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Thread: Volume of Water Per Koi Revisitation

  1. #11
    Oyagoi gcuss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schildkoi View Post
    My K1 is biege as well....not necessarily a bad thing

    Steve
    Glad I'm not alone

    Grant

  2. #12
    Oyagoi Lam Nguyen's Avatar
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    Grant, donít worry about hijacking my thread. I just wanted to revisit this concept to hear what others have to say and to see if there any advancement in this area that will allow the common backyard kichi to raise more koi in a smaller confined volume of water. Thank you all for the excellent information. This is exactly what I was looking for and why I call this forum my home.

    Grant, like you, I have also promised myself to not buy anymore koi but to invest in better filtration and meters so that I can maintain impeccable water quality for my loved wet ones. However, itís pretty hard to control my emotional need to buy more koi when the pond looks so empty and my K1 are beige, suggesting that my filtration can handle a much bigger fish load.

    And Dick, as always, thank you for your guidance and words of wisdom. I understand that new hobbyists should have personal experiences to further solidify their knowledge. However, I feel that it is good to first develop a fundamental knowledge foundation so that we can prevent ourselves from making mistakes, minimize finance, time, emotional loss, and possibly leave the hobby because these mistakes were too great to overcome. I know that I ask a lot of questions, but I can assure you that once I fully grasp a concept I will peruse it religiously in my daily koi practice. As for practicing Mike Snadenís concept of growth in soft water, clearly I am not ready for this because I still consider myself fairly new to the hobby and still have a lot to learn from all of you.

    Ray, you brought up some very interesting points, points that I have never considered. From reading your list, there are so many parameters to consider and it seems that it is very pond-specific. I wonder if there is any study available that takes all of these parameters into account. Just when I thought that I was starting to have a pretty good grasp of this concept, you go and put me back to reality and to remind myself of why I am still a rookie in this hobby.

    Steve, this is exactly what I was thinking about when I brought up this concept. With the advancement of more efficient filtration system, greater pond circulation, better understanding of koi diet, growth, water changes, and water quality, shouldnít this affect how many koi we can safely keep in our closed pond system w/o affecting their growth potential and health? What I was rationalizing when I wrote this thread was if we kept one koi in a 1,000 gal pond with a 10% weekly water change, 90 min per complete circulation, and fed that koi 1.5% of her ABW, then wouldnít it be the same as keeping two koi in a 1,000 gal pond but now with a 20% weekly water change, 45min per complete circulation, and fed those koi 1.5% of their ABW (it would be twice the amount of food since there are two koi)? I know that itís not exactly the same and I am not trying to justify my emotional need to buy more koi. Rather, I just wanted to stimulate our thoughts and to hear with all of you have to say.

  3. #13
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Lam: Since your koi have a couple of years of growing ahead, and you are set up to maintain them at a mature size, you probably have temporary space for a little fun. Is there a variety or trait you want to learn more about? Perhaps you are curious about the different types of beni, or how Kujaku develop, or whether Asagi will darken in your water. If so, consider having your favorite dealer (or domestic breeder, since they have a full range of stuff in their production) select 3 tosai for you having different traits that you can observe and learn from. You are not selecting based on how good the fish will look when it matures, but on the basis that each has different types of beni, or different body shapes, etc. Rather inexpensive tosai can be used this way, since other traits that lower the price are irrelevant to the exercise. Have the dealer/breeder explain the differences he is selecting for your education, and then enjoy watching how the development occurs. After a year or two, you will need to find homes for the 'not tosai anymore', but it is not too hard to do when you know at the time of purchase that you will not be keeping them.

    I think it would be very educational for the eye to get a tosai the breeder identifies as having a great body structure, but poor beni. Another with great beni, but a poor body. And a third with middling body and middling beni. After a year or two, which would be most impressive in the pond? Then go find homes for the 3 losers. At that point, your permanent fish will be larger and the pond will not look so empty.

    A couple of years ago Mat McCann supplied me with three 7" tosai Sanke, two of which he predicted were males and would have failing Hi and the third a likely female with intense red (and awful pattern) that would not fade. After one year, the two proved to be male and their brilliant red was breaking up. It was fun to raise them and educational to see the little signs of weak Hi proceed to a slow fade. They went to a new home where they are much appreciated as the the most colorful in the pond, even with the Hi becoming increasingly patchy. The female is the most truly red of all my female koi and her beni only gets thicker. (She is still with me, although at the top of my list of koi to place elsewhere. She will likely go in the next year, if I can find a pond big enough for her.) ... It would be fun to have a second pond just for raising such 'experiments'. But, it isn't happening, so my 'fun projects' are coming to an end. No new fish without one leaving.

  4. #14
    Oyagoi
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    Sometimes I keep as many as two dozen large (over 26 inches) koi together in 1400 gallons of water (about 50 gallons per fish or 2 gallons per inch). I feed them heavily several times a day. They do just fine.

    But, my exchange rate (new water not filtered) is about four times an hour. The container is round and as such, self cleaning for solid wastes. Even though the fish are in close contact, parasites and pathogens are not much of an issue, they get flushed out too fast.

