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Spawning what do I do now!

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  • Spawning what do I do now!


    I went to feed the Koi this morning and they have decided its a great time to spawn so have thrown a couple of spawning brushes into the pond.

    As this is my 1st spawning can someone tell me what to next. In a step by step guide.

    Many thanks

  • #2

    Chris: The guys with real experience will chime in soon, I'm sure. While we wait, if you are at risk of the eggs getting eaten, then remove the spawning brushes to a separate tank with aeration. I would use the same pond water to reduce shock. An anti-bacterial would be my next step ... a dose of methylene blue. But, this is no longer available in some areas. If not available, wait for the real experts to reply.

    Since this is un-planned, you will not have a grow pond ready and you will not have the micro foods the new fry will need. You still have several days before they are free swimming, but need to get a grow pond set up. Bigger is better. Try a kiddie pool if nothing else. Just be sure it does not have algae retardents in the plastic. As to fry food, green water is a good additive, even if you are having to rely on prepared foods. Assuming you do not have a natural pond to use for the fry, and have to cobble something together, here is something that has worked when I've spawned tropicals: Set up two dozen containers of dechlorinated water in full sun. Each container should hold a half gallon or more of water. Add a pinch of garden soil to each to supply a bit of nutrient. As they turn green, each container will be a meal to add to the grow tank. By the time you hit day 12 after they are free-swimming, there may be some insect larvae in the water as well. (I would set up the containers before spawning to have better assurance of green water appearing, but sometimes it turns green in 6 days time if conditions are right.)
    Last edited by MikeM; 06-26-2005, 12:16 PM. Reason: correct word


    • #3

      Hi Mike

      Thanks for that, would a 3' by 2' deep bowl be any good or is this to small.

      Also is 1 airstone enough with a 40 airpump, should I also get a small aquarium heater as well.




      • #4

        Since you are not ready for the spawn you will have time to go and get you a couple of good pumps and get you a good 1000 gallon kiddie pool and wash very good and fill with the pond water put eggs in the kiddie pool and recirculate the water from the main pond into the kiddie pool and back to the main pond. This way you will have better luck with the fry.

        Wish I had longer but gotta go, someone will help you soon.


        • #5

          Mike good input!

          Caution on kiddie pools. Not that the idea is bad but many times company in an effort to add performance will spray an algicide on them. Would be deadly on the fry. most manufacturers will say so somewhere on the product.

          you main concern is to watch the parents for injury and subsequent infection.

          after your egg treatment, keep only a few, maybe a couple dozen. their needs are so easily abused that fewer is better.

          Your welcome to ask rear questions here after things get settled.

          I'm spawning this weekend (deliberately) because of a full moon. be aware as a koi keeper with mixed sexes in one pond that this situation can start a spawn.
          Dick Benbow


          • #6

            Chris: I just corrected what I posted earlier. The kiddie pool should NOT have any algae retardants! Sorry.

            A 3' diameter 2' deep bowl would probably do until you can set up something bigger. If you are just interested in raising a handful, you might get by with it. Where are you located? (I'm wondering what your weather is like in July.) If you are in U.S., I'd check out K-mart or Target for a kiddie pool. There are ones with a top ring that is inflated, which hold a good amount of water and are easy to install. Be sure NO algacide.

            KFG's idea of recirculating pond water through a grow tank is interesting, but I'm not sure how you would implement it. Maybe she will explain later. In the fry stage you would not want too much current. I'm thinking a sponge filter used in aquarium spawning tanks would be adequate ... at least at first. I f you are going to try raising a few hundred hatchlings, you'll end up needing more after a few weeks, but I'm jumping way ahead of where we are right now.


            • #7

              Chris: About the air pump. That is a lot of air for a small container. It should be fine as long as you pinch the line to prevent too much agitation. A gentle current is what you want. The eggs are fairly hardy when it comes to current, but as soon as they hatch, it is a different story. The fry will still have a yolk sac to absorb for the first couple of days. They need calm conditions with just enough movement to keep high oxygen levels and prevent stagnation. As they grow and begin to look like fish, then the air could be increased.

              Any time you notice the water turning even the least bit whitish, change water (gradually). The whitish cloudiness is a bacteria bloom. That will cause real problems. Using established pond water and some mature media should prevent any problem. Note: After spawning your pond may be in need of filter cleaning and water changes. Don't over clean the filter media.


              • #8

                Thanks for all the replies.

                Managed to find a Aquosis koi tank, its about a 1,500 gallons when full. Have put 6" of water in the bottom and put the spawning brushes in. The pond is about 10' in diameter.

                Should I put more water in now or as they grow.

                I am in Devon in UK, main pond was running at 21c



                • #9


                  Would one airstone and a 40 be to much in the new tank or should I turn it down a bit.



                  • #10

                    With new fry doesnt some fungacide nned to be used such as Methelyne blue and or Malachite green?

                    Not a breeder but remember reading something on this years ago..

                    It's a living creature (chit happens)


                    • #11

                      You just need a couple of small pumps the same size one to the pond and one out same volume of water, fill pond first with main pond water and then set up the pumps, if you set a large rock for the water coming in you can break the current very good. This also puts oxegyn in the water, you need to cover the pump with a nylon stocking washed good first over the pump, and put plenty of live plants for the fry to forage on while growing, the plants will supply them with some live foods The main pond filter will keep you form haveing to do water changes in the fry pond, if you are doing regular changes in the main pond the water will be good for the fry. They will also grow better.


                      • #12

                        Chris: 1500 gallons is pretty good on such short notice! I am not familiar with that type/brand. There may be something special about how it is made that makes a suggestion of mine seem silly. If so, ignore it.

