- Entrants judged on size and variety
A LARGE variety of colourful creatures were on display at the ninth annual Eastern Cape Koi Show at Spargs parking lot over the weekend, attracting koi keepers and members of the public.
Local koi farmer Leon Krull was awarded the prize for supreme grand champion and reserve grand champion in the main category and Grens Primary School pupil Kayla Jordan, 7, was recognised as the kids supreme grand champion.
Committee member Peter Stockenstrom took the time to explain how the competition is adjudicated.
“Judges from the South African Koi Keepers Society judge the koi on size and variety.
“There are 14 varieties of fish and nine sizes. Each competitor brings up to 5m overall length of fish to the competition in each tank,” Stockenstrom said.
Koi fish were originally imported to South Africa from Japan and ideally grow and flourish when keepers pay attention to the management of water quality. Koi commonly live for 25 to 30 years but there have been some that have reached well over 100 years.
“We started this competition with just 10 entries and it has grown to a maximum of 22 entries some years.
“The quality of fish has improved remarkably, with more quality fish being imported from Japan and bred with local fish,” Stockenstrom added.
The winning Sanke koi was 73cm long and the runner-up Showa koi measured in at 78cm.
Krull said he believed it was the body shape, markings and luster of fish that allowed him to achieve grand champion status.
“The secret to success is to take good care of the koi from day one. Consistency is key,” Krull said.
The Kwelega farmer said his female Koi live in a 120000l pond, while his males live in a 35000l pond.
He only brings them together in spring and summer for breeding.
Krull said he began as an inexperienced koi keeper 10 years ago, with a small pond that the fish commonly jumped out of.
“After I visited Japan and saw how they did it, I came back and copied them and have been much more successful,” he said.