A team of experts recently installed a huge koi carp pond at the home of the Basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal.
Characteristic Shaq-sized water includes an 80-foot stream, six waterfalls, 180 tonnes of stone, and a 22-by-50-foot pond with a sandy beach entrance and fire pit on one side, according to Greg Wittstock , the owner and CEO of Aquascape, also known as “The Pond Guy”.
“It’s a Ferrari of ponds,” he said.
The pond was built between the 8,600 square foot house and a large tree house that was set up for an episode of Animal Planet’s “Treehouse Masters” about two years ago. Wittstock showed the finished product in a YouTube video.
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“It’s great, brother,” says Shaq in the Wittstock video. “You have done a wonderful job. ”
Shaq is not the only owner to own a new koi carp pond. Wittstock said Aquascape, its Illinois-based company, has seen a huge increase in business as the coronavirus pandemic kept people at home.
“We can’t keep up,” he said. “We work 12-hour shifts six days a week, and I have everyone and their children working for me. “
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Others in the koi carp sector have said that they also have a growing interest. Mike Rice, President of Mt. Parnell Fisheries in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, told FOX Business that the coronavirus has reversed a downward trend.
“I think the hobby … was starting to decline at the national level before the COVID pandemic, but with more people embarking on DIY projects, there was certainly a slight increase last spring / summer,” said Rice writes in an email.
Even Google search data shows that there were more searches for “koi” in May and June than at any other time in the past five years.
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Wittstock said he thought people were looking to create a “getaway” at home to help deal with the stress caused by the pandemic.
“I think they just want the peace, quiet and serenity that a body of water offers,” he said.
It is a drastic turn compared to the last major economic slowdown. The 2008 financial crisis saw a dramatic drop in activity. This time, “We had a week in March every time everyone was in limbo, then it was an explosion,” said Wittstock.
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Most of Aquascape’s activities are not big projects like Shaq’s body of water, although Wittstock, who was also the star of the Nat Geo Wild reality series “Pond Stars,” said that they carry out about a large-scale project each year, often for a celebrity client.
Aquascape sells all the pumps, filters, fish and plant care products and other supplies you would need for a backyard pond. A more typical configuration for a new customer would be an ecosystem pond of 11 by 16, a stream of 8 to 10 feet and a waterfall of 2 feet, all with filtration, pumps, plumbing, cladding and masonry. A project of this size would often run between $ 10,000 and $ 12,000, said Wittstock.
The interest since April has been “incredible,” he said.
“I can’t even begin to tell you,” he said. ” It’s crazy. ”
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