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Thread: Sumi development vs general hardness - Myth?

  1. #21
    Honmei KoiCop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenryC View Post
    Hey Don, that pretty much confirms it.
    Yeppers, exactly who we thought.

    But I lost the bet he'd go after you, first.

  2. #22
    Jumbo RobF's Avatar
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    Post

    Since everyone seems to be having fun, here is another reference that bears upon Herny’s Question. http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/picrender.fcgi?artid=2275595&blobtype=pdf Like the other link I posted the body of this paper is a bit overwhelming, but the first page has some interesting info. For example it states that not only does cold (to which keepers can attest) cause the dispersion of melanosomes within melanophores, it also proposes a mechanism (gel-sol transition).
    And, here is one that I've never heard, it also says that increasing hydrostatic pressure produces disaggreation of melanophores (more apparent color)! So do deeper ponds, just by virtue of the higher hydrostatic pressures enhance sumi? Is the finishing pond of the future a chilled and pressurized vessel filled with "light" water?

  3. #23
    Daihonmei
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    No question about it boys, it's him having a conversation with--- well--- him! No one knows just how sick this guy is --------
    O, wait, you are correct sir! LOLs

  4. #24
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    An inquiry on another board about how to help sumi develop triggered memory of this old thread and the discussion of whether hard water benefits sumi development. In the 8 years since this discussion, all I can add is a comment Mike Snaden made in an article about sumi development in Showa and Shiro Utsuri:

    "With Shiro Utsuri and Showa there is a popular
    belief that water hardness affects Sumi
    development and that soft water will make it go
    down, and hard water will make it develop.
    Whilst this is partly true, it is more the case that
    low quality Sumi is affected in this manner,
    whereby it is influenced by both water hardness,
    and water temperature. But, when it comes to
    high quality Sumi, you will find that it will
    generally develop irrespective of these factors."

    This seems correct to me. The old observations about Showa developing better in sandy ponds, etc. were correct, but the Showa of those days are not the same fish as the better Showa of today. As the breeders continue with generation after generation of selection for ever higher quality sumi, the old lessons that seemed so important at the turn of the 21st century have ever less relevance... but they do tell us something about how far things have progressed.

  5. #25
    Administrator Brian's Avatar
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    Hi Mike,

    Mike S and I heard many of the same stories from breeders concerning sandy ponds and showa. One thought that I always had (but never bothered to confirm) was that sandy ponds don't hold water as well as clay/mud ponds and often require topping up with fresh water which would affect both water quality as well as temperature to a point.
    Brian Sousa
    Koi-Bito Forum

  6. #26
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    There would be that. Indirect effects do get overlooked when it is so much easier to assume a direct connection. ...The sumi of my Omosako SU certainly looks better when the water is at its best ...and below 80F. The glossy intensity loses something.

    Given the hardness of my water, in theory sumi development should be a non-issue. However, I have had my share of Sanke and Showa whose sumi just never quite came together. Genetics is a big factor, no doubt. But, also, it seems to me that whenever dealing with leaves/pollen trashing the water, sumi is impacted. Oak pollen season ended 4-5 weeks ago and all is looking good. Pecan pollen season is about to begin and will end about the time water temperatures are approaching 80F. It will not be until October that the koi regain the crisp, vibrant appearance.

  7. #27
    Jumbo sacicu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    There would be that. Indirect effects do get overlooked when it is so much easier to assume a direct connection. ...The sumi of my Omosako SU certainly looks better when the water is at its best ...and below 80F. The glossy intensity loses something.

    Given the hardness of my water, in theory sumi development should be a non-issue. However, I have had my share of Sanke and Showa whose sumi just never quite came together. Genetics is a big factor, no doubt. But, also, it seems to me that whenever dealing with leaves/pollen trashing the water, sumi is impacted. Oak pollen season ended 4-5 weeks ago and all is looking good. Pecan pollen season is about to begin and will end about the time water temperatures are approaching 80F. It will not be until October that the koi regain the crisp, vibrant appearance.
    Ive seen pictures of shiro and showa in Japan with intense sumi and once they come to dealers pond where the water temperature reaches 80F, some sumi really goes down while others have relatively stayed same. Ive sometimes had discussion with the dealer and he argued that its mostly conditioning and stress and this affects sumi quality. Once I went to hobbyist pond in the morning to help catch a shiro for a regional koi show with what looked like its sumi was deep and had a chance to take a trophy in the koishow where I was a judge. The next day, I was shocked to see in the koi vat that the sumi of that particular shiro turned gray and light. So was it quality sumi that deteriorated due to condition or just sumi that is not of high quality to begin with?

  8. #28
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    I believe there are several genetic aspects that come together to make quality sumi in a show. It is not just a matter of being capable genetically of having intensely black, solid pigment, which is certainly a prerequisite. One factor is the 'camouflage' factor. In wild carp the melanophores expand and constrict according to the background color. This tendency has to be bred out of a koi in order to avoid pigments becoming lighter in a blue show vat. So, some that seem to have equally intense sumi in a dark background pond are immediately differentiated in a light background show tank. It seems to me that this 'reflexive pigment' has just about been bred out of some individuals, but still affects others to varying degrees. The temperature response seems similar to me. Some individuals react less strongly to temperature than others. I have not had any Showa or Utsuri whose sumi did not improve with cooler temperatures, but some hold better through warm temperatures than others. It seems to me that the temperature effect is independent of the camouflage factor. I am not able to venture anything but a guess as to whether the hard water/soft water difference in development is independent. My guess is that it is closely related to the camouflage factor. To have the very best sumi in a show koi, the genetics for all of these (and more?) have to come together in the single fish.

  9. #29
    Jumbo sacicu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    I believe there are several genetic aspects that come together to make quality sumi in a show. It is not just a matter of being capable genetically of having intensely black, solid pigment, which is certainly a prerequisite. One factor is the 'camouflage' factor. In wild carp the melanophores expand and constrict according to the background color. This tendency has to be bred out of a koi in order to avoid pigments becoming lighter in a blue show vat. So, some that seem to have equally intense sumi in a dark background pond are immediately differentiated in a light background show tank. It seems to me that this 'reflexive pigment' has just about been bred out of some individuals, but still affects others to varying degrees. The temperature response seems similar to me. Some individuals react less strongly to temperature than others. I have not had any Showa or Utsuri whose sumi did not improve with cooler temperatures, but some hold better through warm temperatures than others. It seems to me that the temperature effect is independent of the camouflage factor. I am not able to venture anything but a guess as to whether the hard water/soft water difference in development is independent. My guess is that it is closely related to the camouflage factor. To have the very best sumi in a show koi, the genetics for all of these (and more?) have to come together in the single fish.
    I am reminded of a particular showa bred by ISA owned by someone i know. The sumi is not necessarily the most glossy type i have seen but more on the very thick blackish one that whenever he puts the koi in a vat, the water in the vat turns gray but the koi's sumi stays relatively same by ones perception. It still very black. I do not think his source water is hard and in fact soft. It makes me wonder if that particular koi can generate excess black pigment cells.

  10. #30
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sacicu View Post
    I am reminded of a particular showa bred by ISA owned by someone i know. The sumi is not necessarily the most glossy type i have seen but more on the very thick blackish one that whenever he puts the koi in a vat, the water in the vat turns gray but the koi's sumi stays relatively same by ones perception. It still very black. I do not think his source water is hard and in fact soft. It makes me wonder if that particular koi can generate excess black pigment cells.
    ?? The actual water turns gray, or do you mean reflection of the black makes the water seem gray?

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