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Thread: Color Food

  1. #21
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    How is it that in the winter months, when koi eat next to nothing, does the coloration of koi improves? By that I am referring to the beni specifically. It is said that the beni consolidates. Is it because the koi is not growing during winter, thus allowing the koi beni to catch up? If so, does this mean that the koi, even without eating much food, thus getting little color enhancers as well, continues to build up beni internally, without external input during the winter period?

    I think about an algae called hemaetococcus pluvualis, which is a rich source of astaxanthin. As per Wikipedia "The high amount of astaxanthin is present in the resting cells, which are produced and rapidly accumulated when the environmental conditions become unfavorable for normal cell growth. Examples of such conditions include bright light, high salinity, and low availability of nutrients."

    Doesn't koi beni behave in similar fashion? Wintertime, there is low availability of nutrients. Is this a key factor for koi beni enhancement? Now, in my hot summer, I couldn't starve the koi but I could lessen their food intake barely enough to provide for their basal metabolism. Add to this the bright sunlight and is it possible to enhance the beni during the warmest temperatures that koi could tolerate?

    I just narrowed down my thoughts to my summer season, but the implication is that feeding for koi color to develop well should take into account the changing seasons. Color food is usually associated with food that is high in protein. In some cases, I would want to feed the beni but don't want to load up on protein. The usual koi food can't ever be color enhancing and be low-protein at the same time.

    In my summer, I may want to a food that is low-protein so I can keep the koi from growing. But I may want to feed a color enhancer, as the prior season was cold tropic-wise ( at temps around the range of 20-25 °C) and I had been feeding on the growth side and less on the color side, spirulina tending to cause the yellowing of shiroji). This means, for me, that standard koi food pellets are out. I would have to rely on my own food selection/combination, other than koi pellets, to fill that need.

    I understand this hobby shouldn't be more complicated than it already is, and that using koi pellets makes it easier for everyone. It is like owning a car. There are stock cars, and there are people who like to rig their trucks for off-road use and those who would mod their cars to Tokyo-drift. Standard koi pellets are just like stock cars. Your koi will still look awesome with all other factors managed well, but it won't raise the level to compete with the Japanese breeders. Which is why in many koi shows outside Japan (I may be wrong, but this is practiced in the Philippines), a sure-fire way to win a koi show is the funny and incongruous practice of bringing in a koi from Japan right before a competition to be in the GC conversation. To have fed the same koi for a year or two would likely have lessened its chances to be in that conversation.

  2. #22
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by APOLONASGR36 View Post
    Use it how? As a mix in the regular food or 100% deep red only ?
    For show prep, it is used as the exclusive food for a period in advance of the show.

  3. #23
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    Color food is usually associated with food that is high in protein. In some cases, I would want to feed the beni but don't want to load up on protein. The usual koi food can't ever be color enhancing and be low-protein at the same time..[/FONT][/COLOR]
    There are vegetable ingredients high in carotenoids and low in protein, such as green and red sweet peppers, spinach, lettuces, carrots. I have seen these sorts of ingredients listed on koi food packages from time to time in the past, but have not noticed them in the foods I have used in recent years. The sweet potato used by some Japanese breeders for bulking up koi would likely be comparatively high in carotenoids.

  4. #24
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    "Andy says you only have to feed Saki-Hikari DEEP RED for one month in the summer to see results."

    Quote Originally Posted by APOLONASGR36 View Post
    Use it how? As a mix in the regular food or 100% deep red only ?
    First, I am talking about show prep, which I don't do. You will need to talk to Andy Moo or some other Koi show participants who uses Deep Red to get a better answer.

    If my memory is correct, part of the couple of weeks feeding regiment was 50/50 and part 100%.

  5. #25
    Jumbo sacicu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    How is it that in the winter months, when koi eat next to nothing, does the coloration of koi improves? By that I am referring to the beni specifically. It is said that the beni consolidates. Is it because the koi is not growing during winter, thus allowing the koi beni to catch up? If so, does this mean that the koi, even without eating much food, thus getting little color enhancers as well, continues to build up beni internally, without external input during the winter period?

