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Thread: Genetic Predisposition to Shimis in Kohaku

  1. #111
    Nisai jtp79's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Sparta TN
    Quote Originally Posted by Suzy View Post
    No, you did NOT say that. You expressed your astonishment that my very first post on this forum was on a thread about the very filter I had just purchased! I am indeed angry now, and need no apology from someone capable of retracting a written statement. I feel no hostility towards you....I've already said that there will be no need for me to slug you in the kisser! This in spite of your indelicate and false "suggestions."
    Disdain might be the correct term for what I feel.

    Obviously you have trouble reading dear. Reread my post and see what it says.

    I never said anything about being astonished, I said I found it strange. I never said it was your very first post, once again adding to what I said. You can imply whatever you think I meant and twist it into whatever you want it to be to make you feel better. And I still find it strange that you show up in every thread that Peter is involved in or talked about in. It my god given right to think what I want,,,and I STILL FIND IT STRANGE.
    Member of IKONA
    Supporter of Koi Usa/AKCA

  2. #112
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by jtp79 View Post
    Obviously you have trouble reading dear. Reread my post and see what it says.

    I never said anything about being astonished, I said I found it strange. I never said it was your very first post, once again adding to what I said. You can imply whatever you think I meant and twist it into whatever you want it to be to make you feel better. And I still find it strange that you show up in every thread that Peter is involved in or talked about in. It my god given right to think what I want,,,and I STILL FIND IT STRANGE.
    I agree that shimi and hikui are nasty things. I hope that your Koi will never be victims of these. I myself find it "strange" that you feel it your God-given right to post dirty thoughts on a public forum. Think what you like.

    P.S. The word "God" takes a capital "G."

  3. #113
    Nisai jtp79's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Sparta TN
    Quote Originally Posted by Suzy View Post
    I agree that shimi and hikui are nasty things. I hope that your Koi will never be victims of these. I myself find it "strange" that you feel it your God-given right to post dirty thoughts on a public forum. Think what you like.

    P.S. The word "God" takes a capital "G."

    In what way did I post any dirty thought? And your free to find whatever you want strange.

    I have nothing to contribute to the orignal topic of this thread, so I should have stayed quite, like I normally do. Would be nice if we could get back to topic but for some reason, I doubt that it happens. I apologize to the rest of the members of this forum that I am helping contribute to this thread going astray.

  4. #114
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by kingkong View Post
    It seems 'Peters' are the talk of the town lately....

    Trust me Kong, I am so alluring that you couldn't even begin to grasp it.

    Now where are the big boys, you know, the Reilly's; the Papabears; the MIke M's and the Childers?

    I'm hungry and I really need some breakfast.

    Do you REALLY wanna know about 'thoughts' on shimi/hikui and then form your own opinions given and uttered to you by so-called experts?

    Or do you simply wish to hear truth without bull shot for the very first time ever?

    No long words, no nonsense and when it's over the big boys in charge of everything you have heard before that came directly from their lips will become little more than jelly.

    Of course, many will find it a bitter pill to swallow and there will be several strong murmurs from the clan.

    Personally I don't give a damn.

    Trust me, I deal in facts and real-life experiences - not thoughts and dreams to impress others.

    At least I've put my neck out in public when all the others can only quote 'words' they have been taught from each other.

    Peter Waddington.

  5. #115
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by waddy View Post
    Trust me Kong, I am so alluring that you couldn't even begin to grasp it.

    Now where are the big boys, you know, the Reilly's; the Papabears; the MIke M's and the Childers?

    I'm hungry and I really need some breakfast.

    Do you REALLY wanna know about 'thoughts' on shimi/hikui and then form your own opinions given and uttered to you by so-called experts?

    Or do you simply wish to hear truth without bull shot for the very first time ever?

    No long words, no nonsense and when it's over the big boys in charge of everything you have heard before that came directly from their lips will become little more than jelly.

    Of course, many will find it a bitter pill to swallow and there will be several strong murmurs from the clan.

    Personally I don't give a damn.

    Trust me, I deal in facts and real-life experiences - not thoughts and dreams to impress others.

    At least I've put my neck out in public when all the others can only quote 'words' they have been taught from each other.

    Peter Waddington.
    Here I am Peter..defintitely a tad overweight so I guess I am a "big boy."

