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Thread: Tosai to nisai

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    Senior Member Rank = Yonsai Whitey79's Avatar
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    Tosai to nisai

    So what is the general thoughts on this tosai that are brought in by dealers not sold and are now turning nisai and haven't grown much so I'm looking for a shiro utsuri from omasako gatwick has these for sale as grow ons from 18cm to say 25 cm they are or very close to nisai is it worth buying or waiting for this year's tosai and buying these at say 12cm to 16cm



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    Senior Member Rank = Mature Champion samp09's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitey79 View Post
    So what is the general thoughts on this tosai that are brought in by dealers not sold and are now turning nisai and haven't grown much so I'm looking for a shiro utsuri from omasako gatwick has these for sale as grow ons from 18cm to say 25 cm they are or very close to nisai is it worth buying or waiting for this year's tosai and buying these at say 12cm to 16cm

    All fish that came as tosai in spring will already be Nisai. So if a fish was spawned in summer 2021, came over here in spring as a tosai 2022, then by November it is a Nisai. You can get plenty of Tosai over 20cm etc in early spring but ultimately if you like the fish you should go for it, if you are heated for example, you could easily squeeze as much growth as possible out of a fish in the 9 years or so they grow for.
    For myself personally, I kind of feel like I wouldn't want to buy a Nisai under 40cm from a shop, just personal preference with no reasoning behind it. This would be the same fish in the earlier example but if I was to buy it in the autumn harvest which would be a month or two back, when I collected it by April I would expect it to be over 40cm. Saying that, the slower growers could be the females.

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    Senior Member Rank = Yonsai Whitey79's Avatar
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    Samp that is my sort of thinking over the size im looking saying it's lost 6 months of growth and the left overs nobody else wants but then the prices are also vastly different a 40 cm plus omasako will run you minimum of 500 were as a starved shop tosai/nisai 25 cm will be alot cheaper and will it have a growth spurt in a heated well feed pond or will it stay small

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    Senior Member Rank = Mature Champion samp09's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whitey79 View Post
    Samp that is my sort of thinking over the size im looking saying it's lost 6 months of growth and the left overs nobody else wants but then the prices are also vastly different a 40 cm plus omasako will run you minimum of 500 were as a starved shop tosai/nisai 25 cm will be alot cheaper and will it have a growth spurt in a heated well feed pond or will it stay small
    On thing to think about is not all fish are the same and the growth can never be guaranteed or expected. For example, I got my first fish in my pond around this sort of time in 2020. One was a 19cm Karashigoi which was a tosai. I had various issues with the pond in the first year and coming into spring of 2021, that fish was 31cm. Now that happened mostly from August when I done a complete drain and refill and September/October time when the water cooled. In other words, the growth from January to August was about 3cm if I remember correctly. Roll on to autumn 2021, that same fish is now 45cm and would be sansai now. 14cm growth in a year as a Nisai, more than the usual faster period as a Tosai.

    In spring 2021 I got an Isa Showa delivered which was a Nisai from queni koi at 43cm. Come autumn time this fish was 48cm but the whole body of this fish is deeper and broader. That isn't the most impressive growth and a younger fish than the karashigoi which is an older fish. The showa is also female, but it's crazy to think from its birth in summer 2019, to November 2020 when Queni measured it (after having it delivered at 30cm in spring 2020) it had grown 13cm, yet only made 5cm of growth all summer with constant feeding etc where other fish had grown considerably in the same period. I also have a Gin Rin Asagi which was Nisai in Nov 2020 and that only grew around 2cm all last year (male).

    I guess I am rambling a bit here but the point I am trying to make is all these fish are pretty close in age, and yet the growth rates are substantially different. Looking at my records now, my now Gosai Goshiki and Sansai karashigoi grew the most out of my koi that are nisai and older. I got 14cm out of a Byer kohaku tosai which made it 39cm at nisai in autumn but moved it on as it lost all the beni and this growth was still only the same as my sansai karashigoi!

