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Thread: kohaku losing red - is it the fish or my pond/water factors?

  1. #1
    Fry
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    kohaku losing red - is it the fish or my pond/water factors?

    Hi everyone,

    I'm a brand new koi owner and have been browsing this forum recently, trying to do some learning.
    I want to ask about a kohaku we bought which is losing colour very rapidly. It's supposed to be a Dainichi, and so (by bloodline reputation) we thought it ought to be fairly stable.

    Pics on the left are on date of purchase, 18 May. Pics on the right are 3 June.
    (ignore the orangness of the June pics, that's just colour distortion from the camera/night-lights)


    Given that it has only been *gasp* 17 days, the recession seems quite drastic.
    Is this due to the fish being inherently poor (ie. beginner doesn't know what to look for), or something to do with my pond/water parameters?
    It's a concrete pond, with a deck/shade on one corner. Gets full sun for probably about 4 hours per day. Ph is around 8+. Feed is standard packaged koi pellets (with colour enhancer).

    I'm linking a bigger version of one of the 18 May pics, it might make it easier for you guys to give me some pointers on choosing kohaku and things I should avoid.
    http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y49...h/IMG_7369.jpg

  2. #2
    Oyagoi CarolinaGirl's Avatar
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    See the extreme scalloping on the back edge of the red in the first picture....almost like the scales are individual marked in red with a white border creeping in around them? that is a sure sign that the red is on it's way out. Bloodlines don't make any difference when you see that scalloped red, and it is unlikely any one's water could have made that red stay put, although some water can make the red fade faster than it may have under different circumstances. Stress will also make beni fade faster (and nothing is more stressful than going to a new home) . Even the best koi breeders in the world produce poor quality fish along with the good, so never buy a fish based on it's bloodlines alone. A young high grade kohaku with beni that is strong enough to last for years will cost a pile of money, even more if it is Dainichi. On the other hand, a young kohaku with weak beni might be very pretty now, but the breeder knows how long it will last and prices it accordingly.

  3. #3
    Honmei
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    Another thing to look for when sellecting koi w/beni is to watch them swim (if larger koi) and see if white becomes apparent between the scales as the koi bends with its swimming motion. On younger koi, ask the dealer to "bend" the koi so as to look at the depth of beni.

    Steve
    The views presented are my personal views and not that of any organization that I may belong to unless otherwise specified. [email protected]
    CKHPA

  4. #4
    Oyagoi CarolinaGirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schildkoi View Post
    Another thing to look for when sellecting koi w/beni is to watch them swim (if larger koi) and see if white becomes apparent between the scales as the koi bends with its swimming motion. On younger koi, ask the dealer to "bend" the koi so as to look at the depth of beni.

    Steve
    yep...and this concept is a little hard to understand until you see someone demonstrate it. It's like layers of paint. Do you ever have a chance to go to koi shows? If so, find quality koi and ask Mat McCann to show you and explain it...he is always willing to help out someone who is trying to learn. On some fish, a slight bend and you can see white between the scales. That beni is only scale deep and won't last long. Some call that "one layer of paint". On other fish, the beni is so deep you can bend a fish and still see the red (3 to 4 layers thick). That is a good strong beni that should hold up well. the deeper the beni, the higher the price tag.

  5. #5
    Nisai
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    Excellent points everyone. However, while I agree about the depth and quality of the beni, the speeds at which the beni has faded should be taken into account. I would bet that it is a combination of the new pond along with other water quality issues that is causing the rapid loss in the beni.

    What are your water parameters?

  6. #6
    Jumbo carrie1964's Avatar
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    After watching a seminar by Mat McCann presented tomy ZNA club, I tried this on some of my koi. And WOW , was it obvious!! You really can see the quality of the beni that way.

    On another note, I had a kohaku that appeared to do the same thing over a period of two weeks. It was a domestic koi, and I was lucky enough to talk to the breeder about it. I had spawning activity, and THATS when she began to fade. She was putting her energy into egg production. After she had her first spawn, her beni deepened again . Just like the breeder said it would!

  7. #7
    Honmei
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    Quote Originally Posted by ootyboy View Post
    Excellent points everyone. However, while I agree about the depth and quality of the beni, the speeds at which the beni has faded should be taken into account. I would bet that it is a combination of the new pond along with other water quality issues that is causing the rapid loss in the beni.

    What are your water parameters?
    Ooty, Stable, thick beni is unlikely to "rapidly disappear." Yes, this rapid fading of beni had a trigger and as Cindy mentioned, the simple change in water chemistry from origin to new pond would be the likely candidate for what would have eventual occurred anyway IMHO

    On a brighter note, it will become a "rare, No Step Kohaku". I guess it could be sold on Ebay?

    Steve
    The views presented are my personal views and not that of any organization that I may belong to unless otherwise specified. [email protected]
    CKHPA

  8. #8
    Jumbo farne230's Avatar
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    The only way I can tell what is happening would be to photograph the koi in the blue tub not pond. If there is a lightening of beni and hi then I agree degradation of beni and hi does not fade this quick unless shifts in water chemistry or infection are in effect. Shifts in water chemistry is not necessarily bad, for example moving twards softer water causing a similar effect in appearance where scales lay down and seam to focus the hi.
    Bob

  9. #9
    Oyagoi gspotmc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schildkoi View Post
    Ooty, Stable, thick beni is unlikely to "rapidly disappear." Yes, this rapid fading of beni had a trigger and as Cindy mentioned, the simple change in water chemistry from origin to new pond would be the likely candidate for what would have eventual occurred anyway IMHO

    On a brighter note, it will become a "rare, No Step Kohaku". I guess it could be sold on Ebay?

    Steve
    A very nice shiro muji which will be very exceptionally rare and hard to find.

  10. #10
    Oyagoi mrbradleybradley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schildkoi View Post
    On a brighter note, it will become a "rare, No Step Kohaku". I guess it could be sold on Ebay?
    Steve
    Too funny, I almost lost my coffee on this one, thanks Steve.

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