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Thread: perspective

  1. #1
    Daihonmei
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    perspective

    I have taken a lot of heat in the past for describing the koi hobby as a unique and specialized hobby within the generalization of the ponding hobby. In that effort to education , and therefore hopefully, improve environments for the different creatures trying to live in a pond setting, great offense was taken to 'my' concept of education. Unfortunately, the words of separation of an approach are instantly taken as a separation of people rather than an effort/attention to different species individual needs. And it has all been quite demoralizing to this writer as the support from the koi community has been quite weak in it's willingness to say there is indeed a profound difference between a koi specialized environment and a water gardening pond.

    Ironically, I read these words in another fish hobby written by a well know author and fish guy who has been teaching about aquarium keeping, in it's many forms, for several decades now. Take a look and tell me what you think--

    "It is a fact that about ninety percent of "fish keepers" in the U.S. are really goldfish bowl, or other plastic "death-trap" aquarists. The remaining ten percent have "real tanks" with "real" filtration. Approximately ten percent of those "aquarium aquarists" are marine types, so we're now down to one percent of the total." - ( BF)

    I have never seen this article before yet it sounds erriely close to my description of water gardening, goldfish ponds, wildlife ponds and koi ponds as being distinctly different hobbies. And that Koi keeper ( not people who attempt to keep ponds in inappropriate environments meant for plants, frogs or comets) are truly a smaller group within the general description of what folks who keep man made bodies of water in their backyards all call " their ponds".
    So how do you reconcile the two writer's points of view? Are we just both elitists? Or have both of us discovered , through time and experience, that the needs of individual species are what defines the different hobbies. Hobbies that to the beginners, seem like one in the same. Fish in an aquarium- period. Fish in a whole in the ground which we fill with water. Food for thought-----
    - JR

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasPR View Post
    I have taken a lot of heat in the past for describing the koi hobby as a unique and specialized hobby within the generalization of the ponding hobby. In that effort to education , and therefore hopefully, improve environments for the different creatures trying to live in a pond setting, great offense was taken to 'my' concept of education. Unfortunately, the words of separation of an approach are instantly taken as a separation of people rather than an effort/attention to different species individual needs. And it has all been quite demoralizing to this writer as the support from the koi community has been quite weak in it's willingness to say there is indeed a profound difference between a koi specialized environment and a water gardening pond.

    Ironically, I read these words in another fish hobby written by a well know author and fish guy who has been teaching about aquarium keeping, in it's many forms, for several decades now. Take a look and tell me what you think--

    "It is a fact that about ninety percent of "fish keepers" in the U.S. are really goldfish bowl, or other plastic "death-trap" aquarists. The remaining ten percent have "real tanks" with "real" filtration. Approximately ten percent of those "aquarium aquarists" are marine types, so we're now down to one percent of the total." - ( BF)

    I have never seen this article before yet it sounds erriely close to my description of water gardening, goldfish ponds, wildlife ponds and koi ponds as being distinctly different hobbies. And that Koi keeper ( not people who attempt to keep ponds in inappropriate environments meant for plants, frogs or comets) are truly a smaller group within the general description of what folks who keep man made bodies of water in their backyards all call " their ponds".
    So how do you reconcile the two writer's points of view? Are we just both elitists? Or have both of us discovered , through time and experience, that the needs of individual species are what defines the different hobbies. Hobbies that to the beginners, seem like one in the same. Fish in an aquarium- period. Fish in a whole in the ground which we fill with water. Food for thought-----
    - JR

    I don't look at you or the other gentleman as elitists....just someone who has an open mind and understands the difference. Many people have closed minds just like the closed body of water they have in their yards. To open your mind and LISTEN and learn is where the downfall occurs.

