VENTURA COUNTY KOI SOCIETY
Meets: 2nd Saturday @ 2 pm
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports our meeting last month at the home of Richard and Gloria Victor was a great opportunity to share ideas, solve problems, answer questions and socialize. Their three backyard gazebos are comfortable places for round table type discussions. We met and welcomed Patty McKinney to our club. Hopefully our suggestions for maintaining her new fish and turtle pond will be helpful. From now on she has all her fellow club members to help her learn to enjoy her pond. We look forward to becoming better acquainted with her at future meetings. I wish to thank Richard and Gloria for being such welcoming and generous hosts. Their hospitality is much appreciated. The Sep meeting will be on the 9th at the home of Bob and Andi Artz in Simi Valley. Check their website at http://users.vcnet.com/rrenshaw/vcks.html
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports as most of us have found, it takes time for a pond and garden to mature. It was a real pleasure to see Bobby and Eileen Chanas’ pond in July. In the years since the pond was built they have made many changes and adjustments to their pond. Their colorful koi look quite happy swimming about in their enlarged pond. The garden has a bright and playful look that is most inviting. The countless hours devoted to their pond and garden have truly been a labor of love. The pond has become a destination and something to be proud of. Congratulations, Bobby and Eileen for a job well done. The August meeting will be Saturday, August 12th, at the home of Richard and Gloria Victor in Ventura at 2 p.m. Check their website at http://users.vcnet.com/rrenshaw/vcks.html.
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports we thank Rick and Janet Shaw for the best ever annual barbeque in June. Practice certainly does make perfect. After nine consecutive years we are totally spoiled by your extraordinary hospitality and devotion to our club. Your home is the ideal setting with its’ lush tropical plantings and pond full of many colorful koi. We never tire of watching the feeding frenzy when Rick throws the koi food in. Rick’s neighbor did a fabulous job barbequing the various meats. The selection of pot luck items rounded off the meal offering with something to please everyone. The raffle was very successful thanks to our member’s donations and David Luna’s spirited ticket selling.
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports their Annual Barbeque will be held on Saturday June 10th at the home of Rick and Janet Shaw in Woodland Hills. Guests are $15 each; no charge for members. Please bring a side dish and a raffle item. The July 17th meeting will be held at the home of Eileen and Bobby Chana in Newbury Park.
Our May meeting in Montecito at the home of Peter Fleurat and Lalo Barajas was the most idyllic setting imaginable for nature lovers. Anyone who has visited before would not dream of missing another chance to see the beautiful secluded property with its’ tall old trees and running creek. Peter and Lalo have a way of entertaining guests with effortless grace. The relaxing atmosphere was further enhanced with delicious food and company of fellow koi keepers. Many thanks to Peter and Lalo for another memorable visit to their home; they really know how to live and enjoy life.
I especially want to thank Peter for his thoughtful generosity sharing plants from his garden. Over the years he has brought many plants to our meetings. One time he had so many plants that he literally filled the back of his truck with them and told everyone to help themselves.
I also want to thank Mark Davis of Santa Barbara Koi for speaking to us. He brought a multi-speed Hayward pump with built in programmable timer and told how it can be used to customize flow rates at various times of the day and save a lot of money with its’ energy efficiency. He also showed us a valve that can easily repaired and is much easier to turn. Plus he showed us a product for repairing cracks in a pond. In talking about the koi herpes virus he strongly recommended quarantining new koi with one or two koi from the pond before releasing the new koi to the pond. I have found that a second smaller pond works great for this purpose rather than setting up a temporary tank when needed. The small pond also serves as a place to treat new koi if necessary and to watch their development before deciding whether or not to add them to the larger pond. Starting out in the hobby with a small pond it is a very good way to find out if one is well suited to koi keeping before embarking on building a large pond. Liner ponds are particularly good for those who may be moving and want to be able to disassemble and return the ground the way it was before.
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports last month’s meeting at the home of David Luna and Jim Rivera was a grand and joyous event. David and Jim really know how to entertain in style. Their immaculately groomed garden and large pond with happy pampered koi was the perfect setting for a koi lovers gathering. As usual, the taco bar was a big hit and David’s’ persimmon cookies were divine. After relaxing and socializing our meeting focused on our appreciation of some of our most exceptional members. For many years we have turned to Dan Miller and Richard Renshaw for advice and guidance. Between the two of them they have 80 years of experience. At the meeting they shared helpful tips that they have learned over the years. Their willingness to share their knowledge and help others has truly made them our most valuable club assets. The May meeting was held at the home of Peter Fleurat and Lalo Barajas in Montecito. The club’s Annual Barbeque will be on June 10th at 4 p.m. at Rick and Janet Shaw’s home in Woodland Hills. Check their website at http://users.vcnet.com/rrenshaw/vcks.html.
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports their Saturday, April 8th luncheon meeting was held at the home of David Luna and Jim Rivera in Ventura was a grand and joyous event. David and Jim really know how to entertain in style. Their immaculately groomed garden and large pond with happy pampered koi was the perfect setting for a koi lovers gathering. As usual, the taco bar was a big hit and David’s’ persimmon cookies were divine. After relaxing and socializing our meeting focused on our appreciation of some of our most exceptional members. For many years we have turned to Dan Miller and Richard Renshaw for advice and guidance. Between the two of them they have 80 years of experience. At the meeting they shared helpful tips that they have learned over the years. Their willingness to share their knowledge and help others has truly made them our most valuable club assets.
Over the last several months Bruce Hunter has given freely of his time helping Evelyn Jimenez solve her pond leak problem. His perseverance finally paid off and Evelyn can go back to enjoying her pond again thanks to Bruce. In recognition of his exceptional devotion to helping another club member we are extending Bruce’s club membership through next year.
