101 guide to Tanning Regime

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Part 1: The Beginning of a New Start

Conditioning - it would be best to add some K leaves into the tank and increase the lighting intensity gradually over the days...users could use 3 / 6 / 9 / 12 / 24 hrs intervals as a guiding point

Slime Coat Observation - Slime coat is a physical marker for tanning users to observe the stress level of the reds in the tanning process...if users notice a substantial loss of slime coat, its best to add in some aloe vera extract or epsom salt in terms of restoring the protective coating for the reds

Part 2: The When, Where, What and How to go about Tanning

Size suitable for tanning - there is no specific sizes which is the minimum or maximum age for tanning. As long as there is a sign for blushing of colors can be observed on the red, it is deemed to be suitable for tanning.

Position and angle of lights - the recommended position and angle of tanning lights is at the front of the tank, about 5cm under water...or the best level to place the light is the zone where the red frequently swims

Types of tanning lights to use - there are various lights tat can be utilise for the purpose of tanning...namely to mention a few: Arcadia D3, PL lights, Dennerle plant tubes, T5HO and Metal Halide sets. Primarily it would be advisable to start with a PL light set as it is not too intense as the last few lights mentioned...

Part 3: Push up and Hold Up the colors

Push up colors - if the process of Identifying the color blush stage is accurate, tanning will enhance the process and quicken the process of coloration fill up...Fast or slow depends on the spectrum and intensity of tubes used

Hold Up of colors - Tanning is a stimulating process for the reds to enhance production of chromatophores...in layers and in terms of intensity...it is making use of the concept of contrasting...ie. it makes the base colors of the red intensity hence enabling the better distinction between the rim color and the scale base...Tanning process must not be abruptly halt or else users may see the immediate fade of the colors which was "pushed up" previously...all things being equal...it has to be slowed down and reduce in intensity until finally back to the use of normal room light to ensure the proper acclimatising and stablising of colors

Part 4: Frequent Encounters of problems if technique is used wrongly

Slant swimming posture - If the red is not accustomed to the lights to be used, users may observed their red swimming in a slant manner...the only way to counter this measure is to put a light tube at the back of the tank shinning front to make the two sides of the aro gets even lighting

Cloudy Eyes - this is one of the comments passed by a user, personally during my experiment with >10 pcs of reds altogether, it has never occurred. The primary assumptions which users must establish is to have Good water parameters. Cloudy eyes generally is associated with physical scratches or bad water conditions

Appetite Loss - This again has to do with the way the users acclimatise their reds to the tanning regime...if suddenly intensified lights are shone at them, weak-hearted reds will display stress and lose their appetite altogether

Blind?? - This is one of the commonly asked question with regards to the tanning regime...please bear in mind fish sleep with their eyes open...internally there would be filters to block off the excessive lights which may damaged their "cornea" (if they have one - sorry I am not a biologist cannot confirm on the cornea thingy)...up to date I have tested with various light set not exceeding 10,000 lumens equivalent of brightness, going beyond tat range I cannot guarantee safety...the general mkt equipment of PL, T8, T5 all falls below tat marking

Part 5: Additives and special tools

Ketapang leaves - these are needed in terms of the initial kick start process as the tanins within the leaves will slowly emit and allow the readjustment of the water parameters to one tat favours the reds

S7 - commonly used in the planted community together with TR7 so as to provide trace elements in the enclosed tank. This is also common with those trying to enhance the appetite of the reds (reds being picky eaters will be choosy and temperaments changes as they grow)

Bubbles - is used as general guide on how the tank water fares...too much foam on the water level is an indicative sign of potentially bad water...suspended sediments or particles likewise

Epsom Salt - Initial clinical use is to assist the fish to clear their stomach...it is also helpful in regeneration of slim coat on the scales...should not be used excessively...only when there are suspected "dryness" on the scales observed

Part 6: Myths and Fairy Tales

Color in 1 day?? - this is one of most tricky part of tanning which many would swear and curse...cos some would see their red deepening in terms of 1 week or 2 weeks or some in 3 mths no effect even when they are doing the same thing

the general rule of thumb as observed from the tanning experiment, a "normal" SR should come in color within 3 weeks...excluding the time u need to recondition the red if it was in a bad water parameters and ur current tank settings is one tat varies from day to day

If someone tells u they can push color in a day, they are playing with timing...cos one red tat shows sporadic coloration (spots along the rims of their scales) is easier to push than one tat is super whitish in base and scale

the tanning lights merely helps to PUSH out the color, the chromatophores is already existing there to be expounded on

Turn Red after tanning? - I have started tanning experiment in aid to give those so called Cannot Make It reds...its not a magical trick or Photoshop tactics

What tanning done is to amplify the melanophores (black pigments) on the scales making whatever light yellow to dark yellow, light orange to dark orange, light pink to dark pink...tats about all tanning can do in a stage of color blooming...if u want to transcend one level of colors, u must attack the scales when it is of the right timing...

The More the Better? - many users seem to think tat by adding as many light as possible infront of the red will make them red faster...in the contrary, this makes the red very jumpy and overly stressed up...In the end it will slow down the process...same logic in weights training, train with more weights doesnt guarantee powerful pecs if done in the slipslod manner

An Old saying,

there were 3 types of ppl
those who make things happened
those who see things happened
those who ask wat happened?

My theory is:

there were 3 kinds of red
those red tat no need light Can Make it
those red tat NEED Light to Make it
those red whose Owners think they CANNOT MAKE IT

Part 7: Water and its relation with reds

What is considered good water?

Water surface - no accumulation of bubbles at the water mark

In the water - no suspended particle

or in more scientific terms TDS readings....ORP readings could be used as a basic gauge for ur water parameters

Water circulation - A good gauge of the water circulation or flow should be observed by looking out for blind spots or dead spots...a space which water is stagnant is not beneficial for the reds although too much agitation of the water surface is also not recommeded

Filtration basis - Biological should be the primary concerns for reds as it is curcial for the bacteria colony to be able to handle the bioload without the need of too frequent water changes...too much changes to the overall water parameters stressed up the reds and impede the coloration cycle

Sometimes doesnt mean we need extremely clean water to keep gd reds, a gd reds being genetically superior will show their color even in a clear tank...the old method of bubble filter if the user is advanced enuff to observe water and tell the condition could be the most potent filter too...esp with the inclusion of sand as part of the filters

Reds is about STABILITY...

Part 8: Secrets of light

Color Warmth

I will say this one time and one time only...mimic the sun is not wat the tanning regime should do

if u want to use sunshine --> 6500k is sufficient but it will take u long time to see the difference or rather not much difference if u are doing it at the wrong timing too

my preferred kelvins is > 10k tats the range I operating on

Tanning duration:

Tanning is preferably be conducted over a period of 3 weeks minimum with 24 hrs full blast as the prime time zone...the initial startup phase will not be included...the initial phase will only lead the scales to slowly react to the effect of light

Tanning make use of light to stimulate the neurological emission of the color hormones

When to Stop:

The time to stop falls into 2 category:

1. Stress - if the red display too much stress and it has problems with coping with the extreme light...Do stop and go through ur checklist again and see wat needs to be finetune

a. Water? (check ur nitrates...if need wc do a 5%)
b. Timing? (is it the right time?)
c. Feeding? (Am I feeding too much?) Tanning and pumping cannot go hand in hand...there is only so much the red could do in a short span...concentrate on one task before trying to multitask the poor bugger

2. Enuff is Enuff - there is only so much to do to a specific level of color, there is an end to the tanning capability to push the colors...If users observe tat there are no "new" spots of colors appearing on rims or scales, its time to slowly step down the color intensity
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