May 21, 2002, 12:34 PM
Hi sichang and the rest
Re: [sichang] Building new pond
I can sympathise with sichang and understand the frustrations he is going through!
To be fair, there are a number of honest and good pond builders out there who is willing to listen to your ideas, designs and plans for the pond, filter etc. but I agree with sichang that some pond contractors are only out to make as much money as they can from people with little or no knowledge of pond construction. They also have a one-tracked mind about pond building. If you try and argue with them, they will sneer at you and say "I have built more ponds than you can ever imagine, so who knows better?"
Then they will quote you an astronomical sum and say, "If you want clear water from a hassle-free filtration system etc. then this is the price to pay!" And if you say to them that your budget is say RM5K, then they will give you a dirty look and tell you why are we wasting their time! I had one contractor who quoted me RM28K for a pond that comes complete with zen garden, bonsai plants etc. which has got nothing to do with koi-keeping!
So out of frustration, I decided to read up on pond building from bookstores, internet and then based on my budget and financial constraints came up with a pond that best suited my needs. I got a contractor friend to help me with the pond building. It costs me about RM5K to build the pond with a 4 chamber filtration system. It is very basic, no bottom drains or mid-feed. I am satisfied with what I have done based on the money I had. My kois are happy, I am happy and my pocket is happy!
So my advice to all would be koi-ponders is to read up as much as possible about koi ponds, the nitrogen cycle, filtration systems etc. and you form an idea in your head how you want your pond to be. I am realistic enough to know that since I do not have a bottom drain or back flush in the filters, I have to put in extra work to keep the filters in tip-top condition. That's something I have to accept for the choices I have made.
Once, you can accept that, then work within your budget. Who says that you need RM10K and above to build a pond? Of course, I may offend some connoisseur koi keepers for having an 'incomplete' pond. I guess, ultimately as long as my kois are not 'suffocating' or dying due to diseases, and are growing well, I consider myself to be a responsible owner.
I have learnt a lot from this forum and if any contractor says that this website is nonsense, then pls do not engage his services. So sichang, do not give up hope, I am sure you will be able to build your dream pond soon but be patient. For all you know, you might end up designing your own pond and supervising the contractor on what to do! Kevkoi has written and illustrated some excellent ideas on pond and filter construction and I suggest you study them and perhaps can incorporate some ideas from there. I am sure Kevin wouldn't mind?
Good luck to you and keep hanging in there!