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JasonG
08-11-2009, 01:40 AM
Hello all,

For quite a while I have noticed that most of the serious or "purist" koi folks don't really consider butterfly's or long fins "real" koi. Even the other day I saw a post where a person mentioned X amount of real koi and 4 long fin.

Why is this? Is there a specific reason why butterflies are lesser fish than a standard finned koi? I know that on a hobbyist level it probably doesn't matter and is all about what you like. But when you get beyond the casual hobbyist I would like to know why they are not liked.

I apologize if this is a redundant post, but I haven't been able to really find the answer here.

Thanks!

Jason

Marilyn
08-11-2009, 02:08 AM
Boy, talk about a loaded question!

I'll bite, lol. When I started in the hobby with a horribly undersized pond and a few koi, the fish that caught my eye were all longfins. There was a beauty in the flow of their fins and they were easy to love.
Once I found KP prior to my pond redo, I discovered how poorly suited my first pond was for koi and general water quality. I rehomed all the fish and took a serious look at what was wrong with the pond and what I had to change for the next go round.
Interestingly, once the pond was built and through my exposure to KP I became a more serious hobbyist regarding quality. I became picky enough that I found (purely my own opinion here) that overall the standard koi conformed to my version of better quality that the butterfly koi did.
While I appreciate the beauty of butterfly koi, my heart belongs to the standard fins now. :D:

Super Kindai
08-11-2009, 02:15 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_Koi

Popularity
Butterfly koi are strongly disliked by many keepers of traditional koi who view the breed as inferior to koi. This polarization of traditional keepers may be the reason why some koi retailers do not sell butterfly koi, and why many of Japanís famous and most prestigious breeders do not breed butterfly koi today. They are largely unpopular in Europe and Asia, but are popular in the United States where they are more readily available. The popularity of these fish in the United States has earned them the nickname American Koi.`

Hirogoi
08-11-2009, 04:46 AM
I like em.

Really it comes down to what you like/want. The more I look at traditional fish the more I want an all standard fin pond, but then I also have many hundreds of baby butterflies at the moment. To me I love good butterflies, but find more and more I want qualities associated with standard koi in my butterflies so I keep getting more and more picky about them. I think they can look really nice on the solid colored fish as long as they are clean solids, especially metallics.

DebbieKSW
08-11-2009, 04:56 AM
In Australia they are not even welcome at a show or club run auction.
There is a definite bias toward standard fin.I guess we appreciate the original traditional look.

six6guy
08-11-2009, 04:49 PM
I keep what I prefer and that happens to be the traditional fin Koi... I like the powerful but yet graceful moves. However I keep Sassafras Comets (longfin goldfish) in my water garden.

I have read a few places where they are called both "American Koi" and "Long Fin Carp". I'm not real sure if the AKCA acknowledges them as a Koi type. Does anybody know if they are a recognized type for show competition? (either here in the states or in Japan)

Brad

EricT
08-11-2009, 05:26 PM
i like longfins because, i find them peaceful, and something about them makes me just calm down every time i see them swimming slowly with their fins flowing behind them.

koiman1950
08-11-2009, 10:54 PM
I keep what I prefer and that happens to be the traditional fin Koi... I like the powerful but yet graceful moves. However I keep Sassafras Comets (longfin goldfish) in my water garden.

I have read a few places where they are called both "American Koi" and "Long Fin Carp". I'm not real sure if the AKCA acknowledges them as a Koi type. Does anybody know if they are a recognized type for show competition? (either here in the states or in Japan)

Brad

Good question Brad. I had heard a rumor that AKCA was leaning towards "officially" making a category within judging standards for long fins. You will NEVER see ZNA do this as the organization does not reflect polarizing positions on what is and what is NOT a Nishikigoi! In this humble person's opinion, they will never make the grade due to the lack of interest in breeding them by the Japanese breeders. There are a few who do it in Japan, but it's mostly for export to us Gaijin in the US. Behind our backs, they're laughing all the way to the bank.

I'm glad a lot of folks enjoy them in their pond, but I guess you'd better put me in the "purist" ranks as I'll never have one in my pond. As a breed, they are, at this point, NOT considered under the umbrella of Nishikigoi!

