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Genetics transfered

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  • Genetics transfered

    I was wondering which parent transfers the most genes during a spawning.What does the male give to the fry and what does the female? Are male koi responsible for pigment and skin quality whether it be red,black or white and female mostly body shape and size.One more question,if anyone is prepared to answer :
    What makes a good parent koi or can this only be seen after spawning ?
    Waiting in anticipation :?:
    Picture below are of two of my sanke male parents used in the spawn.
    Jaco Vorster
    South Africa
  • #2

    WOW! YOU'VE ASKED SOME DIFFICULT QUESTIONS! I will try and answer from my limited experience the best i know. I hope brady jumps in here as the number of board contributors on this subject will be limited.
    It used to be my understanding when I first started that the male contributed pattern and the female contributed the quality. as of late a lot
    more emphasis and credit is being given to the male for also contributing
    to quality and size.
    You can take the two best koi available of different sex AND SAME COLOR VARIETY and they won't necessarily click. i have changed my kohaku parents each year and have yet to get the quality and patterning
    I need, my shiros clicked with the first spawning and I've never found better.
    if there is a lot more knowledge out there it's being held by the people who make thier living at raising koi and it is considered proprietary info!
    I think if you use your powers of observation, your learning curve will fill in quickly. keep in mind that two parents of perfect show quality wouldn't matter of factly breed the same. find the best quality koi, regardless of pattern and start from there. it's kinda like don't breed tancho to tancho to get the same. you breed sanke to sanke and they will give you a percentage of tancho sankes!
    sorry i could be more help! MAURICE in the uk is a another up and comer
    and has done a good job breeding. anyway, keep tryimg you woill get there! last year one kohaku and two shiros beat out japanese koi in the local show that i had bred. this year my kohaku and matsukawabake and kumonru show promise!
    Dick Benbow


    • #3

      I have done a few spawnings as you know and have studied genetics in school. I can't see that koi would be a lot different than anything else in genetics. 50% of genes come from the father and 50% from the mother. One of the keys in my opinion is the purity of the genetics of the parents. I did a spawning of sankes a few years ago very nice looking parents but they did not have good genetics and the spawning was all over the board and very few good ones. The next time I used very pure kohakus and the offspring were just like the parents virtually every one had excellent skin quality. The phenotype is the appearance and the genotype is the genetics that make up the potential to pass on the phenotype. The fewer variables mixed into the breeding the more sure you are of the outcome. The nice thing about koi is that you have so many offspring that some of the desirables outcomes have the potential to show up. One of the keys is to be able to tell at an early age which ones you should keep.l
      The perfect koi is always one purchase or spawning away!


      • #4

        Parent Koi

        A lot of ratios have been in print as to what characteristics a female Koi transfers & what characteristics a male Koi transfers to the offspring,... I’m not sure where these originated - the genetic characteristics tend to fall randomly from each Koi parent, AND both parents have to be excellent parent fish for even decent results.

        A good parent Koi is a fish that produces WHAT the breeder wants to see. Koi breeding at its core is an artform, and a breeder really should have a vision, so a “good” parent Koi will be a Koi that produces the breeder’s vision faithfully. A good parent Koi, or a good pairing, will transfer the qualities the breeder likes on to the offspring. As we know, even the most beautiful and striking Koi is worthless as a parent Koi IF it can’t transfer its fine qualities down to its babys,... very few pairings produce excellent results.

        Interest in breeding Koi is very high right now in the West. Everyone wants to “try their luck”. I worry that breeders outside of Japan (and some within Japan) will reduce the art of Koi to a “Dogs Playing Pool” painting by breeding Koi just to breed them. So many of we Western breeders are thrilled just to get a “Kohaku”, or just to get a “Sanke” from our efforts. The respected Grant Fujuita once told a friend, who is also a Koi breeder, that he was very arrogant to call himself a Koi breeder,... to think he can breed Koi. Several years of floundering around are required to begin to understand what he meant by this,... those that are pursuing Koi breeding really need to have a vision,... it’s a craft, an art with “standards” that must be upheld, and not belittled. The high quality Koi we are so Kichi over today are here ONLY because the Japanese pioneers of Koi breeding had incredible vision, and discipline. They didn’t breed Koi to get “free Koi”, they bred Koi because of their desire to produce something very beautiful, and then to refine that beauty into a work of art they could be proud of.

        Best Wishes,
        Brady Brandwood


        • #5

          Thanks Dick,Brady and Sanke56,
          Brady I could not agree more about what you said.I have seen koi produced here not even worthy of being called koi.I will strive to do my best and it will be years before I can produce koi worthy of being called KOI.
          This hobby of koikeeping is more complicated than any other I have encoutered before.I can understand the reluctancy of some to give away their secrets and knowledge regarding breeding.It probably took them years of trial and error to get to the point they are at now without much help from others. This is a public forum and I can understand by posting their secrets here can result in more and more people start to breed koi and can become competition to the existing producers without going through the test and fail routine and spending vast amounts of money to obtain proper parent stock.
          I have realised in a very short time that producing good koi is an art and skill not happening by accident. I guess I will have to wait and see what the outcome of my first breeding attempt will be.
          Thanks to all the guys willing to share their experiences with me and by doing so spares me a lot of the pitfalls they had to endure.
          I will post some more pics of the fry today to share their development and excellent growth rate.

