The koi fish in this group is highly sought after by hobbyist especially the Hi type because their colors are the most distinctive and attractive compared to the others. Most of the fish are judged and valued based on their colors, size and appearance. The colors must be bright and intense while in terms of size, fish that develops a strong body mass buildup can easily command a selling price that amounts to few thousands. Most people prefer to buy juvenile Showa to raise them to become adult fish because not only price is a factor but it is more fun watching them grow and develop. However one major setback is that most hobbyist learned and found out that most of these fish can actually change coloration as they develop. Some can actually lose the black coloration while others gain and the pattern arrangement will be different when they grow older. Among the most treasured is the Inazuma breed which has the lightning bolt pattern zigzagging across its body.
Feeding your pet Showa with the right food is very important because during their early development stage, an uneven diet can hinder their proper growth. Vitamins are often regularly fed to the fish and tanning under sunlight is needed to bring out the colors. Some people actually go to the extent of purchasing a special glowing light to shine towards the pond but I feel that using natural sunlight is usually sufficient in most cases. Of course the Japanese will never reveal to you their secrets of developing a champion Showa, so every method that we use is purely based on trial and error learned though observation. Don’t worry about development of algae because some green water quality is actually good for the fish in the long run. (However, if green water starts to become a problem due to the exposure of sunlight, willow method for algae control can be used.)
Judging a Showa and selecting the best koi in show competitions can sometimes turn out to be very tricky because there are certain standards set upon by the panel of judges. Other than visible defects and body shape appearance, the overall pattern arrangement will also determine whether the fish qualifies for the trophy which means that the color patch must balance out each other on both sides of the body. Other considerations include first impression seen upon when you view the fish and all these can sometimes make a whole lot of difference.
Related koi fish topics and pond management:
Koi pond bottom drain installation, Identifying Bekko Koi and Chagoi