Mike

gcuss
08-11-2009, 11:03 PM
Good question Brad. I had heard a rumor that AKCA was leaning towards "officially" making a category within judging standards for long fins. You will NEVER see ZNA do this as the organization does not reflect polarizing positions on what is and what is NOT a Nishikigoi! In this humble person's opinion, they will never make the grade due to the lack of interest in breeding them by the Japanese breeders. There are a few who do it in Japan, but it's mostly for export to us Gaijin in the US. Behind our backs, they're laughing all the way to the bank.

I'm glad a lot of folks enjoy them in their pond, but I guess you'd better put me in the "purist" ranks as I'll never have one in my pond. As a breed, they are, at this point, NOT considered under the umbrella of Nishikigoi!

Mike


Well put. And seconded!

Grant

Boxerluver
08-12-2009, 12:24 AM
Thank you Super Kindai for finally answering an unasked question. What does hirenaga mean? My wife only wants longfin koi, where myself prefer standard fin.

premster
08-12-2009, 12:47 AM
if I am not mistaken they come from indonesian long fin carp . so they may be a different species altogether . So the classification nishikigoi may not apply . I wonder if it applies to doitsu though ?

majederr
08-12-2009, 12:49 AM
So, if you prefer long fin/butterfly koi, then you are not a serious koi keeper? Hmmm, will have to keep that one from my husband:D: I have both, but love the long fin/butterfly. And they eat, swim and poop like real koi:rolleyes:

six6guy
08-12-2009, 01:21 AM
if I am not mistaken they come from indonesian long fin carp . so they may be a different species altogether . So the classification nishikigoi may not apply . I wonder if it applies to doitsu though ?

Although Doitsu originally came from Germany, they are seriously breed in Japan and they are recognized by the AKCA.

Brad

danzcool
08-12-2009, 04:10 AM
Although Doitsu originally came from Germany, they are seriously breed in Japan and they are recognized by the AKCA.

Brad

talk about the double standard:rolleyes:

the longfin Indonesian carp is/was a sub variant of Carpio carpio (common Carp), much like the leather carp from Germany and the colored carp of Japan, I'm guessing the leather carp was bred into the koi lines before the supremacy group ZNA was formed (1968ish?), so they were grandfathered into the standard because the deed had already been done.

Whenever I talk to people and realize they have this supremest attitude against longfins, I start referring to Nishikigoi as "ornamental carp" and the red and white ones or the calico one, or use the English versions of the japanese names for example instead of Ai Goromo: "blue robed", instead of Ochiba Shigure: "autumn leaves on water", sumi and beni become black and red, etc. I think my sarcasm is to deep for them and they assume I am not educated in the Japanese terms and appreciation, which is fine by me, I have no need to impress anyone.

I personally keep about a 50/50 mix of standrard/longfin ornamental carp. They (longfin) add a different aspect of appreciation and it is much harder to find good examples.

Super Kindai
08-12-2009, 04:23 AM
Thank you Super Kindai for finally answering an unasked question. What does hirenaga mean? My wife only wants longfin koi, where myself prefer standard fin.
Hi, hirenaga mean, hire = fin(s) and naga = long, longfins (koi) . lol

Carl
08-12-2009, 08:30 AM
It's a hobby with a couple of umbrella organizations that make the "rules" for showing koi. They get to decide what the standards are and they have determined that longfins are not "koi" for purposes of showing.

If you look to dog showing for comparison, t's kind of like saying that "koi" are show carp, and everything else are "mutts." Since most people don't show, that determination is irrelevant to most koi keepers. However, many dog owners enjoy owning "purebreds" even though they don't show.

As a practical matter, it's easy for the orgs to include doitsu and exclude longfins because you can pretty much judge doitsu and standard koi by the same standards. Not only do longfins generally have a different body shapes, I don't think they look as nice when they do have the same body type as standard koi. It's a totally difference esthetic.

