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What I've been doing lately

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  • What I've been doing lately

    Hey folks,

    I've received some messages over the past few months asking what I've been up to. Last year, I started work on a large mud pond only to be unable to fill it as a deep well that was already existing would not start and needed a serious investment to get it functioning again. This Spring, I was able to get it up and running again and have electric pulled out to it.

    The first mud pond held 2-sai to 4sai and about 1/3rd of these I bred myself, with the other 2/3rds being from Japan:

    I was able to rent a bulldozer and build a series of smaller ponds for fry and spawned some 5 sets (a few more as experiments) of parents including: kohaku, karashi, showa, sanke, kujaku. I spawned gosanke very late in the season, so didn't get as many eggs surviving, but still managed to get some. Karashi and Kujaku had higher numbers, but I considered this year to be an experiment so didn't get what I would normally expect from a spawning.

    Kujaku and very few kohaku fry:

    Kujaku were spawned only against Kujaku, Kohaku against Kohaku, GR Kohaku, Goshiki as an experiment. Kujaku female was young, but she produced a lot of eggs and fertilization was very good. Best of all the spawnings were Karashi and Kujaku. I'm looking forward to how the Kujaku turn out

    I decided to try some experiments with the Karashi using a Yamabuki male (to try and get bigger Yamabuki like Momotaro), Kohaku, and Goshiki males as well. Also used a straight Karashi male as well. Out of these, the straight Karashi male produced well, and I think I'll have some very good ones to sell in the Springtime. There are also some GR Karashi that came from a GR Kohaku male which could be interesting, and a few straight kohaku and GR kohaku as well. There are a few Goshiki, which will be interesting to watch develop. The offspring from the Yamabuki male are easy to point out, and will have to see how these go. May want to cross them against a regular Yamabuki female if I can locate a decent one before Spring. There were also a large number of grey offspring produced that I have no clue how they will turn out. They may turn out to be like Soragoi, but also seem to have a kind of metallic sheen to them as well. You'll see some fry that are larger that look like they came from Sanke below. They're not tobi, they are from an experimental breeding of gosanke and I put these in this pond to further grow out. Most will be discarded.

    Karashi etc. fry in mud pond:

    I really need to hire someone that knows what they're doing with a bulldozer to correct my mud ponds (they are completely functional, but not pretty and not easy to service as the surrounding banks are not flat and not easy to get regular equipment out to. Also, I need to build some more permanent facilities and want to start working on block & mortar ponds after winter has ended. The plan is to move slowly, build as I can, breed, and continue to import from Japan as well.
    Brian Sousa
    Koi-Bito Forum
  • #2

    Definitely looks like fun!

    Using the Karashi has my interest. But, Karashi crossed with Goshiki??? That seems to me to be a real mix-up of genetics. Maybe something truly unique?

    Hope you can update on how well the Karashi contributed size to other varieties... and to what extent the yellow ground color carried forward.


    • #3

      Hi Mike,

      It certainly is a lot of fun, and am experimenting with ways to make it work with less labor to suit my situation.

      The Goshiki was and idea I had to try and improve the size, but had doubts about how the sumi and hi would turn out. I had also imagined that it might produce something similar to Ochiba. We'll see how it turns out, and there are a few that are interesting but I think that it would take quite a bit of back-crossing to get something meaningful with the Goshiki. Kohaku and Yamabuki seem promising, and also have some Kohaku that have yellowish hi. It could be entirely possible that some of these are lighter-type Goshiki offspring, but time will tell.

      I'm pretty happy with the regular Karashi and will probably make spawning Karashi a yearly thing.

      I'll be moving them into better systems and commence regular feeding again to let them grow and cull more. Will keep you updated on my findings and observations.
      Brian Sousa
      Koi-Bito Forum


      • #4

        Please do. There are multiple discussion topics in these crosses!

        ....Hope you get some truly yellow-hued Karashi. They seem more rare than I had thought when Karashi first came on the scene.


