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Thread: Pond Rocks 4 Hiding??

  1. #1
    Fry
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    Pond Rocks 4 Hiding??

    Just wondering what the consensus was on using rocks in the pond for fish to hide under. I have some put some rocks into the pond for the fish to hide in after having been visited by a heron. The fish seem much happier having a place to hide. However, I noticed that my biggest fish has gotten some scrapes and lost a few scales as she wiggled into the hiding place (See pic). Some stores say to use rocks for them to hide in, others say that they are bad idea because of the cuts they can get. What do you all think? What options do I have?

    Also, do the scales grow back???? Thanks!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Pond Rocks 4 Hiding??-img036.jpg   Pond Rocks 4 Hiding??-img034.jpg  

  2. #2
    Oyagoi mstrseed's Avatar
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    Depth is a much better deterrent for birds of prey than rocks...............

  3. #3
    MCA
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    Honmei MCA's Avatar
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    something is not so good if they need something to hide under. If the pond is deep and larger....no place for predators like birds to have a go at them. Water gardens on the other hand are usually shallow and not so large....all too good a buffet for a heron.

  4. #4
    Meg
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    Oyagoi Meg's Avatar
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    in your own words is your answer.....
    Quote Originally Posted by CalRower View Post
    However, I noticed that my biggest fish has gotten some scrapes and lost a few scales as she wiggled into the hiding place
    the scales should grow back.
    the hi scraped off it's head might not

  5. #5
    Honmei KoiCop's Avatar
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    Hello CalRower & Welcome to Koi-Bito . . .

    As you've already observed, there are two sides to this issue -- so let's look at them in more depth, OK?

    Some ponds are designed with plants in mind: They're relatively small and shallow with sloped sides, slow moving water, lack bottom drains and have obstacles in the pond that koi can hurt themselves on. These ponds are called watergardens.

    Some ponds are designed with koi in mind: They're larger and deeper with vertical sides, bottom drains, strong currents and lack objects in the pond that koi can hurt themselves on. They're called koi ponds.

    When koi are threatened, their natural response is to go fast and deep for safety. If they can't, they try to hide and this is when (as you've observed) they get cuts & bruises and lose the odd scale or two.

    While cuts & bruises can heal, they leave scars; and missing scales that regenerate often have a different color. But sometimes they don't heal; they become infected and the koi dies. And either way is not good for your koi.

    So if you find yourself with koi in a water garden, the two best choices for your koi are:

    * remove all the rocks and net the pond to keep predators out; or
    * remove all the rocks and deepen the pond

    Either way, your koi will be happier, healthier and safer.

    Best wishes,
    Don Chandler
    Member: AKCA, ZNA, KoiUSA

  6. #6
    falcon47
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    Quote Originally Posted by KoiCop View Post
    Hello CalRower & Welcome to Koi-Bito . . .

    As you've already observed, there are two sides to this issue -- so let's look at them in more depth, OK?

    Some ponds are designed with plants in mind: They're relatively small and shallow with sloped sides, slow moving water, lack bottom drains and have obstacles in the pond that koi can hurt themselves on. These ponds are called watergardens.

    Some ponds are designed with koi in mind: They're larger and deeper with vertical sides, bottom drains, strong currents and lack objects in the pond that koi can hurt themselves on. They're called koi ponds. ...
    And some ponds are designed with both plants and Koi in mind. They share many attributes of a formal Koi pond's construction with >5 foot depths, multiple bottom drains, water turnover of total pond volume in 1 hour, high capacity biological and mechanical filtration, strong current flow, and healthy water quality and clarity, yet they do have boulders with multiple reefs and they do have lots of aquatic plants.

    Those with these 'hybrid' systems are probably not into raising high-end Koi for show purposes and/or awards, for as Don indicates, scrapes can and do occur which would diminish that Koi's value to the owner if this is the main reason they keep Koi. The boulders and reefs also make it very difficult to catch the Koi for culling or QT issues, so one would not be able to be as hands-on with the care. And they are also probably not interested in raising rare and valuable plant cultivars since Koi can use them as a food source.

    But for some, it is the total picture which the water feature presents, comprised of all elements (plants, natural rock, and Koi), which brings enjoyment and fulfillment to the hobby.

    So there is a spectrum of possibilities with aquatic features. One needs to identify what aspects of the hobby interest them, and what goals are trying to be achieved with its construction, and then try to provide the best compromise for their situations, fully realizing the potential drawbacks which each end of the spectrum may bring to the table if a hybrid system is desired.

