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Thread: Harvest Time at the Nisei Koi Farm

  1. #221
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Harvest Time at Nisei Koi Farm: Rambling Afterthoughts

    WATER & MUD

    One of the things I found interesting about the mud ponds at NKF was how clean they are. I've been to a couple of mass production koi farms in Florida. The ponds had algae glarf and sediment. The ponds at NKF did not. They were clean... muddy, sure, but no detritus piling up in the pond. If you check out the photos above, you'll not see a residue of algae glarf covering the mud when the ponds were drained. When the ponds were constructed they were lined with a thick layer of bentonite clay found on site. This is the "koi clay" material we kichi add to our ponds by the tablespoon. These ponds are made of tons of the stuff. Any movement through the water stirs up the clay, making the water a very milky cafe au lait color. The fish are bathed in it and little sun is going to get through the haze. In tosai ponds the mud is not stirred up so much. In the shallows along the shore of these ponds, the water is quite clear. Brown leaves of the grasses growing pondside droop into the water. These are dusted with the clay. In October the ponds are cool, with temperatures in the 50sF, which would reduce the presence of growing algae, but I would expect to see some black sediment in the pockmarks on the bottom of the exposed clay. There was none. The ponds did have greenish water, but not really green. And filamentous algae is hardly seen. The limnology of these ponds must be very interesting.

    BTW, in warm weather the tosai ponds are regularly walked to stir up the bottom. This prevents the build up of anaerobic gases in the bottom soil. It was recommended by Toshio Sakai that this be done.

  2. #222
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Cinderblock

    There is an old building on the farm that was used as a packinghouse when the place was an asparagus farm. It looks like concrete block, but this is the real cinderblock nobody makes anymore. ....lots of cinders can be seen in the block, like pencil points made of coal. This has nothing to do with koi, but I'd not seen real cinderblock.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Harvest Time at the Nisei Koi Farm-nisei-koi-farm-oct.-06-friday-036.jpg   Harvest Time at the Nisei Koi Farm-nisei-koi-farm-oct.-06-friday-035.jpg  

  3. #223
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Simple Ideas

    I was fascinated by the simple design of the closure on the fish boxes used for hauling the koi. A simple piano hinge ...lower the block and the top is secure. No fish is getting out of there.

    ...BTW, there are floating, soft mats placed in these tanks to provide a cushion in case a koi bumps its head on the closed lid. The safety of the koi gets a lot of attention.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Harvest Time at the Nisei Koi Farm-nisei-koi-farm-oct.-06-saturday-002.jpg   Harvest Time at the Nisei Koi Farm-nisei-koi-farm-oct.-06-saturday-003.jpg  

  4. #224
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    A Different Showa

    The Hi on this Showa was unlike that of any other. The photo is not quite accurate. The pigment was even and more a pinkish peach color than orange or red. It was as if milk had been added to normal Showa Hi. I was thinking it would be a curious koi if it became an 'apricot showa". When I asked Mat about the fish, he got a sneaky grin on his face and said I should see it in a couple of weeks. The red would be "up" by then.

    When koi come out of the mud the colors are not as intense as they will become in clear water. The harvested koi could be seen deepening in color over the course of just an hour or so after being placed in a viewing tank. Over the next week or so, the appearance will stabilize and be more dense than what appears straight from the mud. But, this Showa was still "milky" hours after being in clear water. I'd like to see this one when the pigment is up.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Harvest Time at the Nisei Koi Farm-nisei-koi-farm-oct.-06-saturday-061.jpg   Harvest Time at the Nisei Koi Farm-nisei-koi-farm-oct.-06-saturday-062.jpg  

  5. #225
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Turtles & Such

    When dragging one pond a bullfrog was caught in the net, but jumped away before I could take a photo. In another, a crayfish was caught, but I was too distant for photos to show anything. The turtles, however, were easy to photograph. These had been gotten out of a pond before the weekend. They'll become pets for somebody far from the farm.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Harvest Time at the Nisei Koi Farm-nisei-koi-farm-oct.-06-saturday-065.jpg   Harvest Time at the Nisei Koi Farm-nisei-koi-farm-oct.-06-saturday-066.jpg  

  6. #226
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    So much for the odd memories. Now it's time to find homes for a few koi to make plenty of room for the yamabuki.... and time to wonder how the ones staying another year will look when I see them next. It dawned on me that a third of the koi I own are now in New Jersey. It feels good to know they will be well tended, and will be in my pond when the time is right.

    Thanks to everyone at Nisei Koi Farm... Mat, Ross, Jen, Tara. It was a great weekend.

  7. #227
    Honmei
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    This has been a great thred to follow.

  8. #228
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    I'm glad folks have enjoyed it.

  9. #229
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    hopefully next year there will be a few more KB folks at nisei to enjoy the events first hand. Mike, thanks again for the memorable travelog. Now during winter, my thoughts will drift back to our time together and i will contemplate
    the fun we had with great koi and great people. I already have my kohaku pic blown up to 8 1/2 X 11 to get out when ever I'm thinking about her, wondering how she's doing.It's a fun hobby, with lots to learn and consider. Nisei is definetely something to look forward to when the muddy ponds lower to reveal the brilliant color within....

  10. #230
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Yes, Dick, I'm already anxious to see how the koi going back in the mud develop. ... I found a home for one of the males I'm clearing out. (Going to a new 10,000 gallon pond.) Gotta have lots of room for the Yamabuki.
    Last edited by MikeM; 11-06-2006 at 01:32 PM. Reason: clarification

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