        • #5

          Originally posted by MikeM View Post

          ....Hope you get some truly yellow-hued Karashi. They seem more rare than I had thought when Karashi first came on the scene.
          The female is a lighter type from Marudo, and the male darker type from Konishi. I have a mix of the two with some like the mother, some like the father, and some falling somewhere in between.
          Brian Sousa
          Koi-Bito Forum


          • #6

            Hello Brian, please would you accept to keep us informed of the Karashigoi hybrids' evolution? I would like to see the results of such crossbreedings because I read at Martin Kammerer's website (Konishi Europe GmbH, Modern Koi Blog) that there's a special path to follow with Karashigoi, otherwise it doesn't work optimally ; The colors and patterns of the koi risk to get messy for generations and difficult to recover (Mike emphasized the problem in his post of the other thread). According to Kammerer, various breeders in the past tried to use directly Karashigoi with Go Sanke pairings but finally gave up... Basically, Konishi says it’s too rough to cross Karashigoi with refined and distant varieties such as Go sanke.

            In fact, the objectives of these experiments are: -To transfer many of the Karashigoi great characteristics (size, shape, growth, behaviour, health) to other varieties. -To create brand new bloodlines (useful when you need to outcross for size and vigor… or transfer certain characteristics easily). -And of course, to produce always better amazing koi.

            As a precursor, the Konishi Koi Farm team has especially made a big plan to ensure the success of the project, passing by several varieties as transitions ! Indeed, it’s a very professional and intelligent technique, so I’ll try to present it as well as I can (original knowledge is in german):

            -First, they cross Karashigoi with Asagi and thus the successful Nanashigoi (a.k.a Asakara in japan) appears, with the appreciated characteristics of the famous Karashigoi. There’s a wide range of color variations in this breed : Some have red markings like classic Asagi while others have orange-yellow markings like Ki Asagi, but that’s not all… Some demonstrate a clean white background like Yuki Asagi, whereas conversely, others are darker with reticulation almost like Matsuba (ex: the greenish Wasabigoi). There are even Kanoko ! Such an impressive diversity of colors and patterns...

            -Then they cross certain Nanashigoi with Kohaku or Goromo (each is credited in separate articles of Konishi for the same role, so I put both here). Obviously, in this way, the reticulated drawing of the asagi ends up combined to red markings of Kohaku style, above a white base. Crossings are carried out until they have clean coloration but also the strength of Karashigoi. The result: Karashi-Goromo and early Karashi-Kohaku are born. Furthermore, recently, they stated that they managed to create 2 new bloodlines of Goromo with Karashigoi blood (which is a good thing because the Goromo variety lacks of genetic diversity in their opinion).

            -The last step is to cross the best suitable koi from the matings, with Kohaku, until they obtain a pure red and pure white Karashi-Kohaku, but still with all the power of Karashigoi. Maybe that one day we will see a 120cm+ kohaku thanks to this effort? We definetly see some stunning karashi kohaku already.

            According to Konishi, in sum, that type of process takes about 20-30 years to be implemented from the first thought to the achievement of the goal.

            Although, I think I should give the names of a few other Karashi hybrids, more or less common : the Karashi Yamabuki, the Karashi Shigure, the Karashi Kujaku, the Karashi Koyo, the Karashi Chagoi, etc…

            And now other breeders in Japan try also these good innovations (the most feasible usually). For example, Karashi Yamabuki (a.k.a Karashi Ogon) can now be seen at Momotaro or Izumiya. Even more interresting : I bought some months ago a beautiful Kado Gin Mezurashi Asagi from Oya, which is in fact some kind of Nanashigoi (Mezurashi just means ''unusual'' and qualifies his strange appearance, but the breeder explained that it was a crossbreed between one of his great Asagi and a Karashigoi).



            • #7

              I am unsure what is considered to be a nanashigoi. I have seen photos of koi labeled as nanashigoi that are like asagi, and others that are not really anything worth labeling.


              • #8

                Hi Alex,

                Thank you (and welcome to KB) very much for your detailed post on Konishi's work with Karashi. I've seen Martin's videos on Youtube and follow Konishi's blog (and several other Japanese breeders) and have paid particular attention to the work he's been doing with Karashi x Asagi crosses.

                The points you made about gosanke not crossing well with Karashi is very true. Even though my spawning of the Karashi was very limited in terms of fertilized eggs, but there are not very many that were "Kohaku" in their appearance. It would obviously take a number of F2, F3 etc etc. I see a lot of potential with Yamabuki, Goshiki, Kujaku, and Asagi. I may try the latter two next year.

                I didn't get much in the way of Goshiki, but it is closer to Asagi than gosanke and from what I see so far won't take too many crossings to make something worthwhile.

                For those that haven't seen the products of Konishi's crossings, I'm including some older ones from his blog below.

                In 2010, he posted this "Karashi Shigure" on the blog:

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                Tosai 45cm

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                Nisai 62cm

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                Yonsai 88cm!