    Now, if the power goes off, (just came on after more'n two weeks) I have maybe ten minutes to do something or the fish become severely stressed. Half an hour and they are all dead.

    So, the "1000 gallons per fish" limit can certainly be successfully breached. In my case it takes a large pump and a reservoir holding over 100 million gallons of fresh, clean, water.

    Needless to say that is no the "normal" fish density in the fish house.

    I saw a common carp in a cage once, in a tropical stream. The carp was huge, the cage was small. The carp (over 40 inches) had been grown in the cage that maybe enclosed an area of 48" x 36" x 18" or about 150 gallons. Flowing river water through the cage gave an "exchange rate" of about 6 times a minute.

    Take the other extreme....
    I've seen a very large pond, holding maybe as much as 75,000 gallons of water stocked with about 75 koi of various sizes, and they were barely alive. Water nasty and stagnant, no filtration or aeration, and plenty of hydrogen sulfide in the bottom muck. IN this case 1 koi per 1000 gallons is waaaay too many. Maybe in that pond ten koi would be enough, needing as much as 7500 gallons per koi, possibly more, for them to be in decent living conditions.

    Saying all that, there is no "magic number" for how many gallons per koi. It is rather a function of several things within the SYSTEM (as Steve says). A koi needs first and foremost, clean, well oxygenated water. Then the koi needs room to move around, both horizontally and vertically. So, clean water and living room, add good food and some carefull attention and that is it.

    Hurricane Ike taught us many lessons in koikeeping. Those whose ponds were lightly stocked were able to bridge the gap of no electricity in fine shape. Light enough loads that surface diffusion supplies oxygen and the sides and bottom of the pond enough "filtration" to maintian water quality even in a stagnant fish pond. No feeding. Most such did have a modicum of aeration, but not thier usual filtration and other support.

    Heavily stocked ponds with koi very dependent upon thier life support with little or no backup, the koi were lost.

    For most, well designed and maintained systems will allow for the 1000 gallon/koi figure to work very well without overcrowding the fish. A poorly designed and maintained system, that would be too many koi. An intensely designed, built, and maintained system with a good backup plan can hold considerably more koi and the 1000 gallon/ koi limit can easily be exceeded with little troubles.

    Me, just before Ike hit, I lowered the stocking density drastically in all my holding tanks, many koi put back to mud. The others were kept in reasonably good shape by me using a 2" gas pump to pressure my water line and change the water once per day for two weeks, no feeding.

    Power is up and I'm a gettin' ready for the San Antonio (TKFGS) show!

    Brett
    Brett

  5. #15
    Jumbo l113892's Avatar
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    My K1 is beige also. Should we join a self help group? It's so imbarrassing.


    Mike Pfeffer

  6. #16
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    Brett, always appreciate your sharing lessons learned....

  7. #17
    Oyagoi Ethan25's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by l113892 View Post
    My K1 is beige also. Should we join a self help group? It's so imbarrassing.


    Mike Pfeffer

    mine...

    I will say that I wonder why I get such good growth out of my koi, when I have around 13 decent sized fish in 3000 gallons. I am nowhere near the 1,000 gallon per koi....more like 230 per fish, and I think that may be on the high side.

    Is it the water source, maybe? We are fed by the Mississippi here in Quincy....you've seen some of the catfish and carp that have come out of that stream.....

  8. #18
    Oyagoi HEADACHE6's Avatar
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    I am also a Beige K1 Keeper . I have the plan to double the amount of K1 with another chamber .

    Mike & I have a friend (Dale T.) that his K1 looks like it was dipped in Chocolate Syrup (this was last year) .

  9. #19
    Oyagoi Lam Nguyen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by l113892 View Post
    My K1 is beige also. Should we join a self help group? It's so imbarrassing.


    Mike Pfeffer
    Mike P., yes it is embarrassing. That is why I cover up my Nexus when my friends come over. Otherwise I would be ashamed when they find out that my K1 are beige in color.

    Brett, thank you for sharing and glad to hear that the power is up and running. It would be nice to have a huge fresh water reservoir and complete flow through system like yours!

    MikeM, I just might take up your suggestion. I know that it's boring, but I have always been interested in what it takes to achieve great koi growth. In fact, Dick, this might be a good time for me to test Mike Snaden's theory of soft water. I will design a study and let all of you know. The only thing is that these tosai will be kept in the QT tank in my garage over the winter so that I can control all water parameters.

  10. #20
    Oyagoi gcuss's Avatar
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    Thank you for the input Brett, as always, science blended with years of experience....

    Lam, I really like Mike's idea for you. It'll curb the cravings some, and give you a chance to learn.

    Lucky for me, I've got a 2500 gallon pond (lucky #3 pond in my journey) that's currently empty where I'll be putting that new sanke. Maybe I should give Matt a call before the fish is shipped and have him include 1 or 2 more that would be considered opposites of the one I've already bought... Interesting.

    Grant Cusworth

    Founding member
    Royal Order of Beige K1 Keepers
    Washington Chapter

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