Koi Pond in Wisconsin

by DFS-Pet-Blog on July 21, 2009

Koi fish in a backyard pond

Koi fish in a backyard pond

**Guest post by Eric R.**

A koi pond in the middle of northern Wisconsin, most would think it a ludicrous endeavor with temperatures dropping as low as -40 in the winter. When I moved to northern Wisconsin from Dayton, Ohio, it wasn’t a question of whether I would have a pond but a question of when. You see, I became fixated with ponds in my early teens and have had the pleasure of owning one ever since.

It is hard not to become attracted to all the colors, textures and interactions that ponds provide. From the plants to the fish, there is something for everyone, but for me it was always the fish. Having kept koi in Ohio for many years, I became highly attached to their very distinct “fishonalities.” Hard to call them personalities, they are fish after all. Over time, koi will come to greet you each and every time you come to the pond or when you are feeding them, they will eat right out of the palm of your hand. Just like a dog, they are highly food motivated and will even learn a few tricks with patience.

Just like the family dogs, we (my wife, daughter and myself) became attached to our koi in Dayton, so we did what any normal person would do with a family pet when they move. We packed all our belongings, dogs and 20 koi and moved to Woodruff, Wisconsin. Luckily, for us most of the fish we took were under 3-4 years of age, so nothing more than 18” came with us. We were pretty well prepared for the move as a makeshift holding facility for the fish was fabricated prior to the move. We used a 300 gallon Rubbermaid agricultural tank and pre-plumbed an external pump and beaded filter to it. We used several unions to make tear down and set-up quick.

After 11 hours of driving, we arrived in Woodruff, Wisconsin on December 1, 2001. An hour later, we had 20 healthy active koi in their temporary new home in the basement of our rental house. There is something to be said about hunting for a house in northern Wisconsin during winter. I had never seen so many houses with white yards and roofs. We thought it would be best to wait until we could see the ground before we bought a house. Not sure it makes any difference as there are only 6 months where the ground and roofs aren’t white in “God’s Country.”

Learn how the koi fared next. Did they all make it to the big hole in the ground or did some of them go to the big pond in the sky?

(See Eric’s next post, Koi Pond in Wisconsin, Part 2)


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Koi Pond | Moving, Acclimating & Winterizing
August 13, 2014 at 2:10 pm

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Kathleen September 1, 2009 at 10:50 am

I am a fan of Foster and Smith’s facebook site. I live in Michigan. How deep did you make your pond? If you made a plant shelf, look out for heron. They love plant shelves as do raccoons if it is shallow enough. The raccoons will sometimes get in the flower pots..

Fish Pond Sealant October 26, 2016 at 1:22 am

Koi is a jewel of water and very costly pet. It’s very sensitive. For its survival Pondpro2000 helps a lot as it is Eco-friendly and make water better for koi.

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