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Thread: how to manage a mud pond

  1. #11
    Tategoi Loco4Koi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HEADACHE6 View Post
    I can only think of one thing (KHV) that I'd be worried about going in. If they don't have bugs going in they will when coming out.
    I can at least manage the damage going in. It's no sweat to quarantine. I do understand your point though.

    Does anyone with mud ponds do ongoing bacterial treatments to suppress the chance of infections from the parasites.

  2. #12
    Oyagoi dizzyfish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HEADACHE6 View Post
    I can only think of one thing (KHV) that I'd be worried about going in. If they don't have bugs going in they will when coming out.
    I see it differently. I wouldn't want to introduce any additional parasites to closed system like a mud pond. Some might well find their way into a pond via hitchhiking, but others could be excluded by proper QT. If nature brings you parasites you will need to deal with it, taking precaution to insure you are not the source of the introduction just makes good sense.

  3. #13
    Oyagoi dizzyfish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loco4Koi View Post
    I can at least manage the damage going in. It's no sweat to quarantine. I do understand your point though.

    Does anyone with mud ponds do ongoing bacterial treatments to suppress the chance of infections from the parasites.
    In a word: No. I don't think so.

  4. #14
    Tategoi Loco4Koi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dizzyfish View Post
    In a word: No. I don't think so.
    So, in a sense it's a gamble, Gambling on the immune system of the koi.
    That actually gives me pause.
    A lot to think about when you don't have a fish inventory you're wolling to risk if the odds aren't there... more research to be done

  5. #15
    Oyagoi dizzyfish's Avatar
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    IMO you have much greater odds of keeping parasites out of a mud pond than you do bacteria. Putting koi in a mud pond definitely has its risks, thus the reason many breeders offer some form of insurance if you leave the koi in their keeping for additional growth.

  6. #16
    Oyagoi HEADACHE6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dizzyfish View Post
    I see it differently. I wouldn't want to introduce any additional parasites to closed system like a mud pond. Some might well find their way into a pond via hitchhiking, but others could be excluded by proper QT. If nature brings you parasites you will need to deal with it, taking precaution to insure you are not the source of the introduction just makes good sense.
    It's my understanding that most every hobbyist koi pond has parasites, just at a very low level. It's only when the parasite numbers grow from poor water quality, etc. do they become a issue with Koi health. Placing Koi in a mud pond has many more and much larger issues then what you guys are worrying about.

  7. #17
    Oyagoi dizzyfish's Avatar
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    Most parasites need a host present.... in order to survive. Drain a pond and remove all the fish. Use hydrated lime to kill any small ones that may be missed in the harvest, including plenty in footprints and small puddles. (When you see the tadpoles roll over dead you know you used enough) If the pond dries out completely and bakes in the sun all the better, but sometimes it rains. The lime will also raise ph and counter effects of acid rain. Leaving the pond free of fish for 6-months or so will help eliminate many types of parasites at start up. Sure some will find their way in from frogs, turtles, or birds, but in my experience many types such as argulus (fish lice) can usually be kept out. The less diversity of parasites you have, the better. Of course KHV is worse than common parasites, but that almost goes without saying.

  8. #18
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loco4Koi View Post
    I can at least manage the damage going in. It's no sweat to quarantine. I do understand your point though.

    Does anyone with mud ponds do ongoing bacterial treatments to suppress the chance of infections from the parasites.
    Loco: You always say that you get impatient. If you are going to do a mudpond, you'll need to learn patience. Once the koi are in the pond, you'll not be treating for any parasites or infections. You'll not even know whether they have problems until the problems are so advanced the fish is hovering at the surface. You will hardly see the fish at all. Just a glimpse on occasion. You will begin thinking that most must have been taken by predators. Then you'll find they are still there when the pond is pulled.... except for the one that mysteriously disappeared. Or, did she escape the net?

