I bought this Showa from Marudo. We call her Miss Hirasawa, named after the breeder. I put her in my pond three and a half years ago, and last year she won Grand Champion at the ZNA Show in Indianapolis, and this year she won the Reserve Champion here (Greater Louisville Koi Show; Louisville, Kentucky). [I’m] happy with her development.
The growth on the fish feels a combination of water quality and food. I probably have way more filtration on my pond than is necessary. A lot of aeration [to] try to exercise the fish. I probably should be moving more water than what I am; I move a fourteen thousand gallon pond probably about every 45 minutes, turn it over. I think that helps creating a lot of current with water. Air also helps the fish. I have an automatic feeder, so they get fed every couple of hours starting at size in the morning ’till about seven at night. Not a lot every feeding, but [it] keeps their belly full. I think it’s helped in the development of the body; the conformation has improved, so I’m happy with the TOMiGAi Food.
I feed mostly the Tategoi with some Spirulina during the warm months; Wheat Germ in the early spring. I heat my pond; it is eight [feet] for the exercise. I probably let it get down to about fifty-five degrees in the winter time. It is well insulated, so I think it really helps keeping the energy level of the fish up during the winter, along with the current exercise.
Again, I think the most important aspect of the Koi keeping is water quality. I can’t emphasize enough: Filtration. You don’t even want a low level of ammonia in your water, so before you spend a lot of money on fish, improve your filtration. It’s the number one thing. And of course, number two, after the good quality water with a reasonable quality fish, good genes, good background on the parents, nutrition is very important. So, don’t skimp and buy a bulk, inexpensive food for your fish. Spend a few extra dollars and buy a high quality food.