Monday, October 01, 2007

Koi Shows in October

Here's a selection of some of the best Koi shows happening around the World this October.

6-7 Las Vegas Koi Club 2007 Open Koi Show
Palace Station Hotel & Casino, 2411 West Sahara Avenue, Las Vegas, NV, USA.
NV 89102 Contact Janon Wallace, Show Chairman

6-7 Nature's Coast Koi & Water Garden Club
7th Annual Koi Show Fanning Springs, FL, USA.
Contact Johnny Foster Email

13-14 Texas Koi & Fancy Goldfish Society
15th Annual Koi and Goldfish Show
San Antonio, Texas, USA. Contact Ray Jordan

13-14 Central California Koi Society
Annual Koi Show
Fig Garden Shopping Center in Fresno, CA, USA.
Contact Janet Vukovich Email

19-21 Bakersfield Koi and Watergarden Society
8th Annual Koi Show
Kern County Fairgrounds, USA. Contact Dave Cope
Email dcope@bak.rr.comt

27-28 The 47th Niigata Nogyosai Koi Show
Ojiya City General Gymnasium, 4915 Sakuramachi, Ojiya City, Niigata, Japan.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Koi Shows this August

4-5 The Upper Midwest Koi Club
First Annual Koi Show
Bachman's Nursery, Lyndale Store, Twin City Area, Minneapolis, USA.

4-5 Puget Sound Koi Club
10th Annual Young Koi Show
Hoshi Koi, 5002 44th Street, E Tacoma, WA, USA.

5 Mid Staffs BKKS Koi Club 7th Open Show
Hollybush Garden Centre, Warstone Road, Shareshill, Wolverhampton, WV10 7LX, UK.

11 Idaho Watergarden & Koi Society
14th Annual Show
Boise Depot 2603 W.Eastover Terrance, USA.

11-12 North East BKKS Koi Club Open Show
Nissan Sports & Social Club, Sunderland, SR5 3NS, UK.

11-12 Scottish BKKS Koi Club Annual Show
Amazing Ponds & Gardens Garden Centre, Chatelherault Country Park, Hamilton, UK.

17-19 The 15th Holland Koi Show "The European National"
'de Nederlandse Koi Dagen' (the Dutch Koi Days)
NVN (Nishikigoi Vereniging Nederland) the Dutch Nishikigoi Association
Kasteeltuinen, Arcen (near Venlo), The Netherlands.

24-26 The Midwest Pond & Koi Society's 15th Annual Show
Darien Sportsplex, 451 Plainfield Road, Darien, IL 60561, USA.

24-26 Niagara Frontier Koi & Pond Club
Annual Koi and Goldfish Show
Menne's Nursery, Niagara Falls Blvd, USA.

26-27 South East Section BKKS 21st Open Show
Parkwood Hall School, Beechenlea Lane, Swanley, Kent, UK.

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Friday, June 01, 2007

Koi Shows in June 2007

1-3 The Dallas Koi Kichie Group 2007 Annual Show
4701 Colleyville Blvd, Colleyville,TX 76034, USA.

2-3 The East Pennine Koi Club 25th Anniversary Open Koi Show
Elsecar Heritage Centre, Wath Road, Elsecar, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, UK, S74 8HJ.

8-10 The 5th Dutch National Koi & Pond Days
Koi 2000 Netherlands & Belgium
Safari Beekse Bergen, Hilvarenbeek, Netherlands.

9-10 Worthing & District BKKS Section
Annual South Coast Classic Open Koi Show
Clapham & Patchway Village Hall & Grounds, Worthing, West Sussex, UK, BN13 3UT.

20-24 Associated Koi Clubs Of America
Valley Of The Sun Koi Club, Southern Koi Association,
26th Annual AKCA Seminar, Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

23-24 The BKKS National Koi Show Sponsored by Shingoi
Newark Showground, Newark, Notts, UK, NG24 2NY

23-24 Pioneer Valley Water Garden & Koi Club
The New England Water Garden & Ornamental Fish Show.
Northampton Tri-County Fair Grounds, MA, USA.

