With its first Waterfall Festival, Garden Ponds & Aquariums Unlimited promotes outdoor relaxation and contributes to animal welfare.
By Ian Jayne
There’s nothing more quintessentially Oklahoman than spending time in the outdoors — accompanied by one’s pet, of course.
This year’s first-ever Waterfall Festival by Garden Ponds & Aquariums Unlimited will provide Oklahomans with a wide array of options for all of their backyard needs while also supporting a good cause, with donations and a percentage of proceeds benefiting Central Oklahoma Humane Society.
Located at 310 SW First St. in Moore, Waterfall Festival will be open to the public 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 12 and 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Oct. 13. Entry to the festival is free, and visitors will be able to spin a discount wheel that will determine their purchasing discount for the day.
There will be something for everyone at Waterfall Festival: outdoor products from Garden Ponds & Aquariums unlimited and other vendors, fish races for kids and booths from wineries and fine cigars from Tobacco Exchange for adults.
Waterfall Festival grew out of Garden Ponds & Aquarium Unlimited’s annual customer appreciation days, said Lauri Lucas, who has co-owned the business with her husband for about 20 years. Previous customer appreciation days included sales and the ever-popular fish races, but this year, Lucas decided to expand the idea.
“This year, I just decided to change it completely,” Lucas said. “We called it the Waterfall Festival because that’s really what it was all along; it just took on a different name. Our goal is to inspire new people to enter the hobby and let people see how they can have waterfalls in their own backyard.”
The event is luau-themed, and attendees will receive a Hawaiian lei upon arrival; on Saturday, after dark, lighted pond displays and tiki torches will add ambiance. There will be live music both days, including guitarist Edgar Cruz and other local performers.
Lucas’ own experiences with pets shaped the idea to benefit Central Oklahoma Humane Society, and Lucas said she has always been drawn to organizations that help animals in need.
“I’m not a grandparent; I have grand-dogs,” Lucas said. “My children just have dogs at this stage in their lives. Pets are really important to us. A lot of our customers bring in pets, so we thought, ‘Let’s do a fundraiser for the Humane Society, because we had always heard about them, and they do really good things.’”
Several components of the festival will raise money for Humane Society, including a percentage of all retail sales and a charity raffle featuring three levels of prizes: a $900 Aquascape Waterfall Kit, two large statuary vases worth $300 from Statuary World and a Pond Max 3 LED Light kit worth $150. Tickets for the raffle are $20 apiece, and Lucas hopes to sell 200, raising around $4,000 for Humane Society.
The fish races are pay-to-play, Lucas said, and will also benefit the Humane Society.
“We have really small Japanese koi, and we actually have a raceway,” Lucas said. “It’s a tabletop raceway, and so we put a fish in each starting gate. Then we raise the starting gate and everyone yells and cheers.”
The winner gets to keep the fastest fish.
Lucas said that Garden Ponds & Aquariums Unlimited will also be donating gift certificates, T-shirts, pond plants and statuary. Local businesses will be donating items to mystery boxes, as well, and there will be an opportunity to play charity games like Plinko. Attendees will also have the option to write donation checks directly.
“We know that when we send the donations that we raise to the Humane Society, they’re going to be utilized in a good way,” Lucas said.
The different elements of the Waterfall Festival all converge at the point of outdoor relaxation for people and their pets.
“Everybody wants a waterfall; they just don’t know it yet,” Lucas said. “Anyone who has ever seen a koi pond with professional waterfalls, the minute that they do, they’re like, ‘Oh my gosh! I never knew that I could have this in my yard.’”
Lucas said that many are often surprised at the price point for waterfalls or ponds — generally around $3,500, which is comparable to many hot tubs. According to Lucas, many customers go to Garden Ponds & Aquariums Unlimited looking for ways to make their yard spaces more relaxing so that they are able to de-stress at the end of long days.
“They go out onto the patios, they listen to the soothing sound of the waterfall, they watch the fish swim. It’s just something that is truly relaxing and a little bit of escape for them,” Lucas said.
