Koi Club of San Diego

Volume 23 Issue 6



June 2023


by Lenore Wade

The weather was perfect for our May meeting in Carlsbad. Jeff and Donna Kane went out of their way to make us all feel welcome. Ben from Laguna Koi made a nice presentation for our program. He shared video from his recent trip to Japan. It was 

enlightening to learn what a large and busy event takes place with all of the people involved. 

Also, thanks to Ben for bringing 6 small fish which were gratefully taken home by the people with the winning tickets. A small donation can reap great rewards. 

It was a welcome sight to have Linda Pluth back at the meeting after her recent hospital stay. Also, long time member, Shirley Elswick, told us of the passing of her husband a few weeks before the meeting. We are happy that she knows we are all “family” and share in her loss.

June is the month that the new slate of officers will be announced. I would love to receive a phone call from members offering to serve on the board. I have agreed to serve one more year as president. Jill Rhoades has offered to stay in her position as Treasurer, and Tamsie Pierce will return as our Secretary.  So, with knowing those jobs are filled, we only need to have a VP of Program and a VP of Venue. Neither position is terribly demanding. Please call me, or e-mail me if you have questions about the requirements.

The Japanese Friendship Garden is in the middle of re-decking all of the wood decking above the filters due to years of wood-rot.  In recent months, the Garden, under the supervision of Koi Jack, has replaced 2 pumps for the Koi pond. The pond was built in 1999, and one original pump is still doing its job. Jack reported that one of our beautiful koi is undergoing treatment for medical problems. The Tancho has been receiving anti-bacterial shots in hopes of restoring her to good health. When the deck work is completed, members will be needed for a “fish round-up” to remove the unwanted fish from the last spawning from the pond. An e-blast will be sent out to announce the date and recruit workers.

The next meeting on June 11th will be at the home of Matt and Jill Rhoades in Point Loma.  Their large pond and beautiful fish are always a joy to see. The program planned for the meeting will be a little different than the usual. It will be a hands-on information session that you will not want to miss. I am sure that Matt, always the teacher, will educate us all about caring for our fish.

I look forward to seeing you at Matt and Jill’s house on the 11th. Remember goodies for the table are always welcome. I, also, hope to hear from some of you offering to serve on the board next year (619) 442-0202.


Please join us for lessons on koi capture, diagnosis, treatment, and more!

June Koi Club of San Diego Meeting

June 11th, 2023

Social hour - 12:00 noon - 1:00 pm

Meeting begins at 1 pm

Potluck, bring your own chair


Jill and Matt Rhoades

3130 Elliott Street

San Diego, CA 92106






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. 
If interested, call me and leave a message at 619-200-4146 and/or email me at lpluth@cox.net.

Linda Pluth
Japanese Friendship Garden Liaison


This pretty fishy is looking for a new home!

This koi was given to a family with a tiny pond. The family would like to adopt him/her out to someone with more space.

If you are interested in helping out, please contact Luana at lubbers@cox.net.

The fish is located in Chula Vista


Koi Club of San Diego Ponder Profile

by John Svelan, photography by Bill Newell

Matt and Jill Rhoades

Matt, Jill, Cole and their two dogs reside in the San Diego community of Loma Portal; part of the Point Loma community.  The quaint home in a quiet upscale neighborhood was built in 1926 by an early San Diegan doctor/businessman.  Matt is a fourth-grade teacher at Crown Point Junior Music Academy, Jill is a private contractor accountant and a pretty recent admirer of koi.  She determined, when she started dating such a koi-kichi guy, that it would be beneficial for her to take an interest in koi. 

Matt attended his first Koi Club of San Diego meeting in 2003 at the home of Norm Meck and immediately caught the koi bug.  Since then, he has been extremely active in the club by serving as Club President, Vice President of both Program and Venue and now holds the record as a fourth time Koi Show Chairman!   Matt was also Koi Person of the Year in 2010!  Growing up in Mission Beach, when he wasn’t rescuing people from the surf as a lifeguard (who was often mistaken for “The Hoff”) he spent lots of time in the water surfing, standup paddle boarding and now competes in open ocean canoe racing.  Matt started out on his fish venture with a 15-gallon aquarium, a few early koi pond attempts and as you can see from Bill Newell’s beautiful photographs, he now has a beautiful and high-tech Dream Pond! 

