Monday, July 31, 2006

Kelmarsh Koi Show

Yesterday I visited the International Koi Show at Kelmarsh Hall near Northampton. On the Saturday I visited the British International Motor Show at the London Excel centre. Comparing both is like comparing chalk and cheese and yet both proported to be shows of international standard. What it means for a show to be titled international I don't know but in both cases they left something to be desired. The motor show seemed to lack several foreign brands of car many had expected to see like Porsche, Ferrari and even Mercedes was only represented by a couple of cars. The koi show was equally short of any foreign flavour unless you count the koi as being Japanese and Israeli, but then without them it wouldn't be a koi show! I don't wish to be too critical as I enjoyed both days but the description of them both to be the premier shows of the year and the actual experiences left me and others feeling a little flat. Maybe it's just show fatigue but perhaps a show should provide visitors more than just a shopping experience.
The Koi show was supported by many other events and activities and with the sunny weather made it feel like a village fete. I particularly liked the model planes that struggled on flying even with increasing winds. Some of these were more popular than the koi to the average visitor who probably didn't understand what all the fuss was about with these fish. A koi show should be the perfect opportunity to introduce new people to the hobby but seldom are there any welcome talks or information available, just koi in vats and lots of complicated equipment.
The winning Grand Champion koi was a rather nice showa but this wasn't clear from the boards which could have done with rosettes. Due to the warm weather the vats were very well aerated and the koi were very active which made photographing them hard (well that's my excuse).
Obviously the organizers and koi owners had worked hard behind the scenes to run the show but the lack of any official koi club and the community that brings with it meant numbers of serious koi keepers were down. This could be seen as the most popular stand belonged to a dealer selling small, reasonably priced Israeli koi. I have heard dealers complain that they don't make any money from shows but this is the same in most industries. This is your opportunity to show your face and promote your company as well as encourage more to join the hobby.
Even though this wasn't the best koi show I do hope it returns better next year and stays with a great venue in Kelmarsh Hall. I had a nice day out and any chance to see top koi is worth doing.

Friday, July 28, 2006


I've been getting quite a few hits recently from Germany so I decided to investigate why. I know the country is big on aquarium fish but I didn't realize how popular koi keeping is there. According to Sitemeter they were coming from a site and forum called Medekoi, not to be confused with Medikoi or Medicarp, two popular brands of food.

Checking the site out to see how they had found my blog and what they were saying, I've run into a few language barriers. Google does try to translate but I was confronted with messages which I can't understand when trying to register with their forum. I never was very good at languages so I might have to ask my German friend for help. That's lucky.

What I did find out was the link page has one of, if not the most comprehensive lists of koi sites on the internet. Apparently they have a computer programme that searches the net for any koi site, good or bad and then tells all their members about it. Here I was thinking I was onto something big and causing a storm in the German koi world. Oh well, maybe time to learn a foreign language.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

International Koi & Pet Show 2006

The International Koi & Pet Show is on this weekend, Saturday 29th & Sunday 30th, at Kelmarsh Hall in Northampton, UK. It's billed as the Premier Koi Show of the year, which maybe a bit too ambitious but should be worth a look if you can get there. Although not affiliated with any clubs some of the leading UK koi dealers should be there, with DJ's Koi one of the organizers. As well as koi there will be lots of other animals and displays going on to keep the whole family happy.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Armed Goons Seize Lucky Koi

This story has been doing the rounds on the many news sites much to everyone's amusement except the local wildlife authorities and Mr Ly. His koi were confiscated and he's been left with a heavy fine as koi are now illegal to import or own. I can't see how he could be prosecuted for importing the koi or how they could force him to get rid of his koi, which he's had before the ban came into force. It seems crazy but in Australia they have a similar problem with authorities threatening their hobby. Local to me is a fishing lake that has a couple of unwanted species of fish that the local council are encouraging fishermen to catch and dispose of. Why anyone would want to dump large koi in a lake beats me but show me where they are and I'm there, rod and net in hand!

