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  • kujaku color change

    Last weekend I purchased a small (~5") kujaku that had a completely orange/red head. Within a matter or days the color began to fade. I have another larger kujaku that has been in the pond for 3 weeks that hasn't changed at all. A showa that I have has shown sumi fading, but not any change in its hi. I check the water quality very often and have found (with a comprehensive Tetra kit) very low ammonia, nitrate, and nitrate. The pH is around 7.8 and seems to be stable. The KH is 4 (admittedly low, but I'm working on raising it). I don't have at test kit for GH, but I know that my well water is quite hard. I have a water softener installed but have bypassed this since putting a pond in 4 years ago. My bet is that it is the hardness of the water. In general would it be better to slowly change over the pond to soft water, as far as the coloration of the fish is concerned?
  • #2

    I could write a book on your question. seriously!

    Like all big items let's break it down so like a piece of blueberry pie, we can eat it piece by piece.

    From a breeders stand point i want to position my tateshita to look the best they can be for sale. These koi did not make the cut to grow on and are part of my income for the year. I will probably feed them color enhancers that present them as best as they can be. When the distributor/dealer gets them and eventually yourself, the influence of the color enhancer will disapate. I suspect this because your same color variety did not change so water conditions are not to blame.

    That does not mean your water is the best for any one variety. Most koi kichi's attempt to keep a mixed bag of koi with different needs. This is for their own enjoyment not to the benefit of any one color variety that made need different water. ( my first love, Asagi's are a good example)

    I feel uncomfortable when i read that your amonnia and nitrites are low. You have work to do on your water quality. please don't take my comments as unkind or uncaring. Actually the opposite is true! I didn't have acceptable water during my learning curve, nor do i expect you to have. But you need to
    constantly work daily to improve. No amonnia or nitrite should be showing. To me that shows incomplete filtration.
    . Your KH is perfectly fine if you have smaller numbers of koi.
    The only time you need a high buffer is in an over crowded condition. I strongly suggest you get on Yume koi's web sight and read up on Mike's excellent articles on water quality.
    I suspect your on to the excellent Koi Bito magazine that referred you to this chat line. If not you'll need to subscribe. Focus on the lessons learned from the bakki shower. fast turn over, lots of air. This creates an aerobic condition to encourage the right bugs to prosper in your system. People often criticise the inventor's use of constant addition of new water. Actually this keeps the water "fit" and not exhausted of nutrients and minerals. Young growing koi get more thru absorbtion from the water than from the food.
    When it comes to your water conditioner vs taps water, do some reasearch and find out what the water conditions are like IN JAPAN. They are vastly different than SA,UK or north american water. people like cliff neal in the Uk which has taken the last two national shows there understands the process
    and his use of reverse osmosis water and the bacteria House media.

    there is a youngster here who posts on KB named "Brake-son". He will have an impossible time coming up with the money resources to apply cliff's system. But at his young age if he can get a grasp around why this is happening and re invent it to match his conditions and means, he will be a force to "reccon " with in the future. So many times in my seminars i hear my students complain about the cost of water and filters. yet I encourage them to understand the balance of what is accomplished and how, and then scale it down to something they can afford. First understand the principle.

    I hope something I've said helps your understanding and encourages you to lift the bar for your water keeping!
    Dick Benbow

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    • #3

      Pay attention

      Don!t ask any one else. Pay attention to the man that answered. I do not know him personally nor have I ever met him(my loss) but believe me he knows about what he said. Good luck. Mac
      The Real MacKoi

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      • #4

        I can only report what the Tetra kit colorimetric assays reveal, which is not the same as having a complete water analysis done by a lab. In regard to ammonia and nitrite the readings were zero. The nitrate was 12.5 mg/l or less. For the record, I spend a lot of time working on the pond attempting to provide the best water I can for the fish, which is what inspired my original question regarding GH.

        Comment

        • #5

          The hardness of your water should have strengthened the black and not caused a fading of the color. SHowa and sanke both i have seen the black come up and down for years until it stabilizes at about 5-9 years. matsunosuke bloodline koi are famous for this.

          was curious at what extent you change water as a good flushing always helps to keep the nitrate levels lowest.
          Dick Benbow

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          • #6

            I do a water change of at least 10% each week and clean the bottom of the pond once or twice a week, as well as the mechanical component of the filter. I also add Microb-Lift PL and Microbe-Lift Thera P each week.

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            • #7

              pointing more and more away from water and more and more like genetics!
              Dick Benbow

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              • #8

                It's surprising that a fish can lose its color so fast. As a biologist, I can understand the transient loss of color in response to the stress of shipping or a change in its environment, but not to the degree that this one has changed. Among other things it makes me wonder whether the vendor or the breeder (supposedly Yamazuki) was feeding it excessive amounts of color enhancing food to force the animal to be colorful much earlier than it normally would be. If the fish develops the color pattern that it had over time I still will be very pleased with it. Interesting, I also have a showa that lost some of its sumi on its caudal peduncle and a small spot on its head after only a week in my pond.

                Comment

                • #9

                  being that young a fish means the older fish can not be considered in the equation...a young fish often just loses its color...the younger the most likely it will loose its color.

                  Dick? I know the BKKS GC won before...but not last year...did Neal win the year before with a different fish?

                  Comment

                  • #10

                    Luke, I was remembering that the same sanke won two years in a row.

                    Help me out here readers, is my memory going?



                    I do believe the comment about younger fish being more subject to changes due to stresses in shipment is a good consideration. Especial with Tanchos!
                    Dick Benbow

                    Comment

                    • #11

                      The fact that your pond bottom requires vacuuming is a bit troubling.
                      Mike Pfeffer
                      Northern Midwest ZNA show
                      June 19 - 20, 2010
                      Season's Garden Nursery
                      Fishers, IN

                      Comment

                      • #12

                        Dick: Cliff Neale's Sanke won GC in 2003 and 2005. In 2004 she was a contender, but came up short compared to the Kohaku "The Mask". ....Staying in competitive condition 3 years running is impressive!

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