The 16,000 gallons, 8’ deep concrete dream pond was designed and built by Steve “Buck” Buckles with help from Matt and a few sub-contractors.   The pond is equipped with the latest technology that includes a Profi Rotary Drum Eco 6560 mechanical filter, 8 large Bakki showers loaded with ceramic media serve as the biological filter, two ¾ hp Artesian pumps, an Aqua Viper 400-watt UV, large air pump, automatic feeder and the list goes on! 

The pond is home to around 25 gorgeous fish who have patiently waited in a plastic swimming pool for three years while building permits were processed and the pond was

being finished.  Funny… fish don’t really understand all the permitting process stuff.   The majority of the fish are from our good friends Ken Liu Barstow Koi and Ben Plonski of Laguna Koi.  Matt’s favorite variety is Shiro Utsuri and some are from Omosako Koi Farm in 

Japan. Matt loves showing his fish and has showed and won lots of awards in San Diego as well as Gardena, Bakersfield and Fresno.  In closing, Matt has one of the best Sense of Humor and always keeps us smiling.  “If you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right”       

Thanks for sharing your Ponder Profile!




Wednesday, June 14th

at 7:00 pm

(earlier if you are ordering food)


2691 Navajo Road

El Cajon, CA 92020 

View in Google Maps


Beverly & Scott Sylvester


Afshin Karimi
Tom Shay
John Svelan
Chinshan Chen
Keith Burgess

Julia Blackstone


by "Koi Jack" Chapman

Pond Temp and What’s your daily swing in pond temp?

Last month’s article was a might long even for me, so I’m going for a shorter one this month and maybe have more of you successfully reach the end.  So, pond water temperature and feeding schedules have been the subject of several phone calls in the past month.  When thinking about your water quality, water temp is a key parameter for observation/recording and requires on occasion taking some corrective actions.   I’m going to stay with pond temperature for now and leave feeding schedules for a later date.  First, “it is important as it affects all physical, chemical and biological processes and therefore has an effect on both koi and your pond system.  As examples, temperature directly influences both the solubility of oxygen and the toxicity of ammonia waste.   In general, water temperature also has a profound influence on the physiology and health of koi.  Increasing water temperatures causes koi to become more active, consume more food, grow, produce more ammonia as waste and spawn.  Although any rise in temperature may have positive effects on koi, as the water warms, it also causes any dissolved contaminants or even treatments to become increasingly toxic to koi.  As opposed to decreasing water temperatures which lead to less activity, and their appetite and nutritionally requirements along with the efficiency of their immune system declines demonstrably.” (Koi- Brewster Et al. Page 19)    So - what’s your koi pond temp both early in the morning and at dusk? The most important number is the difference in the two temps taken.  Koi can get severally stressed if the daily swing is in the negative larger than 5 degrees or in the positive 10 degrees or higher.   Yes, going up in temp is less stressful than going down in temp.   Staying with the rising amount -- a 7 degree increase will provide a high level of environmental stress and 5 degrees a moderate level of stress.   If we can keep our ponds down to less than a three degree change during the day or night, our koi will receive less environmental stress due to temperature change and be better off health wise.  Stress is accumulative and over time it reduces our koi’s growth, color, and even pattern potential, plus shortens their live span.  

During our summer months, local temps can approach or even reach 100 degrees “F” and a few years back I compared my koi pond temp to my pool temp.   I went back to my pond journal and found the following info for a previous August.   I added taking the temp of my pool in full sun right by my shade-sail covered koi pond.   What can I say – I’m stuck at home and bored LOL.  They are similar in size and volume, but my pond is 20 inches above ground level and the pumps run 24/7.  The morning readings (7AM) for the pond and pool were only 3 to 4 degrees different 73.4/75.7 and 73.2/76.2.  The evening temps (7PM) were much different 74.9/81.5 and 75.2/82.1.  So I got a daily rise in temp in my pond of 1.5 to 2 degrees and the SHADE sail is providing a temp reduction of 7 to 8 degrees for the koi pond vice the pool.  Ideal metabolic temp for koi is 65 to 77 degrees “F”.    Shade is one of the best things to think about when trying to moderate your daily temp swings or reduce overall elevated pond temps.  And just as a second reminder: warmer water temps lower the oxygen saturation point (an issue with over populated ponds); increases the toxicity of ammonia and heavy metals; and most pathogens activity is increased by warmer pond temps.  I’ve also been called about koi flashing in the late afternoon and upon examination the koi pond in question was observing a daily temp change of 9 degrees and the koi were otherwise free of disease or parasites (microscope slide exam performed) and stress from daily temp change was seen as cause for koi flashing behavior. 

