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Koi Club of San Diego

Volume 23 Issue 3



March 2023


by Lenore Wade

As president, it isn’t always easy to sit down and start writing an article for the newsletter. But what is always easy to do is to say “Thank You” to the members that host our meetings at their homes.

Cheryl and Ben Adams braved wind, rain, and the cold to make us all feel welcome at their home a few weeks ago. Their yard is large and beautiful, as is their pond, pool, and landscaping. It was a real treat to spend time with them and those of you who were able to attend the meeting.

Our guest speaker, Tony Martinez, filled us

in on his trip to Japan with lots of stories and pictures. His love of koi was quite

apparent throughout his presentation. As a world traveler, I consider Tony very lucky that he speaks and understands the 

Japanese language. It only made his adventure that much more special. Hopefully, he will share more with us at another time.

At our last steering committee meeting, it was made evident that, as a club, we

need to get a handle on our finances. Other than our membership dues and the fish auction, we have no regular source of income. Your kindness with donations at our meetings helps, but it is not enough. We are looking into finding locations to store all that we have in storage units.  As you know, it takes a lot of equipment to put on our Koi Shows and it costs us a considerable amount of money each month to store all that equipment. With the help of a few members, we are hoping to move the stored “stuff” to new places at no cost. There will be more information passed on as we move forward.

Because of the conflict with up-coming holidays, it has been decided to change the meeting dates for the months of April and May. Because of Easter, the April meeting will be held on the first Sunday, April 2nd. The May meeting is always moved so we can spend time celebrating Mother’s Day so this year our May meeting  will be on Sunday the 7th. The up-coming March meeting will be at my home in El Cajon.

A few months ago, when the Associated Koi Clubs of America  (AKCA) folded their operations they donated much of their koi reference “Book Store” to our club. At the last meeting, we auctioned off 2 books to the members attending. There are many T-shirts which will be given away at the meetings, over time. There are also more “goodies” to be shared.


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

March Koi Club of San Diego Meeting

March 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! 


Lenore Wade 

El Cajon, CA 92019


1st ZNA USA Western District Koi Show

This is the first year of ZNA America District Shows series to crown the ZNA America Champion. The district shows will hold the same format for size and awards classification. There will be an Eastern District and a Western District show each year.

All major award winners at the Western District Koi show in Gosanke and Non Gosanke class will go on and compete against the Eastern District Koi show winners.

Winners will be voted on by ZNA America judges.

March 18th to 19th

Saturday 10 am to 5 pm

Sunday 10 am to 3 pm



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

Lenore Wade

For the past seven years, you have been reading the same article about me. I just re-read the interesting article that John Svelan wrote so long ago.

I am still “ME” so the article is relevant, but rather out-dated. Since I try to host one meeting a year, I am sure you have read the article a number of times. If you have come to any meetings at my house, you know what to expect. (I think there does need to be a new photo in the future.)

I have lived in the San Diego area for a little more than 60 years. It is definitely home! Because of my husband’s military career, the family spent 3 years in Ohio in the 70’s. In the 90’s, US Air moved us to North Carolina where we lived until Joe’s unexpected death in 1999. Joe had lived in Japan and had a great love for Koi. So we built a small pond with an even smaller waterfall in our back yard, and filled it with gold fish…in hopes that koi would eventually come. They never came, but the possums and raccoons feasted on our fish many times. It was a small beginning.

After Joe’s death, I moved back to the area, but our renters had ruined our home. I had to find a new place. With the help of a friend who was also a realtor, I found my present house which is on the biggest property on our cul-de-sac. Before I even bought the land, I knew eventually I would have a koi pond.

It only took me 15 years to fulfill the promise to myself. I decided that I no longer wanted to teach at the high school where I had been and knew I needed a change. So at the age of 59 1/2, I joined the Peace Corps and went to Cheboksary, Russia. After my first year, the Russian government became “unhappy” with us and closed the program. I was not ready to give up on teaching the university students who wanted to learn. For the next 12 years, I supported myself and lived the Russian way of life. I even learned to enjoy what a real winter was like. I never mastered the art of walking on ice! In April 2014, I was “asked” to leave the country. I have never been back, but my friendships have endured. It was an adventure I will never regret having. I learned so much while surrounded with Russian culture, customs, and food.

A little over a year after the pool was built the planned pond materialized with the help of my two sons-in-law and our beloved member Dean Strasser. The boys have continued with their help each week, doing the water change and needed emergency repairs. The fish all have names thanks to

to the grands and their parents. Some are in better shape than the others, but they are all family.




