Koi Club of San Diego

Volume 22 Issue 10




JFG Biofilter Cleaning October 8

We were given the OK to clean the JFG biofilter October 8 at 8:00-10:00. So put this activity on your calendar and we hope to see you there. As usual, park behind the organ pavilion and walk up the service driveway to the back gate of JFG. The walk-thru gate will be propped open to let you in.

After we clean the bio, we would like to try to catch the remaining little koi from last year’s spawning. Only they’re not so little anymore! We have been given permission to do this beyond their 10:00 opening time, so we may get a lot of interest and questions from the public.

Those of you who want to help, please dress appropriately and have fun! We will be keeping a handful of small koi who show potential in the upper pond but the rest will go to the canyon pond.

Hope to see you there! Any questions, email Linda at lpluth@cox.net or leave a message on her cell 619-200-4146.


by Tamsie Pierce

A big heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped out at the Koi Club Auction on Saturday, September 24 at San Diego Pond & Garden in Poway. I observed over and over how smoothly everything went, and it is all due to you and your help. Probably the most rewarding portion of the whole event is how you came to the site, headed for an area (or perhaps were coaxed into an area) to help out. 

Numbers are not fully sorted out quite yet, although it looks like the club grossed a little over $3000 to help with the club treasury and put toward show expenses. Bear in mind, however, these are preliminary numbers and will change (downward) when the donation splits payments to prior owners are factored in. Yes, the auction brought in less than last year. But remember there was a smaller group of active bidders.


A big personal thank you to:

Jill Kluth Rhoades for having most of the numbers crunched within a few hours of the end of the auction.

Jack Chapman for stepping forward as auctioneer.

Matt Rhoades for hefting bagged fish in and out of the holding tanks— on their way to be sold, and then into the vehicles of the new owners.

Tony Martinez for picking up and returning items stored at our Escondido storage unit — notably the fish carts, utilizing the resources of Tim’s young(er) enthusiastic muscle. Just one of the men with muscle and trucks.

All the busy folks among the holding tanks - sometimes pushing those same carts loaded with fish to be sold down the runway, sometimes bailing water into the fish tubs as they are being prepared to take that walk, and anything else they could do to keep things running smoothly.

Bill Newell shooting pictures to commemorate what was going on and who was helping out.

Lenore Wade for coordinating and serving the lunch.

Linda Pluth for filling in as runner to distribute the slips of paper confirming the paddle numbers and winning bids.

Buck Buckles, Cole Rhoades, Will Vukmanic, Greg Ruth who came early on Friday to literally man handle the holding tanks down the hill and then Buck and others on Saturday afternoon doing a tank roll to get them back up the hill and stacked properly.

And to everyone who pitched in - Once again you have proven how and why Koi Club of San Diego is such a vital group - full of koi information, help for fellow pond keepers and, as always, welcoming challenges.

If I missed noting your name, you know who you are, giving the club support with both muscle and pocketbook, and we appreciate your willingness to spend a weekend helping out the club. Tank wrangling, fish wrangling, making the whole event a gathering among friends- old and new. What we’re all about, actually - sharing our koi expertise with others to keep them successful. Because from the folks who hunted up the electrical outlets and circuit breakers, to Julia Schriber’s new skill at labelling to be sold bags of fish as well as those already bought and her little group rebagging those sold fish we had a smooth successful Koi Auction.



October Koi Club of San Diego Meeting

October 9th, 2022

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! 


1554 Marble Court

Chula Vista, CA 91911


  • 805 south to Orange avenue/Olympic Parkway exit  (The southern edge of Chula Vista).
  • Head West on Orange Avenue.
  • Turn left at the stop light (it’s a short block). Now you are on Melrose heading South.
  • Turn right on first right - Slate.  
  • Turn left on first left - Marble Court.

Marble Court is a long court.  The house is on the West side - blue with a split rail fence and three really big pine trees. Parking is liable to be tight. Please feel free to use the drive for drop off or parking.

There is usually a steady ocean breeze. Depending on weather, you might want to bring a light jacket. 

