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Thread: When we say, GOOD GROWTH, what do we mean?

  1. #1
    Oyagoi Ethan25's Avatar
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    When we say, GOOD GROWTH, what do we mean?

    None of us know the true potential of the fish in our ponds. We may have an idea, but it may be that a fish has the genetics to only top out at ___ inches, no matter waht we do about it.

    When we are looking at certain foods providing GOOD GROWTH, etc...what are we looking for? a tosai at 11 inches to be a 20 inch nisai? a gosai at 31 inches?

    I've talked with folks who use all sorts of brands of foods, costing between $2 a lb and $10 a lb. I have seen equal growth from some of them, even though one food is five times that of the other.

    What are we meaning by good growth? what is acceptable growth? is there a flat definition, or are we fooling ourselves with trying to pinpoint a certain food to give a certain koi of ours the most growth? I will say, the growth I have seen from EA foods is pretty phenomenal. I would like to know the other conditions that these koi were in that aided in the growth.

    Don't you think that lineage and pond care are above type of food in getting a certain koi to its potential? Also, where does pattern/color come into play? some foods make whites creamy and beni splotchy. Of course, high quality koi can negate this, but the fact remains, not everyone has the top 1-3 fish from a selected breeder.

    Thoughts?
    The views I have are completely representative of who I am, and may/may not be representative of clubs I may or may not be a part of.

  2. #2
    Oyagoi Lam Nguyen's Avatar
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    When I think of good growth, I think of some guy name Ethan25 and his Mississippi River water.

  3. #3
    Oyagoi Ethan25's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lam Nguyen View Post
    When I think of good growth, I think of some guy name Ethan25 and his Mississippi River water.
    ha ha

    I still don't have a fish past 26 inches....

    I just honestly wonder what people have in their mind about it? Do all the fish that place WELL in shows get to that size by age 5 or 6? or are some 9-10 years old?

  4. #4
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    All things are relative?

    I would not expect a koikeeper in northern California to achieve the growth of a koi raised in Florida absent heating nearly year-round. So, I might praise the growth accomplished by a northern koikeeper and consider the same result as "merely modest" for the koi kept in a different climate. In some respects the leading Japanese breeders set a standard... tosai under 7-inches are considered quite small now. Not long ago, a 14-inch nisai was considered quite sizable. Now, we see 20-22 inch nisai as fairly standard for SFF, Momotaro and Dainichi for the better fish. Many Sansai in Niigata are no bigger. Think about it.

  5. #5
    Oyagoi Ethan25's Avatar
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    so, does this necessarily mean that a show in Chicago has different standards than a show in California or Florida? I don't know...

    some who have the money to buy high end nisai and sansai also have the money to keep their fish in Japan till they are VERY big, or, to heat their ponds and give their fish as much opportunity as fish in Florida have to grow.

    Its tough. FOr many of us, we may have to be content to live with fish that may not reach 30 inches, just becuase we cant afford the facilities, or, we do not live in an area where it is common.

  6. #6
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    I think Mike really nailed it down.
    Growth rates are a combination of many things and the growing season is a major player. That is one factor among many of their growth "environment", which also includes water parameters, feed quality/quantity, pond length/depth, currents, etc...
    Genetic set the bar, everything else contributes to how close to that bar anyone can hope to achieve. Growth rates that might thrill you and I (at home) would be disturbingly low to the guys I chat with over in Malaysia. (Ask David Soon)
    As to show standards being different from Chicago to San Diego...
    I'm going to go with this.
    One Yardstick by which excellence is measured.
    How much of that yardstick gets used may vary greatly from one show venue to the next. Places like Gardena and San Diego are gonna use every inch, tank after tank after tank..
    Larry Iles
    Oklahoma

  7. #7
    Oyagoi RayJordan's Avatar
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    Koi growth is determined by three factors: genetics, water quality, and feeding/husbantry. Without the right genetics the best water and best food feed to promote koi growth and development is wasted. Likewise great genetic potential has to be nurtured with excellent water quality and a large pond/filter system plus good nutrition and feeding regimes depending on water temperture. It is kind of like a tree legged stool. All three legs(factors) have to be just right to grow a koi to jumbo size.

    Koi grow at different rates based on the factors listed above plus variety and as Mike says lenght of growing season is also a major factor in how fast they grow. In general if I expected a gosanke to reach 80 centimeters(31.5in) by age four here is what I would search for:

    32-35 cm (12.5 to 14 in.) or more at 1 year of age
    52-55 cm (20 to 21.5 in) or more at 2 years of age
    67- 70 cm(26 to 27.5 in) or more at 3 years of age
    77- 80 cm (30 to 31.5 in) or more at four years of age

    Also important to know how they were grown seasonally. Many tosai are pushed to over 12 inches by feeding in heated pond for 12 months and give a false sense of potential. Forcing them to grow so much the 1st year does not mean they can acheive more than their genetic potential.

    Depends on bloodlines and variety but most koi tend to slow way down after age 4-5 in adding lenght but will still grow longer given the right conditions until well into their teens. However growth might slow to only 1/4 in or less towards the end of their development.
    Disclosure:These opinions are based on my experience and conversations with persons I consider accomplished koi keepers and do not reflect the viewpoint of any organization.

  8. #8
    Daihonmei aquitori's Avatar
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    Good question.

    Everyone is different in their husbandary skills and everyone has different tools.

    For me personally good growth can only mean one thing - getting size without compromising the overall quality of the fish. I dont focus too much on growth anymore because why have a huge fish that sucks in quality.




  9. #9
    Oyagoi Lam Nguyen's Avatar
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    I totally agree with Mike and Larry. If I may add, David Soon and the SE Asian hobbyists have astounding growth. If we are going to measure excellence based on the yardstick and the likes of Gardena, San Diego, and Koi USA, then like Larry mentioned, we have to maximize every inch of that yardstick. However, IMO, maximizing all 36 inches of that yardstick may be more difficult than perceived. What I am trying to get at is that, while achieving the greatest potential is based on all the parameters mentioned in Larry's post, there can be drastic variability among these parameters as well. Take for example David Soon, who we all know is a very serious hobbyist who is active in the AJKS circuit. This hobbyist had achieved such great growth results with his 3' deep pond that he built a 2'9" pond and stocked it with excellent quality gosanke. I understand that a koi pond is a closed "system" and that all systems are unique. It's just that there are so much variability in the different parameters that make the yardstick that sometimes it can be confusing to grasp (just like this post).

  10. #10
    Oyagoi kntry's Avatar
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    At one time, I had to keep 12 koi in 900 gallons. Not one was under 12". They belonged to a friend and I was keeping them for her. I did water changes daily in that pond. Those fish grew like crazy. By the time she took them 2 years later, they were all over 25".

    I can't afford to feed expensive food. At the time, I was feeding Rangen and Ultra Balance (when it was reasonably priced). I'm sure feed has something to do with growth but if you have good water quality and supplement with fresh veggies/fruits, they grow and grow.
    The views expressed above are my own personal views and, as such, do not necessarily reflect the views of the AKCA or the KHA program.
    SANDY

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