BUTTERFLY KOI: BASIC FACTS TO KNOW

http://cepontzsons.com/butterfly-koi/

Butterfly Koi

BY: Aquascape 

In certain circles, when you mention butterfly koi it’s like speaking out of turn in an audience with the Pope. You just don’t do this. Quite a few of the koi connoisseurs think of butterfly koi as “mutts,” and some say that butterfly koi aren’t even koi. Others, however, happen to think butterfly koi can be the finest koi in any collection, depending on several factors – size, pattern, and finnage.

Butterfly Koi in an Aquascape Pond

First, let’s consider where butterfly koi originated. In the early 80s, a population of common, brown and grey carp with long fins were found in a series of canals and ditches in Indonesia. A company in New York took an interest and brought the fish into the U.S. and sold some. They did not sell well because they were ugly. However, an enterprising and curious group of breeders at Blue Ridge Fish Hatchery placed an order for a dozen of these fish to see what the heck they were. Ugly, with long fins, is what they discovered. Over the next several years they bred these large, long finned mutations with their finest regular-fin koi and made several discoveries.

  • Long-fin genes are dominant, so breeding the fish back to color would not breed out the long fin gene.
  • Long-fin koi are robust and disease resistant.
  • The fish could be bred back to color and many colorful lines of long-fin koi have been created at Blue Ridge Fish Hatchery.

The original breeder at Blue Ridge Fish Hatchery who spearheaded the cultivation of long-fin koi was a man named Wyatt LeFever. His son Randy made his way to the tanks to see the fish. As he regarded the fish with interest, he observed, “Dad, they look like Butterflies!” The name stuck.
 

The Relation of Size and Value

As Butterfly koi grow, they become more and more impressive because the fins keep growing until the blood vessels can’t sustain the fins to be any longer. The older the fish, the longer and more impressive the finnage. So, a full-grown butterfly koi looks like a long, slinky dragon moving through the water. Their barbels (whiskers) even grow long and can fork into elaborate designs.

Butterfly koi seem to lack some of the body size of regular koi, but the overall fish can run as long as 36 to 40 inches in the right pond with plenty of food. They are graceful and pleasant to watch swim.

Butterfly Koi in an Aquascape Pond

What about Pattern?

Since pattern seems to mean a great deal to the value of a regular koi, it makes logical sense that a good, standard pattern with bright colors would increase the value of a butterfly koi too, but there are a few notable additions. While a butterfly koi is more valuable when it has a properly defined and positioned pattern in the color, beautiful fins can often make even a poorly patterned fish look beautiful.

In addition, lemon and platinum ogons (solid color) in the butterfly category are awesome as adults. When you grow a metallic yellow or platinum ogon butterfly to an impressive, large size, their body movement is more graceful and slow. The fins are long, but the uniform gold or neon-white color is brilliant in the water and such fish look like fireballs or comets moving through the water with their “fire” (fins) streaming behind them. Gorgeous!
 

Notable Butterfly Koi Types

Sorogoi are incredible as adults in the butterfly class, as well. A sorogoi is the overall grey fish with the “fukurin” or black fish net pattern over the body. So, taking that color and putting it on a large, impressive adult butterfly koi gives you what rather appears as a grey sea monster moving through the water. Its subdued colors don’t attract the eye at first, but then you see its graceful, lengthy body and fins moving around below you and you are taken aback by both the robustness of the fish (they grow huge) and its mysterious, grey color.

Even better than that are black butterflies – which are, by far the coolest fish. They are seldom found, so the effect is rare and special when it happens. The black butterfly may be with or without scales. The rarest and most valuable of this type is the doitsu, karasu butterfly. This fish is black, has no scales, and has long fins.
 

Black Beauties

Black butterflies grow up and become very large because their genes are not as strained as some of the brighter colored fish. And if they have no scales, the body is a glistening jet-black. The fins keep growing until the entire fish is broad, and streams long black robes behind it. They look like a jet-black dragon.

