Home | About Us | Contact Us


Koi Forum - Koi-Bito Magazine straight from Japan
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Coming Out Of Winter

  1. #1
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Orlando, Florida
    Posts
    11,128

    Coming Out Of Winter

    The miserable winter experienced in the northern U.S. this year is finally coming to an end. With warming temperatures, I am seeing posts on various boards about fish losses. The heaviest losses seem to be suffered by those on watergardening boards and FB groups. The severe cold was just too much for koi (and goldfish) in shallow ponds geared to growing waterlilies. Losses are also being reported in ponds intended for koi. Some of these had ice several inches thick covering the pond. It appears that losses were more likely and more severe in ponds that were not covered. Those with mini-greenhouse structures put over them seem to have fared much better.

    However, folks whose koi managed to survive should not be oblivious to the stress those koi have had. Survival does not mean they are in great shape. And, it does not mean their ponds are in great shape. I have no 'true winter' experience, so it seems appropriate to borrow a posting made by JR some years ago:

    "Aeromonas is an omni-present creature in any pond environment. If you do a test for them and it is zero seek a new testing center!

    The name of the game is to keep the count low. Not by trying to kill it off. But rather providing conditions that simply don't allow or encourage the rapid growth in numbers.
    The number one case of this dynamic is over feeding in early spring. The number one case in water gardens is dirty water.

    The other side of the equation of course, is the condition of the fish. Fish should be fundamentally healthy coming out of winter, but weak as they rouse. TLC is a good approach. Small meals and routine maintenance. Ironically the garden ponder that sets their fish up for 'aeromonas alley' are the ones who empty the pond and do 'spring cleaning'! They disrupt the biology, add chemicals and clean filters to the extreme. This puts fasted wintered fish ( especially OVER wintered fish who experience G.A.S. from cold stress) at a distinct disadvantage. If a fish is under ice for 10-18 weeks and the ice has now melted into the water, the very last thing they need in this very weak condition is another environmental challenge!
    The 'art' of koi keeping is part of the 'science' of koi keeping at this point. Small but frequent maintenance is so very important. And small amounts of food is also key as the fish is not ready to assimilate large meals and most food will pass thru and further deteriorate already stale water conditions.
    Daily sump dumping is a good start. Followed by 10% weekly water changes. Of course this all assumes you kept the filters running, which all hobbyists should do. If you bring the koi insode then start up the pond in early march and do not put the fish in until april 1. This will give the filters time to grow and mellow the new water ( In this case I WOULD do a 50% water change and dump the sumps weekly even though teh fish are not in the pond yet).
    My fish ate yesterday for the fist time this year. I feed them OJ soaked Hikari wheatgerm pellets. I have 16 koi and the water is 51 F. I fed them one handful ( about a cup) of pellets. I'll likely feed them again on Friday. But this does not mean I won't put in a dozen pellets before then as I test the behavior and observe the condition of each individual as they slowly rise to the pellets.

    Aeromonas alley is a valuable urban myth as it has the beginner hobbyist alert and on their toes watching for early problems. It is valuable in that it teaches the beginner, who imagines their koi cozy and sleepy from 'hibernation', to consider another reality - that the koi have survived another winter. The facts of aeromonas alley are unfortunately accurate enough to have brought older hobbyists to an incorrect conclusion. That koi have no immune system in a temperature range where aeromonas is on the rise. If that were true than nature would have made carp extinct a long time ago!
    Since the emergence of the theory of aeromonas alley, higher end hobbyists have muted winter effects/condtions ( running filters but covering and/or heating ponds) and improved husbandry/filter techniques and pond designs. And the legend of Aeromonas Alley has pretty much been put to rest. Koi simply do not get infections when winter conditions are managed for an ideal winter stasis. This is because the key to all of this is the stress of winter conditions and what that stress does to a fasting, wintering fish's immune system and general condition. - JR "



    I'll just add, Good luck to all who had frozen ponds!

