Jon, Muir Beach


Jonathan gave me a call recently. He had a little problem with one of his koi. I had wanted to see his installation for a long time so took this opportunity to visit and see if I could give him a hand with his koi.

His pond and koi were looking great. Jon was very happy with the filter after 5 years of operation. He showed me his maintenance routine, we scrapped his koi and found trichondina, treated with Proform-C.

Check out his pond, koi and filter here;

A week after my visit go this note from Jon. Glad to here his koi was looking better.


The treatment seems to have worked!  No more weight slime.  Thank you so much for your time, energy and expertise. I will pick up some of that product and make sure I have it on hand if something else comes up in the future.

I hope the video is helpful for the promotion of your business. The filter is fantastic! I am a firm believer in the concept and obviously it works just great.




Just got an update from Jon. His pond is doing great and his koi look so colorful and lively. Here’s a quick Vid:

and his comment:

All the koi are doing well. Your filter has been amazing!


On Jun 30, 2013 12:23 PM, “Don Chamberlain” <[email protected]> wrote:

How are things going?  Is the filter working well?  Hope it’s cooler up there, and …

Happy Koi Keeping,

And Jon’s reply:

I think the filter is keeping up. the water is clear, the fish are happy. i have not tested for ammonia or nitrate. I assume those things are fine I’m sure the pond has fully cycled by now.

I had some parasites and I was able to get rid of those with Dimilin. My biggest challenge has been the rubberizeit layers that I applied are pealing and blistering. It makes no sense to me however is a big pain in the ass.
My family and myself love the pond. 🙂


On Wed, May 29, 2013 at 8:14 AM, Don Chamberlain <don@g> wrote:

That’s great.  It looks like its working perfectly.  The koi sure seem happy.  Pond is looking good.  You’ll have a show piece soon once you get the landscaping done.

Thanks for the video.  Keep me up to date.

Happy Koi Keeping,

Jon’s reply:


The pond water has never looked better.
Thank you for an amazing product!


On May 28, 2013 7:20 PM, “Don Chamberlain” <[email protected]> wrote:


Be sure to install a good high quality ball valve and check valve after the return pump on outlet from the ERIC.  I don’t remember if we discussed this.

I’m not sure what pump you’re using, but whatever it is, I’m pretty sure you’ll need to throttle it down considerably.  When you start up, you’ll only want to flow 500-600 gph to allow the bio bacteria to do their stuff.

Once they get established you can probably crank it up to 1000-1200 gph.  The check valve will keep the filter from overflowing when you shut off the pump to flush it.

You can figure out the flow by shutting the blade valve on the bottom drain and leaving the Stand Pipe in the drain and then turn on the pump when the filter is full.  Measure the amount of time it takes to drop 2″.

The filter is 19 1/2″ x 40 1/2″ inside.  So a 2″ drop is 1,579.6 cu in. or 6.84 gal.

500 gph is .1388 gps.  6.84/.1388 = 49.3 sec.  So you’d want to adjust the ball valve so it takes 48-50 sec for the 2″ drop.  That should be a good starting place.

Good luck, buddy.  Can’t wait to see that baby running.

Jon’s reply:

Thanks for the calculations!
It is running at about 500gph.:)


I may be dreaming but I’m going to shoot for getting this thing running this weekend

photo 52513


Confirmed drain location with Jon:


Just want to confirm once again before I start drilling.  The attached photos show the approximate location of the drain coupling (Right Drain).

Please confirm this is correct.  I’ll start work as soon as you do.  Thanks, and …

Happy Koi Keeping,


I sent Jon status on his filter build:
On Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 7:33 PM, Don Chamberlain <[email protected]> wrote:

Still sterilizing the filter.  Worked on the EMat Modules today.  Had to fabricate new stainless steel rods.  I think the filter box must be a little larger than normal.  Had to make the rods 9/16″ longer than normal.

Then I had to add another EMat to take up the space.  Good deal, cause you’ll need all the filter you can get with all them koi.  It fits snug now.

Unfortunately, I ran out of rod.  I should be able to get 4 pieces out of a 6′ piece, but since yours are 18 1/2″ long I could only get 3.  Ordered another piece of rod today.  Should get it Friday so I can finish the other EMat Module.

Got the new coupling today.  I’ll send you another picture tomorrow just to make we get it installed on the right side.  Should easily get the fabrication done over the weekend so you can pick it up next weekend.

This link is a video showing the rebuilt EMat Module and the new coupling,

Enjoy, and …

Happy Koi Keeping,

And Jon’s reply:

Looking good Don! I am feeling pampered and well taken care of by Great Wave Engineering!


Jon sent me this video:


And then a day later:

The koi seem fine. They are all hanging together in the new diggs.

I was on the go so much yesterday that I never had a chance to talk to you much about your pond.
It is truly a work of art! You have such a tranquil setting there Don. I noticed all your attention to detail and your beautiful tile roofs!!!
What a nice slice of Paradise. I look forward to picking up the Eric filter and seeing it all again.