                        First, with 10' diameter, my concern about too much air is greatly reduced. As long as most of the tank has a gentle water movement, it should do fine. If it seems too turbulent, you can lightly clamp the air tube.

                        For now the 6" of water should be fine. I think you get fairly cool nights. With the tank above ground, the water will fluctuate quite a lot. If you do have an aquarium heater on hand, I'd use it simply to moderate the temperature shifts. It will not do much on 1500 gallons (esp. U.K. gallons), but with just 6" of water to start, it is not too under-sized. You'll not be warming the water too a high temperature, but the evening temperature drop will not be so great. If you can cover it, heat loss at night will be reduced, (I've got a friend who uses an aquarium heater outdoors in a 800 gal. pond to keep temps up just enough to get guppies to survive our occasional winter cold front. )

                        After the fry hatch and become free swimming, you will get a water quality challenge. You will need to use an emulsion of egg yolk as a first food, and some high protein flake food rubbed into a powder. There is a "liquifry" product on the market too. Some folks have had great results with it. I personally think egg yolk and powdered flake food does fine. If you can hatch out baby brine shrimp, the fry will love it. (Don't let the brine shrimp egg shells into the grow tank. The fry will try to eat them and choke.) The initial goal is to get enough food in them so they grow to the point that they will eat dry foods. So, you will be over feeding. That means water quality is at risk. Egg yolk and such settling on the bottom will be eaten by the fry, but after an hour or two, some decomposition will begin. Over the first week or two, this can be very dangerous. The fry are so small and delicate. When I raised egg-scattering tropicals, I would place a few snails in the grow tank after all the fry were free swimming. They would eat the egg membranes and left over food without harming the fry.

                        Water changes are a real problem when you cannot see the little fry! So, a technique that I was told about might be of interest. After the fry are free swimming and you are feeding them, do what amounts to a water change by adding water from your pond to the grow tank. Starting at 6", if you add 1.5" of water, it is equal to a 20% water change. The next day, add 2". The next day, add 3"... more if needed to dilute more. Got the concept? This avoids siphoning out fry accidentally. But, if food settling on the bottom is rotting, making the water cloudy, much more drastic action is needed. (That's why I like snails for cleaning up the extra food.)

                        Some floating water plants are fine, like KFG suggests, so long as not taken from the wild and they are healthy. You do not want the bad bugs that travel on plants collected from the wild, and half-dead aquarium plants (which is so often what is found in aquarium shops) will hurt water quality.

                        Time for Dick & Estanque & Kiefer & Jaco to chime in! [They really know what they are doing!]


                        • #13

                          Hi Chris,
                          this was my third breeding season using kiddie pools (around 1500 liters, 35 cm depth). It is very important to always clean very well brand new pools, believe me.
                          Maybe you can have a look at the followint thread that I started in this forum were you will find a description and pictures of my breeding setup this year:

                          I've been using a recirculating system with heavy filtration (aerated kaldnes and arlite) with a 4000 liters/hour submersible pump serving two paired pools.
                          Syphons with prefilters draw water by gravity to the biofilter. Despite of prefilters some fry are always living in the filter. Don`t worry, you will have too many free anyway. You can reduce the number of fry sucked by the syphons by placing airstones just next to the prefilter intake.
                          Aeration is very important, don´t worry by the fry cause they will quicly find the best places to thrive in the pool.
                          The critical point is feeding, the best option is using live food. First it is just ciliates (protozoans) and rotifers that are abundant in green water. Later Moina, Daphnia (Cladocera). Start your own cultures and seed the pool also.
                          Don't worry about fungus, dont use chemicals since what you want is to have a thriving community of microoganisms waiting in your pools to be eaten by your fry. And chemicals will kill all the microorganisms.
                          I have had a large proportion of a spawn non fertilized (the female started spawning before adding the male), then added the male and the spawning went on. Did nothing, and you can immagine what hapened to the masses of unfertilized eggs. However, I had no problem at all and losts of fry hatched and developed successfully in that pool. Having a big biofilter I didn't change water after the spawning and ammonia and nitrite concentrations were negligible whithin a few hours.
                          Your fry will be able to start feeding mashed flakes in two or three weeks.
                          Good luck, and thanks again for posting pics of the BKKS Koi Show

                          Diego Jordano
                          Cordoba, Spain
                          A.E.K. web site
                          pers. web site


                          • #14

                            Your single biggest problem for the foreseeable future is water quality. I cant enphasise enough how hard it will be to keep ammonia under control until a month or so down the line when you add filtration. Set up a box type filter or similar running on your main pond so that the media can mature for a month then switch it to your fry pond with stockings or similar over the pump. I wouldnt recommend trying to circulate pond water between 2 ponds, if one pump trips, blocks up, pipe comes off etc, you will empty one pond and overflow the other with obvious desasterous consequences to both. Also, adult fish secrete hormones that will stunt the growth of koi fry. Thirdly, any parasitic problem or such like that your large koi tolerate could wipe the fry out. Water sharing is a deffinite no no all round.

                            The immediate problem is getting some reliably form of water change going and change as much water as you can each day, filling from a purifier as chlorines will kill the fry quickly. Keep a regular check on your ammonia, as you arent filltering, nitrite wont be an issue.

                            Order some brine shrimp eggs off the net, Artemix is a good one for first time users, you will need A LOT though. In the mean time, liquifry red is your best option for keeping them alive until the brine shrimp are ready to feed, this will cost you an arm and a leg unfortunately. Liquifry red will set you back £2.49p a bottle and you will go through a couple of bottles a day. Good garden centres with aquatic sections will have the liquifry.


                            • #15

                              Many thanks for all your help, found this place on the web is any of this any good.




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