In addition to serving as aesthetically pleasing focal points for a backyard, Lucas pointed out the functional elements of ponds and waterfalls and their thematic connection to pets. Lucas said that waterfalls can provide a constant supply of filtered water to dogs who are outside and can also serve as a splash pad for animals that want to cool off.
For Lucas, Waterfall Festival offers a way to improve backyard spaces and promote relaxation while also supporting the Humane Society.
“I think if Oklahoma City as a whole can realize that these are things that they can have that enhance our lifestyle and enhance property value, if it’s done right, it will be of interest to a lot of people.”
Garden Ponds & Aquariums Unlimited is featured in the October 2018 Issue of MOORE MONTHLY.
You may be asking yourself, “Do I really need to add pond plants to my fish pool?” The answer is yes. Aquatic pond plants are the foundation of your new fish pool, helping to balance your entire pond ecosystem. Valuable pond filtration is provided through the removal of nitrogen, ammonia, nitrates and other minerals that can lead to unsightly water conditions in your fish pool.
Aquatic pond plants also provide extensive beauty, quickly naturalizing the environment and softening the edges while providing shelter and shade for your Koi fish. Fish pools that containing aquatic pond plants are more likely to have clear water, minimal waste, healthy koi fish, sufficient oxygen and a natural look.
A wide array of pond plant choices allows you to express your creativity through your aquatic plantings. The next section explains some of the options available in the water gardening industry.
Types of pond plants for fish pools.
Aquatic pond plants are grouped into two basic categories: tropical pond plants and hardy pond plants. Hardy plants are able to over-winter in colder climates, allowing you to enjoy them year after year. Tropical plants, on the other hand, are more suited for warmer climates and often used as annuals in colder climate zones. Most hardy and tropical pond plants can be categorized into four categories: water lilies, marginal pond plants, floating pond plants and oxygenators.
We carry a wide variety of aquatic pond plants that thrive in a wet environment and add TONS of color to your fish pools!
Changing your aquatic pond plant selection each year is a great way to change your fish pool ever so slightly. Night blooming water lilies are a unique fish pool addition because they only bloom at night. How amazing is that? We carry a huge selection of aquatic pond plants that will thrive during our Oklahoma pond season. Most of the aquatic pond plants we carry offer beautiful blooms of color that will enhance any fish pool.
We also carry a color changing water lily. It alternates between two different colors throughout the day.
Pond Plant Fertilizers
Help your new pond plants reach their fullest potential by using aquatic plant fertilizer to optimize growth. Garden Ponds & Aquariums Unlimited has developed Pond Plant Fertilizer Tabs to help your pond plants thrive in your fish pool. Garden Ponds & Aquariums Unlimited Pond Plant Fertilizer Tabs feeds all types of aquatic pond plants and provides an initial quick-release of nutrients that ensures proper growth and longer lasting blooms for up to three months.
Through the use of Garden Ponds & Aquariums Unlimited Aquatic Planters or the Aquatic Lily Planter, we have the perfect way to add pond plants to your fish pool. Our aquatic planters will not crack or break like traditional plastic planters. Made from fine, porous material, our aquatic planters allow water to penetrate while preventing soil from entering your fish pool. The incredible flexibility makes it easy to place plants between rocks and other tight spaces, and the dark color allows the planter to easily blend into your fish pool.
Pond Plant Potting Media
When it comes time to pot your new aquatic pond plants, we recommend using a potting media specially formulated for aquatic plants. You shouldn’t use just any media as it could be harmful to your fish pool and contribute to algae blooms. Garden Ponds & Aquariums Unlimited’s Pond Plant Potting Media is a great example of an all-natural, non-toxic media that is perfect for supporting aquatic pond plant growth in your fish pool!
Providing Pond Services in Oklahoma City, Norman, Moore, Nichols Hills, Edmond, Yukon, Shawnee, Newcastle, Mustang, Bethany and Surrounding Areas
Garden Ponds in Oklahoma
Ponds or water gardens in Oklahoma can present great rewards as well as unique challenges. Ponds in Oklahoma experience all four seasons. Each season can require different pond maintenance techniques.
