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Thread: How to enhance (condition) shiro on a koi.

  1. #1
    Sansai WayneB's Avatar
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    How to enhance (condition) shiro on a koi.

    Hi all, how would one go about conditioning the shiro (White) on a koi. Are there any processes that the Japanese follow?

    I have a koi that had very good white but it has lost that bright white it use to have as it grew. I know the Japanese condition their koi before koi shows and was wondering if anyone knew what they do to enhance shiro.

    Thanks

    Wayne

  2. #2
    Daihonmei
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    Hi wayne, there are many ways to have koi 'live up to' its shiro ground. Not beyond it's genetics however and that is not understood well by many hobbyists who want their koi to look like the pictures.
    There are many levels and types of white. And two very different shiro utsuri--I'm not talking about breeders! I'm talking about origins.

    Having said that, you didn't ack for a history or a biology lesson so assuming you have a shiro of the right genetics and shiro type ground then----

    depending on what you are trying to brighten them for-- I.E. an uncoming koi show, or a general brighter collection year round, you need to take one of two approaches with some over lapping.

    Specifically, if you want to just get a fish whiter-- lower your dissolved organics, keep you fish out of very warm water ( over 82 F), make sure your nitrAtes are low. Make sure ORP is high and oxygen is key so towers can help. Do not feed fatty foods of foods that stain skin such as color foods and high protein foods. Feed lots of ruffage and do not over stock.
    The use of clay is a debatable subject but I like it because it can pull organics out of the water column ( flocculant).
    Some PP their koi before a show and it works to burn off the epidermis and proteins in the slime layer. But this odviously only to be used as a tuen up or 'trick' in finsihing up a koi for show.
    You can also make sure that you only have one sex in the pond.
    And finally, you feed more fresh and live food and less general pellet-- although wheat germ base is good.

  3. #3
    Sansai WayneB's Avatar
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    Thank you JasPR. You have given me tuns of information in those few sentences. How important is shade?

  4. #4
    Daihonmei
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    Well, shade could be mean 'cooler' or it could mean " what the human eye sees. There is no doubt that colors like red, black and white, can change to the human eye depending what the lighting is like and even what time of day it is.
    There is an old and somewhat famous story here on the East Coast of the United states regarding the battle of shiro! It was the first National KOI America koi show and all the heavy weights showed up-- breeders and hobbyists. The judges were the District Chairman of ZNA, the Chairman of AKCA, the late Sakai San, and others. The voting for GC came down quickly to a shiro Utsuri and a sanke. Both fish were owned by experienced exhibitors. The shiro utsuri had the body hands down- bog and showa like conformation, very impressive. But the sanke had the finish and quality ( fukurin which in those days was only understood by a few hobbyists). Still the shiro had what looked like screaming shiro white. The judges discussed it over and over under the indoor lighting. Because the votes were split even after two rounds, one judge suggested the fish be brought outside to see the BENI better on the sanke. Well the MINUTE the natural outside light hit the white skin of the sanke, all the judges chuckled and when ask to raise hands again, the sanke won all votes -- but not on the beni ( which was the reason for wanting to see the fish outside in the natural light) but on the BLINDING shiro. I think this story best illustrates the difference of colors especially shiro and beni, in bright natural light verses indoor or shaded light. The hard white of the shiro utsuri looked best under softer indoor lighting. The sanke looked better under bright natural sunlight. So light hides and also enhances shiro depending on type and grade. JR

  5. #5
    Sansai WayneB's Avatar
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    Well what i meant with "shade" was protection from the sun. Will too much sunlight effect shiro aswell?

  6. #6
    Daihonmei
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    Too much sun in what water depth? What is the water temperature.
    I know what your asking and driving towards is if sun might bleach out color or 'sun burn' your fish. Is that what Your concerned about? JR

  7. #7
    Sansai WayneB's Avatar
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    Well, im just trying to get all the things that i need to look at.

    My pond is 4ft at the shallow end and 10ft at the deep end, its in direct sunlight most of the time, the only shade is provided by a tree hanging partially over it. The pond contains 8453 gal and the pond temperature at the moment is 80.6'F.

    Ill start to look at all the other things you told me to check to see where i need to make adjustments and what i can do in the long run.

    Thanks.

  8. #8
    Daihonmei
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    No it sounds like your good! deep enough and certainly a high volume pond. Sun its self should not be an issue for you or your koi's shiro. JR

  9. #9
    Tategoi powerman's Avatar
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    I have a question about the use of the word shiro... I thought it was a prefix like shiro utsuri or shiro becko... but the color alone was shiroji... but I see more and more lately.. people using shiro when they discuss white... Isn't the white color called shiroji... and not just shiro?
    Maybe it's a Japanese language thing or maybe I just had it wrong earlier...

  10. #10
    Daihonmei
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    Yes, we do tend to get sloppy when throwing around Japanese words. I even have heard Breeders use slang regarding colors. Sometimes to stress focus and other times, I guess because we know 'what we mean".
    When to apply shiro and shiroji is I'm sure not unlike talking about kohaku's beni-- when we mean beni as a collective and not just beni cells or color. You might notice that I always make an effort to say beni when I'm talking about color/color cells and tone or type of color. But always use the term beni PLATE when I refer to kohaku's red pattern. Yet I hear shorthand term beni applied when people are talking about the overall look of the red pattern. Sloppy or nit picking on the other end of the spectrum, I guess depending on the focus.
    So shiroji would be the discussion of the overall white SKIN of the koi. Shiro would be slang of same or a general comment about the color 'white'.

    What I'm confused about but not so disturbed about it as to ask is--
    Kohaku means red and white in Japanese, I'm told. But I don't see the word 'white' in the compound word 'kohaku'!
    Maybe Junichi can straighten us out? JR

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