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Thread: Novice breeding questions

  1. #1
    Fry
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    Novice breeding questions

    Hello,

    I'm new to the group and to koi breeding with (many) questions. I would like to begin breeding koi as a family activity, but in a professional manner that will gradually allow us to improve the quality (and cost) of our breeding stock and produce quality fry for our pond and possibly others.

    I'm only in the planning stage, so my questions are quite general. Living in Massachusetts where winters are long, and in the woods where the predators are numerous, I'm thinking of building a greenhouse-type space in which to conduct the breeding.

    My questions are:

    1. What is the best tank setup for breeding a single pair? By this I mean, how large should the mating tank be? How large must the tanks be for returning the male and female to their respective holding tanks? How large a tank(s) is ideal for the fry, assuming rigorous culling (to say 500 fish).

    2. Is it possible to artificially influence the breeding cycle with temperature and/or light? If I had several mating pairs and controlled the environment to match the temp and light cycle of early summer, could I breed in fall and winter also?

    3. I've read about the use of mud ponds for the best quality fish culled. What advantage does this have (besides aesthetic!).

    4. Finally, I've found a mish-mash of suppliers on the web, but would greatly appreciate any information people may have on high-quality stock and supply dealers. Not trying to inject commercialism into this nice board, but to a novice this is very helpful info. Similarly, links to scientific papers and other quality breeding advice would be invaluable!

    Thank you very much for any and all comments. It is wonderful to have found a board full of such knowledge!

    Best to all,
    Brent

  2. #2
    Jumbo l113892's Avatar
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    Breeding

    I'm not sure I understand question number 3. I feel that the mud pond is crucial to your success.

    As for dealers, I think I'd consider purchasing your parent stock from hobbyists or even other domestic breeders. Maybe you can pick up some breeder stock that other breeders have moved on from. I beginning hobbyist shouldn't go out and buy a $10,000 fish. A beginning breeder should go searching for expensive breeding pairs to start out.

    Just my thoughts.

    Mike Pfeffer
    Mike Pfeffer
    Northern Midwest ZNA show
    June 19 - 20, 2010
    Season's Garden Nursery
    Fishers, IN

  3. #3
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    In your "neck of the woods" having a greenhouse to control the elements and preditors would be a must. yes you can breed koi year around. many in warmer climates get two spawnings a year. ( there's a cost to your brood stock-most serious breeders I know don't subscribe to this practice.) selecting brood stock is the hardest thing to achieve, that i know. in order to do it correctly you must be able to identify quality ( not pattern) and then you have to get lucky that the pair cliques. then you have to gleen articles on fry selection to learn what to look for. It won't be the easiest job you've ever taken on! I spawn my pairs in sterilized
    show tanks ( 8 ft diameter ) the male is moved back to the male pond and the female into another show tank for a few days of rest and recuperation before she goes back with the girls. keep an eye on both of them as spawn is a rigorus activity and injuries do occur. the fry should hatch in 3 days and withing two days will want to have live food. daphney
    and cultured brine shrimp should be used for atleast a month to get growth before switching to other food types. you can match the growth inside to japanese mud ponds. it's all in food,temp and water volumn.
    keep you numbers extremely low. remove those individuals that grow faster than the others to other water with same size siblings or they'll eat thier brothers or sisters. while your learning I'd suggest you try and end up with 24 koi. think about showa or shiro utsuri as your starting point, as the ones with possibilities can be selected at 3 days old. select out 250 nose hair sized babies ( the black ones only ) and begin your experiment. keep notes at what you see happening to the babies each month. hang on to the parents and babies for a minimum of three years to see what develops and how. we are fortunate to have several high class domestic breeders in this country but it's thier livlihood that your curious about so be resigned to know you may have to do lots of elbow grease on your own. I can tell you that in the two years I've bred. it's been alot of work. tomorrow starts year 3 with the shiros and showa pairs being placed together and then it starts.... there are books out there on breeding koi that will help. good luck with your effort. if nothing else you will appreciate
    what it takes to get good koi to a place where they will be sought out to put into people's ponds!

  4. #4
    Jumbo Tosai_Sunny's Avatar
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    Koi Breeding Book

    Hi Dick,

    I am a lurker here, but am always enjoy reading you postings. What book do you recommend reading for breeding koi? I am especially interested in how to cull the fry of gosanke and rearing them. I don't have the facility for the venture yet, but hopefully someday.

    Thanks,
    Tosai Sunny

  5. #5
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    Hi Sunny,
    There always seems to be one on ebay. type in breeding koi and see what comes up. it's a basic book but has fundamentals. comes from an
    Isralei author as i remember.
    My shiros and showas bred yesterday so will be selecting next tuesday and wednesday. the shiros are a proven pair so I'm excited for this year's crop.
    This year in fact in the next coupla weeks I will be breeding my favorite-asagi-for the first time. I'm excited about that as well.
    should you have any follow up questions be sure and ask. I'm no expert in this field and have a lot to learn but will help where I can. i quess my mantra in life is "what goes around comes around"( modern day golden rule)
    I'm glad you wrote, as Lurkers are always welcome but we need to hear from you as well. each is gifted and not everyone sees things the same so don't be afraid to express what you know or would like to know.

  6. #6
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    Dick: About breeding your asagi.... Who is the male? Reasoning behind your selection?

  7. #7
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    Male is reverse from otsooka. meaning scale is blue with black edging.
    mom is ogata, standard narumi meaning blue scale white edging.


    I will get a few few individuals like mom and dad but they usually turn out much better than kind to kind common breeding. trouble with Asagi's is it takes a minimum of three years for selection. that's because the asagi han or blue scale takes that long before it begins to define.

    when they're tosai all you have is white/gray koi swimming around with some red on them! the secret to culling is the elimination of those over run with red at this early stage!

  8. #8
    Administrator Brian's Avatar
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    Otsuka reverse asagi, eh? You should be a very happy man in an edition not too far down the road then Dick! :wink:
    Brian Sousa
    Koi-Bito Forum

  9. #9
    Daihonmei dick benbow's Avatar
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    Male is reverse from otsooka. meaning scale is blue with black edging.
    mom is ogata, standard narumi meaning blue scale white edging.


    I will get a few few individuals like mom and dad but they usually turn out much better than kind to kind common breeding. trouble with Asagi's is it takes a minimum of three years for selection. that's because the asagi han or blue scale takes that long before it begins to define.

    when they're tosai all you have is white/gray koi swimming around with some red on them! the secret to culling is the elimination of those over run with red at this early stage!

  10. #10
    Nisai Sanke56's Avatar
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    I enjoy raising koi too and I am lucky enough to have my own mud ponds. I just put the females out yesterday and will put the males out soon. Their were lots of mosquito larvae etc in some of the ponds. My experinece is somewhat limited. If I had the nerve to cull that heavy it would be great I always want to watch the development of the fry. The less you have the faster they grow that is for sure. You need to use the best parents possible and have a clear goal for an outcome. What do you want to produce what type and quality. I am breeding some from Sakai this year and hope I get some better color in the off - spring. I have showa kohaku and utsirimono parents.
    The perfect koi is always one purchase or spawning away!

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