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Thread: Some updates from the AKCA board meeting

  1. #1
    Oyagoi mstrseed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Georgetown, Texas USA

    Some updates from the AKCA board meeting

    * Jerry Kyle (of the Camellia Koi Club, CA) was nominated and approved to chair the AKCA KHA Program. A big thank you to Joe White and the other members of his AKCA KHA Interim Steering Committee for their efforts during the last several months.

    * The AKCA approved a motion to transfer the rights and all materials pertaining to the AKCA Project KHV Koi Dealer Best Health Practices (DBHP) program to the Oregon Sea Grant Extension, Ornamental Fish Health Program (OFHP) at Oregon State University (OSU) under the direction of Dr. Tim Miller-Morgan. Jim Reilly will be spearheading this transfer on our behalf.

    Looks like positive changes have been made!

    Koi Wrangler

  2. #2
    wild horse dinh's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    A future show to be defined soon....
    Thx for the update Bill...

    Very good Job.....


  3. #3
    Honmei KoiCop's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Southern California
    Anyone who wants to get to know Jerry should enjoy this pond build primer:


    Building a pond can be a beautiful thing and doing it right can take you down a learning, friend-making path. Doing it well requires work but the rewards are worth every effort. The key is be smart enough to listen, do some research, join a club, reach out for advice, and be willing to make new friends.
    My story began when I wanted another tropical fish tank. I only had one 55 gallon aquarium along with three 35 gallon tanks. Not nearly enough. They lined (filled?) an entry alcove to the family room.
    “Phyllis?” I said, “I would like to get a larger fish tank.”
    “What will you do with the ones you already have?”
    “Keep them,” I said.
    “What do you mean, No?” I asked.
    Since I am old enough to be well into second childhood my natural reaction was to respond like a child. My great granddaughter, Piper, taught me what to do. The key is to stick the lower lip out only very little. If stuck out too far it becomes an obvious pout and makes an adult mad. Just a little bit with the chin tucked back into the neck, again only a little, works best. Don’t be too obvious and don’t say anything. Being mad, pouting, talking back or arguing upsets them. The trick is to not appear to be sulking which is bad, but to just look sad. Pitifully sad. Grandmothers don’t feel comfortable being the cause of making someone sad. It may take a little time but hang in there and be quietly sad.
    After some time (it took awhile as this grandmother is tough) I heard, “There is no room for another tank.”
    “What?” barely audible, innocently, straining not to smile, like Piper taught me.
    “If you can find a place where there is room to put it you can have another tank.”
    Loving this great grandma as she is so much easier to get along with since I entered second childhood, I looked for a place to put my new tank thinking maybe a 100 gallon tank is not large enough since, after all, the reason for a big tank is to have big fish. A tank in a spare bedroom is out of sight and out of mind and cannot be continuously enjoyed hidden from view back there so it has to be in a living area. It was my idea to have the two large sofas and a club chair with ottoman in the living room making that room too full of furniture already. Back in the family room I wondered aloud if she would like to replace the “old fashioned” ten foot long sofa with a new (shorter) more stylish one. I secretly thought that might free up enough wall space for my big tank with big fish.
    “No!” she said but now with a little fire in her eyes. She was on to me. I had pushed this thing as far as it could go, I was against the wall as the deal was clearly finding “a place where there is room to put it.”
    I was not faking as I sat pitifully sad in the family room and gazed dully out the eight foot window into the small back yard. I had played the game as best I knew and lost. The only space big enough for a big tank is where the window is and one cannot block the window. She had won and the corners of her mouth were twitching ever so slightly as she fought to keep from grinning. The only space big enough for a big tank with big fish was outside in the yard on the other side of the window and that would have been dumb. Or would it?
    I was nearing retirement and had planned to do something in the yard as I liked digging in the dirt for relaxation and stress relief. The space directly outside the window in clear view was just lawn. There was space for even bigger than 100 gallons! At the park in the Japanese Gardens there were big colorful fish that were really neat looking and way bigger than tropical fish. They are called Koi and I thought they were a kind of giant goldfish. I did not know a thing about them but would find out.
    “Dear?” Notice I did not call her Phyllis.
    “I found a place.”
    “Right there. Outside. You said if I could find a place and I found a place. There in the yard. A pond will look nice outside the window.”
    “Who is going to dig it?”
    “OK,” with another one of those secret smiles.
    I was on fire. This was going to be great. After all, how hard could it be to dig a hole and fill it with water? By doing my own work it would be cheap to build and would look good. Everyone would be impressed and I would have big beautiful fish. They might be a little more expensive than regular goldfish but some of my tropical fish cost ten or fifteen dollars so I was used to more expensive fish. Little did I know. After all, I would have had to spend a few hundred dollars for a big aquarium. It was time to do a little research about these Koi and see what I could find out as I began this adventure which sometimes obsessed me for nearly five years.