Pests sometimes make good sport for fishermen

This link has a nice video to tell the story

Pond Air Pumps

Pond air pumps are a very useful if not vital piece of kit to increase aeration for your koi. You may not need one running continuously but an air pump can be kept for backup in such cases as on hot days when the oxygen levels can plummet. They are also useful for treatment bowls and quarantine tanks where medications can lower the waters ability to absorb oxygen. You should try to keep the water in a koi pond as close to saturation point with oxygen, and aeration helps to degas CO2 and Ammonia. There are test kits and meters available if you are not sure but a general rule is if you can't hear the water movement you need more. This doesn't mean your koi pond has to resemble a jacuzzi but a pond air pump can provide extra air with airstones placed in the filter chambers.

There are many very good pond air pumps available on the market and their quality is reflected in their price. If the pump is going to be running continuously as part of the life support system for your koi then it probably pays not to scrimp as reliability and air output are important. Some of the latest air pumps are piston driven so there's no rubber diaphram to wear out. When looking to buy a pond air pump you need to check how many litres of air it produces and also at what depth. It's no good buying an air pump that supplies 40 litres at 2ft but won't pump through an airstone that's at the bottom of your 6ft pond! Also worth baring in mind is the wattages can vary between makes which can add up making a difference to your electricity bill.

Recently I needed to buy a new pond air pump for my quarantine tank. Considering all the options I eventually bought the SuperFish Koi-flow 20 pictured above. This is a make I have never heard of before and to be honest it probably isn't the best but there's no denying it's good value. At £49, less than half the price of others it may not have a fancy brass distributor but it comes with 6 airstones and plenty of airline. The build quality is quite good too with a metal body and it's very quiet. 20 litres of air is enough for a small pond and there are larger models but at that price you could get several and at 15 watts they should be cheap to run. The only complaint I would make is the power cord is a bit short but positioning it close to a power supply above the pond level it not too much trouble. I'll update how it gets on.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Koi Phone

This Koi phone or more accurately called the Infobar-Nishikigoi has become a sort after classic in Japan (the home of koi) and now discontinued will likely become a collectors piece.The Koi phone has been around now in Japan for a few years aimed at their fashionable buyers attracted by its colourful design. The Nishikigoi perfect captures the Japanese meaning of the word and the look of a koi their national fish, unlike the new Kyocera KX2 Koi Phone which must have different meanings.

Monday, July 24, 2006

UK's biggest ever KHV outbreak gets worse

On the Practical Fishkeeping Magazine website they have a news report about further outbreaks of KHV infections in UK still water fisheries. Last month I mentioned the disease was reported in three fisheries in the south of England that the Environment Agency were monitoring:- KHV Outbreaks in Southern England. These latested outbreaks bring the number to nine reported cases of KHV in the last month, the most ever reported before in the UK. This could be due to the extremely hot weather this summer triggering the disease and the increased awareness and fear people have about KHV (Koi Herpes Virus) meaning outbreaks are more likely to be notified. Further lab tests should reveal for definite whether the five latest fisheries with mortalities were from KHV. The results should become available later this week.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

KHV (Koi Herpes Virus) latest report

In a follow up report on the INPC website about the past KHV (Koi Herpes Virus) outbreak a month ago in Japan, the All Japan Nishikigoi Promotion Association have given reassurances that the measures put in place have so far worked and no more infections have been found. All tested koi in the region including the eight suspected breeders have proved negative. This is good news but we shall have to wait a while until the koi farms can be given a clean bill of health. In recent research the virus has been detected in koi up to 3 months after they survived an outbreak. Its still not clear even with more sensitive PCR tests whether Koi can be carriers long term so breeders and dealers cannot afford to take chances. The news is hopeful but we will have to wait and see.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Hikari Food

According to the BKKS British Koi Keepers Society website there seems to be good news for koi keepers about Hikari resuming to supply Europe with their food again. So far they state that an initial small quantity has been flown in to Britain and distributed between dealers. With empty shelves and the food only available on the internet in the EU, I don't see this lasting long. In fact Ebay sellers have been cashing in on the shortage with the food going for considerably higher than retail price. Hopefully this shouldn't last much longer as full supply has been reported to resume by the end of July.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Evolution Aqua De-Tox De-Chlorinator

The EA-Evolution Aqua stand at the BKKS National Show

Evolution Aqua are one of the biggest and most respected names now in koi keeping with their reputation gained from quality products such as the Nexus and Answer filters. In fact they now have products covering all aspects of koi and are even branching out into aquarium fish. They continue to grow as leaders in koi pond filtration and are a trusted brand. It's interesting to read that on their website they have teamed up with Hikari foods, promoting their koi food as developed to put less demand on pond filters. I still have no news about the availability of Hikari in Europe as the UK distribution company PPI seems to have gone dormant. It could be possible that Evolution Aqua could be taking over distribution, but this is just a guess.

