By Jacquie Vargas
On Thursday, Oct. 20, new fish were added to the koi pond located next to the College of Architecture building.
“To the best of our knowledge, we have not added any fish to this pond in seven years. It was time,” said Facilities Supervisor Craig Whitfield.
Whitfield and skilled trades tech Ricky Lee, UH Facilities employee for 14 years, helped unload the three bags of fish and then carefully acclimated them to the temperature of the pond water. Coincidentally, Lee was a member of the grounds crew that worked on the koi pond project in 2009.
Two of the bags contained two plecostomus each. Plecos, as they are commonly called, are found in many aquariums using their sucker mouths to attach and polish the sides of the glass.
Originally found in South America, these fish enjoy a diet of algae and other vegetation so they will have plenty to eat in their new home.
One bag contained seven koi. These new koi included multiple variations of colors including orange, white, gold and silver. Koi or carp are natural omnivores that diet on plants, insects, snails and similar foods.
The fish were introduced to the pond with the utmost care. Each bag was anchored to the shore so as not to float away during this process. The bags were allowed to float on top of the water for around 10 minutes so that the water inside the bags would have the same temperature as the pond water. This prevents the fish from going into a state of shock.
The next step was to add small amounts of the pond water to the bags so that the fish could slowly get used to their new surroundings. This was done twice. The last step was releasing the fish. This procedure took less than one hour to finish.
As this entire process was taking place, multiple students came by to inquire about what was happening. The students continued to elaborate on how much this tranquil setting is a great place for them to come and relax in between study sessions or classes. UH Facilities is pleased to help continue to maintain this peaceful spot.