Saturday, October 3, 2009

Blog Fodder Weekend Edition

Bravo Working Party – "Away the Bravo Working Party, Muster in #3 Auxiliary Room compartment 2-100-3-L"

That is to say Dear Readers that I will be very busy today working in my basement (deck 2, one floor down from the main deck). I am setting up a large aquarium for the Koi Fry that have thus far survived living out in a large 25 gallon pot. The recent low overnight temperatures signal time to move the babies inside. The monster Koi are just fine out in the 2000 gallon (estimated) pond. It is deep enough at the one end for them to stay out over the winter even when the surface is completely frozen over. I put out an air pump to keep the water oxygenated. They have done fine for maybe 15 years.

Below: The two 'monstors' are the white Butterfly Koi under the Lilly pad leaves and this big yellow Show. They are both in the range of 20 inches and might weigh in close to 10 pounds each. You can see in the right hand picture the Butterfly with what they call a 'Snake' Koi following and two of the surviving little guys. We have 4 of the Snakes and they are pretty big as well.

The Fry are new for us, seems the Koi would not breed with a full pond. Last year about this time we had maybe 80 fish out there. 74 of them were these fancy Fanfish, they were a kind of goldfish but with huge tails. But, we were visited over the span of maybe two months (October and November last year) by this pair of Blue Heron's. They proceeded to eat everything in the pond that would fit down their throats. They cleaned us out. I finally got a net up over the entire pond and the genocide ended. We were left with the 6 large Koi (and I am talking huge ones) and 6 all black 'others'. They were all black because they were juveniles and I don't think the Heron's could see them.

Below: you can see the net that I have stretched over and around the entire pond. From ground up to 8 feet and all the way around I have full coverage.

So, I think with such a small population the big Koi decided to get busy and laid some eggs. I let them have their fun and then pulled strings of eggs and put them in a 25 gallon pot that I used as an isolation pot. Whenever I bring floating plants or tadpoles or frog in from other locations I put them in here first. So it became an incubator and all summer a nursery. I don't know how many have survived the summer, counting is problematic. There were thousands that hatched and I think they eat each other when they are small. I'll know later today when I drain the pot and transfer the survivors to the aquarium.

Below: The waterfall hides a 120 gallon stock tank that I use as the biological filter system. I made and installed it two years ago and it has reduced maintenance for me immensely and has improved water quality a lot as well.

The aquarium I have had for 20 years, just never actually used it as an aquarium. Until this week it held a collection of balsa wood and model airplane building materials. The material is left over stuff from SN1 who was an avid RC modeler and RC pilot. I will put water into the aquarium for the first time today. Should be fun.

Below: The new digs for the Koi. This is in my basement which is only partially finished.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

FYI: For the land lubbers out there, the 'Bravo Working Party' is called away on-board ship when some nasty work needs being done. If we had a cargo drop, a replenishment at sea or if a store room needed emptying the Bravo Working Party would be called out. Never good duty.


Buck said...

I can think of worse ways to spend a weekend! :D

Nice pond ya got there, Jimmy.

virgil xenophon said...

Picture of that tank looks EXACTLY same size as one we had in my sons room when he was growing up.

JimmyT said...

Buck, I hear ya and we get a live Flyers game too!!

VX, its a 125 gallons, heavy as all get out!!

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Bag Blog said...

That is a pretty amazing pond for a NM boy. Here in OK, we call our pond a "tank" and we fish in it and can put our kayaks in it. My husband said I had to quit calling the gulley an "arroyo."

JimmyT said...

Lou, Thanks for the prop's, The ole OK definition at work, wish I had a pond big enough to go out in a kayak and fish!! Did I ever tell you I had a Girlfriend move to OK? It's a long sad story. I should tell it some day.

BT: Jimmy T sends.