Did I get your attention with that headline? I’ll bet I did. Not to worry, I’m not selling or going anywhere, and our editors, Jordan and Grant, are staying put, too. I just wanted to touch on the hot topic — and growing complaint that I keep hearing from many of you — that you can’t find or keep good help. Who would have ever thought that we would come through a pandemic and end up with this problem? It’s not unique to our trade, either. Restaurants and a lot of other service-related small businesses are feeling the squeeze when it comes to getting and staying fully staffed. I’m sure you all have opinions on this topic; it’s a complicated one, for sure. We are happy to have business expert Tom Grandy back this issue with some advice on attracting high-quality employees back to your business. How has your business fared as the economy continues to come back? Stay in touch on our Facebook page or through email, and please feel free to share any advice you feel might be helpful for your fellow pond professionals. Let’s rely on each other and hope that things return to normal soon! As usual, we are packed this issue with lots of timely, stimulating topics from around the pond world. Jamie Beyer has an informative rundown of different pond edge designs that might be a source for inspiration. We’re also taking another look at recreation ponds through the eyes of the Aquascapes East team of Dylan Arlotta and Tom Dieck. Alan Weene provides motivation for reaching for the stars when it comes to large-scale pond projects. Finally, you won’t want to miss Mike Gannon’s conservationist feature that goes with the beautiful frog on the print cover, and if you still haven’t satisfied your reptile fix, check out Kent Wallace’s tortoise pond design (“Shell-Shocking!” pg. 53) in this issue’s Best Pond Practices installment. Happy PONDering!
Current and back issues of POND Trade Magazine including pond business articles, water garden articles, and other pond news.
I’m about to get on a bit of a soapbox here, but hang tight and hear me out. POND Trade was hacked about a month ago. Some devious person got into my account and sent out a bogus invoice to many of my advertisers and subscribers. I’m so sorry if you were affected by this! Not only were they clever enough to send out a bill and hope to pilfer money from the water feature community, but they also diverted my incoming emails! So while I normally might have noticed something was off pretty quickly, I was left in the dark and unable to do anything about it. What a pain! Luckily, we eventually fixed the issue and secured our server once again. Everything is back to normal, but ugh — if you’ve ever been hacked, you probably know exactly how I felt. OK, soapbox time. Why can’t people just go out and try to earn an honest living, like you and I are doing? What drives someone to steal information and money from other innocent people? Just think of what these would-be crooks could do if they just focused their time and efforts on building up their own (legitimate) business instead of trying to cheat other folks? One of the keys to running any honest operation is staying informed and up-to-date on industry trends, whether it’s cybersecurity or the latest innovations in the field. That’s where we come in. This issue in particular is really diverse, from pond and water-management basics to new and exciting trends in aquaculture. Liners, for example, are part of Pond Building 101, but Freddie Combas presents and explains all the acronyms involved, making it easier to choose which type of pond liner is best for your application. I personally enjoyed the cover story, Native Planting Revive Wet Meadow Ecosystems, and John Mark Courtney’s rundown of native wetland plants. Speaking of plants, we have a hydroponics feature by Ken Rust, who breaks down some of the popular types of food-growing systems. You won’t want to miss John Magyar’s profile of a koi pond sanctuary outfitted with bonsai trees. We’re also happy our Best Pond Practices segment is back! Kent Wallace has a dazzling desert water wall and koi pond build to show you.
Well, well, well. We did it again. It’s hard to believe we’re publishing the results of our fifth Water Artisans of the Year contest. It seems like only yesterday that the POND Trade Editorial Committee was finalizing the rules and format of what would become our inaugural contest. And now here we are, celebrating the fifth year and five more pond contractors on the leading edge of the industry (along with five very respectable runners-up, of course). The contest has also gone global! We were thrilled to receive entries from across the Big Pond (United Kingdom) and all the way Down Under (Australia). It’s exciting to know that we have our finger on the pulse of the pond world. We like to keep it fresh each year, so this year we debuted two new categories, Ponds by Night and Fountains & Formal Features. Both received a lot of entries and interest, and it was a joy sorting through them before handing them over to the Supreme Stream Court. The competition among the three mainstay categories (Most Naturalistic, Best Pondless and Best Under $15k) was just as stiff as it’s ever been, and in several cases, the winners separated the runners-up by just one or two votes. We’ve dedicated more than 15 pages of this issue to the contest, but like always, we’ve packed the rest of it with quality content intended to inform and inspire you as you build, grow and maintain your business. Our occasional tax contributor, Mark Battersby, gives us a timely, detailed look at the Paycheck Protection Program and Shane Hemphill, a winner of last year’s contest and judge on this year’s panel, shares some of his water wisdom — Mastering the Craft. Also, if you keep koi, don’t miss Carolyn Weise’s profile on anchor worms and fish lice. Once again, we’d like to express our pride in administering the Water Artisans of the Year contest, and we look forward to keeping it going for many years to come. A big thanks to all of our judges this year and to everyone who contributed to our donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Happy PONDering!
As the old saying goes, “Don’t let the door hit your a on the way out!” I think most of us feel this way about 2020. I must say I’m looking forward to 2021 (hopefully) being a much improved year all-around. Out with the old, and in with the new! It’s been quite the strange year, with everybody staying home and a lot of people out of work. Thankfully, the pond and water garden industry has been an exception. I know that many of you have been really, really busy this year! When you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. More people staying at home means more people hanging out in their yards. One thing leads to another, and the next thing you know, the demand for ponds and water gardens goes through the roof! I know those of you in areas with stricter shutdown orders have had to struggle to stay busy, and I’m continually impressed by the stories of your resiliency and perseverance. For example, Mike Garcia of Enviroscape L.A. was able to keep his crew hard at work earlier this year by taking on a pond rebuild and aquaponics system installation at a Los Angeles-area middle school—New Pond, Aquaponics Build for School During Pandemic. When it is safe enough for the students to return to the classroom, they’ll have a brand new ecosystem on campus to learn from. How cool is that? Speaking of learning, this issue is packed with knowledge and exciting content that will hopefully keep you thinking through the beginning of the 2021 pond season. Demi Fortuna lends us his expertise on calculating the ideal size for plumbing and pump systems—Flow, Friction and Total Dynamic Head: A Pump and Plumbing Primer for Ponds, while Zac DeGarmeaux paints a profile of some gorgeous, lesser-known waterlilies, iris and lotus. Also, if you’ve ever considered offering sand-bottom ponds to your customers, you’ll want to read about Larry Carnes’ quest to build his very own tropical oasis. As we say goodbye (and good riddance) to 2020, I would like to wish you, your business and your family a safe, happy, healthy new year from all of us here at POND Trade magazine. Happy PONDering!
I recently finished up the 2021 media kit that goes out to all our wonderful, supportive advertisers. I always include a taste of some of the upcoming articles planned for the next year while we try to line up all the best authors with the right topics. As I looked back at what we have covered over the past 10 years, I got to thinking to myself, “Holy moly! We’ve written about a LOT of topics!” So it really goes without saying that yes, we’ve definitely got you covered when it comes to the pond and water feature business. Now, here’s where you come in. What are we missing? Is there a topic you’d like to see us talk more about? Or perhaps something that we need to revisit? If so, I’d love to hear from you. Shoot me an email at email@example.com. Whether it’s a new construction technique, an innovative sales strategy, or a really cool build, we would love to share it with your pond world peers. For example, our cover story Concrete Pond Construction Techniques is about formal concrete ponds, which we have covered from time to time, especially in Kent Wallace’s Best Practices articles (which will return in the January/February 2021 issue, by the way). However, not until now have we presented the point of view of a Pond Pirate. Walk the plank over to Building Concrete Ponds with the Pond Pirate and see everything that went into building Erick Santana’s gorgeous koi pond. We also like to present new viewpoints about ways to conduct business. While some contractors might balk at installing more than one pump in a small pond, Rex McCaskill explains in Reduce Pond Maintenance with Two – Pump Systems why two pumps can be better than one (“One-Two Punch”) and just might save your weekend. No room for a pond? How about a water wall? John Olson has more in “The Writing on the Wall“ about integrating smaller water features. Oh, and one more thing — I have a new sidekick. I GOT A NEW PUPPY! His name is Bodie, and he is a border terrier. He sure is keeping me busy! It’s so nice to hear the pitter-patter of puppy feet around the house again. Happy PONDering!
I’m so glad to hear that a lot of contractors are really busy during these trying times. Who would have thought that a pandemic would cause many of you to have your busiest year yet? People are definitely more homebound right now, and there’s not many places you can safely go on vacation. What better way to spend your stimulus check or vacation budget than on your backyard? My takeaway from all this is that a lot of people have wanted a pond or water feature for a really long time. So, when they had a bit more spending money in hand, they naturally gravitated this way. You don’t just wake up one morning and decide that you want one — am I right? It’s more important today than ever before to seek out the silver linings in life, so I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the new pond owners out there. When life gave you lemons (a global pandemic), you made lemonade (by fulfilling your dream of owning your own waterscape). Welcome to the pond community, and I hope your new hobby is enhanced by this new issue of POND Trade magazine. Speaking of new pond owners, I was excited to hear that the one and only Shaq O’Neil had a pond installed (article link) in his front yard. We sure had fun with this article by our feature editor, Jordan Morris. Jordan was a little bummed that he didn’t get to meet Shaq to write the article, but something tells me that the NBA superstar’s pond journey is only beginning. I’m looking forward to the next chapter in this story! But first, we’ve got a lot more to cover in this issue. Benjamin Timmermans’ article (article link) about designing and manipulating water flow is a great guide for determining when to let Mother Nature take her course, and when you, as a designer, need to intervene. I also enjoyed Mark Gibson’s rundown of koi stressors (article link), which is full of tips for keeping a happier pond environment. Finally, don’t miss Patrick Simmsgeiger’s discussion about how ducks (article link), turtles and other pond regulars can actually act as “super spreaders” from pond to pond. Happy PONDering!
With the year already halfway over, the world continues to deal with a lot of unknowns and uncertainty. Since we last met, things have gotten a tad better, at least. I live in the Chicagoland area, where we’ve moved into the next phase of reopening. These are all baby steps, but I have to admit that they feel oh so good. Who knew I could feel like such a queen just by eating outside at a restaurant? While a lot of us may want to rewind the clock and go back to the way things were before the lockdown, it’s important to try to keep up with this “new normal” and make it through these uncertain times together. I’ve actually gotten word from some of you that things are booming, with more people staying at home and improving their yards. After all, if you have to be at home, why wouldn’t you want to sit in your yard and enjoy the sights and sounds of flowing water? Others of you may be coping with the economic slowdown, with clients holding onto their money or manufacturers facing production issues. Regardless of the role you play in the pond industry, I hope that you are faring well, or that things start to look up soon. We are all in this together, and we will make it through this together. We’ve got your back here at POND Trade with a knockout issue overflowing with content curated just for you. Did you see the cover? That was super fun to design, and the cover story—Preventing Koi Theft—is a must read. (Geez! Not only do we have to worry about herons and raccoons — we also have to watch out for two-legged creatures with an eye for thievery! Jamie Beyer looks below the surface at sediment and how it can accumulate in a waterscape—Muck? Yuck!”—in a piece that could prove helpful in your quest for crystal-clear water. For the marketing gurus out there, Mark “MJ” Wilson gives us a behind-the-scenes look at his his company’s video streaming operations. And for those of you who maintain ponds and features, you won’t want to miss Demi Fortuna’s steps for diagnosing water loss—The W.E.T.S. Spot. Happy PONDering!