    Its been three times now that I have asked your thoughts on shimi and Hikui and I suppose for a third time you will not post such but instead continue with your dribble. You have given a lot to the koi hobby but it is ashame that now you prefer to insticate arguments instead of discussing points logically. so, since you 'deal in facts," please give us some on Hikui and Shimis. While you say you put your neck out, on these points, so far, you sure haven't.

    BTW, where do your facts come from if not from "others"?
    The views presented are my personal views and not that of any organization that I may belong to unless otherwise specified. [email protected]

  6. #116
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    i wanna hear your thoughts on the shimi,hikkui and even the other picture posted

    I know others have asked so let us hear your thoughts on the subject and leave out everything else.

  7. #117
    Sansai redman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    If the answer to shimi prevention is going to be filtration and water quality, why would'nt shimi appear in the mud ponds? Is the water quality in a typical mud pond that good?

  8. #118
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
    Davenport, Oklahoma
    I hate to burst your bubble Peter but I'm just an ordinary member here so taking potshots at me is a huge waste of time and effort. #1 I don't care. #2 Your aim is horrid anyway.

    Now some of us in this conversation have actually proffered some thoughts on the subject matter and asked some relevant questions. Some of us have entertained various ideas expressed by others. Some of us, myself included, have asked for you to give your thoughts after you entered the conversation. Thus far you've done an admirable job of saying nothing relevant while pumping up various bits of bilge completely unrelated to the subject matter.

    Put up or shut up. If you have something of value to add feel free to do so. If all you are interested in is pounding your chest and hollering "My NAME is Peter Waddington" feel free to stand on your own front step and pound away.
    Larry Iles

  9. #119
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Here are my personal thoughts on the matters surrounding shimi & hikui as promised.

    The questions I raised before HAD to be raised as I needed the readers to contemplate why the questions had been asked.

    This text below is lengthy because the subject matter is complex.

    Much has been copied/pasted from another forum where I was asked to cover the same subject.

    There is nothing stated on these texts that cannot be corroborated - no assumptions, just facts that I have witnessed and seen over many years.

    Peter Waddington.


    ‘SteveandLou’ asked me to speak on the subject of shimi.


    1. Why have I NEVER seen shimi or hikui at the hundreds of Koi harvests I've observed in all areas of Japan or in the Japanese breeder's indoor ponds when they are offered for sale?

    2. Why have I OFTEN seen shimi and hikui in the Japanese collector's ponds and many other ponds in all countries I have visited?

    3. Why have I NEVER seen shimi or hikui in ponds less than 30 months old?

    Please give your thoughts.

    Steve, do I take it you are criticizing the ego-massaging words such as 'melanin' and 'melanaphores' promoted by our learned friends across the pond?

    ………………………………………… ………………………….
    In reply to Julian - no I do not think it's about older 'Koi' - it has MUCH more to do with older 'systems'.

    I must tread very delicately here, it's best to wait for more input from the forum.
    I suspect it has absolute zero to do with 'genetics'.

    I have seen shimi/hikui on just about every Kohaku from just about every breeder/bloodline in Japan over the years.

    But, once again, I have NEVER seen them at the breeder's premises or when they are harvested from the field ponds.

    And, once again, I have YET to see them in ponds under 30 months old.

    This can also apply to hikui although the two conditions are entirely different.

    No sign of Marco yet.


    Whilst waiting for promised input from Marco, here some more info on the subject.

    Since 1983 to 2004, every October I had the first crack of Mitsuo Hasegawa's nissai tateshita Kohaku, it became almost a 'tradition'.

    He would leave a brief message at the hotel, which usually said - You can select on 15th. October'. This indicated he was to harvest on the 14th. and his tategoi would be selected for removal to his indoor pond.

    I always selected 100pcs from around 3,000 crammed close together in a tiny and shallow outdoor concrete garden pond.

    The pond had no filtration but had heavy aeration: the water colour was grey because of the salt content.

    I would not care to even guess the TDS reading!

    In order to select the Koi that I needed, great care had to be taken with the net to avoid damaging other Koi.

    An early start was advisable as it did take all day to find the patterns I needed. I often set my sights on one to find it had disappeared below another 50 and had to wait until it surfaced again before finally getting it into the bowl.

