EIPS Newsletter

Download the February 2008 newsletter in it's original format! This file will take a few minutes to download.
February 2008 Newsletter (5.5 mb)
You'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open this file.
In This Issue: February 2008

1st Meeting of the Year

Saturday, February 23, 2008
5:00 p.m.
Larry & Erma Thompson
131 Rosedale Rd
Cedar Rapids IA 52403

Larry will be our speaker of the evening...
Ideas for starting up your pond in the spring.
Oxygen requirements of the pond during the summer and test kit options
Open discussion and questions.

Directions from the 2006 Pond Tour: From outbound 1st Ave go right (south) onto 30th St Dr, continue on past East Post Rd, the road has now changed from 30th St to Lakeside Dr, continue on and take a right (south) onto Rosedale Rd #131 is on the right side.

by Monica

Presented by Koi Health Advisior Jackie Allsup
Assisted by Greg Bickal & Larry Thompson

What a wonderful opportunity to learn more about our koi and ponds. Classes were open to our club members and the Waterloo club members. We learned about water quality, classifications of the koi, types of food & different products. We had the opportunity to watch a koi be put to sleep, learned about the history of koi, and received a home made recipe for koi food. We talked about anatomy and learned how to scrape a fish for parasite identification. We also learned to dress a wound and hands-on giving an injection of meds. What a wonderful opportunity...not to mention the great treats many members brought during the 3 classes. Those who completed all 3 classes were recognized and given an EIPS pen.

Pictures - page 1

Pictures - page 2

By Josh Spece

Hosta 'War Paint'

Many Hostas continually change colors throughout the season. Sometimes the change is very subtle and slow. Other plants change drastically and quickly.

Hosta 'War Paint' is one of those whose color change is very dramatic. It is a sport of Hosta 'Niagara Falls'. The large leaves have a wide, dark green margin and in the spring, the irregular leaf centers are creamy yellow. The edges of the leaves are heavily ruffled. 'War Paint' is a strong grower that forms an impressive 4' wide mound. The spring coloration lasts only a few weeks, but the contrasting colors and large size make for an extraordinary focal point in the garden. Even after the dazzling spring show, you are left with a sturdy, attractive green backdrop for other Hostas and shade plants.

Acorus gramineus 'Ogon'

Also known as golden Japanese sweetflag, this plant is ideal for container water gardens and water gardens alike. It's extremely flexible, as it can be grown with its toes in the water or partially submerged. The beautiful foliage is light green and highlighted with bright yellow stripes, remaining beautiful all season and sometimes through the winter. Does well in Zones 6 to 11, tolerates some shade, and grows 8 to 12 inches tall. An all around great plant that adds a bright, cheerful spot to any water feature!

1. A group of koi nuts that meet monthly.

2. What is secreted through the gills?

3. Fish love it, we hate it.

4. Raises kh and ph quickly.

5. We don't want this guy visiting our pond.

6. Cheap declorinator.

. Answers below .










1. Koi club

2. Ammonia

3. Algae

4. Bakingsoda

5. Heron

6. Sodiumthiosulfate

Congratulations To Larry Thompson For his article in Koi USA. Building a Do-It-Yourself Greenhouse Over Your Koi Pond Good magazine for a ponders’ library

Welcome New Members

Sylvia and Jim Blood - Marion, IA

Shopping on the internet for pond supplies?

Check out 123ponds.com

Great prices and reasonable shipping rates.

In The Country Garden & Gifts.

E.I.P.S. members receive a 10% discount. Must show your current membership card at time of purchase.


Prairie Creek Nursery

4100 Bowling Street SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404


Stop in to see Shirley and Kevin at Prairie Creek Nursery

** Pond Supplies
** Design & Installation
** Aquatic Plants
** Japanese Koi & Goldfish
** Aerators & Fountains
** Gifts for the water gardener

February Birthdays

Kacy Novak - 4th
Rose Milden - 6th
Ron Rife - 13th
Robert Ward - 14th
Edna Rife - 15th
Tim Nolan - 16th
Elena Murillo - 16th
Lou Ann Jayne - 18th
Pam Moore - 21st
Quinn Novak - 21st

If you would like your birthday printed in the newsletter, email us at mespringcove@aol.com or sign in with the Hospitality Committee: Elena Murillo or Gil Morley.

