Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Win Superb Koi!

Win this Koi!

To celebrate the launch of the fish food KoiExcellence, Tetra, are offering UK water gardeners the chance to win one of three top Tategoi (illustrated). In conjunction with Nishikigoi International magazine the company have secured three koi from leading Japanese breeders, which anyone has the chance of winning. From their photographs place them in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd as they are now, and then how you think they will be in a year’s time after being fed on Tetra KoiExcellence click here.

Koi Hotel Web-site Launched

The latest web-site from Nishikigoi International has been especially developed to provide information to Koi enthusiasts wishing to visit the koi farming districts of Japan. aims to provide information and prices on some of the leading hotels in Nagaoka and Ojiya, plus some places to eat and visit. In addition it will also include JR Narita express and Shinkannsen timetables, prices and information.

New Electronic Auto-fill Controller

Aquamedia Corp of San Diego, California has developed a new electronic auto-fill water levelling controller for garden and koi ponds. It can be installed in less than an hour and does not require a licensed plumber or electrician. Unlike some mechanical floats, it will not corrode, rust, stick, jam or cause the pond to overflow. Further details click here.

The Spiral Flow Pipe

The Spiral Flow Pipe looks like any ordinary PVC pipe that might be used in pond construction. However, it has internal blades, which create an internal spiral shape that helps to prevent the establishment of harmful bacteria and micro-organisms that breed in a straight pipe. The Spiral Flow pipe is available in three standard PVC pipe sizes. Further information click here.

Pond Fizz Tabs

Pond Fizz Tabs from Jungle Laboratories are pre-measured, fast-dissolving tablets that make pond maintenance easy, according to the manufacturer. The Pond Fizz Tabs provide a number of treatment options, including water conditioner, water clarifier, fungus treatment, parasite treatment and white spot treatment.
Details click here.

2007 Waterlily and Water Gardening Society Symposium

It has been announced that the first Asian symposium of the IWGS will be held during July next year in Bangkok, Thailand at the King Rama 9 Public Garden, followed by post symposium activities in Chiang Mai.The symposium will be hosted by the Thai Waterlily Lovers Club and the Agricultural Sciences Foundation of Thailand. There will also be an opportunity to attend the Chinese Lotus Festival in Bangkok. Further details click here.

Universal Rocks

Universal Rocks America have introduced a range of artificial rocks, including landscape rocks, edge rocks and other designs that are idea for use in waterside and waterfall construction. The interior is made of high-density polyurethane and the outside is coated with bush rock. For further details click here.

Bring Sound to the Waterside

The Rock Monitor 60-SM from Paradigm is a high-performance stereo/mono outdoor "rock" speaker that offers two channels of sound (left and right) from a single speaker. The rock’s sealed cabinet is a weather, water, and UV-resistant polymer with self-draining fissures. The speaker is available in three textured, faux-stone finishes: Fieldstone, North-eastern Dark Granite or Western Sandstone. Further information click here.

Promoting Clean, Clear Water

WaterMark UV lights promote clean, clear water for a healthy aquatic environment. These light-driven filtration systems also have a safety feature to prevent UV-C radiation exposure. According to the manufacturer this solution delivers efficient, chemical-free filtration for any water garden or koi pond, according to the manufacturer. Further details click here.

A New Scented Waterside Bamboo

Phyllostachys atrovaginata ‘Green Perfume’ is a new winter-hardy waterside bamboo, which is shortly to be introduced to gardeners by Dutch bamboo specialist Jan Oprins. Originating from China, it is a straight, upright-growing plant, which reaches a height of 5-8m (16-26ft). The shoots are edible. When the young stalks are rubbed the scent of incense is released. It enjoys damp conditions and flourishes in wet soils at the water’s edge.

New Zealand Aquatic Plant Species Guide

Those who are interested in learning more about the structure and life cycles of both native and introduced aquatic plants can see a good review on the NIWA web-site. The most extensive and interesting section concerns submerged aquatic plants. To visit click here.

Latest Waterfall Pumps from EasyPro

EasyPro Pond Products are now offering 8000 and 10000 gph Waterfall Pumps, which are large volume waterfall pumps ideal for higher head applications, according to the manufacturer. Features include compact design, continuous duty, air-filled motors and a double mechanical seal. They should now be available from distributors in North America.