    I needed a hobby in my retirement years and, after all, how hard could it be since our home had been built in what had been an old vineyard. What is most important to someone digging a pond is the luxury of the first three to four feet being sandy loam with no rocks or gravel. I thought this is going to be easy. What I needed was a plan.
    My grandson built me a computer because that’s what kids do these days and he showed me how to “surf.” Being told anything I want to learn is out there to be surfed, I typed in “Koi pond.” There were over four thousand nine hundred sites and over the next six months I looked at most of them. Today, as I write this, I checked to see how many sites there are to see the number has climbed to one million three hundred thirty thousand sites and growing. However, of great concern is much of the information out there is now old and, in my experience and opinion, is less than accurate as too many make a nice sounding case for just plain outdated or bad information.
    Many people enjoy building their own web sites and often post pictures of their accomplishments. I particularly remember one site that depicted pictures stating that this was my first pond, this was my second pond, and this is my third pond. The article went on to list the changes the author would make if he ever remolded or built another pond. My brain registered, “I didn’t know what I was doing, I still didn’t know what I was doing, and I still don’t know what I am doing, but I’ll keep trying.”
    My attitude was that I am too old, too lazy, and too poor to want to do this three times and still not be satisfied so my solution was to research. There was information at the library but while the pictures were nice the publication dates were old. I had already learned that the hobby is growing at such a rate that five year old information may be old technology. I searched the web as it had the most information and many sites had links to other sites.
    One day, by chance, one of the links took me to a site by a guy calling himself “hijack.” The site was primarily about square dancing but there were pictures of Jack’s pond. I didn’t know where Jack lived but the picture showed he certainly had a nice looking pond. More importantly, he had a link to The Camellia Koi Club website. Somewhere along the way in my research I had read that the best way to learn about Koi ponds was to find a Koi club and join. I had been looking but had found no clubs in our area until I stumbled on this link.
    The Camellia Koi Club met in the Sacramento area only an hour drive away and might be worth looking into. They were planning a pond tour that April which I attended and met Carolyn who was the club president. When I shared with her my frustrations over getting so much conflicting advice she suggested being patient and listening to all ideas. She told me there is no such thing as one perfect pond for all situations and that I should listen to all ideas and meet people in the club who will be happy to help me sort them out. I sincerely thank Carolyn for that guidance and for convincing me to join. Joining a Koi Club got me invited into many back yards where I saw many ponds that I otherwise would never have had the opportunity to view. Many of these Koi pond owners were people who had a good grasp of what they were doing and had many diverse ideas from which I could base my plans for my project. No two ponds were alike. Joining a Koi Club is the best thing a person can do to learn about ponds and Koi and the people are nice too. I often tell others that I joined for the Koi ponds and stay for the people.
    It was time to put my ideas on paper but now it was with a sense of confidence as I had a support group behind me. I even met Jack who as it turned out lives in my town in the very next block. He was a neighbor. Who would have guessed? With a swimming pool size pond and beautiful Koi, Jack is a gardener and has been an inspiration.
    The final plans were in the works and I was anxious to show them to my new “advisors.” There were many decisions to make. Did I want a water garden that can support a few Koi or did I want a pure Koi pond. What was a “pure” Koi pond? There are differences and one must know them or risk disappointment. Of course I wanted it all and I wanted it on a budget. It would be a do-it-yourself project but choices were simplified by the various Associated Koi Clubs of America (AKCA) publications made available to all club members. Club members and new friends came to my home to see what I planned and offered advice so I would not make too many mistakes.

