As the title suggests,
taking Koi to the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham for
us was a new challenge. I know I can hear a lot of people out
there saying ‘so what’ there are Koi shows all over the country,
and people take Koi…………..of course they do, but……..
This was slightly
The Aquatic World – our
retail outlet has had some strange challenges thrown at it over
the last twenty years, but last year as The East Riding Koi Co
one of our friends and colleagues laughingly decided to put us
to the test in a completely different direction…………
As you might have
noticed we have a
link to a certain classic
car web site – everyone’s all time favourite car - The Morris
Minor? Well we happen to be the proud owners of a Morris Minor
Van and a much sought after Morris Minor Pick-Up
The Classic Car Show at
the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham is one of the most
prestigious car shows of the year.
Now for the
Could we create a real
live Koi ‘pond’ in the back of our Pick -Up and bring some Koi
to take part on the planned exhibition stand that’s theme was
based on the working Morris Minor. Our Pick-Up is sign written
with ‘Aquatic World for Pond Supplies’ so it would fit nicely in
with the only remaining Morris Minor Fire Engine in existence,
Post Office and GPO vans, Wedding Cars and a Gentleman’s
Well our answer just had
to be yes of course we could………but we had some important
stipulations, we had to be near a water source and we needed a
24 hour electricity supply. No compromises, no turning it off at
night…………….it had to be 24 hours.
All that settled, we
turned to the logistics of the matter -
When we actually
measured the space we had to create the ‘pond’ in it was a
little less than we had imagined, only 36” x 48” x 18” we also
had to allow for the best filtration possible, all our ‘props’
to make it look like a pond and of course some clothes. Then we
realised that for big fish there really wasn’t too much room
for keeping them sweet and healthy even for a couple of days,
and this was going to be for four, so we decided to compromise
for safeties sake with half a dozen 6 to 7 inch Koi and half a
dozen Gold Fish of the same size.
Aquosis who made us a
Zippy Fish Transporter.
This is a container that is especially made for transporting
fish by vehicle, it is jump proof being able as the name suggest
to be securely zipped up, but with an ample oxygen inlet. In our
case it was especially made to measure for the back of our
Pick-Up – we had already been seeding our filtration for several
weeks. We had decided to use an Eheim Professional 2026 external
canister filter as this was not too tall to fit in without being
seen, but also was good for the job. An
Air Tech 40 was going to
supply the air for our
30cm air ring.
We also invested in a
300w inverter that powers mains equipment from a 12v source, as
we obviously wanted everything still running as we were
travelling down to Birmingham. The journey in a modern vehicle
usually takes around two and a half hours, so in a Morris Minor
rather weighed down with water and all the rest of the baggage
it was going to take considerably longer!
I travelled the entire
145 miles to the NEC with six large buckets between my knees;
these were for filling up purposes. A Morris Minor Pick-Up is
only built to carry ¼ ton in total, so we had to travel with the
pond only just full enough to keep the fish happy.
When we finally arrived
on the show stand we had to support our Minor first by putting
under the body to take the weight off the wheels. Only then
could we fill up the ‘pond’ to its optimum level. Our Zippy held
82 gallons, which, when every gallon of water weighs 10lb counts
up to a whopping 58 stones – well over our ¼ ton weight limit!!!
All set up with
filtration and air, the artificial pond plants looking very real
under the lights, plus extremely lively fish that seemed to have
quite enjoyed their journey we stood back and admired our
efforts. Even though it was only the setting up day and no
public were yet in attendance our pond was already creating
quite a stir among the other stand erectors.
We had three marvellous
days. All the equipment ran perfectly with no hic ups, the fish
basked in all the attention that surrounded them, almost
performing for the cameras that were continually taking pictures
to be taken back home to all corners of the world……….As for
feeding times they became something of a side show………All quite
Then on the final day
the icing on the cake for us was that our stand won the ‘Best
Classic Car Stand’ for a car club of 5,000 members and over.
Classic Car Magazine quoted that it was the best stand in over a
decade. The challenge had been met and all the effort and
planning had paid off.
hard work but worth it. The ‘Celebrity’ fish? Well they are in a
holding pond under cover waiting until the weather warms up
before being transported to their new home…………..