Pond & Koi Club Newsletter
Volume 7 Issue 5 May 2003
Ponds of the Genesee Valley
month features the pond of Sam Contreras.
Constructed: June 8, 2002
Whom: Sam Contreras
for Pond: Sam wanted to incorporate a water feature in his landscape, with
its unique sounds and plants:
13' x 8' x 2'
# of gallons: 850 gallons
Type: 45 ml EPDM rubber
Pondmaster 700 water pump with a 12" x 12" prefilter
Plants: HWL Berit Strawn, HWL Doll House, Black Magic Taro, Pickeral Rush,
Thalia delebata, red stem parrot's feather, Aztec Sagittaria
4 Sarasa Comet & 4 Shubunkin
Comments: Sam wishes he could have dug it bigger and deeper. More plants in 2003!
Fish of the Month
Sarasa Comet and Shubunkin
Sarasa Comet: Red and White Comet with long fins; single-tailed.
Shubunkin: The Shubunkin is of Japanese origin with a calico
coloring (red, white, blue and black) and nacreous scales (mix of transparent
and metallic scales); single-tailed. Shubunkins are also available in sky blue
and midnight varieties. American Shubunkins have long, pointed forked tail and
longfins. Bristol Shubunkin has a moderately forked tail with rounded lobes like
the letter B. The London shubunkin has short, roundtail and fins.
Size: Up to 12 inches
Comments: Both varieties of goldfish are hardy and make desirable pond fish. They tend not to uproot plants and are a moderate size. They do spawn readily and can over populate a pond!
According to William
Innes in Goldfish Varieties and Water Gardens, 1947, " The first of the
long single-tail breed appears to have originated in the ponds of the Fish
Commission in Washington in the early 1880s. Mr. Hugo Mullertt either secured
his own stock or originated his own. At any rate, he was the first to place them
on the market in quantity. The Comet is a long of body and fins, the tail in
particular being very free flowing. In movement this fish is the most graceful
of all the fancy goldfishes and it can swim with rapidity when necessary. This
activity has made it easy for the fish to revert to its ancestral tendency to
leap out of the water."
Trivia: A Jikin is a rare Japanese variety hardly ever
available outside Japan. It has a long, cigar-shaped body that is white, with
red lips, fins, and gill covers. Jikin are not born with this coloration. They
are "made" by removing red scales when they are still young. Jikin
grow to be about 9 inches in length.
Nau Hear This!
This has obviously been a very bad winter and we are
still struggling to get through the last remnants of it, especially with the
recent spring storms. I hated to call off last month's meeting, but as the storm
continued, we thought that it would be in the best interest of everyone's safety
to cancel it. Carole has promised to work with us and try to reschedule for fall
or next spring so we really haven't lost out on the presentation.
According to Larry N. one of the more frequent topics
that people brought up to him at GardenScape was the problem of fish losses this
winter. It seemed that about 113 of the people lost all of their fish arid
another 113 had lost a number of fish. The final 113 thought that they had no
losses and that their fish were doing quite well already.
This may have changed slightly with the power
failures resulting from the ice storm. Fortunately, we had probably lost enough
of the ice cover and the water should have started to turn over and release some
of the toxic gases and absorb some additional oxygen. The people that I've
talked to so far did not have any fish losses during the ice storm or because of
the power outages that resulted from it. I hope that this is especially true for
all of our members as well.
Since I haven't received any alternative topics or
additional suggestions for the May meeting, we will discuss spring preparations
for opening the pond. This will be an open format so that members may offer
comments about their-successes and failures so that we can all learn from them.
A side discussion on starting seeds and plant cuttings will also be attempted,
if time permits. If you are interested in obtaining plants from alternate
sources the Genesee Land Trust will be holding a native plant sale on Saturday
May 17 from 8:30 am-2 pm at the Brighton Town Hall, 2300 Elmwood Ave. The RCGC
will also have their Proud Market Plant Sale on Saturday May 31 from 8:00 am
-until plants are sold (usually about noon). Finally, we will have our plant
auction at the meeting on Friday, June 6th. If you have extra plants or are
making divisions please consider donating some to the club. The more everyone is
willing to share the better the variety of plants that we will have to offer.
