First article published at Pinoy Moms Network: Home and Garden.
Our backyard garden has a lovely koi pond, where my husband’s treasured fish assortments are free to roam.
Our Koi pond has approximately 4,000 liter of water, with dimensions of 2 meter x 4 meter and 80 cm deep. As he said proudly, ‘our koi pond is the heart of our garden.’ He maintains this beautifully landscaped backyard pond that used to have three big koi fish — they were between 10-5 years old, from 12-5 inches long — his pride and joy. Imagine his shock when we saw them floating lifeless after one really cold winter?
What was left were the koi babies, mixed with hundreds of gold fish, the origin of which, remains a puzzle. My husband’s theory? Maybe the birds brought the seeds. Oh, we do receive a lot of visitors to our pond. The koi pond is a hunting ground for hungry cats and birds and it serves as their bathing fountain, too. Sometimes, we might need to shoo them away, especially if the water is not so high, or else we’ll find only water in our pond!
Among our pond plants are China reed and Pampasgas, which are located on the dry bank. Along the shallow water lies Kalmus (Calamus) and water plantains (Alisma plantago-aquatica). In the water floats yellow pond roses, searoses, and seapots (Nymphoides peltata). The swamp zone is also bursting with green life. The pool is surrounded with rocks to retain the sandy soil.
Our pond had a pressure filter pump system. This needs to be cleaned at least once every month. As for clearing the pool off dry leaves, my husband uses a long handled net. Though we already eliminated plants or trees near the pond that shed too much leaves. If ever some leaves would get into the pond and rot, the water could be polluted, thus not giving the fish clean water to live in. We also have a waterfall as a highlight to our koi pond.
And since kois do not hibernate, and though they can live through the cold months, my husband uses a polysterene sheet punched through with a pipe during winter, so that oxygen would circulate. And fish food? Of course - feeding the fish are the kids’ share of the job. They either use their hands (the fish doesnt shy away, they eat from your hands!) or by using a long handled net to place the fish food in the water.
Anyway, indeed, money and time are being spent to keep our koi pond a real beauty. But what happens when the kids arrived? They would also need a lot of space to play in the backyard garden. No second thoughts, safety first. We must do something, especially over the deep end. Result? A steel covering with four wooden rods for support. My husband tried to make it appealing to the eyes by painting the rods green; the steel is also supposed to be painted but I told him to simply let it go. We wouldn’t have to live with them for a long time, after all.
But despite the covering, the kids and their playmates, would always be warned — every now and then — about not going in the water. Nor trying to cross the rods. Oh they tried, kids would be kids! At least, we now have the first preventive measure in place.