    One of the first to arrive was Ken who was one of the founders of the club back in 1968. Ken was a walking talking fountain of knowledge. He saw where I planned to dig a huge, to me, three foot deep three thousand gallon pond and told me if I dug it two feet deeper it would hold five thousand gallons and not take up any more space. Ken taught me the well known adage, “The solution to pollution is dilution.” He explained the pond that the Koi are swimming in is also their toilet. I had never thought of it that way. The more water there is in the pond the more the pollution can be immediately diluted reducing its relative toxicity and its resulting stress on the Koi while giving the bio-filter a little more time to effectively remove it. When I asked if my planned filter was big enough or too big, he smiled and said there is no such thing as too much filter. With Ken’s help I started to learn. He also recommended I attend the upcoming AKCA Annual Seminar and visit ponds looking for what did not seem to work as well as what seemed to work for them. We learn from other’s mistakes as well as successes. My pond was going to end up being a collection of what I perceived as being the features of each that I liked the most. There was much to learn as I visited many club members’ Koi ponds.
    One of the earliest ponds I looked at belonged to Dennis and Ellen. With a home that takes up most of the lot there is not much room in the back yard just like at my house. Seeing this 5000 gallon pond convinced me this size feature would fit and could look good in my small back yard. My wife, Phyllis, particularly liked the idea that the pond was raised enough so Ellen could comfortably sit on the raised edge on the patio side and hand feed the Koi. The edge acted like a bench without looking like one. Later, one of the first Koi we got came from that pond. Phyllis named her Miss Piggy as she eats like a pig rushing to be first to be fed and sucks food out of her hand.
    Improper water changes or the total lack thereof, is one of the most common mistakes that Koi people make. One of the reasons may be that to dump a thousand gallons of water out of the pond and then refill with treated city water adds potentially dangerous chlorine to the pond that requires special treatment. When I visited Garry’s pond I saw that he had a trickle of water continuously running through his pond and out the overflow. The key here is that it was only a trickle and a continuous trickle can greatly add up over a week’s time as he added it through a spray head like one would use for a lawn. The spray would dissipate (gas off) off most of the chlorine as chlorine is a gas. With the chlorine gassed off there was no need for costly chemical additives to neutralize the chlorine. The air temperature on the day I visited this pond was well over one hundred degrees. The evaporating spray which was administered from above cooled the air over the surface of the water effectively keeping the hot valley temperatures from overheating the pond on the hottest days. A few years later an article came out in KOI USA advocating this as a positive alternative to sudden massive water changes. This was another feature I would have to incorporate into my plans.
    I talked to Mary Beth about an idea of having a catch basin at the bottom of the waterfall to catch the falling water before it then spilled into the main pond. The catch basin would be raised and have its own bottom drain. While I was still thinking about it and planning it Mary built it. When I visited her pond I found she could turn off the water to the waterfall, open the drain in the catch basin, and with a nozzle on a garden hose she could blast off any algae or other material on the falls and flush it down the drain. Then she just closed the drain, turned the falls on again, and water resumed flowing through the system. The beauty of this is she can clean off the falls in about five minutes and does not wash dirt or debris into the pond. This keeps the water clean and clear and doesn’t impact the filters when cleaning the falls. This was definitely an item to add to my plans.
    Some Koi raisers are all about Koi. They may have unbelievably beautiful Koi while the pond may be pure functionality with the total focus on water quality for Koi quality. One of the earlier ponds I enjoyed seeing belonged to Pauline. When she built her fiberglass pond with best information available for water quality for Koi quality, she chose not to sacrifice looks to have a quality functioning water system. Seeing what this master gardener did convinced me the pond does not have to end at its edge. The visual concept can continue onto dry land and once again seeing what a club member did made me want some of that. Another idea was added to my growing wish list.
    My best ideas were more and more not my ideas at all but bits and pieces of what other club members had done. When I saw Ken’s pond for the first time I just loved the cooling shade and the lush ferns. Needless to say my pond area has cooling shade and lush ferns. Another idea worth copying. When I saw Dan and Cheryl’s yard with the patio off the family room and the raised pond to the side of that with the waterfall on the far end I knew that would work for me. When I saw that Jack and Barbara had a pond that was part of the whole instead of the yard being only all about the pond, I wanted that too. When I saw a fallen leaf on Wayne ’s pond race across the surface to get in the skimmer quickly I knew I wanted that. I had seen too many lazy skimmers so I talked to Doug, when I was at his pond, about water flow and installed with his advice a 4” drain on the skimmer as well as on the centered bottom drain so I have as little or as much of my water flow go out either exit. I don’t know of another pond that can run nearly 4000 gallons an hour through a skimmer. This is very valuable when the neighbor’s fruit trees are losing their blossoms and the spring breeze sends them my way. The list kept growing.