Koi Club of San Diego Ponder Profile

Tamsie and Al Pierce

In 1967 the Navy moved us from the East Coast to San Diego. We immediately fell in love with keeping salt water fish for their diversity, color and amazing survival adaptations.  Of course being so near Scripps (Research) was hardly a downside as they ran long intake and drain lines out into the ocean to maintain their own collection of salt water fish for their aquarium. And then, obligingly, attached those drain lines to a convenient outside faucet so we could simply fill containers with filtered, clean saltwater for our own aquarium.

Then came an article in the San Diego Union newspaper about a local doctor who operated on tumors in his own fish. Dr. Galen Hansen. And Koi.

Which, of, course, led us to the Del Mar Fairgrounds and a Koi show and on to the Koi Club of San Diego. Who, we soon realized hand addressed all the Club newsletters. So, of course, we had to use the word computer and address labels, and abracadabra, we were not only members but were “involved.”

Which led to the saga of the Koi pond. Our koi pond.

Many years ago a friend had suggested we put an aviary over a dead spot on the south end of the patio. With a little bit of inspiration that aviary became part of the pond and waterfall and peaceful place to sit with the morning coffee or evening wine glass to commune with the fish and first cockatiels and now white doves.

When we attended an early Koi Club meeting we were inspired by the system the host had installed, including a fiberglass septic tank for the main part of the biological filtration.

Wow! We knew enough of how to work with fiberglass to be able to move the inlet and outlets—- make the changes, add, subtract. Adapt.

The 750 gallon tank was small enough to fit in the bed of our truck. Large enough to have 2 chambers- one for the settling area (mechanical) and plenty of space in the second to nourish the biological bugs to clean the water for the fish.

However, it was too large to fit between the house and the neighbor’s fence, so to get to the backyard it had to go over the roof. With the help of a couple of gullible friends and the truck as a counterweight, over it went. In your picture of that event, do recall how light fiberglass can be.

And yes, we do have pictures.

The pond itself was dug by hand for pretty much the same reason. Too narrow for a skip loader. So we dug. And it rained. The sides collapsed a little from the rain as we went down through a layer of sand to another layer of hardpan. So we dug deeper and wider.

Keeping in mind the Japanese Koi pond history and how those ponds began the hobby without the benefit of electricity to run pumps we laid the plumbing with the minimal needs for electrical lift and the maximum use of gravity for flow in mind.

We had avidly read all the articles on pond design and maintenance and efficiency — raised side to prevent fish jumping out and lawn chemical run off, straight sides, relatively deep.

Al, at that point was working at “Job Corps” a sort of work training school for high school and older students wanting to learn a trade.  Such as cement work. After we had laid in the plumbing and the reinforcing rods and wire up the sides, we had an instructor bring his crew in to finish the concrete. We gained a pond at a minimal cost, and the students gained valuable experience.  Such as the more you work concrete the softer it gets so smoothing up those steep sides had to be done — delicately.

The pleasure of sitting by the side of the pond to read and having the fish nibble at bare toes has been well worth every shovel full of dirt lifted.

And the fish stories-

What do I tell the doctor (it has not happened) if those fish nibbles dislocate a toe or two?

We put in a shelf for water lilies. They grew full of buds and ready to break into bloom the following weekend when we were to have a Koi Club meeting. My enthusiasm must have been contagious, for one of the females in the pond decided to spawn and the lilies were the right place. The males enthusiastically followed her through the lily plants to fertilize the eggs and everyone else came after and feasted on caviar for lunch. Yes, I took the lily plants out. Yes, all those beautiful buds were broken off.

We’ve had visits from the great blue heron, neighborhood cats, the skunks and raccoon, but the steep sides of the pond and the aviary overhanging about 2/3 of the pond have protected the fish. A lath cover filters the sun and reduces the pond algae.

We clean the pond through a system of standpipes in a sump and then the dirty water is pumped out into the gardens and plantings. A system of isolating valves were installed with the plumbing (the ability to block off the filter without turning off the waterfall, for instance, when it is time to thoroughly clean the filter). Our pond pump is rated at 1/6 hp which, along with the closed system, keeps expenses down.