    Mudponds are risky. They are for achieving growth and maintaining skin quality. A number of the breeders/dealers in Japan who raise up potential All-Japan GCs do not automatically return contenders to the mud after they are 5 or 6 years old. They prefer the safety of their greenhouse 'mini-lakes'. It becomes a decision point whether a summer in the mud is needed to rejuvenate despite the risks. In the greenhouse pond they can observe daily. In the mudpond it is a months-long wait to see how the koi is doing.
    rifraf likes this.

  9. #19
    Jumbo Akai-San's Avatar
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    This may be a stupid question, but does the mud pond need to be 100% mudpond? Can someone set up a large liner pond, and place a good layer(s) of helpful soil to mimic the qualities of a mud pond to grow koi fry or baby koi? I guess, it would be more of a mini-mudpond. Then the advantage of a real mudpond would be having larger space for larger number of koi to grow. How would one start making/growing food in the mud ponds for the baby koi?

  10. #20
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akai-San View Post
    This may be a stupid question, but does the mud pond need to be 100% mudpond? Can someone set up a large liner pond, and place a good layer(s) of helpful soil to mimic the qualities of a mud pond to grow koi fry or baby koi? I guess, it would be more of a mini-mudpond. Then the advantage of a real mudpond would be having larger space for larger number of koi to grow. How would one start making/growing food in the mud ponds for the baby koi?
    It has been attempted. There are a number of issues to confront. The core thing is that having mud in a pond is not what makes a mudpond perform well. There are complex processes occurring in the mud and sediments of a mudpond, whether natural or man-made. These processes require soil depth or you simply have a dirty liner pond. Then, there is the type of soil. Clays are preferable to organic soils due to their adsorptive properties. Sands will entrap organic debris in anaerobic conditions, leading to diffusion of harmful gasses in the water. Organic soils literally rot on the bottom.

    Huge liner ponds can work well for growing if stocking density is quite low. So can any pond. Without bottom drains, filtration, etc., a pond can do its job for a time. Then the degradation of the water creates negative conditions. Having a lined hole big enough and stocking low enough that the pond works for a growing season is the balancing trick. A mudpond endures longer because the deep soils allow natural processes to extend the time line. But, you know, even mudponds have to be rejuvenated. That is part of the work of the koi farmer. Ponds are emptied and allowed to dry over winter, oxidizing organics. In the Spring before fish are place in them, ponds are inspected and work done as needed. They may be re-graded, tilled, cleared of plant growth around the margins, limed... whatever is needed so that the soils are in good condition for receiving fish. Tosai ponds are fertilized to encourage growth of microscopic life that will feed the rotifers and such that are the first foods of fry released into them.

    The mudpond is not a natural pond. It is a lot cleaner, with a comparatively low level of organic sediments. It has a limited range of life forms... no other fish species, turtles, aquatic predators, etc. (at least, not purposefully... turtles, frogs and such do find their way eventually) and vegetation is discouraged/eliminated. Still, it possesses natural processes that mimic a natural pond in maintaining healthy water.

    A mudpond is also not magical, despite the glowing comments made by folks (including myself). Much of that glowing commentary about mudpond magic comes from the 20th century period when people did not understand the needs of koi, had puddles for ponds and lacked both the knowledge and equipment for proper filtration. A proper koi pond today can accomplish as much or more growth. Whether it can maintain skin quality is as much a question of the nature of source water as it is the maintenance of very high quality water. There are a number of top award winning koi stabled with Narita, Sakai Fish Farm, Momotaro and others that have not been in a mudpond for years. Stocking a greenhouse pond at 5,000 gallons (or more) per fish, 10-15% per day continual in-flow of fresh water, filtration turning over the pond volume hourly, feeding diets pin-pointed to the needs of individual fish on the day, all under the sharp eye of a true professional in raising show koi.... these are the factors that produce grand champions today. The mudpond is the comparatively inexpensive, low tech method to raise a large quantity of koi at a low density, and raise them well. They do a wonderful job, but they are not magic. They are practical.

    If I kept just 3 koi in my 12,500 gallon pond, I'm sure I would get better results, better skin. If I kept just one, I might just do as well as a mudpond, although loneliness would be a real negative. I'll not likely ever give it a try. It would not be practical.

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