North Idaho Koi Keepers

May 10, 2008 Workshop at John Miller's

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By Laws

First of all wanted to thank Harold, of Harold Zeutschel Landscape for attending our NIKK workshop this last Saturday. John Miller and I would like to thank all who attended and participated with their valued input towards John's new to be Koi pond. There was much dialogue about construction techniques and types of materials (liners, fiberglass, concrete, shotcrete and etc.) and the most cost effective approach's while still maintaining the structural integrity, lasting quality, and of course a low maintenance Koi pond.
After about 30 minutes into the workshop, Dan Olson and Harold put their heads together at the front of John's living room with flip chart and felt markers in hand to approach a feasible construction and material technique that would accommodate both soil conditions and the budget criteria. Bottom line, John has a number of considerations and decisions still in front of him, but at least he knows what the alternatives are with building "up" the upper portion of the Koi ponds walls to accommodate viewing the fish, releasing and retrieving the fish for various reasons (Koi Shows) and just enjoying them.
It was my intention by having this particular workshop to provide everyone in attendance, some of the basic considerations when planning to build a Koi Pond. While we were not able to address plumbing and filtration to any degree and depth as we did with the actual pond construction, I think the workshop was a great exercise and refresher for all in attendance. Even though I have never experience the process of child birth first hand, I have been told by a number of Mothers that the actual birthing discomfort is erased from the mind as time moves on and most will go through the ordeal at least one more time. I think the building of a Koi pond has many parallels to the aforementioned sentence. After we have built our Koi pond, we like to put aside from our minds all the decisions, gyrations and anxieties of planning, funding and building the pond. Once the pond is completed, filled with water and Koi, we stand back and admire, and most of the preliminaries of building the pond begin to fade with time.
Bottom line here is that John was happy with the outcome of the workshop and looks forward to working with Harold to obtain a Koi pond that we can all see at another workshop at his home in the future. I trust that John will display on the PNKCA pond tour this September.   


John and Gene presenting John's proposed koi pond layout before moving indoors to discuss the construction options.


Here the group moved to ground level to review possible location of pond related equipment under the decking and possible containment arrangements for water discharge.  Additionally, the group was able to view the bottom drain and skimmer proposed locations and topography view looking towards the waterfall and steam end.


Here Harold is illustrating one of the vertical wall construction possibilities.



This photo illustrates what the group was reviewing from the deck to provide an overview of intended stream, waterfall and pond layout.

Dan and Harold presenting combined ideas and approaches to a sloped bottom utilizing waterfall currents to move debris to the deeper end where the bottom drains are located.  This approach due to reduction in total pond gallons would also save cost off additional filtration requirements, thus reducing the overalll koi pond construction expenditures.

As usual, in determining pond construction cost, a sharp pencil and a contractor's calculator at the hands of an experienced contractor yields the proposed cost of a two-hour workshop discussion.