This year's LilyFest will be June 7-8 at Bergen Water
Garden And Nursery. We would like to have a club display and information table
to help answer questions about the club and water gardening, koi and goldfish
keeping. If you can help as a volunteer or have plants, photos or other
materials that we could use for the display please call Larry H.
Larry N. is in the process of finalizing plans to
have Charles Thomas as the featured speaker at LilyFest on Saturday June 7th.
Mr. Thomas is well known for his books and lectures on water gardening and
directed Lilypons Water Gardens. He founded the International Waterlily and
Water Garden Society, has collected aquatic plants from around the world to
enhance offerings for water garden enthusiasts and has received plant patents
for several of his water lilies. He spoke to our club about six years ago. It
would be a great opportunity for those who have joined since then to learn more
about waterlilies and water gardening and to talk to him and show our enthusiasm
for water gardening. I'm sure that this will be another great LilyFest and we
will all be able to benefit from it.
The NFKPC will have their Koi Show and product
display June21-22 at Masterson's Garden Center, East Aurora, New York. There
will be vendor displays, presentations and many Koi available for your viewing
pleasure. The plant and product auction should start around 1:00 pm. on Sunday.
1 will try to have more information for the June newsletter.
Member to Member Maureen Lynch has an extra copy of "The
Tetra Encyclopedia Of Koi". This is the hard cover edition (suggested
retail price $32.00). She is willing to sell it for $15.00. If you are
interested you can call her at 394-8201.
Spring may finally and
really be here even though it is snowing as I write this. The spring flowers
that survived the ice storm are now opening quickly and are a welcome sight. If
you have spring flowers around your pond, why not take some photos now. We can
definitely use photos for the newsletter and if we get enough support we could
use them and others from the coming months to show seasonal views of what ponds
and water features can be like throughout the year. This approach might
encourage others to try similar things and extend the times and seasons in which
we can enjoy our ponds and fish too.
It is not too early to consider putting your pond on
this year's tour on August 16th. Now that the date for the tour has been
selected and if you have already volunteered to be on this years tour, please
reconfirm your desire to have your pond included. We also have some new and
non-members who have recently volunteered their ponds. Please call Brian Nagel
or Larry H. to confirm your offer or to add your name to the list. I would like
to have the full schedule of ponds finalized by the end of June so that we can
prepare the maps and other details. We are also planning to end the tour with
our usual picnic.
Since spring is a critical time for our fish, pay
close attention to them so that you can treat any diseases or injuries before it
is too late. If you are adding new fish be sure to quarantine them for an
extended time to make certain that you will not infect your existing ones with
Koi Herpes Virus (already present in some US supplies) or Spring Viremia of Carp
(not fully confirmed as a US problem).
Injury healing is another story. The following
information and suggestions were derived from an article in KOI USA by William
Wound healing has a high priority among a fish's body
functions. Depending on the extent of the damage, it is possible to improve the
natural repair processes and hasten the overall recovery process by providing
the best possible environmental conditions such as:
Next, protect the fish.
The early stage of healing is very difficult to see
since the new layer of cells that cover the wound are thin and transparent. It
is all to easy to think that nothing is happening and attempt to reclean the
wound thereby removing the healing layer that has started to form. In this
initial phase, the best approach is to keep an eye on the progress of the wound
to verify that it does not deteriorate or look clearly worse.
In the weeks that follow, the inflamation of the
surrounding tissue diminishes and the lesion itself becomes more opaque as the
repair layer thickens and the defect area fills in with new tissue. With time,
some color may return to the affected area but deep wounds may not recover
completely. They often heal as a smooth white scar with a marble like surface.
Furthermore, scales may not re-grow in areas where there has been really
extensive damage and the loss of scale pockets. After all of this discussion
about healing, you might wonder how a fish can survive a wound. Fortunately,
skin wounds on fish will often heal on their own. After all, they have survived
for thousands of years without our intervention. But we must remember that these are our pets and we are keeping
them in an intense and somewhat artificial environment. It is important,
therefore, that we understand these challenges and that we take the steps
necessary to help them survive and to be with us for as many years as possible.
Some spring reminders: