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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

    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

    Comment

    • #3

      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!
      Dick Benbow

      Comment

      • #4

        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

        Comment

        • #5

          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.
          Dick Benbow

          Comment

          • #6

            Dick: About breeding your asagi.... Who is the male? Reasoning behind your selection?

            Comment

            • #7

              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!
              Dick Benbow

              Comment

              • #8

                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

                Comment

                • #9

                  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!
                  Dick Benbow

                  Comment

                  • #10

                    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!

                    Comment

                    • #11

                      First of all i have to say a big THANKS to Brian for lining up an asagi article and it sounds like it will be about the breeder I'm most interested in! Fantastic!

                      Next to our Friends in alberta Canada. I'm thinking it's still a little cold up there, no? when your fry hatch you'll need some fry food smaller than
                      mosquito larve! If you can't find the Daphne, start up some brine shrimp!

                      I could if there is interest write a thread here that i could update on how the spawning went if there is enough interest. I don't know how to post pics on the board yet, but I think I can get some taken and jpegged to someone who knows how to post them if you'd like to be involved. Maybe I can get dan blatt to post. speaking of dan, his sumi inagashi female he just got is something to behold.
                      Dick Benbow

                      Comment

                      • #12

                        Originally posted by dick benbow
                        First of all i have to say a big THANKS to Brian for lining up an asagi article

                        I could if there is interest write a thread here that i could update on how the spawning went if there is enough interest. I don't know how to post pics on the board yet, but I think I can get some taken and jpegged to someone who knows how to post them if you'd like to be involved. Maybe I can get dan blatt to post. speaking of dan, his sumi inagashi female he just got is something to behold.
                        Dick, count me in!
                        Bancherd

                        Thai Koi-Keepers' Group

                        Comment

                        • #13

                          Yes I am interested too. I would like to see the pics of that fantastic fish. My adults are likely eating the mosquito larvae and the fry eat all the micro's in there when they come along spawning usally takes place iin late June or July. Last year I had a spawning in each of those months. The water temp is over 55 F and my fish are used to eating at that temp as they were at about 56-58 in the garage and eating well. so start the thread great idea.
                          The perfect koi is always one purchase or spawning away!

                          Comment

                          • #14

                            Dick,

                            Great idea! That's axactly what I have been waiting for...Please count me in as well. BTW, I found the koi breeding book that you referred to on Ebay. I will try to bid on it soon. Congratulations on the successful spawning of your shiros and showas. Best of luck on your first asagi spawn. I can almost feel your excitement of anticipation.
                            Also, am I reading you correctly that the first culling of shiro and showa fry is when they are about a week old? Can you share with us amateur-breeder-wannabes a general description of the type of fry you would keep to grow further?



                            Thanks,
                            Tosai Sunny

                            Comment

                            • #15

                              Koi fry take about three days to develop in the egg and hatch. It is critical to keep the water stable in temperature so it does not chill. A flap of plastic over the top of a show tank where they were spawned helps
                              as does a few aquarium heaters if the weatherman says the temps are expected to fall.
                              Within a day or two with both showa and shiros, you will see different colored fry. hopefully the majority will be black with the rest yellow or white or both. you discard the yellow or white fry and retain only black.
                              this is a tremendous advantage as you can keep your numbers down quickly for water quality considerations and also you are now feeding daphne or brine shrimp as live foods are SO IMPOTANT to thier growth
                              the first month of thier life.
                              Now you keep an eye open for the bigger fry that grow the quickest
                              and keep youngsters together of similar size so they don't eat thier siblings. As the color develops you'll be able to see patterns but depending on thier inherited genes, black will come up and down, or stay submerged under the skin. when the red comes up it's yellow, then goes to more of an orange as the months pass by.
                              Sunny, just for you here's a trick I learned with tosai showa. Many times as 6 inch koi you will see heavy black in the body area near the tail.
                              the stepped kohaku pattern is there along the rest of the koi so you are thinking of discarding this koi because the black is too dominant in the tail section. HOLD UP THERE PARTNER! look carefully under the black for any signs of red in the tail stop area. I usually take the youngsters outside in the sun for full light. many times the next spring or early summer the black crawls off the back to reveal a nicely finished koi with red in tail stop area that formerly was covered. for othert lurkers who buy tosai showa to raise remember this as you won't have to pay for pattern
                              that doesn't show. this is a fascinating hobby of ours, no wonder can
                              enjoy it soo much ( or the other end of the spectrum when things go bad)
                              Dick Benbow

                              Comment

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