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What I thought was lacking in our garden was the noise of running water.
So, we bought a pump and some pipework and organised a power supply in our garden. Then we bought some rather nice bamboo and made a really good fountain arrangement with the pipework hidden inside the bamboo
Then one day, we went to a garden centre and were attracted by the koi. One of the attendants came over and asked what we were interested in. The koi looked really good - but hey, I don't keep koi - I have a nice pond and it has impact but when I told the guy it's just over a metre deep he just couldn't see why we didn't have koi in our pond!
So, we bought some koi. Not knowledgeable in any way - we bought some koi and they looked fabulous in our pond. We liked them and though we don't see a great deal of summer, our friends liked our pond, when we had barbecues and lazy Bank Holidays.
Then we got a little more serious and bought a filter - this basically looked like a refuse bin - but it was a filter. Then summer came along and all the water went green, we couldn't see our fish but they were there. We bought some more fish and some of this "green free" solution - hey presto, within a few days our water was clear and our koi looked smart.
Unfortunately, it didn't last and we were back to green again!
One night, I made some adjustments on our pond and then I needed to go and drop something off.
When I returned, I realised within the 45 minutes I was away, all of my pond water had drained and the fish were struggling to survive. The former green mess had now gone and I could see our fish dying in front of our eyes.
I knew I couldn't just replenish with tap water because the chlorine would have seen them off - so I got on the net and found Pete Barton's number - he was local. He contacted Wayne. He was local too. Within 30 minutes, Wayne showed with a dechlorinator and I connected my garden tap to this and saved all of the fish!
But it didn't stop there. I joined the club. I totally modified the pond, yes, a labour of love. Now I have quite a serious hobby on my hands but the water is crystal clear, every day of the week and my koi are vibrant and flourishing. I now regret I didn't build a bigger pond!
Membership of the Liverpool Koi Club? Worth it's weight in gold. I am still well and truly scratching the surface but these club members who are now our friends are just so expert, it's unbelievable!
So what do we get for being members? For a start, nobody is on their own. Nobody's pond expectation is too big or too small. You can build your pond yourself or club members will build it for you. You will get the very best of Koi keeping advice and nobody is pushy, you go at your own speed and take the koi experience in at your own leisure.
We generally meet once a month. Most times it's at members ponds and we discuss all manner of koi keeping from the build to the filtration to the final water quality. Plus - we have some characters and we can't help but have a laugh - would you like some of this?
We also organise Dealer visits and have a good influence on getting good value for member's money, whether it's on koi or filtration equipment or pond stuff
We go to BKKS koi shows - you are looking at koi in the realms of best of breed. My own view on what is a good example of a koi fish is different to what it was when I had my big pond problem - but I still have those koi that I nearly killed - they're my koi, they were lovely then and they're still lovely now, but they have many friends!
My koi have never been sick. Some members have had medical issues and their koi has needed quarantine to enable them to get well - the club has vast medical knowledge and are often called upon to check out non-club members pond issues.
Why could you not afford the club membership when the benefits far outweigh the cost of dinner in your local hostelry?