Purchased Koi from Pieter arrive in our little country
At the time of writing, January is almost over, the Koi world is preparing itself for the tosai hunt and the coming show violence. There is a small, but very annoying KHV been an outbreak in Japan, causing the entire Koi world to turn upside down. And I had my most stressful day of the Koi year 2019, the arrival of my purchased fish.
It is Wednesday 15 November 2018, yes you read that correctly, 2018. This while I am just writing 2019. But after my Japan Trip has my Koi year 2019 already started, dreaming about my fish, the show tickles and the activities for my articles for KoiQuestion and also for the NVN . But back to Wednesday 15 November 2018. It's late in the evening when I want to go to sleep, but I can't really sleep. Tomorrow the shipment will arrive at Schiphol and I just know that my fish are now on their way somewhere with the more than 30 hour journey.
Fortunately, today, Thursday 16 November 2018, I have not planned much and I do not have to drive to Schiphol this time either. I can go to my dealer in Oosterhout and wait there with a cup of coffee for the arrival. About twenty boxes come to Oosterhout and as usual I help unpack the fish. But this time I have a nervous feeling, because my fish are among them.
When loading the boxes it is important that they are naturally level, so that the boxes remain intact and the water stays in the bag immediately. Then there is the least chance that the fish will be dry. In addition, you place the boxes across the direction of travel, as shown above. If you have to brake then the fish does not hit its nose, but the chance of breaking the back is also nil.
And then the moment is there, the box goes out of the car and to the corresponding container. The fish have been dark for a long time, so opening the box and suddenly in the light gives a lot of stress to the fish.
We therefore always choose to leave the fish in the bag as short as possible when they are removed from the box.
We unpack them box by box. Put the bag in a bowl with clean water, open the bag and immediately transfer the fish into a bowl by hand. This way we do not mix clean water with water from the bag. As a result, the highly polluted water could have a negative impact on the fish. From the moment the bag opens and oxygen enters the water, a whole chemical process starts, making the water toxic to the fish. We accept the temperature difference and immediately transfer the fish to the clean water. I don't know exactly how things work, but Marco can explain that to you in detail! *
* If fish have been in a bag for a long time, there is a lot of carbon dioxide in the bag. When opening, this evaporates. There is also a lot ammonium in the water, this will be turned into toxic when the bag is opened and the carbon dioxide evaporates ammonia . The water becomes toxic immediately after opening. So when the bag is open, the fish must come out immediately (for a long journey)!
Once the fish swim in the bowl, they are immediately checked: does the fish have bumps, are there damaged scales and is the fish completely healthy? If the fish is in poor condition it is decided whether one is immediately treatment is necessary or that we take a look. After we first unpack a whole bunch of other boxes we walk backwards. 'DE' box is already there.
Because we, Arie and I, have already done this together regularly, we have acquired a certain skill in it and have responded to each other. For outsiders it sometimes seems like assembly line work, but it certainly isn't! Every time you have to wait and see what the bag will look like when the box opens. Every time I get a little adrenaline rush when I open a box, especially when I think a bag looks bad. Fortunately I don't get this when opening the box with my fish. I see a beautiful bag, still under pressure that is spotless.
When Arie takes out his fish I am in the neighborhood, the biggest fish we have unpacked so far, and I notice that when picking it up. If they both swim in the bowl the first check starts. I immediately check whether Murata San has kept his word. And yes, the piece am I has been removed and it looks fresh! This is done quickly after the purchase and nothing to see anymore.
After I have looked at her, I let her swim in the bowl and enjoy my purchase. I can sit for hours like that. Unfortunately we have no time for that. I let her go in her temporary accommodation. This happens a bit lumpier than I had planned, but you can't plan everything. In addition, I have seen how during my trip breeders dealing with it and that is sometimes a little less sweet when I do here. When the boxes are along the edge I quickly take a picture and continue to the other location to release the last fish. The pressure is off for me, my fish have arrived well.
At the end of the evening I discuss everything again with Arie. We are both very pleased with the arrival of the fish. One fish was having a hard time, but we expect it will come through. The only thing left now is to watch the fish and give them a thorough quarantine period in which they get enough rest.
At the time of writing, I know that this fish has also been fully recovered from the long journey, as we expected. There has been no failure, all fish are doing well and have recently been inspected by Maarten Lammens, which again reassures me. Great if you know that everything is healthy.
I can't wait for the spring, when it's warm enough to finally mine Kohaku to bring home. If that moment is there, there may be a line underneath the journey for me, then the circle is round again. Who knows, maybe I will delight you with some photos and a video.
Text & photos: Pieter Heurter