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  • 07/01/2018 7:06 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This months blog is from guest writer Katie Michaels <katiem.aqua@gmail.com>


    Image result for koi feeding


    While it might seem quite straight forward, many first-time pond owners worry about what and how much they should be feeding their pond fish, to get the most out of them and to avoid causing pollution problems in the water.


    There is no doubt that feeding pond fish well and appropriately, leads to healthy, bright fish and it’s important to realise that they need different feeding approaches depending on the season, as their needs change depending on the time of year.


    During the summer, it’s warmer and the fish are far more active so they need to be given a high quality protein fish food as their metabolism will be at its peak around now.


    When Autumn arrives, the fish will slow their metabolism as the water temperature drops, so fish require a mixture of protein and wheat-germ based food to accommodate this level of change in their daily activity. During the winter months they will only require wheat-germ based food.


    Then, once the temperatures start to warm up again as Spring arrives, it’s important to switch the diet around, moving from pure wheat germ, back to the combination, and then when summer hits, remove the wheat germ and stick with protein only.


    One of the key things to understand about fish is how to feed them to their optimum level. It shouldn’t be a case of just throwing a load of food in the pond and walking away although sadly this does seem to be a common approach.


    Fish will only eat as much as they want and need and will ignore the rest. If you overfeed your fish then that excess food will stay in the pond lowering the water quality, encouraging algae growth and will lead to discoloured water, bad smells and flies.


    This situation causes pond maintenance issues as filters will get clogged up as will the pumps, causing even more problems for the environment in which your fish are living. It’s really important therefore, to feed fish correctly and efficiently, to avoid the pond turning into a nasty, toxic environment which no-one will enjoy.


    Here are some top tips for feeding pond fish:

            Take your time and observe the fish behaviour. During this time you can watch them and look for any health problems or issues

            Only offer small amounts – wait until the fish have eaten all of it before giving more and stop as soon as they start to lose interest.

            Offer the food to the fish, close to where you are standing so they associate you with food – this helps to create a bond, rather than just throwing the food in any old way.

            Always feed the fish from the same place, so they associate you standing in that area with food to come.

            If you are going away for some time, do not just feed the fish twice as much – they will ignore the food and it will go to waste and rot in the pond.

            Make sure someone else comes to feed your fish if you are going away for any length of time, and instruct them on the feeding rituals and portion sizes.

            Adapt your feeding techniques according to the seasons as fish will require less food in the colder temperatures.

            Make sure you buy higher quality koi food during the summer– don’t use fish tank food for ponds – you can always ask advice from the local pet store or aquarium shop.

            Feeding the fish can become part of a relaxing ritual for yourself as you spend time with the fish and watch them swimming which can be incredibly stress-relieving

            Always keep an eye on the levels of food which you have left to make sure you never run out and leave the fish hungry

            If you have children, get them involved in feeding the fish as a family activity and a way for them to learn how to take responsibility for looking after animals.

            As you spend time with your fish, watch for any changes in their feeding habits (outside of seasonal changes) which might indicate illness or diseases causing problems.

            Make sure the pond isn’t so overgrown with algae and/or pond plants that fish can’t find or see their food.


    Starting a new pond with appropriate feeding habits and routines will result in colourful healthy fish and a pond environment which is pleasant and requires far less maintenance than one which is full of rotting leftover food.


    Feeding pond fish isn’t rocket science so as long as you select the right food, take account of the seasonal changes in fish eating behaviour, and then take your time to feed your fish carefully every day, there is no reason at all why your fish won’t be happy and healthy living in your pond.


  • 05/14/2018 4:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Ever found a predator in your Koi pond?  A woman in Montana got a HUGE surprise!  Luckily, the visitor seemed more interested in eating the vegetation...  


    BEAR TAKES DIP IN KOI POND

    You gotta watch this video!




  • 05/04/2018 7:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Benefits of Using Nualgi Ponds

    When you supplement your regular maintenance with Nualgi Ponds, you will be able to:

    WATCH YOUR POND FLOURISH – Nualgi Ponds will significantly improve water quality as well as the health of fish and plants. For many eutrophic ponds, results may be visible by afternoon on the first dosem starting with the bubbling up of oxygen, elimination of odor, and Blue Green Algae crashing and floating to the surface.


