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Thread: Ion-exchange Softener for good skin?

  1. #31
    Nisai
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    re read the article to day and this out lines what is said.
    some people in the uk recommend a gdh of as low as 1-2 tests on indoor japanese ponds show readings of between 4-7 this is at the in of the season (march) when the kh was likely to be at its lowest one mud pond was tested as most were still frozen this reading was 3.5 , 1 respected breeder told me he could not get his water hard enough .
    if the water is to soft long term it can damage koi as the osmoregularatory system works best in hard water .this is the reason why you always see a lot of oyster shells at breeders.
    you can see why people get confused when there are 2 schools of thought.

    rick

  2. #32
    Tosai
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    I've been running soft water for awhile kh of 30ppm and my koi have improved and grown alot faster than when i had hard water kh of 7d also fewer health problems in fact none.Iknow momotaro likes soft water and he's koi dont turn out bad so i would rather take his advice rather than someone who sell's carbon filters for a living.
    regards craig

  3. #33
    Jumbo
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    Surely some very challengable points there.

    1) with proper maintenance, regular water changes, many ponds having constant flow through, stocks at lowest level of the year and the fact oyster shells possibly used to buffer KH why would it be at a lower level than in November?

    2) one mudpond, with no koi but loads of fresh mountain water had a kh of 3.5. What does that prove?

    3) I have an issue, having had more than one trip to Japan, with comments such as 'a breeder says' - given the language differences such comments are easily misinterpreted. Maybe they couldn't maintain KH to support filter due to it's newness and stocking levels.

    Mark
    Mark Gardner

  4. #34
    Tategoi
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    Koi 4 all et al:

    "osmoregularatory" Ann also made this point in her explanation...

    I can see from the various threads that there are different opinions on the subject of KH and GH hardness.... Am looking forward to seeing more positive remarks re: this subject in the hopes of continuing our learning curves...

    Re: Momotaro… The Key phrase seems to be “Long Term”… will be interesting to see Momotaro’s koi 10-20 years down the line… For myself, I can’t seem to raise the KH because of my frequent water changes so will have to live with the 3dh… Hopefully it won’t be detrimental to our koi….

    Aloha from Hawaii, where the year round temp is in the 70-85 degree range, the water comes from our mains tap at 7.5 pH with a KH and GH hardness of 3dh and Zero contaminants or metals... Ahhhhhh the price of living in Paradise!!!! Mike T

  5. #35
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    Mike, you have perfect water for raising koi. You could do yourself a favor by running a 10% daily overflow in addition to the normal sump dumps and you would be duplicating many Japanese high-end ponds.

    And that Hawaii water sure is tasty. Yummm!

  6. #36
    Nisai Mike Snaden's Avatar
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    Mike T

    Don't worry about your water... it's just fine! ;-)

    Osmoregulation in Koi is no better at all in hard water. This is a big misconception, and will be cleared up in due course. Also, filter bacteria don't feed on KH, but on fish waste. It is however, true to say that a filters effectiveness will fall off when the pH starts to drop too low. My own testing of pH, KH, and Ammonia levels, etc is such that down to a pH of about 6.9, everything works just great, with Ammonia levels in my heavily stocked Tosai pond running at 0.01mg/l (KH of below 1dh at such a pH). At 6.8pH, the Ammonia levels will start to rise slightly, but still generally below 0.05. However, drop the pH to 6.6, and this seems to be where things start to go wrong, and Ammonia levels will start to rise, to perhaps 0.35mg/l. This was what I found last year, with about 140 Koi in the pond, on 8 feeds a day. With a lighter load, Ammonia levels at the latter pH, would run much lower. My choice of KH for safety in my own ponds, with enough 'spare', is 2dh. I am happy so long as my KH is over 1dh, but it needs watching closely. A KH of 2, gives a lot of safety margin in my experience.