As I write this, we are in the middle of a lockdown because of the Coronavirus pandemic. This is such a strange, unprecedented time. We hope you’ve all been practicing social distancing and are feeling healthy. How have you been staying busy? It appears that each state has created its own set of rules as to whether pond and water feature construction are deemed essential. If you’ve been forced to sit at home, hopefully you are catching up on paperwork, working on future business plans, and, of course, learning and brushing up on your skills as you browse this issue and catch up on our archives on the web at www.pondtrademag.com. Whether you’re holed up at home or carefully working out in the field, always remember that we at POND Trade will always be here. In addition to our bimonthly print issues, we offer continuous content and interaction on our website and social media platforms. Add us on Facebook and Instagram, interact with fellow aquatic enthusiasts, and otherwise stay in touch. We will get through this! For this May/June issue, we’re jam-packed with articles you won’t want to miss. Safety seems to be on everybody’s mind right now, and we’re all over the subject. Check out Mike Gannon’s very timely article on biosafety — Biosafety Basics — to make sure you’ve made the proper precautions with your crew and employees as they relate to COVID-19. It might not be a bad idea to share it with your staff, too. Larry Carnes contributed an informative piece about electrical safety around water in “Don’t Be Shocked.” If you work with pumps and swimming ponds, this article might be of particular interest. We typically don’t do this, but we would like to give a quick shout-out to our advertisers in this issue. We know that the economy is a bit uncertain right now, but we couldn’t be here without your wonderful support. Thank you! Keep your chin up and remember — this too shall pass. Happy PONDering!
Yep, it’s hard to believe — it’s already year four of the “Water Artisans of the Year” contest. Time flies when you’re working hard! It’s really exciting to see what a lot of you have been up to over the past year. One thing hasn’t changed: You all build some knock-your-socks-off ponds and water features! These beauties and winners continue to dazzle us year over year. I wish I could show you more of the entries. (I don’t know how our judges narrowed it down!) Truth be told, we could fill an entire issue with all the amazing submissions we received, but you’ll have to settle for the five winners and five runners-up. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, though. We like to shake up the categories just a bit each year, and this time we tried a new category, Ponds Revisited. It’s nice to see how your work is flourishing a year, three years — even 10 years down the road, and how it withstands the test of time. It’s also reassuring to know that your client still loves their pond as much as you enjoyed building it for them. Thanks as always to our Supreme Stream Court for lending their time, discerning eyes and industry expertise. After you’ve finished admiring all the winning projects, you may want to jump in and show off your own best builds. Hold tight! Beginning this fall, we will begin accepting submissions for projects completed in 2020. Don’t miss everything else this issue has to offer! For all the artists and musicians out there, we’ve got a couple of features that may inspire your senses. Kelly Billing’s article about variegated plants and adding greenery with splashes of color reveals some visually stunning ways to transform a waterscape. I also enjoyed Tristan Adams’ unique perspective about “tuning” the sound of waterfalls to achieve the effect you’re looking for. Finally, do you often find yourself in search of the perfect koi? Joe Pawlak may have some valuable advice for you. Happy PONDering
Happy New Year, readers! Hope your holidays were wonderful, and here’s looking forward to a great, prosperous 2020. A new year calls for a new game plan, and perhaps a few resolutions. What are your goals for the next year? What do you want to accomplish? Are you looking to up your game and attend some seminars and conferences? Are you planning to expand your business and hire a few new employees? Whatever your resolution may be, one thing is certain — you’ll need a game plan if you want to accomplish it. Here at POND Trade, we set a game plan every year. Our focus is to cover topics that you, the reader, are interested in and find value in. Once we draft our editorial calendar, we do everything we can to ensure that the right qualified professionals write the appropriate articles. (The editorial committee takes this pretty seriously!) From koi to construction and from filtration to finance, we try to cover a wide variety of topics that are relevant and useful to you. If you can think of something we’re not covering, or if you think we could do something a little better, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you! This issue kicks off with Dave Duensing’s towering boulder water wall gracing the cover. We love it when Dave writes for us, and his cover story about putting together this massive water feature on the volcanic island of St. Kitts will keep you on the edge of your seat. Speaking of exciting articles, John Olson has a real nail-biter for us about how to combat internet and phone fraud. John actually went undercover and engaged with one of the would-be crooks who tried to place fraudulent orders with his company, and he ended up gaining some unique insights into how these scammers operate. I also recommend Kent Wallace’s article on the history of some of the methods and products in the koi industry. When you look at the timeline, it’s pretty amazing to see how far we’ve come in just a few decades. Kent will return in the next issue with his final installment in this two-part series. Happy PONDering!
OK, get ready — I’m going to gush a little bit. I’m officially a mother-in-law! My son Evan got married to sweet Maggie in September at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul, Minnesota. The beautiful bride (and handsome groom, I might add) had to share the spotlight with a breathtaking waterlily collection, which you could see as you walked in, or if you stepped onto the outside balcony and looked down. I can’t tell you how many people came over to me to make sure I saw them and tell me how much they enjoyed looking at them. How cool is that? I’m starting to come down off Cloud Nine after all the festivities —of course, being on deadline with this November/December issue helped. That being said, let’s talk about what’s in store as you turn the pages of this issue. Continuing with the theme of “fall festivities,” we’ve got reviews of three of the season’s major industry events — Aquascape’s Pondemonium, the International Waterlily and Water Gardening Society’s Annual Symposium and the Atlantic Professional Conference. From all the photos, it looks like the shows had great turnouts, and much fun was had by all. If you’ve never been to an industry show before, check out what you’re missing out on! With the fourth annual Water Artisans of the Year (enter here) contest right around the corner, we thought we would ask winners from previous years to write a pond construction feature. Gregg Sawyer — last year’s Best Waterfall winner — obliged and submitted a fascinating profile of his company’s stacked-flagstone edge treatments. Don’t forget to visit our website and enter this year’s contest for a chance to win and showcase your company’s construction capabilities in a future issue of POND Trade. Beyond these stories, we’ve still got a jam-packed issue covering a wide range of topics. Definitely don’t miss the cover story, which explores how terrestrial plantings can help to naturalize a waterscape, and check out Rick Weidman’s piece on the importance of year-round aeration — and how to sell it. Happy PONDering!
Reports are coming in from pond builders all over the country — it sounds like business and life in the pond world has been really good this season! People have told me that with the economy on the upswing, they are able to pick and choose which jobs they want to take on, and which ones they want to take a pass on. How about that? >> Enter our 2019 Water Artisans Project, deadline ends this Fall! I surely hope that you fall into this category. This news bodes quite well for our upcoming fourth annual Water Artisans of the Year contest, which, as many of you know by now, will showcase the most brilliant builds of the year on an independent platform. Keep an eye out for details on how to enter, and I think I speak for my colleagues here at POND Trade when I say we are on the edge of our seats in anticipation of seeing your entries. I expect that we will get to see just how “good” life has been for you and your business in 2019! In this issue, we tackle a few of today’s hot topics. And speaking of hot, this summer’s extreme heat has brought the subject of algae back into the headlines. You’ve probably heard all about the harmful effects of algae on aquatic life, our water-loving pets and the ecosystem in general. But according to Jamie Beyer, all algae are not the culprit [link]. Find out why algae can be an integral part of a balanced ecosystem. Another word that pops up quite a bit in this issue is “biofriendly.” No question, when you’re thinking about adding a “Pond Cleanup Crew” [link] or trying a new edge treatment for the perimeter of a pond [link], it’s essential to make environmental considerations to preserve the environment for all the ecosystem’s swimming (and non-swimming) inhabitants. Finally, we have a couple of articles that focus on artistry and the creative eye. Tim Wood and Tim Anderson provide some excellent tips on accentuating nature’s focal points to enhance [link] the viewing angles of a water feature. I also found Kelly Billing’s Waterlily Timeline a most inspiring work of art that certainly must enhance the work life for the thousands of employees at the FDA’s White Oak campus. Happy PONDering!
As I finish up the design touches of this issue, I realize that we have three solid business topics — and all three are topics you are going to want to soak in. You all know how to build beautiful ponds, but you also need to have really good business sense and advice in order to run your company soundly and make a good profit. For no matter how skilled or artistic your work may be, your business needs to stay afloat — and, ideally, thrive! That’s where we come in. Hopefully you’ll find this issue’s articles about making smart hiring and operating decisions (Hirer Beware: Unlicensed, Uninsured Workers), determining your real cost of doing business (Identify Overhead Expenses and Find Increased Profits), and deciding how to classify your workers (The Hiring Puzzle) helpful as you ramp up your business for the busy summer season. I found the latter article from Mark Battersby especially informative with regard to tax implications — and not to mention timely, as the summer season tends to inflate the temporary work force, raising questions about part-time versus full-time, and so forth. Beyond the business element, as usual, we have a wide variety of other content for your reading pleasure. From multifaceted, visually stunning pond construction projects to a tour of Koi Mecca, we’ve got you covered. Ed Beaulieu of Aquascape wrote a fascinating article (Pond Diet? Parallels Between Humans and Ponds) that really puts into perspective the dynamic, living features of a pond. The parallels between a pond and the human body may not be apparent at first, but after reading Ed’s article, you’ll see that the similarities really are uncanny! Finally, for all the craftsmen and artisans out there, we are ramping up for this year’s Water Artisans of the Year contest. The entry info will come out in the next issue (Sept/Oct 2019), so remember to save all the specifications and photos of your best work of the year. The competition gets more and more intense each year, and I personally can’t wait to see what masterpieces you have in store for the Supreme Stream Court this year. Happy PONDering!
First off, happy spring, everyone! By the time you read this column, water should be flowing nicely, with fish happily swimming and aquatic plants starting to green up and bloom. I love this time of year. I have a little personal story to share with you. My son Evan got engaged a couple of months back, and I am looking forward to welcoming his fiance Maggie to the family. Here’s where the word “inspiration” comes into play. I sent Evan and Maggie to the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul, Minnesota, to shoot some photos of their Japanese gardens for the November/December 2018 issue — Japanese Garden Design. They had never been to the park and were bowled over by its beauty and all the water features. They were impressed and INSPIRED — so much so that they decided to have their wedding reception there in the fall. How cool is that? Inspired is the key word. What inspires you? Do you follow people on Instagram and Facebook in an effort to conjure up your waterscaping muse — or do you just scroll through and admire their work? I have to admit, I do the latter, and I love to see all the great work you folks are doing out there. I hope that this May/June issue will add a little inspiration to your life. One quick turn of the page might startle you at first, but worry not — it’s just a “neighbor frightener,” as the owner might say. To Chris McGowan and Michael Hall, it’s a killer water-feature project that turned a few heads and required a lot of savviness to complete. I’m also finding myself considering a trip to Austin, Texas, to check out Matt Boring’s collection of water features on display at Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden, a new, popular hangout that combines coffee, beer and sustainable living. Check out Matt’s story to see how this new city hotspot forever changed his business. Finally, I was particularly wowed by the photos in Kent Wallace’s article — Glass-Paneled, Raised Pond Construction. Even “outdoor aquariums” are possible with the right direction, a clear vision and most importantly — a little inspiration. Happy PONDering!
Yes indeed, it’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for. I so wish we had the print version of a drum-roll app to push right about now! It’s been quite the year for entries. At first, they were coming in slowly, but once that deadline hit, we got a huge surge of submissions. I guess we have a bunch of procrastinators out there. (You can count me in as one, too.) Once we started sorting through the entries to hand over to the judges, they just blew us away. I personally enjoyed seeing the response to our newest category, the hardscape combination with a major water-feature element. In fact, I’m already planning a follow-up article to showcase some of the entries this year. Sometimes a waterscape is all you need, but adding in the creativity of the hardscape really brings the whole yard together and allows the many elements of a contractor’s talent to really shine through. We would especially like to thank this year’s Supreme Stream Court for lending their discerning eyes and unparalleled passion for what they do to this year’s contest. To get to know this great group of guys, make sure to check out our nod to them (link here). As much fun as we have with the annual Water Artisans of the Year contest, we always make sure to try to balance out each issue with a useful lineup of topics to help you succeed in what you do. As a frequent attendee of industry events, including the 2019 Water Garden Expo, I found Mark Battersby’s article (link here) quite informative and helpful in trying to figure out what costs you can and can’t expense while traveling for business. Max Taylor, who also happened to win the Best Under $15k category this year, lends us his expertise with landscaping software (link here). Demi Fortuna, a winner in our inaugural contest, provides a detailed strategy for siting water features in any environment (link here). Finally, for our newbies (and the contractors who deal with them), we have a “back to basics” feature that covers all the entry-level koi hobbyist questions and concerns. So, hold on tight as you turn the pages to reveal the 2018 contest winners, for you are in for a wild ride! Happy PONDering!