Spring tends to really kick off the start of the year for Oklahoma. This is the time of year that we can experience vast temperature swings. One day its 80 degrees and the next it will be 55 degrees. Nighttime lows can vary from 32 degrees to 60 degrees. These temperature variations can wreak havoc on your pond filtration systems.
During warm days your pond filtration system is trying to come alive and establish its eco system. Your garden pond works best when your Garden Ponds Unlimited biological pond filtration is thriving with beneficial bacteria. These bacteria can only mature and stay alive during warmer temperatures. It’s essential that you add our S.A.T. to your pond at least a couple of times per week in order to help boost the eco system. Koi ponds that you feel require too much of your time to maintain can be cared for by our professional pond maintenance crew.
Koi Pond Maintenance
Koi pond maintenance in OKC is a koi pond service that we offer all year long. Pond maintenance OKC can be done on a weekly pond maintenance or a monthly pond maintenance basis. Our weekly pond service or monthly pond service includes all of the pond chemicals that your Oklahoma water garden will require. We also feed your koi while we are there.
Spring Garden Ponds
Spring also can be extremely hard on your Koi fish in Oklahoma koi ponds. Koi have a natural slime coat that acts as a protective armor to keep them from becoming victim to parasites and diseases. This slime coat can diminish during stressful temperature swings. Adding Garden Ponds Unlimited dechlorinator and our S.A.T. will help increase their slime coats and give them some added protection.
Summer Garden Ponds
Summer months get very hot and ponds in Oklahoma need to have more aeration than koi ponds in other parts of the country. Proper pond aeration is key to combating poor pond water quality and ensuring koi fish longevity. Without a large enough pond pump your pond will require additional pond maintenance. Your ponds water should be sent through your pond filtration system at least twice per hour for proper pond aeration. This will ensure your ponds filtration (if adequate) will have plenty of oxygen and that your koi pond stays as cool as possible. Fish pools and Koi pools are just another name for a water garden but require all of the same parameters. If your fish pool wasn’t built by Garden Ponds Unlimited, give us a call. It’s never too late to have a professional waterfall builder and OKC landscaper that specializes solely in ponds correct your improper pond.
Fall Garden Ponds
Fall brings the changing of leaves, and eventually the falling of leaves. Ponds in Oklahoma should have a protective pond netting or pond cover installed over the koi pond prior to leaves falling. Pond leaf nets will help to keep leaves from entering your fish pond where they can decay and negatively impact your fish pool water quality. Poor pond water quality increases you pond maintenance.
Fall is also the time to start feeding you koi our spring and fall wheat germ fish food. Garden ponds that you feel require too much of your time to maintain can be cared for by our professional pond maintenance crew. Koi pond maintenance in OKC is a koi pond service that we offer all year long. Pond maintenance OKC can be done on a weekly pond maintenance or a monthly pond maintenance basis.
Winter Garden Ponds
Winter is the most dormant time for your fish pool. Winter is when we recommend having your pond cleaned. Pond cleaning should be done every year. Fish pond cleaning is best during the winter months because your pond filtration system isn’t alive in the winter. By cleaning your koi pool during winter, you do not disturb any beneficial pond bacteria because there isn’t any. It’s also the least stressful time on your koi fish. You should also stop feeding your koi fish at the onset of winter.
Koi pond services like our professional fish pond cleaning are a great way to rid your fish pool of any leaves that may have gotten past your pond netting. This is also the time that Garden Ponds Unlimited OKC pond cleaning crew will clean your biological pond filter, pond skimmer and make any other pond repairs needed. Fish pools should not be ignored in the winter. Ponds in Oklahoma can be beautiful during a snowy day with the waterfalls mimicking a mountain stream. Be sure to have your koi pond service and pond cleaning done before the holidays so that it is ready for your holiday guests. As always, we even offer our weekly pond maintenance and monthly pond maintenance service during the winter. Koi ponds in other parts of the country are usually completely shut down in the winter. Not our koi ponds. We can enjoy our fish pools all year long.
Water features are stunning during the day, but when pond lighting is used to enhance evening views, you’ll find the landscape takes on a whole new dimension! Tuck a spotlight behind a waterfall and the feature takes on a magical feel. Used in the main portion of a pond, you’ll enjoy watching fish dart in and out of the lights.