    SEE MORE– By reducing nuisance algae growth, Nualgi Ponds improves water clarity and visibility to reveal more of the pond’s environment and its inhabitants.


    FEED LESS– By restoring missing nutrients, Nualgi Ponds brings balance to the natural marine food chain from the bottom up by promoting the growth of diatoms and zooplankton – free food for your fish and shrimp!


    SHOW IT OFF– Enjoy peace of mind knowing that your pond is healthy, clear, and odor-free.  Friends and guests will be impressed, and we won’t tell them how easy it was to restore the natural beauty of your pond.


    Nualgi is Safe for Fish, Plants, Amphibians, Birds & Pets!


    garden ponds water lillies


    Mother Nature Approved

    Nualgi Ponds has been tested in hundreds of small bodies of water, and even a few lakes and rivers!  Nualgi Ponds is designed to promote healthy growth and restore balance to the environment by reducing nuisance algae and increasing dissolved oxygen, and has successfully done so in trial ponds since 2005.  

    lake side house

    Yes, I would love to live here.


    No algae? No problem.

    Nualgi Ponds improves the life cycle to significantly increase the health of fish, plants, and critters. By providing essential nutrients on a nano-scale, our patented formula allows nutrients to travel farther than larger, macro-sized particles, reaching every corner of your pond and increasing the bioavailability of the nutrients for easy absorption.


    A bloom of Diatom algae


    The Power of Diatoms

    Within 3 – 5 hours of applying Nualgi Ponds, a bloom of Diatom algae (the good kind!) will develop. The diatom algae bloom out competes nuisance algae for CO2, N, P and other nutrients, causing the bad algae to die off, then locks away some of the nutrients in the new bio mass that is consumed as live food for your fish and zooplankton.


    Nano-silica-based minronutrient.

    Nano-silica-based micronutrient

    Based on 15 Years of Research

    Nualgi Ponds is the fourth generation of patented nano-silica-based micronutrient. Based on 9 years of lab research and 8 years of field research for applications in commercial and municipal water management. The Nualgi Ponds formula specifically helps pond owners improve water quality and manage algae. 

    Nualgi for Koi Ponds

    Here's a link, for quick home delivery.


  • 04/16/2018 7:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Ron has put together a work journal of this pond project.


    Get your copy of Ron's Work Journal Here




































    The completed pond is now about 3 months old.


  • 03/08/2018 7:04 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)



    Water from a household tap, a borehole or well, or rainfall will have unique properties and individual chemistry influenced by the location.


    No two ponds are identical in respect of their water chemistry or biology and many factors will naturally differ. It is not surprising that, the solution to a water chemistry issue that arises in one pond could make matters worse in another. A genuine knowledge of water science requires study at a molecular level, and an understanding of the role of water in Koi physiology and welfare is also needed to be able to offer advice .However, this is not essential for those hobbyists whose goal is simply to provide perfect pond conditions that will support their Koi for life.


    POTENTIAL HYDROGEN OR pH

    Measuring the pH of pond water tells us the hydrogen ion concentration, a value below 7 is acidic and above 7 is alkaline. Koi are capable of making adjustments internally in order to live in pond water with a pH between 7 and 9 although values over 8.5 may need monitoring to ensure they are stable. The optimum pH for Koi health, growth, and longevity is 7.5 - 8.0. This value is based on research carried out in UK water in my facilities with thousands of Koi for over 30 years. However, ideal conditions may well vary depending on the objective. For example , a Koi keeper may find his water chemistry supports the well-being of his Koi, although it does not preserve the highly prized red colour cells in some of his Koi varieties. Whilst genetics is the major influence, water chemistry has a minor role in colour retention. The pH in a Koi pond must be stable and this means all the changes that occur should be natural and therefore gradual. Water temperature, daylight length, the seasons, as well as the weather can all trigger chemical reactions and Koi have to adapt or they become unwell. Most hobbyists will have seen a Koi in the early morning suddenly dart across the pond surface on one side while adjusting to the new conditions. Some Koi are more sensitive and not all will react in the same way. If a pond with a normally stable pH suddenly alters it will upset the Koi and they may become listless and stop feeding. A more serious impact on their well-being is likely if the pH is in a state of continual fluctuation. If the pH alters, by more than 0.2 most Koi will release stress hormones as they attempt to adjust to the changes and having to adapt for long periods puts their survival at risk if the pH is not quickly stabilised.