And when a visitor to your pond is feeding your fish at the side of the pond, suddenly, a large black shadow looms up from the depths. Larger it gets, until they realize that there is no color, the fish is just a shadow and when the fish takes the food, it turns and swirls down out of sight with a flourish of long, black fins. “What was that?” they usually stammer. “That is the shadow. He’s our black fish, which the Japanese have always regarded as a lucky fish,” you reply. The fully mature black butterfly koi is surely one of the most memorable fish a kid could ever encounter or feed. With such a fish, you own a living breathing shadow dragon.

Butterfly Koi in an Aquascape Pond
 

Oh Those Fins!

In a discussion of butterfly koi, we should talk a tiny bit more about the fins. The butterfly koi fins are long because of a genetic aberration resulting in the length growth gene failing to turn off. In fish, the fins are supposed to grow to a genetically specified length, and then stop growing. But in the high fin mutation the fins don’t get the “stop growth” message and they keep growing. This happens in individual fish of many species from time to time. Some notable examples are Siamese fighting fish, Simpson’s hi fin swordtails, long fin oscars, and long fin black tetras. Any time the mutation is encountered and identified, it is bred into a species to see if it would make that species more economically important commercially.

Like any other koi, the fins of the butterfly koi are made up of dozens of rays of cartilage that radiate outward and support the fin. These rays generally grow very straight, but past the point of normal length they can grow wavy. The fish that grow straight rays even into the lengthier parts of the tail are more impressive looking and would be more valuable.

One problem with butterfly koi is that they are often handled the same way as regular koi. Broken fins and tails are par for the course by the time the fish is an adult. So, it’s normal to see bends and waves in the fins and tail of butterfly koi partly because of growing that way, but also because of netting-damage as a juvenile. As an adult, a split tail or fin often does not heal well and remains split. All of the above is irrelevant to the casual observer, the impact of the fish is exactly the same, but you might notice variations in fin quality and you may care enough to choose one fish over the other based on that.
 

Are They the Real McKoi?

The butterfly koi is a true koi. Despite this fact, the Japanese have shared some American purist’s distaste for these long fin beauties. Truth be told, the Japanese have usually reacted to any new color, at first, as an abomination. Eventually, they get used to it and accept it, and eventually love the diversity.

And it has been that way with the butterfly koi. At first, Mr. Suda was the only breeder in Japan producing butterfly koi. His fish have been gorgeous, and he even bred them for prodigious size. But the rest of the Japanese breeders declined.

Mr. Suda’s fish became so popular in the U.S. that they became scarce; making Mr. Suda realize his decision to breed them was a good one. Over time, as other breeders watched Mr. Suda sell everything he had very fast, they eventually overcame their resistance to butterfly koi and started producing them, too. Today, there are domestic breeders who compete in the butterfly koi market. They are very popular fish – and for good reason.

Butterfly Koi - Basic Facts to Know

 

 

Read More: http://www.aquascapeinc.com/blogs/water-gardening/Butterfly-Koi

Custom Fire Fountains

http://cepontzsons.com/custom-fire-fountains/

Check out these amazing Custom Fire Fountains. These glorious fire fountains were customized to fit into a larger water feature. The over all water feature includes a large ecosytem pond. A spillway bowl waterfall starts the show. The spillway bowl flows into a bog filter loaded with aquatic plants. The bog or wetland filter over flow to start the waterfalls. Multiple cascading waterfalls spill a top weathered limestone boulders and into the pond. The pond is outfitted with a typical skimmer filtration system. A massive limestone bubbling fountain was incorporated into the edge of the water feature. The pond finally flows over a zero-edge waterfall into a large basin. The basin houses the custom fire fountains. one of the fountains is a bubbling urn the other a fire bowl customized with 3 spillways. These fountains are part of our new outdoor living display located in Lancaster, PA. Feel free to stop by day or night and gaze upon a beautiful work of art. 🙂

