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Koi Bitto #8- The 80cm Quest: Part II

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  • Koi Bitto #8- The 80cm Quest: Part II

    In Koi Bitto issue no. 8 in the article “A Quest for 80 Centimeters” by Mike Snaden, the author comments on Koi C (female koi) would benefit from breeding, in order to improve growth and shape. The logic behind this eludes me. Breeding will make the body shape more streamlined, albeit temporarily, but also divert valuable system resources toward egg reproduction that otherwise would be used 100% for growth. The renewed egg production may even bring the koi to sexual maturity and really hinder any significant body growth in the future.

    Your comments are greatly appreciated.

  • #2

    I would think that a fasting period for egg re-absorption would be preferable, particularly given the risks of spawning.


    • #3

      What you both say, sounds perfectly logical. I am not a breeder, so can't argue 'from experience'. But, Mr Maeda of Momotaro taught me that if you want Koi to get to Jumbo size, you have to get rid of the eggs in Spring/Summer, otherwise the nutrition will go into nurturing and developing the eggs throughout the Summer. It has also been said that the beuty of a big female Koi will be enhanced after breeding. Nubuo also said this of 'Sakurahime' after Momotaro bred from her the first time. But, breeding from big Koi is not without risk. The bigger the Koi, the more risk there is of heart attack after breeding, or a burst blood vessel. I have a Sansai Sanke at Momotaro that is about 80cm now. She will probably be bred from this Spring. I am more concerned about breeding damage, than I am about becoming 'mishapen'.

      The reason for my comment in Koi-Bito, is also because when a Koi becomes particularly over-laden with eggs, the abdomen sags so much, that the body over the back of the Koi can often become straight. In other words, instead of seeing a rise between the rear of the head, and front of the dorsal, this can become deformed.



      • #4

        Oh, and by the way... the target of 68cm by June 2005, has already been met (with the others very close behind). The first Koi to this size was Ian Graham's Nidan Kohaku. And, Maurice bred from it last Summer (as Nisai) in order to get rid of the eggs. The body was going mishapen (straightening of the back) just as I described in the post above. She has a perfect body now! In addition to this, Cliff Neale has just achieved the same target, but with a Kohaku bought as 26cm Tosai a year ago! So, you could say we are 18 months ahead of target? I do think it very likely to get 80cm as Yonsai.



        • #5

          Mike, thanks for your thought provoking answer. I’m going to research this further. I have a female Momotaro Kohaku (born September 03) measuring 58 cm. and would like for her to reach full potential regarding quality and size. Do you know if it’s a consensus among breeders that to achieve good size the females must be bred, or are only to bred if the female is excessively gravid? Also, do you have any knowledge regarding the separation of sexes during the wintering period by breeders in Japan?



          • #6

            Not to through a spanner in the works, but it must be explained that these koi which ‘need’ spawning are kept in a very different manor to most koi kept by hobbyists around the world.

            I’ll explain the difference and hope it does not spark a debate. These koi are being grown to their largest potential size in the shortest possible time, for me I do not disagree with this, as I’m in favour of big koi looking youthful, but it is a different way of keeping koi.

            These koi are given a constant temperature year round and fed a summer diet year round, they grow constantly, but also produce eggs in the same fashion. This can be a problem as some can get very misshapen in the belly area, not only deep but very wide. Also as Mike states, it puts extra pressure on the spine and causes it to sag. If measures are not taken to remove the eggs, the koi will be spoiled. Hence Mr Maeda and Mike recommending the spawning of koi as necessary. But in a pond which is given normal seasons, eggs are reabsorbed as nutrition during the ‘fasting’ colder month or two and retain their normal shape.

            So if a koi is kept at year round summer temperature, being fed year round this spawning will not halt growth to any degree, as their egg production is a constant ongoing thing. But if a koi which has been kept in a seasonal environment is spawned, this will nearly halt its growth for the season, as for a mature female, egg production is more important than growth and it only has a short period before waters start cooling again at the start of autumn.



            • #7

              Thanks Maurice, nicely explained!

              The breeders I know separate the sexes to male and female ponds.
              Dick Benbow


              • #8


                Thanks for your clears up a couple of issues I've had with our koi...We've had very good growth in a couple of Tosai's we bought last year, one a Yamabuki from Brady has grown from 8.5" to 22+" since Feb. 04 and an Ogata Purachina from 8" to 21" in the same period... Wasn't sure why but now I know that two of the reasons are the year round warm climate and feeding... Our other koi, purchased as nisai are also growing but not at that pace...

                By the way, Maeda san also encouraged some local hobbyist to spawn their koi, for better growth... probably because of the constant warm conditions and our year round feeding...

                Aloha! Mike


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