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  • Sunlight, Koi and Ponds?

    Okay gang, simple question. Do koi require any amount of sunlight? UV Light? Does exposure to sun deter or help grow or quality of koi. I'm guessing mud ponds and summer seasons is telling me the answer, but has anyone grown koi in heavily shaded ponds with similar results? I'm also assuming that sunlight is just good natural way for ponds in nature to flourish. Any insights?
  • #2

    Sunlight in the fall and winter is critical to maintain high quality colors hence all the greenhouses in Niigata.

    The only time i have seen anything negative is in shallow ponds under bright sun where the koi actually get a burn if they don't have a place to hide and get into the shade. In your climate it would be a good idea to shade half your pond and allow them a chance to seek their own comfort


    even in some grow ponds I have seen certain plants used to create floating areas of shade.

    as a former avid fisherman I have seen many species with just their head under the shade of a sunken log or hiding under the end of a dock in the shade!

    Bout the time I think we've answered all your questions then you surprise me! Keep up the good work!
    Dick Benbow

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    • #3

      Does anyone know if Japanese breeders supplement sunlight with either Metal Halide or Sodium high intensity discharge lights?
      ChrisC

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      • #4

        Originally posted by dick benbow
        Bout the time I think we've answered all your questions then you surprise me! Keep up the good work!
        Don't worry Dick, even with ALL my questions, I can and will always find some nuance or tidbit that will cause myself sleepless nights. Just my nature I guess. I'm real intense when it comes to learning and planning projects. In the meantime, I'll just keep plugging away...

        Thanks to everyones help, I'm starting to feel a little more comfortable about my own ability to pull the pond construction together with minimal revisions. We'll have to see about that?

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        • #5

          In planning a new pond, there will be an open wood structure built to cover it, with the "roof" made of shadecloth. I've not decided between 60% or 80% shade. Direct sun would enter from the South and West when the sun is low in the sky. Thoughts?

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          • #6

            MikeM,

            We are using a 63% shade cloth over the ponds. This works well but if you also cover the plants around the pond, do not use more than 55%.

            Let the shade cloth drape down on the South-West side in a way that it can be rolled up.

            Oh! Also make sure to only use BLACK shade cloth: any other color will alter the colors of the koi.

            Have fun!
            Arthur

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            • #7

              If it is to be a permanent structure, why not make a lath house - small strips of wood which block 50 (or whatever) percent of the light. The lath house is what they used before shade cloth was invented. I just think it looks better.

              -steve

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              • #8

                Arthur:

                Thanks for your information...I have one question re: your quote:

                "Oh! Also make sure to only use BLACK shade cloth: any other color will alter the colors of the koi."

                Where did you get this information? What causes the color change? Do you have any specifics on the effects of the different colors...ie: What happens if we use maize (beige) shade cloth or green, etc... Any reference material will be greatly appreciated...

                Looking forward to your reply as a number of friends will be putting shade cloth up in the next few weeks....In addition, based on your comments, I may have to change ours to black...

                Aloha! Mike

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                • #9

                  MikeT,
                  Just guessing but maybe the color variations is just the product of reflectance off adjacent materials. I guess like smoked or blue tinted glass. kind of makes sense to me, interested in Arthurs explanation as well.

                  As for shade cloth, thats out for me...I'm already placing the pond inside the setbacks, which means nothing overhead there. Its ok cause pond location is on the North side of the house, house blocks sun almost all day. Estimating half sun/half shade throughout the day at the most.

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                  • #10

                    Originally posted by bekko
                    If it is to be a permanent structure, why not make a lath house - small strips of wood which block 50 (or whatever) percent of the light. The lath house is what they used before shade cloth was invented. I just think it looks better.

                    -steve
                    Very architectural Steve, I'm very impressed.

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                    • #11

                      Carl:

                      Your pond should be OK, our "Japanese" garden pond is in the open next to our house and under 3 guava trees, like your location 1/2 of pond is usually in the shade no matter the daytime hour...No problems

                      Use a shade cloth over second pond more to keep neighbors plumeria leaves from falling into the pond, than for the shade... Hopefully you don't have any mango trees near your pond location, heard the falling flowers may cause toxic reaction in pond...

                      Any word from the Army yet... All the koi club members are looking forward to visiting you in Japan and having you show us around...

                      Aloha! Mike

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                      • #12

                        Bekko: The structure will be similar to a lath house, but not as much lattice needed when using shadecloth. The purpose is two-fold: shade and reducing leaf debris falling into pond. When the hurricanes took out the trees around my pond last Fall, there were immediate consequences from eliminating leaf drop and having full sun. Water quality became more stable, nitrate levels plummeted and algae on the pond walls went rampant. The sloughed off algae requires daily filter maintenance to avoid blockage. I want to restore shade, but also minimize leaf drop.

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                        • #13

                          Shade Cloth Color

                          MikeT

                          I found out the hard way: a bright green shade cloth over the pond. As for the explanation, I'll just post Brady Brandwood's response to you on NI for the benefit of the orthers reading this thread:

                          "... yes, the color of your shade cloth can change the "way your eye sees the Koi" by changing the color temp. of the light, and/or bouncing and reflecting unnatural colors onto the pond. Blue boosts the color temp up,... and yellow or orange will drop the color temp of the sunlight down,... both directions can create false color representation. Obviously this isn't truly affecting the Koi's colors,... unless a lot of natural sunlight is removed for long periods of time. Beyond reflected light,... reducing light changes the way our eye sees details.


                          Black is the preferred color because it is a "neutral" or negative color - it doesn't reflect light, and it doesn't produce a glare or reflection on the pond water.
                          Best Wishes,
                          Brady Brandwood "

                          MikeM

                          Shade cloth is also great to catch leaves (and other things) from hitting your pond. You can simply use a blower to move them off the cloth. Also great for catching blooms and seed pods in the Spring. Unfortunatey, due to a warm spell earlier than normal this year, the cloth was not up yet to catch the flower petals of a HUGE Cherry tree next door :-(

                          Arthur
                          Arthur

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                          • #14

                            one year a few years back at a show, they put up three tents to cover the display tanks. my friend who usually wins a number of big awards took nothing that year. the two end tents were white, the one he was under was yellow.
                            made his reds look weak. he complained and asked to have the koi judged outside but his didn't get close enough to even be considered for a close race.
                            yup, color can make a difference.
                            Dick Benbow

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                            • #15

                              That's why be wary of dealers who's tanks are shaded in blue...Makes the reds look darker....My pond is shaded by 2 trees an olive tree and a lemon tree...yes it is a lot of work scooping leaves out of the pond, but the fish are calm and happier this way in my opinion...
                              The world sleeps as the chance to learn something new passes.

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