Simply put, if you want to show koi, you need "show" carp. If you want to keep ornamental carp, keep what you like. :cool3:

mpageler
08-12-2009, 02:45 PM
I could be way off base but I'm guessing that the purist or anti-LF camps are in the minority. That the bulk of most koi are still bought by water gardeners and those that are starting to move up through the koi appreciation ladder. And that the percentage those showing koi is still relativey small compare to the overall koi keeping population. So in that regards, you buy what you like and what makes you happy and not be swayed by a minority viewpoint. On the other hand, if someone wants a pond of show quality, femail only gosankes, if that makes you happy, that's what's right for you.

JasonG
08-12-2009, 03:53 PM
Thanks for all the response's!

The answer is what I was expecting to hear, it is a Japanese thing and they don't view or accept them in competition as koi. We run into this viewpoint in upper level bonsai quite a bit too. If the Japanese say it is so then there is no other way, period. Ofcourse this is crazy, but the Japanese still lead the world in bonsai for now.

In my pond I happen to have a mix, about 15 regular koi and about 5 koi with longer than normal fins,lol!! However I am on a kick right now that I want lots of butterflies so I just picked up 10- 4" longer than nomal finned koi and will order a few boxes this coming spring from wholesale vendors. Knowing that I will give away or sale many only keeping the ones that show potential to be pretty in my pond.

I agree 100% that the vast majority of koi keepers will never show a fish, myself included and I also agree that when it comes to koi or bonsai or whatever, it is what I like and what makes me happy. At the end of the day I really think a nice mix of regular and longer than normal finned koi will look really nice in the pond.:cool:

Thanks so much for the replies, it has shed some light on this for me.

Regards, Jason

Simi Koi
08-12-2009, 03:54 PM
before you can determine if longfins are in fact "koi" then you must first define what a koi is. If the definition of a koi is dictated by "show standards" then longfin koi are not koi. They have different body shapes, different fin shapes, etc.

However if you define what a koi by genetics, then longfin koi ARE koi. Longfins have been crossed back and fourth with standard koi so many time there is not genetic difference other then one small trait that tells the fins to keep growing. The simple fact that they can breed and produce fertile offspring means they are close enough genetically to be considered the same species. Would the offspring from Labrador and a Terrier not be considered a "dog" and the very least?

Also, consider this, many Japanese breeders have crossed longfins into the existing stocks to indtroduce some of the hardiness they have back into their bloodlines. So some of the "koi" you have may very well have longfins parents or grandparents. Are they not to be considered koi because of this?

99% of the people in this hobby will never enter a koi in a show, just like 99% of dog owners will never show. Buy what you like. If you like longfins, buy them, if you don't, then don't. I for one consider them "koi" in the broader genetic definition but I won't be petitioning the clubs to allow them in shows either. But I wouldn't protest if they had their own category with their own standards of judging.

Super Kindai
08-12-2009, 05:41 PM
My personal story about a longfins koi.
It was several years ago, when I visited a Japanese breeder in CA, I found a large number of 4" longfins platinum Ogon in tanks. I asked him (a breeder) where did you get them? He told me that he bred himself because longfins become more popular so the sales of longfins koi is better than standard fins sales as a wholesale business. while I kept watching them, he offered me to take some for free if you like. so, I picked one and brought it to my home.

A few years later, the longfins Ogon grew to 25" or so including the tail and she stood out in my pond maybe because there was only Ogon in my pond and the fins were nearly perfect shape with strong sheen.

then, there were interesting observations on her among my friends......
most of all my non-koi friends, relatives, the neighbors, my wife & children friends chose the longfins ogon as a best fish in my pond. lol,,, I understood because she obviously stood out by its sheen, fins and a way of swimming gracefully.
On the other hand, all of my (serious) koi friends always blame me in joke mood for having a longfins koi in my pond when they saw her.

I personally enjoyed the longfins ogon a lot but eventually rehomed it just because the sheen became dull as she grew older. If she could hold first-class sheen, that fish would still swimming in my pond.......maybe :D:

kitfoxdrvr
08-12-2009, 10:36 PM
I smile everytime I hear this debate...

