Choosing Koi With A Future


When buying a koi carp of any size, it is important to look for a decent body and head shape that are in proportion with each other. However, a fat koi isn’t necessarily a koi with good shape, there is a little more to it than that.

It is also important to bear in mind that koi don’t usually have good ‘volume’ at a small size, and that a koi will build its frame (bone structure) as it grows. Hence, buying a small koi will always be a little more difficult than buying a bigger two or three-year-old.

To help you understand body shape we have split it into several areas, all of which have equal bearing on the size potential of the koi and how impressive it will be when it is bigger.

Never choose a fish primarily for its pattern. This can only lead to long-term disappointment


headStudying a koi’s head and understanding what constitutes a good shape is made easier by comparing it to the other fish in the bowl. A good head will be broad and long, with a wide mouth, and the eyes set a good distance apart and not close to the mouth.

It is quite common in the UK to see koi that have a narrow or short head, with the eyes being too close to the mouth. Such koi will seldom get big and should be avoided. Another aspect to look for is the underside of the cheeks of the koi. The profile of the cheekbone should be free of defects. Also make sure that the gill covers follow the same smooth line as the overall head shape, and don’t stand proud, bulge or flare outwards just before the body.


Jitai means ‘height’ and quite literally refers to the height …

How to Overcome Outdoor Lighting LEDs Thermal Management Issues

outdoor led neon lights

While the compact florescent light bulb has been an energy efficient option for more than 20 years, consumers were actively encouraged to replace incandescent bulbs with CFLs,  with the idea that the simplest change could have a lasting effect on energy consumption just in the last 10 years. Used both internally and externally, CFLs did change the lighting industry, but on its heels and destined to make an even larger impact in energy consumption, was the introduction of the LED for lighting.

In 2006, LEDs were introduced as a safer and more energy efficient option for Christmas tree lights, but the energy savings do not, and will not, stop there. LED lighting has advanced leaps and bounds over the past three years, with real reliable solutions available to replace the common 75 to 100 watt incandescent bulb, and high brightness LED Neon lights are now looking to save the environment by addressing outdoor lighting solutions.

The current cost of outdoor lighting to municipalities, retailers and even home owners is substantial. Retrofitting fixtures or replacing classic outdoor lighting solutions with LEDs stands to save millions of dollars a year in energy costs, but there are still advancements that need to be made to outweigh the cost of installing these energy savers in the first place.

Current limitations for outdoor LED lighting center around the lumen output not being sufficient for use case needs. While LED technology is advancing, these needs cannot be reached with the current thermal management solutions in place for outdoor lighting designs, most notably passive cooling. LED lights cooled by a passive heat sink rather than by an active cooling solution like SynJet are inherently larger, less reliable due to heat damage to the LEDs, less flexible and produce less light.

As manufacturers discover how to solve the …

Do Your Pets Need Multivitamins?


Most of us are in the habit of daily taking a multivitamin.  While we aim to eat a sensible, balanced diet with the everyday stresses and responsibilities it’s not something we achieve all of the time.  So taking a multivitamin makes sure we are not missing out on any of the vital micronutrients we need to keep our bodies operating correctly.  But have you ever stopped to consider that your pet may also need a multivitamin?

Reasons Why Your Pet Might Need Multivitamins

Just like humans, animals get their nutrients from their food.  So whether your pet does or does not need multivitamins depends on what you are feeding him.  Like so much else in life, you get what you pay for.


The high-end more expensive pet foods that are advertised as “complete and balanced” are usually specially formulated to contain all of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your pet requires.  However if you are using cheaper brands or making your pet food yourself you may need to double check that your pet’s diet contains all the micronutrients it needs to stay healthy.

There are other factors to consider as well.  Obviously each variety of pet is different but let’s look at dogs as an example.  However good the dog food you buy it will have to have been designed for a standardised “average” dog.  Any variant from the ‘average’ would make a difference to how ideal the food is for your dog. The nutritional needs of a large dog such as an Alsatian are going to be different to the needs of a small dog like a Highland Terrier. While you maybe feeding them a dog food that is “balanced and complete” you would feed the smaller dog less and the bigger dog more, resulting in them getting different …

Talking to the Enemy

I listened last night to Jonathan Powell’s repeated Radio 4 programme on negotiating with terrorists. There were some great quotes to remember.  Jerry Kelly – IRA terrorist – on sitting down with the Unionists – “You can only negotiate, and move things forward, with opponents.  You can talk to friends all day”.  How to deal with anger and tension – “I usually let them shout for a bit then I say ‘I think it’s time we had a coffee and I think we are going to get there this way. And if you guys want to go back to war, go to it, it’s what you have been doing for 50 years.  But that’s not what this is about.”  And the bicycle theory – you have to keep it moving forward because if it falls over it’s very hard to pick up again.

It is still available on the BBC iPlayer until 28th July – click here. I shall be looking forward to next week’s final part.