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Thread: Skin is Everything

  1. #31
    Jumbo Appliance Guy's Avatar
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    Nice job Mike and Homer. I am enjoying this conversation, thanks.

  2. #32
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    In a way, hikkui does reflect on the health of a koi. An old person may continue to live, but he may have many wrinkles. Wrinkles are a result of degeneration, and the degeneration may occur on a relatively young person, and is not exdusive to elderly people. Such degeneration reflects on the health of the subject. Same things goes for shimmi. Have you seen people with age spots? Are age spots hereditary? In the same way, shimmies cannot definitely be considered genetic.

    To continue to live does not mean one is healthy. It only means one is surviving while not being at 100%.
    Hikkui is itself a health condition, of course. But I disagree that it is a reflection of the general health of a koi or a consequence of the aging process. I have observed hikkui on too many koi that were only three or four years old to think it is aspect of aging. Likewise, I have observed such koi grow from 60cm to over 85cm, exhibiting robust health in every respect despite the presence of hikkui ...and living for many years after the appearance of hikkui. That is a reality that cannot be ignored when engaging in theoretical speculation.

  3. #33
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    If there is a baldness gene, it only means that a male person having that gene is merely disposed to be bald, not certain to be bald. That is an important distinction. That disposition to be bald can be overcome by changing one's lifestyle. You can buy a book entitled "Hair Like A Fox," which is available in kindle for a song.

    Genetics is over-rated imho. Not saying it doesn't play a role, but koi GC's still haven't had progeny that were able to clinch GC in the AJKS, no matter the sum fetched for such progeny. Sure, the GC's make great oyagoi, and they make great offspring. And these offspring, after a culling process, become very promising and valuable. Yet, the promise of tategoi becomes more of a reality in the care of breeders, not in the hands of koi keepers that can afford these promising koi. The breeder will not allow the sale of such koi to a buyer unless the buyer agrees to let the breeder continue to care for the koi. This shows that the breeder does not want his efforts at breeding go to waste in the hands of the typically inept koi keeper. By calling a typical koi keeper inept, I mean that koi keepers, even advanced ones, cannot provide the same level of care that the breeder gives. Whatever the care involves, it only shows how much important the nurture aspect is.

    Under the breeder's care, will hikkui and shimmie at a young age be less likely to occur? I believe so. It would be a waste to see a koi not achieve GC because of a shimmie or a hikkui.

    The reality is that we don't really know if that hikkui or that shimmie that we experienced with our koi could have been avoided under the care of somebody who knows better. But to say that hikkui and shimmie is genetic is very convenient, as it is the koi keeper saying "it's not my fault," as it's the genes, and "I am helpless against it." I still think we as koi keepers can still do better, but if we assign the blame to something we can't control, we are just of blinders. And I doubt if the day comes someone figures out a way to avoid hikkui and shimmies, we will even say the nurture aspect has improved. We will say the hikkui gene or the shimmie gene has been eliminated.
    Oh my.... citing a Ray Peat groupie's theories on baldness is not going to carry any weight in any koi discussion.

    You are certainly correct that we cannot know if hikkui would have developed if a particular koi had been in the care of someone else. However, pointing out that we cannot know what occurs on the road not taken is not a basis for ignoring what is known.

  4. #34
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    In regard to hikkui, it has been observed that the incidence is down compared to the frequency in the 1980s and 1990s. The reason for the decline in the incidence of hikkui is generally considered to be breeders' decisions to cease using oyagoi whose offspring had high rates of hikkui. The decline also coincides with many breeders having to replenish their breeding stock following the earthquakes of 2004. At that time many turned south and acquired new breeding stock from SFF and other southern breeders whose stock had been derived from SFF. The use of the southern bloodlines, whether used exclusively or in combination with what remained of the old Niigata bloodlines, appears to have expedited the process of eliminating hikkui-prone stock from the production of Japanese breeders. We do not know if this process in fact underlies the decline in the incidence of hikkui. It may just be coincidental. However, the circumstantial evidence is strong.

    In regard to shimmies, there are instances of shimi-prone koi being placed in soft water and having shimmies go away and not return. I am not aware of any scientifically established cause for shimmies. However, as with hikkui, there is strong circumstantial evidence that some koi will develop shimmies in hard water and some will not, and that these same koi placed in soft water show a much lower incidence of shimmies. I am not aware of any evidence of shimmies being caused by any environmental factor other than hard water exposure of those koi with a pre-disposition to shimmies. (I am aware of Waddington's theory that his filters can prevent shimmies and no other filter can do so. I am not aware of him proving the accuracy of his marketing spiel.)

  5. #35
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Oh my.... citing a Ray Peat groupie's theories on baldness is not going to carry any weight in any koi discussion.
    You are certainly entitled to disparage someone as a groupie of someone you hold great disdain for, just because his ideas are not in sync with ideas you have been accustomed to agreeing with.

