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Thread: Kujaku color fading

  1. #1
    RKM
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    Kujaku color fading

    I purchased the kujaku pictured below this fall and have kept it inside in a quarantine tank under artificial light (full spectrum fluorescent bulbs) since its arrival. I have monitored water parameters quite closely and have had no ammonia or nitrite issues, and have done routine 20-30% water changes to reduce nitrate levels. The GH of my well water is ~124-143 ppm, while the KH is ~72 ppm. I have used water conditioner to reduce heavy metals and chlorine/chloramine (should they be present) and have routinely added koi clay. Unfortunately, the color of the head has faded quite noticably, with less apparent fading on the body. I have fed the fish Sho Koi Impact, Hikari Wheatgerm, Microbe-Lift Fruits&Greens, Microbe-Lift Immuno-stimulant, and canned shrimp as an occasional treat. Any suggestions as to why the fading may be occurring? Could it be the lack of natural sunlight? Could it be some other water parameter that I need to change?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Kujaku color fading-kujyaku.jpg  

  2. #2
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    I have the impression that when you say the color has faded you mean it has become less intense, but not that areas of color have turned white/platinum, right?

    If I understand correctly, based on what I've read it is not unusual for indoor koi to become more pale after 4-6 weeks. It also seems the intensity returns fairly quickly once outdoors again. I've no personal experience to share.

    Glad you posted your question. You'll have to keep us informed of how the Kujacku does.

  3. #3
    Jumbo
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    In this case mike, we are talking about the teri or luster of a hikari type. These luminous cells are the first to go in an indoor setting. It should be understood that hikari crosses ( Hikari B or hikari moyo type X other varieties) do not last long in peak beauty. Many or most kujaku will loose their teri as they age. In the case of young koi, sunlight for these luster cells is critical. JR

  4. #4
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Have to wonder why that is, JR. Something to do with the effect of natural radiation on the erythrocytes (is that the right term??); or maybe those cells are unchanged, but cease to congregate on the surface when not in natural light? ...Always something more to try to understand about the skin.

    ...I recall my sense of surprise when I learned that the little "gold tetras" I once kept were so metallic as a result of reaction to trematodes and the drab examples of the species without the high metallic skin were simply ones not exposed to parasites. Guanin was secreted in the skin of the exposed fish as a protective reaction. Perhaps something similar is involved in metallic koi reacting to natural radiation.....Something to tuck away for future reading.

  5. #5
    Honmei KoiCop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RKM
    I purchased the kujaku pictured below this fall
    What's the size? Looks to be 8" +or-

  6. #6
    RKM
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    When I purchased the fish it was ~9". It's definitely larger now. The color pattern has not changed, only the intensity. Would grow lights help maintain the intensity of the color, or would they be no better than a full spectrum light?

  7. #7
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    I have kept my koi indoors under full spectrum light for years and I run the lights

    a good 12-14 hrs a day...and i can assure you there is a reason why the japanese house their koi in greenhouse type glass or space age plastic to allow every bit of real light to be available to their koi. My intent is to tear the roof and siding off my present building this spring and replace it with something to allow all of seattle's waining sunlight to get thru!

  8. #8
    RKM
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    I am in Connecticut and unfortunately received the fish when my pond temp was already below 50F. I opted to keep the fish inside for the winter rather than risk harming it by forcing it to adjust (via equilibrating it in the shipping bag) to a water temp that was probably 20 degrees less than it had just come from. It just didn't seem like the correct thing to do.

  9. #9
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    Sound Reasoning

    It would be a risk to aclimate a newly received import in such a drastic fashion. Is there any way to get real sunlight to the Q-Tank location? I have some young Tosai I brought in to feed over winter but I have their tank next to a large window with a southern exposure. Their colors have not suffered at all and the hi on a few is actually continuing to spread and deepen.

  10. #10
    RKM
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    Unfortunately, the tank is in my basement and there are no southern exposure windows. The best I can do is provide artificial full-spectrum light, for what it's worth.

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