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Posted July 29, 2014. Image by Paul Sergel: flic.kr/p/eTAakk

The Japanese Garden is full of tradition and symbolism from the wooden gate that marks the garden entrance to the carved stone toro, or lanterns, that accent the walkways. Koi in the pond add another elegant Japanese tradition. For nearly two centuries, people in Japan have selectively bred carp, a fish native to central Europe and Asia, to produce lineages of the colorful brocaded fish.

While some aquarists feed their koi special food, the koi at the BioPark find most of their food naturally. They dine on insects, algae and plant material in the water and help maintain a healthy aquatic ecosystem. In fact, adding food to the Japanese Garden Pond can make the water too nutrient-rich.

Guests at the upcoming Summer Nights concert on July 31 can enjoy Koi, as well as another Japanese tradition of floating lanterns, at the Sasebo Japanese Garden pond.

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