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Thread: Can high quality tosai koi be raised in a 3500 gallon pond?

  1. #1
    Daihonmei
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    Can high quality tosai koi be raised in a 3500 gallon pond?

    3500 gallons. Seems like a 'small lake' to the new hobbyist. But advanced koi keepers of the 1990s suggested that only 10,000 gallon plus, 8 foot deep ponds can produce good koi? which is correct?

  2. #2
    Oyagoi
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    DEPENDS

    What type of pond?

    What is the goal with the tosai?

    are you trying to raise it to be competive in size 4 and under?
    then rehome the koi after size 4 to make room for the next one.

    or if wanting to try and raise to higher size and establish a good flow thru system to help increase the 3500 gallons to actually much bigger gallons of water.

    but to expect to raise a high quality tosai to large size in an overstocked pond without water changes - good luck
    ricshaw likes this.

  3. #3
    Daihonmei
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    Quote Originally Posted by pskorf View Post
    DEPENDS

    What type of pond?

    What is the goal with the tosai?

    are you trying to raise it to be competive in size 4 and under?
    then rehome the koi after size 4 to make room for the next one.

    or if wanting to try and raise to higher size and establish a good flow thru system to help increase the 3500 gallons to actually much bigger gallons of water.

    but to expect to raise a high quality tosai to large size in an overstocked pond without water changes - good luck
    ahhh, your too sharp! . like most things in koi, things are viewed as one dimension, when in fact, NOTHING in 'koi' is one dimension.

    maybe the way to slice and dice this subject is to define 'goals'? JR

  4. #4
    Tategoi hewhoisatpeace's Avatar
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    I think it is definitely possible. Perhaps not many tosai, but with aggressive filtration, circulation, and water changes, I think that a 3000g pond can be perceived by the fish bodies to be an infinite water supply. I think if you maintain extremely high water quality and dispose of nitrates and pheromones rapidly enough, it's easily possible.

  5. #5
    Oyagoi Lam Nguyen's Avatar
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    Like all of you, I have been trying to find an answer to this million dollar question ever since I entered the hobby in 2005 and, to date, I am barely scratching the surface. There are so many factors to consider when trying to determine what the best environment is for raising a grand champion caliber gosanke. It is definitely a 'system' and, while each system is unique, there are certain elements that they share and it is the interplay of all of these elements that make this an optimal environment for raising a high quality tosai to its potential.

    Just a side thought: While swimming with my kids at a public swimming pool yesterday, it occurred to me how the pool keepers can keep the pools so clean when there are so many people swimming. Also, there are shallow areas for smaller kids to play and swim in, a deeper pool for the older kids, and a section of the pool where the water circulates very fast. Light bulbs kept on flashing as many thoughts crossed my mind: (1) can we mimick this concept of shallow/deep, rapid/slow area in our ideal koi pond?! (2) if the 'air breathers' need fresh air to breathe, then why can't our 'water breathers' have the BEST water environment to breathe in, one filled with oxygen and devoid of pollutants? (3) what do we koi keepers need to do to maximize oxygen and minimize pollutants to keep water fresh? (4) if my son is shivering because he is cold then he is expending all of his energy into keeping warm.....and if so, then how will he grow? (5) How, how, how can I apply all of these concepts in coming up with the ideal pond?

    JR, I still have not forgotten your challenge of having hobbyists come up with an ideal pond for < 5k gallon, 5-10k gallon and >10k gallon ponds. It's this quest to come up with the most ideal pond that keeps me ticking and devotes most of my time to seeking 'The Truth'. Is there really one perfect 'The Truth' answer? After 7 years, I don't think that there is (I know, I know....I am still a rook). But I do know that there are certain elements that most koi ponds have to have in order to raise this high quality tosai to a grand champion contender............and, to answer your question, will the 3500 gallon 'small lake' be enough? I don't know but I do know that there are so many other elements that have to be optimal to make up for the lack of size of the 3500 gallon pond......elements such as water quality, water change/replacement, TOR, water current, temperature, water stability, pond seasoning, optimal mechanical and biological filtration, stocking density, type of food, number of feeding and amount of food per feeding, external stimuli, potential jumbo genetics of the tosai, egg impaction potential, skin quality and its reaction to current water parameters and, last but not least, a lot of luck and praying ;-). When all of these elements are in play, then we have achieved the most ideal environment possible to bring this high quality tosai to its potential.......don't know whether 'fullest' potential will be achieved though because the element of water volume is not ideal.

    We have all shared our thoughts on pond volume, pond depth and TOR on this forum before and I am not sure if we have all come up with one definitive answer. Perhaps it is the seeking of this 'unknown' that has all of us obsessed and losing sleep over this hobby.

    If I may, please allow me to further define JR's question:

    Can high quality tosai be raised to a grand champion contender in a 3,500 gallon pond? Explain/support your reasoning.