    As I mentioned before, if you really like the fish then go for it, but it is a case of paying more for the bigger nisai unfortunately if you are worried about growth rates. I am the same though, I get put off when I see a fish that's smaller than the others at the same age even though realistically it probably won't make a great deal of difference, especially if you are not heated and running perfect conditions in your pond. Then there's genetics etc.

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    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    I was reading an article written by Mike Snaden about the very early days of soft/hard water and fitting RO to Koi ponds.

    I do not remember all the detail but what really stood out was that he installed RO to a friend's small and mature pond containing koi that were 5 to 8 years old and very modest in size.

    He explained how over the following couple of years the quality of these koi improved remarkable and they grew significantly size and the owner had never previously succeeded in obtaining strong growth.

    Whilst the growth of these koi was not the main focus of the article, it does offer hope that small undersized koi even those that are a good number of years old do have the potential to "catch up".

    Growing koi big is something I've not been able to achieve (my biggest in the mid to high 50's) but I've certainly bought Nisai that were smaller than some of my Tosai yet they ended up outgrowing the Tosai, usually in just one season.

    If the koi is right and the price is right I'd say give it a go and see what you can get out of it.


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    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    Another thing to think about in general.

    Ignoring age for a minute, If you see a bowl of 20 koi at a dealer all from one breeder and all between say 25cm and 30cm, you might naturally focus your attention on the 30cm ones thinking they will be the better growers.

    But for all you know that entire bowl of koi might be the runts of the spawning the breeder has sold off due to having no growth prospects, while the breeder is holding on to the 35-40cm ones from the same spawning to sell at a premium.

    Or alternatively you might be looking at a bowl of Tobi's the breeder has moved on to give the smaller koi in the spawning better growth prospects.

    You never know for sure what the growth potential is from any bowl of koi at any size, only to go for the ones with bodies that look ripe for growth.

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    Senior Member Rank = Mature Champion samp09's Avatar
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    Well said Rs, pretty much summed up what I was trying to say without all the blabbing! I was talking to Deron from select Nishikigoi at the all England koi show when purchasing a chagoi he had spawned himself and he said it had been a learning curve, especially in the sense of the size with all the bigger tosai being male fish and the females were all smaller, and whilst the males are bigger as tosai we all know the females will surpass them for size later down the line.

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    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samp09 View Post
    Well said Rs, pretty much summed up what I was trying to say without all the blabbing!
    Lol, I am sure that is not the case.

    After writing both those posts I thought to myself, why did I write all that, nobody is going to read all that waffle!

    But I'm glad you liked it.

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    Senior Member Rank = Yonsai Whitey79's Avatar
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    No thank you both rs and samp I read them all

    Now one thing I didn't know which I have just learned is the males are bigger at tosai now I thought they would be the females

    Having a 30yr fishing hobbie I do understand that environment does dictate growth as much as genetics does with fish a f1 is not going 40lb and a lennie carp is never doing 40lb in 5yrs and a simmo is never going to be a grand champion in looks

    But I wasn't sure if koi would if held back growth wise could catch it up in know omasako are renowned for great genetics for body and colour so that was my starting point

    I'm waffling now I suppose what I was trying to say was would you all buy a 20cm nisai for the right price

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    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    I would probably give it a go if the koi ticked every box and the price was irresistible.

    I guess if you don't set your hopes up too much for huge growth you'll be ok. I think it would be difficult not to get almost any koi up to mid to high 40's so if you accept that as a target anything beyond would be a bonus.

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    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    I've been having this very conversation with sam about some of mine as I was worried about growth at the given age with in a month of being in the grow on one of them had done 3,4 cm growth so for me it's working out very well at the moment

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    Senior Member Rank = Jussai Twhitenosugar's Avatar
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    I did... I got two Omosako Shiro Utsuri's from Gatwick koi in the summer.

    One was 215 and I got the other for free, so it was a pretty good deal, especially with the pattern on one of them.

    They were nisai and about 23cm. I've got them in a heated grow on and although I've not measured them yet (that reminds me, I must get a net for my grow on tank), they are both around the 30cm mark now. So reasonable growth but not spectacular.

