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Thread: salt levels in Japan farms

  1. #1

    salt levels in Japan farms

    Okay, don't freak out if you recognize this topic from another message board...no opinions please, just the facts.

    I was told by a dealer that both breeds (since 1968) and imports koi, that salt levels in Japan are always .6%. Folks at the other site dismiss the statement. I think it is important to consider as a koi hobbyist periodically introducing a new fish to a pond. Especially if the new koi has been kept with an imported fish.

    I have sent a request to several importers in the US and one farm in Japan. I will request information from more Japanese farmers as I come across their email address.

    If you have direct knowledge of salt levels (because you have been to the farms and have tested them yourself, you are an importer and have checked with your broker, or you are in direct contact with a Japan farm), please post your information.

    I read an article within the last 2 months (I thought the author was Dr. Erik Johnson but cannot locate it in his library currently), that discussed what it was like to be a koi vet prior to the advent of Jpanese imports to the US. Diagnosing parasites and disease were typically routine. Since importing has increased, so have the difficulties at diagnosing and treating disease issues in US ponds. I can see this point of view.

    Direct me to this article as well, if you have read it too.

  2. #2
    Sansai Doug Ward's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Your best bet for a fast , broad spectrum answer would be to contact either Mr. Kodomo at koiauction dot com or Fujio Oomo, who is a very popular tour guide, breeder and translator in Niigata.
    I couldn't imagine salt levels being "kept" at that level (because it would be completely idiotic to maintain ANY salt level long term) but these guys will have the straight scoop for you..

    If you think about it how the hell would a guy keep .6% in hundreds of thousands of gallons of tanks much less huge mud ponds ?

    Where is this fellow who has been breeding and dealing since '68 ? The first USA guys I knew of were Paul Radice in Fl and Eldon Elias in Ca. They started in the mid to late seventies.

    Are you in the UK ? Peter Waddington is the UK Koi grandfather and he also started in the late seventies.

    I CAN tell you that many times when my clients have brought fish in from Kodamo's outfit that they were shipped in at .6% salinity, which is fine to reduce shipping stresses, so I duplicate that (or whatever the shipping level is) in the Q tanks and wean them off to 0.0 over a period of a few days.

    Save the salt for your french fries.

    Good question, though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Rocklin, CA
    I imagine that some level of salt is common in the shipping queue; import/export, dealers, etc. The breeders themselves probably don't bother in between handling times.

    As Doug said, it is for stress. Not really routine, except that fish in shipment routinely get a dose of this and that with their shipping water.

  4. #4
    Don't think so?!!

    Koi live in mudponds in Japan. There is NO salt there. They stay in mud ponds for 7 months out of 12. Then as many one and two year olds as possible are sold off.
    The better breeders introduce fresh water all day long during the 5 months indoors. There would be no way to keep salt levels up?
    Only when it gets too expensive to heat the water is the flow of well water cut back.
    Kodama is a dealer with a facility in Chiba, that is part of Tokyo. The breeders of Japan are in the Mountains of Niigata, Hiroshima and scattered in the West and the South.
    I'm sure some breeder/dealers use a lot of salt- but that would be in the months of Nov and Dec soon after the late October/early Nov. harvests.


  5. #5
    Sansai Doug Ward's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Let us not freak out Kent... He came to the right place.
    I want him to reveal his source, from 1968... !
    Could he(the sourceth) be one of the FIVE FISH WONDERZZZZ ????
    We shall goeth from here..eth

  6. #6
    No no not at all Doug! Kent asks a good question.
    Maybe he's thinking of Yoshida? He was down your way back then. Kamihata and the 'now criminal' Axelrod were giving a go at breeding koi among the fish farms of Florida. I imagine that Paul bought from Joel in the late seventies or through Yoshida direct back then?
    I have a great picture of a hageshiro I bought from Paul back in the late eighties- I'll have to scan it and post it for you.
    Anyway, back on subject, there is a huge differences in practices between the breeder community and the dealer community. Some say it goes back to the country carp breeding/farmer communities of the mountains vs. the fish mongers that came up from the city to buy the carp for city dwellers. A natural dependent relationship but strained at times over prices and cultural differences. The city mouse and the country mouse, all over again- an old story! JR