    Do you yourself have groupies as well? Perhaps not.

  6. #36
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Hikkui is itself a health condition, of course. But I disagree that it is a reflection of the general health of a koi or a consequence of the aging process. I have observed hikkui on too many koi that were only three or four years old to think it is aspect of aging. Likewise, I have observed such koi grow from 60cm to over 85cm, exhibiting robust health in every respect despite the presence of hikkui ...and living for many years after the appearance of hikkui. That is a reality that cannot be ignored when engaging in theoretical speculation.
    As far as the health of the skin goes, we can agree that skin with hikkui is not what constitutes healthy skin.

    But I don't see where being used to seeing hikkui on young koi makes hikkui not an aspect of aging. I'm sure you don't mean aging in terms of chronological age. But aging in terms of degeneration.

    Is anyone going to disagree that tosai skin regenerate easily more than mature koi. That is young healthy skin. Skin gets injured and it heals quickly, just like new. With a poorly kept koi which has developed skin problems, do you see much hope for the skin to regenerate and be like new? No. How about koi with hikkui? Will those hikkui go away? No. You have to ask why not? Why did it go an early age to a point of no return? Isn't it a reflection of a skin that is incapable of youthful regeneration and repair?

    I'm not sure, but is the skin's appearance really independent of the health of the rest of the body? If the koi is truly healthy, wouldn't the repair/regeneration capability be intact such that the scales will look solidly and deeply colored and lustrous, and wouldn't these qualities of the skin need constant maintenance from a koi whose physiological health can support such maintenance? What if hikkui is skin that has fallen into disrepair because the koi's health is not optimal?

    To say that a koi can continue to live and to continue to grow shows that a koi is in great health is to miss appreciating the significance of the skin quality as a proxy for excellent health. Think of skin quality as the surplus of health in a koi. A koi can live in poor conditions, but it may not grow well. A koi may grow well, but it may not look good. A koi that grows well and looks great is definitely healthier than a koi that grows well and looks ugly. The surplus of health is reflected in the quality of the skin.

  7. #37
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Appliance Guy View Post
    Nice job Mike and Homer. I am enjoying this conversation, thanks.
    Thanks Tim. We love to banter. We'll add some tall tales later.

  8. #38
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    As far as the health of the skin goes, we can agree that skin with hikkui is not what constitutes healthy skin.

    But I don't see where being used to seeing hikkui on young koi makes hikkui not an aspect of aging. I'm sure you don't mean aging in terms of chronological age. But aging in terms of degeneration.

    Is anyone going to disagree that tosai skin regenerate easily more than mature koi. That is young healthy skin. Skin gets injured and it heals quickly, just like new. With a poorly kept koi which has developed skin problems, do you see much hope for the skin to regenerate and be like new? No. How about koi with hikkui? Will those hikkui go away? No. You have to ask why not? Why did it go an early age to a point of no return? Isn't it a reflection of a skin that is incapable of youthful regeneration and repair?

    I'm not sure, but is the skin's appearance really independent of the health of the rest of the body? If the koi is truly healthy, wouldn't the repair/regeneration capability be intact such that the scales will look solidly and deeply colored and lustrous, and wouldn't these qualities of the skin need constant maintenance from a koi whose physiological health can support such maintenance? What if hikkui is skin that has fallen into disrepair because the koi's health is not optimal?

    To say that a koi can continue to live and to continue to grow shows that a koi is in great health is to miss appreciating the significance of the skin quality as a proxy for excellent health. Think of skin quality as the surplus of health in a koi. A koi can live in poor conditions, but it may not grow well. A koi may grow well, but it may not look good. A koi that grows well and looks great is definitely healthier than a koi that grows well and looks ugly. The surplus of health is reflected in the quality of the skin.
    Yerrag, I think we are talking past one another at this point??

    I referred to aging in response to your reference to aging.

    Please recall that hikkui oftentimes does go away when the koi is placed in greenwater... without regard to the age of the koi. When returned to clear water, after time goes by, the condition returns. The regenerative capability of the skin does not seem to have anything to do with it.

    Nobody is saying that skin appearance or overall beauty is independent of a koi's general health. All that has been said is that a koi can get hikkui despite being in general good health. This is a known, actual real world observation. ...Just like a healthy athlete can get a skin cancer (likely from too much sun exposure) and still be in wonderful good health in every other respect. I find it too frustrating to try to respond to the question "What if hikkui is skin that has fallen into disrepair because the koi's health is not optimal?" ...What if hikkui is caused by an owl hooting at a full moon when jasmine is in bloom? Who knows, the sound vibrations when light is of a certain wavelength combined with the chemicals emitted by jasmine ...????

    There is an unending number of 'what ifs' that can be postulated if we first refuse to acknowledge actual facts observed by generations of koikeepers.