30-July 1st 6th Annual Northern Midwest ZNA Koi Show
Fairgrounds & Expo Center 1202 E. 38th Street, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.


Monday, November 27, 2006

Red Sea Diving

Taba Heights Hyatt hotel is like a mini village

I haven't posted in a while as I've recently returned from holidaying in Egypt, learning to dive in the Red sea. As a newly qualified PADI open water diver, I now feel the urge to don some scuba gear and get closer to my koi, but I'm not sure if they would appreciate it. On second thoughts perhaps not, as although I wore a wet suit and the water temperature rarely gets much cooler in the Red sea, it was still a very comfortable 24C.

I stayed in a little resort called Taba Heights that has literally sprung up over night on the edge of the Gulf of Aqaba, on a barren piece of land that backs onto the Sinai mountains. The area is a beautiful man made oasis of a handful of five star hotels and a golf course, which makes it perfect for relaxing but the real attraction is to be found on the reefs just off the beach. The variety and abundance of life in the sea is truly breath taking and something everyone should experience at least once. It's an exhilarating experience although at first it felt odd not having a sheet of glass between me and the fish. The instructors from the dive school, which is sponsored by the National Geographic, explained that we should be careful not to damage the environment as it is a protected area, but the greatest threat is not from divers but from pollution from nearby ports and fish farms.

Taba Heights is very close to the Israeli border and the city of Eilat which has many fish farms in the area, mostly for food fish but inland they do grow ornamental fish. I wasn't able to visit so I don't know if they farmed koi there or not but I have heard that scientists have been working there on a vaccine for KHV, and helped develop the process that MagNoy currently use to inoculate against the disease. Whether or not you agree with their approach, personally I think it's early days yet before anyone can claim KHV free koi for life, but their top quality koi are now very good. With their winter temperatures more like our summer in the UK, it's easy to see how the koi grow so quickly. Coming back to rainy Britain is quite a shock and makes you realise how short our growing season is without heating.

Snorkelling off the beach I spied this Giant Clam

This holiday has made me more conscious of environmental issues, especially the threats to coral reefs some of the most delicate and important ecosystems on the planet. Some of this complexity can be thought about when compared to our koi ponds, with which we only have to provide the right conditions for one species, whereas in the seas many thousands of species rely on favourable conditions that nobody has control over.

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Koi Shows this November

3-5 Piedmont Koi and Water Garden Society
- 9th Annual Charlotte Koi Show
Embassy Suites Hotel, 4800 S. Tryon Street, Charlotte NC 28217, USA.
Phone: 704-527-8400
Contact Don Manus
Piedmont Koi and Water Garden Society

10-12 Southern Arizona Koi Association -
27th Annual Koi Show
Kino Veterans Memorial Park , 2805 East Ajo Way Tucson, Arizona, USA.
Phone: Debby Young at 520-682-7697
Contact Debby Young
SAKA Koi Show

12 Gainsville Koi, Goldfish and Water Garden Club - The Pondhoppers - Fall Young Koi Show
1994 NE 185th Street, Starke, FL. 32901, USA.
Phone: David Hardcastle at 904-964-7394
The Pondhoppers

17-19 ZNA Southern Koi Association -
Annual Koi Show
Naples Botanical Gardens.
Contact John Sprinkle or Don Hellard
ZNA SKA Naples Koi Show

17-19 North Florida Koi Club -
20th Annual Koi Show
World Golf Village Renaissance Resort, St. Augustine, FL, USA.
Contact Tod Todosky
North Florida Koi Club


Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Koi Allowed Back Only If Kept Hidden

The saga of a chinese restauranteur from Maine, and his confiscated koi, is continuing this week after Mr Ly won his fight to get his koi back. The state review board voted on Monday to grant Mr Ly with a permit enabling him to keep his koi.

This may seem like a victory for Mr Ly who has owned these fish, long before the ban on koi was brought in, but he has to comply with strict rules. Mr Ly will no longer be allowed to display his koi in his restaurant, the China Rose, as he has done for the past 15 years, or anywhere public for that matter. This rule is to discourage others from keeping koi and to prevent the thinking that exceptions will be made.