A few years ago I was at a show talking to one of the judges about this subject. He used an analogy of wine drinkers that I thought was funny but appropriate.

He said new wine drinkers could care less about the origin, vintage or price of a wine-they all taste equally good (or bad! :clap:). In fact, usually the most popular with novices in taste tests are the wines that are sweeter and "less refined". But as a novice moves slowly to connoisseur, his/her tastes begin to conform to the tastes of other connoisseurs, even though their initial, natural tastes may have preferred the cheap, sweet wines.

The dog example mentioned above by simi koi is appropriate, and the growing acceptance of the new "designer" breeds is a good example of a transition period. Cockapoos (read mutts) are sometimes accepted as a breed. :yes: Koi may go through the same type of transition over time.

A koi novice very likely will prefer longfins, but as they move farther into the hobby, traditional "biases" shift all of our opinions/tastes. No matter how resistant we think we are to pressure from peers, we are all susceptible to pressure from those we perceive as superior. Right now, that would be the breeders and elite hobbiests in Japan. Until they welcome LFs into the fold, few advanced kichi elsewhere will accept LF conformation as premier examples of the art.

Me, I like a cheap merlot and a skinny LF, but I can also appreciate a nice Italian red and a fat three step kohaku. And I welcome both on my table and in my pond! (OK, the wine on the table and the fish in the pond, geez! :yahoo:)

Steve

gcuss
08-12-2009, 11:46 PM
I disagree with the dog analogy...

Take a salmon, breed it to a koi. Is it a koi? Nope, but it is a fish.

Take a Poodle, breed it to a Lab. Is it a lab? Nope but it is a dog.

A koi is a type of fish IMO, and a long fin is a different type of fish.

If I loved Labradoodles, good for me. But I wouldn't be insulted if people told me it's not a purebred poodle, or a lab.... it is what it is and I would appreciate it for what I got it for in the first place...

.02 cents.

Grant

kitfoxdrvr
08-13-2009, 12:05 AM
Grant:

Your examples are outside of the same genera, whereas simi's example of dogs is within the same species! But, you are correct in that ALL analogies are subject to dismissal by definition; after all, they are analogies!

My point with the cockadoodle was that they are now starting to be recognized as a BREED of dog (like kohaku, showa and sanke are "breeds" of koi), eligible for show, and not just a mutt anymore. Which is what many koi elite consider BFs ("mutts").

I am on the fence; I just wanted to relate the analogy (oops!) a respected judge gave to me with the wine...

Steve

six6guy
08-13-2009, 12:13 AM
If she could hold first-class sheen, that fish would still swimming in my pond.......maybe :D:

A bit off original topic, but... I have two male fish that are past their prime and have lost most of the skin quality, but I still keep them. They are both 14 years old now. In their day, they were something to behold.

The Kin Rin Aka Bekko is named Nova. The Goshiki is named Cinco.

Brad

JasonG
08-13-2009, 12:53 AM
So, if a butterfly isn't considered a koi how does one explain the breeds? What I mean is lets take for example a shushui or asagi that is a butterfly. One has shorter fins while one has longer fins yet both are asagi breeds, same colors, same patterns, etc...

I hear that butterflys are skinnier than a normal koi. I have yet to really see this in person. I have seen some 36" butterlies that were pretty fat. maybe the longer fins lead to this skinny illusion, or the koi I saw were over fed? Not sure.

Thanks, Jason

davidjensen
08-13-2009, 01:23 AM
I like a mix of KOI in my pond and the length of the fins should not be a determining factor as to the breed of the fish. My favorite Koi of all times was just bread at Pan Intercorp and they have sold many LF from previous breadings. How serious you are about this hobby should not be determined by the herd in your pond or the expensive filters on the back end. Many of us cannot afford the big buck Koi and equipment, so we build our own that does the job and buy small koi and grow them. Does that make us less koi kichi? It seams strange to me that one who loves this hobby can think that another who also loves the hobby is any lesser due to the herd in his pond.

