Pond Maintenance

We have a pretty full month of entertaining at home ahead of us and pond maintenance will be a priority. By the end of the summer, I might have the landscaping done. I have some plants that have been in their nursery pots for weeks now. Some of my evergreens (like the mugo pines) took a hit over the winter and just grew progressively worse over the summer. I have another one that I will need to replace with something. The creeping jenny is all over the place and needs to be thinned out/cut back. We’re going to try replanting some of it along the boardwalk on the north side of the pond. It’s really a nice plant to hold the soil together.

The water parameters of the upper pond continue to stump the pond digger. A visiting koi judge/koi dealer told him that the establishment of the bacteria and getting the nitrogen cycle stabilized can really take months. The latest thing the pond digger has installed is another filler hose. We have the hose that adjusts for water level all the time. This hose is to run 200 gallons of water into the pond once a day (I think he said 200 gallons – if it’s wrong, I’ll make a note of it later).


Our ammonia is a little bit elevated (probably because we feed them a lot). However, the koi all seem very hungry and this is prime feeding and growing time. We keep our food in little Talenti gelato jars to gauge how much we are feeding them each day. The upper pond eats at least one container each day and the lower pond eats 1/2 to 2/3 of a container. We’re still feeding them Kenzen koi food and they all appear to be doing well.

talenti gelato jars make great food containers
talenti gelato jars make great food containers
upper pond feeding time
upper pond feeding time
lower pond feeding time
lower pond feeding time

The upper pond koi eat mostly a sinking pellet which they enjoy and it’s really a more natural way for them to eat. They’ll still eat the floating food but only after the sinking food is gone. The other koi judge told us that he feeds primarily sinking food because it’s a more normal way for the koi to eat but continues to feed the floaters regularly to be able to check the koi. There are koi pages on Facebook that are pretty interesting to read and it’s always a bit bizarre that someone will post a photo of a really horrible looking koi and ask the group “what’s wrong?” Many of the koi should have been tended to weeks before. Maybe they don’t look at their koi every day…

Sad note to report – the little lemon hariwake that we just purchased committed suicide by jumping out of the quarantine tank at night. I am convinced that doitsu koi are just more high strung than the rest of the crowd.

lemon hariwake suicide

We’ll be setting up a larger quarantine tank this weekend for the goromo twins that will be coming home next week. Not sure what sex these goromos are but thinking about what they will be named. Maybe “Masashi and Seishi” (manga artists) if they are male…”Emi and Yumi” (pop singers) if they are female. Sometimes our koi start with japanese names and then they get renamed because the pond digger can never remember the japanese names….

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