I followed up with some advice on the new koi:

On Apr 7, 2013 11:00 AM, “Don Chamberlain” <[email protected]> wrote:


Thanks, that’s great to hear, and thanks for the compliments.  Don’t forget the pictures.  I’m kicking myself.  I got my camera out.  I had wanted to take some shots of your visit, thinking it would just be you and Ana.

In all the excitement, I totally forgot about it.  I would have loved to have gotten some shots of you guys and those incredible fish.

I’m assuming you have a test kit.  If not, I’d recommend you get the API Freshwater Master Test Kit for pH, Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate.  With that fish load, you’ll need to manage with fairly heavy water changes I suspect.

With your experience, I assume you are using a dechlorinator.  I only mention this because I’ve run across a number of folks that have killed fish recently because they didn’t use it, so I’m cautious about assuming anything anymore.

Also, I’d recommend feeding very sparingly to reduce the ammonia load.  If the water temp is less than 60°, I wouldn’t feed at all.

I’ve attached an article on feeding koi.  This is the regime I’m following now.  Up until recently, I just fed them once a day usually and fed as much as they seemed to want, but decided it made more sense to try and do it right.

The article recommends only feeding high protein food for about a month in the summer.  I’m currently feeding 3 grams of Manda Fu and 2 grams of Dainichi All Seasons.  Three times a day to pond fish, water temp 60°, and four times a day to the tank fish, water temp 70°.

The amount of food depends on weight of the fish.  I just added a link to a nifty calculator, Koi & Water Garden Society of Central New Your Calculators, to our club’s website,  You enter the length of the fish and it gives you an estimate of the weight.

Something else I forgot in the excitement.  We had most of your fish in my measuring tank with a handy scale on the side.  We should have measured them then.  It looks to me like the big ones are around 24″ long.  Anyway, if you can get a measurement on a few of them or just estimate, you should be able to get a pretty good estimate of your fish load using the calculator.  You can then see how much food they should be getting daily.

Best to feed 3 or 4 times a day.  Maybe you can teach Ana how to do it while you’re away at work Emoji.

Have fun with the fish.  I’ll send some photos as I progress with the filter.  Thanks again, and …

Happy Koi Keeping!

And Jon replied:

Don I thought the same thing after we left. darn,why didn’t we measure those fish anyway, no big deal. I have all those test kits and I do use it the declorinator. I have some other stuff that takes ammonia and nitrates out.
I will change water and test on a regular basis until things stabilize I have some anoxic baskets in there hopefully to manage some of the cycle. Anna and I are on our way to the baseball game go Giants!


On 4/6 Jon was planning to visit Koten-En to take a look at the filters in operation. What I didn’t know until he arrived was that he had picked up a number of koi from a pond nearby.

I helped him rebag them in clean pond water for the trip to Muir Beach.  He wrote back,

You are a lifesaver Don! Thank you so much for your help today 🙂


I’m hoping that the Eric filter will work here

photo 4313


photo 2 4313

Small side filling

photo 3 4313


I brought in 100 yards of topsoil and 20 yards of crushed rock 🙂

photo 31313


The pond is curing and I hope to start to coat it on Friday.  As I said before it is between 2500-3000 gallons.
It is 40″ deep at the Rhino II drain.
What air pump should I be looking for?  I am possibly interested in your Erick filter from your QT.
you said it would need a modification.  What would that look like?
I brought in 100 yards of topsoil an we are working on the path and landscaping.
This is turning in to a way bigger endeavor than I imagined but I am determined to get it right.
In the meantime I have just started a 1M$ renovation on a new clients 1880’s home in Sausalito.
Most of it is original.


On Friday, March 1, 2013, Don Chamberlain wrote:

Lookin good, man!  Is that a walkway coming off the deck and curving out between the flowers?  Where are you putting the filters and other equipment?

Should be plenty warm enough to spray Rubberize It! in two weeks.  It’ll really look cool then when it’s all black.  Looks like a good stucco job.  Won’t be long now and you’ll be looking for koi.

Jon’s reply:

The walkway will be brick. we need to fill it in with gravel. The pond cap will be brick also.

Pumps and stuff will be 20 feet away at the end of the deck. This is so fun.




Two weeks to Rubberizeit

photo 31313


Finish coat will go on tomorrow. Hopefully with good weather we can coat the pond with rubberizeit in two weeks.    It looks like it will end up at about 2800 gallons.

photo 22713


Cant wait. Next stucco the sides. Install skimmer. Rubberize in 2 weeks weather permitting. Yahoo!

photo 22113

photo 2 22113


We are going to pour the bottom tomorrow 🙂

photo 22013

Ready to pour. Love my Rhino 11!  Final depth in the center is 44″.

photo 2 2013


Bottom Drain in

photo 21513


First row in on koi side

photo 21413


The larger koi section is in the foreground.
I will berm up around the pond and the deck as needed.:)
Thanks for your help today.


This side will be about 6′ round and shallow.

photo 2 21213


Thank you for the pond discussion and the links. I am excited about the  pond!
What bottom drain do you recommend?










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