Check their website at http://users.vcnet.com/rrenshaw/vcks.html.
The summer like weather on the day of our March meeting was a welcome relief from all the storms. The Schultz residence is one of our favorite destinations. No matter what time of year their garden and pond are a beautiful setting for a meeting.
Steve arranged for his pond builder, Juan Goyeneche, to speak to us. After meeting with several other pond builders, Steve was most impressed with Juan because of his willingness to build the pond Steve’s way. As koi hobbyists we often have very exacting specifications for the building of our koi pond and it can be very difficult to find a builder flexible enough to go along with our requirements. Steve says that his pond has exceeded all expectations and is very quick and easy to maintain. Juan, owner of Goyeneche Landscaping, can be reached at
We were also introduced to Joe Acevedo of Castile Concrete Koi Ponds. Joe spoke to us about a very durable spray on liner that he specializes in. Large rocks and other decorative features can safely be installed on top of the liner. He advises against auto-fill devices because they can hide the fact that there is a leak. Indeed, one of our club members lost most of her big beautiful koi because the auto-fill was feeding untreated water into her pond because of a bad leak. Joe Acevedo can be reached at (626)484-2088.
I was very pleased to meet our newest member, Renee Zelnick. Hopefully we will have the chance to become better acquainted at future meetings.
I would like to thank Steve and Evy for giving us a wonderful meeting. Their willingness to host meetings whenever needed is much appreciated! We could not have asked for a more enjoyable and informative meeting.
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports the koi meeting scheduled for this Saturday, February 18th, has been rescheduled for February 25th, at 2PM. Let’s hope no rain on that day! Check their website at http://users.vcnet.com/rrenshaw/vcks.html.
Our postponed February meeting was well worth the waiting for. A sizeable crowd showed up for the brief break in a series of rain storms. I can’t thank our hosts, Joe and Lydia Medrano enough for their hospitality. Hosting a meeting in the winter can be very difficult but they pulled it off with ease. Lydia’s huge pot of minestrone soup was a big hit! Between the soup, heater lamps, and fire pit we were able to mingle outside and enjoy the pond in spite of the cold weather.
The sharing of learning experiences during this meeting was particularly helpful and at times very entertaining. Our host Joe told us how he avoids predator problems at night by covering his pond for the night with a solar blanket. Bob Artz says that he once killed off algae in the summer when he had to cover his pond for an aerial Malathion spraying. David Luna recently killed off dense string algae on his waterfall and stream by liberally covering the area with baking soda for four hours before cleaning up.
I especially want to thank Mike Przewoznik for generously donating a twenty pound box of his Summer Avenue Water Gardens koi food. Members enthusiastically competed for the food by buying raffle tickets. Ronn and Virginia Boll were the happy winners!
WARNING!!! Mike Przewoznik tells us he killed off almost all of his koi using a new garden hose. He says to be sure to read the labelling before buying a new hose.
Our visit to the home of Jeff Graver and Valerie Pike was the perfect way to start off the New Year. A large number of members turned out to bask in the sun between rain storms.
Since joining our club last year Jeff and Valerie have really gotten into the spirit of koi keeping. The koi left in the pond when they bought the house last year and the young koi they have added since are peacefully cruising about the pond.
Belonging to a koi club clearly has its benefits. The collective knowledge of our members is very beneficial to all of us, especially anyone taking over someone else’s pond and new to the hobby.
Visiting Jeff and Valerie is such a joy. They are terrific hosts and delightful people to be around. Thank you so much Jeff and Valerie for treating us to a most enjoyable afternoon. We are so glad to have you in our club!
I especially enjoyed the rare chance to visit with our long time club treasurer, Rosie Asbell. Rosie used to live just two doors down from Jeff and Valerie’ home and still lives in the area. We are very grateful and fortunate to have such a faithful treasurer!
Thanks to a number of members volunteering to host a meeting we have a great year in store for everyone.
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports Ronn and Virginia Boll carried on their tradition of hosting our last meeting of the year in November. Their most generous warmth and hospitality keep us returning year after year. We never tire of hearing stories how they built their own pond and humorous tales and things that have happened since. Being a koi keeper requires real dedication and hard work plus a good sense of humor to look back and laugh at what we go through for the sake of our beloved koi. Thank you so very much, Ronn and Virginia, for being such dedicated members! The Saturday, January 14th meeting will be held at 2 p.m. at the home of Jeff Graver and Valerie Pike in Ventura. Check their website at http://users.vcnet.com/rrenshaw/vcks.html.
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports meetings at Gary & Denice Stouffer’s home never fail to draw a good sized crowd and the August meeting was no exception. It is always a pleasure to gather for “A meeting under the oaks”. The beautiful natural looking pavers recently installed to replace the gravel covered patio and paths has greatly enhanced the entire backyard. Evelyn Jimenez gave her heartfelt thanks to Bruce Hunter for all his help with her pond since the passing of her husband, Phillip, and her own lengthy illness. Possible solutions for the ongoing pond leakage problems were discussed and suggestions were made by members during the meeting. The support and concern shown to Evelyn was a most touching example of what a special group of people we have. The Sep meeting will be held on Saturday, September 17th, 2016 at the home of Richard and Gloria Victor in Ventura. Check their website at http://users.vcnet.com/rrenshaw/vcks.html.
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports the meeting was held on Saturday, August 13 at the home of Gary and Denice Stouffer in Newbury Park. Their 10 year old community pond has a mixture of Koi and fancy goldfish. The koi are mostly butterfly because we like the flowing fins. The goldfish consist of Sarasa Comets, Fantail, Shubunkin, Ryukin, Lionhead and Oranda. Since they have gone on vacations for up to 30 days at a time they have designed the pond to be completely self sufficient. This includes an automatic feeder, water level sensor and an electric fence to keep the raccoons and birds away. When they do a water change they have a 200 gallon storage tank to capture the waste water which is then pumped into the garden to water the plants. Richard and Gloria Victor of Ventura will host our next meeting on Sep 17th. Check their website at http://users.vcnet.com/rrenshaw/vcks.html.