Tufa Pots Water Features

Tufa Pots are New Zealand-based makers of hand-crafted water features, birdbaths, planters, garden art and furniture. Hypertufa is traditionally made from a mixture of sand, pumice and peat, but Tufa Pots has added a few secret ingredients to strengthen the product and enhance the finish. Starting from scratch, with piles of raw ingredients, Steve Archer and Dave Taylor mix, mould and scrape each piece individually, Further details click here.

Upgraded Ultraviolet Clarifiers

Now upgraded with a reflective stainless steel insert, TetraPond GreenFree Ultraviolet Clarifiers are engineered to remove heavy algae blooms and permanently destroy the reproductive ability of suspended algae that causes green water, according to the manufacturer. The reflective stainless steel insert shields the inside of the plastic housing, protecting it from UV degradation and reflecting UV rays back through the algae. Further details click here.

To visit International Water Gardener and the other regional Water Gardener web-sites click here.

Happy Water Gardening

Philip Swindells


To join the PondMessenger water gardening community
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Thursday, August 24, 2006


New Australian Waterlilies

Nymphaea georginae

Three new Australian species of waterlilies from Queensland have been described by Australian expert Dr. Surrey Jacobs of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney and leading American authority Dr. Barre Hellquist of the Department of Biology, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. The designation of three new species is part of the on-going investigation into the Nymphaea of Australia which until recently have been quite poorly studied botanically and little understood horticulturally.

Understanding their cultural needs is much easier once the nature of the plants is fully understood and Drs Jacobs and Hellquist are to be lauded for their lengthy and pain-staking work in bringing order to at least some of the Australian native species, even though it is acknowledged that much more will need to be done. With the availability of DNA studies, such work can be assured of much greater fixity and reliability than hitherto, this being demonstrated clearly with the confirmation that the plants usually grown in gardens under the name ‘Albert de L’Estang’ are a variation within Nymphaea immutabilis.

The first of the new species is found growing in the area around Normanton in the north of Queensland and has been named Nymphaea carpentariae as its natural distribution appears to extend around the Gulf of Carpentaria. It is a lightly scented, day-blooming plant, which for the most part is white, but occasionally blue, and differing from N. macrosperma by its usually larger flowers, and from another new species N. georginae, by smaller seeds.

Nymphaea georginae grows naturally in the billabongs and flood channels of the upper parts of northern rivers flowing into the Lake Eyre system. It is named for the Georgina river. A day-blooming species, it produces its fragrant flowers on stout stems high above the water. The flowers are mostly white, occasionally blue and rarely pink, all of which fade with age. It can be distinguished from N. carpentariae by its larger seeds, and from N. macrosperma by the larger blossoms of blue-flowered plants which fade with age.

Nymphaea alexii also grows in northern Queensland. It is quite a distinct species with its unique cream stamens and its small ridged seeds. The white blossoms are day-flowering and scented, and held above elliptical leaves up to 15cm long and 10cm wide. It is named after Alex James Fussell, the grandson of Dr. Jacobs.
Photo: B.Hellquist

Further photographs and detailed botanical descriptions will be appearing during the next few days in the Plant Profile section of the Australian Water Gardener web-site under Tropical Waterlilies. To visit click here.

Happy Water Gardening

Philip Swindells

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006


New Aerating Fountains Launched

Cost-effective aeration

Otterbine has announced the arrival of their new Large Aerating Fountains. According to the manufacturers, the development and testing of these fountains has taken has more than two years. They offer a cost-effective solution for those desiring large decorative water patterns combined with the benefits of strong aeration and water quality management. Manufactured from corrosion resistant materials, and a custom built oil-cooled Baldor motor, the Large Aerating Fountains need only 40in of water depth to operate and are available in both single and three phase models. Further details click here.

South African Koi Keepers Society

The go-ahead has been given to establish a Pretoria chapter of the Society, giving Pretoria the opportunity to run its own committee, excursions and show. The meeting to discuss the founding of a chapter is being held at Oriental Koi Farm at 10.30am for 11am on 1st October. Further details click here.

Aqua-One Improved

Aqua-One, the "science-first" bacterial product known for outstanding results is now even better, according to the manufacturer. With more strains of beneficial bacteria, Aqua-One is works for seeding bio-filters, controlling nutrient in the spring and summer and for reducing sludge all year. Further information click here.

Pondmaster Pressurized Filter System

New from Pondmaster

Danner Manufacturing of Islandia, New York, have introduced a Pondmaster Pressurized Filter System. The filter employs a manually operated agitator to dislodge most of the pond residue that accumulates in the filter chamber. The filter uses their proprietary Bio Matrix reusable solid filtering media. This media, when agitated, releases accumulated dirt in the canister, which is then flushed out in the backwash cycle. Further information click here.

