Koi Pond In Japan
Here's an interesting Koi pond and little personal website by Mr Masanori Matumoto. While most of it is in Japanese and there's not a lot of information, it does have a certain charm. What interested me most was that his pond is over a hundred years old, built around 1880-1900.
Mr Masanori Matumoto
One of the reasons koi keeping has such a fascination, particularly in the West is a certain mysticism and myth about anything oriental. This is what draws people in and creates a thirst for the truth. The hobby is fairly new in the West really only getting going properly 30 years ago, so everyone looks to Japan the birth place of Koi, with several hundred years of experience for inspiration. Indeed the Japanese prize the Koi or Nishikigoi as their national fish and it is held with great respect and affection in their hearts. While it's true that the hobby has now grown worldwide and many developments especially in filtration are being made outside Japan, there is still a lot to learn.
Mr Matumoto describes his pond as a typical Japanese garden pond. This is something many people picture for themselves in a koi pond, only to find it impractical or for what ever reasons and build something resembling a grain silo. I know its happened to me. But Mr Matumoto explains that in reality it is not ideal for koi, one problem it too shallow for winter. The pond was modernised in 1980 and he charts its developments with lots of changing filtration additions.
The koi pond filter design is basically like most peoples ponds with two bottom drains , gravity feeding a settlement chamber but the main biological filter is pump feed above ground. The water returns to the pond by waterfall. The pond averages 23 inches which seems very shallow but as long as it doesn't get too cold the koi don't seem to mind. I'm not clear about all the details but the pond seems very well filtered especially with the new additions, maybe to allow for the complicated shape which reduces circulation. With a big air blower, several pumps circulating the water between filters and the waterfall it definitely gets well aerated and this shows how important adding oxygen to your pond should be.
Whilst there's not a lot to learn from this pond it's interesting all the same to see the similarities between hobbyists and the problems overcome. People often talk about the age of koi, with records for the oldest lived, but you don't seem to hear or see the oldest koi ponds still in use. I would be interested to know.