JasonG
08-13-2009, 01:44 AM
I like a mix of KOI in my pond and the length of the fins should not be a determining factor as to the breed of the fish. My favorite Koi of all times was just bread at Pan Intercorp and they have sold many LF from previous breadings. How serious you are about this hobby should not be determined by the herd in your pond or the expensive filters on the back end. Many of us cannot afford the big buck Koi and equipment, so we build our own that does the job and buy small koi and grow them. Does that make us less koi kichi? It seams strange to me that one who loves this hobby can think that another who also loves the hobby is any lesser due to the herd in his pond.

Well said, and I dig the koi!

Super Kindai
08-13-2009, 03:04 AM
A bit off original topic, but... I have two male fish that are past their prime and have lost most of the skin quality, but I still keep them. They are both 14 years old now. In their day, they were something to behold.

The Kin Rin Aka Bekko is named Nova. The Goshiki is named Cinco.

Brad
:cool:.

I have a magoi about 12 -13 years old that my son caught it in a river.:D:
she once received second place in Kawarimono category at a local koi show. :eek1::D:

Super Kindai
08-13-2009, 03:06 AM
[QUOTE=davidjensen;1673025]QUOTE]

Oh, It is a good fish, isn't it?

Super Kindai
08-13-2009, 03:08 AM
well, this fish is called Hirenaga Nishikigoi in Japan.....:yes:

six6guy
08-13-2009, 12:04 PM
well, this fish is called Hirenaga Nishikigoi in Japan.....:yes:

Wow. Do you know how old that is? I know the fins get longer at around age 3 or 4, so was curious if that is the full length of the fins.

Brad

beckesj
08-13-2009, 02:21 PM
I absolutely love longfins!

Super Kindai
08-14-2009, 01:35 AM
Wow. Do you know how old that is? I know the fins get longer at around age 3 or 4, so was curious if that is the full length of the fins.

Brad
Hi Brad, I read the article throughout but could not find the age of that longfins sanke. my guess is Ake Nisai or Nisai.
...With that pattern & quality, the fish is a Nishikigoi....:D:
http://shintakataki.hp.infoseek.co.jp/aisatu.html

MikeS
08-14-2009, 10:16 AM
Wow wish I could read Japanese, Akasaka Kazuya seems to be very experienced and knowledgeable:bow:

koiman1950
08-14-2009, 03:06 PM
Very interesting discussion! Junichi, thanks for posting the information. That last Hirenaga Sanke is really beautiful, even with the longer fins, the "quality" of the fish is outstanding.

I've been pondering this whole theme for a while now. A couple thoughts/rationale that come to mind:

Prem mentioned that the base genetic root for longfins comes from the interbreeding of Indonesian carp with Nishikigoi. So, it was the stable varieties of Nishikigoi that had the introduction of the genetic code of the Indonesian carp added to increase the size/length of the fins. Well, when the German scaled (Doitsu) carp was introduced into Japan as a food source, it was solely to make it easier to prep the fish for the dinner table (fewer scales to remove). Some Japanese Nishikigoi breeder decided to introduce this genetic code into his Nishikigoi. This became popular amongst the Japanese koi collectors of the time, as the colors, at young ages, appeared cleaner and brighter than their Wagoi counterparts. So, due to the popularity (and money making ability) the breeders began producing more and more to satisfy the supply/demand of their customers(read: MARKETING/PROFIT MARGINS). While the Doitsu varieties held a strong market value, the Japanese decided to include them as a sub-varietal classification within the show classifications. BUT, they are STILL judged separately from Wagoi, even at the All Japan Show level. We have followed suit here and the rest of the world as well. But, you won't see a Japanese Koi Show that accepts long fin (Hirenaga) even in the small local club shows!

Long fins have actually been around for over 20 years and as such, if the Japanese would have found a strong marketability for these within their hobbyist circles, the same thing would have happened. They would find a way to get them included as a sub varietal classification for shows and would allow them to compete, albeit, within their own show classification.