At the last BKKS National show Evolution Aqua had a big presence, with a very impressive stand demonstrating their equipment complete with display pond. While they were not selling anything direct on the day many koi dealers that were there were selling EA products at bargain, not to be missed show prices. One said that the new Easy Pod filter was very popular, and would be very good for quarantine tanks. Although a bit out of my price range something else that caught my eye was the new range of water purifiers which are very good value. Evolution Aqua De-Tox is a range of purifiers made by a UK company Ionic that covers many types of fishkeeping from koi to marines. The de-ioniser models can when run slowly produce nearly pure H2O, but more relevant to koi keeping is the De-Tox De-Chlorinator. I decided to buy the smaller size for my quarantine tank as it makes water changes far easier and quicker than the usually method of adding chemical dechlorinator. In the long run it should be cheaper than using chemicals and no ammonia is added to the water in the process.

A very convenient & simple device to use.

Here filling up the filter chamber of my quarantine tank.

The device is easy to use being able to position it anywhere and it doesn't matter which end the water flows through. Hose connectors are provided with makes it very easy to plug in and get going. Before use Evolution Aqua say to run water through it for a few minutes which clears any loose carbon dust. This was quite a shock at first with the water turning black but it quickly ran clear. The guide says you can run it at 2 gallons per minute but to be safe I have left it to trickle through, also a slower flow rate allows the temperature to equalize. I would recommend this purifier to anyone so far. I did hear that someone found PH changes with the new water but Evolution Aqua advised this would only be very tempory. The filter is filled with highly activated carbon which absorbs toxins from roughly 150,000 litres or over 30,000 gallons and there is a larger model if needed. So far the tests prove good and I would advise anyone to test now and again for chlorine. A water meter would also help to know the life left in it.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Koi with Popeye - Exophthalmos

The picture above shows a koi with Popeye or more properly know as Exophthalmia. It can look like air or fluid trapped inside or behind the eye causing it to bulge out of its socket. This koi shows similar symptoms to mine, with the koi's eyes only appearing affected. All the fish in this pond were similar but in less than a week they made a full recovery. The owner was unable to pinpoint an answer for the outbreak as water quality seemed good, other than it was a new pond and the fish were still suffering from stress. Given optimum conditions they improved on their own.

My koi in quarantine seems slightly better and has even started taking an interest in food again. So far the only treatment has been regular daily water changes of 10% and the addition of a very small amount of salt. The condition is still worrying but the improvement is encouraging. I am thinking of trying Kusuri-Sabbactisum to increase its immune system and kill any internal infection. Even with the best efforts and treatments Koi can still die. One of the problems with trying to diagnose fish diseases is that they often exhibit similar symptoms or secondary infections mask the underlying causes. This is a problem when looking for answers to Popeye.

Popeye or Exophthalamia is not a disease but rather a symptom of many possible causes. For this reason you can become confused by the varied and apparently contradictory advice. Make sure any treatment is the right for your fish before rushing to administer something which only makes the problems worse. The best course of action is to immediately provide your koi with the best conditions such as water quality and to lower stress. Get these right and you can then begin identifying what medications to use if any. Reading many books and websites, Popeye is associated with many diseases and I have found myself believing my koi has all of them. Some are very nasty diseases and are often a cure comes too late. The best advice is to look at the most common reasons and compare with your own koi's symptoms.