    Back in July 27th of this year, I received 266 Momotaro Sanke of 10 to 12cm. They were born on April 18th this year, and arrived purely for the purpose of challenging Momotaro for 60cm Jumbo Tosai. As Maurice will vouch, on the first of September, we went through the Koi to reduce the numbers in my 4400 gallon pond, and got them down to 148 Koi. Size ranged generally from 18 to 20cm at this time, with the biggest few being 23.5cm. So, average growth (discounting the first week for settling in) was 8cm in 4 weeks, so 2cm per week. I reckon that the bigger ones are now up at about 28cm, with the bulk of them being 26cm. This growth is in no small part down to soft water. (IMO)

    A prominant Japanese Koi judge first got me onto water hardness, back in '98. I have spent up until now trying to find out all I can. Sorry to torture you all with this, but the following is a cut and paste of a thread on Koichat that took place about a year ago. I pasted a lot of notes there at the time, as this topic had already been covered countless times! ;-) The following is the same notes that I compiled, plus the rest of the thread! Happy reading! ;-)

    ---------

    Most of England has hard water. Hard water is water that is high in content of calcium and magnesium salts. Clay is predominantly calcium, and shouldn't really be called clay, as it is more of a stone powder. Refresh rock is rock, not clay
    Japanese water all over Japan is incredibly soft. Japan's hardest water is softer than most of England's softest water. The calcium in water does has some effect on the skins appearance (short term), but not the Kois bone structure. Good Koi food is the only worthwhile way to build bone structure.
    Soft water is the ultimate way to grow Koi fast. I had a long discussion with staff of Momotaro Koi Farm last week, and they were completely in agreement that soft water was needed to grow Koi big. Mr Nobuo Takigawa (multiple winner of the All Japan) says that hardness should be ideally below 50ppm (about 2.7dH). Mr Izeki of Izeki products says that if hardness is above 2dH, it should be lowered. Clays will raise water hardness, and I wouldn't mind betting that 90% of posters on the BB have higher water hardness levels than those stated above. I find this whole subject frustrating, as many people concentrate on making Koi look finished, but this slows the growth immensely. People over here always seem to wonder why Koi can't be grown big in this country. But, if we all payed more attention to Japanese techniques instead of British technology (money spinners), then we could all grow Koi fast enough and big enough to learn at perhaps 3 times the speed that we do.
    If anyone thinks that clays are neccesary, I will challenge you to come here and visit! I am doing my utmost to remove calcium from my water, and the results are astounding...try me!?
    Sure, Japanese use it over winter, but bear this in mind... 1) Japanese water is dead, devoid of minerals (calcium). 2) changing water in winter means chilling water greatly, so clays will replenish the water during winter.
    Please see the attached pic. This Kohaku was born on the 17th of May 2001. Last year, as Tosai, it measured 31cm (in June). It now resides in Swansea, where GH levels and KH levels in the mains water both measure 2dh. The pond water KH runs at 1dh, pH is 7.0, Gh in pond is about 1dH, and TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) runs at 80ppm. No clay has ever been added to this pond. In fact, no additives at all have ever been thrown in! Does this Koi look either weak in bones, or skin? It now measures 54cm, is male, and nearly two years old. All we need is to be patient. Sorry to get 'on one', but people should try and grow Koi, not ruin them by finishing them.

    Momotaro... Fresh water TDS 73ppm, ponds in general run a TDS of about 80ppm on average. But, the best performing Tosai growing pond runs at a TDS of 53ppm, a KH of 1dH, and by my estimation, a GH that can't feasibly be higher than 1dH.

    Mike.

    Buy an R/O plant, but be sure to mix the water with mains water when doing top ups. It's really easy to do. In my case, I use the TDS meter. Here is an example...
    Mains water TDS is currently 335ppm KH level is 11.
    R/O plant gives water TDS of zero, and KH of Zero (pure H2O).
    Mix the two at a ratio of 75% R/O water, and 25% water and the result is a TDS of 84, and a KH of 2.75dH...perfect! So, get the water mixing, and check the TDS. If it is higher than 84, turn the mains water down a little. If the reading is low, turn it up.

    However, this stunt has been performed by professionals, don't try this at home! No, seriously, if your pond is over stocked, overfed, under-maintained, spasmodically maintained, or not regularly water checked...forget it!!!

    Mike.

    Hi John,

    I should rephrase my statement. JohnH asked how he could reduce hardness. I should have said "With" instead of "Buy".

    You mention hard and soft water, and yet you quote pH levels? It is not uncommon to have soft KH, and still have a high pH, and vice versa. Hard water can be put into a pond, and can be depleted of KH and still be left with high GH (hard water).

