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

  1. #161

    Advertising and other answers.

    Hello Brian,

    Thank you for your comments. Yes, I am interested in sponsoring this site - please contact me with the details.

    The rest of you. I'm not RECOMMENDING a hybrid pond, water garden pond, or a koi pond. We simply recomend having at least one of the three - combined with full knowledge of what that style is. You all keep missing that point.

    I've got to go now, Dick Benbow is here for a meeting. I'll let him tell you about what he thinks of us. Also, later today, I will create a new thread that talks about SSA (Specific Surface Area) of biofilters.

    Oh, and one more thing - the word "biofalls" is a registered trademark of Aquascape. We always make sure to use the word "biofilter" or the phrase "bioligical water filter" to describe that type.

    Thanks everyone.
    John Russell

  2. #162
    I look forward to your thread on SSA (specific surface area). I hope you answer my question on such in that thread.


  3. #163

    Good salesman?

    Hello all,

    Thank you for the salesman compliment - but I can asure you, I didn't earn your compliment here. I did not create any of these threads. I did not bring any of these topics up. I only found this forum after Googling my company's name. I came to this forum and found many of you speaking disparingly of me and my company, using photos out of context, and mis-representing my company and philosophies. I am merely trying to address your comments and concerns, and to correct any misunderstandings. These are not my threads, I didn't create them, I didn't decide on what to talk about. So again, thank you for the compliment, but in this case, I don't deserve it.

    I wish I could laugh all the way to the bank! I've got every penny I've ever earned invested in our business and products. I'm looking forward to the day that these investments start paying off.

    You say that I've "sold my sole to the devil". Please explain how, I've never disagreed with any of you here on this forum about anything that is dear to you. I've answered all your questions in the clearest detail.

    You keep talking about pond builders and types of ponds being built. I agree with you about unethical/unknowledgable contractors and their unsuitable ponds. Where have I disagreed with you?

    I am posting on this site from a manufacturers point of view. We manufacture many types of systems - including koi systems. You keep going back to pond building and porta-potties. I keep explaining that both sides exist whether you like it or not - and being rude to people isn't ever going to change that. My company realizes this fact and thus manufactures systems for many types of ponds and water features - including systems for your prefered types of ponds.

    Once again, I didn't create these threads - I'm simply responding to all of you in an open, honest, factual, and respectful manner.

    John Russell

  4. #164
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    seattle, wa
    I think the vast majority of KBer's would have enjoyed Meeting John Russell in person. He's a stand up guy. I got an opportunity to visit his showrooms
    and warehouse facility and meet many of his staff. He was gracious enough to show me around for 3 1/2 hrs.....

    What is impressive is the homework this man has done on the products he provides. He knows what goes into them and why it has to be done that way. It was very obvious that he has put a lot of study into R & D. (research and development) he likes to know why and how things work.....

    Would he be in a position to build a koi pond for one of our top end hobbyists? I don't think so. But in fairness to John and his openess to learn and develop, I wouldn't rule it out before too many years.

    I'm convinced he will continue to grow and learn as time goes by. His association with Kodama will make available japanese koi, with bloodline certificates that have been properly q-tanked and delievered to a franchise that has to meet standards to keep these koi healthy. They will be inspected
    on a continuing basis.
    I think he will provide a bridge for those who before had to choose at either extreme of the spectrum. A middle ground for learning and understanding.

    Will he continue to build landscape ponds with rocks in them....yep. Will he have side by side on display a koi pond without rocks...yep, will he sell plant life...yep.

    can any one place be all things to all people, propbably not. Is there room for a company that will help bridge the gap of learning, you bet there is! and I think John is just the guy to get it done!

  5. #165


    As you can probably guess, I was just thrilled to death reading about "fluffing the roks" and the rocks providing surface area for filtration. I can't wait to discuss those areas in more deapth with John.


  6. #166
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    seattle, wa
    Steve, he has some innovative BB's and filters with netting material media that is a far cry from pea gravel for more serious fish health advocates. Is he up to our state of the art, not yet. But I do feel he will fill an important gap between landscape ponds and serious koi keepers. many of his filter units will fit the media that many high end hobbyists use but because this media is expensive, he has chosen from a competitive businesss viewpoint to offer alternatives.As I stated in my earlier post, he is learning, he wants to learn, and i think in the future his customers
    who want to keep advancing in the hobby, with better and better fish will assist his development simply by demand. I also honestly feel that Taro and his dad will be doing a little fine tweaking and encouraging for more leadership in the better water quality area for their best koi. It's a business that definetely developing and redefining itself.

  7. #167
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Orlando, Florida
    Yeah, I've been waiting for the "fluffing" explanation.

    ... Mr. Russell has an interesting approach. He accepts the kichi position as best for koi. He makes available pond types kichi cannot accept as suitable for koi. He sells whatever the customer wants, even if he knows it is not suitable. He does not try to assert that rock bottom ponds are any good for koi. He just sells them. As long as the customer is told the rock bottom pond is unsuitable for koi, if the customer wants to buy some koi, then I don't fault the fellow for selling the fish. But, I have a hard time believing there would be many sales. My concern is that the "hybrid" pond is made to sound like a reasonable, balanced approach to having "the best of both worlds", as if great fish and great plants can be raised together successfully. I think it more accurately described as a compromised approach that may be less unsuitable for koi than a rock bottom garden pond, but is nonetheless unsuitable for long term success.

