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Koi Club of San Diego

Volume 23 Issue 2



February 2023


by Lenore Wade

First and foremost, I want to extend an enormous “thank you” to Dick and Bonita for hosting our January meeting. For those of you who missed it, I am sorry. The Christmas decorations were still up for us to see and enjoy. I loved the Christmas tree that made snow, the tree decorated with ornaments only from Africa, and really, really loved the life-like reindeer which was so big and cuddly. Can you remember when you used real dishes and silverware at a meeting pot-luck?  Bonita trusted us with her treasures outside around the pond. It was definitely a meeting I will remember.

Our guest speaker came down with the flu (which turned out to be Covid). Within a short time of finding out we had no speaker, Matt and Jill Rhoades created a “Jeopardy” type competition about koi. He rewarded the contestants with candy kisses. It was great fun with a lot of laughter.

The now healthy, Tony Martinez, will be the guest speaker at our February 12th meeting. He will fill us in on his adventures in Japan while learning about and playing with koi. The meeting is in Eastern El Cajon, at the home of Ben and Cheryl Adams. You will find it easy to find and not far off I 8. Check out the Ponder Profile article for more information.

The steering committee is working hard to get our club back on track so that, once again we will be a not for profit organization. Remember, we exist to educate people about koi and the joy of playing with little fish. Of course, the team works hard to help those members who are having pond problems or need advice or words of encouragement.

We need to find a Tax Professional who will help us by making sure everything is done in an acceptable way. (We all know that dealing with  government agencies can be more than frustrating!) If you know of some one who might fill our needs, please let one of the club officers know.

On top of that, February is coming quickly and Greg Ruth, our membership chair is retiring. It is neither a difficult nor time consuming job. HELP!!!!

 At our board meeting, Jack told us that on the next day, he would be introducing 3 new koi into the pond at the Japanese Friendship Gardens. Yesterday, was free Tuesday at Balboa Park and I was there to answer questions and talk about the koi. It was pretty easy to pick out 2 of the 3 fish. I knew there had not been a Platinum koi before, and I know what a Kujaku looks like because I have one. Finally, with the help of a member who was visiting I figured out the third new fish.  It is beautiful, but have no idea of what kind it is. I may be your president, but my knowledge of koi names is minimal…my brain does not like to remember even though I have been told dozens of times. (My husband tried for 25 years to teach me pinochle, but my brain never caught on!)

In case you think I am joking, my koi field guide is at my side right now. Otherwise, I wouldn’t even know the correct spelling.

I hope to see you at our next meeting. If you have ideas or questions, please send me an e-mail (


We are bringing in "Classifieds" section to the Newsletter!

Do you have any pond related items you don't need? Post them in our Classifieds section. 

Ad prices are $3 for Members and $30 for Non-Members.

Contact Julia at

February Koi Club of San Diego Meeting

February 12th, 2023

Social hour - 12:00 noon - 1:00 pm

Meeting begins at 1 pm

Potluck, bring your own chair

If you have any koi related issues or questions, bring them to the meeting! 


Pond lights pros and cons, what is their effect on fish sleep patterns? 

Please bring your answers to the next meeting!


Ben and Cheryl Adams 

8263 East County Drive

El Cajon, CA 92021



Tony Martinez

Tony will share with us his impressions of the trip to visit koi breeders in Japan.

Meeting Book Auction!

There will be two books auctioned off at the meeting. Come for a chance to score a great deal on one of these books.