Stay cool and healthy – YOU and your KOI.

r/koi jack


By John Svelan

As you can imagine, one of the most discussed topics among Koi Hobbyists and Professionals alike is pertaining to the nutritional needs of our fish.   The subject can be somewhat daunting but let’s consider a few koi facts that may clear some things up.  Koi, common carp and lots of other fish are classified as poikilothermic or “cold blooded” animals.  This means that the water temp = the koi’s blood temp.   This is important because a koi’s metabolism is temperature driven and affects not only their appetite but how effective they process their food.  The colder the water, the slower the metabolism and vice versa.  Koi must conserve energy and oxygen as the temperature drops.  In Southern California our ponds may get down to mid-50s F. in the winter and high 70s F. in the summer depending on where you live, the size of your pond, shade/sun exposure and a few other factors.  The 20+ degree swing in the seasonal water temperature dictates how much we feed (for sure) and some say what we should be feeding.   Feeding your koi is quite a bit different than feeding your dog or cat.  Koi and common carp need less food than warm blooded animals to maintain their body mass since they live in pretty much zero gravity.   Unlike a dog or cat, koi do not have stomachs!  They can not store food so they will eat in very short intervals (5-10 minutes) until their ‘gut’ is full.   Notice that when your fish have had their fill, they take a break and swim around leisurely, munching and digesting the tasty meal.  Meanwhile, excess uneaten food in the pond is wasted, sinks to the bottom or ends up in the skimmer and becomes a great food source for nasty pathogens and wreaks havoc on the water quality.   Fat overfed koi have shorter life spans and health issues. 

Overfeeding koi is probably the biggest problem and challenge that new koi keepers face.    

Here are a few frequently asked questions…


How much should I feed my koi?


Textbook answer: 

Koi need <1% to 10% of their body weight per day for normal maintenance and growth.


Practical koi keeper answer:   Since we have a pond full of different size fish that don’t like to be taken out and weighed rule of thumb is: “As much as they will consume in 5-10 minutes”  

Important:  Scoop out the excess and pitch it!  

The soaking has caused the pellet to loose the water soluble vitamins and minerals. 


How often should I feed my koi?   Here’s where temperature plays an important role.

Carp are “grazers” and feed around the clock in the wild and the best food assimilation and growth will occur if Koi are allowed to follow this natural way of feeding as much as possible.  Multiple smaller feedings daily are preferable to one or two larger ones.  

Smaller feedings also reduce “ammonia spikes” that are caused by larger feedings.


Below 50* F    Only feed when koi are actively looking for food (eaten in One Minute)

Between 51 -  58*F    Feed once every 2-3 days

Between 59 – 77* F   Feed 2 – 4 times a day (remember 5–10-minute rule)

Between 77 – 86* F   reduce feeding to once per day (higher water temp = less O2)


What should I look for when I purchase koi food?


Manufacturer reputation for using quality ingredients is very important and doing what is promised on the label (e.g., good growth or color enhancing) Complete ingredients list.

Fresh is best…   check the manufacture date!   why?  After six months… even under the best storage conditions koi food will start to lose some important Vitamin effectiveness. 

Cheaper foods may use cheaper ingredients and ‘on sale’ food may be old so check the date.

If food gets wet, it molds quickly and you can see it.  

If the fish oil used gets old you can smell it.  Putrid and rancid smell will hit you in the face.

If it doesn’t pass the visual and smell test don’t feed it.   

Remember once opened, store all food in airtight container in a dark cool place and don’t buy more than you can use in six months for the above reasons.   

Ingredients are normally listed in order of importance and manufacturer cost:

Protein – 35% or more for growth (down to 30% in cooler weather)

            Best protein source:  Quality Fish Meal/Oil   Avoid plant based or Animal by-products

Carbs – less than 25% (since carbs are sugar and koi produce very little insulin to metabolize  

Fatty & Amino Acids – 1% Minimum      Fiber – Zero!!     Not digestible by koi (cows yes!)

