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Progress in koi breeding

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  • Progress in koi breeding

    There seems to be a great deal of progress in breeding jumbo size koi. I was flicking through some 2002 issues of koi mag and also the book "Still Waters" last night. Writers of the various articles were excitedly refering to nisai koi that were about 43-45cm and extolling their fast growth rates.Some of the articles were written only two years ago and they sound like they were from a completely different era or planet! Today it is routine to have tosai of 40cm+,even 50cm+ and nisai of 65cm-70cm. More breeders are reinvigorating their breeding stock with new gene pool by back breeding with magoi.We now get the chance to see faster growing koi with bigger full size potential as well as seemingly stronger koi . Wonder if lifespan and bone structure become more vulnerable with the accelerated growth rate;anyone with longer term experiences ?
  • #2

    Long term experience? Maybe not. Many of today's big fish breeders
    have used the bloodline and techniques of toshio Sakai's Matsunosuke bloodline. He has over 20 years and his older brother and father a few before that.
    Anytime you have a health issue of pushing a living thing to it's limits
    lots of things come into play. Ever look into what happens to the health of Sumo Wrestlers after their glutonous weight gain and what it does to their major organs? Young tosai and nisai get their strength for bone and organ development from minerals absorbed from the water. It's not until they get older that the food begins to play a part of that same growth. Many koi never make it out of the growth ponds. they grow out of their color or simply are found dead at the draining.
    With human beings the secret of long life has been the bodies ability to struggle with barely enough. Those that have rich foods and are over weight suffer from various diseases like diabetes and cancer, heart disease and others.
    To me, there is a fine line in pushing koi. You don't feed heavy growth food at lower temperatures. you want growth not obesity. females after the age of three must go thru and experience winter or all the extra feed
    and warmer temperatures go into egg production. For long term health
    you must provide the genetics for growth. The uncrowded conditions of a mineral rich clay grow pond. feedings should be smaller amounts and more frequently.
    I have watched top koi get purchased with everything going for them and end up in a pond too small, too overcrowded, too overfed with the wrong feeds. Then watch what happens when this same koi is taken to numerous shows the same year to degradate it's health just so that the owner can get his money's worth out of it.
    interesting hobby of ours , heh? The breeder does everything right, the genetics were there, the hobbyist better know what they're doing!
    Dick Benbow


    • #3

      Amen to that !
      Being a Great Dane breeder I've seen the results of people trying to have 150 lb, six month old pups and 220 plus at maturity.
      It aint pretty.
      A good line with reach its genetic potential in a reasonable amount of time/fish/dog/draft animal.. No matter.
      I think I'll go feed some 9 inch 12 month old Tanaka's I have.
      16 inch Tosai Gosanke scare me.
      We'll know the facts in a few years.. Until then ?
      I stay old school.


      • #4

        I certainly agree with you guys; something always give way when we go overboard.Thats why in the corporate world,whenever I see the word "maximise" ( sales,profits,returns,etc) in mission and objective statements,I would advocate that it be replaced with "optimise".
        That said,I am nevertheless convince that better and bigger quality koi are being produced because of better knowledge both in breeding as well as in keeping.I suppose,even with us humans,even with our inclination to do ourselves in by over indulgence,average lifespan and average sizes,Americans and Asians alike, have increased significantly over the last 50 years.

        Not all of us are in the hobby for koi shows;on the contrary, most of us derive our satisfaction from koi keeping for varios other reasons. And I believe there is an appropriate pond and appropriate koi for every individual taste.Different pond sizes and systems cater to different koi keeping objectives. Unfortunately,sometimes when we start off ,we get it all wrong.Such was the case with me when I first started. Wrong advice from the local dealer ..what a costly mistake. Wish I knew of the existence of koi forums on the internet then !

        I am probably expecting too much,but I feel koi breeders should do their part by ensuring that their agents/distributors are knowleagable,loves koi and are scrupulous. After learnig the hard and costly way, I believe in a holistic approach to koi keeping.When you change one parameter ,you have to reconfigure the other parameters. I believe the most important aspect is to maintain balance or equilibrant..easier said than done in and ever changing system.I am therefore usually wary when things are looking good and going well because I know it will not last If you are not vigilant in responding to changes in the pond system as the koi grow. I guess its the constant challenges that also provide the kicks for me. As they say , passion comes with the ecstacies and the agonies as well!


        • #5

          As you can tell by my first post to your initial question, it was something
          i wanted to "get into". In the rush I failed to notice that these were your first posts with our board!
          Forgive my manners, welcome. your thoughts and input on welcome here. (I know others feel as I do that to have segments of the world to be able to draw from is exhilerating!)
          Unfortunately when it comes to business of all kinds, it's "buyer beware"
          until you find a good one. Trust is something that is built.
          your right ,the challenge of koi is keeping up with it all ;as the last five years demonstrates. incredible progress!
          I hope you'll continue to give input from your "corner of the world" on the hobby we all love.
          Dick Benbow


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