Yahoo! It’s 2019. Happy New Year! At the stroke of midnight, I was thinking of all the resolutions I will make in 2019 — NOT. Whether you’re a resolution person or not, I know one thing that’s on the minds of all pond professionals’ minds out there: more ponds in 2019! Here at POND Trade, we’ve already got an excitingly busy editorial calendar for 2019, with our third annual Water Artisans of the Year contest results coming out in the next issue. Stay tuned and prepare to be wowed! But first thing’s first, as always. We’ve got another robust issue for you with nine features to educate and inspire your waterscape operations. Personally, I was really interested in Ken Rust’s article on pond and people management [LINK here]. We all know that living on or near a body of water generally raises property values, but what happens when the body of water is a total mess? Before you start pointing fingers at the pond, often the culprit is a homeowner’s association or other group of people who are mismanaging the pond’s upkeep. Ken’s article just might inspire you to get to the bottom of an unkept pond or lake near you. I also thought the fire and water table that inspired “Fire on the Water” by Shane Hemphill [LINK here] was incredibly riveting. I mean, who would’ve thought that combining a dinner table, fire pit and water feature would have turned out so flawlessly? Mixing the elements is a risky venture, but Shane and his team show you how it’s done right. Ben Plonski is back in our Language of Koi segment with a discussion of koi sleeping disease [LINK here] ( and how to diagnose and treat it. Unless you’re a koi expert, odds are you haven’t been privy to a lot of this information, so you’ll definitely want to check out Ben’s feature. Finally, if you’re looking for marketing inspiration, turn over to Greg Wittstock’s article on video blogging (“vlogging”) [LINK here]. Anybody can record a YouTube video, but not too many vloggers have seen the success on this particular platform like Aquascape has over the past couple of years. This feature just might make you consider adding vlogging to your repertoire! Happy PONDering!
Got your attention with that headline, I bet! As I was finishing up designing this issue, I came to the “final” page, page 66 (see image, right), which shows a beautiful photo with the catch phrase “Time to Reflect.” Now that the leaves are falling, colder weather is setting in (at least for us up north) and the calendar year is coming to an end, I’m sitting back reflecting that it has been a good year. I think most of you would agree that pond building has been on an upswing, and the economy is doing well. We’ve had a great year at POND Trade, too. We’ve been fortunate to have a wide variety of in-depth, innovative articles this year, with a lot of new writers and perspectives. Our second annual Water Artisans of the Year contest was a huge hit, and it’s hard to believe the results of our third contest are just two issues away (Still time to enter! Click here). But rather than look too far forward, I think it’s important to continue to reflect on the here and now. In a land where space is precious, the art of landscaping and garden design has been taken to very high limits of expression, with distinct formations that engage an aesthetic and philosophy that are completely unique from Western traditions. Case in point, I’m really excited about the Japanese Garden Design feature in this month’s issue. We’ve been trying to run an article on this topic for more than a year, and Jerome Skuba did a great job covering the topic. I worked closely with Jerome on the photography, and he had me visit and shoot several locations. From the article, History and Modern Design of Japanese Gardens: In a land where space is precious, the art of landscaping and garden design has been taken to very high limits of expression, with distinct formations that engage an aesthetic and philosophy that are completely unique from Western traditions. You don’t have to twist my arm to do that! Japanese gardens are so welcoming and peaceful, and it was my pleasure to have a small hand in this issue’s cover feature. Jerome’s article is just one of eight fascinating features we’ve lined up for you in this issue. In the pond construction department, Jerry Romano recounts a harrowing sequence of events that led to the creation of a true gem when it comes to larger-than-life water features. Visit “miracle boulder” that now adorns Jerry’s company showroom and the video is below. For you business owners who may be struggling to keep your rates competitive, Tom Gandy has an eye-opening feature about raising your hourly wages that might make you think differently about the subject in the future. Also, don’t miss Laura Bancroft’s “Lotus Lowdown” at the end of the issue for everything you need to know about this easy-to-grow aquatic plant. Happy PONDering! Sneak peek at Jerry’s Romano’s rock/water creation, see below:
Fall is in the air, so it’s time to start netting those ponds to keep out all the falling leaves. At least we’ll start getting some more moderate temperatures to make the pondside experience all the more comfortable. It just so happens that fall also marks the start of the entry period for our Water Artisans of the Year contest. Unless you’re new to POND Trade — in which case, welcome! —, you know that the first two years of the contest have seen some pretty impressive competition between and among some of the leading water-feature contractors around the country. Well, Round Three is just around the corner, so start compiling the details and photos of the most jaw-dropping projects of this year’s pond season. Fall has also inspired us to “fall back,” so to speak, and take a fresh look at some of the most-viewed articles from our web archive. We continuously strive to provide new, relevant content; however, we’ve found that many of our articles are evergreen content and are worth another peek. In this issue, we fall back to January/February 2013 and Demi Fortuna’s “Pond Construction with Concrete.” This is the most visited article on a per month basis. However, this issue is also loaded with new content to help you run your business as effectively and smoothly as possible. A successful business starts with its people — specifically, hiring the right employees and keeping them happy. This is Mark Battersby’s focus in “Attracting Quality Pond Construction Workers with Fringe Benefits.” Offering the right fringe benefits and other perks can lure in talented workers and offset any extra costs at the end of the day. Our Pond Construction segment this issue features the story of a personal project by John Magyar and his son Elijah. A new home meant building a new pond, which in the end made one proud papa. Finally, you’ll want to check out this month’s “Best Pond Practices in Drain Filtration Design” article by The Pond Digger, also known as Eric Triplett. Eric explains why upgrading or expanding a filter system can be an efficient fix for an overpopulated pond. He delves into the fundamentals of filtration that are important for your customers to understand before they threaten to abandon their overgrown pond Fun quote from this month’s issue: Fifty-three tons of Tennessee boulders and gravel were used for the project, with the largest at 2,900 pounds. I was like a kid in a candy store. ~ John Magyar Happy PONDering!
Anthony Archer-Wills is in the house! I met Anthony and his lovely wife Pauline last year at the IWGS symposium in Pennsylvania. I sat next to them at dinner, and I went out on a limb and asked him if he would be willing to write an article for us. To my delight, his answer was yes. Yay! If you’ve heard anything about Anthony, you know he really knows his stuff when it comes to pond design and water gardening. If you’re somehow not familiar with Animal Planet’s “The Pool Master” or the contractor whom The Telegraph once called “the man who gave us pond life,” well, Anthony is a bit of a celebrity when it comes to the water gardening industry. That’s why I was honored when Anthony agreed to write for us, and boy, he didn’t disappoint. If the beautiful photo on the cover didn’t already lure you into the point of skipping ahead, make sure you check out his article, “Building on the Pond’s Edge with Anthony Archer-Wills.” Below is an excerpt from his feature article: The plants were the saving grace. I had a passion for water plants and loved their habits — the way a waterlily bud would rise closer to the surface each day, or how a candelabra primula would unfurl its unblemished, bright green leaves out of the blackest ooze. A very simple observation taught me that the nature of a body of water is entirely defined by its edges. Without seeing the shoreline, it could be almost any shape — a formal pool, a natural pond or even a sewage plant. Despite visible aquatics or reflections to give us clues, one still cannot be sure. The edge is the key. He has a way of explaining his evolved vision of pond building in a captivating way, and it certainly made me think outside the pond when it comes to how to treat the water’s edge. That’s not the only fascinating article in this jam-packed summer issue. On pg. 58, Ken Rust provides an update on aquaponics technology, which is the combination of aquaculture (raising aquatic animals in tanks) and hydroponics (growing plants in water). If you haven’t heard of this before, you’ll be pretty surprised at the latest developments in this space. Jason Turpin highlights his company’s long history of providing community pond tours and his experience might inspire you to think about organizing a tour in your area. Not only can these events lead to more sales for your company, but they can also positively benefit your community and introduce new audiences to the wonderful world of water gardening. As promised, Ben Plonski is back this issue with part two of his Language of Koi feature, “Mixing Koi Populations, Part Two, Preventive Quarantine Protocol,” about safely integrating new koi populations (see part one, “Preventive Treatment for Koi Health”). For our pond plant lovers, and especially those who like to tread close to the water, Kelly Billing introduces some of her favorite plant species that don’t mind a little foot traffic. Happy PONDering!
For me, springtime is the most wonderful time of the year. Everything feels so renewed when the trees bud, the flowers emerge, and most importantly, water begins to flow through our ponds again! But this spring, as I write my column, my dog is snuggled up, snoring loudly at my feet. There’s a dusting of snow on the ground outside. Hey, it’s mid-April! I sort of feel like I’m getting cheated this year. It’s been a rough start, weather-wise, for a lot of people around the country, but all we need is for spring to start working some of its magic. May and June are prime months of pond season, so I have to believe there is a lot of magic on the horizon. So let’s enjoy it! Clean out those ponds of yesteryear. Sell a bunch of new ponds and waterfalls. Let’s get this party started! As you’ve already noticed, we’ve got a jam-packed issue for you, with nine features that run the gamut from finance to filtration and from algaecides to polyurea. Check out Tim Wood’s article, “How to Properly Sell Diffused Aeration Systems,” about aeration systems and lake management. You’ll learn a lot about what these systems can and can’t do, and it might make you consider collaborating with a lake-management professional to expand and diversify your service portfolio. Our cover story is a must-read. Jamie Beyer hosts a colorful tour through the wonderful, wet world of bog gardening with “Keep Your Plants & Feet Wet With Versatile Bog Gardens. Bogs offer a unique option that can enhance a pond’s ecosystem by inviting a whole host of fascinating creatures and plants — some of them carnivorous. Make sure you check out my great collection of photos from Pondliner’s very successful Water Garden Expo, which was held at the end of February. I had a blast as always, and I really enjoyed meeting a lot of new faces in the pond industry (and seeing all the familiar ones, too). Here’s to a successful pond season and the belated arrival of some magical spring weather! Happy PONDering!
I love a winner and think you will, too. Our Water Artisans of the Year issue [link] is quickly becoming one of my favorite issues of the year. It blows me away to see all the talent out there. I get the honor of reviewing and sorting out all the submissions so the judges can evaluate them without knowing the identities of the artisans. In a word, you guys are GOOD. We had a few bumps in the contest this year. We upped the degree of difficulty by allowing only one category submission per project. However, you guys turned the tables on us, making the evaluation process a little tougher for our judges. Specifically, the results for a couple of the categories were incredibly close. The core competencies of our judges were especially diverse this year, and this led to a wide range of opinions, assessments and votes. That is to say, the panel had a lot to love about many of this year’s entries. That led to some pretty interesting results, with just one or two votes separating the winner from the runner-up in a couple of the categories. We’ve designated most of this issue to the contest, so click here to meet the winners [link], runners-up [link] and judges [link]. We’d like to thank this year’s judging panel for doing a solid, nonpartisan job of choosing the second winner’s circle of Water Artisans of the Year. It isn’t easy ranking waterscape projects based on aesthetics alone, without any knowledge of the builder, the project location or the materials used in the build. But that’s the way we designed it — our goal here is to serve as a fair, level playing field for all pond contractors, regardless of the size of their business’ bottom line or their brand affiliations. What do you think about this year’s winners? Take to our website comment section, or drop us a line with your feedback. This issue isn’t all about the contest, though. This is our largest issue ever, and we’re jam-packed as always with relevant material to help you enhance your business. Find Rick Smith’s tried-and-true tips for diagnosing a cloudy, unbalanced or otherwise ailing pond [link]. We also have a great article from Steve Shinholser of Premier Ponds with some valuable advice on how to value and sell your business [link]. Why so valuable, you ask? Steve actually used some of these very strategies to successfully organize the sale of his own business. Happy 2018 Pond Season to all of you — and happy PONDering!