          Jaco Vorster
          South Africa


          • #6

            That was eloquently said by Brady.

            I do not think fish are straight forward Mendelian genetics. As is turns out, the old monk himself was tweeking his evidence and uprooting those plants that didn't fit his theory (culling). Now You have forced me to get out that huge heavy book on fish physiology JR makes me read and read genetics.

            I think, although a koi is more complicated, breeding a show winning koi must be kind of like breeding a race horse. Just because it is fast does not mean it's colts will be. But unlike koi, if a racehorse is a flop at the stud you can still ride it.


            • #7

              What Brady Said...

              couldn't be more true.

              Every time I give a talk to a koi club I try and present my "vision" of koi. It is in the pursuit of that vision that I have managed limited success in breeding koi.

              I was taught the following with respect to male and female brood koi.
              "The female is the vessel for the eggs, the male is the primary contributor to the offspring."

              Of course that must remain in context to make true sense. Like Brady mentions, both parents must be excellent to even have hope of a decent result.

              In practice, as a koi breeder for the last 15 or so years, I find that I can purchase very nice male stock for (comparatively) reasonable prices. Females, OTOH, are ungodly expensive for decent breeding stock. Therefore, I can spend more on the male, and "get by" with a less expensive female in some instances, still getting good results in the offspring.

              I have never worried about any of my "secrets" getting out and being used against me. Heck, I'd just be happy if folks would apply what I tell them when they try and breed koi. Some do. Most do not.

              The mission of the breeder, any breeder, that truly has vision and love of the animal, is to work to improve the breed.

              Herein lies the difference between a true "breeder" and just another "producer". Lots of producers in the US, precious few breeders.

              Lots of "backyard breeders" around here. Most spawning Arkansas bekkos to halloween koi then giving the offspring away to the local shops. Even though the fish are awful, downright ugly even, its hard to compete against "free".

              Then there are the huge producers in China, Southeast Asia, North Africa, etc. mostly government subsidized, and mostly selling thier "koi" into the US at dirt cheap pricing. While thier governments give them money and free freight into the US, mine gives me more and more regulations and more and more licensing fees, and more and more restrictions.

              Yes, I think in some places the state of the art of koi breeding has decended beyond the Velvet Elvis stage.

              Thank god for folks like Brady and a few others in the US, with vision and artistic design as well as the betterment of the breed in thier minds as they apply thier art.

              I wish there were a way to better support the true breeders in this country and weed out the junk producers, but alas, almighty dollar and "koi for cheap" will prevent such from occurring.

              Last bit and soapbox will be put back under bed....

              I've been stocking a 55,000 gallon aquarium near Houston. Absolutely stunning fish pond with one glass side. Striped bass, blue cat, sunfish, etc.
              Next to this magnificent water feature is a small (maybe 3500 gallon) koi pond. In it are 9 "koi". 8 of them are orange with black freckles, one is a yellow longfin. They detract from the rest of the $350,000 water feature as they are such poor specimens.

              The owner had paid a lot for them because they are "koi". He was a bit upset when I showed him a magazine with some real koi in it, as he'd had no idea what a koi was supposed to be, just that they were "expensive."

              I told him I'd sell each fish for $5 to one of my Asian friends so he could have them "steamed with rice."

              This theme is repeated over and over in backyard ponds, office parks, zoos, and anywhere you might find a water feature with fish in it. Ugly fish with the monniker "koi" that folks think are valuable just because of the name. This drives wanna be breeders into thinking they will get rich if they can just produce a few fish off thier "pair of koi" they got from some -mart somewhere.

              Why Brady, doesn't everybody know all we do is sit around and look at pretty fish while the help brings in another wheelbarrow full of money that needs counted and taken to the bank?????



              • #8

                I was especially interested in the article in the #5 Koi-bito about the family tree of the koi Seio. Her mom is a menkaburi. You would think most people would have thrown her away as a fry on that basis. Because Mr. Maeda is always on the lookout for potential broodfish perhaps he kept her because of special size and skin quality as a tosai. In another article in the magazine, someone is saying even Loran was almost culled as a tosai. Imagine the flick of the wrist that would have thrown away Loran or a menkaburi kohaku who has produced so many champions. Yet something caused the breeders to keep these two, thank god.


