Birthday fishes are always better than birthday stitches

Last year, the pond builder took me to beautiful Lake Louise for my birthday and I ended up with 26 stitches due to a horse riding accident. This year the pond builder gave me some beautiful koi – fishes are better than stitches. The beautiful koi from Mystic Koi, Upland, California flew in today via Southwest. I actually thought the Southwest cargo handling was good. Very clear to track the air waybill and the staff at the MSP Southwest cargo office are nicer than the Delta and Delta Dash cargo offices. Guaranteed next flight cargo shipping with Southwest seems like a good option in the future. So here’s what showed up today:

mnkoilady, minnesota, koi, koi pond, koi keeping, nishikigoi, mystic koi, Shawn McHenry, koi pond
Birthday Koi

I love the koi that Shawn McHenry helped us to select. We were originally going to buy just the large Omosako Gin Rin Showa but when you’re in a candy store, it’s hard not to pick out a few extras. The smaller Koda Gin Rin Showa is a study koi to see how it will continue to develop. The Matsue Kohaku is lovely and the pond builder feels a little on the high strung side. Jumped out of the viewing bowl in California and definitely itching to get out of the bag when she came in. The little Beppu kohaku looks like she has a Rudolph nose but is a kuchibeni koi, her lip is red like lipstick.  I’ve always thought it would be fun to have a pond full of kuchibeni kohaku – girly koi with makeup. That’s probably not going to happen but now I have two kohaku koi with the red lips – who knows???? Here’s how they look in action:

I will have to share a funny side note about the smaller gin rin showa. About 10 seconds after that video was shot, the showa decided to give us some drama. The koi began to swim upside down, sideways and looked as if it was going to die. We moved all the koi out of the bowl and added some salt. I’m texting Shawn (who probably thinks I’m just crazy) little 10 second videos of this koi looking near death. How could this happen out of the blue? Well I’m pleased to report that the koi is just fine. Being a concerned dealer, Shawn called me up right away as I was texting. He helped problem solve and conjectured some possible reasons on why the koi might be acting the way it was – translation, did a good job talking me off the edge 🙂 I really appreciated the reassurance. End result – the koi is swimming around with everyone else and I’m a happy camper.

We also like to measure our koi but are not big fans of handling them too much when they first fly in. So an alternative is to take a photo with a tape measure and then we sort of eyeball the lengths. Of course the koi are almost always at ninety degrees in these photos.

mnkoilady, minnesota, koi, koi pond, koi keeping, nishikigoi, mystic koi, Shawn McHenry, koi pond
measuring koi, kind of

All of our new koi are in the lower pond. Due to some travel plans we had and maybe we’re just lazy (and we’ve had good luck because we buy from reputable dealers)…we decided to make the lower pond a giant quarantine pond. We moved the boy koi pack, the taniguchi Showa and the Takahiro special to the upper pond – leaving some smaller koi that we like but I won’t cry if something happens to them. In order to shuffle the koi around, we decided that any koi taking up space would have to go.

So we moved along five koi, selected primarily because they have color issues.

mnkoilady, minnesota, koi, koi pond, koi keeping, nishikigoi, koi pond
Wild Bill and Sundance will some day have sumi that stays but right now it’s annoying. We rehomed these with a friend who has a 30,000+ gallon pond and maybe there will be cool spots and the sumi will come back even though it’s summer.
They live in the same pond, eat the same food, one holds his beni the other loses practically everything. Joselito, the faded goshiki, is now fertilizer. It seems rather heartless but it’s just not pretty at all.
mnkoilady, minnesota, koi, koi pond, koi keeping, nishikigoi, koi pond
My very sad story of a beautiful little Showa who is losing color. I just couldn’t bring myself to turn this koi into fertilizer so I rehomed this little koi with a friend. You just can never tell with tosai what might happen.
mnkoilady, minnesota, koi, koi pond, koi keeping, nishikigoi, koi pond
The Ochiba koi looks great in cool water conditions. In the summer it basically blends into the pond liner. This koi was also rehomed.

The boy koi pack consisting of two Konishi karashigoi, a Maraudo kohaku and the Oyama kaede were sometimes observed terrorizing the tosai in the lower pond. The kohaku is named Mayhem and that basically sums up their behavior. We were a little concerned that moving them to the upper pond would create chaos among the big girls but surprisingly, no spawning, no rude behavior and everyone looks pretty good. My plan is to change it all up again after the quarantine period is over. What I really need is maybe a third pond but that can wait for another summer.

mnkoilady, minnesota, koi, koi pond, koi keeping, nishikigoi, koi pond
all the big koi swimming nicely

Another  fun weekend around the ponds in Little Siberia. Summertime is so nice and my other little hobby of playing farmer yielded the first eggs from my hens and blue potatoes today! The bicycle is calling…