Getting an Early Start
Pond and pond keeping is a category that has continued to expand and gain popularity.
“It’s definitely an expanding category and it’s getting much easier for a traditional pet store to be able to offer some of the products in the pond category,” Damian Hall, senior marketing manager for Rolf C. Hagen, said. “You can look at specific types of nutrition and food, also the water treatments and consumables. There is definitely synergy there that is making it easier for a traditional pet store to get into the category. We have always tried to get people into it because it’s really easy to carry some of the accessories.”
January is one of the best times to start talking about pond and pond accessories in your store and with your customers. From a retailer perspective, it is the beginning of all the different trade shows that support pond and pond accessories.
What to Stock
In January, it’s important to stock the basic items that customers will need each year.
“One of the first things you should stock is water treatments,” Hall said. “Those are the items that people are going to want at the beginning of the year. In the beginning of the year, when you open your pond, you will want to wait till the temperature gets to be around 50 degrees, 45 to 50 degrees, depending on your area. Your pond is kind of just starting to wake up. At that point, you need to clean your pond and start feeding your fish. In the spring and in the fall you need to give your fish a high protein diet and be fattening them up. Much like an aquarium, as you are taking some water out and you are cleaning the leaves that fell in during the winter, you will want to do a little bit of water treatment.”
Hagen offers several different kits and water treatments, including their Laguna Pond Maintenance kit that makes tap water safe for fish and plants.
The Microbe-Lift KH Active Booster is meant for tap water, and water changes to help when a pond carbonate levels fall below the necessary level.
If a customer’s pond Koi and goldfish have become ill, Tetra produces a Pond Koi and Goldfish Treatment that treats infected fish by protozoan parasites including Ick or White Spot. It will treat and prevent pond fish diseases.
Getting Ready for Spring
After your accessories are stocked, a lot of customers will be coming to your store during spring.
“In spring, pond keepers are going to be visiting your store,” Hall said. “In the beginning of the year it is important to have those basic accessories. You may need a new net, new media for your filter. All those things you buy every year, that’s what I recommend for that store to carry.”
Aquascape features several different size nets that include heavy duty extendable handle nets and mini pond nets.
Nycon has large to small nets and skimmers to clean every area of a pond.
With Filter Media, Pond Logic features the BioBalls, that are an easy to clean and reusable filter media to keep water healthy and clear.
TetraPond also has several different replacement foam filtration medias. All of their medias help remove suspended matter and debris while improving water quality.