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Thread: show questions... first time taking fish to show,, not just buying and entering

  1. #1
    Tategoi Loco4Koi's Avatar
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    show questions... first time taking fish to show,, not just buying and entering

    I really dont think I have any winners, but I want to participate. I signed up for the dallas show,, taking four fish..largest 22",, smallest 12"...

    1)brief recommendations for final prep.. 30 days
    2)where do I buy bags and boxes for transport?

    any other input as well is appreciated...

  2. #2
    Tategoi hewhoisatpeace's Avatar
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    At this time of year, I'd randomize feeding to turn off growth. None one day, twice the next, then once for the next 2 days at very different times, etc., trying to get the koi to not expect constant food, and bulk up and put energy into skin quality, not growth. Also would conduct daily water changes if possible, seeking the very best water possible.

    I go to discountplasticbags.com, they have cheaper shipping, and transport in big coolers with a little ice.

  3. #3
    Tategoi Loco4Koi's Avatar
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    What about bringing my hardness up? I've read that people do that just before shows

  4. #4
    Tategoi Loco4Koi's Avatar
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    As far as clean water, I have a 5% a day trickle through plus 25% on weekends... ill raise it to 10% a day and 25% both sat. And sun. That's 100% water change a week... by the time the bill comes in the show will be over... lol... be too late for my wife to stop me...lol

  5. #5
    MCA
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    Honmei MCA's Avatar
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    I get my bags from Bag Depot. They are 4 mil, 24x48. They usually are 100 per box. So a box should last you for years. You can also split a box with others in Dallas Koi Kichi. I use coolers for transport. Depending on the cooler size you can put one or two bags per cooler. They do not fall apart when wet and provide far better protection than a box. I would put one of the fake ice packs in the cooler to help hold down the air temp during transport.

    Good look at the show!

  6. #6
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loco4Koi View Post
    What about bringing my hardness up? I've read that people do that just before shows
    My guess is that they want to enhance the sumi. My own thinking is to not play around with altering water chemistry. The koi are adjusted to what you have. Select entrants based on what looks most worthy. On the morning you catch them, you may change your mind. Folks often do.

  7. #7
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Loco:

    There are different approaches taken by different folks. What follows is one show prep plan put out several years ago. I do not know if Bob Winkler has modified his thoughts in any way:

    Preparing Your Koi for a show and Caring for them afterwards
    By Bob Winkler, AKCA Certified Judge
    [email protected]

    Before the Show

    1) Deciding to take your koi is a personal choice
    A) True quality evaluation by competition and judge�s insight
    B) Getting involved in a show opens up a new �world�
    C) A teaching opportunity for potential koi keepers.
    D) Pride in your �babies�.

    2) Walk around the Show tanks and see what captures your �eye�.
    What are these people doing different?

    3) Preparing Koi takes effort and planning
    A) The payoff is healthy koi
    B) Have to have consistently excellent water quality
    C) Can be a lot of fun
    D) Possible show winner with less money spent
    E) Takes several months to do it right

    4) Select a �potential� group of candidates
    A) It�s hard to know exactly which koi will improve the most under this plan
    B) Can plan for a few shows if not too close together
    C) Which koi varieties to leave home and which to take (always have the tiebreakers)

    5) 4 months before the Show
    A) Feed 6-10 x/day Hikari Excel, Hi Growth (Wheat Germ), Paste food recipe borrowed from JR- (Izeki Paste Food, one catfish fillet, collared greens, Uncooked, unshelled shrimp, frozen green peas, one red bell pepper, whole wheat germ, baby vitamins, orange juice, and non flavored gelatin mixed in a food processor and poured out onto cookie sheet. Refrigerate this for one day, then cut into squares and into Tupperware)
    B) Treats of Prawns, watermelon, grapefruit.
    C) Pond Temp 75-80F
    D) Refresh Brand montmorillionite clay at a rate of one cup/week/10,000 gallons
    E) Water change 10-15%/week

    6) 2 � months before the Show
    A) Eliminate Excel/Spirulina and Paste food over next two weeks
    B) Feed Hi-Silk and Hi-Growth (wheat germ) 50/50% 6-10x/day
    C) Pond Temp 75-80F
    D) Refresh powder 1 � cups/week/10,000 gallons
    E) Water Change 20-25%/week

    7) 1 month before Show
    A) Feed only Hi-Silk, but less times per day
    B) Pond Temp 70-75F
    C) Refresh Powder 1 � cups/week/10,000 gallons
    D) Water Change 20-25% per week
    E) Find out water parameters at show if possible

