One of the best things we did to our home was to have a pond installed in the front of our home!  The sound, the water plants, the beauty, it is all so relaxing.  And of course we had to get koi and fell in love.  And then… dum dum dum….the dreaded Blue Heron came and attacked and took two of our precious koi.

The challenge is the pond wasn’t deep enough so here is a look at the before and after’s in the making of my pond – which will now be double in depth and be safer for our sweet  koi to thrive with nature instead of being a victim to predators! 

Thanks to our fantastic pond designer and installation team, Steve Sandalis and the guys at Mystic Water Gardens!

  • The Original Pond

    Here is our pond severely overgrown with grasses and bamboo type plants. This, along with fishing line and a few other decoy methods, was our only hope in the war against the dreaded Blue Heron, which comes in and spears fish after standing in your pond under 2 feet deep.
  • Our Scare-Heron

    Here are the goofy decoys - the fake blue heron which supposedly tricks the real heron to thinking the pond already has a "boss" - it kind of worked.
  • Clearing Old Plants

    Step one with the pond is taking out all the old plants.
  • Draining The Pond

    Then we drained the pond just low enough to get the koi out.  Note that one of the secrets to keeping koi calm is to cover their eyes when you carry them to the net and their temporary quarantine.
  • The Quarantine

    This is a 100 gallon quarantine I found online for 69.00  It's amazing with a zipper net so the koi don't jump out (which is very common and can be a disaster!) .  
  • Plus It Aerates!

    We also have an aerator inside to keep the koi happy with lots of oxygen.  They can stay in here for a week while the pond work gets done and the new pond creates its ecosystem of balance.
  • Removing Rocks

    Next step is to remove the rocks and clear away the dirt. 
  • Working Hard!

    Lots of heavy lifting.
  • Jackhammer Time!

    Next is with the use of a jack hammer and pick and shovels the guys did more heavy work - digging deeper and deeper into our mostly granite and clay soil.
  • Staging The Waterfall

    Then we go to work staging the waterfall, which will now be in the corner as you walk up to the house. It's the orange outline, here.
  • Day Two Begins!

    Day two begins with more of the same!
  • Finalizing the Digging

    We started with finalizing the digging and cleaning up inside the dirt area of the pond - making way for many more boulders with different colors and interest. 
  • Digging Deep

    The guys dug an additional 5 inches so now the pond is 3 feet and 2 inches - plenty deep so the koi are safe from predators. The koi also have three special caves to hide in.
  • Blue Rock

    Here is a blue rock that will be our seating area to dangle our feet in the pond.  There are two types of rocks - the ones on top are Camarillo rocks - love the oranges and plum colors - and when wet - wow!
  • Liner Time!

    Now the liner goes in.
  • Adding Boulders To The Liner

    The liner stays in place by using big boulders and gravity - that's it! The guys are so artistic how they choose the perfect rock for the perfect spot!
  • Day Three

    Day Three was a really big day - our last day of pond work that led up to the final reveal.  It meant putting in the waterfall with a bio filter and the skimmer which not only provides the beauty - but the oxygen circulation for the koi and the ...
  • Waterfall Foundation

    Check out the foundation for the water fall going in!  It's all about getting the perfect boulders in just the right spot.
  • Lights!

    And you have to have underwater lights!  These are made for underwater so they won't leak and short out - and at night they make the pond and waterfall even more magical!
  • Water!

    And now the water goes in! But before the koi can return to their new home - the new water has to be de-chlorinated and mixed with some of the old pond water that has been keeping the koi calm. 
  • Plants

    Steve Sandalis and his team have a great eye for the landscaping too! We live in a shady area so that means lots of shade loving plants like ferns, varigated agapanthus, raspberry fringe, and moss!
  • The Wait

    After a few hours the water is adjusted and ready for the koi to be transferred.
  • Koi Whisperer

    Byron is a koi "whisperer" and gently brings one koi at a time into the new pond - covering their eyes so they don't stress during the transfer.
  • Yippee! Said the Koi

    All of the new nooks and crannies to discover!
  • Glow

    As the sun sets we turn on the lights
  • Final Touches

    The final touches with our pond decor
  • Voila!

    And voila! Check out the gorgeous new pond - that went from 1200 gallons to 3,000 - transformed into a work of art that is not only bigger for the koi but quite the statement as we walk to our front door every day!
  • Yay Team!

    And soon, we will create a new seating area by the pond as well as inside looking out the window over the pond! But for now - thanks again to the whole team! Great job!