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Showa Lessons for me.

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  • Showa Lessons for me.

    Hi all,

    This is my maiden post.. and I just want to qualify that I am very new at koi keeping..... (5-6mths old). Been bitten by the koi bug already and I have just aquired myself some young showas (18-20 cm) from various farms without much knowledge in showas. Think some of you might have already seen the maruyama showa that was posted earlier by GCSpyder as a group of 4.

    Since I am really new at this.... would appreciate your advice in what I have done wrong in making my selection and what is the likely potential of what I have chosen. (hope that I am not asking too much)
    Have to admit that they are not high quality kois though...

    Your help is greatly appreciated.
    Attached Files
  • #2



    Nice Showa's, I like number one the most because the sumi looks well-placed and the motoguru shows nice quality sumi. then I have to chose between number 2 and 3. both breeders of these two Showa have a very high reputation of Showa but to say wich of the four will have the best potential you have to know te parents. Genetics are very important. like bodyshape, skinquality and size are genetic. Ofcourse is the handeling of the koi very important. I wish you good luck and thanks for the pictures. I'll think the evolution will be facenating


    • #3

      Welcome to the board!

      Well, for someone who has just started keeping koi, I'd say you have done very well for yourself. The last of the group has a nice balance of red and white. If the black rises in the right places, the pattern will be dramatic. One thing you have to remember about Showa .... a lesson Dick Benbow teaches: Be patient. It can take 8 years to know what you have. Enjoy the journey.


      • #4

        Hi Jay and MikeM,

        Thanks for all the comments... and yes... will try to be as paitent
        Glad that you found some of them decent enough.

        I am learning as I go along so please pardon my questions.
        For number 3 & 4, I was a little concerned about the black (sumi?) around the mid section of the koi cos its actually covering over the red (hi?) and not just over the white.

        In addition, the cover of the black is somewhat unusual as compared to number 1 & 2 in a manner that in some scales, the black is more and on top and in other adjoining scales, the red is more and is on top.... not sure if I am making any sense in discribing it but it just looks messy and uneven.

        Unlike 1&2... its clear that the black is on top of the red or at least the spread is even.

        Sorry if its a silly question but can anyone explain the difference and how the different type of cover will turn out in the end.



        • #5

          Not a silly question at all. The problem is giving an answer. Different genetics result in different development patterns. Some Showa will never have the deep, lacquer black that is so beautiful. Some that do take years for it to develop. Some experienced koikeepers say that the way the Sumi rises on the Hi plates is a reliable predictor of the Sumi will look when it matures in the white areas. Other experienced koikeepers say that if the only areas with decent Sumi are the Hi plates, then most likely the Sumi will not develop well in the white areas. But, they also say that it only takes one lacquer scale in a white area for them to be comfortable that the Sumi will develop beautifully over time. So, what does all that mean? Well, unless you are the breeder working with a known pairing whose offspring you have watched develop over several years, you just cannot be sure what will happen. These are young fish. The amount of Sumi showing already indicates a good possibility that most will end up with a great deal of Sumi as they grow. The size you give makes me think they were tosai last Fall? (But the photos do not look like 8" Showa to me.) Everyone says that Showa are the most unpredictable of the refined varieties. So, guess how you'd like these to develop, and watch what happens.


          • #6

            Showa Appreciation:

