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Thread: Do koi fish develop shoulder humps as they grow?

  1. #11
    Sansai
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    May 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolwon View Post
    How do you view your Koi?

    Garfield
    Some hobbyists sit back and view their fish through a window.

    A hump may look exaggerated.

    Looking from the top, the hump blends in with the body contour which is I think the accepted way to view the fish.

    As far as the Japanese go would it not be reinventing the wheel?

  2. #12
    Tosai
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolwon View Post
    How do you view your Koi?

    Garfield
    Our koi do not have shoulder humps but they are not adults yet, just 3 years old on average. I view them mainly from the top, but notice that other people's koi fish when viewed from the top have noticeable humps, which made me wonder if its a feature that adult kois have.

    However recently I was told that the overall body shape of the fish depends on its genetics and head shape (determines humps or not)

  3. #13
    Tosai
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    Some do, some do not. Those with Matsunosuke genetics tend not to have humps. The genetics that give us Sakai Fish Farm's GC-winning monster-sized Kohaku tend toward humps of some degree. Some say the genetics for size tend to produce humps, but that is not quite right. There are meter long koi without humps. The shoulder hump can be modest, or in some instances extreme to the point of making the fish look disfigured. Judges debate just how much of a hump is fully acceptable and when it reaches the point of being a negative.

    Humps are a result of feeding enough for the fish to have fat to store. Usually the koi will be full-bodied. Whether you consider it 'bloated' is a personal preference. If the koi has such mass that its head seems too small for the mass, then I consider it too fat. That does not mean it has overall poor body form.... some can become too fat to the point of having a disfiguring huge hump without having a 'hanging belly' or otherwise be misshapen.

    Several years ago I was at a Fall harvest at Quality Koi in New Jersey where many of the nisai came out with shoulder humps. It had been a short, cool summer. Too cool for the fish to grow at the normal rate. But, they had eaten at the normal rate. The extra nutrition was stored, resulting in shorter than normal nisai with very full bodies and humps. The humps on these nisai disappeared as the fish grew in normal conditions.
    Upon searching underwater videos of Matusunosuke koi, I see that most of them indeed have little to no shoulder hump, however they have been over fed looking like footballs with undersized heads, in turn making them look like they do have humps.

  4. #14
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Viewed from the side, you see no hump, "however they have been over fed looking like footballs with undersized heads". Perhaps, although I doubt they are over fed. Koi are to be viewed looking down on them as they swim in a pond, not from the side. Carp in general are bulky fish. One old koikeeper years ago referred to them as the hogs of freshwater ecosystems. There is nothing attractive about the body shape viewed from the side. I have talked about 'streamlined' body form on occasion, but there really isn't any koi with a streamlined 360 degree body shape. The streamlined shape is seen from above, not from the side. It is an illusion, an illusion created by generations of breeders performing their art. If a body form without any hump, without a deep torso, without a high shoulder, without bulk is necessary to your sense of beauty, you are destined to be utterly disappointed in koi. No matter the skill of the breeder, koi are carp. They are hogs, not gazelles... big, bulky hogs. And, the healthier and better raised, the bulkier and bigger they are.

    For a freshwater fish with a fine 360 degree body form, consider the trout. It is sleek and agile. Viewed from the side, there are beautiful colors, wonderful speckles and dots. Viewed from above, it can hardly be seen in its natural environment. Its back is narrow with the neutral color of the streambed. If trout had been segregated and selectively bred for a few centuries, they might well have extraordinary colors and patterns, but their sleek bodies provide no canvas for the artwork of color and pattern when viewed from above. Koi provide a wide canvas for what we all really enjoy most (despite judging standards), the artwork of pattern and color. That canvas is the big, wide back of a hog. You cannot buy the canvas without getting the hog.
    coolwon and claytonyu like this.

  5. #15
    Tosai
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolwon View Post
    How do you view your Koi?

    Garfield
    From the top. You can see humps from top view.

  6. #16
    Tosai
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    Viewed from the side, you see no hump, "however they have been over fed looking like footballs with undersized heads". Perhaps, although I doubt they are over fed. Koi are to be viewed looking down on them as they swim in a pond, not from the side. Carp in general are bulky fish. One old koikeeper years ago referred to them as the hogs of freshwater ecosystems. There is nothing attractive about the body shape viewed from the side. I have talked about 'streamlined' body form on occasion, but there really isn't any koi with a streamlined 360 degree body shape. The streamlined shape is seen from above, not from the side. It is an illusion, an illusion created by generations of breeders performing their art. If a body form without any hump, without a deep torso, without a high shoulder, without bulk is necessary to your sense of beauty, you are destined to be utterly disappointed in koi. No matter the skill of the breeder, koi are carp. They are hogs, not gazelles... big, bulky hogs. And, the healthier and better raised, the bulkier and bigger they are.

    For a freshwater fish with a fine 360 degree body form, consider the trout. It is sleek and agile. Viewed from the side, there are beautiful colors, wonderful speckles and dots. Viewed from above, it can hardly be seen in its natural environment. Its back is narrow with the neutral color of the streambed. If trout had been segregated and selectively bred for a few centuries, they might well have extraordinary colors and patterns, but their sleek bodies provide no canvas for the artwork of color and pattern when viewed from above. Koi provide a wide canvas for what we all really enjoy most (despite judging standards), the artwork of pattern and color. That canvas is the big, wide back of a hog. You cannot buy the canvas without getting the hog.
    Hey thanks for the insight! As I live in a tropical country, most of the koi here do not have bloated bodies (humps are also tiny), perhaps due to the hot climate causing much faster metabolism. Thankfully, they still retain the wide and fat look from top view

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