Got Algae Problems?

Then visit Got This web-site has been designed to provide information and solutions for various common water quality, algae, and aquatic plant problems associated with ponds, lakes, and water features. It aims to provide accurate, effective, and reliable information. Kasco Marine, Inc., the company behind the web-site are manufacturers of high quality, affordable aerating floating fountains, pond aerators, and water circulators for improved water quality and beauty. According to the company, Got will focus on total water quality management with aeration being a key component, but possibly not a complete pond management tool. Further details click here.

Aquascape Re-branding

Aquascape Designs Inc. are re-branding with a new name and logo. "We've been diligently working on the branding initiative for over a year, which includes a name change to Aquascape, brand name changes on products, as well as a sleek new logo for Aquascape that will be seen on store shelves beginning in late fall 2006". Further details click here.

Redesigned Aquascape Biofalls Filter

Biofalls redesigned

Aquascape Designs Inc. have introduced its redesigned Biofalls filter. A removable upper tray that can hold a mixture of rocks, plants and gravel replaces the former rock ledge. The Biofalls now has a circular design for improved strength. Two bulkhead openings allow plumbing to be attached from either size, with the other opening being used to ease spring clean-outs or to fit multiple pumps and plumbing. The filter comes with a reversible waterfall stone for those not using natural stone. A reversible waterfall snout allows the stone to be turned around to reveal a flat face, The filter mat has 50% more surface area and a longer life-span than traditional mats. Further information click here.

2007 All Japan Show and Sakai of Hiroshima

The 38th Combined All Japan Show will be held on January 20th - 21st 2007 at the Ryutsu Center in Tokyo, Japan. The annual event is attended by virtually all of Japan's leading breeders, as well as Koi dealers and hobbyists from all over the globe.

Introducing InScenio FM-Master

Manufactured by Oase, this is a convenient radio remote control solution for turning various electrical devices in the garden off and on, or for reducing water flow rates. Fitted with a stake, it can be firmly anchored in the ground. The four outlets and the mains input are waterproof, strain-relieved, and are suitable for year- round use. The hand transmitter has a range of max. 80 m for remote control. Further details click here.

Pond of the Year 2006

A competition organised by Blagdon the Pond Masters, is offering up to £1000 worth of Blagdon water gardening products to the pond owner who sends in a picture of their pond, which the panel of judges deems is most worthy of the title ‘Blagdon Pond of the Year 2006’. There are three pond size categories. The closing date for entries is 31st October. Further details click here.

Fountain Pumps from Sunterra

Compact and efficient

Sunterra of Peoria, Illinois, has introduced its new fountain pumps. These include a 30 gal per hour table top/small fountain pump with 1.8ft lift; a 75gal per hour small fountain pump with 3.2ft lift, 130 gal per hour model with 4ft lift, as well as a 200 gal per hour large fountain pump with 4.9ft lift and a 320 gal per hour extra large fountain pump with an 8ft maximum lift. Further details click here.

Charles Winch Collection

The recently restored New Orleans Botanical Garden is featuring an international exhibition of waterlilies bred by the world renowned waterlily breeder, Australian Charles Winch. Charles, who has now retired, has been the most prolific breeder of tropical waterlilies, producing more high quality cultivars than any breeder including the late George Pring of the Missouri Botanical gardens. More details click here.

Specialist Fish Food Web-site

Well known ornamental fish and pond specialists Happy Koi have launched a specialist fish food web-site for South African water gardeners. Called, it aims to provide fish-keepers and pond enthusiasts with sound information and the opportunity to purchase the right fish food products for their particular circumstances. To visit the web-site click here.

New Zealand’s Dirty Dozen

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) are keeping up the offensive on alien aquatics that have escaped from cultivation and are now causing serious environmental damage. Three species, Water Lettuce, Annual Wild Rice and Bog Bean are reported to have been eradicated, but the remaining nine still pose serious problems and demand constant vigilance from everyone to ensure their eventual elimination. For details of the "Dirty Dozen" click here.


Microbial pond clarifier

Natural Solutions have added Bio-Pond Tabs to their range of water conditioners. According to the manufacturer, this microbial pond clarifier contains thirteen bacteria and fungal cultures for nutrient reduction, phosphate removal, nitrification and de-nitrification, elimination of bottom sludge, water clarity and more. These 3oz blocks are available in single packs for treating 2500 gallons of water or a five pack for larger applications. Further information click here.