Here is a list of possible popeye causes or diseases seen together starting with the most common :
  • Bad conditions eg. Lack of water changes or inefficient filtration, extreme PH levels and fluctuations or waste build up - bacteria levels can build up in fish waste and stress reduces koi immune system so they get the diseases listed below.
  • Trauma -Usually caused by damage such as leaping out. Treatments including antibiotics but can affect filter bacteria. Kanamycin sulfate based antibiotics are absorbed through the skin but are best given in food.
  • Bilateral Exophthalmia and Ascites (a swollen abdomen from fluid build up) is often seen in kidney disease - salt and anti internal bacteria treatment should help.
  • Icthyophonus hoferi (fungal disease) symptoms as above.
  • Vibrio (bacterial disease)symptoms as above usually with ulcers.
  • Dropsy - Possibly the same problems as above with body swelling but very hard to treat once the scales start 'pineconing'. The eyes aren't always affected with Dropsy.
  • Fish TB - Mycobacteria- Warning! Always wear gloves if you suspect this disease as it can pass to humans. This infection affects the koi's internal organs, often the gut causing similar osmotic imbalance and wasting. Some say not to treat this disease but antibiotics can be tried.
  • SVC Spring Viremia of Carp- Luckily quite rare and a notifiable disease with all fish needing to be culled. Usually infected koi display similar symptoms like dropsy with haemorhaging.
  • Gas Bubble Theory- Its possible that too much oxygen or nitrogen can bubble in the cells of a koi like a diver with the bends.
  • Nutritional Deficiency- This is unlikely with modern koi food.
This is by no means every disease but hopefully helps point you in the right direction. Speak to an expert if not sure. Most trouble starts from the same route cause of stress from the koi's environment and the many diseases are similarly treated.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Koi Quarantine Tank

This weekend I put one of my koi into a quarantine tank I have used successfully for many years. It has stopped eating for the past week and it's eyes have appeared to bulge quite a bit for several weeks. In all other respects the koi seems fine but this is worrying and I don't want to take any chances. Koi health can be a difficult business. Often when disease symptoms are noticed the problems may be fairly advanced so quick actions are needed.

Every Koi keeper should have a quarantine tank to isolate new or sick fish from the main pond. This is not always easy for some due to lack of space or thinking it an unnecessary expense they can do without. There are quite a few options available that don't have to break the bank and it doesn't even have to be a permanent structure. If you are a practical sort of person like me then it's not too difficult to build yourself an effective quarantine tank for your koi.

The whole point of a quarantine tank is to provide the perfect conditions for your koi to get better, so water quality and stress reduction are key. A mistake I have learnt from when starting out was from buying koi from a show before finishing my pond, I put them in a paddling pool. Without adequate filtration they didn't last long enough to live in the pond. A quarantine tank with smaller water volume allows quicker adjustments and more accurate medication doses with less needed but also requires more care to keep things stable. Isolating a sick fish means it can be treated without upsetting the other koi and the main pond with potentially damaging chemicals.

I put together my quarantine tank from two 400 gallon fibreglass tanks that were originally intended as filter chambers. They were made as plain rectangular tanks which were thick enough not to need reinforcing when full of water, bought from a fibreglass specialist. One tank is for the koi to swim in, the other is used as a gravity fed filter. This setup is not ideal with regular maintenance needed to keep it clean, but the filter is large enough for the good bacteria to cope well with chemical attacks. In fact the filter is large enough to run an average koi pond quite easily. A small submersible pump returns water into the first tank through a final foam polishing filter, made from a cold water cistern.

This setup has been running well with water from the main pond to keep the filter mature. I have made a few changes recently such as a new airpump and may make more depending on how this koi gets on. Hopefully this is a minor bacterial infection and osmotic imbalance that should improve with some salt added to the water. Eye bulging often called Popeye can have a number of causes, the most obvious being Dropsy . This is notoriously difficult to treat so I may try something stronger if its conditions don't improve. Buffering the water to reduce the acidity a little together with more water changes has improved the koi's mood, but we will have to wait and see.

A good article on quarantining koi is on this useful site

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

KHV (Koi Herpes Virus) Update Report

The INPC have released another notice by the All Japan Nishikigoi Promotion Association about the recent KHV outbreak. They state that the Koi breeders names and their farms shall remain anonymous to protect their reputation and livelihoods. This is not some sinister coverup but hopefully to stop the spread of untruthful scare stories. They want the dealers to continue buying from the farms in question as all infected koi have been culled, with breeding now continuing as normal. With all koi proving disease free with regular testing and isolated in pockets of lots of different ponds, there shouldn't be anymore problems.