    It comes down to whether the sales pitch misleads, despite "fair disclosure".

  8. #168

    See for yourself

    Hello Mike and everyone,

    I don't expect you to believe a word I say. As the saying goes "The proof is in the pudding". That's why our Flagship store, as well as all future stores feature real in-ground working ponds and water features of all types for you to see, and watch.

    Come to the Grand Opening of our new Flagship Store in Redmond, WA next spring - then come back every 6 months for followup inspections. I encourage all of you reading this to do the same.......hold my feet to the fire.

    You will see that koi can, and do live happily, and healthily in a properly filtered and maintained R&G Hybrid pond with aquatic plants. But I don't expect any of you to believe me, so I respectfuly ask that you simply see for yourself. It is wrong to assume that we simply sell fish for the sake of selling fish. An unhappy customer with dead fish won't continue patronizing any of our stores - so it is in the best interest of our company to see that people's fish stay alive and healthy, in whatever type of pond style they choose. This is why we offer an extensive line of equipment for water gardens, Hybrid ponds, and koi ponds, but no "koi-killing-porta-potties."

    Not trying to change anyone's mind here about what you believe about koi ponds - just letting you all know that there is a true alternative to "koi-killing-porta-potties". Rocks and gravel are not at the root of fish disease and poor health, it is DIRTY rocks and gravel and unbackflushable filtration systems. You are all so used to catalog marketed kit ponds that lawn mowing companies build - that you all assume that any pond with a rock in it is exactly the same. They are not.

    For you to say that rocks and gravel are the root of all evil, tell me what you see in 99.9% of aquariums. Are you people prepared to say that aquariums need to remove all their rock and gravel or the fish will die?

    Aquariums have rock and gravel and aquatic plants and the fish are all fine and happy, when the rocks and gravel and filtration system are cleaned. When was the last time someone said aquariums only get cleaned once a year like Aquascape type ponds? Never. Aquarium rocks and gravel get completely cleaned at least every 30 days. This is the key. You all are under the false impression that a Hybrid pond is just like an Aquascape pond. They're not. No one at Russell Watergardens would ever recommend cleaning an R&G Hybrid pond just once a year.

    I'm asking you to simply come and see for yourself.

    Thanks everyone.
    John Russell

  9. #169
    Oyagoi bekko's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Dick Benbow, you are truly a well-grounded diplomat and a pleasure to read.

    A key operative in your post was "top end hobbyist". It's a little subjective, but we all know what you mean. In this world, how many top-end koi hobbyists with a pond that would pass muster by the likes of Mr. Childers are there? Hundreds, perhaps a thousand? I know you can count me out. But, how many water features with koi are there? Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions? It will be fun to argue about whether Mr. Russell's design can groom a top-quality, show-grade koi. But, there is no doubt that people can and do keep lots of koi in water features.

    Is it wrong to keep koi in a pond that is not suitable for grooming the most expensive show-quality fish? No, it definitely is not (and koi do not have rights). In fact it can be argued that the top end hobby would not be possible (or would not exist as we know today) were it not for all the lesser quality koi in countless lesser quality water ponds. These lesser koi bring a lot of enjoyment to a lot of people.

    I am tempted to suggest that John Russell should just forget about that small clique of top end hobbyist. Their numbers and prejudice are such that they are unlikely to ever be a meaningful market segment for him. However, I will not suggest that because I am starved for entertainment. It will also be interesting to see how we react to a banner ad for RWG. Does Brian take the money and run while knowing that RWG is considered a lesser life form by many Koi Bito regulars? Don, Nancy, Larry, Mike, Russ, Dayleen, Childers and others, please keep the heat on him. This is better than TV.

    -stevehop kin

  10. #170
    Administrator Brian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by bekko View Post

    Does Brian take the money and run while knowing that RWG is considered a lesser life form by many Koi Bito regulars?
    The long and short answer in that Steve, is no. While I admire Mr. Russel's initiative and savvy as an entrepreneur, and wish him well, KB isn't the venue for this product. He would be wasting money better spent elsewhere and I would be doing members a disservice by taking things down a notch. Money is always a good thing in business, but were I to tout products that really have no place on this board, then I'd feel as if I'd taken my thirty pieces of silver and wouldn't be able to look in the mirror and feel good about myself every morning.

    While he's to be commended for being up-front and not engaging in high-pressure sales tactics, I just don't see this product as being compatible with the high-end of the hobby. I think that he also realizes that, and I'd be happy to have him as an advertiser if he has something that would be of genuine interest to the folks who post and lurk here.

    I will say again that I understand where he's coming from as a start-up, from both past failures and current endevours and hope that he does well and that his product does manage to invigorate the hobby by bringing in new participants that can't spend the big bucks initially upon entry.

    Well wishes to all and please continue on with the debate.
    Last edited by Brian; 12-07-2006 at 05:00 AM. Reason: fourty -> thirty
    Brian Sousa
    Koi-Bito Forum

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