I’m not much of a list person. My son is, though. Every year since he was about 10 years old, he makes a “top 10” list of his favorite songs and albums over the past year. I guess he’s rubbing off on me, because now I have an urge to create a “top 10” list of my favorite articles in 2017. This list is not in any particular order; it’s just my own favorite 10 articles looking over the last six issues. Enough jabbering; here I go: “To Tree or Not to Tree,” July/August issue by Max Phelps. I love trees. I simply thought this was sage advice for anyone thinking about the placement of their pond. “The WOW Factor,” November/December issue by Joe Pawlak. Did you see those photos? They speak for themselves! “Spill It,” July/August issue by Chris Ostrander. Spillways and patio pots enthrall me. Chris covers the gamut, and of course there were some awesome photos to go along with the article. I want one! “Water Artisans of the Year,” March/April issue by Jordan Morris. The talent out there blows me away. Enough said! “Light it Up,” May/June issue by Benjamin Timmermans. There’s just something about a pondscape illuminated at night! “Level Up,” July/August issue by Jaak Harju. Jaak shared his love of pond building and how he likes to think outside the box. Another photo extravaganza too! “Winter is Coming,” September/October issue by Jamie Beyer. I can’t begin to tell you how many people write in every year asking for winter advice. Jamie always seems to have the answers! “Renovate and Revitalize,” September/October issue by Rex McCaskill. Rex used the pond-construction section to go into detail about renovating existing water features. It was a really good read. “The Lotus Love Affair,” November/December issue by Kelly Billing. Kelly, lotus, her son’s photos and her wealth of knowledge. Need I say more? “The Artisan Approach,” September/October issue by Dave Duensing. Dave provided some valuable insight from a Water Artisans of the Year judge and a top-level pond builder. So many wonderful reads in 2017 and watch for our tally of the most popular (page impressions) articles of the year that we always post on our website. Here’s to a peaceful and prosperous 2018. Happy New Year — and happy PONDering!
It is hard to believe that this is the last issue of 2017. Where has the time gone this year? It seems like we were just wrapping up our overwintering cover story (“Chill Out!” January/February 2017) from last winter. And here we are, bracing for the end of this year’s pond season. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s take a moment to look back at some pond highlights — for it’s been quite a year! One of the highlights for me this year was the big reveal of the 2016 Water Artisans of the Year contest winners at the Water Garden Expo in February. I was thrilled to personally congratulate the winners and kick off the new yearly tradition here at POND Trade. With the deadline for the 2017 contest having just passed, I’m looking forward to compiling all the entries and presenting the nominees to this year’s judging panel. We’ll have a full rundown of this year’s winners in the March/April 2018 issue. We touched on a wide range of topics this year, from lighting and lilies to spillways and shopping tips. Our 2018 editorial calendar is filling up, but as always, we love hearing from our readers about how we can maximize the value of POND Trade. We are pleased to wrap up 2017 with another jam-packed issue for your reflection, reference and relish. You’ll definitely want to check out 2016 Water Artisan of the Year winner Demi Fortuna’s article about renovating a 40-year-old pond (Pond Renovation Tips for Accessibility). He had to contend with not only the age of the pond, but also some complex accessibility issues in order to restore its beauty. Also, Kelly Billing is back with a lotus “love story” that might instill in you a greater appreciation for the popular aquatic plant. We were also thrilled to have Kelly’s son Matt as a first-time photo contributor for our IWGS symposium wrap-up. Finally, if you are a koi retailer, you won’t want to miss Joe Pawlak’s piece on rare, extra-special koi varieties (Language of Koi | Seeking Wow-Factor Fish). Even if you don’t sell koi, you might find yourself adding a few of these to your shopping list. As the year and pond season come to a close, we are grateful to be a part of such a vibrant and supportive community. Regardless of what else might be going on in the news or our personal lives, it’s comforting to know that the pond and water gardening industry is always here, offering us solace and serenity. Happy PONDering!
Right about this time of year, our team here at POND Trade starts planning articles for the year ahead. As I was sitting back forming a list (oh yes — I love my lists!), an idea came to me. We get so many requests for information through our website in response to our articles. The inquiries cover all kinds of topics, including bog filtration and undergravel filtration, just to name a few. In fact, we have received so many questions about overwintering ponds that we are revisiting the topic in this issue. More on that below. But I thought I would reiterate that we are always looking for feedback and topic suggestions. So, if you have a topic you’d love to learn more about, even if we have written about it recently, please let us know — after all, this magazine is for you! Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Back to this issue, we’ve got a lot of diverse material throughout these pages. In preparation for winter, we asked Jamie Beyer to write another article about overwintering your ponds (article here). He wrote an article about it for us about eight years ago, but thanks to a lot of the questions and feedback we have received from our readers, we thought it would be a good time for an update. We’re also delving into the culinary world in this issue with a delicious article about edible pond plants (article here). Zac and Nancy deGarmeaux will excite your palate with their guide on planting and eating lotus, watercress and much more around your pond. • On the sales front, Laura Reale introduces you to the world of CRM (article here), or customer relationship management software, which has helped her company make an extra $150,000 this year so far. • Also, our regular contributor Kent Wallace has an exciting tale (article here) of when he worked on a pond construction episode of the popular TV show “Tanked.” (Video Preview here) • Finally, if you haven’t heard yet, our 2017 POND Trade Water Artisans of the Year (form page here) contest is now open, so start putting your submissions together. All entries must be received by Nov. 1. For more information, visit www.pondtrademag.com/2017-water-artisans-of-the-year to enter. Happy PONDering!
POND Trade asked Chris Ostrander to write an article about spillways and fountain bowls for this issue. These bowls certainly are a hot ticket right now, and I don’t see this trend going away anytime soon. But what really took me by surprise was how spillways are dotted throughout this issue. Of course, Chris has a stunning gallery of photos and some interesting, detailed information about them in his article. But as the other features and photos started to roll in, we ended up with two other articles that also showcased these bowls. In our Pond Construction feature, Bobby Kenyon integrated a massive spillway into his impressive pond display showcase (see article here). You’ll also find these bowls mentioned in Jaak Harju’s article about waterscape designing to the next level (see article here). The appeal of spillways truly has a wide reach, not only in terms of visual and auditory aesthetics, but also in regards to simplified installation and maintenance. Take a gander at these three particular features, and you’ll see what I mean. As pond season is now in full swing, this issue is spilling over with a lot of other fascinating content. There’s a highly informative piece (see article here) on about year-round fountain maintenance by Justin Titus, who just so happens to live and work in the “City of Fountains,” Kansas City. His tips might make you consider integrating fountain maintenance into your services to provide an extra stream of income for your business. This issue’s Language of Koi feature by Levi Crouse delves into the specifics of water purity and pH balance. Click here to find a variety of reasons why your water might not be achieving that level of clarity you’re looking for. It just might clear up your pond (and your mind). As a garden enthusiast, I also enjoyed Max Phelps’ article about pondside trees (see article here). Trees can definitely add worlds of color and a little shade and contrast to your aquatic oasis, but you’ll want to check out some of Max’s very important do’s and don’ts before you start planting away. We hope you are having a terrific pond season thus far. Enjoy designing, building and witnessing the hard-earned fruits of your labor. Happy PONDering!
Before I get into what’s on my mind, I just have to say how excited I am that spring is here. We’re finally hearing that joyous sound of running water in our backyards again. And for those of you lucky people down south and out west, be thankful that you have water features to enjoy all year-round! We are very excited about this issue’s main topic and cover story: lighting. You already create water works of art for your customers. So why not go that extra step and light up your customers’ lives? As Benjamin Timmermans of Liquid Landscapes explains, adding lighting to landscapes and waterscapes (article link here) doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. And like a lot of things, a little bit goes a long way. Ben also provides a how-to sidebar on how electrical cords and connectors disappear (see Landscaping Lights Tips & Tricks). After all, doesn’t it make sense to be able to enjoy your pond or water feature after the sun goes down? We are filled to the brim with lots of great articles this issue. Speaking of water features and artistry, we’ve got a fascinating feature on creating bubbling water features of all sizes and shapes — and I’m not talking just urns and rocks. Have you ever seen a bubbling saxophone, click here to see? We also have a very informative piece about product development on pg. 56. Our editor asked representatives from some of the industry’s top manufacturers about how they view and handle the typically long process of taking an idea and turning it into a finished product. You might learn a few things about this very complex procedure. Don’t miss the handy guide to hardy waterlilies by Tony Moore [Link]. Planting, dividing and feeding them never seemed so straightforward. Finally, I had the pleasure of attending Pondliner’s Water Garden Expo in February, and I shot a lot of fantastic photos of some of the highlights. Also look for the sidebar about the 15-year-old landscape business owner who was in attendance and is on the leading edge of the industry’s newest generation. Happy PONDering!
Oh yes, we do! It’s been a crazy, but fun few months processing and organizing all the amazing entries for our first-ever Water Artisans of the Year contest. There certainly is tremendous talent out there. It goes without saying — you guys are GOOD! We’ve dedicated most of this issue to highlight the winners. Hopefully these beautiful projects will inspire you as pond season is in full swing. If you know any of the winners, be sure to congratulate them. We received a nice note of thanks from the Wounded Warrior Project. We are very pleased to have raised more than $1,300 for their cause. The time has finally come to unveil the winners, so get psyched and click here! We’ve got a jam-packed issue for you. Are you on the lookout for new and innovative equipment to use in the field for construction or maintenance? Jamie Beyer discusses a whole host of cool tools that you may or may not be aware of [click here to visit]. Our Language of Koi installment this issue is especially informative about fish foods and nutrition. Joe Pawlak provides a detailed rundown of food ingredients and the current regulations. Mike Gannon’s article show how his team “took the show on the road” to complete a project-of-a-lifetime for a very deserving customer. In the end, they transformed a neglected pool into a vibrant koi pond, and it was music to the customer’s ears. I’d like to say a special thanks to Ed, Kelly, Benjamin, Mike, Dave, Rick and Jason — our Water Artisans of the Year judges — for donating their time to this year’s contest. As pond season kicks off, be sure to keep an eye out for projects that go above and beyond the mainstream. Chances are, they could be eligible candidates for next year’s Water Artisans of the Year contest. Stay tuned — we’ll release more details about it very soon. Happy PONDering!
Happy New Year! Can you believe it? Another year just flew by! I surely hope I don’t sound like an old person saying that, but really, I think time is picking up speed. Are you are resolution maker? I’m not. But if I were, I’d have a few things on my personal list of things to do better this year. I think it’s a better idea to do a New Year’s “work resolution.” Now we’re talking. It’s always good to better yourself, but not work yourself to death. So, PONDer that for a few minutes as we start the new year. Do you want to be more efficient at work? Do you hire more people or take a good look at what takes up most of your time during the day? Do you feel you work too much? That’s a resolution in itself. Take time to stop and smell the roses a bit, and figure out how to do that and still run your business efficiently. Whatever you decide, we here at POND Trade wish you a healthy, prosperous 2017. Get ready, because we’ll kick off the new year in our next issue with the results from our first annual Water Artisans of the Year Contest. The response has been enormous, and we are so very excited about revealing the big winners. You won’t want to miss it! We have some good reads in this issue, too. With every new year, one thing is inevitable — tax season is looming. [Link Here] Mark Battersby is back this month with some important year-end tax tips that delve a little deeper than the basics of Accounting 101. It’s a must-read for any business owner looking for tax savings, as we all start to think about preparing our returns. If you’ve ever wondered how you might become more “at one” with your pond, you’ll also want to check out “Walk on Water.” [Link Here] Kent Wallace explains in detail how to create beautiful floating steps within a pond, and his article just might inspire your next install. Shane Stefek answers the age-old question, [Link Here] “How Many Koi Can I Have?” and the answer may not be what you think. You’ll want to check out his pond design tips, especially if you have customers who seem to think that more is always better. [Link Here] Frayne McAtee has a great story on the “heart” of the pond — also known as the pump. Or as Frayne says, a pond’s pump design actually dictates everything from water clarity and quality to fish and plant health. Finally, this issue’s cover story [Link Here] appropriately considers a “fourth pond season” that many of you could be missing out on. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean “chilling” by the pond has to be out of the question. Happy PONDering!
