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Thread: Russell Water Gardens and Kodama Koi Farm Pair Up /Merged Thread

  1. #211
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    John Russell,
    I would be happy to meet with you but I do not play golf. Koizcar is not far from us and he does play golf.


  2. #212
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Thanks Peter

    Thanks Peter.

    I plan on having a booth at the ZNA koi show in March if I can swing it in our spring schedule. Either way, I will be in SoCal multiple times next year and I'd love to get together with you even if you don't play golf. Koizcar and I can play a round - and then share with everone how many golf balls I drop into the water hazards!

    Bill, you bet I'll bring Eric. Eric is a great guy with a great family - we've been friends for years. You and him could do great things together in your neck-of-the-woods.

    Also, Mike Garcia is a fantastic guy to get to know. He is a former President, and prominent member of the CLCA (California Landscape Contractors Association). He is a great person to help improve the flow of information to the contractors in your area. All of us working together can create useful guidlines and information pamphlets - and Mike can help get that information in front of the contractors in California. Education and cooperation will do more to improve the two industries than the famous lawsuit ever could.

    Thank you for the link SDKoilady.

    Looking forward to meeting all of you.
    John Russell
    CEO Russell Watergardens

  3. #213
    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    Koi or water garden, there is no middle ground


    You certainly have the business acument to succeed in this or any other business. So far you have been doing great on this board, turning adversities into opportunities and there are many good people on this board who can help you.

    Personally I do not see a problem in your business model. The big market is in water garden, it is certainly wise to focus on this market. There are two ways people get into Koi hobby. One is through keeping fish in aquarium and progress to koi keeping in pond. Majority of koi hobbyist started through keeping fish in water garden and later get hooked on koi keeping. Therefore rework on pond naturally is a huge business segment. I do not think it is unethical to install water garden at all. Afterall it was the customers that wanted it in the first place.

    Speaking from my experience, I do not think serious koi hobby can be mixed with water garden hobby. I got into koi keeping after many years of aquarium hobby. No I do not engage water garden landscaper to design my koi pond. I did it after extensive research from books and koi forum. I was sold the idea of a natural koi pond with plants as additional filtration medium to reduce nitrate and phosphate level in the pond. It sounded great, afterall the biofilter cannot reduce the nitrate and phosphate level.

    When the pond was set up I have to maintain the balance between plant growth and water quality by careful planning of water change. After 2 years of trial and error it finally dawn on me that I cannot have both. Plants have good growth when I limit the water change, but then my koi suffers, ulcers appears on my koi. I cannot salt the pond or use medication without affecting the plants. To keep the fish healthy I need to have more frequent water chages. Finally I stick to changing 10% of water daily. The koi looks great and have good appetite, but then my most prolific floating plants water hycynth could not even survive. After 2 years of tweaking I finally gave up and remove every plant there is.
    My experience is if anyone is serious about koi and if your collection is worth tens of thousands it would be suicidal to mess with water quality. That being said it is totally acceptable if the purpose of the pond is for water garden and the cheap koi introduced as decoration. If the koi is worth few dollars it could be replaced on a yearly basis. Different stroke for different folks.

  4. #214
    Oyagoi koiczar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Hi John

    First let me say that you are a VERY PATIENT MAN!!!!!!! There's no way I could stand up to this type of public scorning and not get violently upset.

    I think AuntieSue has some very good points and I don't say that I disagree. Being a contractor, I have dealt with a lot of AS ponds - most all are three years old or less and have already become a cesspool. We retrofit these at the request of the customer who has already dropped his savings into the "toilet" and can't afford to re-build. I don't think they really can understand - but when you explain to them that if you want koi we HIGHLY RECOMMEND a proper koi pond (they usually are tired of doing the maintenance too). The next question they ask is,"Do you do maintenance too"? We firmly say NO, not anymore. So now there stuck either doing it themselves or hiring someone to do it for them. First, that tells me of their level of commitment to the hobby - ZILCH - they just want to have something to show off to their friends. If we find that is the case we will retrofit with the proper equipment, show them how to use it, explain the water quality parameters required for health purposes, provide them with some Ultimate, test kits and the like and bid them adieu. We don't pressure them into a decision. We leave that up to them as to what they want. Some thought they were getting a koi pond when the signed the contract and are really upset with the results. They're usually the ones who are interested enough to re-build to a proper form.

    I've thought about your dilemna of the "middle ground" and how you could combine the two styles. However, if you liken back to the old days, people had gravel filters built into the bottom of their pond in a sump style. They were actually trying to apply the aquarium undergravel filter theory, IMHO. Didn't work. Fish were dieing all over the place and trying to clean the gravel was nearly impossible. My question to you is, How do you propose to "fluff" a portion of the gravel without the detritus becoming re-suspended into the main pond? Do you think that this will be picked up by a pump and put into the bead filter before it has a chance to settle back into the gravel again? I haven't actually heard of the brand of bead filter you've designed and are recommending. What type of media does it house? Do you need a spa blower to clean it or simply increase pump size enough to get it to properly clean itself? Do you use any other type of filtration along with the bead filter to enhance the system for proper filtration? Do you install bottom drains on these middle of the road ponds? If so, what style would you use?

    John, I would love to have you come visit me when you come to Northern California. Russ is about an hour north of me. I live in San Jose. You would definitely see something different than the norm as my main pond is a swimming pool conversion of some 10,000 gallons including filtration (dual systems). Yes, I "played" golf. In fact I used to help coach the local high school team. But, like Bill, I'd probably blow the ears off the local church anymore - LOL but would love to get back out on the links again!!

