Christmas morning in Minnesota is about -2 F. We should warm up a few degrees but I’m glad the koi are warm inside the garage. They are eating well and do not seem too stressed about their cramped winter quarters. The koi also do not mind being hand fed with the Manda Fu. I’m sure once they go outside in the spring, they will be their old selves and not come too close to feed. For now, boring koi is a good thing because I don’t need the excitement of sick koi.
We finally installed the Nest camera to watch our koi whenever. The pond builder is more interested in being able to confirm all the filtration system is operating. As much as a pain the indoor system is, setting up an outdoor winter pond has a lot of logistics associated with it. Running an overflow system, heating the water, putting the waste water somewhere – something to think about for the next few months.
The koi must have been horsing around one of the pipes the other day. They are not glued together for this pond and someone (or a few of them) managed to knock one pipe out. Consequently one of the bottom drains wasn’t pulling and we had an almost instaneous algae growth on the bottom of the pool. The koi like to eat the algae but I prefer the clean blue pool look.
I’ve stocked up on some more koi books. The pond builder gave me a lovely set from England and I had ordered the Kodama koi book. I love to read all the interesting appreciation notes and then go out to look at my koi. (There’s a couple that will have to move along.) There really is so much to learn and it’s complicated. I will say that the more I read I feel more confident about what I’m looking for when I buy new koi.
Doing some reading about koi:
Inside the Kodama book:
New books from the pond builder:
The other fun winter pastime is watching the koi dealers getting their first Japan shipments. I won’t see them until April 2018 but there’s five koi sitting somewhere in the boxes below. They’ll be wintering in San Jose, California with Kevin Pham/GenkiKoi. While they could be shipped to Minnesota after the quarantine period, it’s way warmer at GenkiKoi. Plus I won’t need to set up my own quarantine.
Winter time is also the season to have our trees trimmed. Our oaks provide a lot of shade for the pond but without trimming, the cleanup of leaves and acorns is quite a chore. The netting on the pond often sags with the weight of the leaves. It’s a little challenging to cut trees in our yard but there’s a crew out there today, working in -6 to -1 F temperatures. I’m not sure if they will finish this job today since there’s a lot of branches to clean up and they have to take a number of warm-up breaks.
2018 is around the corner and I’m hoping that in 2018 or 2019 I will travel to Japan. I have relatives in Hiroshima and one of my cousins just wrote that nishikigoi (koi) is very popular in Hiroshima with some of the finest farms (like Sakai, Omosako, Taniguchi and many more). The local baseball team is the Hiroshima Carp – I just ordered a cool shirt! Japan is calling me…