Advanced Koi Care  by Nick Saint Erne, DVM — original price $65

Koi Health and Disease #2  by Eric L. Johnson, DVM — original price $37.95


As announced at our August meeting, we are looking for a member who can help us at the Japanese Friendship Garden on Monday mornings around 8:00am. Before there was a koi pond in the upper Garden area there was grass. That’s all. We suggested for years that we would take care of the filter system if they would build a koi pond which would become the central jewel to the Garden (there was no canyon Garden at the time). Norm Meck of our club designed the pond (with a few modifications) and Voila! we have a koi pond. We have been taking care of and cleaning the filter system since 1999 really as a community service to Balboa Park. We would appreciate any help even if you can’t commit to every Monday. Being able to lift 35-40 pounds is necessary to open each section of the deck where the filter is located. AND you get to pick the brain of our KHA/Show Entrant Chairman, Koi Jack, who has been overseeing the fishes health since 2005 along with our Membership Chairman/Show Vendor Chairman, Greg Ruth.
If interested, call me and leave a message at 619-200-4146 and/or email me at

Linda Pluth
Japanese Friendship Garden Liaison

Koi Club of San Diego Ponder Profile

by Lenore Wade, photography by Bill Newell

Ben and Cheryl Adams

When I coordinated my visit with photographer, Bill Newell and the Adams Family (couldn’t resist!) I had a rough Idea of where I was going. I googled the address and set off. In seven minutes, I was parked in front of their house. Poor Bill had an hour’s drive from Escondido.

When entering the front door, I was overwhelmed by the large paintings on the living room walls. They are so big and beautiful and the stories behind them are even more interesting. Cheryl will delight in explaining, if you ask. Inside the house is Cheryl’s world. (I loved the 2 staircases that go to the second level.)

The backyard is definitely Ben’s world. They have lived in their home for about 18 years and Ben has revised his pond about 3 times. In fact, as he told me, fish and water have been a big part of his life starting in Utah where he was born. He and Cheryl have lived in 4 different properties and all of them had ponds, except the condo. When first moving into the present house, 15 of his fish lived in the swimming pool while he built the first pond. They weren’t thrilled at having to move into a smaller pond.

The backyard is filled with color and cheerful creations, as well as the pond and the pool. He pointed out his garden which runs the length of his property. It starts out with cactus and transitions to succulents, to veggies, to flowers as it reaches the street. Their property buts up to a granite  

mountain which loves sending unwanted stuff into his yard. It is a constant challenge for Ben to outsmart the weather gods.

When first looking into the pond of beautiful fish, the eye notices something unusual running through the middle of it. While trying to make the pond deeper, Ben met up with a very large pipe running through the yard, he couldn’t move it, so just made it one of his creations.

Ben worked for the City of Coronado for 27 years where he held a variety of positions in maintenance, the street department, public works, and his beloved sign shop while he climbed the ladder of responsibility.  He prides himself on the creation of the city’s Star Park Circle.

After listening to him explain how it was built, I want to explore it myself.

Cheryl, a native Californian was born in Fullerton, but has been in San Diego since the age of 10. When she first met Ben at a Parents Without Partners Dance, she didn’t like him at all. She said, “He had long hair and a pony tail, and was rude, but was a good dancer!” As we know, first impressions are often misleading, as they have been married for 28 years. As a loving blended family, they share 8 kids, 16 grands and 2 great grands.  They stay active in each other’s lives.

Ben is an avid hunter and fisherman. When pressed for his “favorite”, after much thought, he said “hunting.” He totally enjoys sharing his love of fishing with his 11 year-old grandson who recently caught a “whopper” while out on a boat.

Their Golden Retriever, Roxy, is very much a part of the family and totally enjoys the run of the yard. Cocoa, their beautiful Ragdoll cat, stays inside and welcomes all the rubs and cuddles she can get.

Having a large manicured yard is demanding. It takes both of them to keep it that way. Being a woman, Cheryl notices the little things usually a bit quicker than Ben. He prides himself with keeping up with Cheryl’s “Honey-do list”.

I hope all of you can come to the meeting and see another beautiful pond which makes our club meetings so special.




