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Rock Bottom Ranch Nursery

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Our Ponds and Koi

 

 

BIG POND = BIG FISH  

This is our largest pond.  It ranges from 2 to 8 feet deep.

 

 

 

From the dam at the south end of pond.

View across deep water toward the willow island.  There are many submerged plants in this pond.  The plants provide the fish with food, shelter from predators, and the fish lay their eggs in them.  Plants help maintain water temperature, create oxygen and

consume fish waste.  Plants are good.

From willow island looking south.

The gazebo dock is on cement pads. 

The windmill pumps air through tubes to 2 airstones in the pond.  These aereate the pond to maintain water quality and control algae. 

The windmill is pretty cool

... and the fish paid for it.

Besides fish, others also enjoy the pond.

Swim, boat, catch frogs - all OK.

Throw rocks, go fishing - not so good.

Willow island is behind brother John and his victim (this was a water fight. John had to pay a kid to look for his sunglasses after this little fiasco!  Serves him right - he shoulda' let

her throw him in without a fight!!) 

 Koi in the large pond

The red and white fish in the upper left was imported from Japan.  She is a 4-step Kohaku - a breeding female.

The kids call this "the skeleton fish".

Another breeding female, this Doitsu was a brown fish that grew into an unusual color.  We could have sold her a hundred times!

A Taisho Sanke with great potential

This was a red and white fish but now, black

is appearing.  As the fish ages, the colors

wil mature and may be an 'excellent' Koi.

 

Pond B - 50 x 100 ft. approx 5 ft. deep

This pond grows Koi that were sorted for high quality.  They will be very expensive when they are big!

They reproduced in spring, 2009.  We fished this pond for the sale tanks and caught a beautiful selection of young Koi.

Shop here for Yamabuki Ogan, Sanke, Showa, Shiro Bekko, Shiro Utsuru, and more! 

Be sure to check out this pond when you visit the ranch. 

The Koi are really friendly.  It's a hoot to watch them dash up for a visit!

 

Pond B 

Pond B - Koi

Pond B - Koi 

Pond A - 50 x 100 ft. approx 5 ft. deep

A simple net system was installed to protect the Koi from predation.

This growing pond produced a Portland Koi Show Champion.

 Pond A - Koi

The mud ponds are lined with natural clay, called Bentonite.

Pond A - Koi

Bentonite does not harm the fish.

It may enhance their color through nutrition or by filtering sunlight.

Pond A - Koi

The fish are caught and sorted into four 750 gallon tanks in the fish house.  These Koi are  quarantined and ready to sell. 

Selling Koi was not planned - it evolved.  It's a direct result of the great environment of our first (large) pond.  Originally intended for our

personal pleasure, the fish multiplied until it became necessary to control the population to maintain water quality. 

Backyard ponds are America's fastest growing hobby.

 

It's fun to meet Koi enthusiasts and help them select just the right fish to round out a collection.  We sell Koi of all sizes.

Please share our website with your friends who collect Koi.

 

The Koi are a popular attraction at the Nursery.  Most people in this part of the country have never seen these colorful carp. 

Word gets around, people notice our sign or they see our logo somewhere, and they can't resist a visit to see the fish. 

Once they arrive, everyone is amazed at the fish, but they also enjoy the setting and appreciate

the quality and prices of our plants and fish. 

 

We are friendly, we welcome 'tourists', and we answer questions.

We are frequently offered tips or donations to help buy fish food.

We appreciate the offers, but we'd rather our visitors simply tell others about our nursery. 

A visit to Rock Bottom Ranch is a unique and memorable shopping experience.

Q: What is the source of water for the ponds?
A: The ponds are filled with water from natural runoff and topped off from time to time from our irrigation well.  Valves direct water to the
ponds.  Throughout the season, the ponds lose water through seepage and evaporation.  Like a water change in an aquarium, adding
fresh water maintains fish health.  When irrigating the nursery, we divert some water to the ponds.  This relieves pressure on our drip
irrigation system and prevents blowouts.  This diverted water runs through a greenway on its way to the large pond. 
Providing water for wildlife has helped us "train" our resident herd of Mule Deer to travel around rather than through the nursery.

A: Koi are carp.  They are very hardy fish.  When the water temperature drops below about 50 degrees, the Koi stop eating and enter a period of dormancy.  (They kind of hibernate through the winter.)  They aren't very active in winter, but they will wander into the warm shallows to bask near the surface on a warm, sunny day.  They will beg for food but WE NEVER FEED THE KOI WHEN THE WATER IS BELOW 50 DEGREES F.  Their metabolism has slowed; their systems cannot process manufactured food; it will eventually kill them.  If they are hungry, they can eat plants in the pond or hunt for bugs, as God intended.
A: Yes, the ponds freeze over entirely and the ice can get thick enough to walk on.  Decomposing plant material and animal waste creates toxic gas in the water.  If the gas cannot escape because the pond is covered with ice, it may eventually cause harm or death.  The windmill pumps air into the large pond, which keeps the ice thawed in places. The holes in the ice allow gas to escape.  For the other ponds, fresh water is added to melt holes in the ice from time to time.  We NEVER break the ice by pounding on it.  The shock waves can kill the fish.

A: The population is anybody's guess.  In 2000, we planted about 20 SMALL Koi in the pond.  The fish started reproducing in 2001.  Over time, we've added more fish to improve the breeding quality.  A mature female can lay 100,000 to 300,000 eggs in a spawning.  These Koi are probably not large enough to spawn that many eggs, but they still produce thousands.  The mortality rate for eggs and baby fish must be huge and, of course, predators take their share.  We've sold MANY, MANY fish over the years.  We estimate that there are at LEAST 50 large Koi in the pond and thousands of young fish of varying ages.  When you walk around the pond, you will see fish everywhere!
A: Koi food in pellet form.  The primary ingredient is alfalfa (hay).  Koi do not eat other fish but they do eat bugs, worms, mosquitoes and other small critters.  They graze on the plants in the pond.  Koi also enjoy fruit and vegetables - they love watermelon.  They like cooked rice and  cheerios.  In a pinch, they can be fed dry catfood (which is probably too high in protein for regular feeding.)  Koi MUST NOT be fed catfish or trout food because this food is too rich in protein - it will damage their liver and eventually kill them.