    CARBONATE HARDNESS OR K H

    Although KH and pH have to be tested separately to assess how the pH is supported, they are closely associated, as it is by testing KH that the buffering capacity of the pH is revealed. It simplifies water chemistry to state that the pH will always remain stable if the KH level is in excess of 85 - 90 mg/L. At that level, fluctuations are far less likely but we have to keep in mind that pond water is less stable than tap water due to the numerous influences on it, particularly the pond filter system. In ponds, the pH can crash whereas that is not an issue in tap water as it is prepared and monitored by the water suppliers. There are many anomalies in respect of KH as the levels vary around the UK. In some areas, a KH of 1.0 does not always trigger an immediate pH crash. The Koi could remain safe until a pond event takes place such as the introduction of a treatment product. It is possible that as the product goes into solution it will interfere with the delicate knife-edge chemistry that has kept the koi alive until the inevitable crash. Some of the ways in which koi can be protected from a pH fluctuation or crash are listed below. K H buffering with bicarbonate of soda: The KH level of a pond can be raised by adding sodium bicarbonate at 100 gms in 1,000 gallons daily until the level is stable. The drawback with this method is that if there is an unknown reason as to why the pH decreased or crashed , sodium bicarbonate may not hold the level and it will drop yet again. This then adds to the fluctuations the Koi experience and avoiding fluctuations protects the Koi. If daily doses are needed, the Koi keeper can never forget to buffer let alone take a holiday and in such cases, this cannot be seen as an ideal solution. Many buffering products on sale in aquatic outlets are also based on sodium bicarbonate.


    Source: Paula Reynolds, Bsc, PhD,BA - Paula an aquatic patho-biologist, runs Lincolnshire Fish Health Laboratories and Research Centre a company that specialises in research into fish diseases for vets, fish farmers, hobbyists and the aquatic trade in England.


  • 02/16/2018 6:45 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    There is a new monitoring system available for Koi ponds that measures pH and KH3 (not TAN), as well as temperature and water level.  It graphs the results of pH and KH3, and sends alerts to your phone or computer.  WOW!  More info and the web site link below the break...



    http://www.seneye.com/what.html



    Visit their web site for full information about the device!

  • 02/03/2018 7:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    More than three-quarters of the earth's atmosphere consists of nitrogen, yet only four-hundredths of one percent of the mass of the oceans, atmosphere, and earth's crust is composed of nitrogen.

    Although nitrogen is not a major component of oceans and land masses, it is an essential element for the formation of proteins in both plants and animals. Rainwater does the critical job of transferring nitrogen from the sky to the soil.


    The Chemistry of Nitrogen

    Nitrogen gas is a very stable two-atom molecule that doesn't easily interact with other atoms or molecules. For example, although three-quarters of every breath you take consists of nitrogen, none of that is metabolized by your body. The same is true of nearly all plants -- they can't take nitrogen directly from the atmosphere. In fact, legumes that can take nitrogen from the atmosphere don't do it directly, but through a symbiotic relationship with "nitrogen-fixing" bacteria in their roots. The bacteria "breathe" in nitrogen and convert it to compounds that the roots can absorb.


    Nitrogen and Water

    Nitrogen's chemical stability means puree nitrogen doesn't mix very well with water. But nitrogen compounds, such as ammonium and nitrates, do mix with water. If those nitrogen compounds exist in the air, they can mix with water and come down with rainwater. The question then is, how can stable nitrogen molecules convert to nitrogen compounds? The answer is that it takes energy. For example, lightning provides enough energy to split nitrogen molecules and stimulate the formation of nitrates -- molecules with nitrogen and oxygen molecules. Bacteria decomposing animal manure and internal combustion engines are also sources of energy that produce nitrogen compounds that can end up in the atmosphere.


