Indoor Koi Pond: good idea? maybe not so much.

I was very excited when I initially started my indoor koi pond project. I figured my basement was a perfect place, as it was not yet finished, and the space was available.

Well, this year we decided to finish the basement, and I had to take the pond apart. I intended on rebuilding a new pond, and purchased a fish tank to hold them temporarily. After further thought, multiple discussions with MommyMD, we realized that a pond in a house with children may be bad idea. First off, to have a proper koi pond, you want to be able to look down and enjoy seeing the fish swim around. You dont really see koi in a fish tank (at leat I don’t). If you have young kids, you know they climb on EVERYTHING. They will get INTO everything. Even if your child is awesome and obedient, your neighbor or friend’s kid may be an idiot. Regarding liability, we kept thinking about what if… what if ViviBear or JulietteBear fell in, or any child fell in and drowned?  Yah, that would be bad.

The other problem that I almost did not catch was black mold. I figured the pond would produce a lot of moisture, but I thought my basement was sufficiently dry enough that this would not be an issue ever. Well I never looked behind the insulation until a month ago. Around the first week of Jan 2014, as the basement is being insulated, we had a really bad freeze. Temps around -5 to 0 deg F. The basement was very warm but I could feel a draft, so I pulled the insulation back and saw some ice formation. You can see more about that here.

Black Mold
Black Mold and Bowing of Particle Board 


So we got the mold treated

Mold Treated

Initially I was torn about how to place a Koi Pond in my new basement. I was even going to install security glass paneling around it like at a zoo, but that would have been ridiculously costly I would think. Sad to say that child endangering is not what sealed my decision [Vivi and Jette Bear, I really do love you and don’t want you to drown, but I really wanted a Koi Pond], but the excessive moisture and mold issue is.

Though I still think Koi should be looked at from above, I will settle for an inwall fish tank

Future inwall Aquarium


More pictures to come of the happy fishies once the project is done.

To see more projects by the contractor finishing my basement, check out

Farewell Pierre: A fallen goldfish, friend, and family member

In my dreams of having an indoor pond, I started out with goldfish in a large bowl. Not just a fish bowl, but one of this water garden bowls. I started out with two that got rather large in a course of a year, but they met their untimely death by an ill fated water change. You really should not change more than 25% of the water at a time. It was either that, or the fact that was spraying Seven (insecticide) outside prior to doing a water change. After giving up on the indoor pond, I tried yet again with the mini-pond/gold fish. My replacement fish, Pebble and Pierre lived and thrived.

At this time I did have an outdoor Koi pond as well, but with the colder weather, I needed to over winter them indoors, so I built that large indoor pond in the basement. I figured it was time to consolidate ponds, so I plunked the fancy Ryukin gold fish (Pebble and Pierre) into the large koi pond. Little did I know that this was not advised. Prior to starting my new career, I had a bit more time on my hand and tended to the fish more often (fed them). Actually I think it was because my mother was here that the fish were fed more often. I started to notice Pierre was floating weird (still alive). His posterior would be constantly floating up. I figured his air bladder had to be damaged some how (no signs of trauma though). This went on a few weeks, then one day I noticed he had most of his fins bitten off: tail, dorsal, lateral what have you. Not sure what to do, euthanize or try to heal/save (hanks to ChunJaegirl for the link to Kevorkian-ing fish). I went on Dr. Google and found that #1. do not put koi with fancy gold fish. #2. feed the fish.

I think one problem was my first koi (Fat Boy) may be getting a bit large for the pond. Supposedly they get more aggressive if they are much larger than the others. I decided to try to save the poor fish, as I could not bare ending his existence (I assume my fish are males). I separated him and used my pond salt tonic to try to help heal him. He seemed to do well the first 3 days, but he did not seem like he was eating. I did notice the pond water overall was evaporating/getting low, so I started to add more (of course airing it out overnight). Unfortunately I may have added too much at a time to the isolation tank, as Pierre (instead of floating) was non-mobile at the bottom… he had passed.

Now Pierre (named because he looked like he had a mustache, so of course I correlate that with a french name) was laid to rest in the flower bed near the outdoor pond. He will probably be dug up next time MommyMD gardens, or if the coyotes or even combo decide to dig him up.

Alas, farewell my fancy fish friend.


Background image was adapted from the creation found on this site:

Hot to grow a mango from seed PART 2

sprouting in the containers


check out the initial steps to growing a mango from seed or wonderful methods of eating the mango prior to getting the seed

Here is a follow up on my mango growing activities. I figure they are easy enough to sprout, might as well do as many as I can. They do make great gifts, but unfortunately they do require some care.

After about 3-4 weeks

Sprouting Roots


After 6 weeks

seeing leaves


About 7-8 Weeks

7-8 Weeks of growth

They need to be transplanted into a pot now. I have been putting this off, really not sure why.


more to come…

How to easily peel/eat a Mexican Mango

Peeled Mango ready to eat
OXO Mango Pitter

Eating a mango always seems to be messy business. They are very tasty, but they have a huge seed in the middle, and they are very juicy. I have tried mango pitters before, but if your mango is too ripe, it will just get squashed. Even if you do pit the seed out, you still have mango juice all over the place now.

Growing up I would watch my mom cut mangoes. She would do what I refer to as the “flower technique,” or inversion technique.