    There's no doubt in my mind that, as far as Kohaku are concerned, I purchased far more from Hasegawa than I have from any other breeder.

    In all the visits I made to select in October and again for tategoi in the following April I never once saw a single shimi or any trace of hikui.

    Many enthusiasts waited for these stocks to arrive and it was not uncommon for some to purchase six at a time. One customer admitted later that he'd bought six and had grown them for two years before keeping the best two and selling the other four at a profit - his best two were free!

    Many of these same Koi took important 'Firsts' in size four or five at the National show and one went on to take Supreme Champion at a show in Arizona.

    However, for every customer who was delighted with the purchases there was another who professed to myself and any others within earshot that one should not buy Hasegawa Kohaku as they always developed shimi.

    So who is right and who is wrong?

    Has anyone any input before we hear from Marco?


    Gosh, I just hope you are not expecting too much from this post!!!!

    Unfortunately I have all of the “Three Big Downers” in my Pond. When this has become really bad sometimes last year I have searched for reasons. The only information I have come across which really has made any sense to me and described exactly my personal situation, has been the detailed article on Waddy’s Website.

    In a nutshell: We are running our hobby pond and filters 24/7/365 whereas the breeders “dry” their system completely every year with the move from mud pond to indoor pond.

    My pond got finished in 2006 and although all seemed fine for a couple of years “something” must have built up in the system to make my Kois skin condition to deteriorate so badly. Assuming that the pond itself is properly constructed with bottom drains and no dead corners where debris can build up the only other part in our system where “something” can build up is in our filters.

    The trouble is, that the debris can build up in places of (most) filter system where it is not supposed to build up and/or it is so difficult and labor intensive to clean on a very regular basis. My only personal experiences with these type of filters relate to Nexus, Cetus, Ultra Bead and a huge Multi Chamber filter.

    Nexus: nobody has told me that I should clean the outer bio chamber, as it is supposed to stay clean. It’s easy for everybody with a Nexus to check, just go down with your hand to the very bottom of the bio chamber and take “a handful”. On the Nx 300 you need a net or so to do this, unless you have arms as long as an Orang-utan. The pic below shows what has accumulated in 2 years in a Nx 200 at our friends place, but mine looked exactly the same. The only way to clean this out is by taking all the plastic out and “Hoover” the dirt out. The other pic is from the Eazy of our friends. This Nx has been cleaned twice a week by the Koi Dealer but as the picture shows this is not enough. My Eazy has never looked like this, but then I have cleaned it daily.

    Genetic Predisposition to Shimis in Kohaku-4.jpg

    Genetic Predisposition to Shimis in Kohaku-1.jpg

    Cetus: A sieve is basically supposed to hold back any dirt and just requires hosing down the dirt to waste right? This particular sieve is firmly attached in the box by 3 screws, which suggests to me that there is no need to take the sieve off regularly. However, every sieve will let pass through some very small particles as defined by the micron size of the sieve. I don’t think this is a problem in itself, but the construction should clearly be made in a way that these particles can not accumulate and/or they can be disposed off easily. In this case none of this has been done. See picture.

    Genetic Predisposition to Shimis in Kohaku-2.jpg

    Genetic Predisposition to Shimis in Kohaku-3.jpg

    UB: a bead filter is probably the worst “out of sight, out of mind” type of filter. Don’t have any pictures taken when I have dismantled mine. Really hard work to do this, but once you have actually done this, it’s just common sense to realize that these filters can’t be kept free of unwanted debris. Again this is due to its construction.

    Multi Chamber: My Koi Dealer has a huge Multi Chamber filter in his shop to filter the 70’000 l pond. The filter must hold around 1/3 of pond volume as it is widely proposed. The pure size of the chambers make it (economically) impossible to throw them to waste on a regular (daily) basis and a full clean of the brush chamber is a very dirty multi hours job as witnessed by myself on various occasions.

    I’m sorry that I have gone through all the above filters again, but I believe only by being fully aware of their deficiencies one can draw the right conclusions and appreciate a filter system which simply does not have these deficiencies. The things you see on the attached pictures just can’t be good for our Koyas, don’t you think so?

    So, if Peters conclusions are correct, and to me these conclusions make a lot of sense, our goal should be to have a filter system that does not allow “building up something” but should allow us to dispose of any debris in a fast, thorough and economical way with the view to get as close as possible to the situation of the breeders in Japan.

