Shane Stefek is the president of Water Garden Gems, a koi and pond specialty retailer outside San Antonio, Texas. Water Garden Gems has been a leader in the koi and water garden industry for over 25 years. Water Garden Gems annually hosts the longest running koi show in Texas and is a premier supplier of imported Japanese koi and show-quality goldfish. Shane and his bride, Alona, along with their three sons Nicholas, Peyton and Travis work to help their customers create their own backyard oases as they enjoy sharing their knowledge and love for the hobby. With 15 years of pond-building experience, Shane shares his knowledge at numerous seminars throughout central Texas each year at clubs, businesses and schools. He also hosts club meetings and events at Water Garden Gems, where hobbyists can enjoy 3.5 acres of waterfalls, ponds, fountains — and more than 25,000 gallons of koi and goldfish sale tanks.

How Many Koi Can I Have in a Pond?

By Shane Stefek / May 22, 2023 / 23 Comments

This seemingly simple question is actually very complicated. Based on size and design, each ecosystem must have its own distinct fish load, water flow rates, oxygen levels, filtration system, the number of aquatic plants, the types of plants involved, feeding schedules, food types, the frequency of water changes and ratios… and the list goes on. […]

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A Homeowner Asks, How Big Should their Water Feature Be?

By Shane Stefek / October 28, 2020 / 0 Comments

When it comes to ponds, few questions are more common and complicated to answer than “How big should you build?” The potential answers to this daunting question can be endless, depending on what, who, why, where and how. How you approach it can separate the novice or DIY-er from the experienced professional.  As professionals, we […]

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Keys to Keeping a Clean Pond Floor

By Shane Stefek / December 26, 2018 / 2 Comments

No backyard oasis would be complete without a beautiful koi pond or water garden as its centerpiece. We make a living pouring our experience, knowledge, God-given artistic ability and personal blood, sweat and tears into creating masterpieces that our customers will love for years and years to come. We as professionals can build some amazingly […]

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Disappearing Water Features Create a Visual Wow Factor

By Shane Stefek / October 28, 2017 / 0 Comments

We’ve all seen them, and they continue to grow more popular — the waterfall that disappears into a bed of river rock; the bubbling urn that entertains with a mix of brightly glazed color and dancing, living water; the soothing stream that flows along a pathway and out of sight below a bridge. The disappearing […]

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A How-To Guide: Building a Perfect Stream

By Shane Stefek / August 30, 2016 / 6 Comments

Streams are amazing — they bring their surroundings to life! The combination of water sounds created in a stream stands apart from the sounds of all other water features. You can have a mixture of soothing trickling, playful gurgling, waterfall crashing and relaxed babbling all in a single, flowing water feature, simply by using the […]

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Peer Into the Future for Show-Winning Koi!

By Shane Stefek / December 30, 2015 / 1 Comment

One of the most enjoyable aspects of owning a koi pond is picking out your new pond family members. A trip to your local koi dealer is exciting, and you generally have a plan in mind before you walk through the gates. For instance, how many koi do you need? What size? Which colors or […]

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