Koi Pond Building is on a weather delay :-(

Weather in Minnesota this summer has been very unpredictable. Between the very loooong winter and ill-timed rain showers, we’ve lost a number of weekend days to work on the pond. I’m very hopeful though that the upper pond is on the home stretch.

We have a few tasks left before the large koi can return:

  • add a little more to the concrete skirt on the left
  • wrestle the pond liner in
  • cut out the bottom drains and TPRs
  • seam the side corners nicely
  • affix the pond liner edge to a piece of Trex that will border the pond
  • take delivery of Trex this week and install a boardwalk
  • reconnect the pipes in the equipment house
  • cycle the pond
  • fix the landscaping

As I write the list it does sound like a lot but my pond builder doesn’t seem to mind working until 9:30 pm… Here’s what he’s managed to do in the last few days:

Waiting for the weather to clear to get back out to work. More concrete work on the left edge of the pond.
The concrete edge is covered with a little bit of pond rubber and an under fabric layer is placed on the wall before insulation is screwed into the concrete. The insulation is not for warmth – it’s to keep the walls soft for the koi.
A second layer was overlapped to the first.
The wall is now ready for a little flex tap to cover the screws.

Getting the pond liner into the pond spot is difficult since we don’t have a lot of maneuver room. We believe that having a few guys unroll and place the liner in the general spot will be sufficient. Then the pond builder will start by cutting the bottom drains into the liner, smoothing it out, then the TPRs, smoothing it out some more – and actually filling it to help the liner settle into the right place.

Next engineering project – moving a roll of rubber that weighs over a thousand pounds
It’s a relatively short distance and we have prepared easy access to the pond area. Now we just need to wait for young muscles to show up.

It’s really late spring for the Minnesota plants and I’m enjoying the zinnias that I grew from seed earlier this year. The little open florets look like stars. Zinnias are supposedly great cutting flowers but I like the color in the yard.

The little zinnias in the garden are starting to bloom.

The koi are hungry as usual. My new feeder timer came in and I am planning to set it up when the weather clears. This timer allows you to program 24 feeding times. Much better for the koi to eat numerous small meals than a few large meals (kind of like people). I’m going to start with 12 small meals on the hour from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.

The koi seem very hungry with the warmer temperatures.
24x programmable feeder for the Koi Cafe

Minor koi health problem…It’s so important to spend a little time each day looking at the koi. I think it’s the fastest way to catch any health problems a koi may have. Plus it’s so interesting to watch the koi.

This koi was sporting this ugly look last week. We’re not really sure how she got this but I suspect it’s the water thermometer’s string. I hung the thermometer right under the feeder and in the little feed frenzy, I think she may have caught her gill, swam the wrong way and gave it a little tear. I don’t suspect predators because she’s still very friendly and no one appears skittish. We treated her with some antibiotic directly on the injury and she is looking much better now.

Bad weather is a good time to read about koi and koi development. These two Kokugyo books are very informative about koi varieties , what to look for, what might be interpreted as the standard of beauty, comparisons of koi, etc.  Gaining knowledge is good and sometimes discouraging too. After you read about something, you’ll go out and check your koi and think “oh there’s a fault….” I’m going to hold on to the advice that even not so good looking young koi may improve over time with good koi keeping skills. No one is an expert when they start this hobby.

Available through Kodama Koi Supply, very quick delivery.
sample page from Volume 1 of Kokugyo
sample page from Volume 2 of Kokugyo

Koi keeping is a fun hobby – not sure what the pond builder and I would be doing if he hadn’t suggested a water feature for our garden seven years ago.

I like koi keeping so much that it’s influencing the color of my clothes! Here’s a gosanke inspired dress 😂