Vitamins:  A – Healthy Skin          C – Growth & Color   E – Muscles & Organs

            Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, Pyridoxine, Biotin also good stuff

Minerals:  Magnesium, Phosphorous, Iron, Manganese, Zinc

Color food:   Spirulina is a high-protein, digestible superfood. The carotenoids contained in spirulina have the effect of brightening the red color of Koi.

Remember koi like fresh veggies and fruit too.  Oranges & Watermelon are favorites however watermelon has very little nutritional value. 

Cooked soft even mushy Carrots, Sweet Potato, and Yams good source of carotene for red/yellow skin pigment (remove the skin) Koi also love peas and they have lots of protein and other nutritional value but don’t overfeed because they are also loaded with fiber.

Some hobbyists soak koi pellets in orange juice just before feeding to soften the pellets and add a little extra vitamin “C” but again don’t overdo it.

Manda Fu is a Japanese ‘bread like’ cube that contains over 50 fruits and vegetables that is nicknamed “koi crack” because of how much the koi love it.  Manda Fu can be fed year-round and especially in the winter because it is very digestible.

I hope this information is helpful and remember

Koi Organisational International K.O.I. provides instructional courses on various koi keeping subjects including this one on Koi Nutrition.

K.O.I. Motto – “If you’re not havin’ FUN, you’re not doin’ it right!”


John Svelan

K.O.I. Certified Koi Keeper

Notes from Koi Club of San Diego Steering Committee Meeting

Wednesday, May 10th, 2023 by Tamsie Pierce

Members Present in person:

Matt Rhoades

Jill Leach

Jill Rhoades

Lenore Wade

Julia Schriber

Linda Pluth

Ben Adams

Tamsie Pierce

Jack Chapman

Al Pierce

Rick Leach

Called to Order at 7:02 PM

Lenore spoke about the recent meeting. The speaker, Ben Plonski of Laguna Koi Ponds, had brought 6

small fish to be part of the drawing. Jack Chapman praised the quality and thought several were of

show quality. There was some discussion of the addition of fish to the drawing, the speaker, and the

speaker’s presentation.

VP Venue reported that the June Meeting will be at the home of Matt & Jill Rhoades

July will be at the home of Julia Schriber

August will be at the home of Augusto & Colleen Angelucci

Lenore requested someone to sell the drawing tickets at June Meeting as she will not be present.

Dean Strasser has opened his storage shed to some of the items that were removed from the Escondido

storage unit when we cleared it out and closed that account. At some point a complete inventory of

KCSD property items needs to be conducted of all the locations being used for KCSD storage.

Treasurer report was distributed. The May drawing took in $250. Advertising by vendors in the

newsletter is itemized as “uncategorized” The nonprofit paperwork has been completed and some of it

refiled already.

Japanese Friendship Garden is in process of rebuilding the deck aside of the koi pond. Portions are being

replaced/repaired above the filter there. The pumps of the filter were installed in 1999 and have run

continuously since, although two have been replaced over the years.

The small fish spawned in the pond are to be caught and rehomed, the date to be decided after the

decking is done.

KHA (Koi Health)

The Tancho in the Japanese Friendship Garden is sick and receiving shots. It is looking like it may

survive. Jack is still receiving feeding questions from members.


Membership total around 100 members

Elections are due at the June meeting. The bylaws state the nomination chair should be appointed by

the May meeting and election of officers in June. An e-blast will be sent out looking for nominations. The

current President, Secretary, Treasurer are willing to continue in their current positions.

We had been contacted by an organization requesting the removal and rehoming of about 50 goldfish.

The fish have all found new homes. Most were 8 - 9 inches in length.

Lenore will contact San Diego Pond and Garden about a date for a possible auction in September.

There was some discussion of holding a show. Concerns were expressed on cash flow and security of

merchandise of the vendors and the fish in the show.

The next Steering Committee meeting will be June 14 after the June General meeting on June 11.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:30 PM



Koi Person of The Year 2023 Julia Schriber

President: Lenore Wade   


First VP-Program: Open

Second VP-Venue: Matt Rhoades


Secretary: Tamsie Pierce


Treasurer: Jill Rhoades





Newsletter editor/

Webmaster: Julia Schriber


Membership Chairman: Jill Leach


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


To Host a Meeting: Matt Rhoades


To Submit an Article: Linda Pluth


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