    The system I’m referring to is ERIC, which sure you have guessed by now. It eliminates all of the above deficiencies in a brilliantly simple way. I can thoroughly dispose of any waste in the entire filter on a daily basis with absolutely no ‘hidden’ corners to build up “something”. As I run 4 separate units I even can “dry out” one unit completely on a regular basis and the pond keeps perfectly running on the other 3 units (The superior performance of ERIC allows this easily, but this is a different story altogether). I reckon this is as close as one can get to the situation of the Japanese breeders with only one pond available.

    As mentioned already in another thread, the skin quality (color, condition and shine) has improved dramatically in the few months of ERIC running at my place. I consider this let’s call it” healthy skin” as an absolute basis to avoid the development of hikui and the other downers. The hikui has not healed in this period, as this seems to be a lengthy process, but I believe to see that it has not gone worse since then and no new shimi has appeared. Treatment will go on and hopefully shows results down the road.

    To me it seems far more important to eliminate the “nasty something” in a filter system as demonstrated on the pictures before I would even worry about RO, genetics etc. They just don’t seem to be the main driver to avoid hikui & Co. Peter has shared with us already a number of examples, where apparently adverse circumstances produced fantastic Kois and other Kois suffered in apparently perfect systems.

    Friends, that’s it for now and I wish you a nice evening/morning depending where you are .
    Kind regards,
    The prime question still remains, namely why don't we see these problems occurring in the Koi we see for sale at the Japanese breeder's outlets?

    OK, here are some simple facts that can be easily corroborated.

    1. The vast majority of the breeders in Yamakoshi do not design or construct their indoor Koi systems. They hire companies who do the design and construction work for them. (Mitsuo Hasegawa's now departed elder brother did this for a living.)

    2. The breeder shows the designer and area of land he has available and then it's out of his hands, the breeder's skills are in producing Koi.

    3. That area is simply excavated to a common flat base generally to hold a water depth between 1.5m to 2.0m when completed. Because it's a common flat base the water depth in both pond and filter are identical.

    4. When completed the indoor house will hold one or more ponds; a number of upward-flow filter chambers and a large discharge box - remember, all these are of equal depth.

    5. To avoid complications, let's discuss just one of these systems and give an example of one pond with two 4" bottom drains plus three upward-flow boxes each with a 4" drain. All these five 4" lines are plumbed to the base of the discharge box and stopped with five long standpipes. The outlet at the base of the discharge box is connected to the sewer (sometimes it just runs onto the road!) and pond water is supplied by gravity to the filter system via a huge side feed near the base of the pond.

    6. The filters are decked with removable access timbers, which also gives access to the pond for viewing. After that, the structure is covered with a greenhouse either in clear glass or clear polycarbonate. This is both to protect the pond in winter and to allow maximum vital daylight into the house.

    7. We now have a pond, a multi chamber upward-flow filter and a discharge box that houses five 4" standpipes.

    8. These indoor ponds are generally in use from late September to early June and most hold significant stocks of Koi during this period. A reminder here - that is a period of almost nine months.

    9. From mid June until early October the Koi (mainly tategoi) spend this period in large man-made field ponds at very low stocking rates, they are fed by the breeder on a daily basis.

    This period is often referred to as 'The Golden 90/100 Days' by the breeders when air/water temperatures peak at air of around 32C and water around 25C and significant growth is achieved.

    10. The moment the Koi are released into the field ponds, the indoor ponds are emptied, scrubbed and pressure-washed, this includes the filter chambers and the filter media. All of these parts are cleaned and left to dry out whilst the Koi are in the field ponds. In late September, the system is re-filled with new water after the media in the filters has been replaced, after that the air pumps and water pumps are started up in preparation for the impending harvests. After this mains water is added to the pond on a constant trickle and any excess is taken to waste via an overflow.

    11. From the day that the harvested Koi are placed into the pond the breeder carries out his daily maintenance on the system. Many do this before breakfast and before cleaning their teeth! The standpipes connected to the two bottom drains are pulled and the waste water roars into the discharge box. Next each 4" filter drain is pulled and the same thing happens. When all standpipes are replaced, the discharge box is also empty of water and the entire pond/filter levels have dropped by 15" - 18". THIS IS CARRIED OUT EVERY SINGLE DAY. The breeder does not 'top-up' the system, the constant trickle mentioned earlier does this over a 24-hour period.

