View Full Version : between breeding your own and buying #1

dick benbow
05-19-2007, 07:38 PM
There is a tremendous interest these days in learning to breed your own. I certainly encourage knowledge but like all things koi this is a very expensive
outlay of money and time and effort.
Those that have tried have ranged from everything sucessful to very flustrated.
many of us are not in a position to afford buying #1 ( or 2 or 3 etc)
but would still like to be able to learn,
What has worked for me is to buy 6 to 12 tosai of one particular color variation and then watch and document with pics and notes the changes.
It's very valuable in helping you to discover how a koi looks and what it ends up being as it ages. Since all koi are not created equal, you get a chance to learn something valuable in your own pond.
Last year my koi kichi buds Dan and Sharon Olson convinced toshio sakai to pick us out what amounted to a single, double and triple A rated representative of sanke and showa to monitor for 3 years. Next weekend I fly off to spokane to measure, and document the second year changes.
The year before i got my hands on a dozen baby asagi's. This year i have 6 goshiki's.
I think this education has really helped me to pay attention to what i see
and not just blindly select by pattern. Most babies change as they grow. So knowing what to select from the start will make you a better chooser......any thoughts one way or another:yes: :no:

05-19-2007, 08:00 PM
I would love to be able to buy 12 tosai and grow them out, Dick, but my pond just isn't big enough. I do like the idea of getting an A, AA and AAA sanke and/or showa (three I can handle) and monitoring their progress. You've got my wheels turning.

05-19-2007, 08:13 PM
That sounds like a great way to learn Dick! I was just thinking that there must be some way to copy all that knowledge you have into my head!:yes: Oh well, wishful thinking:rolleyes: I'm going to buy soon and that is something to think about.:yes: I guess the only trick to the A, AA, AAA would be to make sure the person selling to you has enough knowledge to pick the right grades.


05-19-2007, 08:23 PM
I have 2 nice male Kohakus and a nice Shiro UT Female:punk1: Could be interesting:yes:


Joey S
05-19-2007, 08:30 PM
A great way to accomplish the same thing - a club growout!! Pick a variety or two. Have members commit to purchase and growout 'competition'. Then buy enough for members from a good dealer. Draw straws for the picking when they come in. Members grow them out and bring back together during a club show for comparison. Each member commits to record feeding (what food, supplier, supplements, etc), water parameters (at least monthly to compare pH, KH, GH, etc.) Pull and measure and take photos. Then, bring them all back for a show in a special category - growout Kohakus or Showas or Sankes or??? Great learning experience. Great way for newbies to purchase quality fish at a discount and compare the results.

dick benbow
05-19-2007, 09:17 PM
I don't disagree with you that knowledge can be learned from a growout contest,,,,but for me i love to see the day by day changes in the fish. All these fish get the same treatment yet there will be a few bigger, more developed etc. This will get the wheels churning to learn why and i think the
challenge is to figure out why.....:yes:

05-19-2007, 10:03 PM
I am currently attempting the breeding thing. Tons of work and money layout. My pair is a female goshiki and a male showa...to make goshiki showa. I have a 450gal pool with a gazillion fry right now. I am doing water changes like crazy and feeding every few hours (baby brine shrimp, rotifers, dafnia(all frozen) and hbh brand baby bites fry food). It really is a full time job...and I'm paying to do it!!! Koi Kichi has infected my brain or something!

dick benbow
05-19-2007, 11:01 PM
sounds like your getting an education! good for you. kind of an obscure color variety but will be fun to see what you come up with. least after you go thru all this you'll appreciate what it takes to breed a good one. makes the cost of buying one a lot easier to stomach..... keep us informed please.....:clap:

05-20-2007, 01:33 AM
I think that is one of the greatest joys of owning a Koi is seeing the progression of change as it grows. I personally enjoy watching the our showa's as the sumi develops. :)

05-20-2007, 01:41 AM
I don't disagree with you that knowledge can be learned from a growout contest,,,,but for me i love to see the day by day changes in the fish. All these fish get the same treatment yet there will be a few bigger, more developed etc. This will get the wheels churning to learn why and i think the
challenge is to figure out why.....:yes:
Dick..You and I both know its nothing more than drawing a good genetic card and often the "runt"of the litter turns out to be the "champ"...
Brady,Brett,Toshio..Shigero, Oomo..all have kicked themselves in the azz time and time again.It's all about time and space.
I reckon yer still an asagigi preeBirt...Howzabout some pics ?:D:

05-20-2007, 02:32 PM
I have some Internet bud's in Singapore who engage in growout competitions with a twist. They make arrangements with their favorite local dealer to bring in a set number of fish from a single breeder, all the same variety, draw numbers to make their selections, and then leave them at the dealers to be grown out together for 3-6 months. They have monthly meetings to evaluate the progress during the growout and at the end they are judged to see whose selections turned out the best. They then have the option of either taking theirs home or having the dealer sell them on consignment.
It may seem like an impersonal exercise, but it serves the purpose of honing your skill at selecting tosai for each member of the club.

dick benbow
05-20-2007, 03:26 PM
Unfortunately i didn't have a good camera then and didn't know how to use the new didgital camera very well so don't have any photos to pass along. like tha japanese, I keep it all upstairs in the grey matter.

But I do have a good camera now, still don't know how to use it but am getting there.

Impressions I learned were that live food was really important for the first month. most backyard breeders try and keep too many going and have water quality issues. better to pick out a coupla hundred and work with smaller numbers.

Your absolutely righ tho....some of the smaller insignificant stuff grows up to become the ugly duckling story. Anymore i am not afraid to pick a lighter redish orange smaller koi because they seem to turn out...

dick benbow
05-20-2007, 03:35 PM
I like that kind of grow out because all the conditions are the same and you can document them. By meeting every month and making accessments you can actually learn....that is a good twist!

I know genetically from my experience that the simple patterns tend to be higher quality while the more elaborate ones don't stack up in the end. I think with kohakus everyone wants a 4-5 step koi. I like a good omoyo that has some wavy action along the sides. They seem to finish easier and grow bigger than the multi-step sisters.

What seems interesting to me is what changes to everything one has learned
when you introduce magoi bloodline into the koi. Many things are not the same. I'm really impressed with what Toshio sakai has managed to do....magoi, maruzumi colors....a man way ahead of his time.

I can't think of anything more fun than winning in a decent sized show with something you bred yourself. I took some first and seconds in seattle with
my shiro utsuri's against some really nice japanese koi. memorable......