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Fish Changing Color


awrieger

It's been a generally accepted credo that fish need to be kept outdoors to get sunlight to keep them black, at least until they become full grown. Many new owners of black fish excitedly bring them home and give them names like Shadow or Black Beauty, only to find their fish losing their black and turning orange or white. :cry1

Has this happened to you? Yes? Well, no more! Because from the laboratories of awrieger comes the solution to keep those black fish black! Heck, turn fish that aren't black, black! ;)

Seriously though, this works. I've done it before, but now I know why. And it's absurdly simple. It's the light spectrum. More red and the fish's pigment increases. Don't believe me? Here's the calico ryukin I bought 8 weeks ago compared to now showing both sides:

The right side, 8 weeks ago, and now:

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0606243.jpg

Excuse the more recent pics being more reddish, that's just the setting on my camera being different. Here's the left side:

0605038.jpg

0606242.jpg

I was actually concerned when I first got this fish (Johnson to his friends) because I could see the orange under the black on his fins and thought I'd lose the black. But no, it looks like the reverse is happening. And why? A simple red-spectrum GroLux plant growth light tube.

Now, I mentioned I had done this before. But back then I didn't know why it happened. I thought it might have been the pH. But now I know it's because this fish was in a planted tank which not one GroLux tube, but three! So the speed of blackening was vastly faster than my current fish. This fish went totally 100% black like a black moor within three weeks:

colourchange.jpg

So there you go. No more 'oh why is my black fish losing it's black?' problems. :)


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  • Regular Member

wow thats amazing, although not really silly, as plants grow better with more light, and i have also noticed with my own fish, ever since keeping light on abit more and also since i have had light on them for the last 6 months or so, my fish are very rich in there colours, not dull at all, i also bought a blue telescope today and a baby black more, and maybe i might by this panda telscope i saw today, as i have to much red in my tank, and yes it is abit of an excuse to buy more fish lol.

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  • Regular Member

:) Wow, that is really neat to know! I wish I had a way to get my fish outside. I wonder if having the tanks near a window with a short amount of time in the sunlight would work? Of course, then the algea would start up worse then what I battle now. :krazy:

Thanks for the info!

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Amazing!thanks so much for the tip!so simple yet sensible.i bet you will be having show winners in no time...im always breath taken by clico ryukins as they are rare in Uk,i love ryukins very much♥

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  • Regular Member

You're welcome. :) Of course it also works with orange and red pigments as well which you can see in the photos is spreading too in places. Not so good seeing it happen on my white & orange ryukin Suzy who has been slowly turning solid orange, something I didn't actually want to happen!

...and yes it is abit of an excuse to buy more fish lol.

Hi Sonni! No excuse needed to get more goldies! :)

are these the light tubes you mean? i would really like to get some...

http://www.bltdirect.com/products.php?cat=101

The one and only, Tinks! I actually use them on my non-planted goldie tanks for the very reason they write there, because its red spectrum visually enhances the look of the reds and golds of the fish. Now I know it actually physically enhances it too! :)

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  • Regular Member

hey awrieger, see my lucy in my post here, thats her now remember she was really sick on me last year, and she was the one in my old signature, she's grown heaps hasnt she, i also wondering if i have that glob, mine looks the same are they about $40 each, i think thats what i paid, cant remember now.

Edited by puggirl
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  • Regular Member

Lighting making colors more vibrant is nothing new. if you enter a fish market and look at the color of the fish which is newly caught, and look at a fish that has been in the market for 3 days there is a huge color difference. this is most notable on red snappers and titilation fish.

In all lights there is a certain frequency. different frequency effects things differently. The study was made by with electron particles which jumped to between metal sheets, also the same study showed that the brightness has no relations to the ability of the light to make particles jump. So perhaps red light is a key source for pixels.

I'll look more into this. Unless ofcourse awreiger wants to do the paper himself :D

Edited by maniacholic
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  • Regular Member

Riz, Johnson has been in a bare tank all by himself since I got him, so no special plant chemicals or anything. I just use the plant-growth tube because it's not so bright to the human eye (we can't see red as well as the rest of the spectrum) and because it makes the reds in the fish look redder.