Custom Fire Fountains installed in Lancaster, PA

Custom Fire Fountains installed in Lancaster, PA

Custom Fire Fountains installed in Lancaster, PA

Custom Fire Fountains installed in Lancaster, PA

Custom Fire Fountains installed in Lancaster, PA

Custom Fire Fountains installed in Lancaster, PA

Pond Retrofit

http://cepontzsons.com/pond-retrofit/

Pond Retrofit

This Pond project consisted of removal and rebuilding of existing stream and pond. All new pond components were installed. The installation included pond liner, pump, rock, skimmer and filtration. This is a complete Aquascape ecosystem pond. The pond is roughly 15’x 20′ at its largest and has a 20′ meandering stream. We also installed a custom fire bowl spillway fountain. The self-contained fire fountain is a water feature with a fire feature in the center making it an ideal focal point or centerpiece to any outdoor setting. We customized this fountain to include a spillway as well. it is no longer self-contained. We incorporated it to work with the pond system. Simply add paraffin or “tiki torch fuel” and you’re ready to go. We also installed an automatic dosing system for ease of maintenance. This Pond was installed in Lancaster, PA. We also did some renovation work on the flagstone walkway along the pond.

The video above is a mixture of footage from a Drone, GoPro, and an iPhone. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Pond Retrofit installed in Lancaster, PA

Pond Retrofit installed in Lancaster, PA

Pond Retrofit installed in Lancaster, PA

Pond Retrofit installed in Lancaster, PA

Pond Retrofit installed in Lancaster, PA

Pond Retrofit installed in Lancaster, PA

Pond Retrofit installed in Lancaster, PA

Pond Retrofit installed in Lancaster, PA

Pond Retrofit installed in Lancaster, PA

Pond Retrofit installed in Lancaster, PA

Pond Retrofit installed in Lancaster, PA

Pond Retrofit installed in Lancaster, PA

Pond Retrofit installed in Lancaster, PA

Pond Retrofit installed in Lancaster, PA

Pond Retrofit installed in Lancaster, PA

Pond Retrofit installed in Lancaster, PA

Pond Retrofit installed in Lancaster, PA

Pond Retrofit installed in Lancaster, PA

Pond Retrofit installed in Lancaster, PA

Pond Retrofit installed in Lancaster, PA

Pond Retrofit installed in Lancaster, PA

Pond Retrofit installed in Lancaster, PA

Amazing Outdoor Living Display

http://cepontzsons.com/amazing-outdoor-living-display/

Amazing Outdoor Living Display

Feast your eyes on our new Outdoor Living Display. The feature is located at our Creative Center on New Holland Pike in Lancaster, PA. This is the finished Product. We have documented the entire build from start to finish. Previous videos were shot in time-lapse during the duration of the build. Links to previous videos are at the bottom of the page.

The Display feature incorporates a little bit of the services we provide. We featured different aspects of outdoor living. The first thing to catch your eye is a fairly large-scale water feature. The water feature consist of a ecosystem pond. The water starts to flow from a spillway bowl fountain. The spillway pours into the bog filter. The water then flows down various cascading waterfalls. The waterfalls and pond were constructed out of 2 different types of boulders. We did this to show various options available. There is a gigantic boulder fountain that is incorporated into the pond as well. There is a skimmer in the pond the show functionality. The pond then flows over a zero edge waterfall into a large basin. Atop the basin is 3 fountains. 2 bubbling urn fountains as well as fire bowl fountain.

The patio area incorporates different styles and colors of pavers. Along with different styles of boarders. There is 2 seating walls on either side of the patio area. Each seating wall has a mixture of stone and brick veneer and topped with flagstone caps. There is a very unique shed next to the patio area. Surrounding the patio are we installed an outdoor audio system as well. This system cranks out some serious sound. Stop by and have a listen!

The entire project area is outfitted with landscape lighting. We incorporated up-lights, wall lights, path lights, and a couple spot lights. The entire water feature also has underwater lighting installed. Landscaping was installed around the project to finished it off. If you’re in the Lancaster area be sure to stop by and check it out!!! Visitors are always welcome.

