• home
  • membership & contact info
  • calendar
  • current newsletter
  • message board
  • annual pond tours
  • photo gallery
  • resources & links
  • photo courtesy of
    Sandy Charveze-James

    "Pond Happenings"

    April 2003 Newsletter


    This is the meeting that everyone has been waiting for! The April meeting will be held on Saturday, April 12 at 9:00 am. It will be held at Thom & Sharla Blishock's home.

    Our April 2002 meeting was held at this gorgeous pond. As soon as the meeting was over, a construction crew moved in and started demolishing the pond to make way for a "bigger and better" one. It's hard to believe that the new pond could possibly be better than the old one! There are two new ponds. One is 28,000 gallons and is home to 20 champion koi from Japan. The other is 18,000 gallons and also houses 20 koi that are the pets of the family and eat out of their hands every day. The filter house is 18' x 50' and can produce water that has the same chemistry as the snows of Mount Fuji as well as the typical breeders koi ponds in Nigata, Japan! In addition, there is a 3000 gallon quarantine tank for new arrivals and a hospital area for sick fish. 

    Thom is also our speaker this month. Thom is the president of the Valley of the Sun Koi Club. He has two areas of expertise: water quality and koi medicine. He will be speaking about water quality, demonstrate water testing, and give a tour of his new ponds and filter house. He will also be glad to answer any questions members might have. This is a meeting you don't want to miss!

    Please be sure to bring your lawn chairs and any plants to share.


    Everyone thoroughly enjoyed strolling through the Voloudakis' beautiful backyard. The variety and number of plants is astounding. Many comments were heard about the interesting and cute yard art scattered throughout the yard. There is even a desert hippo! Dan Stough opened the meeting with a review of bee do's and don'ts in response to a recent bee attack in Ahwatukee.  He did a quick review of future meetings and requested that members volunteer to speak to the group. Ed Tunstall gave the treasurers report, Andre Galerne spoke about the recent Matsuri Festival and Norm Haas donated two books to the GPPS reference library. Dan gave an update to the June pond tour. There are 8 possible ponds located in the Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and North Mesa area. He requested a volunteer to serve as advertising coordinator. Amy Schuster  was kind enough to volunteer (THANKS, AMY!!). Dan is also looking for assistants to help out at each tour site on the day of the event.  (Please contact Dan at 480-491-1648) He asked for suggestions for donation recipients of tour proceeds. After discussing several options, it was decided to donate to two causes this year. A vote was held and the donation will be made to Trees For The Rim and Tonto Natural Bridge Pond Restoration.  John Voloudakis gave a quick description of his ponds and backyard. He has several "rooms" scattered throughout the garden and informed us that a bullsnake family calls his yard home!  During the invention show-and-tell, Cindy showed her artificial rock purchased from Home Depot that she uses to cover her biofilter.  Dan Stough demonstrated how he uses zip-ties to create a handle across the top of plant baskets and then uses a pole with a hook at the end to move or remove the baskets from the pond. The meeting was then turned over to Laurie Ramsbacher who demonstrated dividing an umbrella palm, canna and hardy water lily. The umbrella palm was being a little difficult, but Maureen Voloudakis solved the problem by producing a battery-operated reciprocating saw and sliced right through that root ball! Many members decided right then that they "needed" a saw like that, also! As usual, Laurie did a fantastic job demonstrating and answering questions and really got everyone enthused about dividing their own plants. (THANKS AGAIN, LAURIE!!)