Goshiki Growout – I didn’t win…

…but I did learn a few things today. First the results of our competition. We took four Omosako goshiki purchased at the Koi Acres spring auction and fed them our “special” diets for a few months. The winner would be declared based upon change in length.

May 2017

We started off with four koi – I kept two of the koi, one as a spare. Good thing because the one I picked out originally lost a lot of color. I’m not a big fan of keeping koi that lose a lot of color, especially when they lose their red coloring. When red goes away it doesn’t come back. Poor Joselito became fertilizer for one of my evergreens.

July 2017, Manolete and Joselito – color loss🙁

The winner of the three remaining koi was the one raised by Cheng. I can’t tell you all his secret ingredients but it’s interesting to note that he put about 7 inches on this koi in a 200 gallon tank. Sai and I put about 5 inches on our koi. While Cheng’s won on growth, we think mine looks the best.

Goshiki Growout Results

My goshiki has the darker base and kept the darkest beni color. Trying to grow a koi quickly might not be the best thing for it’s pattern. For the winning koi, the future holds getting the existing beni thicker but it certainly won’t become redder. We’re going to follow up and check on our koi next summer to see if we have done a god job thickening up the beni.

I’m sworn to secrecy about the specific diet everyone followed but here are some good ideas:

  • think high protein for the growing season – obviously you want to check on the food you are using and perhaps you may want to use more than one kind of koi food
  • if you do use more than one kind of koi food – you should feed it each type separately…I’m kind of lazy so I think “mix up a batch and pour it in the automatic feeder.” Well you don’t know if your koi will pick out the pellets they like and not get food that might be higher in protein. This sounds like you might want two auto feeders on the pond.
  • if you’re going to supplement with some plant like food – you may want to PP it – 30 minutes, rinse with water, throw into the pond

I will say that I tried out some of the items my growout partners use and my koi were not impressed. In fact a lot of it ended up in our skimmer. Maybe there’s something I’m missing 🤣 It’s always nice to exchange ideas about raising koi. Of course I get a great deal out of it since I have not been in the hobby that long. Fast tracking knowledge comes with the support of friends.

winner, not winner and not winner – koi kichi friends

———-
I may not have won today but I did get a new koi. Sai asked if I wanted a kuchibeni Showa that he had purchased as a tosai and was no longer interested in raising. Well did you say “kuchibeni”? Of course! So I now have a Matsue Showa, about 20 inches long. I’m excited to see the sumi continue to develop.

Matsue Showa
Matsue Showa

No name yet and I’m actually behind in naming koi. The two little kuchibeni Showa tosai I purchased the other day are still nameless. I’m a little worried one or both will have some mishap since they love being in the skimmer. I didn’t have time to check out the new showa but maybe tomorrow I will bowl it if the weather is nice.

The pond builder and I decided to separate our two konishi karashigois. The two males have not been on the most stellar growth track. They are 23″ each and we think that they needed to be in the upper pond this past summer rather than the lower pond. Since Cheng seems to be a growth wizard, we decided to have him grow out Woodrow. I’m keeping Augustus who has a much more pleasant temperament. In about ten months we’ll see if the two koi have kept pace or if one has put on significantly more growth. I’m hoping I can get a head start by feeding a little more over the winter. This would require a heated garage – I think the pond builder is on that.

Woodrow (top) and Augustus (bottom) – both 23″, October 2017

We are redoing the floor of two garage bays this week. After all, we want the indoor living quarters for the koi to be nice. (Keeping koi requires a lot of checks to be written.) Setting up the indoor pool will have to wait until next weekend. Hopefully we can set the pool up and start up the system next Saturday. We’ll move the four largest koi in and let them have the pool to themselves for a week. Then we’ll start transferring the other koi a few at a time over two weeks. The pond builder had to redo the covering on the lower pond since the vinyl needed a little more support against the rain. The covering should keep the pond at a good temperature until late November. Next year we really need to figure out a heating system for the upper pond – the koi are getting too big to come indoors each winter.

second version of lower pond cover

Not much else happening in koi world here in Minnesota. I’m loving all the Facebook posts of the dealers in Japan and the beautiful new koi they are buying for clients and bringing back to the United States. I really need to plan a trip to Japan to see the koi farms. It’s not Japan but I’m excited to go visit Purdin Koi Farm next week…check the blog out next Thursday or Friday!

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