Aqua Research Center Opened in Canada

Researchers have unveiled the newly expanded animal health centre in Victoria, Prince Edward Island, where innovative research will uncover solutions for controlling disease-causing pathogens in farmed fish. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to introduce the recently renovated Novartis Animal Health Center for Aqua Research and Development, which is a facility that houses the development of leading animal treatments, including research and development of fish health products, vaccines and pharmaceutical products for prevention of parasites.

New Koi Identification CD

The 3rd Edition of the Koi Identification CD with its 400 photographs, mostly taken by Martin de Jong, and a wealth of information about koi varieties, classification and history is due for release by Koi Village by December 1st 2006. Further details click here.

Pond Life Styles Web-site Launched

This site is part of the Aquascape enterprise and is intended for the home water gardener. It features everything from small container water gardens to large pond systems, from do-it-yourself projects to hire-it-done projects, as well as fish and plant information, to maintenance and troubleshooting. In addition, consumers who desire professional help can find Certified Aquascape Contractors in their area. To view the web-site click here.

To visit International Water Gardener and the other regional Water Gardener web-sites click here.

Happy Water Gardening

Philip Swindells

To join the PondMessenger water gardening community
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Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Welcome to Water Gardening News

Welcome to Water Gardening News. This blog replaces the original PondMessenger blog. It is devoted to bringing the latest news and information about aquatic plants, ornamental fish and pond products from around the world to hobbyist water gardeners and those who are involved in the pond-keeping business. PondMessenger is now creating a new home within the developing regional web-sites of International Horticultural Communications Pty Ltd. In addition monthly regional PondMessenger and PondTrader eNewsletters are being published in collaboration with the Water Gardener web-sites. The PondMessenger community of water gardeners is still as lively and vibrant as ever, and details of how to join are posted at the end of this blog. A link to International Water Gardener and its associated regional web-sites will also be found there. I hope that you enjoy this new arrangement and become a regular visitor to Water Gardening News.

KHV Outbreak in UK Worsens

KHV is spreading

More than 200 stillwater fisheries in the UK have been stocked by fish suppliers believed to be possible sources of the UK's current Koi Herpes Virus outbreak it is believed. A letter from the Environment Agency received by the Angling Times, states that there have been 12 confirmed cases of KHV in stillwater fisheries in England so far this year: ten of the fisheries have been legally stocked this year with carp from 26 different suppliers, but the remaining two have not been legally stocked this year; suggesting that either KHV was already present in the fish, or that it was introduced on illegally stocked fish. For the original story and background click here.

2006 New Waterlily Competition Results

Nymphaea 'Tan-khwan'

The winners of the 2006 New Waterlily Competition of the International Waterlily and Water Gardening Society have been announced.

Best New Waterlily - ‘Avalanche’ (Craig Presnell - United States)

Best New Tropical Waterlily - ‘Avalanche’ (Craig Presnell - United States)

Runner Up - ‘Pink Flamingo’ - (Craig Presnell - United States)

Best New Hardy Waterlily - 'Tan-khwan' - (Pairat Songpanich - Thailand)

Runner Up - ‘Niki’ - (Andreas Protopapas - Cyprus)

Further details click here.

BioHaven Wild Floating Island

The BioHaven Wild Floating Island is designed to enhance water quality while creating shade and shelter for fish, according to the manufacturer. The island is made from a non-woven matrix that plant roots can grow through. It is currently available in the United States, Canada and Australia. Further details click here.

The Blagdon Minipond Gravity Filter now in Australia

The Blagdon Minipond Gravity Filter creates a clean, clear and healthy environment for fish and requires minimal maintenance. It includes high performance UVC to clear green water algae. Graded foam filter pads remove dirt and waste. Ceramic biological filter media prevent the build up of harmful toxins. A replaceable polymer wool pad removes fine waste particles. A carbon impregnated pad removes chemical pollutants. Further information click here.

UK Algae Treatments Launched in North America

Green Ways of the United Kingdom have introduced Pond Mat, Pond Pads, Pond Snip-Its and Pond Strip barley straw treatments to American water gardeners. All treatments are made from cleaned barley straw stitched between layers of knitted cotton netting. New Lavender Pond Pads feature barley straw and lavender stalks for use in ponds with pumped water circulation. Pond Snip-Its are designed for ponds up to 700 gallons; Pond Pads for ponds up to 2,100 gallons. Pond Strip is an economy roll of barley straw pads and pond mats are designed for lakes and reservoirs. A floater device is also available. Further details click here.