This goes against Mr Ly's Feng Shui beliefs that fish displayed in his restaurant bring his business good fortune. Perhaps the one thing that shows how seriously the authorities are taking this issue, is that all ten of the koi will have to be microchip tagged. This will prevent Mr Ly stocking more koi and possibly to trace any if they did escape.
For more on this story go to


Monday, October 30, 2006

Water Experiment

My experiment is now into its third week and slightly disappointingly there's still no sign of any algae. Last weeks weather was very dull and grey though, not ideal for growing algae. So far all I've added is a total of 4 koi pellets. They take on average 2 days to sink and so far only the first one has finally broken up. Earlier in the week the water did become a little milky in colour, which could have been a bacterial bloom but things now look much as they did at the start. This weekend I did a few tests to see if anything was going on.

The first pH reading was 7.5 and quite surprisingly it's now 8.4! I was expecting if anything a move the other way towards acid. Thinking my first test was wrong I have re-tested the tapwater and water left to stand, and got the same results as before. To some fish keepers this may seem obvious but something in tapwater probably CO2 or chlorine, effects the pH. I have heard that carbon water purifiers can lower the pH in much the same way. This means that the pH hasn't changed because of anything in the experiment, but due to it being left to stand.

Ammonia & Nitrite
I have successfully created water that would be deadly to most life, let alone koi. This is a boast I don't want to make too often, but it's good to see a result. Ammonia levels are close to 1 mg/l which at a pH of 8.4 would quickly prove fatal. Equally deadly the nitrite readings are off the scale at over 2 mg/l. The fact they are both present confirms that the koi pellets are being broken down and some nitrification is going on, but it may take a few more weeks to achieve an equilibrium. Although the total ammonia concentrations are much higher in industrial waste water treatments, higher levels can even inhibit the bacteria that feed on it. With nitrite approximately double the ammonia, the next step is establishing enough nitrite oxidising bacteria. I would hazard a guess that the ammonia levels, if not coming down are being controlled.

Nitrate is up to 50 mg/l double what the start level was. I'm not totally sure how this has happened, but I suppose some oxidation of nitrite must have occurred. This is not an unreasonable level to have in a koi pond, and with limited ways for nitrate to escape most people rely on water changes to keep it down. With nitrates in my tapwater measuring 25 mg/l, it's fairly obvious that quite large amounts are needed to control the rise.

Nitrate is often blamed for causing algae but like other plants it is just one of several requirements needed. Algae has even been known to survive in distilled water when all the other components are strong. The levels in my tapwater are more than enough so I will give it a bit more time before looking for clues.

Conclusions so far
I've been really surprised how quickly it has taken for the water to become toxic. Admittedly it's only 10 litres and there's a very small surface area, but this is bigger than some goldfish bowls and the filter pump turns the water over quickly. This just goes to show how polluting koi food is and how even if the water looks clear it may not be suitable for koi to live in. One reason for the rapid bacterial activity could be due to the probiotics in Saki-Hikari, but I have no way of telling. Visually there is no discernible difference between the two brands of koi food that I have used. This is something I may test in another experiment.

Having only added 4 pellets of food I was worried that without any koi present, part of the cycle was missing and ammonia would be in short supply. There is a technique that some koi and tropical fish keepers use when starting up a new pond or aquarium called a 'fishless cycle'. This is useful because the fish are spared the extremes of ammonia and nitrite as the filter establishes itself. Without the fish an ammonia source has to be added, in my case with the koi pellets, but for those whom don't wish to waste expensive koi food a cheaper and more controllable option is to add ammonium chloride or ammonium hydroxide. These are often found in household cleaners but don't use any with scents or surfactants, only 100% ammonia.

With plenty of nutrients in the water I think I can cut feeding, and possibly change a small amount of water, if ammonia levels don't come down. There are modifications I can make to the set up and I have plans to do other tests, but for now I will keep things simple and see what happens.

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