So, What's Up With the Koi? | Ninja Poodles Local

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

So, What's Up With the Koi?

Posted By on Wed, Sep 13, 2006 at 10:08 PM


I ask in all seriousness, especially anyone local to "Zone 7b" who keeps koi and/or goldfish in a small outdoor pond (Husband interjects here to say that people "don't exactly keep indoor ponds," but ha HA, Mr. Smart Guy, I have seen one, complete with stream and fountain, in a Sherwood home, so there).  We inherited a koi pond with the recent purchase of our new home.  The previous owner claims that he, too, inherited it from those who lived here before he and his family did, and never to have fed or otherwise cared for the fish, and only to have changed out the water one time in eight years, when a liner started leaking and had to be replaced, at which time they counted around 40 fish.  We have never been able to convince the fish to line up for an official census, but there are a fair number of what seems to be a wide variety of fish in there, and we are clueless as to how to care for them, and we seek help.
I have poked around on numerous "koi pond" websites, but there are so many types of koi, I can't possibly identify what we've got, or whether they even ARE all koi.  Some of them are goldfish.   Some are white and orange, some are black and red, some are black and orange, some are plain and greyish, with a bit of red--and these appear to be reproducing--and we've spotted one new one that is a crazy amalgamation of colors represented nowhere else in the pond.  This last character even has BLUE spots.  Their size runs the gamut from the inch-long babies to eight-to-ten-inch Big Boys.  Or Girls.  We've also raised a healthy crop of tadpoles to hearty adult froghood over the summer.


Bella got a pair of goldfish back in April, and one of them, Gil, died within a couple of weeks.  When the survivor, Carl, started looking a little "green around the gills," so to speak, we liberated him into the outdoor pond, thinking he could hardly do worse.  He was a tiny thing, just over an inch long, and there was some concern that he might be eaten by the larger and more firmly established koi polloi of the pond environment, but he was definitely not thriving where he was, so we risked it.  That fish is now at least 5 inches long.  At least.  So we must be doing something right.  We had learned that you should feed your pond fish during the warm "growing" season, so we began buying "pond pellets," and feeding with the suggested frequency from the instructions on the package.  That is, more often when it's hot, and less often when it's...less hot.

I found a chart online recently that indicates that pond fish should stop being fed altogether once the water temperature drops to 54 degrees and below, and that feeding should not be resumed until the water temp rises above 54 again in the spring.  I've never owned, throughout my years of many many pets, any sort that did nto require being fed daily, regardless of the temperature, so this concept is causing me some mild anxiety.  We definitely notice a decline in the fish's appetites on cooler days, but boy, do they love being fed.  It took them about a week to learn what that was all about, and now they swarm the edge of the pond whenever people approach, hoping for a handout.

So...do we do ANYTHING for these guys over the winter?  The pond is smallish, has a pump/filter, and a little fountain.  It's filled with water-lilies and Japanese iris, is surrounded by bamboo and yucca and weeping holly (I removed the previous owner's family of plastic duck decoys), and I've grown to love it.  I would like it to thrive, without having to delve neck-deep into complete koi-pond minutiae.  Is there a pond-fish authority in the North Pulaski/Lonoke County area that we should consult?  Or will any major outdoor fish-related advice and/or supply-gathering mean a trip to Little Rock?

You can read more from Belinda at NINJA POODLES!, her "home base" on the internet.

Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

Comments (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

More by Belinda

  • Trading Post

    Yeah, the economy sucks.  Money's tight.  You don't have to tell me twice, since I'm looking at overdue medical bills and have a mower being held hostage at the repair shop, and a destroyed stretch of fence that must be mended ASAP.  It stinks.  Before, I might've turned to Craigslist or Ebay in an attempt to sell outgrown kids' clothes, no-longer-used horse tack, Hubby's hunting gear (shhhh), or anything that isn't nailed down, for extra cash.  But what do you do when no one else has any money, either?  They can't buy your stuff if they don't have any more cash than you do.Well, as I am learning right now, one thing you can do is return to your historical roots, and try bartering.  It may sound archaic at first, but really, it's something that's intuitive and natural...so much so that you're almost certainly already doing it, to some extent, without even realizing it.  We all keep a mental "scorecard" of sorts (though we'd never be so crass as to call it, or even think of it, in those terms, probably) of favors we owe and kindnesses given us, and tend to repay them in kind.  When you pick up the check at lunch with a friend, you probably do so knowing that your buddy'll get it next time.  It's a kind of tacit give and take that we enjoy in a civilized society, and it's not much of a stretch to extrapolate that experience into something broader and more literal, with tangible rewards.This all came home to me recently thanks to an exchange that began, as so many these days do, on Craigslist.  (Let me just pause here a moment and say how grateful I am that Arkansans are finally coming around to realizing the enormous usefulness of Craigslist.  It's about time!)   I had placed an ad to sell a few of our surplus Narragansett turkeys, and while there I of course had to look around and see what was up for grabs near me.  It's easy to fall down the Craigslist rabbit-hole, even without visiting the fantastically entertaining "missed connections" listings.There was an ad for established strawberry plants, at a real honey of a price, and they could be picked up just a mile or so from my home!   I've wanted strawberries for the longest time, so I responded to that ad straightaway, and asked the very nice gentleman who'd placed the ad some basic questions about their care, and made arrangements to pick up my new plants.  When I went to meet the strawberry seller at a local gas-mart, I took along a dozen fresh eggs, which is something I tend to do when I'm feeling sociable--everyone likes fresh eggs, right?   At this point, because it is just about to become relevant, I should show you what a sampling of fresh eggs from our place looks like.
    • Mar 24, 2009
  • Hey, Arkansas--Long Time, No See!

    And I'm taking the fact that this blog still exists as an indication that I'm still allowed to post here.  Is that presumptuous?I'm sorry for the long, long absence, and I will try to make up for it in the months to come.  Things have been...well, harsh.  Difficult.  But that's neither here nor there, in the here and now.  I'm back, and I'll try to stay.
    • Feb 11, 2009
  • Awestruck!

    I'm only just now, as President-Elect Barack Obama prepares to make his victory speech, beginning to relax emotionally, and realizing how very beaten-down and pessimistic I have felt for the last eight years, particularly the last four.
    • Nov 4, 2008
  • More »
 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation