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Thread: Cool Water Feeding Philosophy

  1. #201
    Daihonmei
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    very funny video. As an east coaster I LOVE being asked to judge shows in winter on the west coast!! Even our early spring is colder than a SoCal winter! LOLs

    when I first entered this hobby in 1985 I would worry and fret about my koi living under ice ( yes I was one who used a cattle trough heater to keep a hole in the ice-- kinda like ice fishing!) all winter long-- and a LONG winter it was! !6-18 weeks of koi hibernating weather! Yes we believed koi hibernated back in those days-- but not for long, not me, anyway.

    In America ( and all parts of the world for that matter) we are blessed and challenged by our local climates and weather conditions. If you think about it, there is much to be learned from ZNA members in other countries and just as much information that is useless due to our personal circumstances.
    From 1985 to around 1995 I kept DAILY temperature readings of my old pond. Day and night readings. I made notes as to each winter and each month. The winters seemed VERY different from one another as I recorded record cold January trends and mild January trends. But when the winters were over, it was amazing statistically speaking, how similar the highs and lows were. And equally amazing was how stable the pond would get if I covered it.
    The only real constant in this experiment of koi keeping in winter is the koi itself! It is a constant as it is a living creature that has needs. Needs that have evolved in this species for 40,000 years. It is one with nature- and as a lower form—VERY one with its environment.
    If you live in a temperate climate, one that can stay below freezing for more than two weeks, think of your koi as a battery that needs to be ‘charge well’ in order to last over 8 weeks of use. The charging time is only available when the temperatures are over 60F and the charging time must be over 90 days ( not 2 weeks of heavy feeding).
    If you live in a tropic or sub tropical environment like Mike does, think of your koi’s ‘battery’ as being over charged. It shortens the battery life and ‘heats’ the battery up too much without a chance for drainage. Cooling allows the battery to use itself up and become in sync for a recharge ( as it was built to do).
    As I’ve mentioned so many times before—carp are slaves to their environment— you can’t change that reality. They are creatures ruled by their endocrine systems. Temperature, light and diet are the signals from the outside world. Signals that order the body to a domino-like biological cadence that is older than man’s time on earth. JR

  2. #202
    Jumbo Appliance Guy's Avatar
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    JR- first let me say welcome home!

    Im a bit confused... In KoiUSA magazine you stated that "koi are seasonal animals with energy diverted each pre-season for the season ahead." You mentioned setting up the gonad systems for eggs and sperm and the koi being in and out of stasis due to the limbo tempertaures. Well, what if there are no limbo temperatures? The coldest my water has been this year is 56dF. Not much stasis going on if you ask me. Now, in the above post you state that "Temperature, light and diet are the signals from the outside world.", but it seems to me those are variables that man can manipulate- particulary diet and somewhat the temperature.

    So, how does this warm water affect my koi in terms of gonad system development? And how does warm water feeding affect the probability of "egg impaction"? Seems to me that a 'fasting' is not necessary in my warm water conditions as the metabolism is very high (the koi are very active).

    Thanks-

    Tim

  3. #203
    Tategoi hewhoisatpeace's Avatar
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    Welcome back, JR.

    Ricshaw, I'm amazed. My water is actually much higher than yours! Wonders never cease, do they? Then again, I have to cover my stuff in a cold frame here...

  4. #204
    Daihonmei
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    Quote Originally Posted by Appliance Guy View Post
    JR- first let me say welcome home!

    Im a bit confused... In KoiUSA magazine you stated that "koi are seasonal animals with energy diverted each pre-season for the season ahead." You mentioned setting up the gonad systems for eggs and sperm and the koi being in and out of stasis due to the limbo tempertaures. Well, what if there are no limbo temperatures? The coldest my water has been this year is 56dF. Not much stasis going on if you ask me. Now, in the above post you state that "Temperature, light and diet are the signals from the outside world.", but it seems to me those are variables that man can manipulate- particulary diet and somewhat the temperature.

    So, how does this warm water affect my koi in terms of gonad system development? And how does warm water feeding affect the probability of "egg impaction"? Seems to me that a 'fasting' is not necessary in my warm water conditions as the metabolism is very high (the koi are very active).

