Visiting Shinto

Today we travel to the western side of our little country, we are paying a visit to Shinto and it’s owner Thierry. Small, narrow roads between the fields lead us to Wakken where Thierry lives, and it is in his backyard where Shinto is located.

A greenhouse with some small ponds and a couple of larger ponds outside, that’s all you need to become a koidealer ;-). Only Thierry doesn’t think he’s a koidealer. Thierry : “I’m only an enthusiast. I still work fulltime, Shinto is a second job for me and my wife. We are hobbyists for about 20 years now, it was about 13 years ago that my wife came up with the idea to start a dealership. Every year I tell myself to quit, but one way or the other, I just can ‘t ! We are planning to slowing it down a little bit. Unfortunately due to backproblems we have to quit building and fiberglassing, and I rather lay focus on the Koi.”

Once a year Thierry travels to Japan, and that’s what he likes most : “Going to Japan, choose, negotiate,… it’s something I really love. The smell of the greenhouses over there, the beautifull country, the incredible fish ! Buying there doesn’t get easier though. Customers often expect a big, beautiful female koi for a small amount of money, but that’s not possible. I go there with some requests from customers in my mind, but sometimes I have to dissapoint them and try to find something within their budget. I seldom buy tosai, because the customer think of it too much as a risk and in Japan you only get to choose from a second or third selection anyway.”

Remarkably Thierry sells not that much Gosanke, but other variëties are doing very well ! He often tries different variëties and gets suprised every year which are popular at that time and which are not.

But how did it all get started for Thierry ? Thierry : “The pond in my garden was drawn by an architect, but I’ve built it myself. Goldfish weren’t original enough for me to put in my pond, so when I discovered Koi in an old book, I was immediatly impressed by their beauty.  It was not easy twenty years ago to find enough information. I tried a lot and learned a lot, I’ve also built my filter myself. I took an example from the book from Louis Vanreusel and this system is still turning today !  The main pond contains 15000 liters and the filtration 7000 liters.  Bottomdrains lead the water to a vortex and than to chambers with Japanese matting and kaldness. The other two ponds use a Nexus as filtration and I’m planning to install a drumfilter, to show the customers. The greenhouse contains 5 ponds from 15000, 12500 and 10000 liters, all seperatly filtred, by chambers. In the back of the garden, is a pond where I am experimenting. It contains some tosai and the water comes from a large natural pond, I have to say, the tosai are doing very well !”

Let’s say that for a man who is saying the last couple of years that he is going to quit, Thierry has a lot of idea’s for the future. We wish him the best and a lot of succes for the following years.

For accompanying pictures and video: navigate to “Media”.