Article submitted by Dick Isard

The frame is about 35x16 foot. We purchased an 80% black screen cover first to keep as much of the leaves and those millions of acorns out of the pond. The frame is 1.66 OD steel tubing and the car-port cover is 12 oz-24 mil rip stock fabric. Even though the frame is on 4 ft spacing we added a 23/4 inch wide batten tape. Hoping this would take up some of the sag between pipe spacing when we added the final cover. We purchased extra corners and spacers to build the correct length and width. This is where Farmtek comes into play. If you have never been to Farmtek in Dyersville they have everything, even a surplus store. Thanks to Larry Thompson for the info.

Now here comes the first test (ice) we got 1 inch or so. The frame and cover did great. As the ice formed it ran down to the bottom edge, where it formed into a thickness of 3- 4 inches. As it built up. The ice began to hang over the edge of the fabric and frame. As I lifted up the ice and it broke, the remaining came down right at me. Here I thought I was going to end up in the middle of the yard. The next 4 foot was a little better. Snow is not a problem, only that I need to get rid of it, snow blower did a good job as you see in the picture, except where the thick ice formed. (A - see pictures) Sometimes on the inside of the cover, it rains as it did on the 8th of January. It’s fun to watch the little droplets splash into the water, our own fishy rain forest.. The pond has a floating heater and aerator and we do pump a lot of air in one end of the pond. (B) We receive a north wind of an average of 8 -10 miles per hr and this is where this type of cover comes into play. Still running the waterfall. Since the two pumps are in the ground 3 feet, the feed lines are doing great.

See pictures here...

The seventeen fish are doing great, we plan to add salt in the spring. Thanks Dr. Jackie Allsup. Isn’t it great standing out in the cold watching our CHILDREN swim by.

Have questions contact Dick & Lavonne at batterytechcentral@mcleodusa.net

By Tommy "The Koi Guy" Hill

10 Tips for Buying Healthy Fish

When purchasing new fish from a pet or pond store, there are certain things that you should look for and ask about to make sure that you are receiving healthy fish. Here is a list of things to ask and to look for.

Cleanliness – Look at the cleanliness of the store. If the store is not clean and well cared for, more than likely, the retailer does not care about their fish either.

Dead Fish – If you see any dead fish floating in the tanks – even just one – stay away. This can be an indication of a poorly maintained, diseased tank.

Quarantine – Does the retailer quarantine their fish and for how long? It is very important that all fish are quarantined for at least 14 to 21 days for salt treatments to ensure the fish are not carriers of disease or parasites.

Water Testing and Changes – Find out how often the water is tested and changed. Testing the water monitors ammonia and pH levels, as well as nitrites and nitrates indicating when the water should be changed.

Sick Fish – Look to see if any of the fish are hanging out alone, with clamped fins. This is a good sign that the fish is sick.

Parasites – Ask if new fish are tested for the presence of parasites with a microscope. Doing so indicates whether the fish are carriers of parasites and can be treated accordingly before they are sold.

Net Sharing – Make sure the clerk uses a different net for each tank. Using the same net for all tanks can spread disease from one tank to another.

Clear Skin – Look for fish with no marks, missing scales, sores, or broken or missing fins. Any of these are signs of a bacterial infection or parasite.

Sizes – You need to take the size of the fish into consideration so you don't overstock your pond. Remember, 1" for every square foot of surface water or five gallons.

Knowledgeable Staff – You want to purchase fish from a knowledgeable and honest merchant that can help educate you about your pond.

Fishkeepers will all be getting itchy fingers, desperate to feed their beloved pets. The tough old goldfish can take anything you throw at them, but the Golden Orfe and especially the Koi Carp just cannot be fed until the temperature of the water is getting permanently above 7C (45F). Then between 7C and 10C(50F) only feed low protein food or wheat germ. It is only above 10C that things really get swinging underwater: oxygenators start seriously oxygenating; bacteria really get down to digesting organic matter and the fish metabolism really kicks into gear.

Reprinted by kind permission of Peter J May

Permission by www.bonniesplants.com

Continued in next months newsletter

If you know you are going to be purchasing fish ahead of time, set up the quarantine tank before hand and have the pump, filter and air stone running.

Check the pH of the water in the tank. Add regular Arm and Hammer baking soda to bring the pH up to about 7 to 7.5. Many have higher pH readings and that is OK. Your fish will adjust to your pH.

The temperature in the quarantine tank should be around 78*. If it is not, add an aquarium heater.

When you get the new fish home float them in the bag of water. If your dealer cares about his customers he will have filled the bag with oxygen at the time the fish were put in the bag for you. You will want to float the fish in the bag (Do NOT open the bag at this time) of water for 20 to 30 minutes. IF the fish has been in the bag for a long period of time or shows signs of stress AND if the water in the tank is only a couple of degrees difference, it might be best to skip floating the bag and just put the fish right into the tank.

