build up in different areas of the bottom of the pond. Now a few months in, I do not see any debris areas and am estimating the yearly clean out can be pushed an additional year if not more.

By adding the BioTec Screenmatic² I was able to eliminate excess maintenance and keep all my fish. If there was room, I would just rebuild the pond larger but since there is not, it was the BioTec Screenmatic² to the rescue and I couldn’t be happier. 


About the Author:

Sean Bell

Sean is the Regional Sales Manager for the Southeast for Atlantic-OASE. Fish Geek and water feature enthusiast, Sean has managed one of the largest aquarium stores in the Southeast while running his own pond maintenance company. When it comes to water features, Sean is your guy!

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 FORTUNA

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.

The Most Valuable Koi

So we all know what ‘koi’ are, and we have an inkling that there are serious collectors – koi kichi – out there. That makes them valuable, at least to some people. But how much could a fish, even a big fish, even a very pretty fish, actually be worth, and why? 

Well, there was once a very beautiful nishikigoi in Japan, of the type first developed over two hundred years ago. This stunning fish was a Kohaku, white with red patches pleasingly distributed over her body. What made her exceptionally lovely was the intensity of her colors, and the absolute crisp delineation between the white and red. All the borders were sharp and crisp. The red patches were perfect, all the same unvaried shade without blotching or faded areas. The white field they overlaid was equally without stain, a perfect white. She had no other markings, and no imperfections. At nine years old, the three-foot-three-inch fish had perfect fins and her body the ideal shape, swelling to its largest girth midway between her head and tail, perfectly symmetrical. Her breeders, Saki Fish Farm in Hiroshima Japan, auctioned in October of 2018. At the gavel’s drop, a young lady from Taiwan with a family background in koi, Miss Yingying, paid 203 million yen for S Legend, as the carp is called. 

That’s $1.8 MILLION BUCKS for a fish! What’s even more amazing is Miss Yingying Chung’s story, but that’s for you to look up.… 

And remember, when you’re ready for your million dollar koi, Atlantic-OASE has the pond equipment for you! 


About the Author:

DEMI FORTUNA

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 FORTUNA

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 FORTUNA

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.

Capturing the Perfect Water Feature Picture

Today, June 29th, is National Camera Day and in honor of National Camera Day, we wanted to share some tips and habits to take up on photographing your water feature projects!

Your Camera

You don’t need a fancy, expensive camera to take pictures that look professional! You have one of the best cameras in your pocket with your smart phone. Today, smart phone cameras are so advanced that you can’t tell the difference between a picture shot with your phone versus a camera, so use what you have available! If you have a physical camera, by all means, don’t let it go unused! Dust that baby off and start snapping!

Use a Tripod

If I recommend you buy anything to help take better pictures of your work with, it would be to purchase a tripod stand to put your camera or phone on. One of the biggest struggles people have with taking pictures and videos is keeping their hands steady to take the picture. Setting your camera or phone on a tripod allows you to capture exactly what you’re looking for and helps eliminate the blurry photos.

This is also a great tool to use when you want to capture videos of your water features and eliminate the shakiness. Put your phone on the tripod and just hit record! A tripod is the most simple tool to help you create professional worthy pictures and videos!

Move Your Camera

To give yourself the best range of photos, move your camera and tripod to different spots around your water feature! Take some pictures of the feature straight on, then move to the left and to the right to get some different angled pictures. Be creative with your photos, adjust the height of your tripod to be closer to the ground or high up for different view points. Take some close ups as well!

Form New Habits

I ask contractors and sales reps all the time for pictures of the projects they’re working on. Most of the time, I get the “I forgot to take pictures” response. I get it. When you’re out on the job, that’s the last thing you want to worry about. Time gets away from you and you forget to take pictures of your work. We want to change that! Because the best way to get more work is to show off the work you’ve already done!

Start trying to form new habits while out on the job site to include photography into your routine. Think of what you want to show your future clients. Homeowners want to see examples of what you can create for them. Take some before pictures, document the progress of the project and the crew helping on the job and then, of course, the finished job.

The easiest way to make sure you’re grabbing the pictures you need is to set times during the day to take your pictures.

  • Take pictures the morning of right before you start your project.
  • Take pictures when you stop to take a lunch break. This is will be great progress pictures!
  • Take pictures when you leave the job site.
  • Take the final finished project pictures.

Usually these are times where you’re not working for a moment and can snap a few shots. And let’s be real, when you’re not working, you’ve picked up your phone anyways. Why not make a habit to quickly take some pictures?

Make Time to Go Back and Photograph

To get some great final pictures of your water feature, schedule a time to come back and take some pictures once the water has settled and the flowers and greenery all have grown in! It makes such a difference in your photos and gives you an opportunity to show more before and after pictures!

Save Your Pictures!

There’s nothing worse than losing pictures of a completed project, especially for contractors who travel for their projects. We all know it’s not easy to get back to the same location to take pictures if you lose them. There’s plenty of ways to back up or save your pictures in more than one location to make sure you don’t lose them if your phone takes a plunge in the pond. Whether you simply just email yourself your pictures or have a system for uploading, find the best way to save, store and organize your photos so that they’re easy to go back and find what you’re looking for!

What other tips would you like to see from us? Leave a comment below!


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.

Atlantic-OASE Professional Contractor Spotlight – Mike Garcia

From all the way over on the west coast, join us in recognizing another outstanding Atlantic-OASE Professional contractor! Mike Garcia is a California landscape contractor that offers sustainable and environmentally friendly designs!

Mike Garcia, Enviroscape LA, California

Where are you from: Redondo Beach / Los Angeles

How long you’ve been working in the industry: 40 years

What you love about what you do: Building water features comes from inspiration at the deepest level. Tying these into aquaponic systems gives people the most nutrient dense food on the planet.

Favorite Atlantic-OASE product: This is perhaps the hardest question I have ever been asked! I originally learned about OASE about 15 years ago and instantly knew it was way different from anything else in the pond world. I love the new Koi pond filter that is app based and will be installing my personal one this year. I love the Quintet because you can break up the set and place them individually in the garden to create magic. Atlantic pumps are amazing for the American style water gardens. OASE pumps and filters put a pond contractor on another level compared to the average pond contractor who only uses conventional methodologies.

One of your favorite projects you’ve done: One of my favorite projects was the water garden that we built for my next door neighbor about 13 years ago. Atlantic Water Gardens provided the materials  and we did this in conjunction with the California Landscape Contractor Association (CLCA). This pond still looks amazing and the original AWG pump it is still working……AFTER 13 YEARS!!!!!!

Recent projects I’ve worked on: We were recipients of the 2019 California Landscape Contractor Association (CLCA) Best Pond of Los Angeles division at the annual pond contractor competition. We won’t 1st place! 

Anything else you’d like to share with your fellow APC’s: For the past century, our planet has been under assault from pollution, chemical insecticides, herbicides, global climate change and a plethora of other challenges that call into question whether mankind will continue to have a future on our planet. There is hope. We can change the course we are taking, but everyone must be a part of the solution rather than part of the problem. Ponds are truly a part of the solution because ponds help the natural cycles of life and create a water source for pollinators. Ponds also help reduce high blood pressure and it is encouraging to see ponds becoming a major part of the Aquaponic community.  Aquaponics grow food while recycling the same water over and over, which gives us hope for the future because one of the side effects of global climate change is drought. The case for pond building could fill a book. Ponds are a part of the solution for a better planet. Ponds give us hope!

For more from Mike and his team at Enviroscape LA follow him on Facebook and Instagram! Check out his YouTube channel as well!


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.