Name: Linda (aka Mothermole) Parker-Eaton Deer park, IL
Oh Carolyn you always have the most awesome fish pictures! I'd know that fish anywhere! I can see my fish through the ice hole and the water is nice and clear-maybe tomorrow I will attempt to take a picture of them as they are lined up in "formation". . .
This winter hasn't been as bad as last winter with regards to my being patient for interacting with the koi. Last year I was only going into my second year and was "dying" to see how the fish were doing after all the illness and troubles I had.
I have spent a lot of my time online shopping for plants both garden and aquatic. I got a few goodies coming from the Yahoo co-op. How about you?
I have been trying to stay away from the co ops.... but I will tell you the one pond plant I have been trying to get my hands on is the red pitcher plant. I don't the formal name without looking it up.....
This winter has not been too bad at all. I am really very grateful for that as the last 2 winters were brutal. I was in looking at my pond journals earlier this evening and last year, we started up a pump on 3/6 and the year before the first pump was started up on 3/13, so hopefully we will be coming into the ponding season sooner rather than later.
I was looking for a 'ponding cubit' and here it is! Carolyn, those fish are just beautiful! Linda, I love the name 'Mothermole'.
Here is one of my koi named 'Nishiki'. I have garden variety koi, but I love them. Last year I lost several koi and some shubunkins to a blue heron early in the spring, so I'm down to 5 Koi, 1 Shubunkin, and 2 comets (which have remained a dark brownish orange color). This is my oldest koi. He was the first one in the pond, so he is 5 years old. I was so relieved he survived the heron.
I used to hand feed my fish, but I don't do it anymore because I think that's why the heron was able to get them so easily. He stood on the deck by the pond right where I stand to feed them. They though it was me standing there, I'm sure. . They do have rocks to hide under and now there is fishing line across the pond, and around the perimeter. So far, that has worked during the times when there is no plant cover. It has been such a mild winter that they are already very active and think I should start feeding them.
I am finding this time of year, that I have 'it' badly. It is almost like withdrawal from the pond kicks into overdrive in February for me.
I would give anything for a hot sunny morning so that I can sit on the back deck with my morning coffee and just sit and watch the fish, relax and just kind of 'be', if you know what I mean...... I can almost feel the warmth of the sun on my body if I try to imagine it hard enough....
Aren't they pretty! It does make me want summer. We are so unseasonably warm and sunny here, though, that it's really hard to believe. It was in the mid '50s today so I was out in the stream, rearranging rocks in the waterfall area. It's already time to start the pond spring cleaning. I already have string algae starting to grow, and the water lilies never actually went completely dormant so they are starting to put out new leaves. It's been a very, very strange winter here in the Pacific Northwest. I usually have to actually get into the pond to pull the plants out (I have waders) and move things around, but it's so early still I don't really want to do it!
Seeing all of those beautiful koi together makes me want to add a couple more this year. If I get through the spring without anything bothering my fish, I'm going to do it.
The koi are up and following me around already and I realize that suddenly they have grown! Just in the last month, they have all put on at least another inch. The white one, Twinkle, is one who got taken by the heron last year. Just about broke my heart. I'd like to get another one like her.
Name: Linda (aka Mothermole) Parker-Eaton Deer park, IL
Pixy, Carolyn: Great pictures!
Carolyn-If you have a close up of that long finned fish in the picture with Twinkle I would enjoy seeing it.
Pixy-The Nisiki (sp) picture is awesome. Beautiful fish with the flower. How did you come up with the name Gumbo? I laughed when I read that. I stopped naming my fish after a lot of death and destruction my first year. I don't even count them anymore (I don't wanna know. . .).
I miss my fish and pond so much! It's at least another month before I can even consider cleaning the pond (calling the pond man) and starting the pumps. It's almost like I'm mourning. My non-pond, non-gardener friends must think I am crazy dropping so much time and money into my yard. They just don't get it. Nice to have people online that understand.
Twinkle is Pixy's fish.... I am assuming you meant a picture of my long finned caramel and white fish. She is one of my favorites, but then they are all my favorites
Pixydish - I like the name Gumbo too. Your fish are beauties.
Linda - you may be enjoying your pond sooner than you think. I think the weather is starting to turn. I have been journaling my pond on opening and closing dates, temps, and water parameters for the last couple of years. Typically we start the first pump from early to mid March and I don't think this year will be any exception to that time frame. We were able to sit out by the pond most of today with our jackets on.....
Gumbo is a name my nephew came up with. Believe this: this fish came from walmart! My sister's husband brought this fish home from walmart as a gift to her, not thinking about the needs that koi have in terms of the size the area they need. Duh! They had a 10 gallon tank! It drove me crazy seeing this koi trying to live in this little bitty tank but I bit my tongue as I really wanted to choose the fish that I put in my pond, not just rescue every koi that came along. Finally I couldn't stand it and told them they should just let Gumbo come and live with Nishiki and the others because clearly he could not even turn around in the the little tank and koi were not meant to live that way. My nephew, who was 5 at the time, put him in a large bucket and they brought him to my house. They put the bucket by the pond so we could slowly put pond water into the bucket and he could gradually get accustomed to the change in water. Not for this koi! The minute we placed the bucket on the ground he gave a great leap and splashed into the pond and joined the group. He never missed a beat. He started growing and changing colors, and now is one of the prettiest koi in the bunch. I've never regretted giving him a new home. I think the name Gumbo is appropriate, since he's a mixture of who knows what.
Linda, thanks for starting this Cubit. I am a rank beginner in ponding and fish raising. I put in a bathtub sized preformed pond last spring. Once it seemed to be established, we bought some goldfish to put in it. They lasted a few weeks, but several of them died for some reason. I'm sure it was something I did wrong. I am down to two goldfish and Sushi, the Koi, but have had them since early summer.
Once they quit dying and seemed to be thriving, we bought one Koi. I named him, "Sushi". He was maybe three inches long when we got him. By the end of summer, he had grown to abut eight or ten inches and it was obvious he would soon outgrow the pond, so I decided that I would build a larger pond this spring.
Well, good old Murphy had other ideas. During a particularly hard freeze, it must have developed a crack because their was only about six inches of water in it the next morning. So, I went ahead and built one about 8' X 10' X 2 1/2' deep at the deepest part. I estimate it to be about 750 gallons. Our winters are usually quite mild, so no worries about overwintering them in it.
I have a few plants from Texas Waterlilies, with several more to be shipped in a few weeks.
I don't know if it was just the spring algae bloom, but the water suddenly turned to pea soup. Not sure if it was coincidence or not, but my smallest goldfish, a fancy tail started staying at the surface, gulping, so I figured there must be an oxygen deficiency and bought an aerator and turned it to the highest setting.. It had the water rolling pretty good, but the fish were staying on the bottom, so I figured I did the right thing in buying the aerator. I turned it down to the lowest setting this afternoon and soon they were holding under the floating plants like they had been doing. I wondered if the high setting was scaring them, making them stay on the bottom.
I have been adding a little Hydrogen Peroxide every few days to try to clear up the algae and it is slowly getting better. I saw where someone added salt, so may give that a try too. How do you determine the salt content?
Sorry for the long diatribe, but wanted to get you up to speed so maybe you can offer advice on what I need to do.