We also have several water gardens. Which are simply holes in the ground with some sort of liner, maybe a small waterfall, and only small fish with huge appetites for mosquito larvae.

Over the years we have added a “bubble bead” filter as a backup, enabling us to carry a heavier fish load than it appears the system should handle.

Let’s take a filter tour when you come, and ask your questions. Every pond location has different requirements. Maybe some of our innovations can work for you.



JFG Bio Filter Cleaning and koi culling

Wednesday, October 12th at 7:00 pm

(earlier if you are ordering food)


2691 Navajo Road

El Cajon, CA 92020 

Saturday, October 8th, 2022 at

8 am

Japanese Friendship Garden

2215 Pan American Rd E, San Diego, CA 92101



Scott Bonelli


Amy & Edward Biliunas
Mike & Pam Brito
Galen & Maureen Hansen
Judie Lincer
Sam & Terri Seat
John & Nikki Schultz



by Lenore Wade

Most important, I want to thank Tony and Nadine Martinez for hosting our September Koi Club meeting. Although it was beyond warm and very hot, most of our members were able to find cool places to sit while enjoying the picture window in the pond. Tony built the pond this year with only a little help from a neighbor. It is really a delightful area to sit and watch the fish play.

On that note, I want you to know that we have cancelled the planned pond tour for October. We found a few hurdles that seem too difficult to manage at this time. The idea of having a pond tour is not going away. We will work out the kinks and let you know when the next one will be.

Speaking of meetings, our October 9th meeting will be in Chula Vista at the home of Tamsie and Al Pierce. It has been a number of years since we were last there. Their whole pond area shows their love of birds and koi in a unique setting.

I want to thank all of you who come to the meetings for making the food table a more enjoyable place to find delicious treats. To the creative members, please keep bringing the unusual dishes to share. It is a delight for all of us.

If you are able, please help with the bio filter cleaning and little fish culling at the Japanese Friendship Garden on Saturday, October 8th at 8:00 am. Many hands make light work, and you might find a little fish to take home that will make you smile.

The hard work to update the Club by-laws has been completed. Bless the few of you who have made the unenviable job a reality. The proposed bylaws will be posted for review on our website and a vote will be taken for their approval by active members at the October meeting.

Our Koi master, Jack, reported that there have been few problems needing his intervention. When there is a problem, it is good to know there is a resource. But, at the same time, I think we are each grateful when it is not us.

The Board of Directors has decided that the club is not in a financial position to host a Koi Show in the Spring. We need to get our pandemic ravaged treasury back into good working order. For those who might not understand, the club has to commit close to $20,000+ to put on a show. We all hope for a better time soon.

The best way to help the club is by being involved in our fund-raising efforts. The koi auction is a big part of generating funds. Of course, the opportunity drawing at each meeting also helps to pay our bills. Please continue to donate your unwanted treasures. Remember, you will be given a free ticket for each donation.



by "Koi Jack" Chapman


Well, I finished the ever-boring koi nutrition series and wanted to keep it simple this month when the phone rang with a concern about koi flashing.   Upon review I discovered that I’ve not written about flashing since 2017, so I got my short article subject.

This late summer has seen a few calls about flashing and we’ve just wrapped up a long heat wave even for us and I’ve done a pond visit based on just flashing activity.   So I wanted to take this opportunity to discuss flashing in general.

We have all seen koi flash (quick rubbing movement of koi against something in the pond to include the sides and most often the bottom) and they are trying to tell us something.  Your koi are not happy about something or, I as like to say, irritated by something and trust me when I say the list is looooong.

