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Thread: Koi growth no winter vs winter.

  1. #1
    Nisai
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    Aug 2010
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    Finland
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    Koi growth no winter vs winter.

    Has there been any study on koi growth comparing koi that are kept in a pond at a controlled tempreture versus koi that go through the four seasons and all the tempretures that goes with that? (with water tempretures almost going right down to 0c).

    I understand that as water gets colder koi eat less and thus grow less. What I am more intrested in is the effect on koi growth 4 to 10 years down the line. From the charts I can find its very clear koi grow at the their fastest rate in the first three years and then growth starts to slow down very quickly. What I cannot find however is it this is true for both koi that go through a real winter and those that are always in a controlled warm tempreture.

    Can anyone through some insight on this my way?

  2. #2
    Nisai
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    May 2010
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    edmonton alberta canada
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    very little growth

    i have a 3500 gallon pond out side ,i have wintered my koi there for last seven years,temps.here get to -40 very very cold,every spring when the ice starts to clear i have found dead koi ,this year in spring thaw i lost 6 koi 12 made it,i do not or cannot feed in the winter but when spring arrives i notice that the koi seem larger,whether they eat the alge or what but they grow in length but are thinner,during our short summer they eat lots and fatten up for one more winter.this will be the first winter for my koi tobe inside us i have added a pond in the house and winter storage tank in the garage,it will be good to see them grow over the winter and not be out under the ice,i have heard that it is s†ill a good idea to fast the koi for 4-6 weeks over the winter,why should this be done.

  3. #3
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smkngstv View Post
    i have heard that it is s†ill a good idea to fast the koi for 4-6 weeks over the winter,why should this be done.
    The problem with this rule is it depends on the temperature of the water.

    We discussed this at last Sunday's ZNA club meeting.

    It surprises me how many people in sunny Southern California stop feeding their fish (and their filters) for months during the winter.

    The shared experiences was that the people who feed a little (maybe only a little food once a week) had better experiences with Koi health and water quality in the spring.

  4. #4
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    About 5 years ago, dan olson from spokane. in washington state had toshio sakai select 7 tosai for him to raise. One was tategoi, and 2 each of the equivilent of single A,Double, and AAA quality. The top three Koi were kept indoors for the first two years while the others were kept outside and experienced winter. the third year all were kept outside. the ones coddled
    the first two years with better growth ended up even with or behind those that experienced winter. Interesting enough, a single A Koi advanced to tategoi according to toshio who stopped by to see the results of the experience.

    dan is a superior water caretaker. toshio is a superior breeder. When you get them both right, you understand that a three year study is pretty conclusive
    in results.

    It proved to many members of the NIKK (north idaho Koi keepers) club that
    when properly managed thru winter and fed appropriately during growth season you could expect better results then those coddled in spa like treatment.

    This "experiment" was repeated many times during my decades of involvement in this hobby....with the same results.
    Dick Benbow

  5. #5
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    I can only add to what Dick has said by giving limited personal experience. I currently have two Nisei Koi Farm Showa. One was acquired as a lesser quality tosai in March 2009 just for fun. The other was a better quality tosai acquired in May of the same year in NKF's 555 event sale because I liked the face pattern. The lesser one has been in my pond with nearly year-round growing conditions. The better one was kept in the mud at NKF until February 2011. Upon arrival, the better one was decidedly smaller than the lesser one. After 6 months of growing conditions, the better one is now equal in length and has more bulk. It appears larger due to the bulk, but they are within 2cm of each other (which I count as "equal", given my incompetence at holding a koi still and measuring by myself). ...past time for the lesser one to move on, but I've gotten a bit attached to her.

    I believe koi can be stunted by too limited a diet and/or poor water conditions, and I am sure that if the growing season was limited to just a few weeks per year there would be effects on ultimate size. The durability of koi should not be pushed too much.

  6. #6
    Nisai
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    Many thanks for the info as being located in Finland I am very intrested in this. For the last to years we have had very harsh winters here. Basically ice cover from the middle to end of November to April. All I do in the winter is venture out onto the ice 3 to 4 times a day to make sure there is an open hole caused by areation (airstone is deep). We have a mud pond with a large volume, the average temp for winter last year was -10.

    Its good to know the winter may not severly affect overall size if water quality is good and of course the koi survive. I must admit I was a little worried the first winter after putting out 'test' mutt kois into the pond. From the advices I read on the net of things to do in winter I was sure none of them would have made it, in fact they all did which has lead me to believe keeping koi alive over winter in a mud pond is much easier than a concrete pond. I would not have believed koi could survive 4 months in water tempreture of 0.1c (tempreture on the bottom) if I would not have experianced it with my own eyes.

  7. #7
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    I'm glad you shared your experience with such cold temperatures. Lots to think about.

    I'm wondering if the koi settle into the mud on the bottom to stay warmer than the water temperature.

  8. #8
    Nisai
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    I have been wondering if koi bury themselves in mud also but have not found any info. I do know that the common carp here in Finland do it.

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