Sonni, I certainly do remember Lucy! She was minutes from you putting her down but she came good again. A lesson to all to never give up until the fish itself does! :) Her wen growth has been great as well compared to when she was younger. As for the tube, it's actually written on the tube itself on one end what type it is, usually with the maker's name as well so it would say 'Sylvania Gro-Lux' on it.

Maniac, I'm just guessing the lower wavelengths on the red end of the spectrum promote the pigments in the fish's scales. I'm no scientist though, or a really bad amateur one at best so I have no idea as to the 'why' of fish losing their black under normal aquarium lights, but increasing it under grolux tubes. If you can find out, I for one would love to know!

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Actually, I think Lucy would be a good example to post in that before & after thread. How she's grown and especially her wen makes her look like a totally different fish now! There are a lot of people always wondering if their fish will develop a wen, and she's proof! :)

Edited by awrieger
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  • Regular Member

Lol :lol: I just checked the lighting for my tank and it's also Grolux :rofl I got a black ranchu in the tank and it retains its colour so far, so the light might just be working :D

Oh btw puggirl, I think ur siggy now is too big.

Edited by d_golem
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  • Regular Member

Actually, looking at the ranchu-stages in your signature pic and how the white scales on its back are turning orange/red, I'd believe you do have a grolux tube! Unless it's the one you're keeping outdoors?

Edit. PS. It also seems to be developing orange underneath too, which could be the light reflecting off the bottom.

Edited by awrieger
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  • Regular Member

Actually, looking at the ranchu-stages in your signature pic and how the white scales on its back are turning orange/red, I'd believe you do have a grolux tube! Unless it's the one you're keeping outdoors?

Edit. PS. It also seems to be developing orange underneath too, which could be the light reflecting off the bottom.

That ranchu started changing colours when it was in the GW tub. She has been in the tank for about 3-4 months now and the rate of colour change hasn't dropped.

U think the orange underneath is from the reflecting light? It's indeed bare tank and I painted the bottom blue. Then again if u see the 2nd last pic in the siggy, I took it when she was in GW, so reflecting light might not be the cause.

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Where abouts can you get these lights or something similar? Im currently making a hood for my fish tank and I have a black moor in there whos colors are a bit on the faded side and some plants that probably need better lighting.

:)

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Guest FinnyFinnedFriend

Posted (edited)

Huh, you know I wonder if it is the same as tanning for fish? that certain lights in the spectuam cause pigmintation in peoples skin, If that Is what happens with a red spectrum light, I wonder what happens when you put an ultra violet light on, or a black light (ya same thing I know)

Have you noticed a differnce in the plant growth versus regular tube lite?

Edited by FinnyFinnedFriend
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  • Regular Member

Oh my goodness, I don't care how much black your little calico ryukin has!! He is sooooo cute!! You have the most gorgeous ryukins! I'm jealous. :heart

Thanks for the info on the lights. Very interesting. I'll keep that in mind next time I'm looking for new lights. BTW--what "color" does your tank look with those lights on? For example, I have compact fluorescents and they give the tank a bluish glow. My other tank with a standard fluorescent light looks more white or "natural". Does that make any sense? :unsure:

PS I just noticed the pearlscales in your siggy--now I'm even more jealous!!

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Riz, Johnson has been in a bare tank all by himself since I got him, so no special plant chemicals or anything. I just use the plant-growth tube because it's not so bright to the human eye (we can't see red as well as the rest of the spectrum) and because it makes the reds in the fish look redder.

Sonni, I certainly do remember Lucy! She was minutes from you putting her down but she came good again. A lesson to all to never give up until the fish itself does! :) Her wen growth has been great as well compared to when she was younger. As for the tube, it's actually written on the tube itself on one end what type it is, usually with the maker's name as well so it would say 'Sylvania Gro-Lux' on it.