Wednesday, February 8th at 7:00 pm

(earlier if you are ordering food)


2691 Navajo Road

El Cajon, CA 92020 

View in Google Maps


John & Patrick Aganon-Riedling


Lenore Wade

Linda Schell-Pluth



by "Koi Jack" Chapman

Aeromonas Alley

by Koi Jack

Well spring is just around the corner so time to update my last article on about one of the most commonly encountered koi bacterial infections known as Hole in the side (ulcer) or more properly referred to as Aeromonas Hydrophilia.   This bacterium is an opportunist pathogen that usually takes advantage of injured, sick or otherwise immune weakened koi.  For Aeromonas Alley a key factor about what’s going on in your pond and your koi is what is the pond water TEMPERATURE - and I like to know this both in the early morning and late afternoon.   Just be glad we live here and not where it gets really cold for the winter months – can you imagine having to deal with snow and ice?  However, it is important to know how low your pond temps get and for how long during each of our winter seasons.   One of the things you need to be mindful of is the range of temperatures in which your koi are most vulnerable to what triggers bacterial infections again most often caused by Aeromonas and WHY it’s happening.  Think pond temp and what’s going on in my bio-filter and my koi’s immune system.  Yes, it’s a combination of factors.  First Aeromonas bacteria is inactive at 39F and starts to become active at 40F – with each degree to about 60F it becomes exponentially more active as in reproduction.  While at the same time, our koi only start to improve their immune system after 55F.  For the science nerd in us all, this is measured by the presence of white blood cells (WBC) in a blood sample and there is a reported case study in the literature that showed zero WBC in some koi at below 55F.  So between 40F and 55F, we got the bad bugs multiplying while the koi’s immune system is close to nonexistent.  To make matters worse it has been reported that the bacteria that typically infect our koi thrive in harder water and at higher pH’s (hello southern California).   Before you get upset – this is one of Mother Nature’s ways to weed out the weakest for the survival of the species.  (Ref: MN rule book page 3) LOL.   Additionally, their numbers severally increase with accumulated detritus and mulm on the bottom of your pond to flourish and – in the converse – their numbers are GREATLY reduced in clean ponds with goooooooood water quality and proper circulation!!!  The temperature zone of most volubility to Aeromonas infections is 47F to 62/63F – what we like to call Aeromonas Alley.  Note: At lower pond temps your koi are less active and sit on the bottom more leading to increased contact opportunity for body and fin rot from Aeromonas infections.   Seventy-seven or 78F is generally accepted and been reported as the optimum temperature for koi metabolic efficiency - as well as the temp at which their immune system will be close if not at max.  It is believed that the koi’s immune system is at about 25% efficiency when they emerge from Aeromonas Alley, and attain 50% around 70F.  Now at the same time, the bacteria in your biofilter is becoming more active to handle the pond nitrogenous waste that will increase with feeding, decomposing organic matter and increased koi activity.  Nitrosomonas bacteria activity, which converts ammonia NH3 to nitrites NO2, is reported to be at or close to zero at 40F and will reach 50% capacity at 60F and at 100% efficiency at 75F.  At the same time Nitrobacter bacteria converts NO2 to nitrates NO3 (to complete the nitrogen cycle) but at a slower pace being reported as not active till about 60F but also reaching full activity at 75F.   A word of caution for us in southern California -- with us not having to deal with real winter conditions, Aeromonas will most likely continue to populate (be active) in our ponds during the typical winter months (especially this past winter – hell as I up-date this article on Jan 16 at 10AM it is 62F and my pond is 58 F and  BEWARE if you start to feed your koi too early and too high in protein – it will exit your koi as undigested fish poop (mulm on bottom of pond) – OTHERWISE known as the best food possible for the bad bacteria at the worst time!!!  Yes – as I like to say POOP WATCH TIME.  All the above is just another good reason to remember to keep your weekly water changes at 10 to 15 percent and periodically check your water quality for NH3, NO2, NO3, KH, and O2.  Spring is the most stressful time of the year for our koi and some pond owners alike.  Got to have a plan and be especially observant of your pond and your koi at this time of year.  This article was intended to sensitize the reader to the conditions existing within your koi and your pond during early spring as it relates to Aeromonas Alley. 

r/koi jack 

Final Note:  For those of you that wish I would write a KHA article on ___________.     