    Some explanations here - the water used for these systems is supplied by the city, it is treated, like ours is, for human consumption and it is metered. Like us, the breeders pay for this water but I have yet to see a mains water purifier there not even a simple de-chlorinator unit. The filter 'system' is little more than a joke if the truth is known but more of this later. One thing is true, that is the only filter system there is - you will never see plastic boxes littering the place and nor will you see sieves; trickle filters; bead filters and all the other nonsense that we seem to find so necessary on our systems over here.


    Think about it!

    These texts are a 'generalisation' that describes the systems most breeders in the area use and I am well aware that there are variations. Please do not scream at me that 'so and so' has three bottom drains and four filter chambers or I will scream right back!

    I have not even nearly finished yet, but this is enough for the moment.

    The prime question at the top of the page still remains!



    Forgot to mention this.

    The indoor systems are all heated with oil-fired boilers.

    The tosai (Koi born this June) are kept separately from the larger Koi and these ponds are heated to around 22C. The Koi are fed quite heavily in these ponds.

    The larger stocks (nisai and over) are kept at around 15C and fed sparingly. The temperature may be allowed to drop to 13C but that's about the lowest it goes to.

    Few Koi that come to the UK from Japan have ever experienced temperatures below 13C.

    The food generally used is little more than basic carp pellets.

    After harvests have taken place, the field ponds are drained completely and cleaned of debris, some are compacted by whacker plates and then allowed to fill with snow water that will commence in early December.

    Flemming, this is why I made it plain at the beginning, I have attended hundreds of Koi harvests. I assure you they cannot remove 'evidence' before the harvests take place.

    There are none!

    Furthermore, my customers and myself have left countless numbers of Koi over there to grow with the breeders.

    Not ONE has picked up shimi or hikui!

    The question still remains


    All I can write about is what I have seen for many years Flemming.

    There is a wholesale store near to Izumiya in Iwamagi village that distributes 25 kilo paper sacks of food to most of the breeders around Yamakoshi. I'm sure you have seen pics of this on my website.

    These sacks look identical apart from one has a green logo and the other has a red one, they do offer three pellet sizes.

    The breeders open the sacks and empty them into plastic bins to keep it dry and then feed it daily.

    I've asked the breeders the price they pay and it's incredibly cheap as far as Yen money goes.

    Of course the food manufacturers visit the area with any new product they may have and give it free to the major breeders where overseas visitors are expected to go.

    They use that until it has run out and then they return to the usual food.

    What more can I say?

    More information.

    The many hundreds of field ponds used for summer growing are in various areas both inside and outside of the area once named Yamakoshi.

    Some go way up to Naranoki, Tochio and beyond; others are down in Junidaira to Yuzawa/Koide, whilst many are at the other side of Ojiya around Wakatochi/Kitayama. There are many more in the flatlands near Nagaoka and all the way to Teradomari, then consider those on the way to Tsunan and beyond.

    There are no two the same with regards to size, depth, % stocking rate to water volume; temperatures; earth quality and thus water make-up.

    I do not believe an answer to the question will be found here.

    The filter systems on the inside ponds also vary greatly although the majority still adopt the rise and fall chamber systems of old.

    There are also horizontal-flow systems in use and on rare occasions a shower system can be found.

    As to media used, again this varies - some use crushed or whole oyster shells; others use filter mat cartridge blocks; others merely use them for settling chambers with brush media and others use stones media.

    In all these systems significant aeration can be seen.

    I also do not believe the answer to the question will be found here.

    And still the question remains.

    But no comments?


    Peter can I pick you up on a couple of points here.

    1. If the filter systems and pond are sterile in September/ October, how does this filter the new presumably high stocks of fish coming into it, without causing mass mortalities with horrendous water conditions- ie new pond syndrome for considerable time? You know as well as I do that a 'trickle in/out' would never be enough to 'combat' this.

    So are we to assume the koi are not fed at this stage?

    Correct Julian, there's no 'Remember when you start your Koi pond for the very first time, add your Koi slowly over a long period in order to allow your biological stage to cope.'

