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Thread: What Is The Most Beneficial Light Spectrum for Koi?

  1. #1
    Oyagoi Sangreaal's Avatar
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    What Is The Most Beneficial Light Spectrum for Koi?

    This year I will be shading my pond with a structure that will either be covered with shade cloth or rigid opaque colored panels. If I use the panels, they'll either be blue, green or white. This will filter the sunlight in any of these colors, and I'm wondering how and if this will affect my koi in some way. I know that extended time under artificial light can wash out some color, but what of being under a structure that provides only the spectrum that the colored panels allow? Anybody know?



  2. #2
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Don't know the answer. BTW, I assume the panels are translucent, not opaque?

    .... I prefer shadecloth. If using panels I'd go with white to have less color distortion when viewing the fish. I had fiberglas panels on the roof of a shadehouse for plants. After 3 years, the panels had darkened with accumulated dirt (and I believe increasing opaqueness thru sun exposure). I switched to shadecloth and was much happier with the results. Some small debris, pollen etc can get through the screen-like shadecloth, but that's not too bothersome. So, when I built my koi pond, I used shadecloth to protect from leaf drop and provide shade. There are few professional greenhouses built in Florida anymore with solid panel roofs because of the darkening and expense to replace.

  3. #3
    Daihonmei
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    Light conversations can be broken into three considerations. Spectrum, intensity and viewing.
    Fish are not so affected by spectrum as they are intensity. Intensity is the trigger for hormonal patterns and indirectly for color depth and health.
    But viewning pleasure can be greatly effected by lighting conditions. There is an old saying often heard when shopping for koi in Japan- Never buy a kohaku after 4 pm! The reason is, a koi's color is really an interpretation of our eye's ability to see color in ambient light. Our eyes see beni differently in direct sunlight vs indirect lighting. Kohaku look amazing for instance in subdued afternoon light. And all flaws show up in direct sunlight, not to mention, the intensity of color seems to be lost to our vision abilities in direct light as our eyes have trouble separating colors .

    I would not let strong Florida, Arizona or Southern California light beat down on my koi. This is a light intensity issue. Especially in overfiltered, PP or ozone treated water- you will destroy the skin's life and time line of development.
    And for viewing I would much prefer indirect or filtered light.

    As Mike points out, and I think you are hinting at Marie, colored shade effects and reflects it's color onto the pond surface and might ruin the viewing experience. I don't think the koi would care in the least. JR

  4. #4
    Oyagoi Sangreaal's Avatar
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    Thanks Mike and JR. I've been stuck between shade cloth and panels for a long time. I agree, a colored panel would taint the viewing experience, a very important feature in my book. But it occurred to me that perhaps spectrum might have some kind of effect on the koi, just like intensity would (and we can get some extreme sun up here in N California). So I've gone from considering intensity to spectrum, but if spectrum isn't much of an issue, controlling the intensity and protecting the pond from "drop ins" from the Willows and Mimosa (or roofing off the house and rain as was the case during the last big storm) and to keep a cooler temperature during blazing summers without increasing flow through is going to be the main issue.

    Perhaps a more solid roof that passes little to no light would be a better choice than shade cloth or translucent panels that'll darken and/or break down over time. The peripheral lighting can be quite bright when the summer sun beats down on my little clearing amongst the trees.


    Marie

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  5. #5
    Daihonmei
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    I think you are on the right track Marie. Tall enough to let in side light and maybe even brighten up the pond with direct light at certain times of the day. Or structure that only covers part of the pond? Depth will help the koi out a lot and make most of this issue moot. But a choice of shade or no shade is great if you don't have the depth and any shade at all for the fish. Best of luck, JR

  6. #6
    Oyagoi Sangreaal's Avatar
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    Thanks JR. I tend to study every minute detail I can think of before I even decide to make something permanent. The last few years has been extremely experiential and experimental just so I can get a firm grasp on the foundation of what is to be and keep a koi well with the resources I have available to me--and then to be able to customize what I have learned so far and crystallize it into something that works the best for the fish in my care.

    Study study study, research research research... ...the never ending joy of koi

    Thanks for making your knowledge bank so accessible, JR. I truly appreciate your sharing. You have no idea how much I've learned from you in the past couple of years...



  7. #7
    Daihonmei
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    It's fun isn't it! And thanks for reading my stuff! Your comments have made my day! JR

  8. #8
    Jumbo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sangreaal View Post
    Thanks JR. I tend to study every minute detail I can think of before I even decide to make something permanent. The last few years has been extremely experiential and experimental just so I can get a firm grasp on the foundation of what is to be and keep a koi well with the resources I have available to me--and then to be able to customize what I have learned so far and crystallize it into something that works the best for the fish in my care.

    Study study study, research research research... ...the never ending joy of koi

    Thanks for making your knowledge bank so accessible, JR. I truly appreciate your sharing. You have no idea how much I've learned from you in the past couple of years...

    ditto!!! Hope I make another day for you JR!! You're input has saved me a ton of money as well over the years!!!

  9. #9
    Jumbo 111whalen's Avatar
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    I put 80% shade cloth over my pond 8 years ago at about 7 feet. It has held up well; I painted the frames this summer and I saw no damage to the cloth-its got at least 10 more years of life. I purchased it locally from a shade cloth maker. It was custom sized and fully groumeted (sp). A side benefit is it allows shade plants to grow around the pond.

  10. #10
    Oyagoi Sangreaal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 111whalen View Post
    I put 80% shade cloth over my pond 8 years ago at about 7 feet. It has held up well; I painted the frames this summer and I saw no damage to the cloth-its got at least 10 more years of life. I purchased it locally from a shade cloth maker. It was custom sized and fully groumeted (sp). A side benefit is it allows shade plants to grow around the pond.
    Good. I have shade plants around the pond already.

    Eaves to the greenhouse top will be around 10' in height, so there should be plenty of indirect light whether I went shade cloth or solid. Still waffling on what I want to do...is this just a woman thing, or do men do this too?

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