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Thread: Shallow Ponds and Jumbo Koi

  1. #1
    Oyagoi Lam Nguyen's Avatar
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    Shallow Ponds and Jumbo Koi

    I am starting this thread in response to the comments posted by Victor (ikoi) in a previous thread about raising jumbo koi in shallow ponds. Can koi grow to jumbo size in shallow ponds? IMO, the answer to this question is yes, but it comes with a huge price/sacrifice. Here is the link to the thread that was posted by Victor again:

    http://www.koi.com.my/cgi-bin/koiforum/gforum.cgi?post=111393;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC ;forum_view=forum_view_collapsed;;page=unread#unre ad

    Yotti’s pond is ~18 tons or ~5,000 gallons in total volume. The main pond is 12 tons and his filtration is 6 tons, which is 50% of his main pond’s total volume. His pond is only 3’ deep. Yotti utilizes the conventional up and downflow filtration w/ Jmats and a bakki shower. His pond is circulated 4-5 times/hour. This creates huge currents for his koi to exercise. He also uses 16 air pumps and a pure oxygen generator to oxygenate his pond. On top of that he also uses a chiller to keep his pond temp comfortably at 23 degrees Celsius. He also has an automatic feeder and has a flow-through water exchange. He had up to 64 koi in his pond at one time, although he is now down to 20 koi, of which most are over 70bu in length.

    Yotti is not the only hobbyist in SE Asia who has had great success with raising jumbo koi in shallow ponds. I hope he doesn’t mind me mentioning his name, but David Soon, who goes by David & Kelvin in the Japanese show circuit, also uses ponds that are only 3’ deep to grow his koi to jumbo size. In fact, here is the link to his new 2’9” pond build thread. From looking at the caliber of koi that are stocked in this pond, it’s obvious that he knows what he is doing!

    http://www.koi.com.my/cgi-bin/koiforum/gforum.cgi?post=112176;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC ;forum_view=forum_view_collapsed;guest=

    While shallow ponds may be effective in warmer climate regions, it does not work well in colder climates where ponds freeze over during the winter time. Also, shallow ponds have more surface area to provide greater air-to-water oxygen exchange.

    I hope that others who have had success with growing jumbo koi in shallow ponds would chime in and share their experiences.

  2. #2
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    The flow through water exchange may be as important as the filtration. Do you know the daily rate of fresh water being added?

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    Oyagoi gcuss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    The flow through water exchange may be as important as the filtration. Do you know the daily rate of fresh water being added?

    Actually Mike, I took the time to read through the other thread last night and it appears as though he only does a water change once per month. Due to water being on such short supply in his country he uses cavitation and ozone to refresh his water and a fairly high turnover rate.

    Pretty interesting.

    Grant

  4. #4
    MCA
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    Honmei MCA's Avatar
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    There can be restrictions in budget, zoning regulations, availablity of other resources...that force a certain pond design.

    But keep in mind there is huge difference between "can I do....." and "should I....". The paradigm shift from can to should...is the beginning of wisdom. Learn about koi....riverine carp. Design and maintain your pond systems accordingly...within the limitations you have.

  5. #5
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    I've been a member of the Malaysian forum longer than any other and I've kept up with a lot of the regulars there over the years.

    Plain and simple there is a lot of enthusiasm and willingness to experiment and innovate in S.E. Asia. Because they are in a constant struggle with the tropical climate Koi there enthusiasts regularly look for new solutions to problems with rapid growth but no bulk, the health problems associated with eternal summer, etc... It promotes a rather ramped up learning curve for many, but there is a high price to be paid trying to keep up.

    The experiments that David, Yotti, et-al are working on are in their infancy and it will take quite some time for the long term results to flesh themselves out. Definitely worth watching, but hobbyists in other climates may find it difficult to apply a lot of it to their own Koi keeping.

    HWONG and a few other avid members there are likewise occasional (and valuable) contributors here and on several occasions questions about feeding/fasting have come up relative to their climate. Just as most of us would have difficulty applying their local methods to our ponds, they have difficulty using some of the techniques most of us consider "routine". Much to learn from each other, but also much to learn about how to adapt what works in one place to another in a practical way.
    Larry Iles
    Oklahoma

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    ppp
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    Lam,

    As you know, I come from the same tropical climate as Yotti and David. My own pond is not shallow (7 feet deep). Whilst we tropical hobbyists have zero experience in wintering koi, I think the key question here is whether a hobbyist in a temperate climate using a shallow pond (containing koi with reasonable bloodlines) can definitively say that shallow ponds are NOT conducive to raising jumbo koi IF he (or she) had pumped up aeration and pond turnover rates.

    My personal view is that the depth of the pond (disregarding wintering concerns) is not as important as aeration and pond turnover rates.
    -----------------------

    Cheers,
    Paul
    http://www.youtube.com/user/hooinc

  7. #7
    Oyagoi Lam Nguyen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcuss View Post
    Actually Mike, I took the time to read through the other thread last night and it appears as though he only does a water change once per month. Due to water being on such short supply in his country he uses cavitation and ozone to refresh his water and a fairly high turnover rate.