    8) 2 weeks before the Show
    A) Reduce Hi-Silk to once/day
    B) Pond Temp 70F or Ambient
    C) Water Change 10%/day
    D) Bowl and photograph all koi (helps verify how many tanks needed, and if extra help will be necessary)
    E) Refresh 1 � cups/week/10,000 gallons

    9) 1 week before the Show
    A) Stop all food
    B) Water quality at show levels
    C) Water Change 10% every other day
    D) Refresh 1 cup/10,000 gallons every other day

    10) Show Day
    A) Final decision on which koi make the trip at final viewing
    B) Double or triple bag and box with O2, Elbagin, pond water
    C) Bring extra supplies of each of the above to the show
    D) Load boxes sideways in transport vehicle
    E) Relax, you are almost there

    After the Show

    1) Quarantine show koi just like any new arrival

    2) Quarantine pond water at show temp, with 0.3% salt, and Elbagin (1g per 236 gallons), Mature filter and possible �canary� koi

    3) Low to no light, with majority of �well secured� surface covered with strips of Styrofoam.

    4) 1st week
    A) No food for 1 week
    B) 1st microscope exam at 3 days for parasites, and treat for any found.
    C) Temp adjusted up to 72-75F
    D) Lights on, and half of Styrofoam removed at end of week

    5) Weekly Refresh powder added at 1 cup/10,000 gallons and microscope exams for next 3 months and treat as needed for any parasites

    6) Minimum Quarantine time is 3 months.

    ______

    BTW, many would say this is overly anal.

  8. #8
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    And, here are some thoughts Dick Benbow gave a first time show participant a few years ago:

    1. I've always suggested stopping color food 6 weeks prior to a show to allow some affect on the white to disapate. Since your focus now is on show preparation and not growth, you'll want to feed something easy to digest like wheatgerm. I'm sure you'll hear from folks who swear by certain foods that help clean up shiroji and you may want to try it at some time to see if you feel the same.

    I have always subscribed to the practice of stopping food a week before the show. I do feel water quality at the show benefits. This is something you can improve on year to year by doing and observing your results. Don't short change your own ability to make decisions based on your knowledge of cause and affect.

    I think when we first get going with shows we look for something to do to prepare them in the short run, when in truth the entire process during the whole year is something pretty vital. that said you can begin now with a routine of fresh water changes more often than your normal routine. If you did a 10% water change weekly, you will want to do one like that mid week as well. many times the benching crew will start on friday afternoon and this is a better time to allow the koi to adjust to being handled and transported to new surroundings than accomplishing the same thing on saturday morning, just before the judging. Often the stress will take away from all your hard work if you wait till the last minute.

    I know some folks swear by additives of clay, like refresh. I find that if you work on water quality year round your koi's skin will be as good as the genetics bred into it.

    Finally, when you fish come home they need to go back into a quality water facility of a Q.T. Tank. Some salt is not a bad idea to help them get over the rigors. In a few days you can start feeding them wheatgerm again. Treat them like new fish in QT before returning them back to the main pond.

    I've during my involvement seen koi taken to numerous shows, just weeks apart, in hopes of finding an award. Soon they get weakened and sick. Try and limit your koi to one show a year while your learning.

    In Japan where the hobby has been around for awhile, keepers position thier koi for certain shows BUT only when they're finished. I see here in the states, making shows an annual event regardless of where the koi is
    in it's completion.

    I wish you luck in your effort to learn, and win or loose sharing your treasures and getting them back home safely is quite the accomplishment
    whether they place or not!
    ____________________

    Dick may not feel quite the same about feeding wheatgerm these days. He has moved to using high protein year round, and adjusting quantity with the season. So, his pre-show feeding thoughts may have changed. Perhaps he will come along and share his current thinking.

  9. #9
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    In regard to post-show care, I cannot disagree with the recommendations that the koi go through a quarantine period. However, that only holds up if you have a fully established, roomy quarantine system in place. Throwing together something just before the show, or using a small tank found in the garage, does not cut it. In Koi 2 Kichi Peter Waddington created quite a stir by saying that it was best to put the koi directly in your pond. He said that because in most instances the QTs hobbyists set up are more like torture chambers for koi than a place with a restorative environment. I concur fully with his thinking. Safety practices at shows these days are so good that I do not think transmission of strange parasites is as likely as harm from an inadequate QT. If a well-established, roomy quarantine pond is available, great! Use it. But, don't go sticking a fish stressed from the show experience and transport in a small space and expect it to thrive.

  10. #10
    MCA
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    I put a little Elbagin in the bag. Henry C posted his recipe for mixing a Elbagin solution and dosing it per transport bag.


    dont forget you will need a bottle of O2, regulator, and hose. You can get all of that at a welding supply store. The initial cost will be over $100 but you swap the empty bottle for a full one for a relatively low coast.

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