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Thread: Showa In Warm Climates

  1. #11
    Sansai Bancherd's Avatar
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    Talking

    Dr. Tan, welcome to the board!


    I agree with you that water management and koi raising skills are the most important factors, and genetics being less.

    It is often said that kois imported into Thailand looked their very best when they got off the plane This is true even for the prize-winners with excellent genetics that were specially imported just for the show.

    Some ponds with chillers manage to maintain quality of the beni and shiroji, but the kois never look as vibrant as when they had just arrived.

    I have gosanke and shiro utsuri in my pond(whose water temperature dropped down to 28.9C last week due to a cold spell). Sumi look good, very shiny on one matured old-style showa. However, the beni on all my showas, sankes, and kohakus does not look very good. They are thick, but not vibrant. Please note that I do not use color-enhancing feeds, and only use wheatgerm(Hai Feng).

    I have seen locally bred hi-utsuris that are really eye-catching. The contrast between shiny sumi and bright red hi are something else! These hi-utsuris come from the old genetics and might be more relevant to Mr. Akitaka Kawahata's observations.

    (Speaking of ZNA, I am trying to jump start ZNA-activities in Thailand by forming a local chapter. I could not find the contact-information on the net, could someone please give me contact-points for this area?)

  2. #12
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Bancherd, dtbh & Hudi: What is the nature of the soils in your areas (from which water is drawn)? Sandy? Limestone and clay? .... I'm wondering if there is high silica content or not.

  3. #13
    Jumbo
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    Everyone is dancing around it but not quantifying it so I'll take a stab--

    The basic 'koi' is a conflicted animal! On one hand it is programmed genetically to grow and mature as fast as it can for individual survival ( predation and body mass to survive environmental change) and as a guarantee that at least that individual will be large enough to breed and insure the survival of the species.

    On the other hand, that progress is restrained by their natural environmental cycle , which is a seasonal or temperate water model. So the koi has a series of hormones that start up some systems and shut down other systems in a natural rhythm.

    This simply means that koi/carp, as very adaptable creatures, will maximize their growth potential when conditions are favorable for that move. But this can not remain open ended. This is because of the natural and rhythmic ebb and flow of growth hormones/ anti-growth hormones and sexual hormones. The presence of these hormones will ultimately determine koi longevity and depth of color.

    As far as adaptability goes- koi are the masters of the fish world. Warm water strains and cold water strains of CARP have been produced. Koi will have a more limited range (99- 104 chromosomes vs 95-97 in typical carp species) but they will GENERATIONALLY adapt. So there is a different conversation about generational adaptation verses our conversation about INDIVIDUALS adapting to environmental change in a wholesale way. The classic example of this adaptive shock, by the way, would be when kohaku loose their beni almost overnight when asked to adjust abruptly. The effect on color cells, luster cells and dermis hydration/ protein storage is just as powerful only it occurs over several seasons ( or lack there of).

    I would suggest that those in a tropical region find other hobbyists with older fish ( over 8 years of age) to appreciate this assessment. Compare five things with young three year olds just imported from Japan-

    The bone structure differences

    The body line

    The color intensity

    The white ground ( luster is what makes for bright creamier whites)

    The overall thickness and uniformity of color in the beni plate.

    JR

  4. #14
    Tosai
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    Sorry,Mike. We are lumping all kinds of issues ! i believe you are right;that there are variants that do" better " or are more suited to a particular set of conditions.Problem is,if we are conditioned to perceive a certain colour characteristic/hue/whatever as the ideal ,there is the natural tendency to use that as the benchmark.Hence,even though the hi of the older showa lines do better in warmer waters,I prefer the newer hi type you describe. I guess thats asking too much-like trying to make an Alaskian husky as happy in M'sia,as it would in its natural habitat.Will be great if someone focusses on breeding koi that have identical winning looks as those from koi motherland and which also adapts well to hot climate ! How about giving it a shot?

    Dbth,it is interesting that you feed only spirulina the whole time which is hardly the routine where the fish came from! You must have hit on the right diet adaptation,congrats ! Would love to see your koi and pond setup one day.Which part of M'sia are you from?

  5. #15
    Tosai
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    Mike:Not quite sure where the tap water originates,but limestone hills in my area.

  6. #16
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    Limestone is good for skeletal building. With tosai it could make a big difference

    as a lot of minerals are absorbed from the water. As they age more is used from their food source!

    Was glad to welcome the good Dr. as a first time poster.

  7. #17
    Sansai
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    Thanks for the welcome note.

