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Project Koi

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Project Koi

Post  Pterophyllum on Tue 28 Jul 2015, 00:22

Very slowly I think I'm getting more colour into some of my koi, these are from the latest batch...




and I'm struck by how much this one resembles it's father....


Dad....


Mum...


Both mum & dad carry a pb gene, so some of the youngsters are paraiba koi, and some of these are showing a little bit of red on their heads :-



This batch are about 6 months old, but I also have a slightly older batch which are showing reasonable promise...



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Re: Project Koi

Post  Akasha on Tue 28 Jul 2015, 09:14

they're lovely Very Happy
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Re: Project Koi

Post  wildreddeer on Tue 28 Jul 2015, 09:23

Nice one Rob. There coming along nicely. That red is definitely starting to cover.
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Re: Project Koi

Post  Deans_Angels on Tue 28 Jul 2015, 23:00

As ever, I'm always amazed by your pictures Rob. Slowly does it.

I like the black peppering, all very individual. There seems to be a small red patch around the dorsal fin on most of the pictures. Both parents clearly have it.

In one of my lfs the angels poop orange, I think they feed them on carrots. Those weren't koi though (they were marbled and possibly half-black), very strong colours but they seemed a bit 'fake' to me. I'm sure we'd all go orange if we ate too many carrots!

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Re: Project Koi

Post  Deans_Angels on Tue 28 Jul 2015, 23:18

I have just selected 12 off Gm/g - S/+ to keep for myself. In the end my main influence in selecting these were based on reasonable growth rate (perhaps in the top 3/4), fin balance (dorsal and anal), body height (more 'rounded' the better) and I think I tended to pick those which had yellowing on their caps.

When these breed again (which will produce some koi) do you think the covering and/ or depth of yellowing will have any influence on the koi colours? Does true breeding assist or hinder? hmmm ponder...

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Re: Project Koi

Post  Pterophyllum on Wed 29 Jul 2015, 00:29

Hi Dean,
The orange colour comes from carotinoids which are stored in the skin of the fish. as the name suggests these are the same pigments that give carrots their colour. Angelfish, along with many other species of fish, don't produce carotinoids, and must therefore get all that they store in their skin from their diet.
There are therefore two components to getting fish to express orange, the first is that their diet must contain carotinoids, the second is the genetics that control both the tendency to store them in the skin, and where in the skin they are deposited.
A further consideration is that the immune system uses carotinoids, so if the fish is ill or stressed, pigment can be lost.
Many of the American breeders are very open about the fact that they use food with high levels of carotinoids to enhance colour. There are many commercial colour enhancing foods available, all with higher levels of carotinoids. Apart from baby brineshrimp (which does contain carotinoids) which my fish get at least some of for the first 3 - 4 months of their lives, I exclusively feed Tetramin flakes. In common with all prepared foods, tetramin does contain some carotinoids, but not as much as the specific colour enhancing diets available.

When it comes to selecting suitable parents, predicting which fish will produce the best offspring can be a real challenge. I'm certainly not at the stage where I understand how the colour is inherited. If you look on the TAF II website, you'll find lots of threads about koi colour, none of them give a clear answer to the question. Looking at my fish there do seem to be several different shades of orange/yellow/red and distinct areas in which the colour is distributed. My experience is that colour tends to intensify as the fish mature, but that the distribution of orange tends to contract. Colour in the dorsal, anal & ventral fins is an important goal, and as you've noticed a lot of mine are showing some strong red colouration in the dorsal and a few show some anal fin colouration. I've seen fish with very strong red dorsals when younger, but this tends to contract as they age :-

I suspect this one is going to look very like it's mother when older :-


I'm more excited by the colour in this one's dorsal, which somehow looks more "rooted" to me, but time will tell :-


When these breed again (which will produce some koi) do you think the covering and/ or depth of yellowing will have any influence on the koi colours? Does true breeding assist or hinder? hmmm ponder...

Clearly with your gold marble ghosts, the logical thing to do is select those with the strongest colours as potential breeders. One breeder I greatly respect, Carol Francis, suggested that koi that are homozygous for Gm tend to have better colours, and that's something I'm working towards.
Some of my original koi I started with in 2007/8 had very reasonable colour, but they had very poor body shape, and terrible fins. I have worked hard to get better fins/body shape into my fish, and I'm convinced that part of the reason I've been successful, is that I've avoided too much inbreeding. However some breeders do produce excellent fish through careful inbreeding programs.
I have noticed that the best coloured fish do tend to be slower growing compared with some of their less well coloured siblings and there is a tendency for the better coloured fish to have less good fins. I do wonder if there's a trade off between an active immune system using lots of carrotine & a less active one that leaves more free for colour at the expense of long term health.
Personally I'd rather have a reasonably coloured well proportioned fish, than a stunningly coloured misshapen runt.

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Re: Project Koi

Post  Akasha on Wed 29 Jul 2015, 09:35

very interesting about the carotinoids - my lot get fed tetra Prima and I always thought that was why my angels poo orange!
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Re: Project Koi

Post  Deans_Angels on Wed 29 Jul 2015, 20:26

Thanks for all the info Rob.

Maybe I will look on TAF II, it's not a site I visit mainly because I expect that users will be even further afield. That said, there might be more information for my hungry mind to absorb. You're leading me astray now, what with these koi Laughing

I found this site recently, very interesting and a member of this forum:

http://www.pterophyllumscalare.es/

Akasha: Maybe I need some of that food, but I was thinking of making my own at some point.

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Re: Project Koi

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