The most important things first:
Buying Koi is a matter of trust. Not only from the customer to the dealer, but much more important is the trust from the dealer to the breeder and exporter!!! Because this is the beginning of the story about security, and with that everything stands and falls......
We cooperate EXCLUSIVELY with the Samudra Koifarm (Yusuf Hermansyah) and the exporter Dan Kaizen (Dany Pribadi and Dhanimon Koi) in Indonesia! First, because we personally visited these 3 guys in Indonesia and got all the insights we needed to gain trust, and second, because we built a fantastic friendship with them that went way beyond a business relationship. We have learned from our 3 friends that Indonesia is really a jungle in the ornamental fish trade, and reliability and trust are everything!
There are a lot of areas in Indonesia where pretty good little breeders breed fantastic koi ... but no thanks, we value quality AND safety; and we know what we're talking about .... We're just talking about the Samudra Koifarm!
In general, there are koi in every breed in Indonesia as well as in Japan that have great potential, and there are koi that are left behind in the first few weeks. This is the breeder's part: the selection.
The koi we get from our Koifarm are the ones with the best potential, but even here, after a few weeks, you can see that there are some of them which grow extremely and there are also some that do not grow so fast.
The koi that we get from Indonesia have a huge size for their age. Of course, this is partly due to the predisposition just mentioned, but also because the fish swim there at very high temperatures the whole year.
We had a long talk with our chief official veterinarian, who originally comes from the fishing industry and she said that it is very normal for a carp fish to grow at a constant high water temperature about 1-1.5cm per week in the first months. This is simply because the metabolism is working at a high level at constant temperatures of 26-28°C. If feeding is still appropriate, then it is perfectly normal that the fish at 6 months can quickly have a size of 35+cm. This has nothing to do with fattening, but simply with the biology and metabolism of Koi.
And the constant high temperatures together with the fast working metabolism are also the reason why we can often determine the gender of the koi in the first months.
In response to the recurring question of how the koi of Samudra will continue to grow at our temperatures, we can say from our 2,5-years experience with them that they are developing very well. There are of course a few that grow more slowly, but as a result we can say that growing here in our inside tanks with 16-26 ° C (depending on the season) averaged 3-3.5cm in one month. We're very satisfied with that because we can only feed them in the sales season once a day.
Many customers who have bought Aragoke from us report that the development is more than satisfying.
Finally some words about the 'big koi' we saw when we visited the Koifarm:
Usually the koi that reach the 70cm mark (often younger then 2 years) are sold there immediately, because in Indonesia they don't have the customers for bigger koi. Further is the weather related risk in the Mudponds during the rainy season too high. Unfortunately, due to the enormous rain coming down in a very short time in the raining season, the PH in the mudponds often falls down too much and a lot of koi die during one night. So it is common practice not to keep fish longer than 60 or 70cm in the mudponds. That's why we saw only a very few of them which were bigger.
The Oyagoi are usually not shown to anyone and kept in secure concrete ponds. This is simply because very often the Oyagoi are stolen from the mudponds or basins. We were allowed to see a few of them: Doitsu Showa and Gosanke. The fishes had an approximate age of 3 years with sizes of 70-80cm. There was a female Sanke with her Kohaku daughter, who even passed her mother by 5cm. Unfortunately it was forbidden to take pictures because the location of the Oyagoi could be detected by publishing these photos ...
Of course we had many thoughts about the sensitivity of Indonesian koi during our witerperiods at the beginning. It was important for us to talk to people who have a neutral scientific point of view about this topic. So we talked to the chief of our veterinarian office, because she is really experienced in the topic of carp biology. She argued just as we thought:
A Koi belongs to the genus of Cyprinus Carpio. This means that he is a poikilotherm fish. This biological characteristic can not be lost by breeding in tropical temperatures within 50 years of koi breeding! This means that the koi of course could get problems if the temperature is swinging too fast because the fish tries to adjust the body temperature to the outside temperature. However, if that happens in the usual slow steps, then this is no problem for a koi bred in Indonesia, as it is for the Japanese koi.
Incidentally, the japanese koi have never experienced a winterperiod too. They are harvested from the mudponds before the beginning of the cold season and taken to the glasshouses.
