A company dedicated to designing & building custom koi ponds and artistic aquatic features
Design and construction of dedicated koi ponds, state of the art bio filtration systems, and smaller water features.
Maintenance & Repair
We provide services for maintaining koi ponds and other aquatic features on commercial and residential properties.
We work with landscape architects, homeowners, and commercial enterprises in advising and working through complex plumbing and filtration design for all types of water features and koi ponds.
Fascination with the natural world, innovation, and integrity is what led to the creation of Bay Area Koi Ponds.
we are able to sustain our recognized customer care, creativity, and craftsmanship known around the bay area by only taking on a small number of builds each year.
With 30 years of combined experience our team is here to serve the bay area with all of it’s koi pond and custom water feature needs. whats Established by Noah Twitchell, we have proudly served the Bay Area since 2013.
We Proudly Install equipment from manufacturers we know and trust in the industry.
Give us a call or send us a message for project inquiries.
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There are many things to consider when designing a koi pond. We take pride in providing outstanding customer care, craftsmanship, and execution from start to finish with a small number of projects each year . Here is a break down of how our process works when you choose to contact us for a project.
The first meeting is an introduction to the ideas and expectations of the project.
Design & Proposal:
Form and function of the project are brought together in a preliminary plan and presented along with a cost estimate for the proposed project.
Permitting & Build:
This process can take 4-8 weeks depending on size and complexity of the project.
FEEDING YOUR KOI:
Feeding rates depend a lot on water temperatures. Since fish are cold blooded, their bodies temperature directly reflect the temperature of the water they are in. When koi get to around 50ºF their digestive systems begin to slow down making it hard for them to properly digest proteins. Most koi food producing companies offer a “winter” or “cool season” food formula that is lower in protein.
When your pond water temperature is 50ºF of below it is important to feed sparingly with a cool season type food, or not at all. From 52ºF - 60ºF it is important to keep them on a cool season koi food formula. Water temperatures above 62ºF allow the koi to start better digesting protein making it safe to feed your koi a growth type formula koi food.
Remember the more food you feed the more aggressive your pond maintenance needs to be in order to keep your koi in healthy condition. Cleaning your filter and doing 10-15% water changes every week is good practice during the summer months when your fish are eating the most.
BASIC POND MAINTENANCE DAILY-WEEKLY-MONTHLY BREAKDOWN:
Once a day
Once a day attention should be given to any and all skimmers that are on a pond. On particularly windy days this may need to happen more often depending on the design and surroundings of your pond.
Check for any blemishes on your koi during feeding and make sure all of your koi are interested in food and not secluding themselves from the rest of your fish.
It is important to be exchanging around 10% of your pond’s water with fresh de-chlorinated tap water every 7-10 days. Aside from the build up of nutrients introduced by the food your fish eat needing to be removed, this 10% water change every 7-10 days also help in removing growth inhibiting compounds that you fish naturally produce. Water changes are key to successful koi keeping.Filter backwashing should occur every 2-4 weeks depending on fish load and feeding rates. The removal of solids from your pond system is important in keeping nutrients levels low, oxygen levels up, and your pond as clear as possible.
Most ponds require a deep cleaning. This cleaning is preferably timed when fish are still active and eating but not during the peak months of the pond season when fish and plants are most active.
UV lamps are replaced for full effectiveness. Quart sleeves are also cleans and overall safety check of the UV filter is completed. UV lamps contain small amounts of mercury in them, it is recommended that they are brought to a certified recycling center where they can be safely and responsibly disposed of.
During the first year of owning a new pond your water should be tested often. This give you an idea of how your particular pond behaves chemistry wise. Construction materials, plumbing design, near by vegetation and water source can all play a part in your pond’s water chemistry.
Alkalinity (KH) is one of the most important parameters to be checking. The Alkalinity is directly related to your pH, we like to think of the Alkalinity as the steering wheel to control the pH which can drive itself up or down sporadically if your your ponds Alkalinity levels are not proper maintained. No matter your pH, if you have a low Alkalinity (below 60 ppm) you are at risk of having your pH jump around which can be very dangerous for your Koi. Koi are able to tolerate a wide range of pH, it is the fluctuation of the pH that can harm them. Ideally you have around 100 ppm Alkalinity. Most city water in the Bay Area comes out from the tap in the high pH range of 7.0 - 9.0. We find that 7.0 - 8.0 pH is normal if Alkalinity (KH) levels are well maintained.
Nitrates are also important in regards to fish health. Nitrate levels in a koi pond should be kept below 40 ppm. Some pond run just fine with higher nitrate levels, though koi will look and grow best with nitrate levels below 40 ppm.
Any amount of Nitrite or Ammonia levels in a mature healthy pond is a cause for concern. Consulting with a professional is recommended.
AERATION & OXYGEN:
Oxygen levels in a pond can be expensive and complicated to test for. Often times a waterfall is not a complete replacement for mechanical aeration, especially if your koi are mature.
Two important rules for keeping oxygen levels safe for your fish.
Keep your water moving! Make sure you are moving the entire volume of your pond though your filtration system around once per hour assuming your filtration system supplies a waterfall, stream or creates slashing of some kind when it returns to your pond. It is best practice to have a pond designed that can efficiently achieve circulation of the entire volume of your pond between one and two times every one hour. Utilizing jets, waterfalls, and aerators this circulation recommendation is assuming the circulation that occurs is exposing your ponds water to the air at some point. Exposing the water sitting at the bottom of your pond to the atmosphere is important is letting the necessary gasses to be exchanged.
Keep your pond clean! The cleaner your pond is the easier it is to keep oxygenated. The microscopic break down of fish waste, leaves, dead algae and other organic matter requires oxygen. So the dirtier you let your pond get the less oxygen your fish have to breathe.
There are many environmental factors play a role in the amount of oxygen your ponds water can store. Cold water for example has the ability to hold more oxygen than warm water. This means shallow, sun exposed ponds are susceptible to low oxygen levels from the day they are built.
Algae breaths too! In extreme cases of algae blooms can effect the oxygen levels in your pond. Algae, like plants, produces oxygen through photosyntheses and so during the day is releasing Oxygen. At night however algae stops producing oxygen though your koi and the billions of bacteria sustaining your koi are still consuming oxygen which can cause a drop in oxygen levels…in other words, a rise in Co2 levels. A drop in oxygen levels can also cause a slight drop in pH.
The best practice for oxygenating a koi pond is to allow as much contact between your ponds water and the atmosphere as possible.