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   Garden ponds are more popular than ever. Interest is at its peak as spring and summer approach. If you have a pond, March is the month to do more than just think about it. It's the month to plan your livestock, plant, and pond equipment needs. Check your dealer's indoor pond displays. These are very effective for demonstrating equipment and for display of fish, especially koi, that are on sale. It is particularly important to review current books on ponds and choose merchandise that you feel comfortable and confident with. 

   All pond enthusiasts know that the fish and plants are the real attention-getters. Koi are the most sought-after pond fish, but comets, in larger sizes, and Shubunkins, Fantails, Channel Catfish, and some of the fancier varieties of domestic and imported Goldfish are of substantial interest. And don't overlook items like Tadpoles, Crayfish, and Clams. 

   Live plants are the other attraction. Plants usually considered only for the aquarium, such as foxtail, cabomba, anacharis (elodea) and a variety of others will flourish outdoors in the summertime. Don't forget to check out water lilies, as well as floating, potted, pond plants. Others include: Tropic Sunset Hygro, introduced in 1985, proved an immediate success. Named for its brilliant pink to red veins 


in a green background, the leaves have beautiful highlights, deepening in color with more intense light. A hardy and very attractive plant, it is easy to care for and should be treated similarly to its parent, Hygrophila Polysperma. It requires strong lighting to keep its red color and reproduces quickly from cuttings and roots. 

Micro Swords make a great foreground plant! This plant multiplies by runners and can form a dense mat. It seldom grows higher than 3 to 31/2 inches. 

   Keep in mind that availability of pond fish will vary through the season. The greatest availability is through May, peaks in June, and lasts through the summer. Plan on maintaining your livestock for a while to know what your interests are and then add what you need. Don't assume that all sizes and varieties are always available. For example, 6 to 8 inch pine cone koi were only available for a several week period in past years. 

   Outdoor pond or water gardening is interesting and affordable to most hobbyists who have the land space required to establish and maintain a meaningful pond. For those contemplating such a project, our advice would be to approach either the fish pond or water garden in a knowledgeable fashion with proper understanding and selection of livestock, equipment needs and maintenance requirements.



Many hobbyists have long yearned to set up a garden pond at home. The best advice is to read everything that you can and talk to those who have installed and maintained ponds. You'll discover that close attention to water quality and filtration is must for a successful project. You'll also need knowledge on the care and feeding of the fish you choose, and how to properly care for the plants that make a pond or water garden so attractive. If a garden pond is something that you have thought about doing, now is the time! The experience and knowledge gained by digging, moving rocks, lining the future pond with old


carpeting, filling the pond and installing filters is invaluable. First hand experience beats even the best of books. 

   Be that as it may, when searching for information, remember that those who have first hand experience have an edge on those that don't. You'll discover that many pet store owners or managers have installed and maintained ponds of their own and are more than willing to share their knowledge. Don't be surprised when you find they have an enthusiasm that is contagious. If this is conveyed to you, you'll be in great shape.

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