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Thread: Ultima II Opinions?

  1. #61
    Sansai
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    Now that I think about it a little, this is how it is.
    I compete on a level of Aesthetics, water quality and ease of maintenance and offer as complete an understanding, within my scope of knowlege, of all the issues they might run into within reason over time.
    The "other side" competes on a level of Aesthetics and they willingly lie about the rest.
    Aesthetics is the only common denominator and I have to stay in that world or get out.

  2. #62
    Tategoi Peppy's Avatar
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    And I'll bet you still lose potential customers to the aesthetics-only installers.

    In business, if you don't give customers what they want you are history

    The average customer probably sees someone's pond or sees an installation in a mall or whatever and is blown away by the beauty of it, as they are very beautiful. These models always have small Koi in them and people are impressed by the word Koi and the fact that they can actually have Koi in their pond.

    Would you believe the installer told me I could put thousands of Koi in my 2,000 gallon pond? I wish I'd gotten that in writing!

    I personally know at least 10 people with ponds under 200 gallons who have Koi in them and other people with rock and gravel ponds 2' deep with only a biofalls and skimmer with Koi in them.

    There is no application for buying Koi at the pet store.

    And that was me! I only happened onto this forum by accident and was skeptical too.

    I believe most people do the best they know. They just don't know what is best like what I'm learning here and on other forums.

    And there are probably some who don't care what's best either.

  3. #63
    Sansai
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    I have actually rebuilt a number of 200 to 500 gal ponds for goldfish and supplied them with all the bells and whistles of larger ponds. The problem I can't buy equipment for this. All the "small pond" equipment is really junk and prefiltration isn't even considered. I make my own tiny bottom drain/prefiltration tanks and filters. Sometimes I can use their existing bio. It's actually quite interesting and I just installed my first 2 inch gravity flow 6 gallon external prefiltration unit this week. Small ponds don't have any room in them for filters or pumps to begin with. A huge part of the problem is nobody that owns a system this small can or will afford what it takes to discharge the waste with plumbing like larger ponds so the maintenance is high and the water quality terrible. It would cost more than the pond. This system took me two years to develop and can be cleaned in minutes. I'll have to talk to Brian about advertizing so I can show it to you. Not that anyone here would buy one but it is kind of cool Up to 900 gph of flow!

  4. #64
    MCA
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    Honmei MCA's Avatar
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    We are all pointing to the same problem set.

    Starting back in the 1970s folks in the UK and USA found out the hard way that just tossing koi into a watergarden was not the best thing to do. Eventually this ephiphany generates the AKCA in the States and BKKS in the UK plus local ZNA Chapters in both contries.

    So we have a group of amateur folks dedicated to, and focusing on, the best way to be good koi keepers. From that focus we get koi books, magazines, and videos (you have seen the list I compiled). You also get special events such as koi shows, the AKCA Seminar, and the Koi Health Seminar every February.

    But....the dilemia is that that large numbers of koi owners remain ignorant of that history and resulting information on koi keeping.....or worse....they know and reject the epiphany. There are none so blind as those that refuse to see.

    So many of us crazies spend hours in club activities, at special events, reading koi books and magazines, writing for koi magazines, and on those crazy BBSs.....all trying to share the light. It is an uphill struggle. But it is the good fight.
    Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

  5. #65
    Tategoi
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    Unfortunately Mike, the vast majority of koi pond builders don't know much at all about healthy construction. But they try and face the same decisions as Kent it referring to. I know of some that would like to build the potential owner a three stage filter but the guy down the street just installs a big pump and bead filter. Can't compete with that and build quality.

    There are some like Kent that build as much quality into a product as possible, but try to build something that doesn't impress the customer and you may be able to get an invite to see the pond someone else built.

    I see you as a major contributer to the hobby and Kent is right up there with construction ideas we both like and also providing better ponds than I've seen in the San Francisco Bay area.