  3. #3
    Tategoi lypope's Avatar
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    I have never understood how a desire to keep a specific species of fish correctly is "elitist." I have been in-and-out of the marine fish hobby for the last 30 years. From the time I started keeping marine fish I sought out experts in that particular hobby, so that I could keep my fish in the best environment possible. When I began keeping koi I did the same thing. I didn't go to a garden center and ask how best to keep fish, nor did I ask the folks at my marine fish store - I found KOI people.

    I searched the internet and found people who were writing specifically about koi keeping, koi pond filtration, and koi health - not aquarium fish, not garden ponds, not goldfish - KOI. Before the shovel and backhoe hit the dirt I learned about filters, bottom drains, koi health, koi food, keeping koi in winter, etc. I do not think of myself as "elitist," just as a person who wants to keep koi in the best environment possible. I must be doing something right, as I have had some koi for more than 10 years. I travel long distances to go to koi shows so that I can spend time with other people who enjoy this hobby as much as I do. I continue to learn as much as I can, and try to help others with the knowledge I have been given by people like Jim Reilly, Steve and Cheryl Childers, Henry Culpepper, Michael and Toni Anderson, Art and Nicole Lempke, Bob Winkler and others too numerous to mention.

    I still have reef tanks and read message boards specifically created for that particular hobby. I'd like to have a lily pond one day, perhaps with goldfish, so I read about the best way to keep plants and goldfish, but I don't expect to find information about that here on Bito, nor do I expect that the same people I depend on for koi help will be the best people to ask about these hobbies, although in some cases, they "cross over" and can be very helpful.

    If I kept my reef fish the same way I kept my koi they'd be dead by now, and vice versa. They're not the same hobby just because both animals have scales and gills. That doesn't make me an elitist, I think that makes me a responsible fish keeper. And maybe just a little bit "kichi."
    Lynda

  4. #4
    Oyagoi mstrseed's Avatar
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    JR,

    You are a very passionate person. You are only concerned with the fish not with the miss guided people who keep them. Although you do care for some...for those who continue to turn a deaf ear you will never be heard.
    But those who truly care for the best interest of their pets they will listen...........some just take longer to come around, others never will.
    For us who do listen, please continue your teachings. (pond of the day....please)

    JR for a positive change!!!!

  5. #5
    Daihonmei
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    well, again, I don't want to make this about people. Rather I would like to make this perspective about the animals we keep.
    I did a lot of work with Amphibians and reptiles many years ago now. And Amphibians has specific needs. Just this morning I was out walking my property on this beautiful early Saturday morning. On my property is a shallow woodland pond no more than 20 X 15 and no more than 15-20 inches deep even during the rainy season of spring. I visit this pond regularly when it is 'in-season' and full of life. The bottom of the pond is leaf , stone and soil lined and currently the pond contains tads from leopard frogs, gray tree frogs, green frogs and toads. A few larvae from newts and red salamanders can also be noticed if you look for while. The tads are growing fast now in a perfect environment. After algae and infusia, the cyclops and daphnia hatch along with mosquito larva provide the fuel for growth. There is very little algal bloom at this point as the trees shade the pond and the bacteria population is controlling it all.
    Just a few hundred yards away in the house is my 180 gallon freshwater aquarium. It is set up with a C02 feeding system and the aquarium houses selected plants and three dozen huge cardinal tetras. The PH is almost as low as the wild pond but lighting is intense with 16 powerful T5 lights on 10 hours a day. No mulm is allowed to collect and if the pH went as low as the pond outside the fish would all die.
    Located down the hallway in a sun room are the marine tanks. Three in all-- 180 gallons, 120 gallons and a 73 gallon bow tank. There the water moves fast! And is of a high salt content ( SP 1023) . The angel fish and seahorses require very different conditions- therefore the need to for two different aquariums. NO plants in some and many plants in another. All create a unique environment.

