What is a Hybrid Pond™?
To understand what a Hybrid Pond™ is, first we must look at what makes it a "hybrid" in the first place. A hybrid car is both an electric car and a gas burning car. It is both. For ponds, the most popular type of pond in landscaping is a water garden pond. In koi clubs, where people raise koi for competition in koi shows, the most popular type of pond is a koi pond. A hybrid car is part electric and part gas, a hybrid pond™ is part water garden pond and part koi pond.
Koi are beautiful fish - that is why they are so popular in koi clubs and water garden ponds around the world. The truth of the matter with koi, is that they tend to be very temperamental. They have been crossbred for so many years that their immune systems aren't as strong as other types of pond fish. This is why koi ponds are constructed the way they are - to be the safest and healthiest form of pond for raising koi. Koi are susceptible to parasites and bacterial infections that tend to proliferate in gravel at the bottom of a water garden pond. So koi ponds never have gravel on the bottom of the pond. (The exception is undergravel filters - click here for information on why undergravel filters fail)
Koi ponds are designed with smooth, bare liner pond bottoms with a bottom drain to remove fish waste and debris from the bottom of the pond. When digging a hole for a pond, the earth needs to be retained. A koi pond's retaining structure is outside the pond liner. Many building materials can be used to maintain the koi pond structure.
Koi are big eaters. Big eaters are also big poopers. If not removed from the pond, the koi poop with become a food source for bacteria and parasites that will eventually attack the koi. Koi also grow very rapidly and become too large for the relatively shallow depth of a water garden pond.
Koi ponds are typically much deeper than water garden ponds. Koi get big pretty quickly. A deeper pond not only helps protect them from predators, the deeper water also helps in their physical development. Deep water helps make stronger fish. Koi ponds are a minimum of three feet deep, but most often much deeper. We built our Bubble-less™ Koi Pond to eight feet deep, and our above ground/below ground koi pond to five feet deep. The deeper the water, the bigger the koi can become.
A koi pond is an item within the landscape. Whereas a water garden pond is part of the landscape. Formal vs. natural appearances.
A koi pond gets routine maintenance throughout the year. The koi pond never has to be drained for cleaning. The koi don't have to be removed from the pond during maintenance. Koi pond filters get backwashed and do not require dismantling for cleaning. Water garden ponds get "annual pond cleanings" which means catching all the koi fish and placing them in fish holding tanks while the pond gets drained and pressure washed. The waterfall filter is dismantled and cleaned by hand. Then everything gets put back together, the pond filled back up, and the fish re-introduced. Now the water garden pond's ecosystem is dead and must be re-started like a new pond. In the meantime, algae starts growing like crazy!
A water garden pond, made popular by landscape companies, is a comparatively shallow pond at just two feet deep or less. This requires less digging, and is much quicker to install. Many company's big selling point is that a water garden pond can be built in just one day. Not so with a koi pond. Koi ponds are not only deeper, they have many more items as part of the filtration system all of which takes more time to build than a water garden pond. The bottom drain has a pre-filter that gets routinely cleaned, the bio filter gets backwashed routinely. The UV system gets new bulbs every year. All maintenance on a koi pond is quick and easy throughout the year instead of one huge "annual" cleaning.
While virtually every brand of water garden pond kit found online advertises it only needs "annual cleaning", our water garden pond kits are designed to be easily and routinely maintained throughout the year so that no annual cleaning is required. If you're like us, you'll want your pond nice and clean ALL year long, not just the few days after an annual cleaning.
Our water garden pond kits are designed for quick, easy routine maintenance to keep your pond clean all year long, while all other brands of water garden pond kits are designed for "annual pond cleanings" that are messy, time consuming, and very expensive to have it done for you. Why look at a dirty pond 51 weeks out of the year with "annually cleaned" cheap pond kits when you can have a clean pond all year long with our easy to clean pond kits?
Water garden pond filtration systems are basically just two items - typically a non-backwashable waterfall filter box, and a pond skimmer. Pump, pipe, pond liner, and underlayment complete a water garden pond kit. There is not much to the common water garden pond kit found online. Our water garden pond kits are different and feature a backwashable Hydro Vortex™ waterfall filter and a HydroClean™ pond skimmer that can be remotely installed away from the pond's edge. Our water garden pond kits are designed for routine maintenance instead of harmful "annual cleanings".
The water garden pond has a maximum depth of two feet, with water plant shelves at shallower depths of 6", 12" or 18" depending on the plant's depth requirements. The pond excavation is done in "stair steps" down to the maximum 2' depth. Each stair step vertical riser is retained with boulders set onto the liner to make mini rock retaining walls. All horizontal surfaces within the water garden pond are covered with gravel or river rock.
The problem with river rock or gravel on the bottom of the pond is that it traps all sunken debris. Fish waste, dead insects, dead worms, and leaves all settle down into the gravel at the bottom of the pond where it is the hardest to remove. This decaying organic debris feeds algae like crazy, and algae sucks oxygen out of the pond at the expense of your fish. That is why a water garden pond gets drained every year - to remove a year's worth of decaying organics. There is no other way to clean the gravel at the bottom of the pond. The bad news for koi is that gravel provides a home for parasites and harmful bacteria that then attack koi and causes all sorts of health issues and even death.
A Hybrid Pond™ uses boulders within the pond to retain the earth like a water garden pond. But unlike a water garden pond, the Hybrid Pond™ has no river rock or gravel covering the pond liner. A Hybrid Pond™ has one perimeter marginal water plant shelf. But unlike a water garden pond, the Hybrid Pond™ does not have river rock or gravel to plant the aquatic plants in - so they are planted in aquatic plant baskets and placed on the marginal plant shelf. The pond bottom is bare and sloped towards the bottom drain. Sunken debris works its way into the bottom drain and is then captured in the Hydro Sieve™ compact bottom drain pre-filter where it can be regularly and easily removed.
We make all three types of pond kits: Water Garden Pond Kits, Koi Pond Kits, and Hybrid Pond™ Kits. They each have their own identities. We don't market water garden pond kits as koi pond kits the way so many dishonest online retailers do. They do that simply because they have neither koi pond kits nor Hybrid Pond™ Kits to offer. We do. That makes us different. That is the Russell difference! We tell the truth and provide you proof of what we are telling you. Our products and kits are designed with common sense in mind. To make ponds and equipment the absolute easiest to clean. A clean pond is less expensive to own and much prettier all year long.
Before you shop for any pond kit online, first decide what style of pond do you want? From there, we have a pond kit for you no matter which pond style you choose. We don't sell one type of pond kit and tell you it is something it is not. Be a smart shopper and ask lots of questions about what you may be purchasing. Value and low cost of ownership surpasses a cheap price in the long run. Its your pond, you'll be the one cleaning it, or paying someone to do it for you.