Please let me know by email at          


Notes from Koi Club of San Diego Steering Committee Meeting

Wednesday, December 14, 2022 by Tamsie Pierce

Members Present in person:

 Matt Rhoades

Jill Rhoades

Jack Chapman

Lenore Wade

Ben Adams

Scotty Yee

Linda Pluth

Al Pierce

Julia Schriber

Tamsie Pierce 

Will Vukmanic

Called to order at 7:00 PM.

President Lenore Wade praised the general meeting this past Sunday at the home of Dick & Bonita Long as a good meeting and well attended.  She asked for some cards pre-printed with a koi on the front to use as note cards for the club.

We have had contact from ZNA So. Cal, whose show will be on March 18-19 and they will be hosting the first annual ZNA Western District show. Our members have been invited to participate in the show. After a brief discussion it was agreed to put the text of the contact in the newsletter inviting our members to participate.

There has also been contact from Gabriel Vega who has fish for sale due to downsizing his pond. It was suggested that we run his request in the newsletter as an ad.

Dr. Jessie Sanders, author of “How to Kill Your Koi” is interested in a booth at the show to sell her book.  As there is no show for us to offer a booth, it was suggested that she, too, take an ad in the newsletter to reach our membership.

There was a question of lights in a koi pond, which raised an issue of questions from members as possible genesis of a meeting program to answer such questions submitted before the meeting.

Also the availability of oyster shells to be used to buffer the water pH, and where they could be purchased.

VP Program & Venue reported that meetings:

February will be hosted by Ben and Cheryl Adams with Tony Martinez talking about his trip to Japan

March meeting will be hosted by Lenore Wade.

April meeting will be hosted by a the Schmidts of Scripps Ranch.
May  meeting will be hosted by Jeff Kane of Carlsbad with guest speaker Ben Plonski owner of Laguna Koi of Laguna Beach.
June meeting will be at Matt Rhoades’ home with speaker Michael Brooks.
July meeting may be in Bonita at the home of Terry and Sam Seat.

Treasurer reported some concerns about dues. Should they be raised to $64 per year per family to help balance the treasury? There was considerable discussion of concerns on such a raise. The question of a grant to help with club costs (Storage) as well as the costs of ads in the newsletter.

Our new by-laws spell out steps on approval of tax filing to re-instate our non-profit status. We are looking for the name of a tax professional to help with the non-profit status. Lenore will include the request in her President’s column.

Japanese Friendship Garden will be adding 3 new fish to the pond. Jack and Linda are still looking for volunteers to man the pond and answer questions from the public during open hours.

Koi Health Advisor - Jack Chapman- has received questions about over feeding during the cold winter months, fluke and parasites. Also concerns on disease (particularly aeromonas) due to winter.

Old Business - Matt plans to add a blog entry to the website. AKCA (Associated Koi Clubs of America) has formally closed its doors and donated items to our club. The AKCA shirts will be added to the monthly drawing and the books will be auctioned off at the meetings. Two books per month, titles to be listed in the Newsletter with a short summary of the focus of the book, as well as a listing of the cover price of the books.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:25 PM

Koi Person of The Year 2022 Lenore Wade



President: Lenore Wade

First VP-Program: Open

Second VP-Venue: Matt Rhoades

Secretary: Tamsie Pierce

Treasurer: Jill Rhoades




Show Chairman 2023: Matt Rhoades

Newsletter editor/

Webmaster: Julia Schriber

Membership Chairman/

Vendor Chairman: Greg Ruth

Koi Health Advisor/

Librarian: Jack Chapman

Club Historian: Dr. Galen Hansen

Property Manager: Al Pierce

Correspondence Secretary: Shirley Elswick

Japanese Friendship Garden Liaison: Linda Pluth


Koi Health Advisor/

Water Quality: Jack Chapman

Program Suggestions: Will Vukmanic

To Host a Meeting: Lenore Wade

To Submit an Article: Linda Pluth

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