We Love Feedback! Another great year is coming to a close. 2016 was a busy year for us here at POND Trade, as we covered a wide spectrum of editorial content, including water feature construction and maintenance, water gardening and seasonal horticulture, profiles of koi varieties from all over the world, engineering and technical tips, business and social media marketing strategies, and even some thought-provoking, inspirational messages — just to name a little bit. The industry seems more vibrant and energized than ever, and we are proud to be one of your go-to resources for all things pond-related. As our Editorial Committee ramps up for 2017 and we continue to fill the calendar with new, exciting content, I want to make one thing abundantly clear. We listen to you! I’m always on the lookout for unique, interesting and relevant topics that affect our readers. What kinds of stories would you like to see more of in upcoming issues of POND Trade? Is there something in particular that you think could benefit your colleagues in the industry? What can we do to better serve you, your business or your passion for ponds? Click here and drop us a line and we would love to hear from you. In keeping with the year’s trend, this final issue of 2016 is brimming with great stories for your reading pleasure. We are especially excited to feature Stanley Sensenig’s article about his innovative, self-guided pond tour, click here. This is a fantastic concept that could make you rethink your approach to selling water features. We’ve also got an eye-opening feature about adding an avian element to your pond from Betsy Puckett at Droll Yankees, click here. If you weren’t aware of the benefits of accommodating birds near your pond, maybe this story will make you consider it in the future. John Adams wrote our cover story about wetland filtration [click here], which includes some valuable, straightforward construction tips. Finally, you won’t want to miss Lloyd Lightsey’s inspirational piece called “Living the Pond Life.” His heartfelt commentary about the phrase behind the popular Facebook group provides a thoughtful perspective about why we do what we do, and how it all fits into life’s bigger picture. It’s a great note to end 2016 on, as we gear up for another exciting year ahead of us. Happy PONDering!
When I’m not reviewing articles and photos for upcoming issues, you might find me embarking on various pond tours and visits, attending water gardening trade shows around the country, or perhaps just perusing through all of your posts on Facebook. Regardless of where I am or what I’m doing, the immense talent out there among you continues to blow my mind. That said, we’ve hatched a plan for a first annual “Water Artisans of the Year” contest — click here for more information! Hopefully, this fall’s friendly competition will be the first of many yearly contests to celebrate and showcase your expertise. But in order to make this work, we need your help — submittal form found here! We’re looking for the most impressive builds completed by professional contractors since November of last year. All we need from you are four photos, a short description and a $25 charitable donation per entry. This year, we’ve chosen the Wounded Warrior Project as the recipient of all proceeds. (If you’re unfamiliar, check out their tremendous work at www.woundedwarriorproject.org). I’ll collect all the applications and present them to a well-rounded panel of judges from around the industry. Then, they’ll vote on winners and honorable mentions in five different categories. The judging process will be anonymous, so try not to identify yourself or any brand-name products in the pictures or write-up. Winners will receive an award and a special review in our March/April 2017 issue. So, let’s get going! You can enter as many projects as you want. Start picking out your best work from the past year, and let’s support a great cause — while having some fun together in the process! On to more “pressing” topics, like the hot-off-the-press issue you’re holding in your hands right now. You probably noticed that we spiffed up the magazine by going to a heavier paper stock. We did this for a few different reasons, but mainly, we wanted to ensure that you, our reader, receives a publication of the highest quality possible. We also feel it’s important that the quality endures from the printing press to your coffee table — or wherever you might enjoy POND Trade — and maintains this quality for many years to come. Welcome to a new era! Enjoy the new look, but make sure you don’t stay glued to the cover for too long. We’ve got some great stuff in the pages that follow. From troubleshooting pond leaks to controlling mosquito problems to exploring the joys of two types of “streaming” — in the backyard and on the web — we’ve got you covered. Happy PONDering!
Perpetual Pond Passion In the last issue, I was super excited about “Living the Pond Life” and wrote my column about it. Well, it happened again. I’m not sure how much excitement this publisher can take in one year! I received an email out of the blue from the gentleman in the photo below, Blake Mullins. Blake is a consulting producer for a Fox reality television show called “Home Free.” I came to find out that one of our own, Tommy Hill, had donated his time and money to some deserving contestants as they competed for a home for the heroes in their lives. I was invited to do a story about Tommy and visit the set [story link here], and I sure did – see what I mean about excitement? What’s next? Will I wake up one morning before the next issue to find a half-acre pond in my backyard that magically appeared overnight? Please turn the pages and read all about this month’s cover boy, Tommy Hill. Of course, we have plenty of other great articles for you to read. We have two features this month about how to enhance the pond experience using non-aquatic elements. Tim Wood writes about integrating wood materials [story link here], such as driftwood and logs, into water features to add a one-of-a-kind, natural touch. We also need a dedicated place to enjoy the soothing sounds of the pond life. Jim Lewis is here to explain how adding hardscapes to your repertoire [story link here] can make your business a one-stop shop. These guys have some excellent pointers about well-rounded, diversified pond construction. Aquascape is celebrating a quarter-century in business, and founder Greg Wittstock provides a riveting look back [story link here] at his company’s history to date. Take a trip back in time with Greg, and you might learn a few things that could keep your operation going strong 25 years on. Finally, I really enjoyed Alexander Castro’s rundown of the benefits of offering a personalized [story link here] pond maintenance program. Not only can it fortify your bottom line, but it can help reignite your passion for the pond as a fluid, ever-changing and evolving way of life. Happy PONDering!
I’m Living It! If you use Facebook, there’s a good chance you’ve seen a movement called “Living the Pond Life [click here].” It’s a lifestyle group that was started by Karrie and Lloyd Lightsey. The group is a great place to visit and enjoy ponds, the pond lifestyle and photos of people who are loving life via ponds. It has really taken off and has quite a few followers. If you’re not currently on there, be sure to check it out. A shout-out also goes to Gerard Touhy [link] and Jason Lenox [link] for getting the Facebook site up and running. Good job to all! It sure caught my attention — I’m all-in and living it! I’ve been on the road here and there this spring. I attended a publisher’s seminar in Austin a few weeks back. I came in early and had a wonderful escort — Matt Boring. He took me around to several ponds where I was able to get some great photos for future POND Trade issues. I also had the privilege to visit and spend some time with Scott Butler-Sofran of Sonoran Water Gardens out in Silver Bell, Arizona. Scott gave me a tour of his operations and showed me a thing or two about plant propagation. The photo above is me thoroughly enjoying myself that day. By turning the pages, you, my POND Trade friend, are “Living the Pond Life.” We have a super issue for you. As promised in my last column, we have a wonderful roundup of shade plants that Kelly Billing [story link] and Zac DeGarmeaux [story link] wrote. You probably also noticed that beautiful waterfall on the cover. Dave Duensing [story link] taught me a thing or two with his very in-depth discussion of how to fine-tune the look and sound of falling water. Finally, you might get a real kick out of John Olson’s article, in which he shares some of the tall tales his customers have told him. You’ve probably heard a few of them yourself! Time to get out there and start “Living the Pond Life” — it’s contagious! Happy PONDering!
Spring Brings Renewal, Refocus It’s the spring issue, and POND Trade has plants on the brain. Just check out that beautiful cover! That basket of lilies cried out to grace it. Imagine it in your or your client’s pond. Plants have such a strong presence in a pond. They’re not only visually appealing, but they’re also part of the ecosystem. Our cover story focuses on the importance of plants and colors. A botanist might tell you that the vibrant, and even electrifying colors you’re about to see popping up around your yard are merely intended to attract pollinators. But as you and I know, these radiant colors aren’t there just for the bees and the beetles. In “Why Color Can Can Be Your Best Sales Tool,” [link here]. Paula Biles explains how the deliberate, creative use of colors can also help lure in the most discerning of customers and help keep things abuzz. I may be jumping ahead here, but we have another great feature article running in the next issue. Sorry to tease you, but you’ll have to hang tight. Kelly Billing and Zac DeGarmeaux are co-writing an article on shade plants for the pond. As the weather heats up over the coming months, a little cool shade should come in handy this summer. As the spring season resurrects the beauty in your gardens and your business, your pond may need a rebirth of its own. After all, it’s time for spring cleaning, [link here] John Magyar has some swimmingly good advice for systematically streamlining your annual dirty work. And speaking of systems, chances are you could be using one — or a few — to keep your ducks in a row. Consider Mike Gannon’s advice [link here] and put down your shovel, pick up a pen and paper and stay out of the trenches as you grow your business this year. If growth does happen to be on your agenda for 2016, make sure you’re well-versed in the ever-changing world of social media. Even if the thought of using a smartphone app sends you reeling, this issue has two articles on the latest trends in these handheld, do-it-yourself marketing platforms. Check out Brad Cazee’s simple Instagram how-to guide [link here], and before you know it, your entire portfolio will be showcased on the world’s stage. You might also be surprised that Snapchat isn’t just for taking selfies anymore. Eric Triplett shares his experience [link here] with using ephemeral photos and videos for networking, staying in touch and the occasional sea-horsing around. And if you’re still yearning for some motivation to kick off your spring, Freddie Combas will leave you some words of “INspiration” (as only he can — link here). He certainly left me smiling and thinking a few moves ahead. Happy PONDering!
Print or Digital, more please! New year…same format. Call me old-fashioned, but POND Trade is diving into 2016 via the same platform we employed last year: bright, glossy paper and brilliantly colored ink. Don’t get me wrong: POND Trade has a strong digital presence that puts our awesome content in front of more visitors every month. Each issue is available via the ISSUU digital publishing platform and PDF, and analytics show that our readership is growing by leaps and bounds. The Internet is a key avenue for that growth. As our tech-savvy industry writers have demonstrated, websites and apps are vital tools that can’t be ignored. But there’s just something special about the printed page, isn’t there? The joy of opening the mailbox to find a shiny new issue inside. That first taste of delicious eye-candy jumping off the cover. Leafing through beautiful paper pages is a visceral, authentic experience that no mouse click can match. It’s an experience our readers enjoy … and demand! But don’t take my word for it; check out the numbers! When subscription requests come in via the website’s Subscribe button, the majority of people want either the print version or both print and digital. When I have a booth at a trade show, approximately 80 percent of people want print only, while the other 20 percent want digital or a combination of both. So for now, we’ll keep sending our world-class stories and mind-blowing images to your (physical) mailbox. Speaking of mind-blowing images…how about that cover! We’re dedicated to bringing you fresh and exciting stories from the water feature world, and Tim Anderson’s magnificent creations certainly fit the bill. Tim has spent the last few years honing a truly ephemeral art form: stones precariously balanced atop one another! Turn to Page 38 or click here. Rocks are also a key part of Kent Wallace’s keys to concealing equipment. A well-designed filtration system is a vital part of any pond, but that doesn’t mean you want to see it! Kent shares — click here to read — how to hide the technology to boost the naturalistic charm. Animal lovers will find plenty to love in this issue, both on land and underwater. Aaron Burchett highlights the unique requirements of a pond built for a wild animal — an African serval, to be exact — on Page 28. And you’ll find some adorable baby pictures no koi lover could resist in Shane Stefek’s story on Tosai on Page 24. Whether in pixels or on paper, the POND Trade mission remains the same: bringing you the best information, ideas and images about this wet and wonderful industry we all love so much. Happy PONDering!
More Exciting Pond Topics Coming in 2016! Oh, the weather outside is frightful! Well…it soon will be here in Chicago, anyway. Thankfully, we’ve had a hectic few weeks at POND Trade central to keep us busy. It’s that most wonderful time of the year when we put our editorial calendar together for next year, and let me tell you: 2016’s story schedule is a holiday gift that our readers will love. What tickled my fancy as we planned for next year was the ease with which things came together — both the topics that cropped up and the authors who came forward to write. It seems that momentum keeps building with each issue we print! At the end of a great 2015, our coverage is expanding even further and our contributing creatives are raring to go. You ask for it and we bring it! Speaking of “bringing it,” you should see some of the fresh content that Eric Triplett’s been bringing to his viewers on Periscope [LINK]. If you’re not familiar with this hot new technology, Periscope is a social media app that lets users stream video from their phones to fans around the globe — live! And according to The Pond Digger, it’s the key to exponentially expanded exposure for your business. Check out Eric’s Periscope hows and whys (and even some what-not-to-dos). Of course, not all the technology we cover is cutting-edge. In fact, David Duensing recently created a masterpiece in a style of pond that’s over 3,000 years old! Read about his challenges and triumphs in building an authentic Chinese pagoda garden [LINK] that stimulates the intellect and soothes the soul. No water garden would be complete without a well-designed filtration and circulation system. According to John Adams, the key to making this happen is zero. Zero-edging, that is! If crystal-clear water is high on your Christmas list, read about how zero-edging and wetland intakes [LINK] can polish your water to a brilliant sparkle. Sadly, it’s hard to create crystal-clear water when there’s hardly any water at all. Mike Garcia knows this too well; he’s been covering water conservation in POND Trade for years. Today, as the mega drought puts his state in crisis, Mike’s message is more vital than ever. Learn why ponds are the sustainability solution that California [LINK] so desperately needs. Business-minded folks will want to read Mark Battersby’s tips on keeping your financial ducks in a row with the Affordable Care Act [LINK]. Unfortunately, all the ducks have already left my pond in search of warmer climates. But thanks to great stories like the ones above, 2016 promises to be our hottest year yet. Happy PONDering!