Wednesday, March 8th

at 7:00 pm

(earlier if you are ordering food)


2691 Navajo Road

El Cajon, CA 92020 

View in Google Maps


Steve & Alexa Ford

Rick & Jill Leach

Julia Schriber

Bill & Joy Arnswald


by "Koi Jack" Chapman

Growth/Color Decisions

Reprint with additions to 5/21 article by Koi Jack

KHA Korner:  Growth/Color Decisions Reprint with additions to 5/21 article

As a pond owner and koi hobbyist you have some growth and color decisions to consider if you want to be competitive for next year’s (March 2024) KCSD Annual Koi Show or just want to see improvement in your current koi collection.  With early spring approaching it is time to decide what you want your koi to look like in the fall and how you plan to get there!!!  The general knowledge towards these decisions comes from time and experience as a hobbyist and more importantly some self-education and/or exposure to the principles in play on the subject of growth/color.  What do you want your koi to do within the confines of your pond system?  I’m going to have to stay with generalities as I introduce you to some points for consideration and while all this stuff has been seen in print or video not all agree with some of the finer points – that’s my disclaimer LOL but I believe in what I’m about to pass along in this article.

In the beginning most backyard koi hobbyists want pretty and healthy koi that get bigger with time and are friendly and that can be your continuing goal even after reading this article. 

Then all sorts of things start to happen over time and for this subject they may include things like: my koi don’t look as nice as they use to; the loss of color; gotten a lot darker; the white is changing (usually not as nice); have a lot of new little spots (mostly black); not grown much; gotten too big for my pond; are skinny or even fat – so what am I doing wrong?

Well, we need to become a little more familiar in three areas - while asking yourself what do you want your koi to do?  The nice thing is that you pretty much are in control of your individual koi purchase, your pond, your water quality and finally nutrition.

It all starts with the individual koi purchase which is a very important/vital part of the total hobbyist puzzle.  The more you know, the more you can expect certain results.  Pick a number say $10/$100/$1000/$10,000 but on your low end you may not need a host of info to get what you want and/or expect from the koi.  However, with more expensive koi, especially if thinking a show koi - well you need to know a lot more information in my opinion such as – breeder, bloodline, past results of offspring that are now older, etc.  This is considered the genetic profile.  Folks, there are books/videos covering just this subject and make for some interesting reading/viewing.  Buyer beware and trust me, the more you know about what is expected of a show quality individual koi variety the better quality choices you can expect and the fewer costly investment errors you will experience and I’ve made several along the way.  For me it is a wonderful never ending learning experience that enhances my koi hobby experiences.  Couple years ago, I purchased an inexpensive ($10 each) series of six videos produced by Kodama Academy on reviewing specific koi varieties and what to look for when evaluating a future purchase and I learned new things to look for in each.  They remain available through their website.   So, I now have for your consideration - What are the wants/expectations in visible terms for a successful Return on Investment (ROI)?  Yes, how long do you want/expect to keep your koi, how big do you want/expect it to get, when do you want or expect it to look its best/what do you want to do with the koi once your ROI has been accomplished????  So you say you have never considered these things – well now may be the time to give it some consideration and what are the things I can do to assist my now established ROI as we move on to the next two important areas.

Water quality is a major area and is not without its direct effects on both growth and color in meeting your expectations established at time of koi purchase.  In general soft water is advantageous to the development of red color and lengthens the time for complete color development while hard water is said to advance black color and be to some degree responsible for small black spots (shimi) on your koi and generally reduce the time for finished color development.  Koi suffering from stress from a host of water quality issues to include long term minor issues are said to suffer both in growth and color.  Studies of higher levels of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) have demonstrated to reduce growth potential as has oxygen below saturation levels.  Or as I like to say “the solution to pollution is dilution” and I do not know who to give credit for the statement, but you have to know the TDS of the replacement water for sure!!  Japanese koi breeders have expressed that higher oxygen levels increase koi activity leading to increased food requirements and associated increased growth.  Water quality goes down when the amount of dissolved organic compounds (pollution level) goes up in your pond water and you can measure this with an Oxidation Reduction Potential meter or (ORP)   However, you can go too far with chemicals resulting in higher Oxidation Reduction Potential (OPR) readings that are thought to be too oxidative and present a (possible) negative effect on koi pigment cells.  Yes, I finally have made a reference to water that’s too pure for koi to even survive when ORP readings exceed 475 mV for more than a few hours and the bacteria in the bio chamber also die.  Things that increase your ORP reads are the products that remove (oxidizes) dissolved organic carbon like hydrogen peroxide, potassium permanganate (PP), activated carbon and ozone.  I have been personally guilty of overusing PP to the point of causing hyperplasia to the gills (burning the gill tissue).   I like to call ORP the pollution index – as low ORP readings are a result of increasing organic loads in your pond from a host of things like overfeeding, overcrowding, filtration system not dealing with demand – resulting in poor water quality parameters, low oxygen levels and even high algae growth levels.   Finally, studies from the UK have reported higher koi grow rates in soft water conditions.  So, water conditions should be taken into consideration and maybe modify some of your answers or even koi purchases to the questions presented earlier.  It is always wise to keep a pond journal and record at least your weekly pond water parameters to include pond Temperature, pH, Ammonia NH3/NH4, Nitrite NO2, Nitrate NO3, KH carbonate hardness, and even oxygen levels.   All of these are important to achieving your color and growth goals, while keeping your koi’s stress levels manageable.  Time and space are not available, but rest assured that action is required for each of above mention water quality parameters when your test results are above or below their normal rangers to assure koi health and vitality.           

