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Thread: All Female vs All Male vs Mixed Gender Pond

  1. #1
    Oyagoi Lam Nguyen's Avatar
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    All Female vs All Male vs Mixed Gender Pond

    If you have a 10K to 15K gallon pond and given a choice of all female vs all male vs both gender koi in your pond, which one would you choose and why? What are the advantages/disadvantages in having an all female pond versus an all male pond versus a pond with both sexes. Just curious as to what you guys think.

  2. #2
    Oyagoi koiczar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lam Nguyen View Post
    If you have a 10K to 15K gallon pond and given a choice of all female vs all male vs both gender koi in your pond, which one would you choose and why? What are the advantages/disadvantages in having an all female pond versus an all male pond versus a pond with both sexes. Just curious as to what you guys think.
    This question can be answered in several stages/ways depending on what YOU want from the hobby. Do you plan on keeping nothing but high end fish for show competition in sizes above size 4 or 5?

    Do you want to have a mixed "variety" of fish to include several of the non Gosanke types? This would mean possibly having a larger stocking density that question #1s answer.

    Do you simply want to have a beautiful pond full of nice "pond show grade" quality fish for you/your family to enjoy?

    See, lots of ways of doing things and enjoying the hobby. So, Lam, what do you want from the hobby?

    Mike

  3. #3
    Jumbo
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    lam and mike,
    please correct me if I am wrong. If someone goes waco to have a 10K to 15K gallon pond, s/he is serious, pond grade is not the target.

    So, I think the question is in variety+quantity. Qaulity part is answered.

    stan

  4. #4
    Oyagoi CarolinaGirl's Avatar
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    Actually, I know several people with huge ponds (over 10,000 gallons) that do not intend to ever show. They just wanted big ponds and pond grade fish are fine and dandy for them. I really think this question does hinge around what the pond owner wants from his collection. If he never intends to show, a "male only" pond would be ideal. They never get egg bound, they never get ovarian tumors. They also don't have the nice thick body a female has though, but a large male can be purchased for much less money than a large female. If showing is the goal though, go for an all female pond. Mixed gender will always be a problem in any pond where the fish are big.

  5. #5
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Great answers.

    I am interested in showing, but my main interest is simply enjoying the koi. What I enjoy most is being awed by the magnificence of a fish as it swims by. That has led me to wanting large koi. At times I think it would be 'perfect' if my old Hariwake was the smallest fish in the pond. Since she is about 32", it will be a while. That would mean females only, and some day no more than a dozen fish. But, there are two old males who get to live out their lives in my pond, and I so enjoy getting tosai to raise up, so it is not realistic to think I'd have a pond of only large koi any time soon. There is so much to enjoy, and only one pond.

  6. #6
    Oyagoi gcuss's Avatar
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    Something else worth pointing out. Even if showing fish is a priority for you, I think you'd be best served with a mixed gender pond. Males are great for showing at the smaller sizes and the females in the big classes. Having both allows you to really load up for a show and compete in all kinds of divisions.

    Now if you don't have any interest in competing at the smaller sizes, I guess female would be the way to go...

    I hope to have some nice males to parade around one day along with some nice mature females. Now I've personally never shown (yet ) but this is my long term plan....

    Grant

  7. #7
    Oyagoi koiczar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcuss View Post
    Something else worth pointing out. Even if showing fish is a priority for you, I think you'd be best served with a mixed gender pond. Males are great for showing at the smaller sizes and the females in the big classes. Having both allows you to really load up for a show and compete in all kinds of divisions.

    Now if you don't have any interest in competing at the smaller sizes, I guess female would be the way to go...

    I hope to have some nice males to parade around one day along with some nice mature females. Now I've personally never shown (yet ) but this is my long term plan....