Yearn to Learn What a week! Hold on just a second while I catch my breath. The staff here at POND Trade just attended PONDEMONIUM, Aquascape’s annual event aimed at educating, celebrating and improving the pond industry. It was great to spend time with so many of POND Trade’s contributing writers. Plus, some of our staff got their very first taste of PONDEMONIUM this year. It seemed that everyone greatly enjoyed the experience. There are many benefits to checking out an event like PONDEMONIUM. First, it’s vitally important for any pro to stay up-todate on the latest information, using seminars and training sessions to improve his or her craft. But just as important is time spent with peers — fellow pond enthusiasts who are passionate about the industry and striving to make it better. What a perfect time to pick each other’s brains, compare notes and get inspired! If you didn’t make it to PONDEMONIUM, don’t fret; there are still plenty of shows and expos on the horizon. There will be a strong pond presence at the Hardscapes/GIE+EXPO in October as well as the Irrigation Show in November. And koi lovers should consider attending the Central California Koi Society Koi Show in September. Can’t wait that long for your pond fix? Look no further! You hold in your hands (or see on your screen) the freshest, richest and most informative pond content available! For starters, Craig McBride of All Aquatics has the tricks you need to attract beautiful and diverse wildlife to your pond. And, renowned watershaper Larry Carnes gives step-by-step instructions for selecting and placing impressive stones for a naturalistic feature. Business-minded folks can improve their sales by reading John Olson’s article on how to eliminate customers’ lethal objections. If your business tends to freeze up in the winter, be sure to read Tom Koza’s solution and Kelly Billing’s tips on caring for water lilies and lotus in the offseason. Finally, Cash French and Lorrie Nicoles’ enlightening report on conserving our planet’s most precious resource by trapping rainwater. Perhaps the best thing I brought home from PONDEMONIUM was a reminder of just how great our industry is. Whether in a seminar, on a pond tour or right here on my laptop, it’s a joy to work with and for people like you — people who care so much about those little slices of paradise in our backyards.
Want to see the pond version of an Internet celebrity? We posted the photo, right, on POND Trade’s Facebook page, and in one week we had the following stats: 785 Likes Comments Shares New Facebook Followers Did you see that last number? 376 new people checking us out, following our posts and jumping onto our website! To put that in perspective, we usually average about 15 new Followers a week. Our little pond just got a lot more crowded! It goes to show that there’s a huge community of people who are interested in what we have to say—and what you, the experts, have to sell! Keep that in mind as you market online. Social media is alive and well. Use it! Speaking of alive and well, do you know what a “dead zone” is? Jamie Beyer does, and on pg. 23 he shares the knowledge you need to keep these deadly, oxygen-depleted areas out of your pond. On pg. 15, Andrew Roberts details the other chemical elements that affect your water—and how to test for them. And filtration expert Anita Nelson gets “down and dirty” with natural “bog gravel filtration” on pg. 45. Sometimes the only remedy for poor water quality is to “start fresh,” and Mike Gannon did just that…on a huge scale. Turn to pg. 8 to learn how he and his team renovated a 400,000-gallon pond! Industry veteran David Duensing offers a comprehensive overview of the “good, clean fun” to be had in naturally filtered swim ponds on pg. 35. If you prefer fins to filters, turn to pg. 20, where Joe Pawlak explains how he managed to create a brand-new swimming sapphire: bright-blue koi! These azure beauties are destined for Internet fame. Happy PONDering!
POND Trade is written and read by pond experts and enthusiasts. From Japanese koi farmers to rock and boulder specialists; from outdoor lighting designers to aquatic botany Ph.D.s; from bloggers to business consultants to purveyors of pumps;
POND Trade is written and read by pond experts and enthusiasts. From Japanese koi farmers to rock and boulder specialists; from outdoor lighting designers to aquatic botany Ph.D.s; from bloggers to business consultants to purveyors of pumps;
New Year, New Site, New Ponds! Happy New Year, PONDerers!! I hope January finds you happy and healthy. While you’ve been busy celebrating, we at POND Trade have been busy hammering out some exciting new changes! 2014 was a great year for POND Trade, but as we dive into a fresh one I can promise you one thing: you ain’t seen nothin’ yet! For starters, be sure to jump online and visit our new-and-improved website, www.pondtrademag.com. I took off my publisher’s hat for awhile and helped redesign the site from top to bottom. In addition to your favorite POND Trade articles and photo galleries, you’ll also find a new organization and layout that highlight our content much more elegantly. You can now glide through our website via the top navigation and find many different pond topics under our article category menu: pond life, technology and business trends to name a few. We’ve also added some new features, like the Gallery Spotlight, which showcases our beautiful photography in a large format via an easy-to-use slideshow tool. Visit www.pondtrademag.com/gallery-spotlight to check it out! As if that weren’t enough, we’ve also added a new section to the site called Contractor’s Corner. It provides an in-depth look at specific real-world pond installations and their challenges. The best part: the content comes from you! If you’ve been involved in a pond installation that might be of interest to our readers, you can submit it for potential publication in Contractor’s Corner by visiting www.pondtrademag.com/tell-us-your-story. Speaking of fascinating stories, this issue is chock-full of them. In our cover story, Freddie Combas (The Pondman) outlines the elements necessary to create a “Wow!” waterfall installation. On page 8, Patrick Handley shares the unique challenges and rewards of building ponds on the driest inhabited continent on Earth: Australia! If flora is more your thing, turn to page 14 to read Paula Biles’ historical account of the king of pond flowers: the Giant Water Lily. You can read Jacklyn Rodman’s historical account of water gardening as a whole on page 21, and there’s some amazing floral eye candy beneath Tamara Kilbane’s report on the IWGS New Waterlily Competition on page 39. Of course, no pond (or POND Trade) would be complete without a little bacteria, and Kent Wallace delivers the goods in his biofiltration story on page 40. And you can find a fascinating overview of Chicago’s largest koi installation (and the work it takes to maintain it) on page 44. New year, new website, new stories … but the same old passion for ponds (and reliable information) that you’ve come to expect. Like I said: you ain’t seen nothin’ yet! Happy PONDering!
There are some exciting times ahead for our industry. As you can see on our cover, the “POND Stars” of Aquascape are coming to a television set near you. The premiere is September 9th, and POND Trade has it covered. Turn to page 26 to read all about it. But that’s not all. The September/October issue has articles about upper pond design, proper selection and placement of aquatic plants, finding the right balance/ratio of koi for your pond, how to price your construction jobs correctly, and much more!
There are some exciting times ahead for our industry. As you can see on our cover, the “POND Stars” of Aquascape are coming to a television set near you. The premiere is September 9th, and POND Trade has it covered. Turn to page 26 to read all about it. But that’s not all. The September/October issue has articles about upper pond design, proper selection and placement of aquatic plants, finding the right balance/ratio of koi for your pond, how to price your construction jobs correctly, and much more!
Ponds! Summer! Ponds! Those words seem to go hand in hand. The July/August issue is brimming with helpful articles to read in this busy season. We kick it into high gear with the cover story about aerial drone photography. Benjamin Timmermans gives us all the details, including great photos and links. Continue to turn the pages as we also cover articles about the advantages of rainwater harvesting, the specifics of making a pond a true koi pond, tips to make your pond shine with lighting, controlling invasive plant species and much more!
Spring is in full tilt. POND Trade’s May/June issue is filled with a variety of articles to jump start the season. Our cover story will let you in on Mike White’s filtration secrets to a crystal clear pond. Ever watch any of the “CSI” shows on television? Well, Paula Biles wrote her own version of what goes on in “Pondville”. She tackles what could be killing your plants. Turn the pages as we also cover articles about aeration dynamics, koi skin scrapes, a new variety of goldfish, and much more!
Presenting the March/April issue… That must mean it is time for spring. This issue should prep you for the new season. We have articles on dividing your aquatics, another on insight into getting more lake management jobs, two articles about growing your business and much more. Another must read is Kent Wallace’s “Ponds by the Numbers” in which he assembles a list of industry guidelines. Another article that is sure to raise a few eyebrows. So enjoy spring, enjoy this issue and most importantly, enjoy what you do!
This January/February issue is loaded with great articles. As promised, we have delivered the “Swim Pond Debate” article. Should you be swimming with your koi? Our editor, Peter Celauro, tracked down experts on both sides of the debate to find out, and present to you. Our goal with this story was to accurately present the opinions of knowledgeable pond people and allow our readers to decide for themselves. This issue also features articles on frogs and toads, organizing your business calendar, anaerobic filtration, weathering your fish and much more. Enjoy!
Happy Fall POND Trade readers. We have a great mix of articles this month – something for everyone. Are you into aquaponics/hydroponics? If not, you may want to be once you read Mike Garcia’s article on this topic. Are you thinking of investing in some new equipment next year? Mark Battersby will give you some insight to help you with your decision making. And as you can see on our cover, Kelly Billings shows us how you can transform ugly drainage areas into beautiful natural areas. So turn the pages to see these and much more!
Those sneaky water wolves are actually called mink. They sure know how to mess with your pond. Jamie Beyer will share his knowledge and tips on how to safeguard your pond against them and other predators. The September/October issue also features articles about turning your existing pond over to a koi pond, the changes that will affect you with the looming affordable care act, details on the construction of a duck pond, and much more!
As you can see by the cover, the focus of this issue is rocks — and lots of them! You’ll find three articles that illustrate the role rocks can play in your water features, each from an established authority with real experience turning clients into happy customers. For those who prefer flora, David Curtwright has written a detail-rich review of the genus Ludwigia, and business owners won’t want to miss Karen Leland’s feature on Pinterest. Finally, we bid Tom Graham a very fond farewell on page 37. After over 20 years in magazines, the Grahams are vacating their editorial and ad sales roles to pursue a more relaxing lifestyle. I can’t say for certain what they’re planning next … but I’m sure you won’t find them far from a pond.
CLICK! Turn the page to get some insights as to how to photograph the ponds you design just right. Benjamin Timmermans will share his tips to make your photos pop. The May/June issue also features articles about water quality, native shoreline perennials, finding the perfect loan to grow your business, and more!
Is Algae dragging you down? Jamie Beyer shares his tips on how to turn “pea-green” ponds to pristine ponds. The March/April issue is chock full of information to get you ready for Spring and beyond. Be sure to check out our new column “PONDer This!” by Erik Tate.
Let’s start the year with two hot topics that are often debated in this industry – building ponds with Concrete and MAP pricing. Two veteran pond industry authors, Demi Fortuna and John Olson, tackle these topics in superb detail. Demi will share both fundamentals and details that will help you achieve concrete pond construction successfully. The MAP pricing article is a full five-pages long, in order to fully address the pros, cons and many questions surrounding this complex issue. Please do not overlook this topic as boring or unimportant. Take the time and read it. MAP pricing affects us all. In many areas of the country it makes sense to move pond fish indoors during the winter. What will you need? Learn about the precautions to take to move pond fish indoors and then back out when spring returns. Talking about spring, be prepared when your customers call this spring and their pond is leaking. IPPCA’s 5 star-contractor talks about how he gets his customers involved in finding the leak and how this is beneficial to both the pond builder and the customer. Three important 2012 events are covered in this issue – POND Trade Magazine’s Product of the Year, IWGS’s Waterlily of the Year and IPPCA’s INFO-TANZA. Taro Kodama shared his knowledge about what to look for and how to sell the koi variety Hikari Utsuri. Looking for a seminar idea? The PondPro Shop hosted a Ladies Day pond build. Pink was the color of the day, and included building a pond! Please let us know how we can help you this year.
