Monday, January 25, 2010

A good read for the weather

One thing that any Koi Garden aficionado will have (in addition to the Koi Garden of course) is a nice collection of books.  While some people (including yours truly) love the internet and use places like this blog to provide them with great information, there is really nothing like leafing through a book dedicated to your Koi Garden fanaticism.  Some of my favorite Koi Garden books made it on to my Holiday Gift guide.  In addition, from time to time I will review other books in more detail.

One of my most favorite books on keeping Koi is “The Tetra Encyclopedia of Koi”  Tetra Press.  This book is one of my “go to” books for any problems or questions I might have about Koi and the gardens that they live in.

This book was printed way back in 1989 but is still relevant.  Each of its 200 pages is full of great information and beautiful photographs of the fish, the ponds and the gardens. 

It consists of two basic sections:
Part one focuses on Practical things about the Koi hobby. 
A brief history of Koi; Koi anatomy; landscaping, pond and filter construction and their effect on the health of the Koi; buying and keeping your Koi, including change of seasons; Koi anatomy and caring for the health of your Koi; and breeding and showing your Koi.  The section about Koi pond and filter construction is especially useful, both to provide needed design considerations but also to open your mind to how beautiful some Koi ponds can be and how well they fit into the rest of the garden, something that is always on the mind of a real Koi Gardener…

The section on health care is very good and the part of the book I use the most.  I have used it so much that the book naturally opens up to this section.  It provides information on symptoms and pictures of all of the diseases that can afflict your fish; how to tell them apart, what is their cause and what to do to combat them.  Some of the fancier drug treatments may have changed over the years but the basic treatments and the diagnosis of the individual diseases themselves have not.  Even now, I use this section as a starting point for any analysis of health problems.  I may eventually go talk with the owners of my favorite Koi store to decide on the best method of treatment, but this section of the book lets me do so with a lot more knowledge.

Part two focuses on all the different Koi varieties. 
It covers fourteen of the main varieties and has informative bits about the subgroups as well.  This area is another where this book shines.  It talks about the history of the variety and how the fish variety evolved.  It also covers the reasons the variety is grouped together and what to look for if you are looking for a particularly good specimen for your Koi Garden.  It teaches you what makes a good verses bad example of that variety from a showing point of view.  It even covers some behavioral differences between the different varieties.  This section will provide you more than you could ever want to know and certainly enough to impress the snobbiest of Koi aficionados at your next Koi show.  And really, who can put a price on that?

Finally two Indexes (a general index and a Koi variety index) and a Glossary complete this book and allow the user to keep track with all the Japanese words and Koi varieties.

Again, this is a great book as a reference or a gift.  I have provided this link  to purchase this book from Amazon. Curl up in the cold weather with a nice tea or coffee and enjoy the book!

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