A while back I wrote an article called "The Mini Koi Pond," looking at how to entice newcomers into the hobby by exploring the idea of creating perfectly formed 'Mini Koi Ponds...'
Read the article here:
In the article I talk about the use of ready made, fibreglass 'koi tanks' as a means of quickly and effectively creating a koi pond. EZ-Pond Ltd manufacture such tanks and having visited their premises I wanted to take some time to explore what they do in more detail...
Upon loading the homepage of the EZ-Pond Ltd website, you are greeted with the following:
"Uk's Leading koi pond & tank manufacturers"
If you are not familiar with their work, they most certainly back that statement up! The high quality construction and finish of their products is, in my opinion, unrivalled and it's easy to see why their range has become so very popular. Not only have they delivered tanks to every corner of the UK, but they are now being exported all over the globe, places like Germany, Malta, Belgium, Australia and even the USA - proudly waving the flag!
Allan and Lois Gavin own and operate EZ-Pond Ltd - Lois runs a tightly organised ship and Allan has over 30 years of experience in the fibreglassing trade - not a bad duo!
You might be wondering why anyone would bother buying a ready made koi tank when they can 'simply' build a 'proper' block built koi pond.
Firstly, building a block built koi pond is only 'simple' if you have the know-how and it's only 'proper' if it's built by someone with that know-how. Otherwise, it's quite honestly a disaster waiting to happen and from my experience in the koi trade, I've seen plenty of nightmare ponds built by people who thought they knew what they were doing.
It's not just the depth of the base, the drain configuration, the concrete used, the wall ties and steels, the walls themselves, the filleting of corners, the placement of returns, the levels, the waterproofing AND the hope that it stays standing! It's also the myriad of problems that can crop-up along the way and the experience required in dealing with them. This isn't meant to deter anyone from building a koi pond, merely to highlight that if you have no knowledge on the subject, then it really is best left to The Professionals.
- Note: The Professionals are those with experience building 'Proper Koi Ponds.'
So, let's say you're new to the hobby, don't have a scooby about building koi ponds and the idea of hiring a professional company to come in and build a very 'permanent' structure feels rather overwhelming...
Or the house you're currently living in, isn't going to be permanent.
Or you're renting.
Or you want something installed quickly.
Or you own a koi dealership and you need extra volume without heavy construction.
Or you want to dip your toe in the water, before fully committing to a new hobby...
Starting to see their usefulness?
They are a really clever and affordable solution to the above problems. Obviously if you have pond building experience, can do most of the labour yourself or you aren't restricted by the permanence of a block built pond, then a 'koi tank' might not be the best solution for you. But otherwise, they offer a pretty sweet deal.
What struck me when I visited the EZ-Pond HQ was that although the smaller units are indeed 'tanks,' perfect for starter ponds, quarantine tanks, grow on ponds, sales tanks and even tropical fish ponds - the larger units are koi ponds. Proper, koi ponds. They are of an adequate depth and water volume to be considered such. Add to this that they can come with multiple bottom drains and skimmers and they can have an enormous window fitted (usually infinity) they can only be seen as a 'transportable equal' to a proper block built koi pond. In fact, the finish of the top-coat is actually unachievable in a block built pond, this is thanks to the unique moulds and techniques that Allan employs.
The attention to detail and build quality is absolutely top draw, here's a little video of the team doing the first stage of a window install on a 2000i unit, the glass size is 2400mm x 750mm x 33mm...
As you can see, the team take their time to get things 'just right,' and Allan always has his eyes on the quality of the workmanship and it definitely shows.
Every tank offered in the standard range is cast from a mould, that includes the huge 4000gallon unit that comes in two halves. The moulds have been developed to give the ponds their unique finish and Allan also uses advanced technology and materials that give the tanks superior strength and longevity compared to materials that were previously used in the sector. It's quite shocking just how robust the units are! These materials come at a more premium cost, of course, but Allan insists that it's necessary for the quality of the finished product.
Currently EZ-Pond's standard range offers the following...
