West Midlands Koi - Open Day!
Yesterday West Midlands Koi held their first Open Day, and along with fellow Koi Nerds, I popped along for a nose - it turned out to be great craic (I’m not Irish, but ‘craic’ seemed appropriate!).
Lee Essex (the proprietor) and his team have been grafting away behind closed doors building a new koi facility. Considerable time, investment and hard work have been lovingly poured into this project, but the main 'Showroom' is now complete - and very tidy it is too!
Showroom? Ah yes, this koi dealer comes with a catch.
West Midlands Koi also happens to be the UK Main Agent for Ez-Ponds. Lee's unique position means he holds Ez Tanks on site as stock. As a bonus, you can also see nearly all the sizes available in Ez-Pond’s standard range fully operational in the new showroom. All these systems are configured and filtered in different ways allowing you to find the correct filtration and set-up for your needs and pocket. Who can grumble at that!
The main showroom contains:
Ez500i - Filtered by Evolution Aqua and West Midlands Koi Stainless Showers
Ez600i - Filtered by Evolution Aqua and West Midlands Koi Stainless Showers
Ez600i Custom - Filtered by Evolution Aqua and West Midlands Koi Stainless Showers
Ez750i - Filtered by Draco Drum and West Midlands Koi Stainless Showers
Ez2000i - Filtered by Draco Drum and West Midlands Koi Stainless Showers
Here’s a wee trip around...
As well as the main Showroom, West Midlands koi also have an undercover outdoor sales area (yet to be fully completed) which currently displays:
Ez1200i - Filtered by the new Oase Premium Compact L and Bakki Shower
Ez1000i - Filtered by the Oase Compact M and West Midlands Koi and Koi Shower
Ez500 - Filtered by the Oase Compact M and West Midlands Koi and Koi Shower
There is also a quarantine building which houses numerous Ez500 tanks filtered by a combination of Draco Drum and West Midlands Koi Stainless Showers.
Back to the Event
Unfortunately, there was a man down. Alan Foley, a key member of the West Midlands Koi team, had come down with covid and had to remain at home. I know he was devastated to miss the event after dedicating much of his time and efforts - but good health is vital, and we wish him a speedy recovery!
Allan and Lois Gavin from Ez-Pond were on hand throughout the day, taking names and answering questions. There was also a large display of tanks offering opportunities for koi keepers to get up close and personal with what each had to offer...
It was also the first time many had seen the new aerated bottom drain ‘Storm’
Seen here in situ in an Ez-2000i…
Another product added to the Ez-Range and (once again) oozing the build quality and attention to detail for which they have become renowned. Here are a few benefits that Ez-Pond say ‘Storm’ brings to the table:
A fixed stem that won’t break!
No internal pipes!
Air is fed directly to the diffuser.
Advanced PTFE coated diffuser (no loss of air into your pond).
All GRP construction, making the Storm easier than ever to integrate into pond builds.
A flush-mounted diffuser (dramatically reducing possible damage to your koi).
Drain exit at the lowest point of the drain pot.
A unique spiral drain base directs all solid waste to the drain exit!
if you would like more info head to:
Lee and the team had plenty of Japanese koi available on site with prices to suit all pockets. It looked to me as if the nets were dipping in and out of the sales tanks throughout the day, with happy koi keepers meandering back to their cars with fish boxes. West Midlands Koi also stock a large number of dry goods, with some of the biggest brands in the industry gracing the shelves and stockroom!
I’ve known Lee for a little while now, popping in from time to time to see the development of the shop. It was lovely to see him finally content with the finished product - as he’s quite a particular chap! Becoming a koi dealer takes much more than just a hefty investment of money, nor is it for the faint of heart. It's a long old road, and in this day and age, you need only put a single foot wrong or get carried away, and it can lead to devastating consequences...
However, Lee’s head is firmly screwed on - he's focused on playing the long game. He's clearly passionate about what he does and should you decide to pay him a visit, don’t expect to be bombarded by sales tactics or koi mumbo-jumbo. He’d much rather let you walk around, do your own thing, whilst being on hand for a natter or to answer any questions you might have.
For those hobbyists considering a new pond build or an Ez-Pond, Lee’s background in construction proves rather insightful. He can walk you through the preparation requirements and offers a full installation service matching the quality of work one can see at his facility. If you’re in the area, pop in and introduce yourself - I’m positive he’ll make you feel very welcome indeed!
It was a lovely, relaxing, koi-nerding day - I actually spent so much time chattering and catching up, that I somewhat neglected my photography duties - but that's always a sign of pleasant times!
Keep your eyes peeled for dealer events near you, and go along if you can, or spread the word to other hobbyists who might be interested. After all, it supports genuine local businesses and the bigger koi-keeping picture!
Thank you to West Midlands Koi and Ez-Pond for all your efforts - salutes!
For more info:
Here are a few shots from the day...