    In short, I can't give any advice on how to lower pH with an R/O plant. GH, KH, and anything else dissolved in water, will cause a high TDS. The need for the R/O plant is primarily 'dilute' these overall levels and obtain a low TDS.

    "Money for old rope"... Lets look at the other end of the scale. You have soft water, which also has a KH level of 1dH, and hence, have trouble keeping your pH level safe. You visit your local dealer, and he tell you that your KH is too low, and you need to maintain it at 10dh. As luck would have it, he has endless supplies of Bicarb on the shelf to sell you. Now, lets assume that that your pond water KH is zero, and it takes 100 kgs of Bicarb to get your KH up to 10, so that's what you throw in. Each 10kg bag of Bicarb costs £10, so you just shelled out £100. Well, each day, you change 10% of water, which takes your KH down to 9dh, and hence every day you throw in 10kgs of Bicarb. In this situation, you are spending £70 per week on Bicarb!

    So, lets assume that you are in the same position, but you are advised to maintain a KH of 4dH. A 10% water change will drop your water to perhaps a KH level of 3.6dh. Well, now you only have to add 4kgs to get back on track... only £28 per week!

    "Reality"... Why have a high KH? Even in a reasonably heavily stocked pond, as KH level of 3dH is almost impossible to deplete in a week. So, what do you do?... Do you buy a KH test kit and watch it? Or do you throw in loads of Bicarb to shoot the KH through the roof? Chances are that if you carry on with regular water changes, your KH will always be 3dH.... the result?... no expense wasted on Bicarb!
    In a pond with a KH of just 1dH, the pH will probably never drop below 7. But at a KH of 2dH the pH will probably always run at 7.5, but in a KH of 4 or 5dH, the pH will be the same. Push the KH higher, and the pH will have a tendancy to run higher...perhaps up to 8.3? Why bother? The Japanese generally feel that a pH nearer to 7 is ideal anyway.

    Colin's water in Swansea has a KH level similar to Devon, running at 2dH from the tap. This is just fine as long as maintenance is good. Colin keeps water trickling in, which in turn keeps everything stable with a KH of 1. The downside is that if he lets his KH drop even a little, the pH will start falling. It only takes a few days of lack of maintenance to let the KH fall, but weeks to get it back again, bearing in mind that his mains water only has a KH of 2dH.

    Now, if Colin were to overstock, he would never keep a safe KH and pH, and would have to resort to either Bicarb, or a constant top up from the nearest fire hydrant!

    I don't feel that soft water is the 'answer'. But, I do feel that hard water, or more importantly, high TDS water is the growth limiting factor. My TDS meter is a Japanese one, and is called a "Water quality instrument". Basically, TDS measures anything dissolved into the water. In short, get a TDS reading on your pond, and compare it to mains water. Do the same with KH and GH. The differance in relationships between TDS and the KH and GH give an indication of the levels of dissolved fish waste...or "Water quality".

    "Growth"... My combination for growth is as folows...

    Soft water with low TDS,
    Good temperature of perhaps 23 or 24c,
    Many small feeds from an autofeeder,
    Loads of aeration,
    Low Nitrates,
    a pond with a good filtration system that doesn't create bad bacteria,
    Good pond depth,
    good circulation to keep the Koi active.

    Most of the above will have an effect like credit scoring. Each will give a percentage of benefit to increased growth and condition. But, with hard water, the other factors become far less effective.

    My R/O plant consumes 750 watts of power. The electricity board loves me, as I singlehandedly pay their wages! My 4400 gallon Tosai pond has about 110 Koi in it. It is only 4ft 6inches deep, and has very little pumped circulation. But, it has soft water, loads of small feeds, 24c temp, and loads of aeration... growth is now astounding!

    Mr Maeda of Momotaro said this to one of my customers last week... "Buy an expensive Tosai from him and leave it there to grow, and it can become a cheap Koi. Buy an expensive Koi and take it back to England, and it becomes an expensive Koi!" Why?... Buy a 50cm Tosai for perhaps £2000, and it will become a perhaps a 65cm Nisai, and perhaps 72cm Sansai? At this point in time, it could be worth 10 times it's original price. But, take it back to England and ruin it, and it's worth nothing.

