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Thread: How Soon To Show A Recently Shipped Koi

  1. #1
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    How Soon To Show A Recently Shipped Koi

    How does one decide whether a recently shipped koi, or an otherwise stressed koi, has recovered sufficiently to be shown?

    I received two larger koi in early February. Before they arrived I knew I would not enter them at CFKS, which was just a month away. When they arrived the stress of shipment was obvious. But, within a week or so, they looked fine and appeared as robust as any. Nonetheless, I did not consider taking either to the show. They could wait a year was my thinking.

    On another board there has been discussion about a koi that was in poor physical condition, was restored by a new owner and entered in a show within some months of the 'rescue'. Some believe the koi should not have been exposed to the stress of a show so soon. The koi suffered no reported adverse effects.

    What should be considered when deciding whether a koi is ready for the stress of showing? ...Folks see koi shipped to shows for delivery to a new owner, and often these are the 'ringers' competing for top honors. So, I think it is understandable that many give little thought to the potential of cumulative stress. Thoughts? Rules of thumb for big koi, small koi??

  2. #2
    Oyagoi Eugeneg's Avatar
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    [What should be considered when deciding whether a koi is ready for the stress of showing? ...Folks see koi shipped to shows for delivery to a new owner, and often these are the 'ringers' competing for top honors. So, I think it is understandable that many give little thought to the potential of cumulative stress. Thoughts? Rules of thumb for big koi, small koi??[/QUOTE]

    I have imported a 34in koi with a total travel time of close to 30hr a stressed out fish with a tail damage due to being out of the water. I put my fish in a quarantine tank and let the new arrivals have 7000 imp gal of water. Water that had been PP treated and salt added to relive stress adding more salt and gradually reducing it by 25% water changes. No food for 3 days then starting with soaked pellets that were falling apart. A week later full ration of food. Two weeks later my fish were getting stressed in a 1000 gal quarantine tank so transfered all together. The temp being 70f. Within a month fish were good for showing
    The next shipment was in the spring and I put them in quarantine tank for a day with salt added and covered with shade cloth then directly into my mud pond mixed with my fish and the recovery was even quicker.
    If you get fish from a reputable farm shipped by them and then put them in a small 1000gal tank it is going to be a slow recovery in fact streesing even more I did not come up with these ideas it was based on what Toshio and Maedo San recomended.
    Regards
    Eugene

  3. #3
    Sansai almostgeorgia's Avatar
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    That's a tough question to answer definitively as there are so many variables; health condition of the fish in question, length of time in shipment, weather and time of year, etc. But one has to assume shipping a fish is at least as stressful on the creature as putting it in a show tank for 3 days. I've heard several knowledgble koi-kichi recommend giving a fish anywhere between 90 days and six months between showing the same fish. And I know one veteran of the show ring who goes so far as to state that one show a year is strenuous enough for his 'big gals'. He therefore maintains an 'A' and 'B' team so he can attend the two exhibitions a year of his choice.

    On a more personal level, I once showed fish within two weeks of receiving them, and though they were young (nisai), I still came to regret it. I would personally not show a 'brand new' fish unless it was shipped directly to the show.

  4. #4
    MCA
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    Honmei MCA's Avatar
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    Other factors play into this.

    1. How long is the transport to/from the show? Is the show across town or a couple of states away?
    2. What are the conditions, especially water quality, likely to be at the target show? You would likely need to have shown there previously or talked to others who have shown there to get an idea.

  5. #5
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    There may be some Koi shipped from Japan entered in the big ZNA NorCal Koi show. I will let you know how they did.

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    Jumbo Appliance Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by almostgeorgia View Post

    On a more personal level, I once showed fish within two weeks of receiving them, and though they were young (nisai), I still came to regret it.
    Might I ask what the regrets were? Thanks kindly-

    Tim

  7. #7
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    I agree with the idea that it depends on the individual fish. Young koi are more resilient in some ways, and having 4 30cm koi in a 6-foot show tank is not going to be as stressful on those koi as having two 75cm koi in the same tank. But, that assumes the young koi are in robust condition. Some are shipped in such crowded conditions that even the most experienced dealers expect some losses the first few days after arrival. Such fish need a rest. Small tosai can be fragile and less able to adapt to a pH change than a large sibling.

    Large koi are often said to be more subject to having adaptation problems. I am uncertain whether this is true, or if it is just more noticed when a large koi passes away suddenly following shipment or a show. It has been reported that a surprising number shipped to the major Japanese shows die shortly after returning to their home ponds. But, no actual count has ever been conducted that I am aware of. These anecdotes give reason to be concerned, but do not allow general conclusions to be drawn. I have seen some very large koi take it all in stride.

    The stress comes from exposure to low water quality; the process of being netted, bowled and bagged; the tumult of transport; and changes in water parameters. An experienced show-attending hobbyist may capture and bag up a fish with such ease that the stress is much less than when done by the person who rarely shows. A bumpy drive across town may be as stressful as a day-long drive on smooth highways. Each fish and trip is going to be different.

    Since I have shown fish more than once per year on only a few occasions, I have too little personal experience to have reliable conclusions. Still, I would not show a larger koi more frequently than twice per year, with about 4 months between shows. I might have different thoughts if the shows were held in cold weather, like most of the shows in Japan.

  8. #8
    Oyagoi Flounder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    Large koi are often said to be more subject to having adaptation problems.
    This is true large koi (size 7+) take much longer to adapt to a new environment. I had one shipped from Japan and those first 6 months were worrisome, she just stayed on the bottom and would not eat at all. She lost alot of weight during that first year. I had another even larger koi sent over to the USA with a 2 week "stay & rest & show" at the Socal show and she had no problems upon arrival into my pond. Packing was exactly the same since it was from the same breeder, go figure!

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