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Old 07-10-2011, 04:54 AM
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Default my Zen Water Garden and Koi Pond

Some pics of my other aquatic hobby.










Last edited by kien; 07-14-2011 at 03:27 AM.
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Old 07-10-2011, 04:58 AM
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Old 07-10-2011, 05:05 AM
skabooya skabooya is offline
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Do you bring your koi in or have a heater outside or do you just leave them to fend for themselves? Everyone I talk to does something different so im interested
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Old 07-10-2011, 05:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skabooya View Post
Do you bring your koi in or have a heater outside or do you just leave them to fend for themselves? Everyone I talk to does something different so im interested
+1 I was about to ask the same question.

Beautiful pond Kien! Congrats!!!!!
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Old 07-10-2011, 05:25 AM
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Do you bring your koi in or have a heater outside or do you just leave them to fend for themselves? Everyone I talk to does something different so im interested
You are right, everyone seems to do it differently, and as have I over the years. I've had a koi pond for about 6 years now, 3 at my parents place and the past 3 years at my own place. When I had these fish at my parents place we would bring them in every year and house them in the basement in very large tubs. That was alright, except for the hassle and the space requirements. Unfortunately I don't have the space to house them inside so I went with the 'keeping them outside' approach for my own pond. The first year I built a hoop house over the pond to keep the snow and wind off of it. This worked out well and the pond rarely froze over. Even when it did freeze there was just a very thin layer of ice, but once the sun came out it got pretty hot in the hoop house. (hoop house was just flexible PVC piping with clear plastic draped over it.)

The hoop house was a bit of a pain to set up and take down every year so the second and third year I skipped the hoop house and just ran more powerful pumps to keep the water flowing enough to prevent the entire pond from freezing solid. This worked out well too. The pond did freeze over more than it did when it had the hoop house though. Probably a couple of inches of ice on top, while the rest remained unfrozen with the help of the water movement. The key here is to buy a deicer which is a device that floats on top and keeps a 6 inch hole in the ice at all times to allow gas to escape.

If you keep the fish outside the important thing is not to feed them once the water temperature drops below 15 degrees and don't feed them again until it is at least 15 degrees for a few days straight. Typically they won't eat in these temperatures anyway as their metabolism drops to nothing and they go into a state of hibernation.

For safety reasons (I have young kids), my pond is only 2 feet deep at its deepest so it surely would freeze solid if it were not for the waterflow. I have a couple of levels, a 1 foot deep shelf and and then another foot to the bottom. If my son falls in (which he has, LOL), he can stand up just fine. Anyway, I keep the pumps (kinda like pond powerheads), at the 1 foot ledge and try not to disturb the bottom of the pond where the fish hibernate. My parents still have the pond that I built there but their fish come to hibernate in my pond over the winter, and they just drain their pond. When my kids are older I will probably dig it out and dig it out another foot or two.

I will admit, it is kind of scary thinking of the fish outside when it is minus 30 below but they're fine. I have not lost any of my larger fish this way. I have lost a few smaller comets but none of my koi.

Last edited by kien; 07-10-2011 at 05:29 AM.
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Old 07-10-2011, 06:07 AM
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Very nice pond Kien, now I know who to talk to for pointers when my wife decides that I have to build her pond.
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Old 07-10-2011, 12:54 PM
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Cool pic.'s and interesting to know about outdoor care for them.
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Old 07-10-2011, 02:35 PM
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WOW. So you're good at ponds, too!
Thanks for sharing the pics and the over-wintering. Hard to imagine that the fish actually survive in our Alberta Winter!!
As I was reading, I was thinking to myself:" wonder how deep his pond would have to be for it not to freeze over?" Then I read further and was amazed that it is only two feet deep! But you do have to over-winter the lilies and pond plant indoors, right?
Great statues, too!
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Old 07-10-2011, 02:45 PM
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very impressive! do you have critters such as raccoons to deal with?
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:30 PM
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Alberta Winter!! But you do have to over-winter the lilies and pond plant indoors, right?
Ya, it amazes me too. Like I said earlier, it is a little unnerving at times to imagine them out there when you're nice and toasty inside. As with anything in these hobbies, there are pros and cons to either approach. There are plenty of people who bring their fish inside and feed them year round. There are also lots of people who do as I do and keep them outside year round.

Water lillies are perennials and go dormant in the winter as well. In the fall you cut off their stems once they have died off and keep the root ball/rhizome damp. I used to bring the root ball/rhizome indoors and store it in the garage through the winter as I thought the pond was way too cold for it, but last year I experimented with one of them and overwintered it in the pond with the fish and it came back in the spring just as strong. Now everyone will be overwintering outside.

Quote:
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very impressive! do you have critters such as raccoons to deal with?
I don't have any critters attacking my pond (or at least I haven't seen any yet). I do have a a friend who has a pond that has had cranes clear out their pond
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