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Koi Club of San Diego

Volume 23 Issue 1





by Lenore Wade

I hope that many of you were able to attend the Koi Club Christmas party at the home of Nancy and Frank Cannizzaro. They are always so generous with opening their home to us for the holiday party and for feeding us so well.

At the time of the party, I was still floating in the Caribbean, enjoying a


long-awaited cruise with my younger sister. We visited eleven islands in twenty-one days. I have had a blessed life, being able to see much of the world on all seven continents, but this was my first visit to the islands. After 24 years in the Navy, the last thing my husband wanted to do was get on a ship! I explored a lot and learned even more. I got to swim with stingrays, kiss a sea cucumber, and go zip-lining in the rain forest.


Packing for 21 days was a daunting task, but I did take a couple of Padre shirts and one of my Koi Club shirts. I was amazed by the attention I received from crew members when they saw my shirt. Most of them are from the Far-east countries and know much about koi. It was enjoyable to share our interests.


I came home from the cruise with the flu…thankfully it wasn’t Covid, but it took a lot of strength out of me. I still haven’t finished unpacking, although most of the laundry is done.


Having not seen my fish for over three weeks, it was a nice treat getting to “talk” to them. I don’t think they are very happy with me because I don’t give into their pleading eyes and open mouths. They don’t seem to like the cold weather any more than I do.


Our January meeting on the 8th will be at the home of long-time members,

Dick Long and Bonita Chamberlin in the San Carlos area of San Diego. Having seen their house at Halloween, I can only imagine how spectacular it will be with the Christmas decorations still in place. (Bonita promised me she would keep them up for us.) I always love seeing the fish interact with the turtles.


Our January speaker is expected to be one of our members who went to Japan looking for koi and koi dealers. Tony hosted our meeting in September, so I am really looking forward to hearing about his experiences.


I am sorry that this article seems so short, but my brain hasn’t caught up with my body yet. A pure example of this is that I forgot last Tuesday was the 3rd Tuesday of the month and I was supposed to be at the Japanese Friendship Garden where I go every month.


I am sure we will all find out the latest news at the up-coming meeting. I hope to see you there. 

January Koi Club of San Diego Meeting

January 8th, 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! 


Dick Long & Bonita Chamberlin 

8312 Beaver Lake Drive

San Carlos, CA 92119


Tony Martinez

Tony will share with us his impressions of the trip to visit koi breeders in Japan.


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 Dick Long, photography by Bill Newell

Dick Long & Bonita Chamberlin 

I went to a home show at the San Diego County Fairgrounds to buy a water softener for the house we were remodeling. While there I found this bronze statue of a mermaid with three small fishes as a water fountain. I fell in love with it and bought it. They also had an 8 foot tall statue of five dolphins that were also a fountain. I couldn’t stop thinking about it so, so I went back and I bought it also. I had no idea what to do with it. The logic went like this. If you have a fountain you might as well have the pond. If you have a pond you can have fish in the pond. If you’re going to have fish in the pond they might as well be Koi fish. 

The building inspector during the remodel said they were not interested in fishponds, so I didn’t need a permit.

So, I went to a pond store in Escondido. They sold me rubber sheeting as a pond liner, a pump, and Ultra filter system, a UV light and a swimming pool pump to drive my dolphins.

It took me three weeks with the team of four people to dig a 16 foot long, 8 foot wide and four foot deep hole. I built a concrete rim around the top of the hole and set up the liner and the suction system for the filter. I built the pump house to contain everything. We designed the pond to be predator proof. We have never lost a fish to a predator in 14 years. A friend gave me some baby Koi that had been born in his pond plus a couple of larger fish. And I was in the Koi business.

When I discovered the San Diego Koi Club, I was greeted by Dutch Highwarden. He was a retired Marine and talked like one. But over the next years he proved to be a near and dear friend. He taught me a lot about the care and feeding of my Koi. I increased the size of my filter system two different times ending up with a 10,000 gallon filter for my 4000 gallon pond. I had a 30 gallon aquarium tank that I would buy small fish at the Koi show and raise them to be large enough that the filter system could not suck them in before putting them in the big pond. Tamsie and her husband helped me through a bout with Aeromonas. I had to give each of my fish an antibiotic shot three times. I did lose one fish.

Three years ago I bought five fish at the Koi show and at least one of those fish had KHV. By this time a number of my fish weighed close to 20 pounds and were over 2 feet long which I had raised from babies 4 inches long. It ultimately killed each of my 36 fish. They were my pets. I eat breakfast with them every morning. I was devastated. The Koi club did help me with information and advice.

I decided to rebuild my pond. I had Paul Curtis design me a new filter system and I went from 4000 gallons to 16,000 gallons. 

Although my wife really decorates for the holidays, the Koi pond is the center attraction of our home. Little kids love to feed the fish and adults are mesmerized by the fish. I look forward to showing you what we have done in our remodel of our Koi pond and tell you why we did what we did at our next club meeting.