  2. #2
    Sansai
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    188
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    The miserable winter experienced in the northern U.S. this year is finally coming to an end. With warming temperatures, I am seeing posts on various boards about fish losses. The heaviest losses seem to be suffered by those on watergardening boards and FB groups. The severe cold was just too much for koi (and goldfish) in shallow ponds geared to growing waterlilies. Losses are also being reported in ponds intended for koi. Some of these had ice several inches thick covering the pond. It appears that losses were more likely and more severe in ponds that were not covered. Those with mini-greenhouse structures put over them seem to have fared much better.

    However, folks whose koi managed to survive should not be oblivious to the stress those koi have had. Survival does not mean they are in great shape. And, it does not mean their ponds are in great shape. I have no 'true winter' experience, so it seems appropriate to borrow a posting made by JR some years ago:

    "Aeromonas is an omni-present creature in any pond environment. If you do a test for them and it is zero seek a new testing center!

    The name of the game is to keep the count low. Not by trying to kill it off. But rather providing conditions that simply don't allow or encourage the rapid growth in numbers.
    The number one case of this dynamic is over feeding in early spring. The number one case in water gardens is dirty water.

    The other side of the equation of course, is the condition of the fish. Fish should be fundamentally healthy coming out of winter, but weak as they rouse. TLC is a good approach. Small meals and routine maintenance. Ironically the garden ponder that sets their fish up for 'aeromonas alley' are the ones who empty the pond and do 'spring cleaning'! They disrupt the biology, add chemicals and clean filters to the extreme. This puts fasted wintered fish ( especially OVER wintered fish who experience G.A.S. from cold stress) at a distinct disadvantage. If a fish is under ice for 10-18 weeks and the ice has now melted into the water, the very last thing they need in this very weak condition is another environmental challenge!
    The 'art' of koi keeping is part of the 'science' of koi keeping at this point. Small but frequent maintenance is so very important. And small amounts of food is also key as the fish is not ready to assimilate large meals and most food will pass thru and further deteriorate already stale water conditions.
    Daily sump dumping is a good start. Followed by 10% weekly water changes. Of course this all assumes you kept the filters running, which all hobbyists should do. If you bring the koi insode then start up the pond in early march and do not put the fish in until april 1. This will give the filters time to grow and mellow the new water ( In this case I WOULD do a 50% water change and dump the sumps weekly even though teh fish are not in the pond yet).
    My fish ate yesterday for the fist time this year. I feed them OJ soaked Hikari wheatgerm pellets. I have 16 koi and the water is 51 F. I fed them one handful ( about a cup) of pellets. I'll likely feed them again on Friday. But this does not mean I won't put in a dozen pellets before then as I test the behavior and observe the condition of each individual as they slowly rise to the pellets.

    Aeromonas alley is a valuable urban myth as it has the beginner hobbyist alert and on their toes watching for early problems. It is valuable in that it teaches the beginner, who imagines their koi cozy and sleepy from 'hibernation', to consider another reality - that the koi have survived another winter. The facts of aeromonas alley are unfortunately accurate enough to have brought older hobbyists to an incorrect conclusion. That koi have no immune system in a temperature range where aeromonas is on the rise. If that were true than nature would have made carp extinct a long time ago!
    Since the emergence of the theory of aeromonas alley, higher end hobbyists have muted winter effects/condtions ( running filters but covering and/or heating ponds) and improved husbandry/filter techniques and pond designs. And the legend of Aeromonas Alley has pretty much been put to rest. Koi simply do not get infections when winter conditions are managed for an ideal winter stasis. This is because the key to all of this is the stress of winter conditions and what that stress does to a fasting, wintering fish's immune system and general condition. - JR "



    I'll just add, Good luck to all who had frozen ponds!

    My fish ate for the first time when we returned from CFKS, my water temp shot up to 60...and over the waterfall 65-68.....

    So I pretty much began my normal regimen....

    Two weeks later, this past weekend having been in MGKS, in TN the temps went down to 41F......Saturday night down to approx 32F and lower into the 'teens with a dusting of snow just for effect....Even in Perry, GA, it went down to 29F on Sat evening/Sun morning.

    Now just letting the koi rest and re-acclimate for a while....and water temps come back up...

    And looking for real estate further south....and warmer temps.....

