We have recently found that black foam does an incredible job of stopping leaks, stabilizing rocks and directing water flow. There are several brands, but it is basically an expanding foam that dries in 4 hours and is like Styrofoam - similar to "Great Stuff" but in black. It is an adhesive as well. Non toxic to fish, plants, and other live things in the pond. If you get it on your hands when applying it, you need to get some type of product to remove it like "Goo Be Gone" or let it just wear off naturally in a day or two. Follow the directions carefully and you will be pleased with the results.
Dave - we use that too. That is how DH created his bogs. He used the black foam, foamed the rocks at an upright angle, and when the foam was dry, the shelf area/bog was filled with pea gravel and then planted with pond plants. This helps quite a bit with the water filtration. We still have some lose rock, but they do not seem to be a problem.
I have sort of off-topic question but will post it here. Your koi are huge and gorgeous - we just bought 3 tiny 3 inch long koi. Not sure what type - one is pure white, one is mostly white with an orange spot on its head, and one is a dark greyish-blue with orange sides. Will these koi get 2-3 feet long in our 6,500 gallon pond? I'm sure it depends what and how much they are fed, but I am curious.
Thank you. I love the time of year when we can be out by the pond. One of my favorite things is to have my morning coffee (when I don't have to rush off to work) sitting by the pond. Our lower deck butts right up to the side of the pond and surprisingly nobody has fallen in ^_^
Yes, your koi will grow into the larger koi. All, with the exception of 1, started out as 3-4" koi. They grow the most in the first year or so and then the growth tends to slow down - which is probably a good thing. Some of the fish that I have were born in my pond.
My shishui was about 3" when we bought him and when he was last measured in 2009, he was 17". Can't tell you what year we bought him though - we think it was 2005. It might have been 2006.
Carolyn is definitely correct. If you have that much space, they will most definitely grow into it. It sounds (according to your descriptions) that fish 1 is a platinum ogon...fish 2 is a tancho (if the spot on it's head is a round dot of color) and fish 3 is either an asagi or shusui (I'd have to see it's scales to know which one you have)
#3 is the base for a lot of koi colors that were developed later on. Many breeders feel they need at least one really good asagi in their mix, to keep the strength of the DNA heritige in their koi.
I am impressed with both your ladies' knowledge of koi. I need to do some research. We have always just put in feeder goldfish and some comets and shubunkins, so this is the next level for us. Our favorite garden center just sold out of small butterfly koi, so we will try to get some in the spring.
Dave...In Carolyns group photo above...she has:
1 - Bottom left corner peeking in - hariwake
2- yellow ogon (often referred to as lemon if you are guaranteeing it's a true yellow, and not tangerine-ish)
3 - orenji matsuba - it's like an ogon, but with black netting over it's scales on it's back
4- asagi ...and a beautiful one at that. asagi are blue with balanced red armpits and a nice white head.
5 - top right facing in...shusui. traditionally blue with scales down it's spine, and red balanced on the sides of the belly.
6- bottom right facing in...most likely a sanke (red,black, white combo) Showas, although the same color combos, are usually darker.
But, like picking out a puppy at the pound...unless you're planning on becoming a world class breeder...pick out what you like and what's pretty to you! Although I have some top of the line fish, some of my mutts are the most interesting looking. I enjoy them no matter what, just like a loyal mutt dog.
Orange and white koi are well known to be the most aggressive eaters (so I am told from koi breeders) and they will grow the fastest and I have a few in my pond to back up that claim. My oldest fish is a white one (ogon) that is 2-3 years older than the rest of my fish. 1.5 years ago I bought some newborns from Petsmart (some have turned into amazing looking fish . . .surprisingly) and the orange and white colored koi have caught up to my ogon (actually surpassed her in both girth and length and I expect they will continue at this alarmingly fast rate as they are "dogs with fins at feeding time"). These fish are the only ones that will literally climb out of the pond to get stray food that washed out of the pond. It was so bizare to me in the beginning that I was so shocked but now it's no big deal. These fish are nearly 2 years old and are easily 18-22 inches in length and very very heavy to pull out with a net. They are also very wild in the net whereas my ogon is very calm and relaxed in the net.
FYI: my pond is approx. 5000 gallons with a bottom drain with aeration and a 30 foot waterfall. I attached a photo but couldn't see detail up close to know how old the koi were in the picture.
Here's a photo of the Anderson Japanese Gardens in Rockford Illinois (only botanical garden with Japanese distinction in America-that's what they said anyway). This is one tiny little pond of about 5000 gallons that they put in a few fish that weren't doing well physically and they spawned and you know the rest of the story. I think the fish tricked them . . . It was nice to see all these babies and the bigger guys together.
I did not know that, but that totally backs up what happened in my pond. My Kohaku was definitely not the oldest fish in my pond, but has far outgrown everything and everybody else in the pond. Also, he is aggressive in everything else as well as feeding time. I never thought to tie it to the type of fish that he is - I just figured it was personality types - you know, like our dogs and cats all have different personalities.
I love your fish - they are beauties and as you said, the white is a clear pure white on your Kohaku - gorgeous.