    Nitrogen in Rainwater

    A 2004 study of the chemical composition of rainwater at 48 sites in 31 states found nitrates in nearly all the samples, although there was a high degree of variation in both time and space. Several studies in the 1990s showed that locations along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico could expect to get 18 pounds of ammonium and nitrates per acre per year from rainwater. That's about a tenth of typical nitrogen requirements for growing crops.

    The Good and the Bad

    Because rainwater contains nitrogen in forms that plants can absorb, and plants need nitrogen to grow, farmers have noticed that rainwater stimulates more plant growth than water from other sources. That's good, in that farmers don't need to apply as much artificial fertilizer. However, in some cases human activities result in an excess of nitrogen in rainwater. That has the effect of throwing off the balance in some fragile ecosystems where some plants -- typically algae -- that are normally limited by a lack of nitrogen now have enough extra nitrogen from rainwater to choke out other organisms.


    References

        University of Wisconsin: The Elements
        Carleton College: Rainwater Chemistry Across the United States
        Highlights of Agricultural Research: Free Nitrogen from the Sky?
        Wisconsin Technical College System: Plants Prefer Rainwater
        National Atmospheric Deposition Program: Nitrogen in the Nation's Rain


  • 01/22/2018 9:05 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)



    Koi whiskers are known as maxillary barbels.


    They are slender, whisker-like organs covered with taste buds and olfactory sensors (nose) to help them smell food. This is especially true as Koi ancestors, common carp, were scavengers and foraged in murky water and muddy pond bottoms. This sense allows them to taste food before ingesting it. Koi have one set of barbels on each side of the mouth, located on the upper lip, for a total of four barbels. Barbels are a distinct feature to distinguish Koi from goldfish, which do not have barbels. Barbels can be seen on young fry if you look closely. There are a few other species that also have barbels, including Goatfish, Hagfish, Sturgeon and Zebrafish. 


  • 12/20/2017 6:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    We are constantly reminded not to feed our Koi too much - both for the sake of Water Quality, and for the health of the Koi.  And this time of year, some of us are not feeding at all because the water temperature is blow 50 degrees.  But is it possible to feed the Koi too little?


    First, we know that Koi food should be high protein year-round.  It was previously thought that Koi benefit from feeding a lower protein level in the cooler waters of spring and fall, but now it is agreed that we should feed a single, high-protein feed year-round, and vary the quantity based on water temperature.  Another thing we know is that Koi growth rates increased by 60% when they were fed 3 times a day verses once a day.  Remember that Koi are grazers, and benefit from more frequent and smaller meals.  So take the quantity you are planning to feed for the day, and split it up between the feedings.


    For other fish, it is recommended to feed them 0.5-2.0% of their body weight.  For Koi, it is suggested to feed between 1-3% of their body weight. 


    But does that work?  The weights of Koi vary drastically even if they are the same length, and most of us do not weigh our Koi regularly.  And it is not possible to limit the amount eaten by any single Koi when they are fed in a group.  If a group of Koi appear to be "thin," they might benefit from increasing the amount fed at each feeding.  If a single Koi appears thin, it could be genetics, or a health problem, or simply a less aggressive Koi that doesn't enjoy the melee that occurs during feeding.  Most hermaphrodite Koi remain very thin, and sometimes sickly, throughout their lives.


  • 12/07/2017 1:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Ah - the dreaded yellowish looking head...  One of our K.O.I. nutrition students recently asked why some Koi have yellowish skin, rather than pure white.  Here are some of my thoughts about yellowish skin...

    The quality of Koi food DOES matter!  For years, I used cheaper food, and was quite happy with the results.  My Koi never looked perfect, but I just chalked it up to poorer genetics...  Then I started some experimentation with different foods.  I don't currently have any show Koi, so figured I should learn as much as possible with the Koi I have...