                • #9

                  I almost feel as if I got a scolding ops: ops:
                  But the truth is the truth and must be said.
                  I am really not looking to make money from my whole koibreeding venture but rather see what I can accomplish with the fish I have.
                  If the ones I sell later cover my costs I would be more than happy.If not I will be more experienced and will have learned more about koi.
                  Thanks guys I have learnt some more from this post.
                  Jaco Vorster
                  South Africa


                  • #10

                    Jaco!! DON'T GET DEMORALIZED! :lol: :lol: I can't believe these folks were putting you down! To many good people here! (Maybe too much info to get you started and aimed in a reasonably straight direction.)
                    In "spawning" koi for a few years, what I've found about "Parents" boils down to:
                    Know the parents of your breeders. If you don't, it becomes a "breed and see" operation. And even then what you breed might not be what you get or even expected! You could spend literally YEARS to see your final results! :shock: :shock:
                    Your choice. :smt045
                    But DANG! It sure is fun if you're an animal science lover!
                    As an ethical point I feel I owe it to the folks that try to make a living at this craziness to "plant" anything that I can't categorize when it comes to selling a few. 'N I've got some great Japanese Gardens to prove it!
                    Think about it. Decide. Have some fun.

                    Al :smt003


                    • #11

                      Breeding Koi is about making MONEY !!!!!!!!!

                      Thanks Aldonna,
                      I agree that after reading some of the replies it seems to breed koi you must become a monk first.
                      Breeding koi for the Japanese in my opinion is about making money first.
                      How do you become a succesfull Japanese breeder?
                      Answer : you breed an All Japan champion.
                      iT IS NOT A HOLY THING AS SOME MAKE IT OUT TO BE
                      As JR said on another board, these new indoor koi houses being build all the time can cost as much as 5 mil pounds. Where does the money for this come from?
                      I will try to breed koi not to make money but for my own enjoyment.
                      If I actually succed in making some money that would ber a bargain.
                      I am not insulting anyone by this reply and do get some valuble info from all who replied, but I was a bit frustrated that it seems koi breeding are only for a selected few and no one has the right to enter this area of koi keeping.
                      Thanks again to all and who knows maybe I will be breeding good koi 10 years from now or maybe not.
                      Jaco Vorster
                      South Africa


                      • #12

                        Jaco, I started breeding koi cause I love breeding fish, done it all my life.

                        Now I've gone totally mad and aim to breed the best 'UK' bred koi available.
                        Will I? Who knows, but I'm not just aiming for numbers.

                        I think the point Brett is trying to make is that there is a level of quality that should come onto the market. Koi that should have been culled are not, many low-end breeding estabishments are prepared to sell culls for a few cents/pennies and this does the trade no good.

                        Set yourself a level of quality and cull the rest.
                        My culling standard will go up this year as numbers increase.

                        To see culling of harvested tosai at Momotaro is a real eye opener, I realy couldn't believe what they were culling. Far, far better than Japanese garden center koi, but not good enough for Momotaro's name.

                        Good luck with your breeding,


                        • #13

                          I encourage folks that are interested to try thier hand at backyard breeding. Sit in front of this dang box givng out "free" (and worth every penny) advice on all aspects of the koi hobby, including breeding.

                          It is not for everybody to try, but it is another very interesting and potentialy rewarding aspect of the hobby.

                          What I do not care for is folks that breed low grade fish trying to "pay for thier hobby" or something, further degrading the state of the hobby in this country (too many bad koi on the market now).

                          For me, there is no greater accomplishment as a koi hobbiest than backyard breeding, rearing, selecting, growing, and bringing into show form a fish you spawned your own self and taking it to a show and winning a prize.

                          Even just an honorable mention and no "place" with a home bred koi is a far greater achievement than purchasing a grand champ a few weeks before the show for a ton of money and seeing the fish for the first time when you arrive to pick up your trophy.



                          • #14

                            Thanks Maurice and Brett,
                            I agree totally with my aim also being to breed the best koi I possibly can. I believe you will only harm your own reputation by selling low grade koi.I think personally the greatest achievement by any hobbiest breeder is a supreme prize at a koi show , outcompeting the Japanese rivals.
                            Maybe I just misunderstood the whole thing.
                            Again sorry guys did not mean to wet my pants.
                            I understand what you are trying to say.
                            Please promise me when finally my koi are big enough to judge their quality you will tell me to continue or to just stick to keeping Japanese bred koi
                            Jaco Vorster
                            South Africa


                            • #15

                              :wink: my my. it has been fun to see this develop ...
                              jaco, there is ONLY one thing the Japanese do better than the rest of the koi world...cull.

                              Do any of you old or neophyte breeders do (or have done) this.
                              FIRST, You just know that either your female (or maybe a male) has the stuff, and you take it and artificially breed it to several males by seperating the eggs into several bowls and adding each males milt to only one batch and then growing out the mini batches in mini ponds.
                              I've heard breeders talk about knowing the different fry came from different males used in the same spawn, but ...

                              Oh the speed up finding "The right Match."


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