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  • Breeding


    I read in this forum a lot breeding koi.

    I read from hobbist or dealers who breeds koi in a professional way.

    I'm very surprised about that, because here in Germany the majority is against breeding koi for "hobby".

    In Germany you can find only a handful of professional breeders.

    In the most visited German Koi-Forum with ca. 2500 User, you can only find a few hobbist you breed koi, too.

    I'm very interested in breeding!

    I'm a fan of koi, you can't see in every pond. Unique Koi, Kawarimono and unique varities are my favourites.

    So I ask you, who will help me breeding koi?

    I read about breeding koi in various books, but this is very theoretical.

    I think I need practical tips, which are based on experiences from guys like you.

    Greetz Nico
  • #2

    Breeding koi in Japan by hobbyists has existed for quite a while and with
    some good sucess. I think it is just now starting to catch on in other areas.

    It does seem that this board has attracted more than it's share of those who are anxious to learn.

    Three years ago when I started, I simply wanted the education. I had gone as far as I could afford as a hobbyist and it was a new plateau
    that I could furthur my love of koi into.

    I have been moderately sucessful. It has been alot of work. I am glad for the opportunity to learn.

    I'd suggest you get the best pair together of your favorite color variety and try from what you've learned. there are enough of us around youi can ask specific questions of when the time comes to fill in the gaps from what your reading. Perhaps you will be successful. If not you can appreciate the hard work and effort that goes into producing a koi worthy
    of displaying.

    from where I sit right now, breeding like being a hobbyist is expensive to get a pair of high quality koi that "click" and produce good babies. The facilities to rear so many gets expensive. But I encourage you to follow your heart, even on a small scale just to learn.

    everytime I go out to the furthurist pond to feed my baby asagi, there is a feeling of expectation to see how they are growing and changing and if the koi of my dreams is developing right before my eyes. It's exciting. I wish you good luck in your endeavor!
    Dick Benbow


    • #3

      Thanks Dick!

      I understand it like this:

      I should try out, with my best male and female. Then I will see whats happen.

      Is this correct?

      My Problem at the moment is that my koi wouldn't spawn. It's know pretty hot in Germany for 2 weeks, but nothing happen in my pond.

      Who do you make it?

      Natural way or something with medication???

      I would use my female Yamabuki and my male Kin Showa...

      Greetz Nico


      • #4

        Hello. I´m also a new user here, and a newbie about Koi. I hope to find answers on my questions here and I also think that here are lots of people who know their things and are polite (rare in these days on the net). Also a special "HALLO" to Cyberkoi.

        I am not on the same level as Cyberkoi and so I wont ask questions about breeding Koi, but you said that you should take your two best Koi. But you also need a good bloodline. What is a good way to "control" a bloodline? If there is one.

        And at the end a question about breeding: What is the easiest variety to cull for a beginner? Except a Ogon


        • #5

          Sorry to interrupt your questions. I just want to comment that I think the koi breeder is the true artist in this hobby. I wish I had facilities to play around with breeding. At the same time, any one who gets involved in breeding should understand going in that it is highly likely that few or no offspring will merit pond space.... either in their own ponds, or those of other pondkeepers. The world does not need untold thousands of trash carp. Before a person starts breeding, they need to accept the fact that they will need to purposefully kill koi ... far more than they ever grow. It is a reality most hobbyists cannot accept. I still have a homebred Hariwake in her 9th (or is it now 10th??) year. I cannot part with her, but she is not deserving. It would have been shameful if I had tried to keep all her siblings.

          I consider myself an animal welfare supporter. So, the notion of creating life for the purpose of destroying it runs against the grain. However, with koi that is the reality, and I'd be a true hypocrite to keep koi and not support killing the millions that must be culled. Still, a lot of hobbyists cannot do it.

          Enjoy the endeavor. I hope you create a fish worth keeping. At the same time, I think you will gain real respect for what the breeders do ...and the fact they do it to make a living.


          • #6


            Mike has some very wise words in his post,... there is fish keeping,... and there is “Nishikigoi”, and there IS a lot of difference between the two. We all have things we need to try just once,... but backyard Koi breeding shouldn’t be taken lightly.