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports the July 16th meeting was to be held at the home of Evy and Steve Schultz in Thousand Oaks. As always, our annual barbeque hosts, Rick & Janet Shaw, treated us to a marvelous afternoon at their home in June. Their dedication to our club is truly exceptional. Rick did a fabulous job with the pork ribs newly added to the menu. Both Janet and Rick make entertaining a crowd look so effortless. Thanks to those who brought raffle items and bought tickets. We did well in offsetting some of the BBQ expense. The ever popular eating frenzy of the Shaw’s koi was a performance worthy of the occasion; much like the grand finale at a fireworks display I can’t thank Rick and Janet enough for continuing their tradition of hosting our annual barbeque! The August 13th meeting will be hosted by Gary and Denise Stouffer in Thousand Oaks. Check their website at http://users.vcnet.com/rrenshaw/vcks.html.
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports the club will hold their annual Pot Luck sides with club BBQ on Saturday June 18th at the home of Rick and Janet Shaw in Woodland Hills. Check their website at http://users.vcnet.com/rrenshaw/vcks.html.
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports the May meeting was at the home of Jeff Graver and Valerie Pike in Ventura on the 14th. Jeff and Valerie bought their home this past January of 2016. They purchased their Spanish Style house from former Ventura Koi Society members Chuck and Kay McLaughlin. The house came with a 5,000 gallon pond stocked with 14 koi fish. It has a waterfall about five feet high that serves as the filter. An adjacent 1000 gallon pond hosts water plants and receives water from the koi pond via a gravity fed conduit. Thanks to Chuck McLaughlin’s quality engineering, the pond system requires only a few minutes of maintenance per day. The Annual Barbeque will be held on June 18th (the revised date) at Rick and Janet Shaw’s home in Woodland Hills at 4 PM. Check their website at http://users.vcnet.com/rrenshaw/vcks.html.
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports the March meeting was at the home of Armando Baz and Larry Bittlesto. Armando’s love of animals and plant life is evident everywhere you look. The colorful golden conures and exotic tortoises are my favorites. The timing was just right to see many of his orchids in bloom. Armando and Larry are such great hosts that we felt like we were having a family gathering and celebration. Without the koi keeping hobby we would never had the pleasure of knowing two very special people. We thank you Armando and Larry for a most delightful afternoon at your home! I especially want to thank Iva Gaglione of Star Milling Company for her most generous donation of Ultra Balance koi food. Ten people were the happy winners of Ultra Balance koi food. Iva will be the guest speaker at our May 14th meeting; we will be able to purchase food from her at that time. I am very sad to report the passing of our very first Ventura County Koi Society President, Bob Hensley. I feel at a loss without my friend Bob. We spent many an hour discussing koi pond water quality and comparing it to methods used at the Simi Valley Wastewater Treatment plant where he retired as Operations Manager after 40 years in the field. My heart goes out to Bob’s wife Judy. Bob and Judy were married for over thirty years and enjoyed many a trip to Maui. The April meeting will be at the home of Joe and Kathryn Melton in Reseda on April 16th at 1 p.m. Check their website at http://users.vcnet.com/rrenshaw/vcks.html.
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports our Feb visit to Joe and Lydia Medranos’ home was everything we could wish for in a koi club meeting. Joe & Lydia are such wonderful hosts! We could not have felt more welcome in their home. Lydia really knows how to put on a lavish spread of foods to please a crowd. Their attractive pond was the ideal place to gather around while visiting with one another. We were amazed to learn that their large koi have grown from small koi to their current size in a mere seven years! Joe built his own pond, and judging by the big happy koi, is doing a terrific job of maintaining everything. I wish to thank Joe and Lydia for hosting such a great meeting! It was well worth the wait. I would like to thank Richard Renshaw for telling us about a koi food (Aquatics koi food from Dr. Fosters) that he and Dan Miller are impressed with. It really helps to learn about products that members are happy with. Please don’t hesitate to share your experiences at our meetings. Our monthly meetings are the ideal opportunity to learn from the experiences of others. The Mar meeting on the 13th will be at the home of Armando Baz & Larry Bittleston in Ventura. Check their website at http://users.vcnet.com/rrenshaw/vcks.html
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports our January visit to the home of Daniel Frayssinet and Tamara was the perfect way to start off the New Year. Their home and pond are exceptional. Daniel gutted and remodeled his home with portions of the pond flowing into the house. Glass doors and walls make the pond totally visible both indoors and outdoors. The design allows the koi to avoid predators and beg for food whenever they please. The koi and turtles are very much a part of the family along with humans and dogs. Life is good for the Frayssinet family. I wish to thank Daniel for arranging for Christian Lee of Cali Koi to visit our meeting. Christian spoke about maintaining good water quality and introduced us to a line of koi food called NijiKawa. Thanks to samples given out by Christian we can try both the Four Seasons and Growth NijiKawa food. Thanks, Daniel and Tamara. It was a real treat visiting your home. Your marvelous hospitality was very appreciated by all! Our February meeting at the home of Joe and Lydia Medrano in Thousand Oaks is a first visit! Hope to see you.