    Grant
    Grant

    I hate to tell you this, but if you're REALLY SERIOUS about showing, I don't really think you'll be happy with males or a mixed pond. Even at 16"-20", females start to take the reigns at most quality shows and the volume of the body could make a difference even at that size. Folks who get bit by the "show bug" and want to compete for major prizes in sizes over 20" rue the day they ever bought a male. Also, the males can inhibit the growth of females. That's why the breeders in Japan are so picky to make sure the fish is really a female before putting them into particular female only mud ponds. Something to do with Pheromones and such. But, like I said, if you "somewhat" want to show, like MikeM and also just enjoy your fish for you and your families pleasure, then you can do any of the choices I first gave, and you'll still have fun. For some reason, though, you strike me as the competitive type and you'll be sorry with a "mixed" pond. Why not try females only for a couple years and then decide how much you're into showing and then go from there. If I can recommend one thing to you for you to think LONG AND HARD ON, it's this - GO SLOWLY, STOCK WITH JUST 4-6 TO START WITH AND THEN ONE AT A TIME AFTER THAT. Be very selective with what you buy and make sure it's really what you want, not just what you "think" you want. Don't settle for something just to be able to buy it, especially if it's not the variety you were really looking for, or the quality you wanted. Wait, save a little more if necessary, then go buy EXACTLY what you WANT! Trust me, after 40+ years, I've done every one of those things, mostly to regret the decision within a month!

    Best of Luck whatever you do, and keep us posted as you go along. Your thirst for understanding this hobby is great and I hope your able to sustain it for as long as me!

    Mike

  8. #8
    Oyagoi Lam Nguyen's Avatar
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    Part of the reason why I left the topic so vague was because I wanted to have as much input in this topic as possible. I have heard all three answers from different hobbyists, but the ones that are serious about the hobby tend to prefer an all-female pond. These are some of the reasons I have heard from hobbyists who prefer an all female pond: (1) as Mike mentioned, males release pheromones which can affect female growth AND skin quality; (2) females are the ones that win the major awards; (3) males are faster feeders than females so males tend to eat most of the food; (4) females mature slower and their skin don't finish as fast, so when you get a combination of a koi that has peaked and is about 30" long then you should count on winning something.

    On the other hand some of the reasons why a hobbyist would prefer an all male pond or a mixed gender pond are: (1) financial reasons - generally speaking males are much cheaper than females; (2) although males tend to finish faster their skin quality also lasts longer than those of females; (3) some hobbyists prefer competing for the baby or young champion awards; (4) most hobbyists start with tosai most of which turn out males so it's very hard to depart with your loved ones.

    I have found myself trapped in the mixed gender category because I can't seem to depart with the male koi that I started with for sentimental reasons. I believe that there are many different types of hobbyists but the ones that are serious about showing are the ones that prefer an all-female pond. I am trying to go the all-female route, but find it extremely difficult, especially when I am selling my male koi for 1/4th of what I purchased them for and people are still complaining that they are expensive.

    I also cannot agree with Mike more in that you want to build your collection slowly. I believe that my tosai days are over unless they are guaranteed female jumbo tosai. Not trying to offend any dealers out there, but I have also promised myself that I would never purchase a koi again without physically looking at HER. These are just my opinion and I hope that I didn't offend anyone with my remarks.

  9. #9
    Oyagoi gcuss's Avatar
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    Well Mike, I believe I do have that competitive thing going on, although I swore to myself this was going to be about leisure... ha ha ha.

    Some great advice on this thread, thanks!!

    Grant

  10. #10
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Good thread.
    I have to agree with most of what's been said. It really does boil down to where your personal goals and priorities are, and what you wish to accomplish over both the short and long term.

    Our pond is mixed, but that is for several reasons. We started out with "gift" Koi in a pond originally intended for simple goldies. It was only then that we began learning about Koi and Koi ponds, which has morphed our goals and aspirations over time. Each succeeding Koi Show we attended sunk the hook a bit deeper. Our pond changed (deeper, wider, longer) and our acquisitions changed as well.

    Our pond is still mixed, but that still serves our purpose of educational breeding and we've moved beyond the random "flock spawn" mutts and now breed selectively to hone our skill at tosai selection and development. I think it has jumped our learning curve considerably. It also provides us with a way to help out with club finances as we are able to bring a decent number of fish for the club auction which benefits the show and the WG'er's who come to it.

    For now our Show aspirations are limited mainly to smaller size fish (<24") as we don't have anything to compete in large sizes, but as time passes that will change. Learning how to cull babies has also made it easier to let go of some of the original "not so hot" fish we began with to make room for better fish.

    The Journey through it all has increased our appreciation of the living art form, of the breeders craft, and the dedication it takes in terms of both time and money to achieve each successive level of the hobby. Long live the Journey.
    Larry Iles
    Oklahoma

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