Flower/Inversion Technique for eating Mangoes

She slices the Mango vertically, (lateral to each side of the seed). Then she will slice cross hatches in the mango. Then invert the mango, pushing on the skin of the mango. It makes eating the meat of the mango easier. [image to the left obtained via a google search which led me to]

*disclaimer, I have not tried this on the big mangoes, just the mini Mexican Atulfo Mangoes*

Somehow I never seen these mini mangoes before until I went to Beijing, China. Odd thing is once I came back from China, I noticed that we should the mini mangoes here in Ohio. Eitherway, I saw someone there eating what seemed to be an oddly shaped banana, but on closer examination, this lady was eating a mango. She had peeled the skin off like a banana. Interestingly it works well with these Mini Mangoes, and is better if the mango is ripe. So here is my take on peeling mangoes. The benefits are great: 1. you dont waste any of the mango, 2. it is less laborious to peel and eat a mango. Unfortunately it does not solve the problem of the mess after.

IMAG1383 Step: 1. Cut the mango skin superficially at 90 deg angles all the way down. Makes it easier to peel (without the skin breaking off mid peel)

IMAG1385 Step 2. Peel the mango gently.

IMAG1388 Step 3. Eat the mango.

Obviously if you are out and about, and do not happen to carry knives with you, you can easily enough just peel the mango without cutting. This is just a tad messier, but better than not eating a mango at all.

on to sprouting and growing a mango tree from a seed


How to grow a mango from seed

Mango #5
Mini Mango


When I was younger (the day before the net was readily available) I wanted to grow a mango tree. I figured it would be easy to. Plop the seed in the ground and voila. Well it seemed they would usually just rot. Never grew a darn thing. Forget the fact that I live in Ohio. It should still sprout.

Many years later, I decided to try again, and had the great idea to check online. Someone must have tried to do this once before. I found out that the hard shell inside a mango is just a husk. The seed actually is inside . So here are the steps I used to germinate mangoes from a seed.

Mango Seed Husk Step 1. Get mango seed [see the steps I use to eat a mango to get the seed] – link is pending completion of article/pictures –


Seed inside Step 2. Pry open the husk. You may have to scrap away one end to find an opening or to find a place to create an opening.

Remove Seed Step 3. Take seed out and put wash with soap. Hopefully this step will reduce the amount of mold that grow in the water.

Seed in Container Step 4. Place seed in a container and fill with water until seed is submerged.

Germinating Step 5. Place container with mango in a dark warm area. I usually place it on top of my fridge, where it is somewhat hot and dark. Back in my apartment dwelling days I would place it on top of my computer, since the compy usually generates so much heat.

Step 6. You will want to change the water about every other day, to keep the water from molding.

I am currently trying to sprout 6 mango seedlings. I will try to update the status with additional pictures on this post directly.

Hiring: Insect management. You: Green, small and amphibious. apply via comment


which shall be hired? why not all of the above?

With my ventures in cultivating tropical plants and building a koi pond indoors, I’ve noticed that I also somehow generate hundreds of gnats. I assume it may be from over-watering, decaying vegetation. Maybe if I keep the area cleaner, this wouldnt be an issue. Now they are running amuck on the 1st floor as well as the second floor. In the past I thought it would be a genius idea to start keeping carnivorous plants as well (mainly sundews). Logic dicates that the gnats would be controlled with these predatory photosynthesizers. It actually worked fairly well, but I was too cheap to keep them in a proper container. They actually grew too well and caught a lot of gnats. Then the gnat level died down and I am not sure what happened, but I could not keep my precious bug eaters alive. I think part of the problem was my basement was 1. too cold, 2. too dry.

nasty fungus gnat

With the winter upon us, I deal with the insect annoyance I have today. I have my Prized Mango and Coffee plant on the 1st floor, and noticed that gnats have been haunting the soil. This is putting MommyMD on edge, so I finally set up this portable bug zapper she had purchased. It actually seems to be working, because every so often you will hear a zap. This (for whatever reason) scares the crap out of Combo (the Pomeranian). The gnats dont seem to be terribly attracted to the light, so I’d say it somewhat works. What has worked in the past (aside from the Sundews) was using insect sticky tape, so we went to HomeDepot and got some. In the basement I am getting ready to plug in another bug zapper as well. I’d rather use a Sundew, but if I order one online, I am afraid the cold weather will kill it in-transit.


So this brings me to another idea, the motivation of this post. What about putting a frog in the pond? Obviously a thought is that the frog will jump out and disappear. I say this is a non issue. 1. The frog will want to stay by the water. If it leave, it will come back sooner or later (I mean he’s stuck in my basement). 2. Kermit will want to go to where the food is, and the gnats are around the pond. I mean how could this be a bad idea?

  • froggie could hop away and never be found again (and die and rot somewhere)
  • froggie could slather it’s salmonella body all over the basement, and ViviBear could contract salmonella and develop  meningitis/sepsis
  • froggie could make its way upstairs and do as above.
  • someone could step on froggie
  • froggie will multiple and then I will have a frog infestation
  • the frog will defecate over my basement (what does frog poo look like?

I suppose those are valid concerns, but maybe the frog will just stay in the pond? Are the above really rational/reasonable concerns?

What do you guys think? I guess I am talking to myself here. I don’t think I really have that many people that venture to this blog. Amazingly when I consulted MommyMD she did not object to the idea. Maybe that is the sign for a go.

Here is the potential future habitat for my green friend

Koi Pond
Pond running for 3 months

For more about my Pond project you can see it here


-to be continued-