    Most of the quality commersial ponds I would expect to see in my area were built buy Grant Fugita. He's retired now but is willing to design one now and then.

  6. #66
    Tategoi
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    Spike Cover's KHA program is a big step in the right direction in trying to improve the hobby.

    I said that wrong.

    Spike Cover's KHA program has been instrumental in improving the hobby. Now we need to do our part.

  7. #67
    Tategoi Peppy's Avatar
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    Had to share this. A guy I know just stopped by and after our conversation, I showed him how I'm digging the pond deeper.

    I got this information from him about his pond, it is 150 gallons and contains 3 or 4 (his exact words) Koi and a few other fish.

    I asked him how long he's had the Koi. 3 or 4 years, he says.

    I asked him how big they are. He held his hands about 10 inches apart.

    I am just a beginner and have been doing things all wrong from the start, but I pointed out to him a Koi I have that was 16" in the Spring. I haven't measured her since. I told him I got her at SuperPetz in the summer of 2006 (I have this in my database) and I think she had to be around 8" back then. Not sure about that but she couldn't have been more than 10".

    He said, yeah, they'll get big like that if you have a big pond. I like mine just the way they are.

    I know Koi breeders are into breeding large Koi but I think there is a huge market out there for miniature Koi, like miniature horses.

    There you go Kent, start a miniature Koi business along with your pond business! You could start a miniature Koi association and have a limit on inches (like miniature horses have to be less than 48" at the withers I think) and papers of authentication, etc.

    I think you should go for it!

  8. #68
    MCA
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    Honmei MCA's Avatar
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    Unfortunately Mike, the vast majority of koi pond builders don't know much at all about healthy construction.

    Last year I was invited to speak on water quality at a pond builder event. Most understood about chlorine and dechlor. But by the time I got to dissolved oxygen planning and ORP.....glazed over eyes and shaking heads. Indeed for many of them a pond is first and foremost a landscaping device. Note I did not say all of them. There were some who got it.

    I do not blame any pond contractor or equipment maker for any pond that is ....less than ideal for koi. The burden is ALWAYS on the consumer. Educate yourself and others...then vote with your dollars.

  9. #69
    Oyagoi
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    I will no longer sell koi to owners of ADI (Aquascapes) ponds. It always results in poor performance of the fish, many times the fish dies a few weeks after introduction and it is always "You sold me a bad fish." Hence, I ask and if ADI pond send the customer on thier way to wally world for koi.

    I have installed many Ultima II filters over the years. None were on the bottom drain circuit, all either on skimmer and/or midwater circuits. I will not install any other pressure filter. If on the bottom drain, I'd say you'd best have some sort of solids seperator prior to the filter.

    Somebody asked for a formula....here is one my frined worked out many years ago. It applies only to "open" gravity operated biofilters. Upflow, downflow, crossflow, etc.

    One SQUARE FOOT of cross sectional surface (has nothing to do with depth of filter bed or cubic feet of filter media) for each 200 gallons per hour of flow.

    As follows....

    4800 gph flow divided by 200 gph/sqare foot cross section equals 24 square feet. So your filter should be 6' x 4' or several filters adding up to 24 square feet of cross sectional area. This formula derived from translations of Japanese filter designs and water velocities across the filter media.

    Taken the other direction...

    5' diameter barrel filter. filter cross section equals pi x 2.5 x 2.5 or
    3.14 x 6.25 equals 19.6 (say 20 square feet) so...

    20 square feet of filter cross section x 200 gph equals 4000 gph that can effectively be filtered by that filter.

    Brett
    Brett

  10. #70
    Sansai MysticKoi's Avatar
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    We see a lot of customers that have these smaller garden ponds. I think they mostly are from the hardware stores and garden centers that offer pre-formed ponds or small bits of liner, and are now looking for help? Anyway, I'm continually fascinated by the fact that when asked for dimensions, the largest dimension is always exactly the same length as the customer's outstretched arms!

    Bill

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