    This is all about the science and the art of keeping living creatures in their ideal environments- which vary greatly. The people have little to do with those realities.
    So it is not a people problem as much as a lack of education problem.
    -JR

  6. #6
    Tategoi andy's Avatar
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    The question is How can we reach those who are halfway there in koi keeping knowledge? Somehow they need to feel invited into our world of excellence. Or better yet we need to find them.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy View Post
    The question is How can we reach those who are halfway there in koi keeping knowledge? Somehow they need to feel invited into our world of excellence. Or better yet we need to find them.
    It's up to the individual to seek out the information and to understand what is being said. This I am afraid cannot be done all on the internet. Getting involved in a local koi club and actually attending koi shows and seminars is where that person, if open minded, will sway to one side of the fence or the other. No one starts at the top in this koi world. We have all been at the foot of the hill and it is a long winding road. Meeting the folks in person one can see the passion for those that truly have the passion and those that are looking for fame and glory. Again, it is up to each individual to seek out their sources and having an open mind to learn and understand.

  8. #8
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    The Koi hobby faces an obstacle that aquarium hobbyists do not.

    I have never seen a "goldfish bowl" advertised as a "Reef Aquarium".
    I have never seen a "Clown Loach" advertised as a "Cardinal Tetra" (or vise versa)
    I have never seen "freshwater Beta or Chichids" sold as "Saltwater Fish".
    I have never seen "Live Reef Corals" sold for use in "Goldfish Bowls".

    In the Koi hobby on the other hand there are those who actively market "Water Gardens" as "Natural Koi Ponds", "Plants" as "Natural Koi Pond Oxygenators", and "Koi Carp" as "Larger versions of Goldfish Carp".

    Willful disinformation/misinformation that is well financed and widespread, including direct attacks against anyone who says anything contrary to their marketing campaigns.
    Larry Iles
    Oklahoma

  9. #9
    Tategoi andy's Avatar
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    The best way to ensure the Koi Hobby remains at the top of its game is to grow its population. Within that population you'll have the lesser, the expert and everything in between. By sitting on the sidelines the numbers unfortunately diminish and so does potentially the future quality of the hobby.

  10. #10
    Daihonmei
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    Andy, I think the way to do that is to clearly define the different hobbies that are often lumped under the way name of ponding or pond keeping. This is mostly promoted by commercial interests especially coming from the landscaping industry. An Omnipresent message that there is a koi keeping hobby and it is a well defined thing, is THE goal-and the best way to battle back the commercial message that koi live in shallow plant and commet ponds.
    To 'gently' draw water gardeners into the koi hobby sounds logical and it certainly an excellent way to fund a club as ponders are so numerous, but unfortunately it requires the passionate koi hobbiest to look the other way while while thousands of koi are tortured to death each season. Makes us all rather uncaring individuals more interested in numbers and cash than in quality of life. Some could argue that this is the best way to grow the hobby anyway as they are only fish and their life is insignificant in the big picture. I do get that and I don't cry every time a breeder culls a fry. But honestly I think I want to focus on the positive-- on those that find their way to the koi hobby and not try and convert the causual water gardener who happens to keep koi in their planted ponds or wild life ponds for a while. Having visited scores of these ponds in the past I can tell you many of those inhabitants live a short, dreadful life with 'deaths' occuring regularly. Maybe that is what culls are for but honestly I'd rather see them quickly eaten by a predator fish or used in research rather than to act as a vehicle to 'perhaps' draw in one in fifty casual water gardeners.
    We have seen the futility of trying to help countless numbers of casual koi keepers who try to keep koi in 20 gallon fish tanks and pre-formed puddles from Home Depot. In this sense, Dr Johnson put his figure on that ponding transitional community a long time ago and tried to create an 'in-between' zone of water gardeners keeping ( or trying to keep) koi fry and tosai for a season or two. At one point people would come onto KoiVet every night with problems and then announce the death of the fish a few days later and then never be heard from again.
    Very very few of those folks will ever be interested in taking the next step to enter the actual koi hobby. Thus my reaction when reading that other writers overview on the the general fish keeping hobby. - JR

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