    Keep fighting the good fight - I'd love to see how your buddy could educate the California Landscapers. If he wants help, tell him I'd be more than willing.



  5. #215
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Fresno, California

    Humble advice


    The very first time My Wife and I saw your publication in a Nursery my Wife immediately gravitated to the whole concept. She even bought a subscription. It's an attractive concept. I fell into breeding koi out of a love for aquatic ecology, and I also saw the appeal of what you were doing. Marketing the ecology should be your focus. My humble advice. Don't try to find a middle ground. In your ponds, fish should be stocked at a ratio that can be supported by natural processes. A few goldfish and some algae eaters at most, and no supplemental feeding. That's the system you have. Your equipment is sufficient to prevent the water from going stagnant. For long term success, your customers are going to have to find the right balance. No supplemental feeding!!! It was worth saying twice. Look into species of fish, other than koi, that are hardy and will root around rocks for food. If the rock layer is thin, and the rocks themselves small enough, this could solve your problem in a low density setting. Sell over sized UV units to control the green water and you then have your basic model updated. Just don't try and be something you're not. You're selling nature. A stream. Not a koi pond. Work on making your ponds work better and educate the owners about the ecology and you will grow your business.

  6. #216
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    between Okeefenokee and Ichetucknee
    And an old man repeating himself says...

    No matter what type of ponds you build, many of those folks will be entranced and intoxicated by the beauty of the fish. Providing a proper pond, not a compromise, will keep you from killing pets.

    I love the comment on the pond landscapers board about killing a few fish being OK, after all they cull so many. Sheesh, girlie. I understand that cheap fish can be replaced every year like Frank says, but kids cry about Wanda and Shark and Harold and Specs and Fugly and all the other fish that grasp hearts and can't be replaced. We've all seen plenty of ugly fish still in a pond because you or somebody in your family loves it.

    Noone has yet touched on the fiasco brewing when Kodama fish go to RWG store and then in bags to hybrid ponds. Some advice? Fish biologists are cheap. Koi immersed fish biologists cost only slightly more. Get a good one. Sell healthy fish.

    Mickey the windowman

  7. #217
    Honmei KoiCop's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Southern California

    Two tough questions . . .

    Can you get a boob job from a proctologist? Yeah. But why would you want to?

    Can you get a koi pond from Russell Water Gardens? So he says. But why would you want to?

  8. #218
    Honmei KoiCop's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Southern California
    Russ, Russ, Russ (PSKoi not RWG),

    I feel your pain, big guy! He's baaaaaaaack!

    The dude's got more lives than Felix the Cat, teflon armor which sticks and stones and logic can't penetrate, and he pops up more often than that obnoxious commercial:

    HEAD ON!!! Apply directly to your forehead!
    HEAD ON!!! Apply directly to your forehead!
    HEAD ON!!! Apply directly to your forehead!

    I tell ya, I can't find the TV remote fast enough to mute him (whoops, it).

    Anyways, I've got some classic JR on R&G ponds (praise be to he from whom such wisdom flows) stashed away. Maybe if we hit 'em upside the head with that it'll be the old coop de grace (sic); then we could just administer Last Rites and bury this thread.

    Whatcha think? Waste of time? Spitting into the wind? Does anybody out there even care anymore??? Get back to me, bud.
    Don Chandler
    Member: AKCA, ZNA, KoiUSA

  9. #219
    Oyagoi bekko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    If there is mis-representation in this relationship, who is most guilty - RWG or Kodama?

    -s t e v eh

  10. #220
    Honmei KoiCop's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Southern California

    Stevie Hops . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by bekko View Post
    If there is mis-representation in this relationship, who is most guilty - RWG or Kodama?

    -s t e v eh
    Good question.

    Back in October John Russell posted on the IPPCA board:
    Mr. Mamoru Kodama personally approves and endorses each and every component manufactured by, and for, Russell Watergardens for the utmost in quality, workmanship, function, ease of maintenance, water quality, and Nishikigoi health and well being.

    He also posted on the IPPCA board:
    The Russell Watergardens and Kodama Koi Farm partnership believe that you can have what ever type of pond you want - as long as you know the pluses and minuses of both formats - and what lies in the middle - the Hybrid koi pond / water garden. Do you want high-dollar pure-bread/papered koi for showing and competing, or do you just want friendly "mut" that eats our of your hand? Do you want a pond that blendes seamlessly into the landscape, or do you want a "pool" for you koi? Do you want something in the middle? YOU CAN HAVE WHAT EVER YOU WANT.

    Yet our very own Dick Benbow posted right here just a week ago:
    Last night after I had thoroughly read each thread, I wrote Taro Kodama and asked him for a clarification as to what he and his dad had said regarding the pond equipment set-ups....here is his response.

    "Mr. Mamoru Kodama, and Taro Kodama will both personally review and test
    each and every component manufactured by, and for, Russell Watergardens
    to ensure the utmost in quality, workmanship, function, ease of
    maintenance, water quality, and Nishikigoi health and well being."

    In the email to me he also indicated that while this has not been accomplished as yet, it is definetely planned to be accomplished in the immediate future.

    So, Russell and Kodama -- both men cannot be telling the truth. And since Mr. Russell is particularly adept at speaking out one side of his mouth to this board while speaking out the other side of his mouth to the IPPCA board, well . . .

    PS -- I spit and giggled when I came across this gem of his whilst searching for the above:
    But koi with scars (like humans) tend to be looked upon as "tough and rugged" and are considered "cool" among the nerdier koi in the pond.

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