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Hello Koi Enthusiasts!

This blog is here to provide a spot for various things that do or might pertain to Koi. This stuff is intended for your entertainment, and is not meant to meet the stricter standards of our ebooks and courses, so use this info carefully and at your own risk. The short articles here may be descriptions of techniques that have proved effective, an introduction to new fish research, facts, graphs or just something FUN about fish! This information can be a springboard for your imagination and an entertaining place to learn something new. Information that was first published in Question of the Week can be found here.

The more we learn about Koi, the more FUN this hobby is - and we always say - if you're not havin' FUN, you're not doin' it right!

By Katy Shanafelt, IWGKS

Ah, Christmas morning. Waking up early and running down the stairs to excitedly tear into a
brand new package of… pond chems?
Wait, that’s not quite right.
OK, pond chemicals and additives might not be the most exciting gift idea of all time. Still, that
doesn’t mean that your loved one’s aquatic hobby has to be absent from under the tree this year.
There are tons of great, exciting pond-related gifts that will surprise and delight your pond lover.

There are many, many stressors for fish.  This study shows that noise can change fish behavior.  The image above show how noise stresses people - just imagine what that picture looks like for Koi!

This study shows that individuals reactions to stress vary widely.  We cannot assume that while one Koi does not seem to be affected by a stressor, that another Koi might be overwhelmed by the same stressor.  You can read more about Koi and Stress in our ebook:

In a special experiment, zebrafish with defective immune systems swam and dined with counterparts with normal immune systems. In short order, their gut microbiomes became similar.

Male black-finned goodeid or mexcalpique fish know what they want when they pick a female to mate with; they prefer them big-bellied and as orange as possible. Interestingly, females displaying these traits are the ones most able to produce more offspring that survive, two researchers from the National Autonomous University of Mexico have found. The study by Marcela Méndez-Janovitz and Constantino Macías Garcia is published in Springer's journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.

A new study finds that the presence of exotic fish (non-native, like Koi) in rivers does not alter the native fish response to  environmental pollution, which is a known stressor.    If the competition of non-native species is stressful, and stress is cumulative, then this is an unexpected result.

We all need a little humor!

One of the hard facts of life is that if you turn a hose on in your pond to add water and walk away, you will forget it and probably kill some fish. Yeah, this is not literally true but it hopefully gets the point across that if you leave a hose running in your pond, you'll almost certainly eventually forget it and kill some fish.

K.O.I. does not endorse products, but we do sometimes see good ideas that we want to pass along...

I read an educational post on a social network by a gentleman named James Story, from Alabama. I asked him if I could share it here, and he was gracious enough to do so. He posted how he physically inspects his Koi in the spring and fall, and explains why. His post is below.   I hope you find it helpful. Thank you James for sharing your Kio keeping to help others be better Koi keepers. 

Can a fish be depressed? This question has been floating around my head ever since I spent a night in a hotel across from an excruciatingly sad-looking Siamese fighting fish. His name was Bruce Lee, according to a sign beneath his little bowl.

Saw this in the pharmacy today - and it's EXCELLENT advice for Koi keepers!  It doesn't just apply to humans!

As Koi keepers, we believe that most Koi food has been developed with the nutritional needs of our Koi in mind.  But scientists are finding out that there may be a big difference in the nutritional needs of wild fish vs. fish kept in captivity, and perhaps the nutrients in Koi food will change in the near future to make it even more nutritionally beneficial.

Everyone has heard about using algae to replace carbon based oil and fuels, but did you know research is also taking place to use it as food for fish, replacing fish meal in many aquaculture feeds?

It turns out that carp react to very low frequency magnetic fields.

Clove oil is used as an anesthetic for many species of fish, including Koi.  Research was done on the effectiveness of clove oil as a muscle relaxant, as well as the timing of induction and recovery.

The entire surface of the fish should be thoroughly examined including the oral and opercular cavities, the nares, gills, and fins.

While the Australians are interested in the effects of the carp die-off caused by KHV, what is of interest to Koi keepers in the USA is the fact that KHV was documented to be around in the wild in the 1990's.

Photo by Carter Blochwitz


University of Minnesota researchers see a recent fish virus outbreak as a chance to combat an invasive species plaguing state lakes.

As of September 2017, this is the latest and greatest article available anywhere on KHV.

Filter maturation

Biological filters are not the only place in the koi pond and filter system where biological filtration takes place. Nitrifying bugs (nitrosomonas and nitrobacter) are prolific in nature, on land, everywhere in the aquatic environment, even in the air but it is only how they behave under water that is of interest to koi-keepers.

What is that dreaded black speck you ask? 


!If you're not havin' FUN, you're not doin' it right


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