June 24, 2017 – Acting Koi

Peggy and I are not exactly sleeping with the fishes this morning, but we’re certainly in the middle of them. The Mike Nowak Show is on the road today from what is called The Max in McCook, Illinois. The event is the second day of the Midwest Pond & Koi Society (MPKS) 25th Annual Koi Show and Trade Show.

As we learned from MPKS President Dr. Bob Passovoy last week, of about 100 similar clubs in the U.S., MPKS is one of only five that have managed to stick around for 25 years.

On Saturday’s show, Peggy and I will be learning a number of things about koi, the ponds they inhabit, and the people who keep both. By the way, Wikipedia tells us that the word “koi” (specifically, nishikigoi) can be literally interpreted from the Japanese as “brocaded carp.” Yes, as many of you are aware, these fish are basically ornamental varieties of domesticated common carp (Cyprinus carpio).

Koi varieties are distinguished by coloration, patterning, and scalation, which we learned last week when we talked about the different seminars that will be presented at the MPKS celebration:

  • Scalation/Scale Finish – That is to say, the importance of scales, types of scales, and their role in the overall evaluation of a koi
  • Color – The basic colors of black, red, and yellow as seen on koi, their interaction, and how they are evaluated in the judging of a koi
  • Skin Quality/Finis – The types of skin and its importance in the evaluation of a koi
  • Rules of koi keeping – What they mean, how to bend them, and what happens when you break them.

Dr. Bob told us to keep an eye on that last topic. At least, that’s the one he’s focused on. Hmm.

Anyway, Dr. Bob is with us today at The Max, and he will educate us a little about filtration, which is a pretty important part of keeping your fish alive. For instance, how do folks know when they need to upgrade the filtration of their pond or the increase the size of it?

Ed Buck, MPKS Vice President from MPKS, also joins us to talk about the social aspects of the club. It is a club, after all.

And we’ll hear from Myron Kloubec from Kloubec Koi Farm in Amana Iowa. Their 100 year-old farm recently received a Century Farm Award, and their “crop” is koi  and butterfly koi. Here’s a partial description of the operation:

Over 55 mud ponds can be found on the 80 acre farm, terraced into the hills so that the melting snows add pristine water into the ponds—water that is essential to the development of koi. But good water is not the only attribute of the farm; excellent clay is vital to the development of koi, and here too, Kloubec Koi Farms benefits from an ideal location, rich in minerals and clay.

Anyway, if you want to visit a family-friendly event, this is it. The show takes place at The Max Athletic & Exposition, 4750 S. Vernon Ave., McCook, IL 60525 today, June 24 from  9:00 am to 5:00 pm and tomorrow, June, 25  from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.

One more thing. The MPKS Annual 2017 Garden & Pond Tour happens in July. It’s a four-day event over two weekends, featuring self-guided tours to 54 MPKS members gardens. The pond tour map is good for all four days and cost $15 per family. Don’t say you weren’t notified.