Stinky work and Koi food hoarding

Spring has arrived in Little Siberia. It’s a few weeks behind our farm in North Carolina but just as pretty. It’s fun to find little surprises like carrots from last year’s seeds, a strawberry plant that overwintered without any special care, rhododendrons that weren’t destroyed by deer and rabbits.

Warmer weather always signals opening the ponds. The pond builder has a pretty large task this year to take down the lower pond. We have removed all the filtration equipment and used some of the wood for other projects. He will continue to recycle material and eventually everything will be bulldozed or sent out in a dumpster. He did need one of the bottom drain tops since we had one that was broken off this winter in the upper pond.

The upper pond has been ice free for a few weeks now. The pond builder tackled the stinky leaves at the bottom (and perhaps a dead squirrel) and did a little spring cleaning. He found a broken bottom drain cover so that required a little extra time repairing.

All the drains back in working order and the pond floor has been vacuumed. All the water has been drained out and our gardens do smell vaguely of algae and old pond. A few hours and a good rain should resolve that. Of course the plants love stinky pond water.

Time to start refilling the pond. The koi may not be heading out to the pond right away but it will be ready for them soon. While the majority of our koi will move to North Carolina this summer, a few will remain and we will probably throw in some new tosai for fun.

While pond builder worked outside, I was busy repackaging some new koi food. My all season food supply was almost at the end so I called Kevin Pham of Genkikoi to order some more food. Normally I would order some more Fuyufuji but it seems like JPD has phased that product out and replaced with Shogun for all season. Two 44 pound bags showed up and my chore today was to repackage into smaller bags.

The Shogun specs look pretty similar to Fuyufuji. I really like JPD food and my koi seem to like it too. Choosing the koi food brand is pretty much up to every individual. I like the JPD products because they generally seem to fall at the average point of crude protein and crude fat percentages. I’m not really sure if that’s the way to select the food but it is one way. I do like Kenzen’s Breeder Choice for little tosai. A friend once mentioned to me that even the larger koi might like medium sized pellets. I do have some JPD medium sized pellets but my koi prefer the larger pellets.

As I was repackaging, I thought the new food looked a little bit larger. Possibly, but most likely my imagination. The koi have been on a mix of sinking and floating Fuyufuji so test driving some Shogun required a short learning curve for a few of them. The koi have naturally sorted themselves out and the bigger eaters choose floating and the smaller koi choose sinkers. When all the pellets sunk to the bottom of the pond, the two biggest eater looked accusingly at me. Once they figured out that everything was at the bottom, they were pushing the others around again.

While I was repackaging the new food, I started thinking about our global shipping issues. Working for a chemical manufacturer, I have observed shortages and transportation issues increasing every day. The news is full of ominous warnings that shipping containers take forever to offload, we all saw the ship that messed up the Suez Canal for awhile and I am not going to have sad koi. My theory was reinforced when I checked on the supply of 44 pound bags of Shogun online —> “out of stock”!!!! I ordered another 300 pounds of other JPD food immediately to stay ahead of any potential shortages. Should koi food from Japan be delayed, my koi will not have to suffer.

So now I’m a koi food hoarder but my koi appreciate me 😂.