    When Daisuke Maeda came to England in March, I took him to Colin's pond in Swansea. Of the Tosai that Colin bought last year, Daisuke reckoned that two of them would grow past 85cm easily! He was amazed at the growth and quality. Last year, these Koi cost £195 and £350. Daisuke also said that one of these Koi would command a price of 1 million yen if were at their Farm as it is now. Now, that's become a cheap Koi!

    Goodnight for now...

    Mike.

    Bern, Mark,

    You're bang on with the Turbo cleaner. It won't soften water, but it will remove organic waste, and hence lower the TDS level. This whole thing in respect to soft/hard, TDS etc all swings more importantly around the TDS level. You can have water with low GH and KH levels, but it is possible to have a high TDS due to lack of maintenance. But, KH and GH levels in mains water are the factors that limit the possibility of lowering TDS.

    A TDS meter from Kusuri will cost you about £30. Why not get one and start experimenting?

    You may be scepticle about this whole topic, and I don't blame you. But, in Japan, if you can get your point across when asking the question, they will well understand this topic.

    I am not saying that low TDS levels will make your Koi grow. What I am saying is that high TDS levels will slow the growth. Some people say that Koi grow to the size of the pond, or that female Koi put out hormones that stop Koi growing... what is the case here, is that over time, the TDS has risen. It is possible to maintain water in a pond in such a way that Koi will grow far to big for it. People over here say that they have good growth, but in truth, it can often happen that one or two Koi can have freak growth in relation to others in the pond. This good growth may be perhaps 5cm a year. But, with the whole TDS thing, coupled with good feeding and all the other points I mentioned in the previous thread, you can make Koi grow like they do in Japan... I promise you!

    You may laugh, but Colin in Swansea (and a few others that are now making their water soft) will grow Koi from Tosai to 80cm plus within the next five years! Hey, if anyone wants to, I can arrange a pond visit to Swansea!???

    Also, I have a customer in Bath. I hadn't seen this gentleman since last Summer. He came here a month ago and announced that last Summer, he had bought an R/O plant. The intersting thing is, he has two ponds. Both are heated and maintained in the same manner. The ponds have been run in the same manner with the exception of one factor... the R/O plant has been used on only one of the ponds! When he came here, here said that he had noted the following observations...
    1) The Koi in the R/O pond became more energetic.
    2) they started to grow noticeably within about a month.
    He also said that he has now been running the system for about 8 months, and the Koi in the R/O pond have grown significantly, whereas the Koi in the other pond don't appear to have grown at all.
    His final words were, "I am absolutely convinced!"
    He had tried finding out in Japan about it, but the comprehension was lost through the interpretation....a case of "Wakaranai!"
    I have Mr Maeda on my video from April 2002 saying that you need soft water in order to grow Jumbo Koi.

    I know you won't be convinced, as this whole topic completely cuts against everything that we have been led to believe. But, just give it a try. I have spent the last four and a half years researching this, and was put onto this thing by a Japanese ZNA Koi Judge. The following are excerpts from some emails from him...
    _____________________

    Koi grows well when water hardness is low. Water hardness is 90ppm from 35ppm. Usually, it is 200ppm in the garden pond from 180ppm. Growth rate is low at
    this time.

    male Kohaku.
    This Koi grew only 4cm because it was being put in the garden pond of 150ppm from water hardness 110ppm. This is thought growth rate to be bad. Usually,
    more than 7cm will grow when it is put in the field pond.

    Investigate the pond water of the Koi maniacs of U.K by this TDS meter. Data are very interesting by accumulating.
    Water hardness will rise with the pond water which gave it food.
    It is desirable to measure fresh water and pond water.
    Please, let's raise Koi knowledge by this TDS meter.

    Let me know it after measuring water hardness of your pond water and the fresh water (water service water).
    I will do advice to you about water hardness.

    You should judge the water quality by total hardness.

    Water hardness data.
    My water service water is 75ppm.
    Well water is 108ppm.
    Deep well water is 154ppm.
    Rainwater is 3ppm.

    About the change of water hardness.
    When food is given to it, water hardness rises with the pond water. You should understand this thing.
    Then, you should lower total hardness of your pond water.

