In my spare time, I’m a novice koi pond hobbyist. Which as it turns out, involves a whole lot more education than what I had originally expected when you factor in managing levels of acidity/alkalinity, ammonia, salt, nitrates, chlorine, etc. Bundle that with the required armchair koi vet degree and quarantine environment that you’ll need to respond to infections and injury (on top of knowing the types of koi by their proper names, pond filtration equipment, predator control, the types of plants that will be compatible with the pond ecosystem, etc.) and it gets…complicated, but still fun.
This week’s lesson-in-progress is how uninvited guests in the form of amorous amphibians one day, can turn into thousands of frog eggs the next day. At first glance the rope of eggs looked much like a cluster of plant roots, but after closer examination, it’s clear that they are frog eggs. The koi managed to eat the majority of them before I had time to relocate them to a small water feature we have in the yard (pictured in this post). Now, we wait and see if tad poles will develop — I understand that it takes a week or more.
I opted to intervene with a relocation because they are native to the area and offer value in the form of insect and slug control — which our garden and mini fruit orchard will appreciate. Tho’ some argue that frogs can introduce adverse conditions to a koi pond in the form of unfriendly bacteria or parasites. My pond has a UV filter that helps to manage bacteria, but it won’t kill parasites. I’ve yet to experience a parasitic infestation, so I know little about responding to and managing one.
My frog-loving 6 year old nephew will be visiting for a couple weeks in about 10 days, so I’m hoping the timing will be right for him to observe the emergence of tadpoles…assuming a higher-ranking creature doesn’t discover their hide-out.
Update (June 21): Tadpoles emerged today: http://flickr.com/photos/lskrocki/2597620655/