            To AplKOI:
            Keeping Showa is a fun and frustrating journey.
            Choosing to keep Showa is a challenge! A good start for learners.
            Imported means Showa likely beyond tosai into nisai.
            Rode on Maruyama Showa bandwagon by crowd influence?
            You would already have considered their genetic orgins. Period.
            It is way too early to forcast eventual outcome of Showa.
            Lustrous skin quality. Pass for, well, almost all, as of photo.
            Ideally all 3 colors must appear on head. Pass for 2, 3, 4.
            Head pattern hachiware. Pass for 2, maybe 3.
            Pectoral fins motoguro expected on Showas (recede with age). Pass for 1, 4.
            'Black based' Showa with black on fins. Pass 2, 4.
            Hi base pattern must be solid with depth foremost. Pass for 1, 3, 4.
            Large wrapping sumi down flanks. Pass for 2, 3, 4.
            Boke sumi indicates surfacing black area. Pass for almost all.
            Intensity of color markings. Pass 1, 3.
            Cutting eges of color patterns. Pass 1, 3.
            Interesting color pattern. Pass 1, 3.
            Color distribution balance. Pass 1, 2, 3.
            Good body shape and conformation. Pass for 1, 3, 4.
            Showa1: way too tapered at dorsal fin to tail area, underfed? Nutrition vital, more attention!
            Showa2: coming hachiware / menware! Will have an imposing appearance! Prepare for dorsal fin area loss of hiban! Sumi soon to balance out.
            Showa3: head too taper, color has depth, traditional Showa.
            Showa4: Kinda Showa large shiroji, good conformation, well-sized head. Built of potential jumbo!
            Best amongst. Note starts with white-red black on head and ends similarly on tail. Very ideal indeed. Only detractor, though, a large clean patch shiroji, thrown off balance.
            Are 1 and 2 smallest few? Have small snout! Showa 2, 3 very likely males.
            For any color pattern with differing colored scales intercepting across and over neighbour scales, pattern is deemed weak.
            Sans clear color edges spell a much dreaded later messy overall.
            All have sumi intrusion to hi region, a major turn off.
            Some suggest poor color quality and depth, hence a cull from Japan.
            Your weary valid. Price speak for quality. Amen that.
            Yours is another foreign market like mine, where Japan dishes cull out.
            Clear, distinct neighboring colors are preferred over intermixed.
            A white scale within red pattern; prepare a loss of hiban.
            Black blokes intruding into hi; prepare an engulfed hiban.
            I still hold reservation for Showa appreciation.
            For every new hobby surprises will spring up along!
            A long intriguing and interesting time awaits you, enjoy, Dude!
            All Showas are still too young for certain of their outlook.
            Starter without professional guidance, your picks may reflect focus lack thereof.
            Warning that Showa by nature are more susceptible to viral attacks, with weak immunity after several in-breeding schemes.
            More drastic and dramatic changes will make your eveyday indeed colorful and HAPPENING! Madison BK.
            Last edited by BabyKoi; 06-06-2005, 09:52 AM. Reason: elabo


            • #7

              I like Showa #2, more on the kindai side...Not to take anything away from the other Showa's, but it fits my fancy the most. There is a saying with Showa and how those fish are a 5 year project, it will be a great learning experience to see how these fish look in 4 months so keep us posted!
              The world sleeps as the chance to learn something new passes.


              • #8

                Hi MikeM, Babykoi and Aquitori,

                Thanks for your comments and pointers. Really appreciate it.
                Will be very interested to see how they develop.

                They are about 7-8 inches (bought them within the last 3 months).. they are indeed a little on the small side... perhaps its my shrinking of the pictures that makes them look even smaller.... need to feed them more often to catch up...

                Thanks for the detailed rundown... and yes, I did not pay and arm or a leg for them and therefore I suspect that the flaws for these culls will be plentiful. And I appreciate your pointers for me on what to look out for in my next purchase.

                Will post an update of them in the 4 months time.

                Thanks all.


                • #9

                  I think that the Sumi is no problem because in some area's the sumi is allready deep. But the development of the Sumi can take some years. The most important parts are the parents and the koi keeping. By koi keeping I mean waterquality, soft or hard water, food, illness ...

                  I hope the development will learn you much about showa, it's one of the most difficult koi to keep, but also one of the nicest in a collection of koi.


                  • #10

                    Enjoyed that one Babykoi.

                    -steve hopkins


                    • #11

                      Thanks for the reassurance and the advice...
                      These are not thousand dollar showas so I cannot expect high quality outcome.

                      Still, I enjoy showas and the mix of colours and I agree with you that they indeed brighten up the pond quite a bit. Guess its going to be a long term learning program for me.



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