Weekend in St. Louis – NMZNA Koi Show

Another posting with mostly photos. I have tried to fill in a little in the captions.

Welcome to the NMZNA Koi Show in St. Louis, Timberwinds Nursery. Well actually it was in Ellisville but close enough. It was really a nice setting, friendly people, hot but tolerable with some shady spots and an A/C building for lectures. Super well run show.
The pond builder and our koi. Good thing he doesn’t need much sleep. He woke up after three hours of sleep, caught and bagged koi, drove 8 hours and made sure our koi got in our vat on time.
I had hoped to bring some little kohakus but they just weren’t looking good. We had to get up at 4:00 am to catch the koi before an 8 hour drive. We picked out koi that were easy to see and catch in the dark. The little group did much better than we expected. The little goromo received the Tsubaki award. Some shows have awards that help acknowledge all the non-gosanke varieties. It’s really quite an honor to receive a Sakura, Tsubaki or Botan award. The little goshiki was entered as a male based upon the benching team’s input. We were disappointed to find out that it’s probably a male because we are rehoming all males that we have, I will keep this goshiki through the winter and think about moving it along next spring.
There were a lot of vendors at the St. Louis Koi Show. We’re pretty much in Southwest Koi and Goldlfish’s backyard. Always love seeing Mike, his father Ron and Travis. A little sidebar story is that we bid on an auction item brought by senior judge Larry Gill. It was a koi book written in dutch but with beautiful photos. The pond digger had instructions to get the book no matter the cost and the bid went up pretty high. We couldn’t figure out why Mike was bidding against us on this book. Turns out his father can read and understand dutch. The pond builder gave the book to Ron – happy to see someone enjoy it fully.
Taro (of Kodama Koi Farm) and I with our japanese style smiles
A lot of koi keepers seem to enjoy raising bonsai. There was a special display of a bonsai dealer at the koi show. David Kreutz of Satsukibonsai-en.com had some beautiful specimens. Makes you wish to pick up the hobby but I have my hands full with the koi. Something I had never known was that to import bonsai from Japan is very difficult. Large specimens have to be put in quarantine for 2 years. Some types of plants can’t even be imported.
The first night of the koi show, a local koi club member had a few hundred people over to their house for dinner and drinks. Their gardens and ponds are spectacular. It was like a little fantasyland with moss covered pathways, waterfalls, japanese maples, hidden seating and of course koi. The photo shows only about a third of the garden – just fabulous.
this is my favorite koi at the St. Louis Koi Show. It’s a size 7 Sanke that won Best in Size. Sanke koi are not really something I gravitate towards but this one is pretty spectacular. She is just going to kill it as she puts on a little more weight. She’s the type of koi that is just ready to be a Grand Champion.
The Grand Champion koi is owned and raised in Minnesota by one of our local club members. This was Michael a little shell shocked. (Maybe he was worried about all the liquor he would have to buy later since the GC is supposed to purchase first round 😂)
Some nice prizes. I also won a lucky bamboo plant.
On Sunday morning, the judges do a tank walk to discuss the winners and koi in general. We had a lively discussion about feeding koi. Some nuggets I heard included: (1) if you are spending money on koi, feed them premium food, (2) koi should have four seasons of feeding, (3) color enhancing food should be used but there isn’t much you can do to change genetics, (4) if you are feeding color food, monitor the shiroji carefully and stop if you see yellowing — I’m sure there were more but I’m ready to go to sleep myself. Maybe another day I’ll take out my feeding notes.
The pond builder decided to buy another bead filter to replace some bead filters that he currently has running on the upper pond. He also saw this gadget at Eric Thomas’ (Kentucky Koi) booth. This little filter will be used for a winter quarantine tank. Knock on wood that we won’t have to use it but it’s very compact.
Taro Kodama was here as a vendor and the pond builder picked out two new koi for our pond. I had never heard of a sakura ogon (there is a mistake in the labeling of the photo) but it looks interesting. We will hope that the white parts get clearer and brighter…and the beni tightens up over time. The little showa is cute.
The two new koi have a pretty large quarantine tank in the garage. They will most likely not go outside until the spring.
the upper pond
We’ll have to net the ponds soon. Little leaves are starting to fall.
This goshiki was entered in ZNA NorCal earlier this year, came home in April and then found a hole in the netting of the winter pool. I found this koi struggling on top of the net and the fins took a beating. I am hoping the left fin will grow back. It’s slow but it may end up matching the undamaged fin.
This weekend we are donating to the Normandale Community College some of our koi. We are rehoming two large male koi and two larger koi that are pretty but will not show well. I’m a little sorry to see them go but feeding koi is much easier when you have ‘like’ koi together. It’s also best to keep the males out of the ponds because they can end up damaging some of the female koi. These two koi do show some bully tendencies and are often seen chasing the little koi around. The donation will take place during the japanese festival being held at the garden this weekend.
These are the four koi that will be donated over the weekend.
I still haven’t planted my thyme because I haven’t worked on the steps. I may end up planting it in the sick bay garden and working with it next spring.
We have string algae growing on our waterfall rocks. I’m sure the pond builder will work on cleaning it off but it’s pretty hard to wipe out. Winter will kill it off.

So another weekend has flown by. Summer is pretty much over with daily highs in the mid 60s. It won’t be long until everyone is back in the garage!