  7. #7

    Armond Hammer me with your posts

    Alright...so which of you knows how much salt is added to the Dead Sea or the Great Salt Lake? :wink:

    Now why would any reasonably thinking person automatically deduce that the farm water is not salty by its very nature? Sure, they are probably salt free, and thank you for pointing that out; however, if you are assuming they are salt free because you think koi are freshwater fish, you are only lucky if you are right...

    So, the name of the farm I referred to will be revealed tomorrow after I vist them and confirm their start date. I read a newspaper article (about them) tacked on to their wall that I thought was dated 1968...maybe it's macular degeneration or machiavellian dyslexia...but it appears that at least a couple folks think '68 is too early to be koing around...maybe it is actually 1986. Either way, this outfit is big time and you likely have used their products if you show your fish.

  8. #8
    Sansai Doug Ward's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Hmmmmmmm.. Were you in Skull and Bones at Yale ? :shock:
    Snow meltoff is the water that feeds the ponds of Niigata, that and rain.
    Of course I have seen salty snow....In Chicago.

    I'm pretty lucky since I was educated in Va. and wasn't off to Kennebunkport when geography class was in session.

    I write in parables too...
    Show fish...yepp... JR does too, occasionally, since he's one of only about 18 koi judges in the country.

    Pearls of Paradise tanks, WM Lim show bowls, Sweetwater air pumps,
    Who is this mystery breeder ? Yer killin mee here !

    Sincerely Doug W. NOT Dubya.............. 8)

  9. #9
    Doug, and other interested folk...I visited said dealer\breeder today. I found two articles about them on the wall. One was printed in the Oregonian. Your Virginia education good enough to figure it out? POP is the place. Now about my dyslexia...the article was not dated, but did precede the 1983 article in the hometown paper - the News Register. Ray is older than glacial till, and his sister-in-law says he has been choreographing the breeding of koi (just couldn't bring myself to say 'breeding koi') for over 20 years. Anyway you do the math, I was errant in my statement about how long they have been operating as Pearls Of Paradise.

    Now, about the pond salinity...I have had US importers reply to me that those ponds are in fact, in some cases, loaded with salt. HA HA! (Or are they speculating too?!). One breeder in Japan (Daisuke Maeda at the Momotaro-koi farm) replied that they too, on occasion, hold their salt at .6%.

    If you are interested in the replies I have received so far, just request them.

  10. #10
    Sansai Doug Ward's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    I would say the holding ponds and the ponds in the sales areas after the fall harvest are indeed "loaded" with salt.
    Those fish come out of the mud with anchor worms, lice and other goodies who have punctured the skin. They are handled, sorted, netted, medicated if necessary...allot of handling so they need a good slime coat.
    The salt assists.
    My fish normally come in at around .25 -.3 % occasionally .5 -.6 %
    I see Daisuke replied to you.
    Meada (Daisukes dad) dips when moving koi from one tank to another.
    Like he said.... If there is a problem.
    No good breeder would use it perpetually.
    Some hobby keepers used to......'course they take everything to an extreme.

    I see you're new to this game and a student of aquaculture.
    Wait till the subject of Potassium Permanganate comes up ! LOL
    You think salt is controversial ! You aint seen nuthin yet, son ! LOL

    Now for your personal keepers book.

    Save the salt for french fries unless the fish has osmoregulatory issues ( aeromonas ulcerations) or possibly as an ich treatment.

    It is no longer a first line of parasite offense for those in the know.
    This may or may not include your professorzzz..... Often members of what I call "The five fish wonder club" :twisted:

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