Amazing Outdoor Living Display

Amazing Outdoor Living Display

Amazing Outdoor Living Display

Amazing Outdoor Living Display

Amazing Outdoor Living Display

Amazing Outdoor Living Display

Amazing Outdoor Living Display

Amazing Outdoor Living Display

DCIM119GOPRO

DCIM119GOPRO

Amazing Outdoor Living Display

Amazing Outdoor Living Display

Amazing Outdoor Living Display

Amazing Outdoor Living Display

Amazing Outdoor Living Display

Amazing Outdoor Living Display

Ecosystem Pond with underwater Lighting and Landscape Lighting installed in Lancaster, PA

Ecosystem Pond with underwater Lighting and Landscape Lighting installed in Lancaster, PA

 

Part 1: http://cepontzsons.com/display-feature-progress/
Part 2: http://cepontzsons.com/outdoor-living-display-progress/
Part 3: http://cepontzsons.com/outdoor-living-display-progress-pt-3/
Part 4: http://cepontzsons.com/outdoor-living-display-progress-pt-4/
Part 5: http://cepontzsons.com/outdoor-living-display-pt-5/

Aquascape Project Showcase – Q Center

http://cepontzsons.com/aquascape-project-showcase-3/

Aquascape Project Showcase

Check out this amazing Aquascape project showcase. This Amazing water feature was constructed by certified aquascape contractors during Pondemonium. The Pontz crew was on hand to help with the build. This project consist of a large pondless waterfall with multiple streams and waterfalls throughout.

Aquascape Project Showcase - Q Center in St. Charles, IL

Aquascape Project Showcase – Q Center in St. Charles, IL

Join Ed Beaulieu as he walks through the design, construction, and inspiration surrounding the amazing Pondless Waterfall constructed at the Q Center in St. Charles, IL, during the advanced CAC build at Pondemonium!

A very special thanks to all of the Certified Aquascape Contractors who were on hand to create such a breathtaking water feature that will be enjoyed by thousands of people from around the world!

Amazing Backyard Pond

http://cepontzsons.com/amazing-backyard-pond/

Check out this amazing backyard pond with just about every feature you could ask for installed in Lancaster, PA. This project included a large ecosystem pond with tons of different features throughout. A small wetland filter begins the journey into the large ecosystem pond. One of the ponds most noticeable features is the two bubbling urn fountains. There is stepping-stones through the pond. The stepping-stones take you from the back patio through the pond to natural stone steps leading to the yard. A zero edge waterfall was installed at the edge of the pond leading to the stream. Drift wood was incorporated to soften and naturalize the look of the pond. This is typical protocol during our pond construction. The stream then flows underneath a large natural stone bridge. the bridge connects large steps leading to the patio area. on the other side of the bridge is a large natural stone stairway. After flowing underneath the bridge the water enters the grand falls. This large multiple tier waterfall is quite breathtaking. This is just another example of what sets C.E. Pontz Sons apart from the competition. The final waterfalls then disappear into a pondless waterfall basin. The basin then recycles the water up through the wetland to further filter the pond water. Boulder retaining walls were also installed as well as landscaping lighting.

Amazing Pond with Boulder Retaining Wall and Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Amazing Pond with Boulder Retaining Wall and Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Amazing Backyard Pond with Boulder Retaining Wall and Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Amazing Backyard Pond with Boulder Retaining Wall and Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Amazing Backyard Pond with Boulder Retaining Wall and Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Amazing Backyard Pond with Boulder Retaining Wall and Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Amazing Backyard Pond with Boulder Retaining Wall and Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Amazing Backyard Pond with Boulder Retaining Wall and Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Amazing Backyard Pond with Boulder Retaining Wall and Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Amazing Backyard Pond with Boulder Retaining Wall and Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Amazing Backyard Pond with Boulder Retaining Wall and Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Amazing Backyard Pond with Boulder Retaining Wall and Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Amazing Backyard Pond with Boulder Retaining Wall and Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Amazing Backyard Pond with Boulder Retaining Wall and Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Amazing Backyard Pond with Boulder Retaining Wall and Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Amazing Backyard Pond with Boulder Retaining Wall and Natural Stone Steps installed in Lancaster, PA

Outdoor Living Display Pt.5

http://cepontzsons.com/outdoor-living-display-pt-5/

This is the final video of the construction of our new Outdoor Living Display Feature. The feature is located at our Creative Center in Lancaster, PA. This is the 5th and final part in this video series. Each video is shot in time-lapse during the duration of the build. The Display feature will incorporate a little bit of what we do. We will feature different aspects of outdoor living. It will include a fairly large-scale water feature. The water feature will have a pond, fountains, wetland filter, and a few other elements. There will also be a paver patio area, and seating walls with different types of veneer. We will also install landscape lighting throughout. As well as an outdoor audio system and landscaping.

