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Thread: Importing koi quarantine

  1. #1
    Fry
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    Importing koi quarantine

    Hi guys,

    I plan to import koi from japan for the second time around, the first time was not really good since when i got the koi, they had full colors but after a few days, the tanchos and kohakus and others like sanke and showas had their beni fading, this time i want to make it right.

    Could anyone suggest or give some quarantine tips on how to make koi adjust to the water temperature so the color wont fade?

    All the kois are eating and are lively, its just the fading color is my problem.
    I am now feeding them saki hikari for color just to try making the beni go red again, right now its orange.

    Here in our country, the water temperature is 20-25 degrees.

    Any help on the quarantine procedure would be great.
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    It is not clear to me what you mean by fading. Did the beni go away, leaving a white ground only? Or, do you mean the beni was a bright red and became more orange?

    If it is a matter of the beni becoming orange, there are a couple of factors likely at work. First, the koi may well have been 'colored up' by use of color enhancers. This is often done with less expensive, small koi to make them more marketable. As soon as given normal diets, the color intensity would decline. Another factor is that colors tend to be more intense in cool water. Moving the koi from chilly water to warm water will lighten the color intensity. Third, the warm water and feeding would trigger growth, which tends to lighten the color intensity. All of these factors together could be responsible for what you observed. A quarantine is not going to affect this. Chilling your water on a permanent basis could help, but is very expensive.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    It is not clear to me what you mean by fading. Did the beni go away, leaving a white ground only? Or, do you mean the beni was a bright red and became more orange?

    If it is a matter of the beni becoming orange, there are a couple of factors likely at work. First, the koi may well have been 'colored up' by use of color enhancers. This is often done with less expensive, small koi to make them more marketable. As soon as given normal diets, the color intensity would decline. Another factor is that colors tend to be more intense in cool water. Moving the koi from chilly water to warm water will lighten the color intensity. Third, the warm water and feeding would trigger growth, which tends to lighten the color intensity. All of these factors together could be responsible for what you observed. A quarantine is not going to affect this. Chilling your water on a permanent basis could help, but is very expensive.
    thanks for the reply.

    some of the kohakus have the deep red color fading to orange, the sankes and showas deep red started to break and lighten (however, still there). As far as im concerned, the fading has stopped already. I just need to get them back to their best deep red color,
    chilling the water to what temp will be best? also, will saki hikari color enhancer and feeding spirulina help the colors to recover?

  4. #4
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Ideal temperature range is around 74-75F, 23-24C. The expense of chilling is so high that it is normally not done, and when done is typically reserved for very high quality, expensive koi.

    A color food, like Saki Hikari color, will redden the pigments, as will spirulina. Some koikeepers believe that a regular diet of color enhancing foods hurts the pigments in the long run and contributes to premature aging. I have not adopted this view, but do not use color foods because they will discolor the white and encourage weak secondary Hi to form in the white ground.

    The natural color of most lines of koi is not a true red. A red-orange is more accurate. Some of the very best koi will remain a light orange until sansai or even yonsai. This is due to the pigments being immature. As the koi develop, the pigment deepens in hue, becoming a deep red-orange. Such koi have slow maturing skin. Their peak of beauty comes in time for the patient. Bright red pigment in small, young tosai generally means color enhancers have been used to make the koi appear to be something it is not. They are very pretty when treated this way, but it is temporary. Those small, young koi which have deep red or red-orange color without use of color enhancers are typically maturing early. This can indicate that they are males, which mature in their development sooner than females. Early maturing koi are unlikely to maintain their beauty. They peak early and then decline. All koi decline in time. Some decline rapidly, some slowly.

    Without seeing photos of your koi it is not possible to be specific about your fish. We can only discuss generalities, which always have exceptions. The mention of pigment breaking causes a concern that on some of the koi the pigment is fading away altogether. This is not too unusual with small tosai which have been colored up artificially. The use of color enhancers is not the cause. Rather, the fish had weak Hi destined to fade, and the breeder or wholesaler used color enhancers to offset the natural process.

    Some years ago, I was at a koi event where a well-known dealer had one vat of very small tosai (around 10cm) which were the most brightly colored koi I have ever seen in a sales vat. They were being sold for just $5.00 each. The dealer explained to me that the koi had been fed only spirulina for a period of time and he thought it likely that a hormone had been added to their water. He was selling them cheap, because they were cheap tosai of low quality. His more expensive tosai were light in hue. These are the ones he recommended to those he knew to be serious about keeping their koi long term.
    Last edited by MikeM; 01-11-2014 at 01:22 PM. Reason: typo
    Tosai_Sunny likes this.

  5. #5
    MCA
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    Honmei MCA's Avatar
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    I have to wonder if these are koi with poor genetics that have unstable hi. Did you select the koi yourself in Niigata or other area in Japan? Who are the breeders?

  6. #6
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    Nicely said Mike M....can't think of much more that I could add.

    Most tateshita are positioned with color food to look as well as they can for sale. tategoi as mike has said, may be orange for years as their pigments mature and most prefer to allow this to happen naturally and not induced.

    warm temperatures, continues to push growth which also thins beni. you may want to use more of a staple food instead of High growth to not encourage super growth, feeding less amounts and less frequency.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    Ideal temperature range is around 74-75F, 23-24C. The expense of chilling is so high that it is normally not done, and when done is typically reserved for very high quality, expensive koi.

    A color food, like Saki Hikari color, will redden the pigments, as will spirulina. Some koikeepers believe that a regular diet of color enhancing foods hurts the pigments in the long run and contributes to premature aging. I have not adopted this view, but do not use color foods because they will discolor the white and encourage weak secondary Hi to form in the white ground.

    The natural color of most lines of koi is not a true red. A red-orange is more accurate. Some of the very best koi will remain a light orange until sansai or even yonsai. This is due to the pigments being immature. As the koi develop, the pigment deepens in hue, becoming a deep red-orange. Such koi have slow maturing skin. Their peak of beauty comes in time for the patient. Bright red pigment in small, young tosai generally means color enhancers have been used to make the koi appear to be something it is not. They are very pretty when treated this way, but it is temporary. Those small, young koi which have deep red or red-orange color without use of color enhancers are typically maturing early. This can indicate that they are males, which mature in their development sooner than females. Early maturing koi are unlikely to maintain their beauty. They peak early and then decline. All koi decline in time. Some decline rapidly, some slowly.

    Without seeing photos of your koi it is not possible to be specific about your fish. We can only discuss generalities, which always have exceptions. The mention of pigment breaking causes a concern that on some of the koi the pigment is fading away altogether. This is not too unusual with small tosai which have been colored up artificially. The use of color enhancers is not the cause. Rather, the fish had weak Hi destined to fade, and the breeder or wholesaler used color enhancers to offset the natural process.

    Some years ago, I was at a koi event where a well-known dealer had one vat of very small tosai (around 10cm) which were the most brightly colored koi I have ever seen in a sales vat. They were being sold for just $5.00 each. The dealer explained to me that the koi had been fed only spirulina for a period of time and he thought it likely that a hormone had been added to their water. He was selling them cheap, because they were cheap tosai of low quality. His more expensive tosai were light in hue. These are the ones he recommended to those he knew to be serious about keeping their koi long term.
    thank you for the detailed information.
    so i will just continue feeding saki hikari and a mix of staple food just not to over do the color enhancing supplement.

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