    I think about an algae called hemaetococcus pluvualis, which is a rich source of astaxanthin. As per Wikipedia "The high amount of astaxanthin is present in the resting cells, which are produced and rapidly accumulated when the environmental conditions become unfavorable for normal cell growth. Examples of such conditions include bright light, high salinity, and low availability of nutrients."

    Doesn't koi beni behave in similar fashion? Wintertime, there is low availability of nutrients. Is this a key factor for koi beni enhancement? Now, in my hot summer, I couldn't starve the koi but I could lessen their food intake barely enough to provide for their basal metabolism. Add to this the bright sunlight and is it possible to enhance the beni during the warmest temperatures that koi could tolerate?

    I just narrowed down my thoughts to my summer season, but the implication is that feeding for koi color to develop well should take into account the changing seasons. Color food is usually associated with food that is high in protein. In some cases, I would want to feed the beni but don't want to load up on protein. The usual koi food can't ever be color enhancing and be low-protein at the same time.

    In my summer, I may want to a food that is low-protein so I can keep the koi from growing. But I may want to feed a color enhancer, as the prior season was cold tropic-wise ( at temps around the range of 20-25 °C) and I had been feeding on the growth side and less on the color side, spirulina tending to cause the yellowing of shiroji). This means, for me, that standard koi food pellets are out. I would have to rely on my own food selection/combination, other than koi pellets, to fill that need.

    I understand this hobby shouldn't be more complicated than it already is, and that using koi pellets makes it easier for everyone. It is like owning a car. There are stock cars, and there are people who like to rig their trucks for off-road use and those who would mod their cars to Tokyo-drift. Standard koi pellets are just like stock cars. Your koi will still look awesome with all other factors managed well, but it won't raise the level to compete with the Japanese breeders. Which is why in many koi shows outside Japan (I may be wrong, but this is practiced in the Philippines), a sure-fire way to win a koi show is the funny and incongruous practice of bringing in a koi from Japan right before a competition to be in the GC conversation. To have fed the same koi for a year or two would likely have lessened its chances to be in that conversation.
    Don't believe in the myth that koi kept in Japan would always be better. Many breeders dont have the facilities and if they do does not guarantee the koi will grow or develop without problems along the way. Also during the last National Koi show the GC was a showa that was raised for more than a year in our country and the koi was complemented by Mitsonuri Isa himself and asking what was fed and the manner how the koi was raised and prepared for the show.

  6. #26
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    There are vegetable ingredients high in carotenoids and low in protein, such as green and red sweet peppers, spinach, lettuces, carrots. I have seen these sorts of ingredients listed on koi food packages from time to time in the past, but have not noticed them in the foods I have used in recent years. The sweet potato used by some Japanese breeders for bulking up koi would likely be comparatively high in carotenoids.
    I went yesterday to a small local koi breeder and he has a pond of 9 month tosai kohaku with good beni. Says he never fed color enhancers because he feels algae and sunlight exposure is enough, apart from a low-cost locally-made koi food. It made me think that your idea of feeding vegetables and plants that contain carotenoids (or koi foods containing them) is not to be scoffed at. I would admit to having done so initially.

  7. #27
    Oyagoi yerrag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sacicu View Post
    Don't believe in the myth that koi kept in Japan would always be better. Many breeders dont have the facilities and if they do does not guarantee the koi will grow or develop without problems along the way. Also during the last National Koi show the GC was a showa that was raised for more than a year in our country and the koi was complemented by Mitsonuri Isa himself and asking what was fed and the manner how the koi was raised and prepared for the show.
    Yes, the showa that won GC wasn't a fresh import from Japan. It looks nice and impressive. Not to take away anything from its victory, but it doesn't prove much of anything. There were no fresh Japan Gosanke imports from established breeders to be found- a good thing. While I like to see impressive fresh arrivals from Japan at koi shows (who doesn't), the pride in winning GC has more meaning to me when it is about the care involved in earning it than about the money spent in acquiring it.

    I also dare not to call anything a myth that has to do with koi and Japan. It trivializes the painstaking effort at refining and improving their techniques in every facet of producing the best looking koi. But my point, in the subject of color food, is that the best breeders there may be feeding something more than just the "best" and most costly prepackaged koi pellets to get that extra ooomph from the koi they carefully raised.