  3. #3
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Orlando, Florida
    Posts
    11,128
    I've noticed a number of folks getting excited about their pond temperature rising to 50F (10C) for the first time in months. I figure anyone living in those areas who had been on the fence about moving to Florida will be putting their house up for sale soon. By Fall, I expect we will be seeing a housing boom.

    ....and koi dealers will have good sales of replacements come May.

  4. #4
    MCA
    MCA is offline
    Honmei MCA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    2,574
    Deep water has its advantages. At 8' deep the pond is slower to cool in the fall, stays warmer than nearby ponds in the winter, and slower to warm in the spring. Slow and steady wins the race. The "race" is to good koi health and growth. Our pond just hit 65F on its steady climb to 80F+ by the end of summer.

    As for folks letting koi die in shallow rubber lined ditches....what a damn shame. It if were dogs or cats maybe, just maybe the ASPCA or other org could/would intervene. But fish...who cares about mere fish? Yet it is the same moral burden and obligation we have towards any of our pets. We should care for and about our fish as much as we do about our mammal companions. OK, I will get off my soap box. We have all heard this kind of story every year. Some things don't change.


    Wishing all nishikigoi and their care takers health, wealth, and every happiness!
    Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

  5. #5
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    2,653
    Here in Southern California we skipped Winter again. We went from an extended Fall to an early start on Spring. For some, it feels more like an early start on Summer!

  6. #6
    Oyagoi HEADACHE6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    2,112
    Dateline : Louisville, Ky

    Finally our first three days in a row of 70+ degs. this year. Mid to Lower 60's this weekend and Greenhouses are coming down right & left.

  7. #7
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    seattle, wa
    Posts
    6,340
    extremely mild winter in the Great Northwest. No snow in the mountains, temperatures and weather about a month in advance.you can tell cause the rain is warmer

  8. #8
    MCA
    MCA is offline
    Honmei MCA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    2,574
    Quote Originally Posted by HEADACHE6 View Post
    Dateline : Louisville, Ky

    Finally our first three days in a row of 70+ degs. this year. Mid to Lower 60's this weekend and Greenhouses are coming down right & left.


    I hope those are controlled descents.

  9. #9
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Manila, Philippines
    Posts
    1,792
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    I've noticed a number of folks getting excited about their pond temperature rising to 50F (10C) for the first time in months. I figure anyone living in those areas who had been on the fence about moving to Florida will be putting their house up for sale soon. By Fall, I expect we will be seeing a housing boom.

    ....and koi dealers will have good sales of replacements come May.
    I hope they all go to Orlando and leave Sarasota alone.☺

    Us folks in Manila used to have a beautiful bay, but now it is all reclaimed and guess what it will be known for - gambling mecca bigger than Macau, and without any doubt Las Vegas.

    On topic, I can't imagine the challenge for a pond builder and koi keeper in those extreme cold. I can only wish we have some colder weather here, but now I will cease all complaining and be thankful we are not at the mercy of extremes.

  10. #10
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Orlando, Florida
    Posts
    11,128
    Quote Originally Posted by HEADACHE6 View Post
    Dateline : Louisville, Ky

    Finally our first three days in a row of 70+ degs. this year. Mid to Lower 60's this weekend and Greenhouses are coming down right & left.
    I'm hoping the forecasters are wrong about Orlando's upcoming temps. 88-89F (31-32C) on Friday and Saturday, a couple of days of lower 80s and then into the lower 90s (33-34C) next week. Those are July and August numbers. April is usually one of our best weather months. Looks like we'll be heading straight to dog days way too soon.

Similar Threads

  1. Koi growth no winter vs winter.
    By Razoola in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 08-24-2011, 05:38 PM
  2. Coming soon . . .
    By KoiCop in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-23-2010, 04:11 PM
  3. Replies: 14
    Last Post: 01-06-2010, 11:28 AM
  4. Replies: 30
    Last Post: 11-02-2006, 07:57 PM
  5. Ideal winter low temps, feeding/winter fast etc?
    By Carloskoi in forum Main Forum
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 12-08-2005, 10:13 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Articles - Sitemap - FAQs and Rules

KB Footer Graphic
Straight from Japan... For the serious hobbyist!
All content and images copyright of: Koi-bito.com