Even with the best measures put in place there will be koi buyers who will be put off and not feel reassured by the messages given. This is a difficult question do you come clean and risk losing everything, the reputation built over many years, or do you keep quiet and hope the storm blows over quickly. I think the best policy is probably to be as honest as possible and even use the situation to promote their koi by showing what is being done to eradicate the disease and provide KHV free koi. Momotaro koi in particular did a great job in turning things around when they got infected last year, and if anything they are now an even stronger brand.

INPC-Internation Nishikigoi Promotion Center

Koi Catastrophe

Here's a funny little news story that goes to show that you should be careful of who you trust to look after your koi pond. When it comes to mixing water with electricity or just feeding your fish it's best to do it yourself or get an expert in. Interestingly Pamela Anderson (formely from BayWatch)features in this story, which obviously makes it news worthy. When typing Pamela Anderson and Koi into Google alsorts of odd stuff comes up.

Koi Catastrophe in Clermont County

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Chinese Koi Blog

Goldfish Queen the popular blog about Chinese goldfish and importing goldfish from her farm in China has recently started a blog about Koi. Chinese Koi was started because her farm as well as producing goldfish has been supplying around 20 million koi around the world.

Whilst the production of high grade koi is dominated by Japanese bred fish, there has always been a market for cheaper pond fish koi. Most of these koi have tended to have come from Israel and the Far East in the past but new farms are being developed all around the world. Even here in the UK there are now a few fish-farms that have started to specialize in koi production. With quality parent koi they have had respectable results and even done well in shows. The problems with spreading diseases and the stress placed on the koi during transport has led some to believe that koi should be produced locally, and that they are healthier fish.

Most of Goldfish Queen's koi are sold to the local market but if the koi are as good as her goldfish then I wouldn't be surprised to see them catch on elsewhere. Judging from the photos I would guess she intends to compete in the world wide market for koi as the farm looks very impressive.

Monday, July 10, 2006

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.

Friday, July 07, 2006

KHV(Koi Herpes Virus) Update Report

I mentioned the news of an outbreak of KHV(Koi Herpes Virus) in Japan's Niigata Prefecture on Wednesday and a follow-up report has been issued today. The report by the Niigata director for The All Japan Nishikigoi Promotion Association outlines their efforts to eliminate the disease. Working with the breeders and local authorities they have traced the spread of the infection to 8 breeders whose koi came into contact with diseased koi from one breeder. All koi concerned have been culled and measures put in place so no doubt is left for a repeat situation

The people of the Niigata Prefecture are very proud of their koi and so I hope this isn't too damaging. I'm sure they will do everything possible to protect their reputation for the best koi in the world.

No doubt they won't be using the same breeder again.

INPC-International Nishikigoi Promotion Center

Koi Carp Computer Mouse

Thanks to<3Yen for finding this cool koi computer mouse for the koi keeper that has everything. This would be a great present for any koi fan that thinks about koi even at work or surfs the net.

You can get one from for £19.99 ($34.98 USD)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Hikari is back

The Hikari stand at the BKKS National show 2006

Hikari fish food is now allowed to be available again in Europe after at least a year being in short supply. Kamihata Fish Industries the owners and manufacturers of Hikari have a long history with koi, dating back to 1877 and so are major players in the industry. Hikari the best known and also promoted as Japan's No.1 brand of koi food, will now be available after the ban on animal feeds to the EU from Japan was lifted.
The absence of Hikari has left a gap in the market for a big brand food, which Tetra have rapidy tried to fill with the release of Tetra Pond Excellence. Also smaller companies are now marketing koi food, such as Shingoi which is set to arrive sometime this August.
Trying to put on a brave face, Hikari UK made an announcement at the BKKS National Show saying that "they were back" with much fanfare and popping of champagne, but as yet I haven't found any suppliers stocking it. Strangely I can't find anymore information across the internet and the website doesn't work at the time of writing. It seems their troubles with red tape are not quite over yet.
I'll keep you posted...

