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Showa In Warm Climates

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  • #16

    Limestone is good for skeletal building. With tosai it could make a big difference

    as a lot of minerals are absorbed from the water. As they age more is used from their food source!

    Was glad to welcome the good Dr. as a first time poster.
    Dick Benbow


    • #17

      Thanks for the welcome note.

      Bancherd, I see you are also active in this forum. It is no wonder as we are always searching for new knowledge in this hobby. My personal opinion is that genetics do play a huge part. I still remember an Igarashi Kohaku bought by a senior ZNA member (KL Chapter) as a tosai some years back (US$2000). At purchase he actually remarked that it could be a male based on the extremely lustrous beni. Igarashi-san gave him a look which, if looks can kill, my friend would have dropped dead! To cut the story short, this kohaku turned out well with the hi quality the best I have ever seen (even up to now) and a white that is so thick that it is like fine bone china. The only (major) flaw is that it has a poor body conformation. This koi had changed hands a few times (including myself) and is presently in our ZNA president's pond. The beni never deteriorated while at all our different ponds and the white seemed to be as "resilient". Talking about ZNA, you can get their address from any issue of Nichirin magazine.

      Using chillers is always a trade-off between trying to maintain the skin quality and the fun of heavy feeding. Funny to note that we in the tropics talk of chillers while you guys with cold seasons have to use heaters. I love to feed my kois heavily sometimes at the expense of body conformation (hence I am now very particular about body conformation of any new kois I plan to acquire). As expected some kois cannot take this type of feeding and they "leave" my pond faster than one ponders over any new purchases. Getting good growth rate while maintaining good body conformation and lustrous skin is always a challenge and this is what that is keeping me "sane" in this hobby.

      Mike, I have never tested my water source for silica (what test can I use?). I was told that regions with water source near limestone hills do have problems with hard water understandably due to the high calcium content. Hudi, do you have this problem?

      Hudi, I must agree that different hobbyists have different liking for the various types of beni and they will have a different reference points for comparison. Hence the mind-boggling multifactorial combinations one has to contend with in this hobby. Perhaps this makes this hobby so much more interesting, don't you agree? As regards my usage of spirulina, it is more because my kois love the taste rather than for the consideration of its' effect on the beni. Given a choice I will go for non-spirulina as they are cheaper and remember I also lkeep utsuris. I did not mention I also give silk worm pupae at every feed mixed with my pellets. Anyone else use pupae as well? I am from Shah Alam and from your indication that you are near limestone hills you are probably from the north???. You will be most welcome to visit me and I hope I can pay you a visit some time as well. I thank you in advance.

      I note that maintaining or finishing sumi is not a problem in the tropics (at least in M'sia) Omosako-san made the same observation some years back and he could not offer any reasons. Perhaps JR can offer some scientific basis to it? There are some water conditioners in the market purportedly for finishing sumi. Any experience from you guys?

      Thanks and have a nice weekend.

      Dr Teh


      • #18

        JR: Very helpful thoughts. As you know, my personal knowledge of fish grown outside Florida is limited. I cannot say that I have ever seen beni better in a Florida-grown koi than in the best shipped into Florida from Japan or cooler climes. Typically, the Florida-grown reds have a worn look, at least in comparison. However, I've got to recognize that there are not many koikeepers in Florida with high quality fish. I have seen pretty good reds on fish kept by the most skilled whose water quality is consistently excellent, despite exposure to heat. I think those reds would likely be better in cooler temps. My take on it is that very good quality Hi can withstand the high temperatures, at least for several years, if other stresses are minimal, but lesser quality Hi is more challenged by the stress and the constant growth. It may seem a bit strange to some to think of good growth as a stressor, but in regard to color I think it can be, simply because the metabolism is utilizing every source of nutrition for growth. Pigment does not get the opportunity to consolidate as regularly as in a cooler climate.

        Hudi & dtbh: I am not aware of a test for silica in water. Sandy soils generally have high silica content. It has been observed by some in Japan that areas with sandy soils are better for expression of Sumi. Hard water is often mentioned as bringing out Sumi, but there is a theory that it is not the hardness per se, but silica associated with hard water that brings out the Sumi. So, I was wondering about that idea and whether it was a factor in your experiences with Utsuri. The warm temperatures may have negative effects, but be offset by other water quality factors. If so, your experiences might not be the same as koikeepers in other places with similar weather conditions, but different geology.

        Above I posted a picture of a young Showa taken after 4 months of rapid growth in my pond. Sumi is coming in thick and heavy, and the Hi is stretched rather thin. I'll try to get around to taking another picture of her to see how another 3 months has affected her.


        • #19

          Thanks Guys,
          What a great thread, so much knowledge in two pages
          Jaco Vorster
          South Africa


          • #20

            Hach, Lamotte, and sailfert make silica test kits.

            With respect to generational adaptation to warmer climates, does anyone know of breeders in Taiwan, Hong Kong or other areas near the Tropic of Cancer who have developed good beni in the absence of cool water? My fear is that the process would take a few human generations, but I would like to be wrong.

            steve hopkins


            • #21

              I do not have data on silica, will have to check the cost of the reagents. I did not purchase the silica test reagents because I thought I was not important. However, I noticed a lot of brown coatings on the aquarium's sidewalls, presumably due to diatoms. If this were the case, then I do have high silica concentration in my tap water.