Fountains of Fire and Water create an eye-grabbing spectacle impossible to ignore. See one company’s patent pending technology in this hot new trend for the water feature industry – Fire Fountains. We have talked about submerged pumps; now it is time to talk about the whys and hows of external pond pumps. In this issue is a comprehensive article about the advantages and best use of these pumps. With the pump being the heart of any pond or water feature it is important to learn what works well. Which pump to use can vary, as no two ponds are ever exactly a like. Talking about ponds, take a look at our Pond Construction article with its many challenges and the beautiful results. Looking for additional income? (Who isn’t?) Take a look at what aquatic plant expert Kelly Billing shares about Pond Plant Profitability. Are you driving by neglected ponds/lakes? Learn how to earn a profit and turn these ponds into a useful living environment. Plants can transform any water feature as well as improve the bottom line, so next time, don’t leave money on the table. Have customers with koi? There is a new vaccine called CAVOY. Find out how it works and what you need to know in our look at the vaccine. Need more? Read how to handle Negative Feedback, Inventory Buying Strategies and Pondemonium® 2012. We would also like to welcome Taro Kodama for writing the Language of Koi this issue. He shares his knowledge about the beautiful and friendly variety, Ochibashigure. There’s a lot to learn in this bigger than normal November/December issue, so please enjoy.
Do you know that ponds are green (products) and drought friendly? Really! Paula Biles explains the hidden benefits of ponds, that you can use to sell installs and much more in this issue. Two pond builders share their experience in pond building starting with Ziemer Design known as the Garden Artist for his beautiful work. Next is an accomplished pond industry expert Eric Triplett sharing his knowledge about the right way to install bottom drains and why you should. Take a look and learn why so many installers are now including them in their pond designs. Hard to believe it right now, but we do need to start preparing for cold weather. Learn how to keep your customers’ fish, as well as your own, alive over the winter. There is a new technology available that makes pond immersion heaters easier to use, more reliable and safer. Another way to help your clients feel less stressful about winter is by adding a pond De-icer. Be prepared with the best tools on hand, to keep that pond fish-safe over winter. Every company needs to have good business credit. What can you do to increase your company’s credit rating? In this in-depth article you will get nine steps to establish credit and four to increase/build your credit. Don’t wait till you need it, work on it today! Credit is a vital part of being in business. To round out this issue we have an article about an interesting koi variety – the Goromo. This beautiful koi is a cross between a Kohaku and an Asagi. Take a quick look at Koromo/Goromo so you can share the fine points, and sell this variety to your customer’s. Oh and it never is too late to change that irksome habit. Zen Habits shares easy steps to changing a habit that gives you trouble; you will cherish new-found freedom when you do.
Learn from two great industry leaders about two very different business opportunities – why you should have a Gift Shop and the benefits of exploring the under utilized Lake Management market. Hopefully one or both of these will help your company achieve that next level of success. Want to add that tropical paradise to your client’s pond? Simple – use Hibiscus and Canna. Learn about these versatile plants to create a visually inviting oasis class look to your projects. The beating heart of a water feature project is the pump. We dive in the deep end of submersible pump tech with this issue. Get an in-depth look at the differences between today’s magnetic drive, direct drive and the newer hybrid magnetic asynchronous drive pumps available for your projects and customers. Just as in the late 80’s everyone had to get a fax machine, now you need a smart phone and a website. And your site must include Videos! Learn how-to with some tips about how to use YouTube. It may be easier then you think. In our pond construction article see how the builder over came the obstacles of a small confined space with very limited access – at a cancer center. See the results of this beautifully upgraded pond. A new KHV vaccine is out, and you need to be prepared for the questions your customers are going to be asking you. Dr. Julius Tepper provides answers to many so you won’t be caught flat-footed.
Looking to boost the revenue of your pond and water feature business? Carl Petite, Columbia Water Garden, shares his experience with service routes: this may be a great business opportunity. A service route can generate income year around in many areas. Koi farm owner, Ellen Kloubec, shows you the best way to net and bag koi for your customers. See the interesting way she closes the bags using elastrator bans and pliers. Is clay something you should be adding to ponds? Learn about the attributes of this substance and it may just help your water quality and fish health. Yes summer is here, and the sun will cause evaporation, but what is normal evaporation? Or is water loss from the “splash factor” or a possible leak? See the formulas for calculating evaporation so you can tell if a pond is leaking or just losing what is considered typical evaporation. You will see several beautiful aquatic plants in this issue; including Aquatic Plants of the Year announced by IWGS. Auto-fills for ponds-some love ’em some swear against them. Take a look at the article by Hollye Merton and learn the Ins and Outs of Auto-fills. Can you do more to help your business grow? We hope we can help with fresh thoughts from Rick Smith of EasyPro Pond Products on word of mouth networking. Industry events are also a great place to network and ask your peers questions that can help your business. We hope to see you at one of these events this year.
Have you considered using aquatic plants to control algae? If you install ponds or own a retail shop this issue features an article that is loaded with information you need to know. David Curtright shares his extensive knowledge and techniques, here. Following the “water” theme, we have included two articles that revisit rainwater harvesting and the key components of good water quality. No pond or water feature is finished until it can maintain healthy water. These articles should help you reach that goal. Rainwater harvesting is still new to us, but is becoming more common every day. Some states are even passing laws requiring some kind of rain capture. Take advantage of this great opportunity to add this emerging segment to your business. Consider it a good excuse to refresh relationships with your prior customers. Rainwater harvest systems also lead nicely into pondless water features. Speaking of pondless water features, do you know what your customers want? A marketing expert with 30 years of experience explains how this industry’s customer base is changing and offers tips on how to update your business plan to meet this challenge. It’s all there in Planning for a Diversified Customer Base. Should you sell High-Fin Banded Sharks in your shop? Can You Afford to Offer Discounts? Info Tanza 2011 Reviewed, and What is a Tategoi – round out this jam packed issue. Have you seen the pond industry website – pondsources.com? In the huge world of the Internet, getting found is job #1. Now our industry has its own directory, and you can be included for free or cheap. Read about PONDSources.com and then take a look Online. While things constantly change you can stay in the know with POND Trade Magazine in print or as an e-pub! Have a great spring season.
January/February is a great time to renew, rethink and set goals for this next year. As a retailer what should you be doing to prepare for the needs of your store and your customers? Take a look at “Creating a Welcome Environment,” a good review about aquatic plants and pond fish that your customers will want. There were many beautiful water lilies introduced last year. See the very best lilies that won top honors in the IWGS competition. There are many products brought to market by our top pond industry manufactures each year. See the dozens of new products that were entered in the New Product Challenge and read about the top products of the year. From new fish foods to new pumps, take a look at the new products you can use this upcoming season. Now is the time to call the manufactures and learn about their products. There are two koi articles; one about skin and one about gin rin. See how these two elements can increase the value and appeal of a koi – something your customers may be looking for, even if they don’t know it yet! Remember when pricing/sorting your koi to include these characteristics. Industry Veteran Rick Smith shares with you his marketing experience that can help you change as your industry and customer’s needs change. Now make some goals and get going.
Looking for year-round business? Here are two articles that may help. One explores a segment of the goldfish market and the other highlights the benefits of selling koi art. Read how to take advantage of these business opportunities that may help offset the seasonal nature of your business and increase profits. In this issue we continue our exploration of aquaponics, in Aquaponics Explained Part 2 – A Good Fit for Pond Professionals. Learn about the fish and plants that are successfully used in this emerging industry. Two industry events are chronicled here for you – the Waterlily and Lotus event held in China and Pondemonium 2011. After reading the reviews take a look at the many pictures to get a closer feel for these industry events. Wondering what expenses you can deduct on your taxes? A tax expert will review many of the expenses the pond industry businesses have and how to take advantage of them on your tax return. Building a pondless water feature? Learn from a 25-year pond industry veteran on the ins and outs of sizing and building a pondless feature. Do it right the first time!
Aquaponics – a good fit for pond professionals? In this issue, is part one of a two part series featuring an in-depth review of Aquaponics. Learn about this emerging market in detail that could lead to new business for you. To help understand the difference between Aquaponics and Hydroponic gardening we have an article that does a quick review of hydroponics and its benefits. With the changes in the seasons special care needs to be taken for ponds and aquatic plants. Learn from two industry professionals about how they deal with their respective specialties. This is also a time to be on the lookout for signs of “Aeromonas Alley.” Learn what it is, the problems that erupt and what you should do for your customers’ koi. Talking about koi, Brady Brandwood gives us an in depth look at the beautiful Ki Utsuri koi variety. For every pond and water feature you install, you need a signed contract. How strong is yours? Do you address things like changes in the weather in your contracts? Be sure to cover your bases and learn from veteran Rick Bartel on how to write a strong contract for this industry. Product of the Year entries and nominations are now being accepted. Take a look at the announcement page and/or pondtrademag.com. To wrap up our September/October issue with a smile, we bring you thoughts on “How to Be Happy Anytime.”
Hard to believe we already need to be planning for the Fall and Winter seasons. Pond Pro Shop shares with you two programs they have launched that have helped increase sales in November and December – a “Pond Dollar Promotion” and their new “Christmas Store.” Have you ever wondered what the difference is between up lighting, moonlighting and floodlighting? Another great add-on to a pond project is to light up the night. Mike Garcia will help you understand 10 different techniques used in Garden Lighting, as well as a few other useful tips. Nelson Water Gardens and Nursery shows you, step-by-step, an inexpensive, quick way to make fountains out of glazed pottery – another quick add-on sale to a pond project. For more on the wonderful sounds of water, read the excerpt from “The R.I.S.E. Method.” It is all about adding audible dimensions to waterfalls. Language of Koi is all about Goshiki, the old and new style. There are four more great articles that every business can learn from, touching on customer loyalty and naming new products, to overcoming adversity and being on TIME.
As water feature and pond construction opportunities become available, be sure your estimates cover all costs so you can guarantee a profit. In our article on Estimating Jobs, you will learn to charge not only enough to cover expenses, direct and indirect, but place a value on the “artistry factor.” A fountain can be a beautiful addition to a pond. They are also beneficial as they add aeration and water movement. See how one company has developed a self-powered, remote controlled fountain system you can spec for your customers’ ponds. Talking about aeration, learn the details regarding dissolved oxygen concentration and why it is a critical element in every healthy pond. Here you will learn how it affects fish, how to detect low levels, what immediate actions to take if needed and how to prevent low levels. Do you know what anoxic filtration is? Most don’t, so here is a good review on how conventional biological filters work and how they differ from an anoxic filtration system. Our Language of Koi series continues with an in depth look at the Tancho. Then learn about feeding those koi or goldfish. Read how these fish are different from other pets and what they need for good health and strong growth. Okay what do you know about Facebook? As Facebook continues to grow and change, learn what every business should be doing and why from our marketing expert. Many of us find ourselves married to both a business, and our spouse. Here is expert advice about protecting your marriage from the ravages of life in business. Includes an in-depth, terrific list of “together activities.” We hope this offers hope and encouragement and helps you be successful in both your business and personal lives.
This is an important time of year to address keeping ponds and fish healthy. There are two great articles that will cover the things you should be doing now to help yourself and your costumers. Then get your marketing warmed up for the spring. Marketing expert Pam Greiner gives you great tips on how to get started. Have you wondered what’s up with those postage stamp sized colored boxes that are showing up in ads? They are called “Tags” and Pam will tell you all about them. Want to make an impression as a contractor or a retailer? Be sure to see the ten scene stealing aquatic plants in this issue. Learn from our horticulturist expert their names, the conditions they need and what to expect all in one place. Talking about all in one place, be sure to see the tables about Pest Diseases, Pest Controls, and Pest Descriptions. Learn to identify and treat for pests in the water feature industry. The koi variety Hariwake is explained, including tips on how to retail them. The IWGS event is reviewed; learn who was inducted into the IWGS Hall of Fame and much more. Veteran water feature expert Demi Fortuna will step you through “Choosing the Perfect Pump.” He will take you in-depth into submersible pumps and why you might even want to run two instead of one. Then there is a short but important tip about improving your communication that is a must read.