    Koi libertines in the UK aren't thought to be understood about the water quality. You should investigate yourself about total hardness of the water.

    Koi doesn't eat food in the high water temperature in the case of high water hardness.
    However, Koi is coming to eat because it is a fish to apply to the environment.
    It often occurs in the Koi from Japan that food isn't eaten.
    At this time, Koi only swims through the bottom of the pond.
    Then, it is the primary cause that HI gets bad. It is the primary cause that it is said that Koi gets wrong about the water of the UK. It is the primary cause that
    as for this, total hardness of the water of is very high.

    The water of the field pond is rainwater.
    It is necessary to use rainwater in the UK.
    But, you must not put it in the pond directly.
    Collect thing gives OK to the big water tank. Then, it is desirable to expose it to the sun.
    After air is put, collected rainwater gives OK to keeping it for three days. Then, it is desirable to put rainwater in the pond.

    HI gets bad when water hardness is high. Growth rate lowers as for the Koi when water hardness rises.
    Even if many foods are given to it, water hardness doesn't rise in the field pond.
    The water quality of the field pond has the ability which resolves mineral by the microorganism.

    How to lower water hardness
    Spend the thing which ion is exchanged for. For example, ion exchange resin. Zeolite etc.
    However, effect won't appear because it is the big volume of water. Koi eats many foods.
    It is this cause that your Koi (Hirasawa Kohaku) is thin.

    It is desirable that water hardness is low in both summer and winter.
    This advantage.
    Water hardness gives OK to being low to maintain HI color.
    Salt makes HI color decline a little.
    However, as for the salt, white ground improves.
    The food which increases pigment cells is necessary so that HI may be raised. Spirulina gives OK to being used. However, because white ground is made to
    decline, it is necessary for the Spirulina to give it to it carefully.

    About water hardness.
    Iron, salt and calcium raise water hardness.
    Then, food will raise water hardness. Ammonia raises water hardness, too.
    _______________________

    The above are extracts from numerous emails, but I think you'll get the drift. "Water hardness" in these excerpts really refers to
    Total Hardness... or TDS.

    At the end of the day, water hardness is hard to comprehend, as we can't see a differance in the water with our eyes. We also can't see car exhaust fumes, but we can choke on them.

    Shall we arrange a 'Koichat' visit to Swansea!?

    Hi Bern,

    You bred Tangywhogimawhatsit Cichlids!?...what a mouthfull!

    The bit that interests me, is that when keeping marine fish, all this is vital for them to stay alive, but when it comes to keeping Koi, people assume that because they stay alive, the water must be ideal.

    I will be at the ZNA South of England Show this weekend if you can make it!? If not, see you at South Hants.

    I have one motive and dream with the whole water thing. My sole intention is too try to make people get more out of the hobby. If people get more out of Koi, they will quickly learn whos Koi are good, and whose are bad. Then, hopefully, the whole Koi industry will be forced up-market. Unless this happens, we will never get the results that Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malayasia, etc, achieve, or the keeping skills.

    One other interesting point is the health aspect of soft water. In hard water, if a Koi gets scraped, it more often than not needs treatment to stop it going ulcered. But, in soft water, a Koi can do load of damage and heal on its own. I have over 200 Koi here, and not a single one with a wound, infection, or scar. I also have nowhere to hide such Koi. In my Tosai pond, dorsal fins keep getting broken, and scales get knocked off. But, these Koi will heal their fins, and grow back scales within weeks of the damage occurring...good job too, 'cos they are damn near impossible to catch!

    See you at the shows...

    Mike.

    Hmmmm... my theory is that in hard, or water with high TDS, that if a Koi damages itself, the calcium (or whatever causes the high TDS reading in the first place) irritates the skin and makes infection set in.

    But, another point, which reflects what you are saying... if a Koi jumps out of a vat at a show, it may knock scales off or whatever, but will rarely get an infection. But, if a Koi jumps out of your pond, you are looking at a minimum case of fin infections. Water at a show is sterlie, but pond water has it's whole eco system of bacteria waiting to set in.

    Mike.