              Dr. Teh, I misspelled your name. My apologies.

              Thai Koi-Keepers' Group


              • #22

                I know this is not a showa but I would like to share with you guys how her sumi has developed in 6 months.

                1st photo : bought in April 04 at 69cm

                2nd photo : taken yesterday at 76cm.

                3rd photo : close-up of the white and her sumi

                Attached Files


                • #23

                  Dr. Teh: Please tell us about her. The body shape is very appealing. Her Shiro is thickening and the Sumi is very interesting ... a beautiful face. The patterning is certainly Utsurimono, but the way the Sumi is consolidating makes me think of Sanke. Can you share her age, size and breeder?


                  • #24

                    Hi Mike

                    When I looked at the photos I posted, I thought to myself Goodness the photos seem to have been edited. Take it from me they are not and the only editing I did was making the file size smaller so that they can be posted.

                    Anyway this is a 4yr old Omosako utsuri and, as mentioned, is now 76cm.

                    I have always been interested in shiro utsuris from Omosako-san (because of all the good things written about him) but have been disillusioned to almost giving up on him....all the Omosako shiros until now have "terrible" body conformation.

                    I note that Omosako-san has jumped on the bandwagon to produce jumbo utsuris and this one may be a sign that he is getting some results (at least with the supplies we get in this part of the world). Have you guys been getting good (jumbo potential) shiros from him?

                    Another point about sumi re: motogoro (correct spelling?). Prior to buying this koi I have been informed that utsuris with sumi at the joints of the pectoral fins may be a sign of good motogoros in the future. This koi seem to demonstrate this. The photos may not show the sumi at the said joints but they are there and already I am seeing beautiful streaks of sumi radiating from the joint. Is this a fact or it is just my good fortune?

                    Thanks in advance for sharing.

                    Dr Teh


                    • #25

                      The development of motoguro you describe is consistent with what I have been taught. I am very impressed by such a shiro utsuri at age 4. She has much further development to reach her potential, which seems very great. You are fortunate to have such a koi. I hope we see more photos of her as she grows.


                      • #26

                        Sumi In Warm Climates

                        Sumi In Warm Climates

                        I came across an article on koikeeping in Taiwan written by Alan Nementzik, a South African invited to participate as a judge at Third National Show held by the NKSROC [? National Koi Society of the Republic of China??]. Nementzik had several interesting observations, but the following struck me as appropriate to add to this post:

                        "The winners were all of the highest quality and what impressed me most was the fact that the grand champion and many of the winners were Taiwanese bred. The keeping skills of the owners are obviously excellent. I do not envy them having to maximize a fish's potential under Taiwan's climatic conditions.
                        If I am to look at the fish that I saw both at the show and farms I visited, I must compliment the Sumi related species, i.e. Showa, Utsurimono and Sanke. The standard is very high and the quality of the Showa is rapidly growing and improving. Of the other classes, the Kinginrin was of an excellent standard and I wonder if the warmer water and stronger sunlight do not play an important part here."

                        Rinko, July 1993

                        In so much of the literature regarding Sumi there is emphasis on its improvement during cool weather, something I have observed on some of my koi with unstable Sumi. However, it seems there may be reason for warm climate koikeepers to focus on Sumi and recognize that Kohaku will be a greater challenge for them than for those in cooler climes.

                        As I come across other observations, anecdotal or otherwise, I'll try to remember to add them to this post.


                        • #27

                          That seems to be the general consensus among hobbyists in our part of the world (equatorial climate). Sumi development is never the problem; it is maintaining the beni (and the shiroji) which is the challenge.

                          Omosako-san came over here a few years back and he himself was amazed by the changes in sumi amongst the shiro utsuris that he had sent over for an in-house koi competition. Given the same circumstances in Japan ie cold to hot weather, he remarked that sumi would have disappeared.

                          Having said that I thought that the climate in Taiwan is very much akin that of in Japan, albeit milder? I always thought Alan Nementzik was a Singaporean.



                          • #28

                            Well, I have gotten diverted trying to learn about the climate of Taiwan ... curious what koi lead one to research. The globe shows Taiwan at the approximate latitude of Cuba and southern Florida. Closer to the Phillipines than to Japan. Of course, latitude influences climate, but does not necessarily control . So, I went searching for agricultural products. Seems Taiwan is quite diverse. There are mountains with more moderate climate than the low areas. However, among the crops of some economic importance are bananas and pineapples ... definitely subtropical. I think it would be a very nice place to live. I've always thought that if Florida had a couple of mountains it would be much improved.

                            A worthwhile inquiry. The experiences of the koikeepers of Taiwan are likely more relevant to Florida koikeepers than the experiences of koikeepers in the northern U.S.


                            • #29

                              If sumi developes better in warmer water well then the Southern folks have it, and if the hi developes is cool weather better, well all I got to say is deepwater. Thought I would pass this by you guys and see what you think as it just makes sence to me. Any comments? Glad to have stumbled on the thread as I like what I have learned. I must say you guys are very good,I gain more knowledge everyday. very informative


                              • #30

                                koifishgirl, beni is more challenging than sumi in our tropical climate because of the rapid grow. Most of our local hobbyists here could grow a tosai to 60cm in its 1st year. Show quality tsuya & teri can be obtain by using a chiller to set the temperature at 23c-25c so not neccessary to go deeper than 6ft even in our warm weather.



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