    When the pond was finally up and running in the summer the water was green. It stayed green. One of the considerations of bead filters is a tendency toward green water if the pond is not sufficiently shaded. Even then it can happen. A common solution is to add a UV light. I looked at green water as a symptom and did not want an expensive quick fix so called on Jason at his pond. After seeing what he did I built a homemade trickle style wet/dry filter out of egg crates stacked behind my waterfall. The waterfall itself is more of a grotto with a spray bar inside the cave like structure. With half the water returned to the pond through eductors pointing up for a fluming action, an idea I got from Steve, and nearly half returning via a spray bars through egg crates turned wet –dry trickle filter I have maximum oxygenation without the cost of bubbles from an expensive air pump and the water is not green any longer.
    Everywhere I turn I see my pond is not my pond at all but a compilation of ideas gathered from others that I would never have met had it not been for joining a Koi Club. I still remember Carolyn advising me to listen to all ideas as different things work for different people based on various circumstances. I saw Bob and Jeanenne’s pond with a little filter that logic said should not do the job. But, it does the job beautifully in an exquisite front courtyard. With only a few bigger, but nicer Koi, they balance the fish load to the filter which is so well hidden it does not detract from the beauty of the garden. Another Bob and Janine, with a much larger pond, installed steps and Phyllis made me add that to the list in case I ever fell in the pond. When I visited the other Carolyn’s pond to see her prize winning Koi I also saw her artistic side in the garden art and knew I wanted some of that too. John and Jolene had smoothly integrated their living room, patio, and pond seamlessly together while Dennis and Marilee could monitor their Koi on the TV. More additions to my want list. Duane and Melody have a separate upper pond for plants that act as a “veggie filter” so they have plants and still enjoy Koi in a separate area so I enlarged the waterfall catch basin plan a little so I could have removable plants in the system but out of the Koi area of the pond. I also learned I could have plants just out of the pond that could hang over the side into the water so they looked like they were inside but the Koi could not root them out.
    One day Garry told me there is no such thing as the perfect pond and to quit planning it to death and finish building it. So I did. If he is right it may never be as perfect as I wanted but I can keep tweaking it as I learn. In a way it does not feel like it is even my pond. Perhaps it is not and belongs to everyone in the Camellia Koi Club and is only my interpretation of their best ideas. As an idea pond it may continue to evolve but for now it is finished. It took four years during which time I added to my knowledge by becoming a Certified Koi Health Advisor, visiting ponds in other cities and other states through the Camellia Koi Club’s affiliation with the AKCA, and attending annual seminars. I firmly believe there is no more effective way to learn about this hobby than to join an AKCA affiliated Koi Club and become involved with others who enjoy the beauty of Koi. You too may find that you joined for the Koi and for the knowledge but stay for the exceptional people and the friendships made with others who are a little koi kichi – that’s Japanese for Koi crazy.
    Don Chandler
    Member: AKCA, ZNA, KoiUSA

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