  6. #6
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lam Nguyen View Post
    Like all of you, I have been trying to find an answer to this million dollar question ever since I entered the hobby in 2005 and, to date, I am barely scratching the surface. There are so many factors to consider when trying to determine what the best environment is for raising a grand champion caliber gosanke. It is definitely a 'system' and, while each system is unique, there are certain elements that they share and it is the interplay of all of these elements that make this an optimal environment for raising a high quality tosai to its potential.
    Just a side thought: While swimming with my kids at a public swimming pool yesterday, it occurred to me how the pool keepers can keep the pools so clean when there are so many people swimming. Also, there are shallow areas for smaller kids to play and swim in, a deeper pool for the older kids, and a section of the pool where the water circulates very fast. Light bulbs kept on flashing as many thoughts crossed my mind: (1) can we mimick this concept of shallow/deep, rapid/slow area in our ideal koi pond?! (2) if the 'air breathers' need fresh air to breathe, then why can't our 'water breathers' have the BEST water environment to breathe in, one filled with oxygen and devoid of pollutants? (3) what do we koi keepers need to do to maximize oxygen and minimize pollutants to keep water fresh? (4) if my son is shivering because he is cold then he is expending all of his energy into keeping warm.....and if so, then how will he grow? (5) How, how, how can I apply all of these concepts in coming up with the ideal pond?
    JR, I still have not forgotten your challenge of having hobbyists come up with an ideal pond for < 5k gallon, 5-10k gallon and >10k gallon ponds. It's this quest to come up with the most ideal pond that keeps me ticking and devotes most of my time to seeking 'The Truth'. Is there really one perfect 'The Truth' answer? After 7 years, I don't think that there is (I know, I know....I am still a rook). But I do know that there are certain elements that most koi ponds have to have in order to raise this high quality tosai to a grand champion contender............and, to answer your question, will the 3500 gallon 'small lake' be enough? I don't know but I do know that there are so many other elements that have to be optimal to make up for the lack of size of the 3500 gallon pond......elements such as water quality, water change/replacement, TOR, water current, temperature, water stability, pond seasoning, optimal mechanical and biological filtration, stocking density, type of food, number of feeding and amount of food per feeding, external stimuli, potential jumbo genetics of the tosai, egg impaction potential, skin quality and its reaction to current water parameters and, last but not least, a lot of luck and praying ;-). When all of these elements are in play, then we have achieved the most ideal environment possible to bring this high quality tosai to its potential.......don't know whether 'fullest' potential will be achieved though because the element of water volume is not ideal.
    We have all shared our thoughts on pond volume, pond depth and TOR on this forum before and I am not sure if we have all come up with one definitive answer. Perhaps it is the seeking of this 'unknown' that has all of us obsessed and losing sleep over this hobby.
    If I may, please allow me to further define JR's question:

    Can high quality tosai be raised to a grand champion contender in a 3,500 gallon pond? Explain/support your reasoning.
    If we are talking "raising a grand champion caliber gosanke," then no, a 3,500 gallon pond is probably not going to be near big enough.

    How do pool keepers can keep swimming pools so clean? Chemical filtration called chlorine.
    kirkabilly! likes this.

  7. #7
    Oyagoi HEADACHE6's Avatar
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    The Reserve Grand Champion Kohaku of the 2011 No. Cal. ZNA Show was raised from Nisai in I believe 800 gals. of water. It was a Tank, not a true Pond.

  8. #8
    Tategoi hewhoisatpeace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HEADACHE6 View Post
    The Reserve Grand Champion Kohaku of the 2011 No. Cal. ZNA Show was raised from Nisai in I believe 800 gals. of water. It was a Tank, not a true Pond.
    Exactly, Troy. With living things, the environmental parameters for success are very flexible.

  9. #9
    Oyagoi Lam Nguyen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hewhoisatpeace View Post
    Exactly, Troy. With living things, the environmental parameters for success are very flexible.
    Exactly! And I think that it is because of this flexibility that makes it so difficult to define what the BEST environment is to maximize potential in your koi. Troy, I assume that the owner of the 2011 Reserve Grand Champion kohaku must have a very rigid pond maintenance/feeding regimen and I am hoping that the kohaku is the only koi in that 800 gallon tank. This gives hope to hobbyists like me who cannot afford the money and/or time for a large pond!

    One of my koi mentors said that you don't have to take out a second mortgage to get a grand champion caliber gosanke. Rather, you have to be patient, submerge yourself in koi and be a true student of koi. Learn the developmental characteristics of different bloodlines/breeders and know what to expect developmentally. Hoping that this is true ;-).

  10. #10
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HEADACHE6 View Post
    The Reserve Grand Champion Kohaku of the 2011 No. Cal. ZNA Show was raised from Nisai in I believe 800 gals. of water. It was a Tank, not a true Pond.
    I know that Andy (Andrew's Koi International) says he can raise BIG Koi in small bodies of water... but Andy is NOT your average Koi hobbyist.

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