    My first experiments started when I was building my monster pond.  I had 12 Koi in a show tank in the basement for 3 years.  I fed them different foods for 6 months at a time, and noted the results.  I discovered that the effects of foods vary considerably!  Koi develop different body shapes, the food affects color, and there is certainly a difference in the amount of waste the Koi produce (poop) depending on the food!  In the 3 years, I put on over 12" of growth on each Koi in less than 400 gallons of water - they grew from about 14" to 26-30"!  That's a LOT of fish in very little water!  I did it with 50% water changes, and blasting the bead filter with 120 psi air for 5 minutes a day.  I learned that biobugs are not easily affected by filter cleaning, and that ShoKoi produced the least waste of any of the foods!  None of the Koi had good whites - and I was told that was because of lack of sunlight - I just had a grow-light over the tank...  Now, I think it had more to do with the food, and the fact that they didn't spawn in the tank...


    Once I got the monster pond up and running, I bought some small Koi, and played with different foods to test growth rates.  The standard food used by most high-end Koi keepers is Saki Hikari.  Every other food is compared to that.  I tried a high end food provided by a breeder - and the Koi didn't like it, plus it was super-oily and did horrible things to my water quality!  I tried Purina Koi feed (Mazuri) - and the Koi had poor body shape and didn't grow properly.  Saki Hikari was OK - sorta middle of the road.  They Koi ate it, and they grew, and they looked OK.  Then this year, I tried a new food just imported in the USA.  Called JPD Shori - there is a another blog article about that food.  Turns out that JPD is the largest producer of Koi food in Japan!  Shori is their premium food.  WOW - huge difference!  The Koi loved it - they now wait in the feeding area an hour before each feeding!  And suddenly, these middle-of-the-road Koi looked AWESOME - you can't believe the difference in the whites - instead of slightly yellow - they were fluorescent white!  Which of course makes all the other colors just shine!  The reds look more intense, the blacks look blacker - even the yellows had more intensity of the pigment.  Go figure!  You never could have convinced me that one factor - food - could make THAT much difference - but it did!  Of course, it could be some combination of my water quality and the food.  Maybe Shori only works with my water quality?  Some of the high-end Koi keepers in my area are going to test it next year, and then we'll know if it's a one-time phenomena, or if it's something that's repeatable in different circumstances.


    As you know, there are LOTS of other things that affect the quality of the white.  The biggest is Nitrates.  If you can keep Nitrates down below 5ppm, then any yellowing of the skin is coming from another problem.  Koi that have been sick, and have compromised liver or kidneys become yellow.  Color foods generally make whites look pink in my experience.  I associate yellows mostly with poor genetics.  When young Koi become mature, and they spawn for the first time, I always find they look better the following year after the spawn.  The eggs and sperm seem to collect unwanted pigment from the rest of the Koi, and once the Koi has spawned, the Koi is left much whiter.  Egg-bound females are almost always yellowish... Water changes seem to have the biggest affect on whites - because of the nitrate reduction.  Plants also reduce nitrates - but somehow, Koi in plant ponds never look as good as those in ponds with massive water changes...  Koi in mud ponds with green water usually have awesome colors - especially red - from all the algae.  Whites can look awesome in mud ponds, or not - I suspect it depends on the water chemistry.  And last, stress really affects how Koi appear...  Some fish stress when you look at them!  LOL  Some have compromised genetics so their organs never grow properly, and they die before they are 6 - meanwhile their whites appear yellow.


    So, if your Koi appear yellowish - go down the list of likely suspects.  Switch to a premium Koi food.  Check nitrates.  If you have anything over 5 ppm Nitrates - do a LOT more water changes...  Did your Koi spawn this year?  If you can check all these boxes, then I'd guess it's just genetics.  You really do have to look at bloodlines when you buy - but the great news is that there are now tons of really good bloodlines, and you can get $30 Koi that have fluorescent white - although they all have plenty of other problems that prevent them from being show fish... 


    I guess that's why this hobby is still so fascinating after 30 years!  There's always something new to learn, and the Koi are incredible teachers!  Experiment with your pond and have FUN leraning!  To me, that's what Koi keeping should be all about!


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