Today, I want to share the exciting journey of building a rescue pond. But before we dive in, let's talk about koi fish. Now, I don't know about you, but I truly believe that koi are some of the most beautiful fish out there. I mean, just look at their vibrant colors and graceful movements. They're like living art in your pond. But here's the thing, not every koi fish is fortunate enough to find a nice home in a pond. Sometimes, if they have a deformity, they get left behind. Other times, homeowners move and leave their ponds, not caring about the fish at all.
So, the question is, would you go out of your way to build a pond just to rescue some of these fish? I know I would. That's why when Greg Wittstock the Pond Guy, reached out to me for a collaboration with John from KG Tropicals, I jumped at the opportunity. The idea to collaborate with John had been in the works for a while, but Aquascape hadn't had the chance to break away from their home market. Now, they asked if I could take the reins and build a pond for John. After a long chat with John on the phone, I knew it was time for me to head down to his house and check out where the pond could go.
When I arrived at John's place, he showed me the five feeder fish he had rescued while moving from Northern Virginia to North Carolina. These poor guys had been living in a lonely tank for quite some time. John couldn't bear the thought of them becoming fish food, so he brought them along. It was time to build them a new castle, a pond they could call home.
Now, before we get into the nitty-gritty, we needed to figure out where this pond was going to go. And let me tell you, John's property is absolutely stunning. With its old Magnolias and beautiful Pines, it has such a stately feel. After discussing potential locations with John, we realized that having the pond near his main house would be ideal. We talked about placing it near his fish house, where he records all of his videos. But we wanted him to be able to enjoy the pond every day—not just when passing by on the way to or from work. I wanted him to be able to sip his coffee in the morning, have a cocktail in the evening, and edit his videos while enjoying the beautiful views of the pond. It's all about that Aquascape lifestyle, my friends.
Location established, it was time to tackle the schedule. Building a pond like this is no walk in the park, especially when it's far from our home base. We had to think about logistics, like getting over 12,000 pounds of rock and 4,000 pounds of gravel to the site. But we did it! Thanks to Ryan Crandall, a local material mover, and James, my brother, who did an amazing job at digging out the pond and laying down the liner in record time. These guys worked tirelessly to meet our schedule, and boy, did they deliver.
Now, let's talk about the rocks—the key to creating a natural-looking pond. Every batch of rocks is different, so it's hard to know exactly what you'll get until they're in place. To say that the rocks speak to us might sound a little too Mother Earth or Hippie, but they kind of do! We have to listen to the rocks, lay them out, and pick the ones that fit perfectly. It's like a puzzle, and it can take a lot of trial and error. You'll often see us moving the excavator back and forth moving rocks—that really is work; we aren’t just driving around doing nothing! Once we find that right piece, everything comes together. Trust me, it's a sight to behold.
Of course, we need to make sure that this pond blends seamlessly with the surrounding environment. In the video, you'll see us working meticulously around the edges, cutting back the liner and underlayment to tuck everything neatly. It's crucial to prevent leaks and give John a pond that will stand the test of time.
And guess what? Despite the challenges, we finished the pond on time! The sun was setting, but we did it. We wanted John to have the satisfaction of seeing his pond completed within two days. It was a long day, and the guys didn't get back to our shop until well past 11 pm, but their hard work paid off.
Now, what about those rescue fish? Funny story... We typically get calls from people asking us to rescue fish at least once a week. But for two whole months leading up to John’s project we had no calls! Can you believe it? Not a single call. But just when we thought our rescue pond might be empty, a text came through. The pond these fish were in was a disaster—pea green soup that made it impossible to see more than half an inch into the water. And we were going to have to go in and rescue them ourselves…
Tune in next week to see John and I go swimming to catch those fish. Well… John’s going swimming, but he doesn’t know that yet!
Check out the full video on YouTube!
About Easton Outdoors
We started out as the neighborhood lawn boys – a group of high school friends trying to make some pocket change. It soon became more. We realized how much we enjoyed landscaping. Over the years, we've transformed hundreds of properties, beautified countless landscapes, and made many homeowners proud. This has become our passion!