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports the club was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our club member, Phillip Jimenez. Phillip was one of the original members of our koi club. I will miss his fun loving playfulness and kind hearted spirit. My heart goes out to his wife Evelyn. Hopefully she will find comfort from the company of our club members and will continue to follow her love of koi. The Jan 16th meeting will be held at the home of Daniel Frayssinet in Thousand Oaks. Daniels’ indoor/outdoor pond is a real must see. We last saw the home renovation and pond construction as a work in progress in July, 2014. Much of the pond is indoors. I am anxious to hear how people, fishes, turtles and plants are all getting along together. I imagine Daniel has added even more materials and treasures to his home from his worldwide travels. This visit should be the perfect way to start off an exceptional year of the art of koi keeping. See you soon!
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports the Oct meeting was held at the home of Eric Howes with his Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean theme park atmosphere and his mothers lovingly prepared foods. The November meeting was held on the 14th at the home of Ronn and Virginia Boll in Camarillo, whose 5,500 gallon pond was built by them and features approximately 30 fish, including 2 hi fin sharks and a goldfish. Guest speaker was John Matthews whose topic was succulents (soil, watering, general care and repotting). )
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports the Pirate themed Oct meeting will be on Sat the 17th at Eric Howes home in Thousand Oaks at 2 p.m. Rigging creaks and timbers groan, the smoke of cannon fire fills the air, a flash of steel, the glint of gold! There be pirates in these waters, mates, so get ready to set sail! Come one, come all, and enjoy our annual Pirate themed fall “Meetn’ With The Fishes!“ This 8,000-gallon concrete pond is embellished with elaborate cast concrete pattern block waterfalls and columns – all set in a lavish themed backdrop that would make any Buccaneer feel at home. Feel free to come as your favorite Scurvy Dogg! …and remember, Dead Men Tell No Tales! )
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports last month’s meeting was a most welcome chance to check up on what is new at the home of Bob & Andi Artz. Looking at their pond I immediately spotted a beautiful young butterfly showa! The Sep meeting will be on the 12th at 2 p. m. at the home of Jan and Bruce Hunter in Ventura. Please note the date for the October meeting will be October 17th at Eric Howes home.
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports the rescheduled Jul meeting was at the home of Gary & Denice Stouffer, who treated members to a most delightful afternoon at their home. Member Mike Przewoznik shared lots of valuable information from the AKCA Wet Lab he recently attended. The Aug meeting will be at the home of Bob & Andi Artz in Simi Valley. )
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports their July meeting has been rescheduled to July 25th at 2 p.m. at the home of Gary and Denice Stouffer in Newbury Park. Saturday’s weather shows that Murphy’s Law lives on! It rained a couple of brief stints in the morning, and then, just about the time we would have started our meeting, it poured and gave us a lightning show! Our wonderful hosts, Gary and Denise, have agreed to have the meeting this Saturday, July 25th, at the same time. And we have an added bonus! Mike Przewoznik just returned from the AKCA wet lab and will be talking with us about what he has learned. Also he will update us on the KHV virus. He will be bring for sale some decorative koi items and he will be donating items for a raffle. We hope to see all of you! )
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports our meeting last month at the home of David Luna and Jim Rivera was everything one could possibly want from a koi club meeting. The joy of life and love of entertaining shown by our hosts was truly contagious. What could be better than visiting with fellow koi hobbyists; dining on good food, and learning about koi behavior and nutritional needs from our most knowledgeable Ultra Balance Koi Food representative, Iva Gaglione. Iva told us how to avoid turning our koi into finicky picky eaters by staying with one well balanced diet. She said that the smell of the food attracts them first and that taste is very important-no rancid food will be tolerated! I especially want to thank Iva for taking the time to be with us and so generously giving out bags of Ultra Balance for people to try. I always enjoy the opportunity to visit with Iva and greatly appreciate the chance to ask her every question I can think of. Our ANNUAL BARBEQUE will be held Saturday, June 13th, at 4 p.m. at the home of Rick and Janet Shaw in Woodland Hills. )
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports the April meeting was our grand reopening since all the hardscape projects were completed. I feel like I have a new home since Eric Howes’s beautiful brick and metal designs were completed. Isidro Cervantes was on hand for the unveiling of his exquisite masonry work. The addition of the hardscape has brought everything together to create a garden that is a feast for the eyes. I cannot thank Eric and Isidro enough for putting the crowning touches on my garden. I wish to thank Joe & Tina Estrada for bringing their koi auction to us all the way from Palmdale. There is nothing like a koi sale to add excitement to a meeting! The May meeting will be on Saturday the 9th at the home of David Luna and Jim Rivera in Ventura. Guest Speaker will be Iva Gaglione, Star Milling Company-Aquaculture Feed Manager. )
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports the April 18th meeting was held at their home in Thousand Oaks. Joe Estrada brought some 4” to 12” for sale, including butterflys. Mike Przewoznik had a selection of koi merchandise for sale. The May 9th meeting will be hosted by David Luna and Jim Rivera and the Annual BBQ will be held on June 13th, hosted by Rick and Janet Shaw.
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports the Feb meeting at the home of Steve and Evy Schultz was the perfect way to start off the New Year following the rainout of the Jan meeting. Several guests attended and Mike P, from Sumner Ave. Water Gardens donated items to spice up the raffle. The Mar meeting on the 21st will be at the hill top Santa Rosa Valley home of Bob & Marilyn Wagner. In addition to a large number of rescue koi, they keep a variety of domestic pigeons, parakeets and cockatiels (in addition to their 2 border collies) and a nice collection of cacti and succulents.
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports the Jan meeting was cancelled. The Feb meeting will be on the 8th at 2 p.m. and will be held at the home of Steve and Evy Schultz in Thousand Oaks. The Mar meeting will be on the 21st at the home of Bob and Marilyn Constable.
