The Summer Garden Show

For the past few years one of the most popular annual events in the club diary is the garden show. In the past two years Gary Pritchard (BKKS judge) has visited the members ponds and judged our koi with some fantastic prizes.

Guest Speakers

During the Monthly Club Nights (second Wednesday of the month) we have a number of guest speakers coming to visit us. Always some of the best attended nights and in 2014 we had Mark Davis, Kevin Ellis, Malcolm Green Lee Burroughs etc.

Club Days Out

The club members are looking to be out and about a lot during 2015. Please see some of the visits to koi shows and koi retailers.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

John Darwood's Pond - A Koi Mag Pond of The Month

John Darwood's pond was featured in Koi Mag a few years ago as their pond of the month, and Koi Mag have been very generous to allow us to present a copy of the article on our website.

Please follow this link to learn more about Koi Mag:

And here is the article laid out in jpeg format; click on each page to enlarge the view.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Thank you Koi Mag

Koi Mag have given me permission to publish my older articles on Kangei Koi Club's website.

One of our club members had their pond featured as a pond of the month in Koi Mag a few years ago, which we are also able to present.

I am very grateful to Koi Mag for providing this support to our club, and you will see the articles appearing on our website over the coming weeks.

If you want to learn more about Koi Mag, you can find them here:

Happy Koi Keeping

Adam Byer

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

A Timely Observation or E=MC²

By John Darwood

OK, so there is no disputing Einstein was a clever chap, and well ahead of his time, but he couldn’t have been a Koi Keeper or he would have understood the true meaning of his formulae.

What’s that, I hear you ask, well I shall tell you.

It starts in childhood (some of us can remember that far back), do you remember when you were a kid, it took for ever for your birthday to come around, or Christmas, that was another one, the waiting that had to be endured time passed so slowly. Summer holidays were another thing, 6 weeks during which you could do what you wanted and it went on forever.

Looking forward to your 16/17 Birthday when you could get that first provisional Driving Licence, and then when you got to 18 your first legal drink in a pub, what a milestone that was.

But that when relativity starts to kick in, you get married have kids and after that its downhill all the way, time starts to go quicker , it passes by in a blur , you wonder where it goes . You can remember the children being born, the dates are a bit obscure but the wife will always remind you.

And then the kids leave home, there is a void in your life, but for once you have a bit of money and you discover KOI.

Now you have entered another dimension  where commonsense goes out of the window and anything can be justified (quite easily). This new dimension has two distinct time zones.

For one half of the  year time flies by, you never have a minute, what with maintenance, pond visits, shows, adding that extra bit of kit. Where does the time go.

And then before you know where you are, wham your in the second time zone, now time drags, hours of endless darkness, melancholy, depression sets in, , and you start to get withdrawal symptoms. 

And then, its Christmas and you might get a few KOI related goodies to cheer you up,  thank god Malcolm Is open at Christmas I would go stir crazy

January comes along and you notice the darkness doesn’t last quite as long, its still cold and the fish aren’t feeding, and who wants to be out there in that weather anyway. 

Einstein wanted to travel in time where we want more of it, just think how much more enjoyment you could get out of the pond if it were Heated, or even better covered in!!!!!!!! Year round Koikeeping, it must be everyone’s dream.

The formula E=MC² was nearly right, if we transpose it to E=CM²  I will explain  E is enjoyment which we all get out of our hobby. C is commitment, we have to have this by the bucket load, as some of the pitfalls and setbacks can be very demoralising. M²  stands for twice as much money as you first thought the pond would cost.

The key to this of course is commitment  if it is  > 1 you get so much more enjoyment  for your money.

John Darwood

Friday, 9 March 2012

March Club Night - 14th March, Usual Venue

It's been a busy month for the club, with:

-our trip to the EMKC Winter Show (  Our web write up has pics of over 100 of the fish on show, and lots more general show pics as well.

We'll start our meeting reflecting on those events, and flicking through the many photos.

Gary Pritchard gave Kangei members a private tour of the vats at the winter show, sharing his knowledge and experience for over an hour and a half!  I have the whole audio recorded with with video exerts from some of the vats which I'll play at our meeting so everyone can benefit from it.  Everyone enjoyed it at the winter show and this is a second chance to hear some of it.

We're getting closer to spring, and I noted a 20 degree swing in air temperature over 24 hours a few weeks ago.

This is what my main pond looked like just a few weeks ago.

Our ponds are starting to warm up, and Bob has written a spring guide which you can see here - .