*Update: As you will notice in the video above, the project is basically finished. Installation of the ecosystem pond, wetland filter, bog, streams and waterfalls are complete. The bubbling urn fountains and spillway bowls are also complete. The landscape lighting and outdoor audio were complete by the previous videos end. The patio area was also finished during the duration of the previous video. The only thing left as of this videos end was the surrounding landscape. The landscaping as since been installed and will be highlighted in the final project video.

If you’re in the Lancaster area be sure to stop by and check it out!!! Visitors are always welcome.

 

Part 1: http://cepontzsons.com/display-feature-progress/
Part 2: http://cepontzsons.com/outdoor-living-display-progress/
Part 3: http://cepontzsons.com/outdoor-living-display-progress-pt-3/
Part 4: http://cepontzsons.com/outdoor-living-display-progress-pt-4/

Landscape Lighting Design

http://cepontzsons.com/landscape-lighting-design/

Fall is the perfect time for a landscape lighting design.

landscape Lighting design installed in Strasburg, PA

landscape Lighting design installed in Strasburg, PA

The nights get shorter as the sun sets earlier. The weather however is still very enjoyable. A professionally designed and installed landscape lighting system can extend your enjoyment far into the pleasant fall nights! As well for those that enjoy the brisk weather sitting by the outdoor fireplace.

Landscape Lighting design installed in Lancaster, PA

Landscape Lighting design installed in Lancaster, PA

There’s no reason your outdoor living area can’t be enjoyed year round.Landscape lighting extends the hours that you can enjoy your outdoors, as well as adds another dimension of BEAUTY and added security to your property. It provides the perfect accent to walkways, patios, retaining and seating walls, as well as those special architectural elements on your home and even inside your pond or water feature.

Landscape Lighting design install in Lancaster, PA

Landscape Lighting design install in Lancaster, PA

Your outdoor living space can come alive at night with the use of Landscape Lighting. Often over looked and under used landscape lighting provides a benefit to your home that simply has to be seen and experienced to be believed.

Landscape Lighting design installed in Lancaster, PA

Landscape Lighting design installed in Lancaster, PA 

Whether it be dinner on the patio or those get-togethers with friends and family that last well into the evening. Landscape Lighting will provided you with getting the most out of your outdoor living space. After all, who doesn’t want to get the most out of their investment. Make lighting a priority.

 
To schedule a consultation and see how we can make your outdoor living dream a reality. Please take a few moments to fill out our Pre-consultation Questionnaire. Fill out as much information as you can. Someone from our office will contact you shortly.

 

Outdoor Living Display Progress Pt.4

http://cepontzsons.com/outdoor-living-display-progress-pt-4/

We are currently in the process of building a new Outdoor Living Display Feature at our Creative Center in Lancaster, PA. This is the fourth part in this video series. Each video is shot in time-lapse during the duration of the build. The Display feature will incorporate a little bit of what we do. We will feature different aspects of outdoor living. It will include a fairly large-scale water feature. The water feature will have a pond, fountains, wetland filter, and a few other elements. There will also be a paver patio area, and seating walls with different types of veneer. We will also install landscape lighting throughout. As well as an outdoor audio system and landscaping.

*Update: As you will notice in the video above, the ecosystem pond itself is complete. Installation of the wetland filter, bog, streams and waterfalls are in progress. The bubbling urn fountains and spillway bowls are also underway. The landscape lighting and outdoor audio were complete by the videos end. The patio area as you will see was also finished during the duration of the video. We will continue work on this display as our schedule allows. Be sure to stay tuned for more videos and pictures as the project comes to a completion.

If you’re in the Lancaster area be sure to stop by and check it out!!! Visitors are always welcome.