            As just one example,... a friend in my area of the US was gathering a very nice collection of Koi, carefully choosing good potential show fish, on an average budget,... he was beginning to do very well at shows, advancing quickly,... BUT then decided that he wanted to try breeding his own Koi,... so he dug a couple of small earth bottom ponds in his back yard, changing the face of his yard, and changing his property value,... he began breeding his Koi, and has been “tinkering” with it for 5 years now,... and has NO Koi of any value to show for it,... in 5 years, after spending many dollars and a many, many, hours of personal time,... he now has an overcrowding of Koi at his house, most very poor examples of Koi that he in his eyes sees as special, but only because he “bred” them himself,... as a result of this his collection of Show Koi has gone to pieces. What his breeding effort has done is actually sent him spiraling backwards in the Koi hobby, rather than forward. He is now keeping “colored carp” rather than Nishikigoi.

            Ther are other issues that should be considered,... such as what will you do with your “culls”,... 1 year olds,... 2 year olds that don’t make the grade,... a single Koi parent produces many many offspring. Selling them removes you from “amateur” status, which means you shouldn’t be showing your Koi, and selling some too,... other “dealers” in your area could see that as unfair, since professionals are discouraged from showing their own Koi, (to raise the value of them in an amateur event.) Giving your culls away may be taking dinner from the table of some in you area that make a living in the Koi business.

            These are just a couple of things to consider before “investing” in Koi breeding. Consider what it is that you want to accomplish carefully,.... consider what "Nishikigoi" are.

            Buying a few very nice young show Koi from professional breeders, and giving them the very best care you can, challenging yourself to raise them to their genetic potential is a route that should be looked at. Show them,... compete,... challenge yourself,... or, enjoy them as living art.

            Best Wishes,
            Brady Brandwood


            • #7

              Breeding Koi

              This is an interesting discussion and many people have strong opinions. I too have been spawning koi for a number of years. By the way I was in Frankfurt for a week last winter my son lives in Kassle. I imagine space is a major consideration there. I have a few mud ponds that I spawn my koi in and I have not kept any of my koi that I have spawned yet. They have been too poor a quality. I am somewhat excited by this years showa spawning the parents are from Sakai. There is finally some good color at an early age. I appreciate Brady's point of view but here in Canada there are few breeders and none of Brady's caliber. It is not easy to get koi of any quality. I guess if you special order them you can get better ones. My hope is to get some better quality from one of my spawnings but it definitely does take your attention away from growing out the others. It is quite a quandry and of course like many things we do it without clearly defining our objectives but then again that is who were are.
              Philosophical indeed!
              The perfect koi is always one purchase or spawning away!


              • #8

                I´d say that before breeding Koi you need 3 things: space, water (and the possibility to get more water to change it) and you should know what to do with the "bad" Koi. At least thats what I think from reading your opinions. That you should know a lot things about Koi and that you need good parent Koi is essential.

                As I said before I am new to Koi and don´t really think about breeding Koi. But as a beginning my first real pond is a "mud pond" which has a direct connection to a water source (water is good enough to drink it like nearly anywhere in my place). So I think I have nearly everything i need if I want to start breeding Koi someday.

                As I asked some postings ago: What is a good variety to start culling with for a beginner?


                • #9

                  Breeding Koi

                  hauns do you like kohaku they would be good to start with they are likely the most common koi though getting high quality ones is another story. There have been some good points here and on other sites about selecting and culling Most people cull for conformation first and color and pattern second. I think it was dick who said just keep 25 and try raising them that is likely a good point. I tried to raise too many this past winter. I will cull down to just the best looking 20-25 sure!! You should go to Brady's website and read some of his articles that gives some insight into breeding and selection as well. So does the koi bito magazine
                  The perfect koi is always one purchase or spawning away!


                  • #10

                    Thanks for your tip. Yes, I like Kohakus. Then I will go on his site.


                    • #11

                      As others have said, once they are mature and the conditions are right, koi breed without a whole lot of intervention. The real skill is in selecting broodstock and culling.

                      Backyard breeding is NOT the path to learning about quality koi, but it can help you learn how young koi change as they mature. Unfortunately, to learn much, you need to start with a very limited gene pool. The yamabuki and the kin showa are probably a wise choice - two colors and the pattern from (hopefully) a single bloodline. In showa the first cull is for all black fry, so that will cut down your numbers.

                      For koi to reach their true potential, early growth is critical. Fry need live food 24/7, lots of room to grow and protection from predators - including aquatic insects and their own siblings. You MUST limit the numbers hatched out and then cull early and often. Bonsai koi result from failure to manage proper stocking levels.
                      Lynne in St. Louis


                      • #12

                        Thanks for your anwsers.

                        I breed Betta Spendens 5 years ago, so I'm familiar with feeding small, young fish and selecting the fry...

                        I will try it now, so I hope they will spawn soon.

                        Greetz Nico


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