As the sun begins to set, underwater pond lighting creates a magical mood in the landscape. Think of that vacation you experienced at the beach and the serene feeling you enjoyed watching the moon cast a glowing trail over the ocean’s surface.
When you add a waterfall or underwater lighting to your water garden, you extend your viewing pleasure well into the evening or night. You can add lights during the installation of your water feature, or add later during your pond clean out.
Although moonlight casts its own soft glow on your water feature, waterfall lighting shows the details of the rock and water.
It’s always a joy to watch fish swim in and out of lights. Be sure to incorporate LED lights which use approximately 80-90% less electricity and last 10 times longer than their halogen counterparts.
Be creative with your water garden lighting options and you’ll find you enjoy your water feature during the evening hours just as much as you appreciate it during the daytime. Plus, if you come home after dark, your water feature will be all lit up for you!
Visit Garden Ponds Unlimited at 310 SW 1st St Moore, OK 73160 and see our underwater pond lighting display. www.gardenpondsunlimited.com
It’s that time of year again when Oklahomans need to be weather aware. We have been saddened by how many of our customers have told us that they had lost their homes and ponds due to tornadoes. Luckily some of our customer’s ponds were covered by their homeowners insurance policy. Sadly, some customers had no coverage at all and didn’t know this until it was too late. This prompted me to do some research as to whether my own pond at my house was covered. Here is what I learned.
Most policies will cover things, such as ponds, up to a certain percentage of the value of your home. This is generally found under your “other structures” portion of your policy. Make sure you have enough coverage for any “other structures” that you may have such as a building or barn, plus your pond. I discovered that I needed to increase my “other structures” limit so that my pond would be adequately covered. The best advice I have for you is to check with your insurance agent before the storm. Being proactive might save you a lot of headache later on. Especially if your policy does not include any coverage for your pond.
If you have fish in your pond, sooner or later they are going to have babies. Late spring to early summer usually marks the time of year when koi and goldfish start to spawn. When koi and goldfish spawn, they produce thousands of eggs but very few actually survive and grow up into baby fish. Koi are egg “scatterers,” meaning they generally deposit their eggs on the bottom of the pond or in plants. The eggs hatch a few days after, although, you probably won’t be able to see them for several weeks because they are too small. At this stage in development, the babies will feed off of all sorts of microorganisms in your pond. After a couple months the babies are about an inch long and may start eating real food. In order to “bulk” them up, feed them our High Protein koi food. There are no fillers and will ensure the proper nutrients for your baby koi to grow up big and beautiful.
You need to have patience. If you’ve stocked your pond with plenty of plants, the temperature’s just right, and you’ve started supplementing with D-Solv and SAT, your pond will quickly balance. Beneficial bacteria, or SAT, need to be added with a consistent maintenance routine to obtain optimal results. Resist the urge to add traditional algaecides after your pond is balanced, unless your pond is lacking a proper filtration system. With overuse, your pond will never become truly balanced, and often, ponds can become dependent on their use. Help support Mother Nature with use of natural products from Garden Ponds Unlimited. Your pond and the environment will thank you!
CUSTOMER APPRECIATION WEEKEND!
Friday and Saturday October 14th and 15th, 2016
9:00 am – 6:00 pm Rain or shine.
Come on out for a great time!
- Ridiculous discounts (discount wheel to be spun at time of purchase to determine discount amount)
- Smoked hot dogs, chips, drinks
- Fish races! ( $3.00 per person to enter the race. Must be at least three participants per race. Winner takes home the Koi.)
- Installation discounts up to $1,000 on select ponds. (Must sign up for consultation during customer appreciation weekend for winter installation)
- Grand opening of our new Aquarium Building. Freshwater and Saltwater.
BIG NEWS! We’ve partnered with the Bella Foundation this year. They will have wonderful fur-babies ready for adoption and all proceeds from the fish races will go to help foster pets find their furever home!!
So come on out Friday and Saturday, October 14th and 15th and help some great dogs and cats find some homes!!!