I’ve calculated that a few hundred dollars worth of koi have met their demise this winter. The latest casualty was a cute, little kohaku named Chichai. The operative word is “little”. Chichai was just small enough to swim into the PVC elbow where tank water is pulled for recirculation. Normally the PVC elbow is pointed down in the tub with minimal clearance. However, the big koi like to try to squeeze themselves through the elbow and end up turning it slightly. Just enough for a small koi to swim to his death. I went out in the garage and heard the pump struggling to pull water and it dawned on me that someone was missing from the tank 🙁 The pond digger was kind enough to come home for lunch and opened up the PVC pipes and the dead koi slid out.
Meanwhile, having the koi in the tanks allow for some up close koi observation. “Taco Bell” is a koi that I purchased thinking it was most likely a hiutsuri (red and black). As you can see from the photos below, Taco Bell looks pretty different than the day he came home. Not sure if this koi is going to be a keeper in our ponds. This is the reason that many serious koi keepers buy koi that are larger and older because the pattern, shape and quality is infinitely more apparent. I still enjoy the randomness of getting young koi and seeing what turns out.