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  • Koi Confirmation?

    Does anyone know of a good reliable website or book that discusses in detail what is Good Koi Confirmation? I have been looking and reading material that have differing opinions when it comes to correct confirmation in koi varieties. Would be really nice to get some feedback on what things to key on when first evaluating a fish. Thanks all.
  • #2

    Hi Akai-san,

    can you explain to me, what is "confirmation", please? The translation-tool doesn't work at the moment and in my dictionary I can't find anything that matches in the context.

    Thanks Nico

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    • #3

      Hi Nico,

      Just a typo error...look up "conformation".

      Happy Holidays!
      Sunny

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      • #4

        Allow me to have a crack at this topic.
        Conformation = body shape & volume.
        In my point of view, we are always at different learning stage of koi appreciation so our opinions change too. Serious hobbyists constantly improve their knowledge of koi appreciation mainly in conformation, color & skin quality & pattern. Body shape & volume rank 1st in koi appreciation. This is very important especially for matured koi. A good body shape with volume(not obese) will give a majestic impression & enhance the overall beauty. Even a general grade koi if you 'pump' it up will look nice. Conformation depend greatly on the bloodline & rearing skills of the hobbyist as well as the size & condition of your pond. Certain bloodline would only start to develop in conformation when it reach 3-4 years old for e.g. matsunosuke. Before I purchase a koi I always ask my dealer lots of questions like what can I expect from this bloodline? What is the characteristic of this bloodline? How should I properly develop this bloodline? When is the best time to put into his mud pond?etc...Most are obvious questions but no harm asking. One of my dealer even give me a 6 months period to see a certain development that he told me. If I'm not satisfied he allow me to change for another koi.
        The basic of selecting a koi are already written in books:body shape & volume,color & skin quality,pattern but still its that personal experience that matter the most as time goes by & after paying lots of $$$ on buying, replaceing existing koi for higher grade one, knowing more on water quality,etc... I find that the best way to gain experience is to see more koi, visit koi shows or better still enter your koi in koi shows. Due to my limited experience on koi keeping this is all I can tell you.

        SF

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        • #5

          Conformation...Pretty hard to define...I think it is all about porportions. If the fish is well porportioned from nose to tail then that is conformation.
          The world sleeps as the chance to learn something new passes.

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          • #6

            Thanks all,...For "mature" koi, what do judges look for that makes up the koi's conformation? Is there a written or accepted guideline for achieving good conformation. I understand the concepts of overall proportions, but would like to know if breeders, judges have established a standard for each variety. I'm sure I have the same books that you all have and I guess I'm feeling more than a little short of satisfying my quest for knowledge on grasping this subject.

            Much like our show dogs, they have a very specific set of standards and criteria for each breed to adhere to. And it is a matter of an individuals interpretation of the standard and how the entered specimen upholds to this criteria. The winner of course being the "best of breed". I'm thinking koi conformation is similar?

            I guess my mind works graphically, so looking at pictures (of correct koi) helps me tons. But there are still HUGE differences between champion koi. Very confusing to me. Size, Proportions, Pattern, etc. etc. obviously, I don't have any fish experience to relate to. Just the thousands of koi photos in koi mags and other peoples fish to guide me along. Just looking for something graphic in nature (showing right and or wrong conformation) to put me along on the right path. Thanks again.

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            • #7

              I have got a german book about with 6 or 7 very similar pictures of koi bodys. There are only little differences...I will post the pics, when i got my book book. I lend it someone at the moment.

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              • #8

                Looking at pictures is not good enough cos only show you the top view of the koi. The side view of the fish is not shown or seldom shown at all. Looking from the side view body of the koi it should be like a 'diamond shape'.
                The Japanese does have a set of conformation standard. I have read somewhere couldn't remember at the moment. Have to understand the basic of koi appreciation & after looking at lots of koi personally 1st before one can understand why a koi can become GC. Go visit some of your koi dealers, see & ask questions. Books & pictures are only use as a guideline. Will not improve much by looking at pictures.

                SF

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                • #9

                  how about the koi kichii that buys a superb koi and drops it into a shallow pond with poor water quality and feeds it incorrectly. Now you have a pot bellied

                  porker!


                  just my way of saying you may start correctly but do you know how to maintain? Confirmation is heridity as well as conditions and the ability of the koi keeper!
                  Dick Benbow

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                  • #10

                    Swordfish,
                    I hear you loud and clear. I do need to see more fish first hand to get a better grasp. However, even if there were descriptive words that went along with pics/graphics I would at least paint a picture in my head. I still think I have a good eye for all things beautiful. Hahaha.

                    Dick,
                    Of course if I go to look at other peoples koi and I don't find them appealing or find that their facilities for koi are less than perfect, that will be another way for me to see the effects of the environment on koi. Not very inspiring for this newbie but helpful nonetheless. So far, majority of the ponds I visited have fallen way short of my expectations. But I know after my first club meeting, there are plenty better out there.

                    Comment

                    • #11

                      Originally posted by swordfish
                      Looking at pictures is not good enough cos only show you the top view of the koi. The side view of the fish is not shown or seldom shown at all. Looking from the side view body of the koi it should be like a 'diamond shape'.
                      The Japanese does have a set of conformation standard. I have read somewhere couldn't remember at the moment. Have to understand the basic of koi appreciation & after looking at lots of koi personally 1st before one can understand why a koi can become GC. Go visit some of your koi dealers, see & ask questions. Books & pictures are only use as a guideline. Will not improve much by looking at pictures.

                      SF
                      I think Dr. Kuroki's book pretty much set the standards for conformation, but most judges don't go by that notion anyways. I have seen koi with horrible conformation win major prizes at local shows....yes horrible!!! I have seen koi with pinched heads to over sized tail fins to whatever you can think of. I would have to disagree with the "not just" looking at magazines for conformation. Also, it depends on the magazines. What I have learned is that if you study the lines and the shape of each koi in the magazine you can see what conformation is good. "Loran" the Ogawa Kohaku had a below standard conformation being the head was a bit pinched, but in the end overall quality beat out fish with better body. I have been buying Nishikigoi Monthly for years now and I can't even read it. I study each photograph as if it was a painting. The conformation is the frame, the pattern is the painting. If you don't have a nice frame for the painting it doesn't stand out. People can learn from looking at pictures of koi. I do agree with you that they should ask their dealer or local koi veteran about things like this. But in the overall quality should be considered after comformation...
                      The world sleeps as the chance to learn something new passes.

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                      • #12

                        Yes Dick any serious hobbyist before buying any high grade koi should get his water quality right in the 1st place. Some food like bread are known to cause pot belly. Not sure how true but would rather stay out of it. We are always at a learning stage in koi keeping which make this hobby so interesting. Patient & continuous learning is a virtue especially in this hobby.

                        SF

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                        • #13

                          I feel as though I can recognize good confirmation in a mature fish, although my eye is surely not as adept as many of you here. What throws me is trying to predict what the finished confirmation will be when viewing young fish.

                          steve

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                          • #14

                            Dick's right in that most of us would buy a nice Nishikigoi in general and in the end it is up to us to maintain them.
                            The world sleeps as the chance to learn something new passes.

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                            • #15

                              Just a few observations aquired over the years which may help you sort out some things.

                              Shiros and showa lend themselves to being easily pot bellied with incorrect feeding regiments.

                              matsunosuke sanke and sensuke kohaku tend to have the kind of inheritence which lends itself to better body development.
                              Dick Benbow

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