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Thread: Koi That Fail

  1. #1
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Koi That Fail

    It is always a treat to see photos of how a fine koi developed from tosai, but it occurs to me that the ones that turn ugly are not posted. I think we have all invested time, money and energy in koi that went down hill. Posts elsewhere by DickB and B.Scott brought to mind that the master breeders in Japan are very focused on learning which of their fish will crap out, so ones of that sort can be sold sooner, rather than later. So, anyone willing/able to post sequential pics of koi that got worse? Don't be embarrassed, we've all done it. It could be very informative. What to avoid is as important as what to seek. I'd post a whole bunch, except I have not saved those pics! ... guess I did not want to remind myself?

  2. #2
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    Wish I could help Mike but I also did not save any pics of the ones that took a dive!

    My present study is really taking me into water and what it's like in japan and here at home. (they ain't the same)

    I think it's why koi that look promising in proper water according to the japanese rating system over the years don't turn out quite the same in our water. It ain't their fault. and unless we become sie it is ignorance on our part.


    But the olde expression of apples to apples really does apply here.

    playing with water chemistry is not to be taken by the casual player. it can do even worse harm. But there is value in a consistant content that closer mirrors
    the breeders waters.

  3. #3
    Sansai
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    Mike,

    I agree with Dick. I think you'll find very few koi keepers who chronicle the demise of a favorite koi. Two years ago I purchased a 4 step kohaku with great shiro and deep thick beni. It was a 6 year old koi that I was able to buy from another hobbyist while visiting them in Ohio. I was proud of both the koi AND the purchase price. It was a situation where the other hobbyist wanted to reduce the number of fish in their pond. They had several kohaku & took my offer when I indicated an interest in this fish.

    This year, just as the water temperatures were climbing in early summer, I noticed the 4th step on this kohaku changing from a deep red to an 'orangy' color. The next day it was more pronounced. The color was less red and thinner. Over the next 3 days, the 4th step disappeared and the same thing was happening to the third step. I watched in shock as the process was repeated up the fish from the back to the front until it was completely shiromuji. The entire process happened in about 10 days, maybe less. I couldn't believe what was happening.

    Looking back now, I can't believe I didn't take pictures of the hi breaking up and disappearing. I guess we don't take pictures of things we don't like.

    When I reduced my fish population later in the year, guess which was the first to give away? A local ponder was so excited to get a white koi!

    Dale

  4. #4
    Sansai Bob Hart's Avatar
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    Mike,

    Not quite what you're looking for, but here's a nice Showa which became Muji. It had an ulcer develop, which I aneathatised and treated, within a few weeks it had lost it's colour completly.

    It was a Koi I was quite interested to see how it would develop, now like Dale, it's looking for a new home!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Koi That Fail-sakuma-showa-39cm-spot-.jpg   Koi That Fail-spot-no-red.jpg  

  5. #5
    Sansai
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    Bob,

    One thing I noticed in the pictures of your showa is that when it went shiromuji, like my kohaku, as the color faded, the white that was left is not really white. I could see a lot of pinkish 'flesh tone' color on my 'ex-kohaku' instead of the white that used to be there. Yours appears to have done the same thing. Especially in the area where there used to be color.

    Certainly white is as much a color as red and black. We see varying degrees of good, better & best white, so I guess when a koi goes shiromuji, instead of it becoming white, it actually loses most of the white it had along with the other color that went away.

    Dale

  6. #6
    Jumbo Akai-San's Avatar
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    NO! Not Total Failure???

    Now you guys are really scaring me. After all the time and money invested, I think I would be devestated the first time and be really scared to buy expensive koi again. Any cases of the color coming back stronger than ever? Would a koi in stress be susceptible to this type of phenomenon? I can't imagine that a koi with so much, go totally BLANK. Do you think Japanese breeders get their fair share of disappointments?

    I did talk to a close friend who told me his $2 orange pet shop koi went totally white and then slowly developed red patches (rubish kohaku, but kohaku nonetheless). I didn't believe him, I guess I owe him a apology.
    nivek likes this.

  7. #7
    bil
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    Down to genetics. There just are koi that will do this. I had one that went from sanke to crap bekko with no stress at all. Some do it after a shock or stress.

    Might be interesting to know if some breeders are more predisposed to fish with this problem, or is it more widespread?

  8. #8
    Sansai Arthur's Avatar
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    Three years ago I carefully selected 4 tosai Shiro Utsuri from Omosako to observe their development (and hopefully get a good one for myself). The selection was done according to the breeder's advice.

    One year later, all four were still keeper although two were developing color faster a suspected to be males. That was confirmed at the end of summer, and off they went. The two females looked promising with little sumi yet but of top quality, just like lacquer.

    Last year both continued development in the right direction: more high quality sumi in all the right places. One was a good 5" bigger and looked to become a winner.

    This Spring, the "best" of the two lost all sumi over a couple of months (no stress). The second is still great, but smaller, and now has a little too much sumi for my taste.

    Even with good genetics and good raising conditions, things can still go wrong. Any developping koi is a gamble.
    Arthur

  9. #9
    Sansai Bob Hart's Avatar
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    The Showa above was from Sakuma, I dont think there is anything in this Koi's background that suggested it would lose it's colour, just perhaps stress from the ulcer and being aneathatised perhaps.

    Arthur - I also have an Omosako Shiro, specially noted by Takayoshi. Managed to split it's dorsal, so again aneathatised to check. Lost it's colour and is now grey and white. The Shiro is really good, so still have my fingers crossed that the Sumi will return. Sorry no 'after' pics of this one though, just the original for interest.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Koi That Fail-omosako-shiro-utsuri-31-cm-takayoshis-choice-.jpg  

  10. #10
    Sansai
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    [QUOTE=Akai-San]Now you guys are really scaring me. After all the time and money invested, I think I would be devestated the first time and be really scared to buy expensive koi again. Any cases of the color coming back stronger than ever? Would a koi in stress be susceptible to this type of phenomenon? QUOTE]

    Akai-San,

    I have not heard of any color returning in cases where it faded or disappeared. A week ago I visited the recipient of the shiromuji/ex-kohaku that I had given him earlier this year. The koi is still colorless, an off white with the flesh tones showing clearly through the low grade white that is left. You can hardly believe it is the same fish. I have asked this question of a few long-term experienced koi keepers and all said....."Once gone - all gone. Sorry."

    Regarding your question about stress, there was none at the time my kohaku lost it's hi. There were 17 other koi in the pond at the same time & virtually none showed any signs of stress. Neither did the kohaku that lost its color. Water parameters all checked out fine. I have no idea what the reason was for it.

    So enjoy the patterns and shining white on the koi you buy because it may not always be there!

    Happy New Year!

    Dale

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