Outdoor Living Display Feature installation in Lancaster, PA

Outdoor Living Display Feature installation in Lancaster, PA

Part 1: http://cepontzsons.com/display-feature-progress/

Part 2: http://cepontzsons.com/outdoor-living-display-progress/

Part 3: http://cepontzsons.com/outdoor-living-display-progress-pt-3/

HOW TO CARE FOR MARGINAL PLANTS

http://cepontzsons.com/marginal-plants/
BY:Aquascape 


Marginal plants are simply the aquatic plants found growing around the edges, or margins, of your water garden. To create a natural-looking pond, a good selection of marginal plants is very important. There are hundreds of varieties to choose from and they come in all shapes, sizes, textures, and flower colors.

Creeping Jenny-Marginal Plants
 

Attractive and Beneficial

Other than just adding beauty and naturalization, marginal plants also serve many other purposes in the water garden. They add valuable filtration to the pond and they remove elements that would otherwise feed algae. They attract and provide cover for wildlife, and you can also select from among many different hardy or tropical varieties.

In an ecosystem pond, marginal plants are generally placed directly into the gravel. This lets them thrive naturally and filter the water more effectively. Certain plants like thalia, bulrush, and reeds can be problematic and may even damage the pond liner. You should either avoid planting them altogether, or plant them in an aquatic pot, surrounding the pots with rocks and gravel to maintain the natural look of the pond.

Streams are another great place for marginal plants. Again, they provide valuable filtration as the water flows past their roots. They also soak up additional nutrients, minimizing algae problems. Just picture the last time you saw a stream in nature and all the wonderful plants growing in the water along its edges. That’s the look you want to create.
 

Planting Considerations

Start by selecting the proper plant for the water depth, sun exposure, and location. Water depth is an important consideration when it comes to choosing aquatic plants. More specifically, the concern is with how much water a plant will tolerate above its crown. For this reason, most marginals are planted on the first shelf of the pond. Select plants of different heights, foliage types, and flower colors to create a pleasing mix.

After selecting the plants, it’s time to place them in the pond. Start off by washing away most of the soil from around the root system. You don’t want to disturb the root system of the plant, so be careful and avoid removing too much. Once the soil has been removed from the plant, push the gravel back and place it in the pond, filling the gravel back in around the root system.

The same process can be used for planting in a stream – carefully selecting aquatic plants that like or tolerate the stream’s moving water. Not all marginal plants can thrive in moving water.
 

Special Care for Aggressive Plants

If the plant you decide to use is overly aggressive, you should consider leaving it in a pot to help contain the spread of the roots. Remember, most aquatic plants prefer width over depth in their respective growing areas so give them plenty of room to spread out. Many marginals are shallow-rooted, therefore depth is less of a factor than surface area.

To plant, fill the hole-less aquatic pot with 2-3” of heavy topsoil, placing the fertilizer in the bottom of the pot. Unlike the marginals you planted in the gravel, you will need to fertilize these plants as they are not as effective at drawing nutrients from the pond because their roots are contained by the pot.

Finish filling in around the plant’s roots with heavy topsoil. Then fill the pot to within one inch of the top, firmly pack the soil, and cover it with a ½ to one-inch layer of gravel. Remember, when you’re done, the gravel level should be about even with the previous soil level.
 

Maintenance

Taking care of marginal plants in an ecosystem pond is fairly simple. Remove any dead, discolored, or excess plant material as needed. Marginal plants (unless they are in pots) do not need to be fertilized, as they will flourish from the nutrients in the pond.

For winter care, simply cut the plants back to two or three inches above the water level of the pond. In the spring, remove all dead plant material. And remember, the growth of plants that are directly in the gravel is not restricted – they will need to be thinned so they don’t engulf more of the pond than originally planned.
 

On A Final Note

The flowering waterlily may be the apple of your water gardening eye, but marginal plants play a crucial role in the function, maintainability, and beauty of a properly-conceived water garden. Without marginal plants, the water garden will look out of place and unnatural. They provide many textures, colors, and blooms that soften the edges and help blend the pond into the surrounding landscape. So when you’re in the planning stages of a water garden project, don’t forget the marginals because they’re simply part of Mother Nature’s recipe … and we all know better than to argue with her.

read more: aquascapeinc.com