  9. #39
    Jumbo sacicu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    As far as the health of the skin goes, we can agree that skin with hikkui is not what constitutes healthy skin.

    But I don't see where being used to seeing hikkui on young koi makes hikkui not an aspect of aging. I'm sure you don't mean aging in terms of chronological age. But aging in terms of degeneration.

    Is anyone going to disagree that tosai skin regenerate easily more than mature koi. That is young healthy skin. Skin gets injured and it heals quickly, just like new. With a poorly kept koi which has developed skin problems, do you see much hope for the skin to regenerate and be like new? No. How about koi with hikkui? Will those hikkui go away? No. You have to ask why not? Why did it go an early age to a point of no return? Isn't it a reflection of a skin that is incapable of youthful regeneration and repair?

    I'm not sure, but is the skin's appearance really independent of the health of the rest of the body? If the koi is truly healthy, wouldn't the repair/regeneration capability be intact such that the scales will look solidly and deeply colored and lustrous, and wouldn't these qualities of the skin need constant maintenance from a koi whose physiological health can support such maintenance? What if hikkui is skin that has fallen into disrepair because the koi's health is not optimal?

    To say that a koi can continue to live and to continue to grow shows that a koi is in great health is to miss appreciating the significance of the skin quality as a proxy for excellent health. Think of skin quality as the surplus of health in a koi. A koi can live in poor conditions, but it may not grow well. A koi may grow well, but it may not look good. A koi that grows well and looks great is definitely healthier than a koi that grows well and looks ugly. The surplus of health is reflected in the quality of the skin.
    Too many what IFs. I have seen koi with perfect very high quality skin and beni and yet suffers from swim bladder, tumour, chicken breast. Koi with perfect skin and lustrous beni suddendly die of a heart attack. And I have seen koi with hikui for many years live a long life. Your statements contradicts these.

  10. #40
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sacicu View Post
    Too many what IFs. I have seen koi with perfect very high quality skin and beni and yet suffers from swim bladder, tumour, chicken breast. Koi with perfect skin and lustrous beni suddendly die of a heart attack. And I have seen koi with hikui for many years live a long life. Your statements contradicts these.
    Something smells wrong with your reasoning. Let's take the chicken breast or pigeon breast off the table, shall we? Or do I have to explain it?

    And swim bladder? Are you saying koi with swim bladder problem will continue to have very high quality skin and beni? I think not. A koi with swim bladder will suffer the effects of this problem. The skin quality will suffer. Just give it time. And with swim bladder, time is not very forgiving.

    Tumor and perfect skin quality and beni goes together? Not!! Do I have to explain that as well? Maybe the best case to argue your point is that the koi could be given additives and treatments to pump up the skin and beni appearance for a show, but that kind of short-term and artificial window dressing only leads to sickness, and tumor, and the koi deteriorates later (skin and body) and doesn't get to live long. But hey, it won a prestigious prize, didn't it? Okay, you didn't mean that tumor and skin quality goes together, but that it happens. Are you talking about this situation of a koi having tumor and perfect skin quality being the norm, or an exceptional case? By this, you are using an exception and making it appear like it's the rule. You are so guilty of using this kind of reasoning so often it just becomes so predictable, going the deep end to argue a point. The exception does not prove the rule. If the koi were able to have a significant tumor and still have excellent skin quality and beni, it must truly be an exceptional koi. If it stays that way as it continues to live a long life, I would truly be amazed.

    But tumor, or cancer, is a reflection of imbalance in the physiology of an organism. Tumor develops out of this imbalance. If this imbalance were corrected, the tumor would disappear. Contrary to what conventional medical gospel would have you believe, it is not a gene or a set of genes causing it. So there again, I just blew your tumor and perfect skin quality and beni going together out of the water.

    And koi with perfect skin and lustrous beni suddenly dying of a heart attack. What if there was an external event that caused the heart attack? What if it got struck by ligntning (not likely) or what if there was an electrical wiring fault that caused the koi to get enough current to suffer a cardiac arrest? that's more likely than lightning. What if the koi ate something that caused the heart attack? Like Forrest Gump says "shit happens." You are again conflating things and using an exception to prove a rule. And that isn't even an exception, as you really don't know why the koi with perfect skin and lustrous beni suddenly died. Facts matter, not conjecture.

    As for koi with hikui living a long life, you are confusing a long life with a long life in health. I will give you an example about people again, and I hope you won't cringe this time. Two elderly people lived to a ripe old age of 100. One died in his sleep, after senescence took its toll on him. He died in his home, peacefully. A life lived where he did not rely on a cocktail of prescription drugs. Another died in a hospital, after months of ICU care. He survived for the last forty years on an ever increasing cocktail of prescription drugs, and he was kept off many foods that doctors deemed unsuitable for him. Would you still say the length of life is a good indicator of health, or would you consider other metrics as well?

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