Upper Midwest Koi Club

This year Tony and I decided to join the Upper Midwest Koi Club since we thought it would be fun to meet other people who are interested in keeping koi and building koi ponds. We went to the first meeting of the year yesterday.  It’s a very nice group of people who keep koi for different reasons. There’s a lot of interesting discussions about koi, pond building, water maintenance, koi forums and the willingness to help out anyone who may have a question.  The club needed a secretary so Tony volunteered me and I accepted.  I hope to do good work for them over the next two years – check out http://www.uppermidwestkoiclub.org on the web and find them on Facebook.

Meanwhile, the temperatures are finally going up to the 40s and we should see some melting in Minnesota. The pond ice is retreating and I did a koi count again.  The larger koi continue to hang by the heater and some of the little koi and goldfish are in the rocks near the bottom of the pond.Image

I am a little worried about what I may find under the retreating ice shelf covering the shallow area of the pond.  Cha Cha, a gin rin chagoi has been missing all winter. I’m hoping that the sparkly koi has just been hiding under the stone shelf all winter.  In a few days all of the ice on our pond should be gone and we will be pleasantly or sadly surprised.  Image


  1. Peter Wong says:

    Dear Koi lady,
    I was just browsing on some photos from the midwest koi and pond society and came across all my koi fish in the Hawaii koi show. The Tancho showa, the regular showa, the shiro utsuri and the Asagi at 12 oClock are my koi. I went with Taro from kodamakoifarm ( in waikiki) 2 years ago to Niigata and picked them out, I did not bring them back here in michigan until a month ago. They doubled in size since I last saw them in waikiki koi show in 2013. I did not go to the koi show in 2014 but Taro entered my koi anyway. Two of them won a ribbon but no big price. I did not bring them back until 1.5 year later because I lose about 3-5 koi per winter. But last winter I put a greenhouse over my pond, not only was I able to feed them till early December, it kept the inside temperature at 32 even when it’s 20 outside. Moreover, the water temperature got up higher and faster in spring and I was able to start feeding them in the beginning of April. I did not lose even one koi. some of my friends loss half or even the whole pond because we have a harsh winter last year. I lucked out by experimenting on the greenhouse made with PVC.
    I proved to myself that I was able to winter them in Michigan, so they ship all 4 of my big koi to me last month. seriously, they doubled in size. I am sure that you have all the knowledge about the green house but if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.
    I was just so excited that someone actually took a picture of my koi and posted it and that’s why I contact you.

    1. lorivertin says:

      Congratulations! I happened to think these were some of the nicest looking koi at the show. All of my koi survived the winter pond, even the one that was mostly dead. Not sure what we are going to do this year. A little difficult to put a greenhouse over our new pond (you can see it’s progress using the left column menu). The koi keeper world is very small – would love to see photos of your koi again some day.

    2. curt wichman says:

      I live in Minn and want to leave koi in all winter could you send diagram on how to build a green house thanks

      1. lorivertin says:

        I’m not sure if Peter Wong looks at this blog regularly but you can find free greenhouse and hoophouse plans online – good luck 🙂

        Free plans available on the web:

        Here’s a website that sells greenhouses and hoophouses

        We are still wavering on whether to build a hoophouse type of structure, move our garden greenhouse over a portion of the pond or letting the koi hang out under thick ice. Last winter our koi stayed at the bottom of the pond (about 4.5′ deep), huddled around the water heater (it would run only at a certain temperature and I don’t think the water was even tepid), an aerator ran constantly to keep a hole open in the ice. Some koi keepers will float insulation panels on the water to help it retain heat…

  2. lorivertin says:

    Curt- I did hear from Peter and he said that for a small pond, say 12-15 wide, you can probably do a PVC greenhouse. he simply googled for some plans. The only problem he had last year was some collapsing under the heavier snowstorms. This year he has put up a galvanized steel frame over his pond, which is about 24 feet long. I’m sure it won’t be collapsing but it is significantly pricier.

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