KHV - Koi disease found in Japan

On the INPC -International Nishikigoi Promotion Center website news is breaking about a reported outbreak of KHV (koi herpes virus). They have confirmed the outbreak with a report stating it was found in koi from dealers in Ojiya City, Niigata Prefecture.

On Sunday, June 18, a KHV infected Koi was identified for the first time from a Niigata breeder. The source of infection was a tategoi transferred from another prefecture. All possibly infected Koi from that source have been inspected and culled. We are currently in the process of reinspecting all Niigata Koi to prevent the spread of KHV. Details will be reported in early July, but please allow us to offer our sincerest apologies for the anxiety caused.

Hajime Isa, Niigata Regional Director,All Japan Nishikigoi Promotion Association

The report says that everything is under control and not to worry, but I'm not so sure. Any KHV outbreak is a major concern and needs maximum effort to stop its spread. Some opinion on the internet is the shortage of breeding stock and the practice of using hobbiests koi is increasing the risks of introducing the virus to disease free koi. I don't know if this is true but it makes sense to trace all fish movements between farms. For the breeders it is currently a period that the koi have or are spawning, so hopefully losses won't be too bad.

A final report is due out about now....
INPC -International Nishikigoi Promotion Center

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Richdon Koi Prize draw

Richdon Koi have recently announced the winner of their bi-monthly prize draw. The next draw for July and August will take place on the 1st of September with a prize of £500 to be spent on any of their wonderful koi. This could be a pond full of fish or an individual koi. To be in with a chance you just have to spend over £50 from their website, which shouldn't be too hard.

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show opens today. I'm not sure whether I can make it this year but its well worth a visit. Even if you haven't got greenfingers there's lots to see and do. It's set in a fabulous location by the river Thames just out of London, and has a really great atmosphere. It's unique to Hampton Court Palace Flower Show that there's a separate section for watergardens, and usually some koi dealers are there too. The professional show gardens are a real inspiration, with some new designs for ponds challenging preconceived ideas.

The Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Can Koi have friends?

Something that I hadn't thought about concerns what other species can you mix with your koi. Whilst most serious koi keepers wouldn't dream of such a thing, I do know many who have at least one large dull carp. These may not be a different species but have little in common with the finely breed koi we all aspire to own.
Surfing the net I stumbled upon a site giving ideas for koi companions. Here in the UK we are all familiar with mixing koi in garden ponds with goldfish, golden orfe and maybe a snail or two. I have seen grass carp and sturgeons kept with koi but around the world with different climates and local wildlife there are other ideas. The usual advice here is to avoid koi and plants, as they are either eaten or dug up and other animals are a distraction at best. So it was strange to me to find a site positively encouraging pond owners to introduce such creatures as ; frogs, toads, turtles and even ducks !!

Thinking this was a bit strange or a one off I discovered that actually koi are sharing their ponds with a variety of creatures in different countries. In fact there are websites selling such things as turtles to put in your koi pond. I'm not sure whether they are turtles or terrapins, or if its a good idea, but it seems quite popular. With the hot summer weather here in the UK at the moment it's interesting to read about koi ponds in more tropical places.

Here is a site about a very nice pond where all the inhabitants seem to successfully get along. Admittedly some of them are wandering local wildlife that find a home, but it should make us think how lucky we are to only have to deal with the odd heron now and again in the UK.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Google Earth finds my koi pond

Have you ever moved house or area and wondered if things have changed or what the new owners might have done to your old garden ? Yes,well so have I but not wanting to snoop around the place I've had to resist the urge to pry. Playing about with Google Earth I typically homed in on areas that were familiar. I found that if you zoom in on certain blocks of land the resolution is not bad and you can easily pick out cars. Since moving house over ten years ago I'd always wondered what the new owners had done with my koi pond. When they bought the house I don't think they really appreciated its full extent. Like many koi ponds it was dug 6 ft deep, complete with gravity feed multi-chamber filter. Having taken the pump and koi with me I had always assumed they would get a shock and fill it in. Looking on Google Earth I'm still not sure but a few things have changed. This has led me to ask can anyone else see their koi pond or have they any aerial photos? Also what happens to koi ponds when people sell their homes?

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