Trying to get a Koi to Jumbo!

This Sanke was bought in October 2015 after the The Koi was harvested. She was then 2.5 years old (Sansai)

This Koi was a very expensive Koi and I want to use this example to try and explain why this Koi was bought, and is so special.

The client who purchased this Koi wants to buy Koi to grow. He has a facility where growing Koi is quite easy, as he has huge spaces of water and the correct stocking levels. Now even with a perfect environment it is still VERY hard to take a Koi to a certain size. Growing a Koi to 70/75cms is relatively easy, a pond of over 2000 Gallons and even less will grow the fish to that kind of size. To get one to 80cm in a Koi pond is much harder, Go-Sanke I am talking about. I am sure there are people now saying “Well I have done!!” yes, of course it’s possible, but not the most common thing in the world.

I have clients in warm climates such as South Africa, he gets growth rates better than in Japan, but only to a certain size. Getting a Go-Sanke over the magic 80cm mark.

With this in mind, and also buying LOTS of Koi that have not got to that magic size, you start to learn about what you buy. It’s a different way of buying. You have to try and see a trait at a smaller size which will grow into a 80cm plus Koi. This is so hard. We have to look at the parents, we have to look at other Koi which have come from that parent. We have to look at older Koi and the body structures on those Koi to see if the one we are looking at could do the same.

So now, we are not looking at pattern, of course it will come in but at a small size Koi we need to check its body, and how that body will develop in the future. Its almost impossible to judge. Its a complex part of the hobby.

Customers who have Koi ponds from 2000Gallons to 10,000Gallons look for different Koi. They look for pattern mainly at that size and hope the Koi will grow to a good size and keep the pattern. Yes they want the Koi to develop Sashi, and Kiwa wise but mainly they want the pattern to stay stable and grow with the Koi as it gets bigger.

A lot of people in the above situation buy Koi readymade kind of thing to compete at shows, if that is their purpose in the hobby.

Getting back to growing Koi, its difficult. When we want jumbo sizes anyway.

This Sanke is a Koi where we believe this is possible.

She was bought in 2015 in October 2015 at 67cms and was 2.5years old. She was bought 90% because of the body shape. The size came into it, Sansai at 67cms is by no means a large Sansai, you can get Sansai over 70cms. So the size was not really a big issue at the time, it was the body shape.

You often hear of people describing a female Koi’s body as a ‘cigar shape’ and this Koi has a perfect shape.

The shoulders you can see are large, the head is slightly bigger than the body. You can see that the body will follow in size.

She was left in Japan to grow with Igarashi as was harvested in October 2016.

I went on my own to meet up with Igarashi San to bowl her up after the harvest and photograph and video her for the client.

It was amazing really as we bowled her up, we both said at the same time… “Body”

He turned round and said “90cm easy”

It was good because we had not looked at the skin, the pattern or the beni/sumi. We both went straight to the body, that is what excited us about this Koi. We are still only now at Yonsai, so 3.5years old and she grew 10cms in the time growing in Japan. So she is now 77cm which IS good for a Yonsai Go-Sanke.

Thank fully, the Pattern, skin and Beni/Sumi quality were all superb. However we are still 2 years away from looking at this Koi as anywhere near finished or ready to be shown which is the Koi’s main purpose.

So buying Koi like this, is very much the long game. It’s a way of trying to buy a Koi with a good future, something the client is capable of growing and more importantly developing the Koi. It’s a way of not having to buy a Grand Champion for the asking price of a high end Grand Champion to win major shows.

The Koi was shipped to America in November 2016 and will now continue to develop at the clients facility.

So this is where the environment comes into it. There will be no mudponds now to grow the Koi, but again, length is not important right now. The body needs to continue to develop. We are hoping the Koi will hit 80cm next year, in fact we think this Koi will be 80cm within 6 months. IF this happens then we can concentrate on the other aspects of the Koi. The Beni is really think, so we expect in the next 2 years to become cherry red. This will of course depend a lot on food. The client also has an excellent knowledge of feeding and has a regime to suit this Koi. So over the next few years, some more colour food will be introduced but not too fast, slowly and ‘Sensibly’ introduced.

It really is a hard job to do, it’s hard exactly how to put into words how difficult it actually is. It’s just a different way of trying to buy a Koi. What we need to learn to see, plus the environment a Koi needs to be in.

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