                Pretty impressive that it reached 45cm as tosai. Not sure if he heats and feeds overwinter or not. If not...very impressive

                Back in 2011, he posted this Asagi on his blog:

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                Ake-nisai 42cm

                With the explanation that it was a "special" Asagi that has Karashi blood, and had been refined down from the Karashi Shigure. It's to the point here where it can pass as Asagi has a frame that will support growth and can be further refined as Asagi with future crosses.

                From Konishi's Blog, he introduces a "Wasabigoi"

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                This was sansai when photographed, but yonsai and 92cm at the time of the blog posting back in 2013. He believed that it would reach 1 meter as gosai! This thing is a monster! My spawning produced some fry that have reticulated sumi that will be interesting to watch develop, and this obviously has to be from the Goshiki male.

                There are a lot of possibilities in improving established varieties, and also some very nice kawari as well.
                Last edited by Brian; 12-03-2018, 12:02 PM.
                Brian Sousa
                Koi-Bito Forum


                • #9

                  Mike, I understand what you mean, but in fact, the name Nanashigoi translates literally to 'koi without name'…Considering how many different variants and colors strike the descendants of Karashigoi and Asagi, the name may well hit the nail on the head…
                  By the way: The president Joji Konishi uses another name just for the japanese market which is Asakara, because he is convinced that japanese people do not understand the humor behind the name Nanashigoi ; On the other hand, he then christened the Green Nanashigoi with the name Wasabigoi, which means nothing else than "(Japanese) Horseradish koi"… =)

                  But of course, we can all have our preferences and Brian exposed many possibilities… =)
                  Personally, I only appreciate a few Nanashigoi, but I think the decision Konishi took is very powerful, and it could help everyone to own someday bigger and more resistant koi. Unfortunately, we cannot find Nanashigoi in France that much, you have to travel to Germany (normally)… However I made an interresting deal a few months ago… I bought a beautiful ‘’Mezurashi Asagi’’ (mezurashi=rare/unusual) from Oya (Kataoka), which is actually an experimental crossbreed between an Oya Asagi and a Karashigoi. This koi looks a bit like a Yuki Asagi now (the best Nanashigoi are born white and then slowly start building their Asagi drawing) with classic Hi pattern and furthermore it possesses a strong Kado Gin over all his scales (classic trait of the great Oya bloodline). Also, it’s a female nisai measuring 50cm, and it was told to me that the breeder didn’t want to sell it originally… It’s the best of this kind that the buyers could select there. I may upload her evolution when I’ll have it my pond, but for the moment she is in the South of France (Shop : Koi d'Azur) enjoying a warm winter in a greenhouse. =)

                  Enjoy pictures :
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                  PS: At the beginning it was a riddle in France to find the variety of the koi only with the right side picture (scales) and I won so I got a nice Dainichi T-Shirt. =)


                  • #10

                    Congrats, on getting that one, Alex. She is definitely among the best looking of the koi labeled Nanashigoi that I've seen. ....There are hints that she may develop gray/blue Asagi scalation. I hope the beni is stable, neither fading nor expanding too much.


                    • #11

                      BRIAN! How are you? Looks like we both still have the bug! I’m glad to see koi-bito is still going strong! I just wanted to pop in and say hello. I hope all is well and please give my regards to your wife and kids.


                      • #12

                        Rob! How are you? Yep, it's been a long time and we both still have the bug. The forum is still going thanks in no small part to a number of longtime members that contribute regularly.

                        It's been too long, we should really catch up!
                        Brian Sousa
                        Koi-Bito Forum


                        • #13

                          Hi Brian, I have not been here in a while. Thanks for continuing to maintain this forum after all these years. It’s good to see you still experimenting with breeding. When will your tosai be available for sale? I am especially interested in the Karachi and yamabuki ogon.


                          • #14

                            Hi Sunny! I hope to keep the forum going for a very long time and now that I've removed that bad code it should be much easier to manage. The land that I live on came with a deep well that decided it wasn't going to work in the spring last year so I had put of breeding until I found someone that was able to repair it rather than dig a new one, which would have cost a fortune! This year I'll be able to start on time so breeding should be a lot more productive as water won't be an issue.

                            The tosai should be available in mid to late May. Don't have high numbers and I didn't grow them with heat, so they will be regular and not jumbo sized.
                            Brian Sousa
                            Koi-Bito Forum


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