EZ500QT - 500gallon tank | EZ500i - 500gallon tank with infinity viewing window
EZ600QT - 600gallon tank | EZ600i - 600gallon tank with infinity viewing window
EZ750v - 750gallon tank | EZ750i - 750gallon tank with infinity viewing window
EZ1000QT - 1000gallon tank | EZ1000i - 1000gallon tank with infinity viewing window
EZ1200i - 1200gallon tank with infinity viewing window
EZ2000 - 2000gallon tank | EZ2000i - 2000gallon tank with infinity viewing window
EZ2000C - 2000gallon tank with curved infinity viewing window
EZ4000 - 4000gallon tank | EZ4000i - 4000gallon tank with infinity viewing window
My favourite of the smaller tanks has to be the EZ600i a 2870mm x 1070mm x 875mm (internal) 600gallon tank with a 2500mm x 825mm infinity window. Even though the tank only holds 600gallons the dimensions make it look a lot bigger than it is. It would make a very impressive 'Mini Koi Pond' or a great QT or grow-on tank. Take a look at what can be achieved...
The 2000i is also proving very popular, 2000gallons is a good size koi pond for most hobbyists and it is also a sensible amount of water to heat, treat and filter too!
Even though the standard range on offer come in set sizes, they can be customised to your own personal requirements in terms of bottom drain numbers and placement, returns, skimmers, top coat colour and quite a few other options too. This flexibility means that connecting your tank, when it arrives, should be simple, as everything will be exactly where you need it.
If there isn't a tank in the range that suits your needs, the EZ-Pond team build bespoke units to your requirements. On my visit they were in the process of building a colossal unit, they certainly don't shy away from a challenge! Each of their bespoke units are built from the 'ground-up,' using Thermhex Thermoplastic Polypropylene - that's the posh, super strong and lightweight stuff they use to build speed-boats, cars and wind-turbines to you and me! The result is a high quality bespoke tank! The only thing to bear in mind is that the high gloss finish on the top-coat of the standard range can not be achieved in this case, as the top-coat must be applied with a brush and roller - but the finish is still great!
Some of you may have noticed the appearance of cranes in a few of these shots and you're thinking...
- how the devil will I get such a thing in my garden?
I thought the same thing and was rather worried by the costs of hiring a crane if access was a problem, but actually after Allan gave me some rough costings (as he's fairly clued up by now) - I was genuinely surprised by how reasonable it is. So don't let it put you off.
The team have recently released another version of the 2000i with a larger window, the 2000iXL, it's rather impressive indeed and the window really is colossal at 3200mm x 900mm! They also manufacture a range of Bio Chambers of various sizes that are designed to act as fluidised chambers for appropriate media. These too are finished to their incredibly high standards. Pics of both below...
Also, currently in the works is a new 'Shower Filter' and having been talked through the design it sounds very promising indeed. A sleek fibreglass shower unit to compliment the tanks! These will be offered in a range of sizes depending on pond volume and flow-rate requirements.
Something to also keep in mind is that there will soon be a 'Showroom' to view all of the EZ-Pond range at West Midlands Koi. Lee Essex, the owner, is currently working hard on the finishing touches - I will do a visit as soon as he lets me, the mans a perfectionist! West Midlands Koi act as the main agent and stockist for EZ-Pond and once up and running, it will be a great place to visit if you want a better idea of what the products are all about.
In my opinion, this is a brilliant company owned by genuinely nice people who focus strongly on the quality of their products and services - it's clear to see why they have such a great reputation.
To be blunt, they haven't invented the wheel here, after all, fibreglass koi tanks have been around for decades.
What they have done, is use their know-how to update and improve upon an 'old school' product and in the process have found a way to make koi keeping instantly more accessible, which is rather impressive. There's no doubt that EZ-Pond Ltd offer a superior product and a great solution to the pond building problems of the modern day koi hobbyist.
I'm not one for blowing smoke up backsides usually - but on this occasion, they deserve it!
- Hats of to you Allan & Lois!
If you would like more information about EZ-Pond products, see their website or FaceBook page:
West Midlands Koi - main stockist and agents, showroom opening soon!
Some more shots and videos of EZ-Ponds and products...