    I've seen many occasions when 300 or so sansai have been placed in a 6,000-gallon pond because the breeder has nowhere else to put them. Go back the next day and they are rocking and rolling all over the place. Many are on their sides on the pond base. The mains water tap is on full and the breeder seems surprised that I am surprised. Go back in two more days and they are all swimming like they should be swimming and in perfect condition.

    2. If the Japanese don't use 'plastic filter boxes' etc etc (which I'm sure they don't) and use upward filter designs which are a 'joke' because if any of 'our' systems could benefit their stocks they would have used them years ago...... Then why do we/ you advocate the ERIC?

    That question will be addressed later but first more information has to be detailed.

    3. Are the ponds that house the koi (apart from the tosai) really just holding tanks, where the koi Iare not really fed.. (Brings me back to point one)?

    No, they are proper systems but they do vary in size.

    4. If point 3 is at all true, then can we actually compare our ponds to their holding ponds at all?

    Again, they are proper systems - pond and filter.

    5. do we even need biological filtration anyway? CHICHI is adamant that green water will remove ALL ammonia from the water instantly no matter how much is thrown at it. Do you agree? I absolutely don't by the way.

    Of course we need a filter, it's absolutely vital and the best green water is filtered green water!

    6. if plain old carp pellets produce these wonderful koi why don't we just use them here? (ie plain old carp pellets can be bought in England for around £7 for 5 kilos. Why do we need foods like pro-bites?

    I have known the guy who makes that food for many years and I know the lengths he goes to in order to make it. In my opinion it's about as good as it gets but I'd like to keep advertising out of this if possible. However, you are correct in what you say - give me the choice between UK-made 'Koi Foods' and carp pellets and I'll take the latter every time!

    1. Green Water alone will not filter anything - full stop.

    I have mentioned that filtered green water in summer months will allow the Koi to grow and still retain excellent pigmentation. In summer, intense sunlight together with increased temperatures in a pond with crystal clear water will result in a temporary fading of pigmentation - especially sumi.

    Filtered green water will not allow this to happen. For show quality Koi we must bear in mind that most of the important shows in the UK are held in summer.

    There are other advantages with using filtered green water at some months of the year.

    2. No, I maintain what I said initially, the Koi other than tosai are fed 'sparingly' in comparison to the amount fed to the tosai. I'm sure your Koi are not given as much food from now until April as they would receive in the summer months.

    Furthermore the stocking rate in these systems are far higher than those of a 'normal' pond kept by enthusiasts. Gill operation and urine provide more ammonia than do pelletised foods. Please also remember that the filters are religiously discharged daily.

    3. Regarding UK-made Koi foods I have already given my own personal thoughts on this - again my personal views. If these are all that's available then I would choose basic carp pellets and supplement them with other items, one of them would certainly be pearl barley and mixed with this would be fresh orange juice and liquid garlic but again that is only what i would choose to do personally.
    To re-cap, they are only available in 25 kilo sacks.
    It is food made for Carp.
    They are available in different sizes of pellet.
    Some have red on the pack.
    Some have green on the pack.
    They are very economical to purchase.
    The majority of breeders use this food for their stocks.

    That's all I know.
    To continue the thread - more food for thought?
    I do believe that this next part has some real relevance to the matter.
    .................................................. ..................................

    The Japanese collectors/enthusiasts were the first race to attempt to keep the Koi that were being produced only in Yamakoshi in the 1960’s.

    In later years others came along and spent fortunes to build systems that would hopefully keep their Koi to perfection. This continued right through to the early 1990’s but peaked around 1986/7.

    By the mid 1990’s there were only a few serious Japanese collectors left because the majority had then realised that money alone was not the answer and keeping Koi was fraught with more difficulties that led to even more expensive disappointments.

    Their beautifully landscaped garden ponds brought gasps of delight from visitors but all was not well with what went on below the water surface.

    All of this frustration quite innocently brought another mini industry within the Koi industry.

    Collectors started to leave some new Koi purchased with the breeders to keep, grow and develop them with the same methods used by the breeders for their own stocks.

    When the time was considered ‘right’ these Koi were entered into major shows and many took important awards.

    There was no doubt that this latest method produced serious results but exactly ‘why’ it produced these results has never really been investigated.

    I have been looking into this matter for some time now and perhaps I have some findings for us all to consider but there's more to follow yet.

    Are there any more comments?
    TO RE-CAP.

