“The trouble with quotes on the Internet is you never know if they are genuine.” —Abraham Lincoln
fellow mud ponders.
The story of the Lower Pond in brief, very brief.
After i began breeding fish in earnest, I felt a need for a breeding pond/fry nursery.
We dug a pond, quite deep and narrow, about 130 x 35 x 12 at the deep end without a natural water source. The pond was dug in my natural clay, I installed a dedicated well for flow-through water, but the pond refused to hold water.
we added a whole lot of bentonite, and after it was in, again, water leaked or more accurately, flushed through.
Finally, in 2011, we brought in 374 yards of blue clay. When it was strained, it was still about 300 yards. We put it in the pond and it made the pond very shallow, maybe 6 feet at the deep end, and although the pond when full, held held a lot less water than the original, the pond did not leak.
(If you want to see this series of trial and error , it's all here, starting with post #1.)
In 2012, koi chosen for "the ki shusui project" spawned in the basement. Eggs were brought down to the newly renovated Lower Pond and due to too much handling, inexperience and fluctuating air temps, only 350 fry survived. However, they were a dream spawn.
Of the 350, 28 were short-listed and that group of 28 wintered in the Lower Pond in 2013-2014. In October of 2014, the number was reduced again, this time to 7 potential oyagoi and they were returned to their Lower Pond for the winter.
Unfortunately, the pond had gotten even shallower due to the vigorous mud-mining of the 28 and I was worried about the 4' depth in a horrible winter - the worst in decades. Employed several methods of keeping water above 40F. It was a drag!
The chosen 7 didn't spawn - and I was glad as the females had lost their distinctive ki shusui markings and gone pretty grungy. We pulled the pond in August of this year - 2015 - and drained it so I could see what it really looked like.
As suspected, the koi had pulled as much mud off the sides as possible. I felt that we had about six extra feet of clay at the deep end and I wanted to recover some of that depth to make sure koi could survive winter without heroics.
Here we are, Oct. 2015. There are currently no fish in the pond.
Bulldozer Steve Mosher who has designed and dug this crazy pond several times, came out this week with two small bulldozers.
He didn't touch the shallow end of the pond because he has a hunch that the leak is somewhere in the shallow portion -- about 2' - 2 1/2' deep after the 2011 infusion of blue clay.
So, Steve only dug out from the middle of the pond to the deep end -- only removed two feet of clay, which is prudent and sufficient. He saved the clay, piled it up on the berm, so if we spring a leak again, we can knock the clay back in and call it a good try. If the pond holds water, we'll knock the clay over the berm and don't have to look at it!
Before: Empty pond this week.
After: Steve pulled excess clay out of the deep end.
I currently need my well water to fill the two active koi ponds, but when they are full, I'm gonna fill this Lower Pond and see if she holds.
If she holds, the new line-up of ki shusui oyagoi-to-be will have a crib and a nursery.
Last edited by Koigrl; 10-20-2015 at 10:25 PM.
Ki Shusui Project : 300k Challenge : 500k Build : Flock Spawn Jamboree : Our Ki Midori Champions
Ten minute video of Russ Peters sexing our future ki shusui oyagoi. : http://youtu.be/AhROs1cjC18
Updated for the 2016 Harvest: What is "ki shusui?" Short version http://www.kishusui.com
Twelve seconds that are the entire point of the last seven years!
If you're reading this, you're on Team Ki.
Kichi loves company. Max
Check this out if you have problems with seepage:
I do believe there's a US producer of a similar product too, I ordered from the aussies, and it took like 4 days to arrive.
Supposedly better and more reliable than bentonite. I haven't had the opportunity to use it yet as it's been dry, and this stuff is supposed to seep into an active leak and expand.
Waiting for rain or springtime, to apply and top up the last 2 feet in my mudpond.