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Thread: baby koi and their look

  1. #1
    Oyagoi mrbradleybradley's Avatar
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    baby koi and their look

    Baby koi are born incomplete. Some born black and others born white, with the other colours, patterns and scale/skin elements becoming an expression of the phenotype later. Watching their development is a lesson as colour comes or goes and other features resolve. I see them as lesson in heritage and refinement, along the way. There can be a much of the history of koi development to be learnt from raising koi from fry IMHO.

    In karasugoi we have kumonryu and matsukawabake as the most 'changling' type. During the first 12 months I cannot think of another koi type that goes through as much change as these. Sumi can appear and disappear almost daily. Not all can be as it seems at first glance. In baby koi it can be somewhat harder to see the nature or atmosphere of a koi as the colour and pattern elements are not yet developed, but going through the process of gene expression.

    Take the first photo of my young koi, only a few months old. At first glance - a sanke?

    baby koi and their look-comp.jpg

    But, with a little further study, take note of the lateral orientation of the sumi in front of the dorsal. A lateral orientation in a dorsal location. Then there is the small amount of sumi tipping the dorsal. Take note of the eye colour and the dark circle sitting in the middle of the head. These are not typical sanke traits. In isolation, each feature would be easy missed or perhaps passed over. But together, they suggest another heritage. These are traits in other varieties - the black on the head is something seen in black based koi for example.

    Some might also note the sumi type near the tail.

    So is it a sanke?

  2. #2
    Daihonmei
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbradleybradley View Post
    Baby koi are born incomplete. Some born black and others born white, with the other colours, patterns and scale/skin elements becoming an expression of the phenotype later. Watching their development is a lesson as colour comes or goes and other features resolve. I see them as lesson in heritage and refinement, along the way. There can be a much of the history of koi development to be learnt from raising koi from fry IMHO.

    In karasugoi we have kumonryu and matsukawabake as the most 'changling' type. During the first 12 months I cannot think of another koi type that goes through as much change as these. Sumi can appear and disappear almost daily. Not all can be as it seems at first glance. In baby koi it can be somewhat harder to see the nature or atmosphere of a koi as the colour and pattern elements are not yet developed, but going through the process of gene expression.

    Take the first photo of my young koi, only a few months old. At first glance - a sanke?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    But, with a little further study, take note of the lateral orientation of the sumi in front of the dorsal. A lateral orientation in a dorsal location. Then there is the small amount of sumi tipping the dorsal. Take note of the eye colour and the dark circle sitting in the middle of the head. These are not typical sanke traits. In isolation, each feature would be easy missed or perhaps passed over. But together, they suggest another heritage. These are traits in other varieties - the black on the head is something seen in black based koi for example.

    Some might also note the sumi type near the tail.

    So is it a sanke?
    Bradley, I always enjoy your posts and observations the most on this board. Right on, right on, right on!

    I breed a lot of species of fish and always, it is a matter of 'repeating' of the wild pattern-- honed and repeated for eons as nature selects the strongest, the best survival rates and patterns and colors for the mating dance so that 'others' will recognize their own.
    I've tried many times over the years to breed koi well. The key is 'well'. Never happened!! Poor breeder examples in the early years ( medium grade show fish) and then lack of resources for proper grow out. But I did learn alot. ( mostly what NOT to do! LOLs). What I learned and re-enforced over the years, trips to Japan and my local koi farm was--
    a) koi do not breed true
    b) koi are man made and selected for colors and not nature's criteria
    c) koi are a collection of mutation traits and that is the ultimate 'secret' of koi

    Your observations regarding the early changes in fry is interesting to me as an ametuer biologist, to me, comes down to two things:

    1) the recessive mutation gene expression in the phenotype turns on and off like a dimmer switch!