    For as long as I care to recall, the high-end Japanese collector's have kept their better Koi with the breeders they bought them from and this is simply because the Koi develop much better with the breeders than they do in their own systems. Aside from the fact that no shimi or hikui is produced (which can and does reduce the value of a high-end show Koi from thousands to zero overnight) they also manage to produce better lustre, pigmentation and growth.

    From the mid '90's hundreds of overseas collectors have also adopted these methods for the better stocks. The charge for this service is usually 30,000yen for Koi up to nisai and 50,000yen for Koi over nisai.

    To further emphasise this point, I did visit Masao Kato's many ponds at his home some years ago and saw shimi/hikui on many Koi.

    However Kato san keeps his top Koi with Dainichi, Nogami and Marusada and they are grown in their mud ponds during the summer months. Kato san pays these three breeders to grow his stocks in three separate field ponds and the harvests of these ponds are quite a spectacle where many overseas collectors attend. After harvest have been made Kato san's Koi are taken to a private facility in Ojiya and before the Koi are placed in the indoor ponds, each is photographed, measured and then compared with the photographs taken at the previous year's harvests. I have witnessed this process for several years and Masaru Saito (Shintaro) takes all the photographs. I assure you, there are no traces of shimi or hikui on these stocks.

    These Koi are kept in the indoor facility in readiness for the ZNA All-Japan show in December and the Shinkokai All-Japan show in January. After these shows, the Koi are returned to the three breeders named above.
    .................................................. ........................


    It seems to me that the breeders are doing something ‘right’?
    It also seems to me that the vast majority of Koi keepers are not.

    OK, once more, what do they do that produces wonderful Koi every year with no trace of shimi or hikui?

    Here's an important summary based on the facts already outlined.

    The breeders are farmers in the truest sense of the word. They plant their seeds (fry) in spring and harvest them in autumn after several selections have been made throughout summer and will continue to be made in the heated indoor systems until April/May. Their larger Koi are also kept indoors until May/June.

    Throughout the entire period that these indoor systems are in use they receive maintenance on a daily regime, which involves the significant flushing of all 4" bore drains.

    After this, all stocks are placed in field ponds and their indoor systems are shut down, thoroughly steam cleaned and left to dry for the summer period.

    It should be obvious now for us to see that the Japanese breeders have no experience at all in having to keep their stocks for longer than nine months in their enclosed, indoor re-circulation systems.


    The fact that these systems are outdated beyond belief and despite the fact that upward-flow boxes cannot possibly work with any real efficiency (Much more later) AND the fact that these systems are well-maintained, nothing really matters as these systems are only in operation for nine months in any given year.

    Alas, we, the Koi keepers in Japan and those all around the world do not have this luxury.


    If we go back to an earlier observation of mine where I said I have yet to see shimi or hikui in a system that has been running for less than 30 months perhaps this will probably take on a better meaning now after all the facts are before us?

    Perhaps the ones who tell us all that 'Hasegawa's Kohaku produce shimi' should complete the sentence with the words 'IN MY OWN USELESS SYSTEM'???
    .................................................. ................................

    There's much more to follow but before I end this post I have unearthed a dusty old Koi book first published way back in 1995 and written by an old has-been who has probably has long since departed. I have it on good authority that, whilst the book was first published in 1995, these texts were actually written long before that date.

    (In view of this I suggest very little credence is given to these texts.)


    'I have spoken at length to many breeders in Japan about this problem and all answers point to the filtration systems within the ponds where shimi/hikui are present.'

    Poor chap! mind you he did try, thankfully things have all progressed in these modern days, were not as stupid as they were back then.

    Thinking aloud.................I’ve had enough of the information spouted, which tells us what shimi/hikui is and so-called ‘accurate terminology’ of these conditions but not a jot of information/advice as to why it occurs or how to prevent it from occurring.

    I have no interest in learning about WHAT it is, I just want to ensure it never raises it’s head in my ponds, that’s all.

    Obviously it CAN"T be as simple as this can it?

    Nah, I reckon it's more to do with them there melanins and melanophores but we really could do without all this undesirable hypermelanistic enhancement.

    Could it possibly be the KH/GH of the water? - now there's a thought.

    How about the algae?

    Constant trickle instead of regular water changes that we need? - nah, far too simple.

    Mind you - it could be the food, couldn't it?