    Pretty interesting.

    Grant
    Hi Grant, thank you for the clarification. I have read this thread multiple times and thought that he uses a flow-through system. And yes, I do remember mentioning of cavitation and ozone in his pond system.

  8. #8
    Oyagoi Eugeneg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcuss View Post
    Actually Mike, I took the time to read through the other thread last night and it appears as though he only does a water change once per month. Due to water being on such short supply in his country he uses cavitation and ozone to refresh his water and a fairly high turnover rate.

    Pretty interesting.

    Grant
    I think that it was a case of more money than abilities. If one looks at the sides of the pond it is very amaturish work. The amount of water flow at 4 times turnover signifies 20,000 gal per HR or 333 gal a minute. If through a baki shower the water has to be pumped 10ft up. No shortage of money for electrical cost, In a warm climate this leads to exta evaporation . Then a cooling system had to be used as the pond is shallow and suseptible to tem change . With that flow of water fish get excersize but not allowed to swim up . Nice looking fish shows that jumo tosai with growth potential purchased . If one could not dig deeper then one could build up with insulated sides . If one wanted to keep cooler then shade in a warm climate . I would say it is a case of someone who is a die hard with lots of money that built an Aquascape pond and tried to make it in to a koi pond.
    As I see it
    Regards
    Eugene

  9. #9
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eugeneg View Post
    I think that it was a case of more money than abilities. If one looks at the sides of the pond it is very amaturish work. The amount of water flow at 4 times turnover signifies 20,000 gal per HR or 333 gal a minute. If through a baki shower the water has to be pumped 10ft up. No shortage of money for electrical cost, In a warm climate this leads to exta evaporation . Then a cooling system had to be used as the pond is shallow and suseptible to tem change . With that flow of water fish get excersize but not allowed to swim up . Nice looking fish shows that jumo tosai with growth potential purchased . If one could not dig deeper then one could build up with insulated sides . If one wanted to keep cooler then shade in a warm climate . I would say it is a case of someone who is a die hard with lots of money that built an Aquascape pond and tried to make it in to a koi pond.
    As I see it
    Regards
    Eugene
    I'm afraid you underestimate the hobbyists in question. Comparing what they have to a modified Aquascape pond really misses the mark horribly. Chillers are fairly common there even in deep ponds as 28 deg C is pretty much "normal" water temperature all year. The use of brick and mortar for pond construction is commonplace as the materials and labor are readily available and comparatively strong and inexpensive.

  10. #10
    Oyagoi Lam Nguyen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ppp View Post
    Lam,

    As you know, I come from the same tropical climate as Yotti and David. My own pond is not shallow (7 feet deep). Whilst we tropical hobbyists have zero experience in wintering koi, I think the key question here is whether a hobbyist in a temperate climate using a shallow pond (containing koi with reasonable bloodlines) can definitively say that shallow ponds are NOT conducive to raising jumbo koi IF he (or she) had pumped up aeration and pond turnover rates.

    My personal view is that the depth of the pond (disregarding wintering concerns) is not as important as aeration and pond turnover rates.
    Hi Paul, thank you for contributing to this thread. As you already know, it was you that introduced me to this thread and the SE Asian forum. Definitely a lot of things to learn on that forum!

    As far as growth is concerned, my knowledge in this subject matter is still lacking as I continually find myself scratching my head as I ponder about this subject matter. Here is my understanding of the subject matter so far:

    Things that I feel are important for jumbo growth:

    1. Genetics - gotta start with the right koi from jumbo parents.
    2. Environment
    - Water change - the more water change the better
    - T/O Rate - the greater the t/o rate the better. Smaller ponds should have greater t/o rates compared to larger ponds.
    - Aeration - sheesh, 16 air pumps and a pure oxygenator for a 5,000 gal pond should outta maximize water oxygenation. Throw in a bakki shower on top of that and even guppies will grow to 80+cm!
    - Temp - ideally 25 degrees Celsius or 77 degrees Farhenheit is ideal. Remember to fast mature females at least 8 wks per year for egg absorption. Remember also that temp and water oxygenation play an inverse role....greater the temp lesser the oxygenation.
    - Filtration - multiple types of filtration is better than one type of filtration. Gotta have bakki shower or trickle tower. If submerged, preferably fluidized. Remember water polishing.
    3. Food quality and feeding frequency - autofeeder is good and many small meals throughout the day.

    Things that still got me scratching my head:

    1. Stocking density - what is optimal stocking density? In Yotti's case it's 20 70bu koi in 5000 gal for an average of 250gal/jumbo koi. Others prefer 1,000gal/koi. One of my mentors told me that a hobbyist reserved 2,000 gal/koi regardless of koi size and that hobbyist has had astounding growth results. I don't know if there is a concrete answer to this since it depends on the above-stated parameters.

    2. And of course pond depth - hmmmmm, I have heard of depth ranging from 3' to 12' and they all produce good results. Luckily I still have a few more years before I build my new pond.

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