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Bad day at the koi farm

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  • Bad day at the koi farm

    Today has been a big learning experience.

    I’m posting this to my favourite 3 bulletin boards as some may learn by my error.

    The weather has been dry and hot for a good while here in Somerset, England. Over a period of a few weeks, output from the large airstones I use in the mud ponds has been declining. They needed a clean, but I put the job back as I have been culling flat-out.

    The forecast for days has been telling us that we were in for rain today Friday and it came this morning around 6.30am. I was at the koi farm by 7.00am and all the fry were looking for their early feed. I went round with the buckets of various size food and then finally (as usual) sat on a chair along side the pond of the oldest kohaku babies, bucket of pellets by my side. I sit back for 10 minutes have a smoke and throw pellets to the starving masses. From the total spawn I have kept 450, more will need to go at harvest.

    The koi climbed on top of each other with the vigour of their feeding. I watched them eat all but the last few pellets, then set off for the food wholesalers, to pick up some more supplies at 9.30am.

    I returned 2 hours later and walked down the line of ponds to see all was OK, to be confronted by 5 dead koi in the large kohaku pond. I rushed around the pond to see fish hanging, near life-less.

    Straight away I pulled the airstones in, cut the pipes off with my penknife and use a cable tie/zip clip to attaché the open air pipe to the weighty airstone and dropped them back in.

    With a huge volume of air going into the pond within 10 minutes koi could be seen swimming round. Slowly they have improved all day, but I think I have lost somewhere near a third of those babies. I’m gutted!
    With rain comes a drop in the air pressure, less pressure pushing oxygen into the water, the food I had just given the koi dropped the oxygen levels even more.

    My fault!

    This ramble makes me feel better, thinking it my save some other koi somewhere, if it makes their owners more aware of how important oxygen levels are.

    Below is one of the dead, a kohaku I had ear-marked at 2” for keeping back and growing on for my first kohaku parent koi.
    Not 5 months old and 10”. Skin quality super. Maruzome kiwa. Super white ground for it’s age. Head pattern to far back to make the show grade.

  • #2

    sorry to hear your bad news most people only think of low pressure when thunder is around you have taught me something new today. we had a power cut at work a month or so ago at night ,we lost a few koi that day but several more later on due to the lack of air which damaged the gills hope you dont lose to many more.



    • #3


      Hi Maurice,... just shake it off and move forward with that under your belt. I know,... easily said,... but those things happen,... many ups and downs in Koi.

      The weather here has been very good, and very bad this season,... I could write volumes on losses and ones that "could have been" over the years,... several this year. Equipment fails, we forget important details, Mother Nature rattles us,... The best take a deep breath, concentrate on our objectives, and move forward. With Koi the great loss is time, there will always be more Koi, and there will be better ones,... in time.

      Best Wishes,


      • #4

        i know the feeling. My sympathy.


        • #5

          hi maurice, nice to see you posting again but gutted for you as well as your hard work has had a nock back but youll come through this stronger than ever with better knowledge and understanding.
          good luck in the future and glad to see and read your posts again.



          • #6

            Thank you for sharing, I learned something new today.

            Thai Koi-Keepers' Group


            • #7

              Thanks for sharing Maurice.
              With our season only starting I received some sweetwater airstones from Aquatic Eco Systems in the US and I must say their performance are great.
              The size and bodyshape of the Kohaku shown are exceptional , what a loss.If all look like this one you have a winning breeding pair on you're hands.
              Jaco Vorster
              South Africa


              • #8


                Sorry to hear about your losses and how gutted you are. I know how much work you put into your breeding programme and it cant be much fun when this happens.
                Keep smiling though, I think it takes a lot for you not to smile :lol:
                Regards, Bob
                ><{{{{º> ><{{{{º> ><{{{{º>
                <º}}}}>< <º}}}}><


                • #9

                  A sickner Maurice.

                  If I recall rightly the Kohaku above is one that you've posted before when much smaller isn't it?

                  Here's to the 2005 crop.

                  Mark Gardner


                  • #10

                    Mark, I had to check back and you are right, there's no flies on you with a memory like that.
                    The photo was taken 27th July at 8", died 10th Sept at 10"

                    One koi in the photo, I stated was lossing it's hi (bottom center) I was wrong, the hi has improved no end and is growing well and still alive.
                    Looking at the photo below, I would say it is out growing many as it looks the same size as the one in the shot which died and is pictured above.
                    I'll get a photo when it comes out next time.
                    Old photo below.

                    Got to get the digger out now and dig a big hole.


                    • #11

                      Sad news!

                      It has to be said though, that the Kohaku in the first pic certainly did have ace Kiwa, and Sashi. Beni quality- outstanding! I feel that this Koi would have made a superb specimen later in life, and big! Terrible shame.



                      • #12

                        Still despite all the problems It was nice to be able to follow this fish. You did quite well to get a more than halfway decent fish to 10 inches in 5 months on your fist go!

                        Brovo dude.

                        Can't wait to see what you do next year!
                        Semper in excreta, sumus solum profundum variat


                        • #13

                          B.Scott, this year ain't over yet.
                          Wait see.


                          • #14

                            Looking forward to it Maurice. I've been watching your progress since spring 03. Very interesting. Thanks for keeping us informed!
                            Semper in excreta, sumus solum profundum variat


                            • #15

                              For your loss, I am truely sorry. But that's farming. It will always be something. Promise me you'll use this tragety to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and funnel that sick feeling into something motivating so that doesn't happen again. there will be other things that will come as well. BUT
                              you will PREVAIL!
                              I know of your dedication and hard work. the results(sadly) are in the photos. You are there my get it behind you and keep going!
                              To those koi keepers who wonder about costs of really good koi, here is part of the reason. It's a crop, subject to all kinds of problems. Think the folks in the states are gonna miss their orange and other citrus crops that usually come from florida. In japan they call em typhoons, in the states hurricanes!
                              Maurice, keep focused on the end result and don't give up!
                              Dick Benbow


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