  7. #7
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    We have LOTS of ROCKS and PLANTS as a part of our pond.
    But NONE of them are in the pond, they surround it as landscaping/hardscaping. It is possible to have the best of both worlds without compromising either one, which is far safer for the Koi and still offers a natural looking "wild" setting.
    It is an unfortunate delusion that some have for "natural" regarding Koi that somehow rocks and plants are their true habitat in nature. Nothing could be further from the truth. The natural habitat for Koi (RIVERine Carp) is fast moving water which is by its very nature inhospitable to most vegetation, which grows instead OUTSIDE the river along its banks. Putting plants and/or rocks in a KOI pond is in all honesty a violation of what is truly "natural" for them.
    Larry Iles
    Oklahoma

  8. #8
    Honmei KoiCop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by falcon47 View Post
    And some ponds are designed with both plants and Koi in mind. They share many attributes of a formal Koi pond's construction with >5 foot depths, multiple bottom drains, water turnover of total pond volume in 1 hour, high capacity biological and mechanical filtration, strong current flow, and healthy water quality and clarity, yet they do have boulders with multiple reefs and they do have lots of aquatic plants.
    Hello Falcon47 . . .

    OK, I'll play.

    Let's assume that such state-of-the-art hybrid ponds do, in fact, exist.

    How many of them do you think there might be?

    Obviously, such state-of-the-art hybrid koi ponds would have been very expensive to build.

    How much do you think a pond like that might have cost?

    Now riddle me this one: Why would someone pay through the nose for such a big bucks pond when it's only fit for keeping pond mutts?

    I mean, let's face it: Why would someone want to put high quality show koi into a pond where they're only going to get dinged up and depreciate in quality and value -- and where they can't be easily netted for show or first aid purposes?

    I know: There's no accounting for personal taste (or lack thereof).

    Bottom line is, you can build a hybrid pond -- but you can't rationalize doing so with hybrid logic.

  9. #9
    falcon47
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    Quote Originally Posted by PapaBear View Post
    We have LOTS of ROCKS and PLANTS as a part of our pond.
    But NONE of them are in the pond, they surround it as landscaping/hardscaping. It is possible to have the best of both worlds without compromising either one, which is far safer for the Koi and still offers a natural looking "wild" setting.
    It is an unfortunate delusion that some have for "natural" regarding Koi that somehow rocks and plants are their true habitat in nature. Nothing could be further from the truth. The natural habitat for Koi (RIVERine Carp) is fast moving water which is by its very nature inhospitable to most vegetation, which grows instead OUTSIDE the river along its banks. Putting plants and/or rocks in a KOI pond is in all honesty a violation of what is truly "natural" for them.
    Thanks for your reply, Larry.

    I'm sure with your enjoyment of the hobby that you must have a wonderful setting for your Koi. I fully understand the reason for your suggestion that rocks and plants should never be placed within a pond housing Koi. But I think you misunderstood my point.

    Speaking for myself, it has nothing to do with a misconception or having a 'delusion' that Koi in the wild live near reefs and boulders or that they originated in ponds filled with lilies - that is well known and basic. We simply knew what we wanted in a feature, plain and simple, and that look included boulders and aquatics within the pond. The Koi add another dimension, and the pond has succeeded (for us) in reaching that goal.

    One person's vision of what brings enjoyment and beauty isn't always similar to others' (as one can read daily on this forum as to which Koi should be rated in order of preference, A, B, C, ...). It is rare that everyone always agrees, which is fine. I would respectfully suggest that your vision of the 'best of both worlds' may not match that of another individual's vision, which is a given as we are all different.

    If one has only marginals and hardscape, then one is missing out on the multitude of true aquatics which can add alot of texture and colors to an aquatic setting. Actually, the 'best of both worlds' would probably be two separate ponds, with a stream connecting the two - one for the boulders and plants, and the other the formal pond as you mention, but that option isn't going to be available for everyone and was not something we wanted.

    Re: what is 'safe' for Koi - if that is the ultimate background for this insistence against any boulders within a pond, then lets follow that line of reasoning as to what is safe and in the best interest for Koi? Is it really in the Koi's best interest to be repeatedly captured and taken to shows in plastic bags and to then swim around in QTs with other entries? Doesn't this stress the Koi, and haven't some been lost because of transit? Is it the Koi's 'natural habitat' to remain in an oftentimes small rectangular or oval environment with black walls for its entire life, with only a window to the natural world through the surface (if it can be seen through the netting or shadescreen)? I could also re-phrase your last statement and re-direct it back to you, 'placing Koi in a small oval or rectangular pond with smooth black walls with little or no visual stimulation except for what it receives from its pond mates and little room to get up to full speed for 5-10 seconds is "in all honesty a violation of what is truly 'natural' for them", right? It has been mentioned by some that Koi are an inquisitive, intelligent species, and if that is true, then isn't the formal Koi pond preventing such from developing to its fullest extent? It seems that 'safety' within the context of a pond ultimately boils down to the 'potential' for scarring, and in the setting of poor water quality and poor Koi health even the potential for a fatal infection, which understandably is of major import to those bringing their Koi to shows, and it makes perfect sense.