So that leaves us with nutrition, for which there are again books on just this subject, but in general how you have answered the earlier questions should assist you with your feeding plan.  Nutrition is obviously directly related to both growth and color but it has been said that when a koi is getting pounded with growth feed components it cannot keep up with color at the same time and that color has to catch up later and sometimes falls short of goal.  Your koi goals are of significant importance especially your answer to when you want your koi during their life span to be their best and what you initially purchased.  Males are said to finish sooner than females and if your koi purchases are already farther along with color development (very common) then they are going to finish sooner and they may need to be moved along to our club annual auction after just 4 to 6 years.  It’s been said many a time that no Baby Champion has ever been a later Grand Champion.  But you decide when your ROI has been accomplished and time to move a koi along.  A lot of backyard koi ponds are not large ponds and while koi will still under the right conditions grow large in small ponds it may be desirable to keep growth below the koi’s potential and nutrition is a way to do this to some degree.  Yes, you need to establish in spring a good estimate of pond total koi mass (weight) and for okay survival feed 1% of total weight; for limited growth and maintain color feed 2% of total weight and for maximum growth and color 3% of total weight.  I don’t want to complicate this but the aforementioned feeding schedule is for adult koi (say 4/5 years old) and for young koi you double the percentages.  When the daily feed amount is divided into several feedings per day growth rates are said to improve.  Unfortunately, when you have koi of all sizes in your pond the little ones may not get their fair share of the feed as the big koi quickly scoop up surface food.  I think I’ve observed less of a problem with this when I do my twice a day sinking food feedings (summer time with pond temp at or above 74F).   You do need to do your homework to achieve your growth and color improvement goals when selecting your choice of koi feeds.  Again, we do not have the space nor time to do it justice but beware that your decision can and will have a definite impact on your koi and summer feeding schedules can and do have negative effects on your water quality parameters.

So, with a koi ROI plan coupled with an increased attention to koi knowledge, water quality and nutrition, I predict that your level of hobby satisfaction will be increased and keep you involved in the hobby while sharing your gained knowledge with fellow club members during monthly meetings.

While growth and color are an impossible subject to cover in this basic introductory article, I hope I’ve tweaked your interest to further explore the subjects and give some consideration to the info as it affects your next beautiful koi purchase and that it exceeds your established ROI.  Hope to see you and your koi at our clubs hopefully next annual koi show in March 2024 and now is the time to be planning for that event along with seeing you at the next monthly club meeting now that we are back to some normalcy to our lives.  Stay safe and healthy.

r/koi jack        



by Matt Rhoades

Club’s January Meeting was at Dick and Bonita’s house. The pond was spectacular; only edged out by the creativity that Bonita puts into decorating their house for the holidays. Stunning is another word to describe her efforts. 

The speaker for today's meeting, who was to talk about his recent trip to Japan and his visit to a few of the country’s koi farms, woke up in the morning with the flu. Hence the call at 7:30 am and a reschedule to another date. On to “Plan B”. My wife grabbed the computer; I racked my knowledge and a plan was forming: koi know-how in a Game Show format.  We put it together, got the props/prizes, and headed for the meeting.

When it came time to begin the program part of the meeting, we drew three attendee names and the “lucky” participants were assembled. Those people were: Sam Seat, Ben Adams,  and Cheryl Adams. They took their places on same high chairs that were brought forward and the game began. 

The rules were simple. The game show host, myself, would read a question and give three potential answers.  Participants would raise their hands if they knew the correct answer. Lucky guesses and correct answers received a chocolate kiss thrown their way by the game show host. We got down to the last question with the score standing at three points for two contestants and four points for the lead. Excitement was building and the final question was queried. Would the game end in a tie?  (Spoiler alert: That  Koi Jack had given the answer earlier in his Koi Talk). The last question was: 

“In the area of water quality”, what is Koi Jack’s favorite saying?

A.           “Get up early and do a poop watch!”

B.           “My water is so clean I can drink it”

C.           “The solution to pollution is dilution”

Ben Adams raised his hand and answered “C”. He won the game and received a $25 gift card and the others walked away with parting gifts of more chocolate kisses. I believe this will be played again and I already have a spin-off for this game.

One contestant; it’s called “Stump the Kichi”.

You game Koi Jack?


