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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

The weather is starting to abate just a little. This morning was actually nice out on the patio while watching the fish. Since we are both getting older we now have a landscaper who trims and cleans up the vegetation around the pond. He worked on it yesterday so the pond landscaping looks pretty good. The beige rectangle at the center bottom (it looks like a light colored rock) is the lid for access to the two pond filters. We still clean them twice a day but the time is coming when we will revert to our winter schedule and only clean them once a day.

This photo is looking at the pond from its west side. Because of summer winds during the monsoon season the shade cover material has stretched and has become baggy. This winter we will tighten it up.

The second photo is looking at the pond from its east side. The 3 Mountain Laurel we planted several years ago has been trained to become trees rather than shrubs. They are finally getting big enough to provide some shade around the edges of the pond.

This photo is a close up of the in-pond vegetation. We have blue, red, yellow and peach water lilies. During the summer they grow abundantly and nearly cover the pond’s surface. They are supposed to be fertilized but quite frankly we don’t do it and still they thrive. They shade the water during the summer keeping it cool and livable for the Koi.

The last two photos are of the fish. The white Koi with red and black is larger than depicted as he is partially under the fish shelf (hidey hole for Koi). The small black streaks are tiny fish called Gambusia or Mosquito fish. Several years ago we dumped maybe a dozen into the pond and now I suspect there are over 100. They eat mosquito larvae but since the pond water moves and is not stagnant they probably aren’t necessary…but just in case they are there.

The gold/orange butterfly Koi is typical of the size of our fish. We have 30 and all are about 2 feet long. I have no idea how much they weigh but I would expect them to be at least 5 pounds. They are still eating once a day and every time act as if they haven’t been fed in years – in other words, with gusto. In October as the weather continues to cool I will cut their food back until by December they’ll only be eating half of what they do now. One 6.5 pound bag of Tetra Pond Sticks lasts all month.

We have never regretted installing the Koi pond.  We enjoy it immensely as do our guests. Everyone enjoys watching the fish and declaring a favorite colored fish.

© Joyce Clark, 2018         


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Pond Update…end of June

Posted by Joyce Clark on June 24, 2013
Posted in fish pondKoi pond  | Tagged With: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Time for another pond update! The pond water, despite temperatures of over 100 degrees in Arizona, remains clear enough to enjoy watching the fish feed every evening. We find ourselves spending about an hour every evening watching their antics.

Water clarityWe also have Gambusia (Mosquito fish) in our pond. The females grow to about 2” to 2 1/2” and the males are about 1 1/2”. They live for a year, year and a half. They breed prodigiously and breed at least 2 times during our summers. They are our “canaries in the coal mine.” If something is going to happen to the water quality, they will die off first. So far, so good. No losses of Gambusia, Goldfish or Koi.

FeedingThe hula hoop aka feeding ring is working. It now sits about a foot from the edge of the pond, over the fish cave. The big fish, being ever wary, took a few days to get used to being so close to us but now they all come into the ring to eat.

Hand feeding 2Hand feedin 1We find that the littlest Koi are very curious and will come over and check out our legs when we are working in the pond. So the other day we decided to try to hand feed them. No problem! They readily came over and joyously ate to their hearts’ content without being bothered by the big guys.

Globe 1The Aqua-Sphere that we purchased several weeks ago is not a hit…yet. When floating food is placed within it the Gambusia will readily enter and eat the food. The Koi want no part of it so far. We have also discovered that it has to be taken down and cleaned about every 2 weeks. Since we get so little rain in Arizona it becomes quite dusty on the outside and whatever algae is in the pond tends to collect within it. We will hang in there for awhile longer, waiting for cooler weather to see if that makes a difference.

Yerba ManzaWe also did some work around the pond. We have discovered that Yerba Manza is almost weed-like (or else it really likes our pond environment). So we ruthlessly cleaned it out and ended up with at least 3 large trash bags of cuttings and root balls and still have plenty left around the pond.

In July I will be in California and plan to visit Andrews Koi International in Anaheim and the Laguna Koi Ponds in Laguna Beach. I plan to take plenty of photos and will share them here. I have also visited EBay’s auction site and checked out the Koi that they auction on that site. So far I have not been successful in acquiring a fish because I often forget to go back and check my bid status. I do not want to pay “an arm and a leg” for a fish when the shipping charge for overnight is $35.00 so I tend to be a very cheap bidder!!


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