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Koi Growth--Bucking Conventional Wisdom

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  • Koi Growth--Bucking Conventional Wisdom

    I really must confess that I do not understand the zeal to grow koi as large as fast as possible.

    I hear about Japanese GCs who die right after shows, as they were "pushed" to grow in certain unique conditions which their keepers cannot maintain.

    There is a frenzy about how many inches each year people grow their koi, and how they do it.

    Is the idea that we have to get the largest possible fish as fast as possible because they will decline so fast that if they are not big when young they will miss their main show chance?

    I know that the "Jumbo Tosai" phenomenon seems to be sales hype, and that other fish with the genetics to do it will catch up within some months.

    Wouldn't it make more sense for strength of conformation and color and skin quality if the koi were just allowed to grow at a reasonable pace? Perhaps they would not get to the magic meter mark as fast (if ever) but they might look better in the process. Thoughts?
    ChrisC
  • #2

    Hi Chris, I'm thinking a little like you.
    When some dealer show some "jumbo", I 'm wondering if it's really natural and if we dont force the nature.
    Certainly when you show your pond to a visitor, the first koï they look at is always the bigest, but for me the best koï is the oldest because that mean that you can keep koi for long.
    Maybe times ago the biggest was also the oldest but now with selection younger generation are growing faster.
    I'm wondering if that selection allows the koï to live as long as the previous generation.
    If the answer is no, there is no reason to continue in that way, but if the growing capacity is made possible by a little selection and a big progress in water quality, I think is a normal evolution.

    Marco

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    • #3

      You are being perfectly rational. ... That's the problem. Ever seen a 32" Chagoi? Just imagining a Kohaku could be that large or larger, well ... irrationality can be fun.

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      • #4

        Originally posted by ChrisC
        I really must confess that I do not understand the zeal to grow koi as large as fast as possible.

        I hear about Japanese GCs who die right after shows, as they were "pushed" to grow in certain unique conditions which their keepers cannot maintain.

        There is a frenzy about how many inches each year people grow their koi, and how they do it.

        Is the idea that we have to get the largest possible fish as fast as possible because they will decline so fast that if they are not big when young they will miss their main show chance?

        I know that the "Jumbo Tosai" phenomenon seems to be sales hype, and that other fish with the genetics to do it will catch up within some months.

        Wouldn't it make more sense for strength of conformation and color and skin quality if the koi were just allowed to grow at a reasonable pace? Perhaps they would not get to the magic meter mark as fast (if ever) but they might look better in the process. Thoughts?
        It's the in thing now and the market which is us is pushing for Koi to get bigger quicker. The first 4-5 years especially in the Matsunsouke bloodline are the years that fish get their growth on. Then eventually slowing down after that. The slower you grow the fish the better it maintains it quality. Certain bloodlines are made not to be rushed.

        Is the idea that we have to get the largest possible fish as fast as possible because they will decline so fast that if they are not big when young they will miss their main show chance?

        At any show especially in Japan the fish are pushed to grow big, because the bigger the Koi the higher chance it has of winning. Conformation at any shows is the major part of the scoring system and overall quality in the end will either decide if that fish is worthy of GC. It all depends on the hobbyist, fish will grow big if you have the genetics, water quality, and the good food.
        The world sleeps as the chance to learn something new passes.

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