Confession of a Newbie by Constance Koi

I was running new lines to fit the twin 55-gallon barrels I had installed as a pre-filter before my biological filter system. I glued my pump in place and let the water flow through the pipe. The barrels filled and turned my pump system. Back in business. This ran fine for 6 weeks, then they slowed down.

I went to check the pre-filter/Settlement barrels and found them filling slowly and then emptying quickly before the barrels were fully filler. Problem in the 2” line that fed the barrels I ventured. I jumped in the pond and put a piece of equipment in the bottom drain out-flow pipe. Now this piece of equipment is made out of rubber, has a hose attachment, and a hole at the other end. The way it worked was you attach a hose, placed it in the pipe, turn on the water and the rubber piece swelled to the interior of the pipe. This caused a blockage in the pipe, the small hole filled the pipe with water, and water pressure builds up. Think of it as a more aggressive plunger.

I went back to check my pre-filters and they had little changed in status; must be something with (in) the 2” in-flow pipes. I dug out and exposed twenty feet of buried pipe. That’s was when I uncovered my potential mistake. Twenty feet of pipe = yes; but only 19 feet of 2” pipe. The rest was two 2” to 1 ½” adapters, small pieces of 1 ½” pipe, and one 1 ½” check valve. I got out my trusty PVC pipe cutters and cut out that check valve. Yup there was the blockage.

What hampered my pipes to deliver water to the pre-filter? A wayward koi, probably thinking it could shelter under my bottom drain top. But not with the extreme suction of my Sequence pump; a +++++ aquatic black hole. Probably fit snug on its trip through the 2” pipe, but ran out of luck when it encountered the check valve death trap. It was impaled on the valve mechanism. 

A couple of 2” connectors, a piece of 2” pipe, and the pond filtration roared back to work. Back in business; minus one wayward koi.

Notes from Koi Club of San Diego Steering Committee Meeting

Wednesday, January 11, 2022 by Tamsie Pierce

Members Present in person:

Matt Rhoades

Jill Rhoades

Jack Chapman

Lenore Wade

Ben Adams

Linda Pluth

Al Pierce

Tamsie Pierce

Julia Schriber


Called to order at 7:00 PM.

President Lenore Wade spoke to the request from ZNA on tank rental for their upcoming show.  After some discussion it was decided to contact them to find out the dates and location of the show, find out about how the tanks would get to an from their show and to negotiate a charge for the tank. Something between $25 and $50 was proposed.

VP Program position is still vacant.

VP of Venue, Matt Rhoades, announced that Meetings March through July were confirmed:
        March 12 - Lenore Wade
        April 2 - Palm Sunday - John & NIkki Schultz - Alpine
        May 7 - Mother’s Day - Kane - Carlsbad - Speaker: Ben Plonski of Laguna Koi Ponds
        June 11 - Matt & Jill Rhoades - San Diego
        July 9 - Terri & Sam Seat - Bonita
        Michael Brooks (San Diego) is a potential host

Treasurer- Jill Rhoades
        There was some discussion on the ads in the newsletter, including questions on the number of contacts listed in the newsletter.  Are these to be considered paying ads?
        The new bylaws state electronic record keeping “accounting”. Quick Books, the program we have been using has raised prices to $500 per year. It was proposed to change from Quick Books to NOLO, and a version of Excel.       
        Sales tax forms were filed the end of January 2023, on time, as per by laws.

JFG- Salting the pond has begun due to algae growth and as a deterrent to spring disease.
        Still a lot of small left over spawned fish. There will need to be a seining of the pond at some point to catch them and transport them to the lower pond.
        Jack will be running classes for 4 weeks in the summer for students with the focus on koi. The Garden is proposing rebuilding the patio.
         Four new fish have been added - Kujaku, gin lin Platinum and a gin lin Sanke.

Koi Health - Jack visited Lenore’s pond to assess a tancho with a tumor. He also visited Jamie Kanes pond to check on concerns about aeromonis. With pond temperatures dropping below 49  degrees aeromonis “goes to sleep” and thus is not a fish disease the pond owner will see until further into the spring.

Membership - position still remains open although there has been some interest. Members need to click the link to confirm renew the membership.

Old Business -
        The club has new liability insurance, with the payment of $500.00
        There was a discussion of ways to reduce the $500 per month storage costs: Tank storage and storage unit for supplies and other equipment. Pipe storage was suggested with the tanks  at San Diego Pond and Garden.
        There will be a work party at the shed (on Ave. Del Diablo in Escondido) on Sunday, February 26 at 9 AM to straighten and asses the storage unit.
        Wild Apricot is due to increase monthly price.
        It was proposed to create a KCSD T Shirt to be available at a “print on demand” against the debit card to pay for the shirts.
        ZNA show is scheduled for March 18 & 19 - per their inquity about tank rental.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:20

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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