    Thanks-

    Tim

    Hi Tim, maybe this will help? ---

    koi are carp and as carp they are controlled by their environment. being cold blooded they can hardly swim in water that is so cold that their body muscles can't function normally. They also tend to live in ecosystems that also 'die back' in cold weather as far of food supply goes. Finally, their fry are delicate and born/hatch without being completely developed-so they need conditions to survive or the species is a goner.
    This life's plan is very old and represents BOTH how the fish manages to survive where others could not-- a story of strength, but it is also a weakness as this fish is made exactly for that particular environment. That is the story of the SPECIES known as carp.

    But then there is the story of the individual. And that is a story of individual survival and beings things like adaptability and survival range into the conversation. And carp are HIGHLY adaptable as individuals with a much broader range than almost all other fishes ( the humble brown trout is another adaptable species but not close to carp’s skills).

    So your koi lives within a moderate range. In this case, the individual can survive but the internal biological clock cannot be suspended. That is the gift and burden handed down to your koi from hundreds and hundreds of generations of carp ancestors. Japanese refer to ‘eternal summer’ often. And it is both a benefit for rearing koi and a long term curse.
    If a koi’s body is designed to take cues from fading light, cooler nights, abundant live food and then no live food, etc—lack of these cues leaves the metabolism in a start of preparedness. Carp reared in tropical countries show the most extremes when it comes to breeding. Carp are usually seasonal breeders. Yet in parts of the world, they are ‘double clutched’ for production regions. Most of the fish in these settings are of course a protein source for developing nations and the ‘longevity’ of individual carp is hardly a concern. A few pounds and off to market. I’d theorize that the average life span of carp from these areas is at most three years old.
    We do know that koi that are hot house grown all their lives with no physiological rest period ( be it cooling, fasted or bred) tend to develop health problems. And extreme cases of ‘conditioning’ seem to lack the ability to adapt and die easily. I should mention that I don’t think breeding show koi is generally a good idea. But for health reasons, it might be wise to bred a female koi that is kept in eternal summer, if for no other reason than to clear the system of eggs now and then. Many questions to yet be answered in the detail. But the concept of koi as ‘four season fish’ is as old as the hills of Niigata. JR
    ricshaw likes this.

  5. #205
    Jumbo Appliance Guy's Avatar
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    JR- thanks for the reply! But, nope, it didn't help. I am looking for some in-depth answers, but like you said, "Many questions to yet be answered in the detail." I know that "the concept of koi as ‘four season fish’ is as old as the hills of Niigata", but that doesn't do anything to explain physically what is happening to the koi internally. I am more interested in the mechanics than the concept. Maybe I'm looking for answers that we just don't have yet.

  6. #206
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Appliance Guy View Post
    JR- thanks for the reply! But, nope, it didn't help. I am looking for some in-depth answers, but like you said, "Many questions to yet be answered in the detail." I know that "the concept of koi as ‘four season fish’ is as old as the hills of Niigata", but that doesn't do anything to explain physically what is happening to the koi internally. I am more interested in the mechanics than the concept. Maybe I'm looking for answers that we just don't have yet.
    I think it has something to do with hormonal changes.

    Edit:
    I found this which might be interesting; See page 405, Brief review of fish pheromones...

  7. #207
    Daihonmei
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricshaw View Post
    I think it has something to do with hormonal changes.

    Edit:
    I found this which might be interesting; See page 405, Brief review of fish pheromones...

    Right. The koi is a creature of the endocrine system. And there is both a direct and a cascade effect. So as hormones ebb and flow they set an entire casading effect into motion.
    In summer for instance, protein is stored unless it is so abundant that the body stops storing it. This then can set the body of in one of two different directions. The reproductive tract is another 'growing organ' that ebbs and flows based on what the hypothalamus and the hormonal cascade. The outside cues for the brain are temperature, light and diet. the internal response is a nature rythm. The important thing to take away from this in practical terms is you can't change the internal workings of a carp. you can 'delay', manipulate and freeze a period of philogical time. But you can't overcome the biological clock and it's internal presence. JR

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