Big question is it just one koi, a couple or even over half the pond population and when during the day is the flashing observed? Our minds instantly go to the dreaded parasitic infestation and it is one thing to be ruled out, but more times than not it is something else most often related to water quality or daily changes to the same.  But first, a little time for parasites – there are other fish behaviors in addition to flashing that are common indicators of questionable parasites like the quick repeated twitching of a peck fin(s) and/or while swimming normal to hold the peck fin very close to the body; sitting on the bottom isolated with fins in the out position; repeated flashing at all times of the day to one particular area of their body; and even some quick, repeated darting swimming motions.  Even resting head down (45 degrees) or up in the water column for a few minutes is a sign all is not right with your koi.  Let’s not forget excess slime coat, jumping or breaching the surface followed by a stream of bubbles coming from the gills and often the same side of the koi.  All are suspect activities that raise the question of does my koi(s) have a parasite.   Just a note: I’ve been known to say if you look long enough you can find a parasite or two in any pond and I truly believe it - they just don’t present themselves in sufficient numbers to cause serious infestation issues in an otherwise well maintained pond and then again I could be dead wrong.

But what about the flashing not associated with parasites.  This list is long but let it suffice to say the major stressor in this category include: A daily change in pH at or above .5; a daily change in water temp in excess of 4 degrees F; any day you do water changes and or pond maintenance (the effect can be for a couple of days); toxins/pollutants introduced in small quantities to the pond (stuff like measurable ammonia and chlorine); and okay any change to water chemistry that the koi are irritated by (that ought to cover my butt on this subject).  Oh, I almost forgot, over or multiple long or short periods of pond/koi medication.

A lot of times when I get first calls about flashing and not specific behavior to parasites, we will go over the above list and just observe for a week to record koi activity.  Hope this gets you to thinking of the many possibilities the next time you see a koi flash and wonder why?

And, just in case you were wondering about the pond visit for flashing resulted in a case of Helminth Parasites known as Gyrodactylus but most of us just say skin flukes.  Most likely came with a new koi received 1 month earlier and it was the most microscopically infested koi.



Notes from Koi Club of San Diego Steering Committee Meeting

Wednesday, September 14, 2022 by Tamsie Pierce

Members Present in person:

 Matt Rhoades

Jill Rhoades

Jack Chapman

Lenore Wade

Al Pierce

Linda Pluth

Julia Schriber

Tamsie Pierce 

Will Vukmanic

Called to order at 7:00 PM.

The question was raised as to the position of Historian and whether we have someone filling it. It was decided to discuss the needs of the position further on-line.
VP Venue announced that meetings through the end of the year would be:
   October 9 Al & Tamsie Pierce - Chula Vista 91911
   November 13 John & Nikki Schultz - Alpine 19101
   December 11 Frank & Nancy Cannizzaro - San Diego 92124

VP Program was covered by Will Vukmanic.

There was some discussion on newsletter access for the membership.

Fish Auction:
Set up will be at 8 AM on Friday, September 23. Sign ups look good for helping with the main auction, but a separate request will be sent out looking for set up help.

Treasurer Report:
Some discussion of the new treasurer forms occurred, and questions on prior non profit filings listing primary officers.

Filter cleaning on Saturday, October 8 from 8 - 10. There is also a need for volunteers to be Garden docents to talk to the visitors. Contact Linda Pluth or the Garden itself.

KHA - no additional report.

Website/Newsletter - no further report

Show - There is a question on the proposed date of the show as Del Mar has not gotten back to us in answer to our queries. Home & Garden show will be the end of April, but some discussion held that we should skip a show this year and concentrate on 2024.

Pond Tour is postponed.

Non Profit update:
Bylaws changes were suggested and  discussed. Jack moved and Julia seconded to approve those changes to bylaws. And accept the bylaws as discussed to be presented to the general membership for final approval.

New Business:
More discussion on “written notice of dues”. Currently there is an email notice. It was suggested to send a reminder (second notice) by US mail.

Meeting was adjourned at 8:35 PM

Koi Person of The Year 2022 Lenore Wade



President: Lenore Wade   


First VP-Program: Will Vukmanic


Second VP-Venue: Matt Rhoades


Secretary: Tamsie Pierce


Treasurer: Matt Rhoades




Show Chairman 2023: Matt Rhoades


Newsletter editor/

Webmaster: Julia Schriber


Membership Chairman/

Vendor Chairman: Greg Ruth


Koi Health Advisor/

Librarian: Jack Chapman


AKCA Representative: Scotty Yee


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


This message was sent to you by {Organization_Name}

If you no longer wish to receive these emails, you can unsubscribe at any time