    No, that sounds a bit far-fetched but it could be that we've never used RO water on them have we? Tell you what – LET’S GIVE THAT A BASH AS WELL!

    I still reckon it's all to do with bloodlines.

    Or breeders even?

    Or the fact that all these breeders have black hair! That's got to have something to do with it, I'll get mine dyed today.

    Perhaps salt may help?


    I know - PROPOLIS - that's it!

    Tea tree oil?

    Cursory clay?

    I'm getting a sieve.

    I might even get a bead as well later.

    What about the ever-popular dancing plastic - Oh I DO like watching it!


    Ouiji board?

    Tea leaves?

    How about the Koi forums?

    That's it, I'll ask them...............................

    I have attempted to explain why these conditions are not seen in the Japanese breeder’s ponds and also why they are seen in the majority of Koi keeper’s ponds around the world.

    Unless I’m much mistaken, no one else has attempted to grasp this particular nettle before and then get rid of it whereas thousands have held their hands up in disgust and frustration for decades and then have done nothing about it.

    Instead they have just shrugged their shoulders and bumbled along to watch hundreds of others throw in the towel completely.

    OK, here’s my personal take on it all together with my advice on how to resolve the matter. I know for sure that it will NOT eradicate shimi/hikui already present but it WILL stop future manifestations taking place.

    This is all based on the simple fact that the breeder’s indoor systems are brand new annually. To add something here, I really do believe that the breeders themselves may not have given this matter any serious thought and why should they? This is something they have done since indoor systems were first used and so if it works for them (and it does) – why question it?

    I don’t want to do what they do every nine months or so, instead I’d like to better that and do it every day.

    This, incidentally, is NOT an advertisement, it is just advice to those who care to listen.

    It all begins with the bottom drains on the pond base, without these forget the next parts.

    The only way to get maximum performance from a drain or drains is to have them working constantly 24 hours a day. The only possible way of achieving this is to use the principle of one drain to one filter to one pump. Without this understanding forget the next parts.

    (Flow rates through the filter/s are important but all vary with each drain and volume of water in question – all vary.)

    The filter itself is a three-part operation, namely a lavatory, a water treatment plant and a discharge box.

    Lavatories need flushing and I suggest this is done daily and completely without fail. I need to see a brand new filter box every single day.

    To be able to do this with the vast majority of filter systems currently used it is almost a task that takes up much of a day and huge amounts of new water. Just the time taken for a 2” valve to empty the boxes (and the pond usually) is not even worth considering.

    Showing friends how your brand new filter system is serviced may be fine, for the first few days, but watch how soon it all becomes a drag of the highest order. As things progress, a week is skipped, then a fortnight and so on.

    My suggestions then are these.

    1. Consider a shallow and narrow filter box. By having one of these it can be emptied with very little drop in pond water level.

    2. Consider one that holds the minimum amount of water. Again, when it’s discharged there is minimum wastage of pond water.

    3. Consider one that can be flushed to waste in seconds. 2” valves are for fish tanks, use a 4” one just like the breeders do then watch the big boys at work.

    4. Always refer to your filter as a lavatory because that’s a huge part as to what it is and remember to flush your lavatory on a daily basis. Then afterwards check that it’s as new as it was on the day it was first installed.

    Of course, it’s of major importance as to what is used inside the box and what goes on inside the box.

    Here is where I stop for obvious reasons.

    If anyone is interested, full details can be easily found.

    I have given my personal thoughts, reasons and experiences as to why shimi/hikui are not found in the ponds of the Japanese breeders and also why they are found elsewhere.

    I have also given my personal thoughts, reasons and experiences as to how to address and resolve the matter.

    Again, I think this is the first time anyone has addressed the matter AND has come up with suggestions as to how it can be rectified. Of course, whether you believe these texts or not is your choice.

    To be honest, I really do not give a damn either way but I do practice what I preach!

    Peter Waddington.

  10. #120
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Ojiya, Niigata, Japan

    Shimmies and hikui

    Maybe things have changed but I cannot agree that as of 2010 Koi breeders' facilities are free of hikui and shimmies, sorry.

    I've also spoken to a very well known breeder that will not use Matsunosuke bloodline for Sanke as he believes that Koi from it all too frequently end up with hikui, i.e. it's in the bloodline.

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