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports our October meeting at the home of Eric Howes was another pirate experience to remember. The atmosphere seemed all the more real with several members in costume. Each year Eric adds more props to enhance the buccaneer theme. The Sat Nov 8th meeting will be at the home of Ronn and Virginia Boll in Camarillo. The pond was designed and built by Ronn and Virginia. Construction began in mid-2008, and was completed in May 2009. The pond is approximately 5,500 gallons, and has 5 water falls. The shape is free form with the main body approximately 20 feet long by 10 feet wide by 4 feet deep. The water fall area is another 15 feet long, which makes the total length of the pond approximately 35 feet. The pond consists of a liner, an aerated 4” Rhino II bottom drain, a Savio skimmer and Big Bahama bio-fall for the main water fall. The skimmer has a 2” return line that travels under the pond and joins the 4” bottom drain line just outside the edge of the pond. The two lines join into a single 2” return line that runs to the filtration and pumps. The pumps/filtration systems are located on the side of the house. The system is known as the Mashimizu (pure water) System, and was purchased from GCTek. It is comprised of an Alpha 1 Aquabead filter, a Vortek SS pre-filter, a Zapp Pure 10 UV, and 2 pumps. The primary pump is 1/3 HP, and runs during the day. A smaller 1/12 Hp pump runs at night. The pond is surrounded by medium and large rocks/boulders, and the area around the pond is covered by artificial grass. There are approximately 30 fish in the pond, which include two hi-fin sharks, and 1 gold fish. The pond is also protected with a wrought iron fence and two scarecrows. )
Saturday, October 18th, 2014
Time: 2 PM
Host: Eric Howes
Rigging creaks and timbers groan, the smoke of cannon fire fills the air, a flash of steel, a glint of gold! This is when you know that Pirates are present! Beware Mates; it’s that time of year again!
Come one, come all, and enjoy our annual Pirate themed fall “Meetn’ With The Fishes! “
This 8,000-gallon concrete pond is embellished with elaborate cast concrete pattern block waterfalls and columns, all set in a lavish themed backdrop that would make any Buccaneer feel at home. Feel free to come as your favorite Scurvy Dogg!
The sea is calling you!
Last month we had our first visit to the home of Richard & Gloria Victor. What once was a unused swimming pool taking up most of the backyard is now a patio, garden, and pond area perfect for entertaining and relaxing. The Victors’ amazing collection of plants and garden ornaments makes for a very inviting and interesting place that has a most lived feeling. One would never guess that this has been their home for only seven years! No doubt everything on display has a story behind it just waiting to be told. Their colorful collections of mostly butterfly koi have all been affectionately given.
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports the meeting on Sat the 13th at 2 p.m. will be at the home of Richard and Gloria Victor, who have completely redesigned their backyard that previously had an almost Olympic size pool. A 45,000 gal pond seemed impractical so the pool was filled in and replaced with 3 gazebos, a 1000 gal pond (part of the shallow end of the pool) and a 500 gal pond that was the Jacuzzi. Add wine and cheese and you have an area that gets way more use. Eric Howes is having his annual pirate meeting for our club on Oct 18th. Save the date! )
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports the club will be holding their annul BBQ on Saturday, June 14th, 2014 at 4 p.m. at the home of Rick and Janet Shaw. About the Shaw pond… We introduced 11 Koi into our new pond (four large koi: two male and 2 female , 7-8 years and seven koi 1-2 years old). By Christmas 2005 the pond was swarming with koi. We now have over 200, there have been three major systems additions to filtration. As for feeding, they are eating us out of “house and home”. Completed in March 2005, our 7,500 gallon stone and liner pond has 3 sets of waterfalls (5’ high total). There is a stone deck up to a vertical rock in the deep end (approx. 36 in.); a rock ledge with 2 caves separates the shallows (approx. 14 in.) which are where the falls spill into the pond. There are ledger wall seating areas and a fire pit next to the pond on the north side and an outdoor dining area on the south side. President’s Message… Peter Fleurat and Lalo Barajas outdid themselves with their meeting last month at their Montecito home. This time they even had live musical entertainment! It was wonderful to hear our friend, Dave Ackerman. Dave is a remarkable gifted musician and singer able to perform most any song for the asking. Bob Mayo again did a great job barbequing and Lalo’s sister-in-law, Debbie, provided a marvelous dessert table complete with a chocolate fountain! I want to thank Mark Davis of Santa Barbara Koi for speaking to us and answering questions. Mark makes even the dullest of topics entertaining with his casual laid back, and humorous manner. I want to especially thank our host and their helpers for the best ever afternoon! All the hard work and preparations lavished on the occasion are truly appreciated. Those of you who visited Peter and Lalo for the first time now know why we all jump at the chance to visit them. )
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports last month a group of Water Garden enthusiasts enjoyed a visit to McDonalds Nursery in Reseda thanks to Mike Przewoznik. Francisco gave a guided tour of the facilities and answered guestions. Thanks to Mike and his Sumner Avenue Water Gardens, we were able to purchase plants at wholesale prices. Thanks Mike for giving us this special opportunity! The May meeting will be on Sat, May 17th, at the home of Peter Fleurat and Lalo Barajas, who once again invite us to visit their very special home in Montecito. The one-acre property is shaded by 100 foot trees. So dress warm and wear comfortable shoes for exploring the grounds. )
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports last month Kathryn Melton and Joe May treated us to another delightful afternoon at their Reseda home. No one else I know has a thousand gallons of water per koi. I am sure many of us went home wishing we could have such spacious accommodations for our koi. The April meeting will be held at McDonalds Nursery in Reseda. They’ve been in operation for over 35 years and are located in a residential section of town. They grow every aquatic plant that will survive in SoCal weather climates and they sell wholesale to nurseries and garden centers. Francisco, the owner, will offer plants for ½ retail price and will give a guided tour of the facility while answering club member’s questions. )
