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.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

August 2014 Club Night at Tim Morphy's pond

As the third and final summer evening club night to a members pond, on the 13 August 2014, we visited Tim Morphy's pond and new growing on house.

As with the other two members pond visits this year, this night was also really well attended with almost thirty members coming along to enjoy the great pond and hospitality of Tim and Sue.

 

When Tim originally bought the house in Luton, the garden had a very distinctive slope towards the house. As a very clever bit of design Tim built a pond with raised walls including a window (above) that were about 4ft above the level at the back of the house. Having these raised walls enabled the top of the pond to become the basis for a new level garden.

 
Tim's first pond was a rectangle that was 5.5ft deep, block built, with a bottom drain and fibreglassed hold about 3k gallons. Whereas a number of members build the first pond, change it completely for a second pond and by the third / fourth build get the to right place, Tim didn't do that. During 2013, he went through huge addition to extend the pond. He achieved this by adding another rectangular pond at a right angle onto the corner of the existing pond nearest to the house. I have to say it worked extremely well the water clarity (not everything I know) is superb.


 

The current filtration on Tim's pond is two bottom drains and a skimmer into the oase drum and then through a moving bed box filter. There are two outputs from the moving bed filter, one being pumped over three home made showers and the other being pumped through a UV then over another three home made showers (the black round drums on the wall below).

 

This setup works well but Tim is concerned his current home made showers don't have the drop to gas off thoroughly. To address this he has recently purchased a 4-tier bakki shower with bottom weir exit that currently sits on the pond wall outside (top of the picture below).

 

In the first half of this year Tim spent a significant amount of time, effort and money (I imagine) on a new growing on house. He did the majority of the building work himself to sensibly keep a control of the funding side. He managed to purchase the double glazed windows and door second hand (but in perfect condition) from eBay which was a fantastic saving. Interestingly Tim is not directly heating the pond water but is instead heating the room which in turn will raise the water temperature because he believes this to be more efficient.

The filtration setup for this growing on pond is a bottom drain, into a gravity fed eazypod complete (with UV) and then pumped over a shower (top middle of picture).

I feel this 2k gallon growing tank is a great addition to Tim's koi keeping hobby because it allows koi to develop in here for longer before being selected for the main pond or moved on.

 

A huge thanks to Tim and Sue for opening up their house, garden and pond to the members of the Kangei club. It was another superb night!

 

Our next meeting will be back in the main club house on the 10 September 2014 starting at 19:45. There will be a very interesting presentation by Bernie Woollands on the "Origins of Nishikigoi" which is a great way to start back into the club meetings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, 8 August 2014

July 2014 Club Night at Paul Randall's Pond and Gardens

So on a bright and sunny 09 July 2014, the Kangei members visited Paul Randall's pond and gardens. This wasn't just a pond visit (three outdoors and two growing-on tanks) because Paul's collection of succulents is one of, if not the best in the UK. From conversations during the evening I also understand he is also looking to be awarded the "national collection for succulents".

 

​So to start, some history about Paul's koi keeping hobby. He began his fishkeeping as a young lad and happily tripped along for many years with simple ponds as he moved from home to home. Somewhere along the line Paul became intrigued with (in his words) the "wallet-sapping hobby of koi keeping". From speaking with him, it's appears the numerous and mysterious filters / gadgets available at his 'next door garden centre' was also a big draw.

After this initial excitement, Paul dug a hole (to be his first koi pond) and then returned to the koi section of his local shop to buy everything he needed in one simple visit. I was only then that the total complexity of the challenge ahead revealed itself. Amusingly his initial visit resulted in "this is going to cost more money for what I want than I thought". Following a few weeks of planning and thought there was a second visit and the initial setup including pipework, slide valves and manifold (!!), vortex, biological filter, media and uv was bought; so he came away with what he considered to be the full monty.

Encouraged by his experience of his newly build 1.5k gallon butyl pond, filtration and some very nifty koi, Paul joined a koi club (Chiltern Section of the BKKS). As is always the case visiting other member's ponds was a real eye-opener. The setups were all different, they appeared to have huge fish with very well stocked biology labs plus a hospital operating theatres. This was the sign of things to come.

 

Since moving to Paul and Loretta's new home seven years ago they have been busy. The main koi pond was build two years ago and is a lovely example of a raised pond with the window. His filtration works well although he considers it old fashioned by today's standards. It consists of two aerated bottom drains with each one feeding an independent large vortex and nexus 310 combination. There is additionally a gravity fed eazypod on the skimmer line. The one thing I did notice was the significant number of pumps (five) and air pumps (seven I think). As you will see below everything is extremely organised (there is even a 2.5m air pump shelf!!).

Paul also one grand champion and best koi collection in last years Kangei Garden Show so he is certainly doing many things well.



As well as the main pond, Paul has a fantastic growing on house. This large chalet style building has two tanks each with full frontal windows that look absolutely superb. I also admired his fully stocked floor to ceiling treatment shelf so he is definitely prepared for any health problems.

 

 

 

 

 

Just beyond the growing on house, at the far end of the garden, there is also a large garden pond accompanied by duck house and island.

 

 

As if looking after the ponds wasn't enough Paul also has a glorious garden that is full of succulent plants from all around the world. They really are something to behold and the effort required to dig them up before the winter, place them in the numerous greenhouses and then replant them after the last frosts in spring is inspiring. I hope the following pictures of the gardens and planting do it justice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our next monthly meeting on the 13 August 2014 will be a visit to Tim Morphy's ponds and new growing on house. The full address will be emailed out to all members. This is definitely one I'm looking forward to.