Wednesday, January 11th at 7:00 pm

(earlier if you are ordering food)


2691 Navajo Road

El Cajon, CA 92020 

View in Google Maps


Eileen Han
Robert Schmidt & Weibin Wang

Pat Kelly


Dorene Dias Pesta & Terry Pesta
Phyllis & John Spoor



by "Koi Jack" Chapman

Happy New Year Pond Thoughts

???? What’s your koi pond plan for 2023????

So here we are in Winter season and well it’s a very good time to ask yourself some koi pond related questions and make a plan for spring, summer and yes fall.

Not necessarily in order of precedence but just to help you get started.

1. Are you happy with your pond???? – Make a list of the good things, okay things and the not happy with things.

2. What kinds of things could I consider to improve the items on the okay or not happy with list???? If you’re anal like me, you even think about making the good list even better – this is where I get myself in trouble LOL.

3. How are your pond parts working???? Pond design, drains, prefilter, biochamber, returns –waterfalls and TRPs, UV, air and water pumps (age and backup), power supply, shade and anything you want to change or add/subtract.

4. What, if anything, do I want to do about your water quality???? So think about things like pond clarity, temp, pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, oxygen and alkalinity, and pond volume turnover rate to get you started. Any issues with these things in the past???? How old are my water test kits????? If over a year old suggest it’s time for replacements.

5. What’s my total system water volume, and with existing filtration system, how many koi would it support???? Better question is how much koi weight will it support???? If I got too many koi – what am I going to do???? Don’t forget the club annual koi auction or selling your koi on the internet or giving it to another club member!!!!

6. If you are going to add koi – what about quarantine and can my current pond system handle the additional fish load???? And, yes what colors do I need to add or increase to improve the pond’s total looks. Red (hi) is considered the base color for most koi pond collections. Crazy stuff or BS?

7. What changes would I like to see in my koi and what nutritional items would assist in those changes???? Feeding schedule????

8. What, when and how (the plan) to do what you want to do around and in your koi pond over the next 8 to 10 months. What maintenance schedule do you want to try and maintain???? And please record in your pond journal!!

9. What do you want to do that I forgot to put on my list????

10. Evaluate your changes, record them in your pond journal and schedule the general date you would like to do this again in 2023.

Yes, this could go on forever, but I wanted to touch on the main areas for your annual consideration on this subject. Stay safe and healthy.

r/koi jack


Notes from Koi Club of San Diego Steering Committee Meeting

Wednesday, December 14, 2022 by Tamsie Pierce

Members Present in person:

 Matt Rhoades

Jill Rhoades

Jack Chapman

Ben Adams

Greg Ruth

Linda Pluth

Julia Schriber

Tamsie Pierce 

Called to order at 7:00 PM.

Treasurer’s Report was presented. The General Revenue balance continues to drop with the expense of the storage shed.

January General meeting will be at the home of Dick & Bonita Long.  Tony Martinez will present the program covering his trip to Japan.

Membership Chair is still open, awaiting a volunteer to step forward to fill it. A note of the vacancy is to be added in the Newsletter.

Newsletter - a write up on the Dick Long pond is needed. Meetings have been held there before, so a description may still be in the archives.

JFG- lots of leaves fallen into the pond, many clogging up the pipes.
KHA - occasional food questions with the approach of winter, as well as questions on egg bound koi. As Jack is going up to Laguna Koi on the weekend it was suggested he approach Ben Plonski about presenting a program at the May meeting in Carlsbad when he is there to pick up his new fish.

Plans for a show have been put on hold at this time. We were offered space in the “Home and Garden Show” rather than the usual activity center, but their hours did not work with our schedule for releasing fish and tear down. We decided to decline the offer.

Non Profit reinstatement work continues. There has been some consultation with member Phil Halpern, an attorney. There are plans to submit the form 1023 (non profit). This will be the “long form” hoping for reinstatement.

New Business

At some point there needs to be a work party to straighten and clean the storage shed.

We have received donations from AKCA. The parent organization is closing and has shared items from its Bookstore among 4 local Koi Clubs for them to disperse. There was some discussion as to whether sell the items or add them to the monthly drawings but no decision was made.
We have been contacted by Dr. Jessie Sanders about her having a booth space at the show. She is the author of “How to Kill Your Koi.” As we are not having a show this year, there was some discussion about using her as a Zoom Speaker at a meeting, however, we have been notified she has a “Speaker’s Fee” should she appear. The idea has been tabled pending improvement in the club income.

We also have been contacted by “City Farmers” shop as they are offering some pond equipment to us. There were questions as to whether the equipment was new or used, would be donated or sold to us for resale.

There was further discussion about running ads in the newsletter from members who had koi related equipment for sale, a “Classified” column.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:30 PM

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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