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports the Mar meeting at the home of Joe May and Kathryn Melton featured their 22,000 gallon pond they acquired when they purchased their home in 2009. Unlike most ponds, part of the pond goes inside their house. It has been three years since our last visit, so it was interesting to see how the surrounding area around the pond has been changed. )
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports their Jan meeting was held at the lovely home of Steve and Evy Schultz and their liner pond was a beautiful sight! The Feb meeting was held at the home of jBob and Marilyn Constable at their hill top Santa Rosa Valley home. In addition to koi and goldfish rescue, they have five varieties fo domestic pigeons plus parakeets and cockatiels. They also have two Border Collies and a fine collection plants – especially cacti and succulents. There was something of interest to everyone! )
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports their Jan meeting was held at Steve & Evy Schultz’ home in Thousand Oaks, CA. Their newest pond is now 2 years old and the very unique bottom drain system that was custom built has proven to be even better than hoped. The water is crystal clear and the maintenance is down to only about 30 minutes a month. The pond is a 4200 gallon natural rock liner pond with 2 waterfalls and there are “around” 50 koi, with the many babies close to two years old now. In 2013 they continued to experiment with different filter media and added a UV light to help control bacteria and algae. The English Village and Faerie Village have grown and they’ve added many new accent pieces to the yard. )
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports last month’s meeting was a trip to another time and place where pirates were sure to be found. Our buccaneer clad host, Eric Howes, regaled us with tales of spirit bottle lore and presented his latest line of pirate props. The imagination and craftsmanship with which Eric created his pirate world are seemingly boundless. For Eric koi keeping is way more than just providing a safe and healthy place for his koi to live. Thank you so very much Eric for all the thought and hard work you put into your meeting. We loved it! The Nov meeting will be at the home of Ronn and Virginia Boll, who designed and built it beginning in mid-2008 and completed it in May 2009. The pond is approximately 6,000 gallons and has 5 waterfalls. The shape is free form with the main body approximately 20 feet long by 10 feet wide by 4 feet deep. The waterfall area is another 15 feet long, which makes the total length of the pond approximately 35 feet. There are currently 30 fish in the pond: 2 hi-fin sharks, 1 gold fish, and 27 koi. The pond is also protected with a wrought iron fence and a scare crow; in addition there is a Shade Sail above the pond. )
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports in Sep they had their first visit to the home of Doug & Carol Van Bogelen. The mild climate of Oxnard and Carol’s botanical skills has enabled their tropical paradise to flourish. The club especially wishes to thank Carol for the botanical tour of her garden. Her membership in the Palm Society has given her access to otherwise unobtainable exotic plants and the knowledge of how to grow them. The October meeting, their annual pirate themed October meeting, was scheduled for Eric Howes’ home in Thousand Oaks, CA. The pond is 8,000 gallon formal pond construction of hand-cast pattern concrete blocks. The filtration system consists of a pre-filter and twin 500 gallon up flow biological filters. All of this is set in an environment that any pirate would be proud of. Members were encouraged to dress as their favorite buccaneer and set sail for a little fantasy and fun. )
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports the Sep meeting on the 14th was scheduled for the home of Carol and Doug Van Gogelen in Oxnard. Their small 1000 gallon formal pond and waterfall was built in the early 1990s to compliment the Hawaiian themed yard. There are many varieties of palm trees, bamboo, bromeliads, hibiscus, ferns, etc. A biological/mechanical filtration system with a 1/8th HP pump is used, plus Matala filter pads and a UV sterilizer. Last month we visited our new members, Toni Solano and Fawaz Shahin, who did an exceptionally superb job on the design of the waterfalls leading to the pond. The pond area is so peaceful and inviting with seating on both sides of the pond. In fact, I can’t imagine the backyard without the pond. I would be willing to bet that Fawaz and Toni wish they had built their pond right after moving into their house. Their son, Amir, really got into the spirit of it all and gathered all of us for a group photo to remember the occasion. Toni’s homemade baklava was fabulous! I wish to thank Toni and Fawaz for their hospitality – it’s great to have such nice friendly new members! Hopefully we will be seeing much more of them in times to come. Speaking of delightful new members, Shirlee and Russ Kingsley made their debut at this meeting. I’m overjoyed to make the acquaintance of another dedicated gardener like myself. Koi keeping and gardening – what could be more fun? Special thanks to Dr. Cherry for bringing pond and garden items to pass on to other members. I hope you will join us for our first visit to the home of Doug and Carol Van Bogelen. )
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports the Aug meeting was scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013: Hosts Fawaz Shahin and Tony Solano and Amir Shahin have a 2800 gallon pond in a complete woodland ecosystem and butterfly garden, which is just a year old. In Jul they visited the home of Gary and Denice Stouffer, where they had a most relaxing time wandering over the terraced landscape with its wide variety of plants, garden ornaments and beautiful koi and goldfish pond. I wish to thank Gary and Denice for their most gracious hospitality. Our ‘meeting under the oaks’ could not have been more enjoyable and Denice: Thanks for making the delicious cookies! )
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports in June Rick and Janet Shaw’s 200 plus koi again dazzled us with their voracious feeding frenzy at our annual barbeque. Rick warned those standing closest to the pond that they would get wet, and then he threw al large jug full of koi food into the water. The water boiled with koi as cameras recorded the performance! David Luna did a spectacular job of selling raffle tickets! Thanks to David’s power of persuasion selling tickets and the generosity of those donating raffle items and buying tickets, we collected a sizeable amount toward the cost of the barbeque – well done everyone! I wish to thank our friends, Burt and Gloria Ballou, for making the journey from Fountain Valley to be with us. It is always good to keep in touch with special people outside our own club. I always enjoy talking about plants with Gloria and many of us appreciate the opportunity to consult with Burt on koi keeping. The July meeting will be held at the home of Gary & Denice Stouffer in Newbury Park, CA. The pond was constructed 5 years ago. Their 1000 gallon pond is home to our Koi and other fish varieties. )