    Bancherd, I see you are also active in this forum. It is no wonder as we are always searching for new knowledge in this hobby. My personal opinion is that genetics do play a huge part. I still remember an Igarashi Kohaku bought by a senior ZNA member (KL Chapter) as a tosai some years back (US$2000). At purchase he actually remarked that it could be a male based on the extremely lustrous beni. Igarashi-san gave him a look which, if looks can kill, my friend would have dropped dead! To cut the story short, this kohaku turned out well with the hi quality the best I have ever seen (even up to now) and a white that is so thick that it is like fine bone china. The only (major) flaw is that it has a poor body conformation. This koi had changed hands a few times (including myself) and is presently in our ZNA president's pond. The beni never deteriorated while at all our different ponds and the white seemed to be as "resilient". Talking about ZNA, you can get their address from any issue of Nichirin magazine.

    Using chillers is always a trade-off between trying to maintain the skin quality and the fun of heavy feeding. Funny to note that we in the tropics talk of chillers while you guys with cold seasons have to use heaters. I love to feed my kois heavily sometimes at the expense of body conformation (hence I am now very particular about body conformation of any new kois I plan to acquire). As expected some kois cannot take this type of feeding and they "leave" my pond faster than one ponders over any new purchases. Getting good growth rate while maintaining good body conformation and lustrous skin is always a challenge and this is what that is keeping me "sane" in this hobby.

    Mike, I have never tested my water source for silica (what test can I use?). I was told that regions with water source near limestone hills do have problems with hard water understandably due to the high calcium content. Hudi, do you have this problem?

    Hudi, I must agree that different hobbyists have different liking for the various types of beni and they will have a different reference points for comparison. Hence the mind-boggling multifactorial combinations one has to contend with in this hobby. Perhaps this makes this hobby so much more interesting, don't you agree? As regards my usage of spirulina, it is more because my kois love the taste rather than for the consideration of its' effect on the beni. Given a choice I will go for non-spirulina as they are cheaper and remember I also lkeep utsuris. I did not mention I also give silk worm pupae at every feed mixed with my pellets. Anyone else use pupae as well? I am from Shah Alam and from your indication that you are near limestone hills you are probably from the north???. You will be most welcome to visit me and I hope I can pay you a visit some time as well. I thank you in advance.

    I note that maintaining or finishing sumi is not a problem in the tropics (at least in M'sia) Omosako-san made the same observation some years back and he could not offer any reasons. Perhaps JR can offer some scientific basis to it? There are some water conditioners in the market purportedly for finishing sumi. Any experience from you guys?

    Thanks and have a nice weekend.

    Dr Teh

  8. #18
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    JR: Very helpful thoughts. As you know, my personal knowledge of fish grown outside Florida is limited. I cannot say that I have ever seen beni better in a Florida-grown koi than in the best shipped into Florida from Japan or cooler climes. Typically, the Florida-grown reds have a worn look, at least in comparison. However, I've got to recognize that there are not many koikeepers in Florida with high quality fish. I have seen pretty good reds on fish kept by the most skilled whose water quality is consistently excellent, despite exposure to heat. I think those reds would likely be better in cooler temps. My take on it is that very good quality Hi can withstand the high temperatures, at least for several years, if other stresses are minimal, but lesser quality Hi is more challenged by the stress and the constant growth. It may seem a bit strange to some to think of good growth as a stressor, but in regard to color I think it can be, simply because the metabolism is utilizing every source of nutrition for growth. Pigment does not get the opportunity to consolidate as regularly as in a cooler climate.

    Hudi & dtbh: I am not aware of a test for silica in water. Sandy soils generally have high silica content. It has been observed by some in Japan that areas with sandy soils are better for expression of Sumi. Hard water is often mentioned as bringing out Sumi, but there is a theory that it is not the hardness per se, but silica associated with hard water that brings out the Sumi. So, I was wondering about that idea and whether it was a factor in your experiences with Utsuri. The warm temperatures may have negative effects, but be offset by other water quality factors. If so, your experiences might not be the same as koikeepers in other places with similar weather conditions, but different geology.

    Above I posted a picture of a young Showa taken after 4 months of rapid growth in my pond. Sumi is coming in thick and heavy, and the Hi is stretched rather thin. I'll try to get around to taking another picture of her to see how another 3 months has affected her.

  9. #19
    Tategoi jacovors's Avatar
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    Thanks Guys,
    What a great thread, so much knowledge in two pages
    Excellent,

  10. #20
    Oyagoi bekko's Avatar
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    Hach, Lamotte, and sailfert make silica test kits.

    With respect to generational adaptation to warmer climates, does anyone know of breeders in Taiwan, Hong Kong or other areas near the Tropic of Cancer who have developed good beni in the absence of cool water? My fear is that the process would take a few human generations, but I would like to be wrong.

    steve hopkins

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