Please take a moment to enjoy this story from one of our local beach condominiums in Hawaii with a new beautiful koi pond. After many of the koi were sick and passed away, the staff decided to overhaul the pond structure. This is a story of what we did together to improve the pond and how we tested it’s quality.
With new water quality, proper draining, and other pond management improvements, the new pond was ready for new koi to inhabit the wonderful courtyard.
It was a great day for the community and the residents stated how life would now be more enjoyable at Kahala Beach Association.
We even heard a few days later, that the koi fish had already begun spawning, a good sign for the new water quality.
Full photo gallery at the bottom of the blog post.
Customer Story: A New Pond and New Koi at Kahala Beach Association
There were splashes and flashes of orange and gold as 130 koi plunged into a renovated pond Wednesday morning, August 12, 2020. While a few residents looked on, Taro Kodama and his crew carefully lifted water-filled clear plastic bags of fish from their cardboard traveling cases.
Two men carried each heavy bag of five or six koi, some over a foot long, to the pond. They floated the bags on the surface to acclimate the koi to the water temperature. The small audience watched with anticipation. When he judged the moment to be right, Taro asked the Association Board President to help him, and together they opened the bags and released the koi.
It was a long time coming. In 2018, KBA staff noticed deaths among the resident koi population, which gradually diminished from 70 to 27. Early in 2019, the Kahala Building and Grounds Committee looked to carp specialists to find a cause. They consulted with a local fish veterinarian, asked a UC Davis ichthyologist to perform a fish postmortem, and hired a top koi professional, Taro Kodama. The experts opined that the fish were possibly suffering from a carp virus probably due to poor water quality. The B & G Committee decided that both overhauling the pond structure and strictly following professional care advice were essential for a new koi population to thrive.
By the end of 2019, the B & G Committee had developed a plan to modernize a fifty-year old koi pond and replace its outdated equipment.
The Kahala Association team began the project with Taro’s guidance in February 2020, when they retired the remaining koi to a reservoir in Mililani maintained by Kodama Koi.
The Kahala crew set about disinfecting, draining, and drying the pond bed, shifting huge decorative rocks, and removing landscaping to dismantle the old filters, pumps, and plumbing hardware.
Over the months, the local team installed eight new pumps and filters, applied a thick, white surface material to seal the pond bottom, allowed it to cure, acid washed it, and lastly painted it with two heavy coats of a black epoxy designed to shield koi ponds from leaching contaminants into the water.
It was vitally important to prevent leaks, because leaks alter the water chemistry essential for healthy fish. When the rubbery, non-porous bottom was ready in June 2020, the Kahala crew refilled the pond, checked for leaks, and thought they were done. Alas, they had to drain a section, move more rocks, apply more surface material, acid wash it, and re-epoxy the areas that still leaked. It seemed never ending. Finally, in July 2020, with all leaks repaired, rocks moved back into place, new landscaping planted, and water filling the pond, Taro introduced three test koi, and waited.
Anticipating demand, Taro Kodama had previously traveled to Japan to purchase six-month old juvenile carp. He chose various koi types for their brilliant colors, preferred markings, and interesting fin shapes. Two years ago, he brought them to Mililani, where he fed them a protein rich diet to maintain their vibrant colors. More recently, he checked on the welfare of the test fish at Kahala. They were thriving.
Thus, from their cardboard carrying cases and plastic water bags, propelled by their fins and a thrust of their tails, a new generation of two year old koi, in glistening colors of orange, gold, white, black, and silver, joined their three test brethren in the pristine, modernized pond. All that the 133 new koi ask of their Kahala hosts is to follow Taro Kodama’s expert advice, feed them only high protein pellets two or three times a day, and keep their pond clean and free of coins, other species, and leaks.
NJF, a Kahala resident