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports the May meeting was hosted by Phillip and Evelyn Jimenez, long time koi keepers, who still get a thrill over new koi additions and who eagerly seek out new and better ways to care for their koi family. It is wonderful to see them getting so much joy from their pond. Building your own koi pond, like Phillip and Evelyn thirty one years ago, is a lot of work but well worth the effort. The ‘old school’ technology is something that one can build themselves, and still work as well, as evidenced by the Jimenez pond. Visiting a person’s home is a great way to become acquainted. I wish to thank Phillip and Evelyn for inviting us over and sharing their world with us. Next month’s meeting will be hosted by the Shaws, who now have over 200 koi. There have been 3 major system additions to filtration. Completed in March 2005, their 7,500 gallon stone and liner pond has 3 sets of waterfalls. )
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports at the Apr meeting a record breaking crowd turned out to celebrate the completion of the David Luna and Jim Rivera pond. We were treated to a first class catered luncheon at their beautiful and immaculately maintained home. Every plant was groomed and waiting to have its picture taken. The colorful assortment of many varieties of koi was happily swimming about their home of deep clear water without a care in the world. Ultra Balance Aquaculture Feed manager Iva Gaglione and Territory Sales Manager Robin Hoeflinger were with us to speak about the Ultra Balance line of koi food. Iva gave a most informative talk on koi nutrition and I learned a number of things pertaining to my koi. The May 5th meeting was held at the home of Phillip & Evelyn Jimenez in Oxnard, who returned to the club after an extended absence. They built their koi pond in1982 and at that time they learned much from koi members on how to build their pond. Their filter is an up-flow gravel filter that holds everything from fist-sized rocks to pea gravel – and the wood used to hold the hundreds of pounds of rocks and gravel is still in the filter today after 31 years! )
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports the Apr meeting will be at the Luna – Rivera pond, which was designed and installed by Marcial Barayuga of California Rocks & Waterfalls (with wonderful input from our very own Eric Howes); the pond is 7,500 gallons and natural in design. Last month we visited a very unique pond. For some newer members this was their first experience walking on water. The Walshe koi pond is at the entrance to their house and one must walk across concrete stepping pads to get to the front door. The koi played it safe and hid when people approached. During the course of the meeting we heard from Richard Victor about his desire to turn his unused swimming pool into a pond. Since meeting our vice-president, Eric Howes, Richard is consulting with Eric about the plumbing.
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports Bob and Andi hosted the Feb meeting on a gorgeous sunny day with our special guest speaker, Dr. Salmon from Mazuri Koi Foods. We also had the pleasure of meeting our new Mazuri sales representative, Eliza Trickett. The Mar meeting was held at the home of Sarah and Murph Walshe, whose pond is part of the entry to their front door. It was constructed in Aug, 2010 just like a swimming pool would be built, only much smaller. The steps to build it were the same; gunite, pebble tec, skimmer, etc. We selected fish that were much different than each other. Two and a half years ago they were all no more than 6 inches and have grown quite rapidly. )
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports at their Feb meeting Dr. David C. Salmon, Sales Manager, and Ms. Eliza Trickett, California Sales Rep, MAZURI, attended. Dr. Salmon gave a short presentation regarding the koi food they have developed. There always seems to be much discussion about koi nutrition; winter feeding, what to feed, how much – how often and so forth. Koi keeping can be a real challenge. Thank goodness we have fellow club members to turn to for help. I wish to thank Richard Renshaw for sharing koi feeding and nutrition information with us as his contribution to our meeting of show and tell. We are very fortunate to have such a dedicated and knowledgeable member as Richard sharing with us for the past thirty years! Speaking of thirty years: Phillip and Evelyn Jimenez have rejoined our club after being absent for many years; welcome back Phillip and Evelyn! In looking at a membership list for the beginning of our club in 1983, I see that Bob Hensley was President and that Dan Miller, Richard Renshaw, Phillip and Evelyn Jimenez, and Rosie Asbell were also members of our club. How about that! )
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports those who braved the stormy weather to go to our year end Nov meeting at the home of Brian and Diane Grossman were rightly rewarded. Both Diane and Brian were such welcoming and gracious hosts that our afternoon visit seemed all too short. The Jan meeting was at the home of Howard and Mary Oxman in Thousand Oaks. Topic: What we learned from our koi keeping experiences last year. Those of you into gardening should see some changes since your visit in February of last year. The emphasis is no longer on collecting as many different exotic plants as possible, but on creating a visually pleasing garden with much more drama. The two formal ponds fit right in with the new look. The garden to the right of the big pond has been redesigned to give a cleaner more formal look, more in keeping with the formal pond. The lower portion of the property is no longer an orchard. A new look is starting to take shape. )
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports the absence of movie cameras and crew were about the only thing missing at Eric’s meeting: Stepping into his backyard was like walking onto a movie set. Each year Eric creates more props to enhance the Pirate themed atmosphere. This year we even had a map to the treasure. One cannot help but marvel at the many artistic talents of our host. It is hard to believe that one person can excel at so many different crafts. Eric’s mom, Jeanne, outdid herself with all the delectable foods she prepared for Eric’s guests. Thank you so much Jeanne for all your hard work. It was such a delight to meet our newest members, Charlie and Herb Rogove. The Nov meeting will be held on the 17th at Diane and Brian Grossman’s home. They are new koi club members and their pond may be one of the smallest in the club, (about 4’x6’ and 18” deep), however it fits into their cozy home entryway perfectly, tucked in among the plants and succulents. )