The water in the shipping bag will have a low pH. The low pH actually protects the fish because the lower the pH the less toxic the ammonia is. We do add a generous amount of ammonia binder to the shipping bags.

When the floating time is over, remove the fish from the bag and add to the pond/tank. Do not add the shipping water. Use your hand or a net to remove the fish from the bag. That water can possibly contain a lot of bad bacteria and perhaps fish feces. Just like you would not drink from a glass that another had drank from, you do not want to put ANYONE else's water in your pond or quarantine tank.

About 12 hours after you have had the fish in the new tank start add salt. You will need a total of 1 pound of salt for every 100 gallons of tank water.

I suggest that you test the water with the salt test kit after the first batch has had time to dissolve and circulate through the water. It should read about 0.10%. If it does not you may have to adjust the salt level. But keep in mind that salt is very forgiving and you have a lot of room to play.

About 24 hours after you have added the fish, test the ammonia and nitrite. REMEMBER while in quarantine no amount of ammonia or nitrite is acceptable. Read this mean NONE. If ammonia is detected, add Amquel or Prime. While these products will not remove the ammonia they will bind them up so that they are not harmful to fish.

Think of ammonia in a tank like you would a baby that sits for a long period of time in a wet diaper. Ammonia in the tank will burn the fish's gills and skin, just like a baby in a wet diaper. High levels of ammonia will kill fish very quickly.

By Tony Roocroft

The best foods are those with ash levels of about 5% and moisture levels of about 5-8%. Never buy food which does not give this type of information on the packet. Ash and moisture are a total waste of money. Some foods have a total of ash and moisture = 25%. This means you are only getting 3/4 of a bag of food the rest is rubbish. The type of raw materials used is also very important. Look for herring meal or whole fish meal as the best ingredient and protein levels of 35% or more.

The five most common parasites that affect koi fish are:

Flukes, costia, chilodinella, trichodina and ich. All of these parasites are microscopic which means you cannot see them without the aid of a microscope. The most common signs that you may have parasites are:

  • Fish are flashing. Flashing is when a fish swims slowly near the side or bottom of the pond and then quickly swims off by first rubbing it’s side against the pond wall.
  • A fish is isolating itself from the other fish.
  • One or more fish have stopped eating.
  • A fish spends much of the time near the water fall gasping for air.
  • Fish are sitting on the bottom of the pond with their fins clamped close to their body or are drifting in the pond with their head pointed upward or downward for several minutes at a time.
  • Sores developing on the fishes body or fins.
  • Fish are dying.

Proper treatment for parasites depends on which parasite the koi have. If you have access to a microscope, by simply taking a scraping from the fish and examining it under the microscope, you can usually tell exactly which parasites are present and then treat for them accordingly. If you do not have a microscope and are looking for one, there is a very good microscope for the price at www.unico1.com The model M-250 sells for about $500.00.

from Kathi Albrecht

Special "K" Bars

1 cup dark Karo syrup
1 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup peanut butter
6 cups Special "K" cereal
12 oz. milk chocolate chips
12 oz. butterscotch chips

Bring Karo syrup and sugar to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter. Pour syrup mixture over the cereal. Mix and then spread into a 9" x 13" pan. Melt chocolate chips and butterscotch chips together. Stir. Pour over bars and spread. Let cool until frosting sets up. Cut into bars.

Eastern Iowa Pond Society Membership Application

All locations and topics are subject to change. Read your monthly newsletter for details and updates.

Times determined by the Host/Hostess

Programs will be updated as available along with the times of the meetings.

February 23rd - Larry & Erma Thompson 5:00pm

March 22nd - Greg & Martha Bickal
Speaker Greg Bickal/ Pond Filtration

April 10th - Gil & Monica Morley/Elena Murillo
Jackie Allsup/ Hands on dividing water lilies

April 26th - Bob & Stephanie Geers

May 8th - Dave & Karen Frieden

May 24th - Carl Unkel 5:00pm

June 12th - Jeff Garner & Kerry Shaner

June 28th - Pre Pond Tour

July 13th - Pond Tour

July 26th - Roberta & Robert Ward
Photo Contest

August 14th - Jo & Gary Hunerdosse 7:00pm

August 23rd - Hugh & Kathi Albrecht 7:00pm

September 11th - Becki Lynch

September 27th - Bob & Deb Kontz

October 25th - Herman & Rosie Michel
Jim Durbin/ Bird Feeding

TBD Recognition Night

EIPS Newsletter Archives