After 2 winterperiods here in Germany all Aragoke and Kabuto survived in all of the customer ponds without any problems! Some with a heater, many without :-)
As stated in the beginning: Buying Koi is always a matter of trust. It begins with the breeder and exporter, if something goes wrong there, then the problems can not be rectified ...
We have built a very close relationship to Yusuf, the boss of the Samudra Koifarm and to our two exporters of Kaizen Koi (Dany and Dhanimon), that we are now really able to talk about real friendship in addition to the business relationship. And that's most important if you want to deal with Indonesian koi!
Indonesia is a jungle!!!
It took us over 2 years of closest and most personal cooperation with our 3 guys to get a really deep insight into how to breed Koi and do export in Indonesia ....
We decided: There are several areas with nice breeders there, who breed pretty nice and cheap koi.... BUT: We will never buy from any other breeder than Yusuf/Samudra!
Indonesia has a reputation among other tropical countries for being completely contaminated with KHV. This is of course exaggerated, but the risk is not low. Of course there is a relatively high KHV emergence, because in Indonesia nobody cares! It is simply due to the keeping conditions of the fish, which are completely different from ours.
The fish swim at least at 26 °C watertemp throughout the year. This means that the immune system is always up. The breeder keeps the fish during the whole year in the mudpond until they go on sale. And even in quarantine it is easy, because there is also at least 26° (even from the fresh water pipe you don't get colder water).
These water temperatures mean that there is very rarely an outbreak of KHV in Indonesia. No one knows if he has this virus in the pond / mudpond, and nobody cares. Why should he? It almost never breaks out!
And that's why we asked us: how do we get safe fish to Germany ......
Back to the matter of trust: Yusuf gave us 5 personal mudponds only for our koi, which he dries and disinfects after every harvest.
The Oyagoi (parents) for our varieties are safely kept. They swim behind a grid and under a roof, no animal and no person has access.
In Blitar at the Samudra koifarm we have our own quarantine station where only 2 persons have access: Yusuf himself and his absolutly reliable employee (Bima Raditya).
And step by step Yusuf is making every variety 100% safe for us. That costs a lot of time, effort and money, but we love to wait, because we have seen his Gosanke and Doitsu Gosanke........
To continue with the exporters: Dany and Dhanimon of Dan Kaizen are working now on a security level of German standards! They are able to put the fish under stress at the temperatures we demand (not just at fresh water temperatures of 26 ° C). After the import from Blitar of 20 hours the koi are stressed again for 2 days, gill samples are taken and then given to the State Fisheries Laboratory in Jakarta. There they test our fist round for KHV.
We sample several koi per mudpond. Yusuf says which fish were in one mudpond, and so in Jakarta they're strictly separated. And of course we separate the quarantine and sampling in Berlin exactly the same way!
This means that if something would happen, it would never affect all! Strict separation is important!
If everything is safe in Jakarta (parasites, KHV and bacterial stuff), then the fish come to Germany.
Here we do within the first 3-5 days after import with our veterinarian a larger KHV test incl. CEV in a private laboratory (Tauros diagnostics).
Then the fish are in quarantine for at least 4 weeks. After 4 weeks it starts again: we take the photoshoot.....
This means for the fish that they are kept in a bowl of fresh water for about 5-12 hours. It's hard for the koi, but everything is under control. We just want to stress, not kill...
After 2-3 days, our highest official veterinarian and epidemiological officer for fisheries in Berlin and Brandenburg comes and takes samples of gills, which she personally brings to our state laboratory.
There they are tested on KHV and SVC! We sample at least 40 fish per batch. If something is strange despite negative results, even if it is just a strange behavior, then we go on: we stress the koi again, test fish are used and we make further tests again if necessary.
And we keep the temperatures prescribed by the FLI (Friedrich-Loeffler-Institution, the Federal Research Institute for Animal Health)!!!
And when everything is safe then the fish can be sold! Whether it's wholesale or retail, we stand for the safety of Samudra, so first the koi go through Dan Kaizen's quarantine, and then through KGB's quarantine. And only then we are able to say with a good conscience: Indonesian Koi are safe;-)