Maniac, I'm just guessing the lower wavelengths on the red end of the spectrum promote the pigments in the fish's scales. I'm no scientist though, or a really bad amateur one at best so I have no idea as to the 'why' of fish losing their black under normal aquarium lights, but increasing it under grolux tubes. If you can find out, I for one would love to know!

Logically, a light (or a wave) with high amplitude would be too fat to enter the slime coat, then enter the cells of the fish and cause activity.

It's like trying to hit a pea size hole with an out of controll facet that's spraying left and right while the hole is directly under the facet. The motion of the water is too unprecise to cause any noticeble amount of water to smoothly pass through the pea size hole.

But hey we needa get working if we want real results rather then speculation.

BTW red light has low amplitude

Edited by maniacholic
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  • Regular Member

Maniac, so red's the same wavelength as blue light, but lower amplitude? So it has more chance of entering the pigment cell? You need to know both physics and biology to work out what the interaction would be, and I can't remember enough of either from my old school days!

Fantailfan1, thank you so much. He's a little bezerker bob the way he swims around his tank all day long. :) A Grolux tube looks just like a normal white tube (see the link in Tink's post), but it gives off more light in the red spectrum which we humans can't see so well with our eyes, so it doesn't look as bright as a normal tube (even though they're the same light strength). I actually prefer that more subtle lighting. And the red brings out the reds in your fish more vibrantly as well, which I like too. When I tried swapping a normal light tube back in once, it was like turning on a bright, garish office light by comparison. So I swapped them straight back again! :)

Compact fluorescent light fixtures are usually sold packaged with 'blue-spectrum' tubes for marine tanks, so that would explain the blue-ness you have. Standard fluoro lights like on your other tank are usually sold with 'tri-phosphor' or 'full spectrum' tubes in them which simulate more natural sunlight (as best they can). Unfortunately Grolux is not made in compact fluorosecents as far as I know. The closest is a General Electric '9325K', but they only come in 2' length tubes. (I know about these tubes because I have them on my planted tanks!).

FinnyFinnedFriend, tanning was exactly what I was thinking! We're on the same wavelength, ha ha! ;) I can't see why fish pigment would be too much different to our own and react to light. And yes, Grolux tubes are actually made to promote plant growth because plants absorb red light more easily than green or blue so they grow better because they use more of the light from the tube instead of it just being wasted.

Kasper, I just buy mine from the lfs. They usually have them in stock along with all the other types of replacement tubes on the rack in all different lengths. Otherwise you could buy them from an online aquarium retailer I'm sure.

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  • Regular Member

When I tried swapping a normal light tube back in once, it was like turning on a bright, garish office light by comparison. So I swapped them straight back again! :)

That's exactly what I did! :rofl The Grolux tube gives off a much nicer more comforting purplish hue :)

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  • Regular Member

Maniac, so red's the same wavelength as blue light, but lower amplitude? So it has more chance of entering the pigment cell? You need to know both physics and biology to work out what the interaction would be, and I can't remember enough of either from my old school days!

no red has a higher wavelength while blue has a higher amplitude.

most of this knowledge is actually botany related.

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  • Regular Member

just checked, my light it is a biolux, um yes i know my signature is to big, i'm just experimenting, i will get a better pic today and adjust it. :)

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umm.. guys, i've had growlux tubes in my tanks for years (like 5 years, ever since i bought flouros) and my black always dissappears.. they are generally the cheapest. I change them like once every 2 years (yea it probably should be more often but hey, i dont exactly have plants!).

http://tbbw.customer.netspace.net.au/tube%20002.jpg

They do give off a redish/pinkish/purplish hue, which i like on my fish, but never have any of my fish kept its black.

My latest black fish, my panda

before

http://tbbw.customer.netspace.net.au/PandaButterfly7.jpg

after, yea he lost an eye :P hes a bit of a jimp now, someone sucked it out! (a fish i mean..)

http://tbbw.customer.netspace.net.au/panda.jpg

I'm pretty sure its not just the lights.. Unless theres another growlux brand around? But still ifs its just the red spectrum, these offer that, so... yeah.. :P

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