checking up on Natsumi

Today we visited our shiro utsuri, Natsumi, who lives about an hour north at Koi Acres. She is being cared for this winter by the staff at Koi Acres in a nice warm environment. Natsumi has already grown one inch since she was harvested from the mud pond in October. Hopefully she will add on a little more length over the winter under these conditions.

Of course we had a nice afternoon of koi talk with Devin and Mikki Swanson. Devin actually spent a year (maybe longer) in Japan on a koi farm. He certainly is much more proficient in Japanese than I am! Mikki has grown up around koi and blogs for Tomigai They are a cute couple and pretty much experts on all things koi. One of the best things about koi keeping has been meeting so many interesting people. It’s probably like that no matter what hobby or interest you may have… while they are a little crazy, I love the koi crowd.

We always learn a few new things with Devin and Mikki and we had a little discussion about our swimming pool. We’ve been testing the water regularly and the nitrites parameter is consistently high. For weeks now it’s been at the 3 – 5 ppm mark. According to Devin we should have dead koi. So he asked us if our test kit might be off or maybe I was running the test wrong…no and no. He suggested we salt the pond a bit and check some other things about our set up. The pond digger is excited to try out something different – stay tuned for a posting in a few days on his new idea.

bad parameter – nitrites are too high!
However, the koi seem to be doing just fine — you have to be tough to survive under my koi keeping…

Finally, we had another impulse buy today. I was thinking that I would like to have a kuchibeni koi. Kuchibeni is having a little red on the lips, resembling lipstick. There was a little kohaku with some kuchibeni so it came home with us. I named this koi Lavinia. Not sure if this will be a keeper but we’ll see. I used to feel bad banishing the koi to the auction block but after awhile you realize they’re just taking up space and contributing very little to the pond. I think a lot of koi keepers stock their pond with carefully chosen perennials. My pond is a mixture of perennials and annuals who are abandoned when I get bored of them.

Lavinia, a kuchibeni kohaku