Westerners have a different approach to many things, including copying Japanese landscaping or Bonsai - albeit with an "adaptation" of the original concepts. As with Nishikigoi, there are MANY , MANY underlying currents of religious and artistic concepts that are at the basis of the end results. Anyone who has TRULY studied the philosphies behind Japanese landscapes can attest, that average person who attempts to TRULY emulate a Japanese garden, fall well short of their goals simply because they haven't truly grasped the foundational philosophies behind the creation. I believe, within an artistic/genetic foundation, we have taken a form of ART, and transformed it to fit our own needs, wants, desires.

So it goes without saying, really, that if you like it and it is within your means to possess it, then who's to say it's right or wrong. You don't have to live by the "purist" idealism to have fun in this hobby. It's really about how you perceive it all. As mentioned, we, in the Western world, don't see Bonsai the same. We all don't share the same background philosophies surrounding these forms of art as the creators who began the journey so many years ago either. So, whatever "tilts your kilt" is great. We could probably debate this until the end of time and nobody would really win the debate. The old addage (sp) of "agree to disagree" kinda comes to mind here.

Yes, David J., this is a very diverse hobby - everyone should enjoy it for what it is!

Mike

danzcool
08-14-2009, 05:45 PM
I still say that the ZNA was not around when the leather carp blood was introduced and they were around when the lonfin carp blood was introduced. Longfins were very popular with the breeders before the ZNA proclaimed them not koi and therefore not able to be in a koi show. So, this is an issue of a non-democratic supposed "hobbiest" organization standing in the way of progress.
The fact that some people consider long fins an abomination is their perogative, but they shouldn't project their tunnel vision on everyone else.

koiman1950
08-14-2009, 06:11 PM
So, this is an issue of a non-democratic supposed "hobbiest" organization standing in the way of progress.

Well, Dan, I guess their definition of "progress" is different than ours!? It sure hasn't stopped the breeders from moving forward with strong improvements within standard fin koi! And, it really doesn't stop any breeder who wishes to breed long fin for export from doing so. Even Toshio Sakai sees some "profit margin" in this and is breeding some metallic monochromatic long fins.

I guess if it smells like money, and makes you a ton of money, it must be worth some effort, even if only for export, right?

Super Kindai
08-14-2009, 09:29 PM
I still say that the ZNA was not around when the leather carp blood was introduced and they were around when the lonfin carp blood was introduced. Longfins were very popular with the breeders before the ZNA proclaimed them not koi and therefore not able to be in a koi show. So, this is an issue of a non-democratic supposed "hobbiest" organization standing in the way of progress.
The fact that some people consider long fins an abomination is their perogative, but they shouldn't project their tunnel vision on everyone else.
1904 German carp imported to Japan for food purpose.

1906 Doitu Asagi, a.k.a. Shusui the first Doitu version nishikigoi, was bred by a goldfish breeder & dealer in Tokyo.

1912 the first Nishikigoi show in Niigata Prefecture.

1912-1926 ( During Taisho era) Doitu Kohaku and Doitu Sanke were bred by crossbreed Shusui repeatedly with Kohaku and sanke.

1914 Nishikigoi introduced to an exhibition in Tokyo.

1965 All Japan ZNA was established.

1970 All Japan Nishikigoi Shinkoukai was established.

1980 Indonesia longfins koi was imported.

1982 the first longfins Nishikigoi was bred in a national fisheries experimental laboratory in Saitama Prefecture.

* Longfins nishikigoi was simply not accepted by breeders & hobbyists in the nishikigoi industry of Japan.

* Doitu goi positively crossbred with Nishikigoi by breeders in order to improve wagoi's body conformation and growth speed.
As a result, All Japan shinkoukai has set a Doitu class as a independent category in koi shows in order to generalize from the improvement.

Skye
08-15-2009, 05:42 PM
None of the arguments for or against really matter to me. I love both varieties -- I love the sleek classic lines of the Nishikigoi and I love the graceful flowing fins of the butterflies. It's all apples and oranges.

I liked the dog comparison, purebreds vs mutts. Many purebred breeders turn their noses up at mutts, but mutts are still dogs with common ancestors to the purebreds. Our little mutt, Tillie, outlived all of our purebred dogs and was smarter and healthier by far. None of my fish are show quality, but I really don't care. I have a mix of both longfins and standard fins.