    2) that expression surges and declines as the skin tissues or layers develop from embryonic stages to juvenile skin layers. That should be no surprise for a species that is born without a swim bladder or proper gills! JR

  3. #3
    Oyagoi
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    i REALLY like these kind of post

    i know you have the struggles of needing to breed your own koi and make new varieties or even improve your own varieties without help from outside our country.

    So what is a struggle or should say challenge for you has been GREAT for us to view on here your pictures and thoughts and everything you do and to share with us has been rewarding for me and i am sure others

    maybe its me but NO WAY would i breed koi here in the US for part of the hobby but when you post seems a little part of me wants to move to Australia just so i could breed koi with the challenge of no outside country advantage.
    Paul Korf

    member of:
    Midwest Pond and Koi Society
    Louisville Koi club
    IKONA

  4. #4
    Oyagoi mrbradleybradley's Avatar
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    Not everyone gets to see baby koi. It is an area of appreciation not so explored. We see more examples of backyard breeding results of varying progeny and numerous degrees of quality. So not all lessons are good apart from some basics and what equals failure. Fortunately, there is a bunch of almost OCD breeders in OZ who have photographed koi over the years. Small in range but very educational.

    This baby koi was photographed yesterday and the change is both entertaining and interesting. As one of the parents was a 'beni' matsukawabake, it explains some of the non-sanke traits - black beneath the skin on the head, lateral pattern that changes. Black tipping on the dorsal fins, eye colour. The black near the tail is also of the hyper melanism type.

    baby koi and their look-comparison.jpg

    We can tell there has been some development in head area. Skull, colour and skin thickening is covering over the black sitting below.

    Check-out the change in the sumi near the dorsal fin. Now we have a differing look - the matsukawabake trait, the sumi separation to individual scale and bordering are now more obvious - a typical look in baby matsukawabake.

    No doubt this koi will change again

  5. #5
    Oyagoi mrbradleybradley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasPR View Post
    Bradley, I always enjoy your posts and observations the most on this board. Right on, right on, right on!

    I breed a lot of species of fish and always, it is a matter of 'repeating' of the wild pattern-- honed and repeated for eons as nature selects the strongest, the best survival rates and patterns and colors for the mating dance so that 'others' will recognize their own.
    I've tried many times over the years to breed koi well. The key is 'well'. Never happened!! Poor breeder examples in the early years ( medium grade show fish) and then lack of resources for proper grow out. But I did learn alot. ( mostly what NOT to do! LOLs). What I learned and re-enforced over the years, trips to Japan and my local koi farm was--
    a) koi do not breed true
    b) koi are man made and selected for colors and not nature's criteria
    c) koi are a collection of mutation traits and that is the ultimate 'secret' of koi

    Your observations regarding the early changes in fry is interesting to me as an ametuer biologist, to me, comes down to two things:

    1) the recessive mutation gene expression in the phenotype turns on and off like a dimmer switch!

    2) that expression surges and declines as the skin tissues or layers develop from embryonic stages to juvenile skin layers. That should be no surprise for a species that is born without a swim bladder or proper gills! JR
    Indeed. Some of what is seen is the expression of colour and pattern vs the development of skin and scales.

  6. #6
    Oyagoi mrbradleybradley's Avatar
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    Today's update


  7. #7
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    These three photos are a wonderful lesson. Thank you!

    If a person saw only the first photo, they could not know whether the Hi was coming or going. Seeing only the first and second, you would see that the Hi is developing. It takes the third photo to also realize the Hi is expanding. I'm hoping for more photos to learn whether the Hi retracts with increasing maturity, or does it continue expanding? ...Neat little guy.

  8. #8
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    It was always my hope that somehow one could follow each and every one. In sembetsu, you'd see wonderful koi in earlly sorting and wonder where they went by the end. did they die? Was it changed. what happened.

    But i think this hobby is for optimists anyway and maybe a little mystery doesn't hurt anything

  9. #9
    Jumbo Appliance Guy's Avatar
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    Wonderful thread!!!!

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