What are you going to do in 2011 to improve your business? Our marketing expert will share tips on improving your business in just 20 hours a month. Web videos and YouTube are becoming more important as the digital age generation is growing up. We will teach you some of the insider’s top 10 tips on making YouTube work for you. On a lighter side, see how one koi farm handles their koi farm security. Demi Fortuna, 25-year expert, will address getting the most out of your pumps in the first of a two part series. Is maximizing flow rates worth the trouble – be sure to read this article to find the answer. Have you every had a customer ask – do they come in blue? Blue koi that is. The answer is yes; learn about these two koi varieties – Asagi and Shusui. We have a chapter excerpt from Mr. Kodama’s new book Koishi. This chapter features the Aokiya Koi Farm, where the koi variety Kikokuryu was created. Learn about the breeder and how the Kikokuryu evolved. Water quality is so important in every water feature and pond. There is an in-depth overview of water test kits – their selection and proper use. Next is an article about Algae – the causes and cures. Two great articles that are a must read for any one in the pond industry. Many pond builders and retail koi store owners are in the business because they truly enjoy it. But if you don’t enjoy what you are doing, or maybe would like to figure out what you would like to do. Inside this issue are ten steps to finding your passion. Chose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. (Confucius)
This is the time of year to reflect and plan for the New Year. We have a pond contractor, Dave Jones, and a retailer, Carl Petite, with suggestions on how they have been successful in this pond industry. Dave talks about a segment of pond building that you may be missing out on – retrofits and upgrades. It takes work to find new customers, but remember your prior clients – they may be ready for a change or addition to their pond. Retailer, Carl started his successful business when everyone said not to – during this difficult economy. He shares seven tips that led to his success. Marketing expert, Pam Greener explains why marketing plans may need to be updated as our customers thinking has changed. She will give you a fresh approach on how to promote your business, the services you offer, and a new understanding of your customers. Citibank also has suggestion on how to boost your revenues with important points every business owner should be aware of. Are you prepared to answer some hard questions when a new potential client contacts you? A 23-year pond-building veteran will give you his answers to the 10 questions all contractors should be prepared to answer. What is a Doitsu Sanke and how is it different from other koi varieties? See some points that you can use to motivate a sale when talking with customers in this quick article about this beautiful variety. On the cover is the water lily of the year, announced at the 2010 IWGS Symposium. Learn more about this amazing hardy lily, that looks like a tropical, as well as the other top winners. This years winners are truly stunning. Thank you to all our subscribers and advertisers for your support in 2010!
Twenty-year industry veteran Rick Bartel shares his view on the “Rock on the Bottom” controversy. This provocative article “Rocking the Boat – are Rocks the Problem?” introduces his theory about “rocks” and good pond design. A second must read article is “Rain Water – Benefit or Hazard for Ponds,” by water expert Ann Telford. Is that rain water really safe for you fish? Mr. Kodama completes his series of “How to be Successful Selling Japanese Koi.” He discusses the importance of visiting your customer’s ponds and koi education. This issues POND Sources covers large format pressurized filters, with an article by Tamsie Pierce, descriptions of six leading filters on the market and the POND Sources directory of manufactures and distributors. IKEAGE meaning, “mud pond harvest,” is a Japanese koi farm tradition. See how one US koi farm continues the historical tradition here. It is always amazing to see the koi come out of the mud ponds, more beautiful then the year before. Ponditat for Humanity is an annual charity pond build event by IPPCA. See great pictures of this year’s pond renovation/upgrade. Ever have one of those days where you just have a really hard time getting up in the morning and starting the day? Best Seller author Gretchen Rubin shares her eight tips on improving your (Monday) Mornings.
NEW: This issue features the launch of POND Sources-a new section of POND Trade that is a combination of product articles and a directory of manufactures and distributions. This first issue focuses on Filters and Filter Media. Find an overview of the many filter media brands that are currently available for ponds. In the 1970’s there were no pond specific commercial filters in the market, now see your variety of choices. Want to find out more about these products? It’s easy; just check the POND Sources Directory of manufactures and distributors. We also explore that vexing problem leaky ponds. Expert Jamie Beyer steps you through the first part of a two-part article about investigating leaks, with techniques to use and tips on prevention. On the personal side, do you have a dreaded task you just can’t get done, or struggle with? Learn six strategies to help you GET that task done. Blackwater Creek Koi Farm will show you and help you understand the koi variety-Kumonryu. Also take a look at a Monster Pond and what it took to complete this demanding pond. Marketing expert, Pam Greiner, in-depth article covers the important aspects of your e-mail campaigns, social media, and website. What is the number one element? Content. Learn how to do it the right way. Remember you can find press releases and upcoming events in this magazine and on our website.
Focusing on water chemistry–there are two great articles to help with your understanding of the water in our ponds and one on “how to” offer the service of water quality testing. POND Trade Magazine is proud to announce the winners of our first Product of the Year Award. Six industry leaders helped make the selection along with the Online voting by our readers. Congratulations to MinnFinn Max – The Overall Winner. See all the winners in the two categories: Pond Equipment and Pond Products. Advertising is critical to your business. Marketing expert Pam Grainer will give you tips on the do’s & don’ts – like what font not to use. You will learn about 8 important things to keep in mind when you design an ad. Have you wondered what it is like to own a koi retail store? Joe Pawlak shares his experiences with you about what you can expect, including details on managing fish. Butterfly koi – where did the name come from, what are they – Randy LeFever explains their origin at Blue Ridge Fish Hatchery. On the lighter side, see Pagel’s Pots – Walter Pagel, a water garden industry legend’s backyard features a collection of pots filled with miniature aquatics that are delightful and different from the norm.
The Pond Trade includes many forms of water features. Covered in this issue are container gardens, that can be made out of anything that can hold water, to large “farm ponds” needed for a variety of different purposes. Focusing on koi and pond health, Vicki Vaughn, koi health expert, shares her experience with metal toxicity. Learn how to tell if it is present, where it might be coming from and what to do about it. Then koi industry expert Mamoru Kodama teaches retailers how to keep koi alive until they are sold. Learn what tasks employees should perform including feeding, cleaning & medicating. Then read about the beauty and challenges of the koi variety Kujaku, from long time US koi breeder Ellen Kloubec. Want to learn how to have a successful e-mail marketing campaign? Pam Greener shares critical dos & don’ts – don’t just SPAM your e-mail marketing list, make it work and generate sales for you. Four leading aquatic plant experts share their favorite plants. See their final choices and read why they selected each one. Included is a chart to see at a glance how the plants compare. Last, but not least, take a look at NAPP’s first national event.
Focusing on the retailer you will find articles about effective retailing systems, learn the ends and outs of credit card interchange and processing fees, and tips on dealing with theft in your business. Important topics to help you be successful. Our plant expert goes into detail about the plants that are available, when to use them and how to mix them. Sell koi? You need to know several Japanese words and terms. Included here is a quick, illustrated list of some of the more common words you will hear. New starting with this issue is our Question and Answer section. Questions will be answered by the International Water Garden Society moderated Steve Stroupe; koi questions by Joe Pawlak; and other experts in the field of the question. Our first three questions cover several great topics. Then take the time to revisit the top 10 rules of communication in Mom Says to Play Nice. Also new this issue is a web only article. Again along the line of focusing on the retailer it is about what you should know when you want to start Pond Shop.
What is a CrossOver pond? – a design that is koi friendly with a water garden appearance. Read how this design differs from the hybrid pond, koi pond and water garden. Why sell goldfish? A goldfish breeder will teach you how; along with a discussion on the different varieties that are available. Your customers’ have algae covered or dirty waterfalls? Here is a hand out article on cleaning and maintaining those pesky waterfalls. Includes tips on finding leaks. Aquatic plants for veggie filters – which ones to use and why. There two great articles about planning for the next year – our marketing expert uses easy to follow steps to creating a marketing plan and, in the article Planning for Spring what retailers should be doing now. Learn what is the number 1 thing you want to avoid as a koi retailer. The IWGS has introduced their winning lilies and inducted two into their Hall of Fame. Finally take 30 minutes to be happier – learn how in this issue now.
Hybrid ponds are the topic of our cover story – A Pond in the Middle. Find Part 2 of UK retailers sharing their knowledge and experience in the garden pond business. Winter is an important topic at this time of year and we have three great articles by three experts in their fields covering the subject – for plants – Fall Finale (Aquatic Plant Care in the Fall), for koi – Overwintering Koi Under Thick Ice (a good read for all koi keepers) and then a good overview covering both plants and fish for the fall and winter in – Falling into Winter. Want to increase you profit, reduce your labor and make a nicer looking water garden? Find the answers in the article – Pond Design –Plants vs. Rock Edges. Learn about the profitability of goldfish, how pipe fittings can make a difference, what to look for in Shiro Utsuri and how to host a local event. Tips on how not to be a “used car salesman.” On a personal note 7 points of advice on taking control of you busy, hectic days.
UK retailers share their knowledge and experience in the garden pond business. A Two-pond Filtration System for Koi – advice on how to use a second pond as a filter, learn what has worked for this garden pond industry expert. Kikokuryu – what is that? Get some tips and learn about this great koi variety. Step-by-step information about How-to Install a Disappearing Fountain, including advice on how-to maintain them. Must know information about the current trend of Social Media Marketing Madness – what it is and 10 Steps to Success. Expert advice covers the topics of Water Lily Pests and Diseases and Summer Pond Care. Yes, there are benefits to rising early, learn how-to with some practical steps. Distributor and Manufacture team up, see what they are up to. How to use banners as inexpensive marketing tools, tips on doing it right.
Make it Bigger, don’t be afraid to seam that liner pond. This lead feature covers step-by-step advice on how to seam a liner and make that pond bigger. Find great advice on Staying Productive During the Dog Days of Summer. Learn about the challenges of breeding and selling Showa. Do swans belong in our pond or water gardens? Learn what else your customers may want to put in that pond and how to deal with them. Then there is information on how to deal with raccoons in our ponds, and how to make that first impression and make your business look good in Dress for Success. High Stress – 12 great tips are covered in this magazine on how to deal with high stress. Aquatic plants, what should I use? Find the answer in Botanical Psychotherapy and finish off with Keeping Ponds Healthy…learn ways to help maintain good water quality.
How to use Signage as the Silent Salesman, Profiling Today’s Pond Buyer, Preparing New Koi for Sale (knowledge you need), and advice on what plants to use in the pond or water garden and why just to mention a few articles full of great business advice. Along with learning about signage, our business professional advices on water garden and pond department displays and inspiring life-long customers. Find information on a new business opportunity Rain Water Harvesting; includes how it is beneficial to your customers and is helping the environment. Understanding Sanke is covered in this magazine, including tips on how to get top dollar for them. Simple Living Simplified – 10 tips on things you can do today to simplify your life.
Professional advice on how to make and use a plant filter is our lead article in this issue, titled The Grid Veggie Filter. Then find business tips and suggestions about the recession – how to rise to the top even in down times. Aquatic plant sales down? Get tips on how to refine your plant sale systems, includes advice on how to avoid common mistakes. Garden Pond Industry experts talk about how to have a more successful pond department/business and an article that includes step-by-step design and construction of an above ground koi pond. Selling Kujaku? Eight easy features that you need to know and can make them easy to sale.
Heron control, the magic of the Lotus and business tips on how to fail or flourish in our current economy is just the start of this information packed magazine. Authors share their knowledge and advice about the “Green Industry” in articles like The Greener Side of Ponds and Wind Power is Finally Here. With a growing concern about droughts our expert gives tips and ideas about water-wise use of water in pond maintenance. A new series about the Language of Koi starts with Kohaku. Insights are given as to what to look for in a Kohaku and how to price koi to get top dollar.