    I had similar concerns. But then realised that my main pond being unheated is probably more of a barrier to huge growth than their genetics. So stopped worrying about it.

    I think most koi can get up to 60cm, and my pond isn't huge so it's not the end of the world if a few stop there. Although it would be good to have a few monsters.

    My plan is to get the two Utsuri's up to 50cm in my grow on and then get them into the main pond in the summer.

    I didn't know that about the females generally being smaller when they are young. Interesting.



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    Last edited by Twhitenosugar; 12-01-2022 at 06:57 PM.
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    Senior Member Rank = Jussai Twhitenosugar's Avatar
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    I recall reading an article that said animals fall into one of two camps.

    One lot having a limited period of growth, after which they won't really grow anymore e.g. humans

    And the other where they have the 'potential' to grow throughout their life. And included in this category were fish.

    That gave me some heart that koi could 'potentially' keep growing, even if they are quite a few years old, providing the conditions and genetics won't restrict them that is.





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    Senior Member Rank = Yonsai Whitey79's Avatar
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    Here is the bowl of tosai/nisai I have to chose from Irc 18 25 cm Screenshot_2022-01-12-18-43-01.jpg

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    Senior Member Rank = Supreme Champion Ajm's Avatar
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    Them 2 for me . Not reason other than I like the look them .

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    Senior Member Rank = Yonsai Whitey79's Avatar
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    The bottom one is one of my favourites and the one next to it on the right it looks like the sumi will push through across the back and join to give a nice 2 step pattern

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    Senior Member Rank = Jussai Twhitenosugar's Avatar
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    I also liked the one on the right where the Sumi should come through.

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    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion davethefish1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twhitenosugar View Post
    I recall reading an article that said animals fall into one of two camps.

    One lot having a limited period of growth, after which they won't really grow anymore e.g. humans

    And the other where they have the 'potential' to grow throughout their life. And included in this category were fish.

    That gave me some heart that koi could 'potentially' keep growing, even if they are quite a few years old, providing the conditions and genetics won't restrict them that is.





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    i think there must be a lot of truth to that, a carp will still continue to grow for a long time certainly more than 5 or 6 years....
    else you wouldn't have 60lb+ carp in the uk...

    look at 'mary' transferred from Rayners, to Wraybury @ a monster 120 acres of rich natural food filled lake in 1986 at 27lb and already a fairly 'old' fish.

    in 1988 was caught just shy of 29lb, then in 1991 at 45lb by sir pete, before terry had her at the uk record weight in 1996 at 55lb!
    just shows what good water and good plentiful supply of food can do....
    of course the 120 acres helps a little too







    Last edited by davethefish1; 13-01-2022 at 05:34 PM.

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    Senior Member Rank = Grand Champion RS2OOO's Avatar
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    My choices.

    Would probably go for one on left as my first choice in the bowl.

    2nd from right looks like it might have really nice skin, and potential for good pattern, but from this angle at least the body looks weak and particularly shallow at the back.

    Top one is hard to tell due to poor photo quality, but I'd definitely want a closer look at it and would probably end up choosing between that one and 2nd from right as my 2nd pick.



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    Senior Member Rank = Yonsai Whitey79's Avatar
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    Dave what a fish Mary was and Brazil and the bishop they don't make records that good looking anymore as for size it's more width than llength don't you find I also read somewhere that big carp also let of some sort of signal or something that keeps the smaller carp in the lake smaller take Mary as an example whilst she was alive the other fish never really challenged her weight wise and never drastically put on weight but when she died they all started to pile the weight on until one became the big girl again then the growing slowed again and apparently it's been noted across plenty of lakes to happen how true I don't know but food for thought hey

    Rs not bad choices there the one on the left has a nice body but I like alot of sumi and from the pictures there's not a lot of sumi and not a lot underlying from pics but the body looks amazing going to look at them I think on Sunday had a price on them at under 150 for omasako I suppose it might be worth a gamble

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