At the AGM, I think it was Kevin who suggested we try a "round the room" review of how we're all getting on with our ponds and I thought we could give this idea an outing to help share our experience between members.

I would also like us to consider our summer schedule, including pond visits, show visits, a photo show and I would like us to consider holding a Kangei summer garden party.

See you next week.

Happy koi keeping.

Kangei Koi Club, Chairman

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Member Profile John Darwood

By John

I’m a refugee from the war, the Cod War that is. I came down here from Grimsby in 1985. At that time, before limits were imposed Grimsby was the fishing capital of England. Now its all frozen food.

I was born on August the 9th1952 in Cleethorpes a place called the Croft Baker Maternity Hospital. Not that I remember much about it. In fact it was not until 20 years later that I visited it when my niece was born there. It was a beautiful old place, individual oak panelled rooms and attention to detail, a far cry from today’s conveyor belt Hospitals.

We lived in Grimsby for a while and then moved to a small village called Ulceby.

Over the next few years I worked for my Father and we built 50 or so Houses. I married the present Mrs Darwood in 1971 and we had two boys.

By the time I was 33 my back had given in and I was told to give up bricklaying or risk being in a wheelchair, no contest really.

I retrained by being chosen for a 12month fulltime Clerk of Works course which entailed lodging in Doncaster.

About this time I had built my first little goldfish pond so the seed was set.

After qualifying as a Clerk of Works I just came further South with every interview before being offered a post with 3 Rivers District Council in Rickmansworth.

Initially we were to buy a place at Tring but that fell through and we ended up at Abbots Langley near Watford.

A surveyors Job came up and I was lucky enough to get it so it was back to college again for another qualification.

Time passed by kids got married, the youngest went to university and all of a sudden I had a bit of time and money

In 1999 I built a conservatory and thought it would be nice to hear the sound of running water in there. I installed a small freestanding Fibreglass pond and built a small rock face and waterfall, inevitably a few small Koi were introduced and they grew!!!!!

The plan was coming together, I convinced my wife Val they would need somewhere bigger and built an 8x4x4 lined plywood box, which served for another couple of years.

Eventually I decided if I was going to do it as a proper hobby I had better learn to do it properly.

I joined the BKKS and bought the Interpret Encyclopedia of Koi, and then found out about the old Chiltern Koi Club.

I joined them in December 2001 and spent a lot of time just listening, visiting other ponds and gaining a bit of knowledge and experience.

I set the pond out with a hose like everyone says, but the trick is tell the wife you will build inside the hose and then do it on the outside!!!!!!

I got the digger in July 2001 the pond was a 225 mm hollow block construction filled with concrete. Being in the trade none of this was a problem and I was ready to have it fibreglassed in September 02, ( I wasn’t rushing)

The filter house was constructed in September 02 and the Filters installed in December of that year.

The pond was finally filled in April 03, 6500gallons which is inclusive of 1000 gallons in the filters.

Equipment comprises 2 Midi Vortexes, 2, 3 bay midi filters all supplied by Paragon Plastics, (John Bulkley) . There are 2 bottom drains 100mm , 2 Sequence 750 pumps, surface skimmer with Oase 10,000 pump 2, 55 wattUVs 2 Secoh air pumps.

The filter materials are brushes in Bay 1 Kaldnes in Bay2 and Jap Matt in 3.

The fish have been added over the years starting with

Bill McGurk at Tewin

Malcolm Green at Koi Water Garden

Steve at Avenue Fisheries

And M&J Koi in Scunthorpe

In March 2009 I featured as the pond of the month in the 10th anniversary issue of Koi Magazine.

That about it really, during my time at Chiltern I served as Vice Chairman, and Treasurer, With Kangei I hope to take more of a back seat role, officially that is.

I am always available for Pond Visits etc and if I can be of any help to anyone please feel free.

See you at the next meeting!


Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Are You Ready For Spring?

Are You Ready For Spring? by Bob Grinyer
Bobs covered Koi Pond
Unfortunately, it’s far too easy to get caught out as spring approaches and the temperatures begin to rise in our ponds.

Our fish begin to get more active and look for food – so we feed them more.

Consequently, the Ammonia and Nitrite levels increase as a result, but the friendly bacteria in our filters are neither numerous or lively enough to cope with the extra load.

The levels continue to increase as our beloved koi get more active and we continue to feed even more – but all we’re really doing is creating a poor environment for our koi to live in and so they get stressed.

Sadly, nature has determined that harmful bacteria that thrive in any detritus and mulm in our ponds and filters will become active and proliferate at lower temperatures than our koi’s immune systems become effective.