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports their Oct meeting on the 20th (at Erick Howes, 2119 La Granada Drive, Thousand Oaks) will be their annual Pirate themed event. Get into costume and come as your favorite pirate! Last month’s viewing of the Schultz’ new pond was a much anticipated event. Steve and Evy are such wonderful hosts and have such an attractive garden that we literally jump at the chance to visit them. Their new and improved pond turned out absolutely beautiful. Steve deserves a medal for successfully catching so many young koi for us to take home. Thank you Steve and Evy for providing koi for adoption. Your patience and endurance are truly exceptional! I also wish to thank Connie Freihoff for attending our meeting and bringing Ultra Balance koi food for us to purchase. She plans to attend our Apr 2013 meeting next and will bring food for us to buy. It was a real pleasure to make the acquaintance of new member Diane Grossman at our Sep meeting. Diane has invited us to her home on Nov 17th for our last meeting of the year. I hope to see you there. ):
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports The Sep meeting will be at Steve and Evy Schultz’ home. The Guest Speaker will be Juan Goyeneche , Pond Builder. The Schultz’s have a brand new larger and improved pond for you to see this time around. Many special features have been added to their 4200 gallon pond that makes it better for the koi and less maintenance for Steve and Evy. The plants are all in bloom and they have 60+ new koi babies swimming around making for a very colorful site to see. If you would like to take home some 4” – 5” new additions to your pond, Steve will have the babies in a small pool and plastic bags on hand to transport them in. The pond builder Juan Goyeneche will be on hand to explain the special improvements so we won’t ruin the surprise and mention them here. We will say that both “garden pond” and “koi pond” owners and perspective owners will be interested in seeing and hearing about the design. The English cottages and Faerie village have grown and we hope you’ll all come visit and enjoy refreshments and the day. )
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports last month’s meeting at the home of Gary & Denice Stouffer was a most delightful garden party. Both Gary and Denice have lavished much time and love into their garden. I am amazed at what they have done with their property. The steep slope and large oak trees would have caused most people to give up on having a garden. Multiple levels of garden paths have been created by terracing the land with stacked rocks. Since my first visit about six years ago Gary has made many changes to his pond to make it a better home for their koi and goldfishes. Removing the rocks from inside the pond has done wonders. As a result, the fishes have more swim space, fewer surfaces to hurt themselves on, and cleaner and healthier water without all the toxic muck collecting under the rocks. Well done Gary! You have done an excellent job of improving living conditions for your fishes. I know it was very disheartening to learn that your newly built pond was not a safe and appropriate home for koi, but you have successfully met the challenge. You have learned much from attending our club meetings. The Aug meeting will be held on the 11th at the home of Bruce and Jan Hunter. )
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports the July meeting will be hosted by Gary and Denice Stouffer, who 6 years ago decided to expand their 50 gallon Goldfish pond to a 1000 gallon Koi and Goldfish pond. The idea was to build the pond to complement our hillside terraced garden and rock retaining walls. We chose lots of rocks in and around the new pond. After two years it was obvious that there was not enough water flow to keep the debris and fish waste from accumulating between the rocks. The solution was to take the rocks and pebbles out of the pond and scatter them throughout the garden. They say by the time you build your 3rd pond you will finally get it right! In June their annual barbeque attracted members from Montecito to Fountain Valley. Rick and Janet Shaw do such a fabulous job that it does not seem to matter how far one has to drive—we will all be there! The Shaws are experts at feeding a crowd whether it is hungry humans or a pond packed full of koi. It is always an amazing sight to see the pond literally boiling with koi at feeding time! I can’t thank Rick and Janet enough for doing such a spectacular job on the barbeque; all your hard work is very much appreciated.
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County Koi Society, reports the idyllic location and festive spirit of the guest at last month’s meeting in Montecito seemed much like a wedding reception. Our host, Peter Fleurant, was constantly on the move visiting with his guests, giving plants to fellow plant lovers and orchestrating every detail of the day’s events. Lalo’s brother, Manny, and wife Debbie, catered the delicious foods we devoured with great relish. Frequent guest and extended family member, Bob Mayo, skillfully barbequed the chicken. Many of us took advantage of the opportunity to buy koi food from Ultra Balance sales representative Connie Freihoff. She gave out sample bags after telling us about the production of the Ultra Balance line of koi foods. Each bag of food has a legible date and is so fresh that there are no powdery crumbs on the bottom of the bag. Connie, we are so glad you made the long trip from Mission Viejo to be with us. It was a pleasure to meet you. Mark Davis of Santa Barbara Koi was on hand to apprise us of the latest developments with a koi herpes vaccine. For now, some of Mark’s pond maintenance customers are trying the vaccine. The process is both labor intensive and expensive. The hope is that a simpler process of administrating the vaccine to keep producing the product. Thanks Mark for making the time to be with us. We enjoyed both your company and informative talk. Peter, is a most energetic and resourceful person. He literally moved earth and rocks of all sizes to create his new and improved pond. Unlike most pond builders, Peter used all of the soil and rocks from the pond excavation to redevelop the pond area. A large opened ended pipe is attached to the side wall of the pond as a safe haven for the koi. The koi seem to be much at ease in their new larger pond. Peter, we can’t thank you enough for hosting such a fabulously unforgettable meeting-you’re the ultimate host! )
Mary Oxman, of Ventura County KS, reports the May meeting was held at Peter Fleurat’s home in Montecito; it was like a nature preserve! Guest speakers were Connie Freihoff (from Ultra Balance) who told us about her line of Koi food products and Mark Davis (from Santa Barbara Koi) who told us about the newly available KHV vaccine and answered questions. The annual BBQ will be held on June 16th. Election results are in: President -Mary Oxman; Vice-President – Eric Howes; Treasurer – Rosie Asbell; Secretary – Howard Oxman; Whistle Blower – Reva Mallon.