Free Pump Offer for South African Water Gardeners

Focus Features have a special offer of a free pump for anyone purchasing one of their water features. They are lightweight, strong and easy-to-install. Made of fibreglass they are made locally in Pretoria. All their products represent "out of nature" designs and are in rock, slate or log type finishes.
Further information click here.

2006 German Waterlily Introduction

Nymphaea 'Iolanthe'

German aquatic plant specialist, Christian Meyer, of well known waterlily growers Seerosen Farm, has just announced a new hardy waterlily cultivar for 2006. Called ‘Iolanthe’ it is a hybrid between ‘James Brydon’ and ‘Wow’. It is said to be a large growing cultivar with dark green leaves that are reddish-brown when young. The flowers rest on the surface of the water and are a brilliant pink colour. Further details click here

"Nymphaea minuta"

The description of a new species of waterlily from Madagascar, which was recently published in the Water Garden Journal of the International Waterlily and Water Gardening Society Vol.20:No 4, has proved to invalidate the name. Unfortunately the original authors did not include a Latin diagnosis as is required when describing a new species scientifically, and this over-sight was not picked up during editing. So the name N. minuta is invalid. The outcome of scientific deliberation is awaited.

Is the Future for Fancy Goldfish in Jeopardy in the UK?

Uncertain future?

The UK government has confirmed that a study on freak pets, including fancy goldfish and genetically modified fish, will help shape the forthcoming Animal Welfare Bill. The study entitled Breeding and Welfare in Companion Animals has been produced by the Companion Animal Welfare Council (CAWC) and emphasises the many problems that occur in pets through selective breeding. For the original story and background click here.

UK Pond Survey Training Courses - Ponds Conservation

Pond Conservation are running pond survey training courses again this year. The one day courses cover use of national standard methods for surveying ponds for plants and invertebrates. They will be held at Rhydymwyn Valley Nature Reserve, near Mold, north Wales on Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th August, and at Oxford Brookes University in Oxford on Tuesday 22nd and Wednesday 23rd August. The course costs £200 for government / statutory bodies and commercial organisations and £50 for charities and volunteers. Further details click here.

Abattoir Waste-water Fish Project to Expand

The first effort at culturing fish in an abattoir’s wastewater has been successfully completed in a trial in South Australia. Tatiara Meat Company, a lamb exporter, consumes about 1 million litres of water in an average day in its operations. Most of the water used is then recycled, however, waste water held in storage ponds is now being used to grow ornamental goldfish and carp, which purifies the water making it suitable to irrigate pasture for fodder for livestock. Environmental officer Fil Farina says the project is likely to expand. "A lot of meat processing works do have storage lagoons on site and also a lot of them do have further processing facilities. I do see a big future for this sort of a project".

Monochoria africana

One of the most beautiful indigenous South African aquatic plants is the subject of description and attention on the national South African Bio-diversity web-site. Suggested as a replacement in South African water gardens for the declared weed Eichhornia crassipes and declared invasive Pontederia cordata, it is now said that it only needs someone to learn how to propagate the plant for it to become a hit in every water feature. Further details click here.

Water Feature Ideas Slide Show

Gardeners who are interested in water features, especially those features that are self-contained should take a few minutes to watch the slide show of design ideas now featured on the Garden-NZ web-site. This features ten of the most popular and practical designs. To view click here.

Waterlily Beauty Contest Result

Nymphaea 'Pink Ribbon'

Well known waterlily breeder Pairat Songpanich from Thailand, in conjunction with Water Gardeners International, recently organised a Waterlily Beauty Contest to name one of his latest seedlings. The result has now been declared and the winning waterlily named ‘Pink Ribbon’ in support of the breast cancer awareness campaign. Further details click here.

Aquatic Plant Nutrient Research Results

The results of a project funded by a research grant from the International Waterlily and Water Gardening Society, entitled Nutrient Release Rates from Controlled Release Fertilizers under Various Substrate Environments has just been published by the Society. Details from click here.

To visit International Water Gardener and the other regional Water Gardener web-sites click here.

Happy Water Gardening

Philip Swindells


To join the PondMessenger water gardening community
click here

To join the KoiMessenger koi-keeping community
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To join the GoldfishMessenger goldfish-keeping community
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Nymphaea 'Iolanthe - Christian Meyer
Monochoria africana - Plantzafrica
'Pink Ribbon' - Pairat Songpanich

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