Add to that the fact that we haven’t maintained our ponds and filters very frequently during the winter months (be honest, we’re all guilty of that) and you can see that the baddies have the ideal conditions to gain the upper hand – unless we ensure we’re ahead of the game!

What can we do about it?

Knowing the problems we may experience may help us identify them if they do occur. However, I’m a great believer in prevention being better than cure, so what can we do to reduce the likelihood of problems occurring?
First and foremost, we need to give our ponds and filters a good spring clean to get rid of any build up of detritus that will provide ideal breeding grounds for harmful bacteria.

UV sterilisers can be effective at dealing with harmful bacteria in our ponds – but only if they are clean, working and have effective bulbs fitted. Check your UV is working, clean the quartz sleeve and, if your bulb is more than 6 months old, consider fitting a new one.

Resist the temptation to feed too much too soon. Check your water parameters regularly to ensure Ammonia and Nitrite levels remain within acceptable parameters and that your pH remains stable. If you haven’t got a water test kit, or the one you have is out of date, buy a new one now!

Be vigilant. Spend more time watching your koi so that you identify any problems at an early stage and can take action before a minor problem becomes a crisis.

Ensure you have sufficient pond treatments ready to deal with any eventuality. Check that they are within their use by dates and replace any that are out of date. – and hope that they also turn out to be a waste of money because they’re not needed!!

Salt is a very useful treatment to help reduce nitrite toxicity. However, koi are fresh water fish and should not be kept in salt water for long periods. Also, once added to a pond, salt concentrations can only be reduced by carrying out massive water changes. And remember, if you need to treat for parasites, the presence of salt in the pond will restrict your choice of treatments – especially those containing formalin! Therefore the use of salt to reduce nitrite  toxicity should only be used as a last resort.

Remember – don’t add any treatments or medications to your pond unless you are certain you know what the problem is, that it’s the correct treatment for the problem and that you know the correct dose for your pond. Adding a treatment just because you have it to hand and/or because you want to do something rather than nothing, may only add to the stress your koi are suffering and delay administering the correct treatment.

Finally, don’t forget - as the pond temperature increases the amount of oxygen the water can hold reduces! Also, if you have plants in your pond, they will use up more oxygen as they grow – i.e. during the night when you’re not around to notice!. So, check your air pumps are working, clean the air filters and change the diaphragms if necessary.

As Lord Baden Powel once said “Be Prepared!”

Bob Grinyer

Monday, 5 March 2012

Mark and Gaz Pond Build - Part One

The following article was originally published on Gaz and Marks Garden Blog - Alternative Eden as The Big Pond Build so far.

As regular followers of our blog will know we have been building a koi pond over the last 18 months. We have posted a selection of photos as work has progressed, but with the start of a new year we thought it would be a good time to explain the project so far.

We had previously built a small pond, that had originally been envisaged as a goldfish pond, however it was large enough for a few Koi and that sparked a keen interest in these elegant and beautiful fish. That original pond had various filter upgrades applied to ensure we could provide a good standard of water, but we knew that at some point we would want to build a larger pond.

Spending quite a lot of time debating the style and layout for the new pond, the design was sketched, tweaked and refined several times over the winter of 2009-10. I still have some of those sketches, made on the hotel note paper from a trip to Madeira late 2009.

As winter is not the best time to start digging out a pond we waited for the following spring. When the usual spring tidy up and planting had been completed we turned our attention to the new project. By which time we had the layout worked out in quite a lot of detail, aproximately a 20x10x6foot rectangular formal pond, with a curved path and raised beds leading to a seating area.
At the far end of the pond we planned to build a filtration house which would also screen off a garden utility area with 2 greenhouses and coldframes.
Burning garden waste at the start of the project.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Kangei Koi Club at The EMKC Winter Show 2012

The Winter Show

The East Midlands Koi Club (EMKC) put on their 3rd winter show which is now one of the main stays on the koi calender.

Several members wanted to visit the show so we coordinated to visit on the Sunday and share lifts to make it easier and cheaper for members to attend.

A koi show is basically where hobbyists bring their koi to the event and exhibit them in a vat.  The English style of show is for each vat to hold only one person's koi.  The koi are categorised by size and variety and when that's done, qualified judges spend a day doing the judging and assign prizes to koi and owners' dreams are made and broken.  Some prizes are not selected by the judges, such as friendship awards and the jumbo award.

This was our second club excursion this year, and here is a brief recollection of the weekend and the members' trip.