    We've had our feature close to two years, so this is a short timeframe to discuss trends. But what I can say is that other than a few superficial scrapes, mainly during spawns (which quickly heal without intervention), this 'safety' issue simply HASN'T been an issue. One small male did receive significant bruising during this past season's spawn when he got in the midst of the throng of larger Koi, but that is it. And I have never dosed an antibiotic or treated any individual fish or the pond itself with anything other than bicarb, occ Epsom salt, trace amounts of sea salt, and nitrifying bacterial cultures, other than one dose of Koizyme early last Spring. And this year alone we had 24 spawns, with a few females spawning three times throughout the season. The spawns are always performed by wriggling through the lilies, cattails, and parrot feather, and almost never directly against the boulders anyways. They instinctively know where their roe will have the best chance for survival, which is never against the side of a boulder. But should a fatal event to our Koi occur in the future because of a boulder injury, then that is a risk (however slight in our pond) that we're willing to take, much as the implied (albeit small) risks each of you take travelling with your prized jewels.

    I hesitated to even post on the 'rock' issue, as I understand its rightful place of contention on this premier forum for avid Koi enthusiasts. The host of issues you folks have graciously helped others out with on this forum have had a legion of causes, including poor pond design, poor water quality, and lack of information, and undoubtedly in certain circumstances rocks have contributed within those settings. But I would still counter and maintain, that for individuals who have no interest in showing Koi and who wish to delve into the idea of having intra-pond rocks and plants, if they take the responsibility of Koi rearing seriously by studying all of the caveats needed for a healthy pond and healthy Koi, that they may be able to successfully enjoy the vision which they set out to create.

    Many of you are to be commended for the excellent assistance you provide and the patience you show to those with less knowledge and experience.

    Thanks for reading.

  10. #10
    falcon47
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    Quote Originally Posted by KoiCop View Post
    Hello Falcon47 . . .

    ... Let's assume that such state-of-the-art hybrid ponds do, in fact, exist.

    How many of them do you think there might be?

    Obviously, such state-of-the-art hybrid koi ponds would have been very expensive to build.

    How much do you think a pond like that might have cost?

    Now riddle me this one: Why would someone pay through the nose for such a big bucks pond when it's only fit for keeping pond mutts?

    I mean, let's face it: Why would someone want to put high quality show koi into a pond where they're only going to get dinged up and depreciate in quality and value -- and where they can't be easily netted for show or first aid purposes?

    I know: There's no accounting for personal taste (or lack thereof).

    Bottom line is, you can build a hybrid pond -- but you can't rationalize doing so with hybrid logic.
    And thanks for your reply as well, Don, I just saw it after posting a response to Larry, so I'll answer as best I can. I'm not sure the relevance of your first question? Whether there is one, fifty, or five hundred, the point of the thread was are boulders (not pebbles) an absolute contraindication to having Koi within the pond, right?

    And why would the cost of a hybrid be any more or less than a formal pond, except for the cost of the boulder(s)? The only point, or I thought it was, was what if Cal wanted to have a boulder or two in his pond so his Koi could have a place to hide, and the automatic 'no rocks' sign came on, and this was simply providing another viewpoint. That it is possible to maintain healthy Koi in a pond with boulders, not pristine GCs, that has been stated, but for the average person who likes to have some Koi swimming in their feature. This does assume it is built otherwise to the specs of the formal pond, ie, depth, filtration, water quality, etc. This is in no way referencing the 1' deep ponds that are traditionally associated by some with water gardens.

    And again, it would appear your elitism is coming through on the question in which you reference 'pond mutts'. It may come as a surprise, although it would be disappointing if it was, but it seems that many folks enjoy having Koi, who are not interested in winning awards or taking them to shows. I appreciate the pursuit of perfection you and some others on this forum take with your Koi, it is to be commended. What I don't understand is why you need to take the elitist approach, by denigrating those who are just happy to see Koi in their backyard and enjoy taking care of them. It would be assumed that those who are in Koi Clubs and on one of the premier Koi forums around, that the hobby of caring for Koi should be encouraged, and not just if they are future GCs? And why is it so difficult to see that to some, it is the overall look of the feature as I mentioned earlier, rather than the perfection of each individual Koi which interests some folks more. If it means that only those that pick the perfect Tategoi, or can afford next year's GC are welcome on this forum, then perhaps I've joined the wrong forum?

    And again, your next question shows that you misunderstood my point. I don't want to place high quality Koi in our feature - never have, never will, but I do enjoy seeing and caring for the 'mutts'. You again mentioned the netting for show, again missing my point. I already conceded the difficulty in netting for first aid, and that is a distinct drawback, and someday that may occur, but with healthy fish and good water quality, it is hoped that risk can be lessened.

    And really quite immature to mention the 'lack of taste', but I now understand where you're coming from, and it sounds as though you've got some strong sentiment about this. And as I mentioned in my post to Larry, I hesitated even posting out of concern that a rational discussion on the topic couldn't be carried out, but I thought higher of the forum than that and gave it a try. If honest discussions can't be carried out in a rational fashion, perhaps this isn't forum isn't the right fit for me or for those who keep 'non-show grade' Koi. Or it may be, but we should just sit in the background and absorb the knowledge without contributing a different viewpoint or raising a point for discussion?

    Thanks for your reply.

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