For those of you who do not live in Arizona let me extend my heartiest condolences for the lousy weather you are experiencing. Here, we have had no winter. Today it is 75 degrees and sunny. That is the forecast until the end of the month, another 10 days or so. All flora and fauna are confused. Plants are either in bud or blooming and the Koi think spring has arrived. If there is, by some miracle, a frost in February it will kill all of the tender new growth – not a good thing. Below is a photo that I took today, January 23, 2014.

pond in winter

Arizona Koi Pond in Winter

The water quality remains fantastic. We can see the Koi and right now we only feed them occasionally so they are out sucking up residual algae on the rocks. Here are some photos of the Koi feeding. I put a hula hoop in the pond and throw the food within the ring. The Koi are trained to go there to eat. The white stuff in the photos is the food. We call the black/white/red Koi, Yum Yum. He or she is as wide as long and eats everything in sight. We call the orange Koi, Silky. It has the most beautiful flowing fins. Both are the largest fish we have and are easily nearly 2 feet long and each weighs a couple of pounds. We still lose an occasional fish. I have decided that when any variable in the pond changes, the weakest ones are affected and die off. The ones that are left are very hardy little dudes.

Silky and Yum Yum 25 fish 

I spent the past two weeks reinforcing the grommets on our shade cloth cover for the pond. During the monsoon season we can get some pretty strong winds. They put a tremendous amount of strain on the weakest points on the shade cloth  — the grommet holes. I purchased some duck cloth (under $8) and used a flexible pellon fusible cloth ($5) that I ironed on the shade cloth. It is now ready for another season. Here is a photo of the reinforcement.

shade cloth reinforcement

Since the pond was constructed I have had to slog through the dirt edging the south side of the pond. A few weeks ago we finally installed pavers in that section. It looks and feels so much better. Here’s a photo of the new pavers.


New pavers around the pond

Soon we will do a water change and trim and fertilize all of the water plants. When that is accomplished we will be ready for the Koi breeding season as the water warms up. I read somewhere that cotton string mop heads are good havens for fish eggs and fry. I plan to get a couple and test that theory.

© Joyce Clark, 2014


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