    And good morning to you Mark,

    You are right about the salt... it will push the TDS through the roof. But, just about any pond treatment will raise TDS levels, albeit nothing like salt. Salt in the water long term will damage the Hi, and can make Hi disappear. But, since you have seen the state of some of the parents after spawning, you'll understand why it is used. When we were there, we watched a Koi that looked fine after spawning swimming around (maybe five hours after spawning). But, five minutes later, it was on the verge of death... and died the following evening. Salt used as a medicine can have good effects, but it's never left in the pond for anything more than a treatment period. When I collect Koi from the airport, I always unpack them there and put them into my transport tank with salt and Elbagin. Salt and Elbagin basically create a sterile environment so that the Koi can't get infections when they are in the tender state after breeding, or transporting. You'll never see Momotaro trying to grow Koi in salt and Elbagin.

    Temperature... Ahhh, I think you have something there!...24c, I should hope it would make 'em grow. But, do exactly the same regime as I have, but with hard water, will result in less growth, and rugby ball body shapes.

    Rgds,

    Mike.

    Damn!!!...you got me!

    What I meant was Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, organic matter etc, not salt, and not treatments.

    Have I just about squirmed outta that one?

    Mike.

    Oooooh!... interesting one! I wouldn't dream of using rain water myself!...scares me to death!

    But, there is a filter system (Japanese idea) you can build that softens mains water. It's basically a bio filter using specific medias that encourage certain types of bacteria to grow that eat the minerals in the water. It's bizaar, and I am tryong to learn more about it before I start preaching about it... dodgy stuff if not researched properly. Mains water is run through this system, and is also constantly recycled from the end chamber, back to the first.. weird stuff! Give me a few months and I'll have it worked out.

    I find that fish that lose scales in my Tosai pond will grow new scales within a couple of months. The scales start out thin, with thin Hyousou Shinpi (surface skin), which thickens and looks indestinguishable after a couple more months. But, damage the root tissue (by infection), and the scale won't come back. Also, pulling scales will often damage the Nanshitsu Shinpi (middle skin that wraps the root of the scale), in which case the scale often won't come back. Here's a tip... if you have to remove a scale, cut very gently into the scale that is to be removed, following the outline of the scale in front of it before pulling it out. This will cause the Nanshitsu Shinpi to tear cleanly, and the scale will grow back easily.

  7. #37
    Administrator Brian's Avatar
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    And the award for longest post ever goes to Mike Snaden! :wink:

    To bad we haven't upgraded the system yet with a WYSIWYG editor yet...probably would have saved those little digits of yours some work. :smt082
    Brian Sousa
    Koi-Bito Forum

  8. #38
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    Jason and Mike S:

    Jason, as luck would have it I do have a constant "leak" of 4 gal/hr, 24/7 for a 10% flow through in addition to the 2 daily dumps of 50 gal each...
    Thanks for the input... Where the heck were you hiding at the seminar in June?

    Mike S...

    Thanks for the Looooooooooooooooooooooong post... :shock: Never hurts to get as much information on any subject...

    Thank you for your advice and comments, that goes to the other posters as well, who I would imagine, are still reading your reply...

    Here's a bit of trivia for you UKers, did you know that the Union Jack is in the left top corner of the Hawaiian Flag? You guys could have owned Hawaii but decided to leave the Hawaiian Monarchy alone, even kicked the Frogs and Russians out...God Bless Admiral Thomas

    Aloha! Mike

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T
    Where the heck were you hiding at the seminar in June?
    I was late to the party; missed the luau because the plane left 10 hours late. After that, I think I ended up talking alot with folks I already knew. ops:

    Bad me! I missed out saying 'hi' to you and Lee.

    Oh well, there is always next year. I did win a nice shirt in the raffle at the closing dinner. Good times!

    You guys threw a great seminar. Nice job!

  10. #40
    Administrator Brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T
    Here's a bit of trivia for you UKers, did you know that the Union Jack is in the left top corner of the Hawaiian Flag? You guys could have owned Hawaii but decided to leave the Hawaiian Monarchy alone, even kicked the Frogs and Russians out...God Bless Admiral Thomas
    There's actually a little plot sitting in the water of the shores of Captain Cook on the Big Island that was granted by Hawaiin Royalty back to the UK. Or was it the Republic of Hawaii under Sanford Dole? Interesting place to visit...
    Brian Sousa
    Koi-Bito Forum

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