  8. #28
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    I was checking ingredients on some foods and decided to compare Saki Hikari growth formula with Saki Hikari color formula. They are very alike, with all the ingredients the same except the krill meal in the growth formula is replaced by spirulina in the color formula and no salt is added. (But, the price of the color formula is about $0.70 more per pound…does spirulina really cost that much more than krill??  )

    Saki-Hikari Growth Diet:

    Guaranteed Analysis
    Crude Protein min 40.0%
    Crude Fat min 9.0%
    Crude Fiber max 2.0%
    Moisture max 10.0%
    Crude Ash max 17.0%
    Phosphorous min 1.7%

    Ingredients:
    Fish meal, wheat flour, wheat germ meal, brewer's dried yeast, fish oil, soybean meal, krill meal, gluten meal, dried seaweed meal, bacillus subtilis, dried bakery product, protease, garlic, astaxanthin, monosodium glutamate, DL-methionine, Vitamin A oil, Vitamin D3 supplement, Vitamin E supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K), choline chloride, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (stabilized Vitamin C), inositol, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, niacin, folic acid, biotin, ferrous sulfate, magnesium sulfate, zinc sulfate, manganese sulfate, cobalt sulfate, calcium iodate, aluminum hydroxide, sodium acid pyrophosphate, salt.


    Saki-Hikari Color Diet:

    Guaranteed Analysis
    Crude Protein min 40.0%
    Crude Fat min 6.0%
    Crude Fiber max 2.0%
    Moisture max 10.0%
    Crude Ash max 15.0%
    Phosphorous min 1.2%

    Ingredients:
    Fish meal, wheat flour, spirulina, wheat germ meal, fish oil, soybean meal, brewer's dried yeast, flaked corn, gluten meal, dried seaweed meal, bacillus subtilis, dried bakery product, protease, garlic, astaxanthin, monosodium glutamate, DL-methionine, Vitamin A oil, Vitamin D3 supplement, Vitamin E supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K), choline chloride, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (stabilized Vitamin C), inositol, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, niacin, folic acid, biotin, ferrous sulfate, magnesium sulfate, zinc sulfate, manganese sulfate, cobalt sulfate, calcium iodate, aluminum hydroxide, sodium acid pyrophosphate.
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  9. #29
    Jumbo sacicu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yerrag View Post
    I went yesterday to a small local koi breeder and he has a pond of 9 month tosai kohaku with good beni. Says he never fed color enhancers because he feels algae and sunlight exposure is enough, apart from a low-cost locally-made koi food. It made me think that your idea of feeding vegetables and plants that contain carotenoids (or koi foods containing them) is not to be scoffed at. I would admit to having done so initially.
    I am not sure what you meant by good beni for a 9 month old tosai for a local breeder. Were the koi grown as jumbo tosai? Wer the koi fast finishing males? Were the beni soft and shiny and perhaps transluscent or the hard beni type often mistaken as "good beni" but one that wont last?

  10. #30
    Jumbo sacicu's Avatar
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    QUOTE=yerrag;218059]Yes, the showa that won GC wasn't a fresh import from Japan. It looks nice and impressive. Not to take away anything from its victory, but it doesn't prove much of anything. There were no fresh Japan Gosanke imports from established breeders to be found- a good thing. While I like to see impressive fresh arrivals from Japan at koi shows (who doesn't), the pride in winning GC has more meaning to me when it is about the care involved in earning it than about the money spent in acquiring it.

    I also dare not to call anything a myth that has to do with koi and Japan. It trivializes the painstaking effort at refining and improving their techniques in every facet of producing the best looking koi. But my point, in the subject of color food, is that the best breeders there may be feeding something more than just the "best" and most costly prepackaged koi pellets to get that extra ooomph from the koi they carefully raised.[/QUOTE]

    Actually there were several high grade koi that competed for GC that were brought in 2 to 3 months prior to the show.

    Actually, in Japan, many breeders employ color for tosai and nisai when water is somewhat colder as 18 to 21C from what I have been told and then fast to brighten up the shiroji. During summer growing season when they feed a lot, the colors of koi are more or less same as ours as the koi grow. So in a way, there is truth that koi from Japan will have brighter and deeper color as compared to koi that stays in constant warm weather without much cold to rest the metabolism of the koi

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