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Cloud Nine

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  • Cloud Nine

    You guys are not going to believe this. Last summer I went to a mans farm about 45 mins from here and he has 14 mud pond and has a bunch of koi that he is raiseing. I was looking for some parent stock to start my little bussiness and someone gave me this guys name and number, so I gave him a call and went to check out what he had, while I was their we talked for hours and I found out he did not know much about koi but he liked them. He does not know one type from the other and his pond are clear because he does not ferterlize his ponds, he also just put all his parent koi in one small mud pond and lets nature take its course. Mass spawns only. He does not remove his koi and I am sure alot of the eggs are eaten and alot are lost because of no care taken to prepair the pond for the fry. I called him today thinking he may be getting ready to pull the ponds and spawn the koi and guess what he was planning to do this this coming weekend. He wants me to come and sit and talk with him next Saturday as he want me to go into the business with him. I can tell you guys that I am on could nine. This is what I was thinking about and you guy tell me what you think. I want to purchase some good bloodlines and provide better parent stock, give him half the fry and help with the pulling and culling and paying for ferterlizer and food on halfs he would provide the ponds half the food and ferterlizer. I would also provide the knowledge he need to improve the #of fry and improve the farm overall. I would provide the advertisement , web and paper. What do you guy think? I wont be able to think of anything else all week. I knew God wanted me to do this just look at what he has done I will am climbing the ladder now, and it is only going to get better.

    I got to say thanks to you guys for giving me some of the knowledge that I need to get mud pond going for the fry as I think with him not removeing the parents and not prepairing his mud ponds that is his problem. Thanks guys alot. I just did not think I would need all this imformation so quick. I cant believe this guys, I am soooooo happy. Any advice? I can use all the help I can get, I dont want this guy to turn and run although I dont think he will but you never can tell. Pray guys pray!
  • #2

    Go for it! .... just don't give him any money.


    • #3

      ...and get keys to the gates and something in writing that says what fish are yours, and that you have irrevocable permission to enter his property so long as any of your fish are on the premises. [It's my business to worry over the things that can go wrong. ]


      • #4

        good advice Mike! KFG, I wish you luck in your new venture!
        Dick Benbow


        • #5

          Thanks Guys, I had thought about a written contract if we are going to do this, but I did not know just what to put in the contract. He is a good old country guy and not looking for any money he just needs some help turning things around for him. I had planned on working with him for 6 months and let him see what I can do and then if he likes the difference we could sign a contract. He has told me that he would house any of my fish and I dont think their would be a problem with him even if he were to change his mind or me I think we could part on good terms. So a six month contract would be all I do at first.


          • #6

            Just a little flashing red light here...

            Breeding halfway decent koi for a profit is an arduous and expensive undertaking. Even when you have managed the spawn and have produced a batch of inch long fry you need to be able to cull.

            Culling is not a skill but a gift.

            How it is done is for the most part a closely guarded secret shared with a breeders closest friends and apprentices and not given away willy nilly. It is after all what separates the professionals from the wannabees. Realize that 95% of all bred koi fall into the lowest category of fish... Bait. These are sold by the pound and the plastic bag you sell them in is usually worth more that the contents. In most cases you say "Bring a bucket".

            KFG I haven't read too many of you posts so let me ask you straight out...Do you have any experience with culling koi or breeding fry other than what you have read on the web?

            Take a page out of a serious hobbyist's book and see what it involves



            Semper in excreta, sumus solum profundum variat


            • #7

              Hi Scott let me say this that all my life since I was 10 years old and I am now 45 years old. Spawning egg laying fish has been my hobby. I have raised all sort of tropical fish and dont think koi would be any different. You still have to have good clean water with plenty of live food for the fry to eat and be able to grow to a good size.
              As for culling no I have not done this yet and will be a learning experience for me. I do plan to take photo of the koi and keep charts on some of the koi and try to learn from experience. I am sure it will take a while to accomplish my goals. I can say this, it is a challange for me and I love a good challange and you wont find me giving up. If I learn in bits and pieces that will be ok. He is in a boat of a whole lot less knowledge so what I can show him and teach him will I am sure help.
              I can remember when I first stated spawnung egg layers. I could get the spawn overnight and after the hatch the fry would only live long enough to asorb the egg sack and then die. Well I raised cultures and so forth and still did not have a lot of luck. I decieded that I did not have proper food for the fry and thought what am I going to do. Well I was using well water and it does not have any live foods in the water. I switched to spring water to do my spawn and keep some live plants with algie on them in the tank and was able to raise the fry to the size that they could take mashed powder food. After I figured out to go natures way I had good luck. This guy is mass spawning and is raiseing fry in mud ponds. I think with a little help and showing him how to spawn the koi type to type and not leaveing the parent koi in with the eggs that it will increase his production and the fact that I am sure he is losing a lot of his fry from them not having ample food because he does not ferterlize his ponds. I have gained alot of my experience as you can see form trail and error so I think I can help him by #1 spawning in a spawning tank and releasing the fry after they hatch into a prepaired fry pond. He has enough ponds that he can keep a # of pond with live food fry the fry to move them if need be. He really has the perfect set up for raiseing koi.


              • #8

                With 14 ponds, what does the guy raise besides koi? What size are the ponds? What is the water source? Is he willing to put money into buying broodstock?

                -steve hopkins


                • #9


                  when your 60 you don't want to be looking back wondering if you'd only gone ahead, what would have happen!
                  Dick Benbow


                  • #10

                    Shot you get a chance like this jump on it!!! I haven't breed koi and from what I hear and see, it looks like hard work!!! But if your up for the challenge go for it.... By the way are you doin this strickly for enjoyment or for profit, if your doing this for profit your culls are goin to be slim considering everything is goin to be a keeper...You got to consider in Japan they can go from 1,000,000 fry to 5,000 by the end summer...But that 5,000 is the best of the best....Well anyways, you luck KFG!!!
                    The world sleeps as the chance to learn something new passes.


                    • #11

                      [QUOTE=bekko]With 14 ponds, what does the guy raise besides koi? What size are the ponds? What is the water source? Is he willing to put money into buying broodstock?

                      -Steve the size of his ponds are I would say about one half acers each and he raises some goldfish he sell these as bait for fishing , and I am not sure about him wanting to purchase more broodstock, I will be talking with him Saturday to see what all he is wanting to do. I plan on buying some to go with what he has and with what you and other members of the forum have helped me with try and improve his production rates.
                      You would not believe where he keep his parent koi and has had good luck with them. In a catfish and brim pond a big one and he just feeds the fish and takes a net and throws out and catches his parent koi. I am going to try and get him to put them in another pond without the catfish and see if he will go for this.

                      The water source is a spring that feeds all the ponds, he does not ferterlize the ponds because he cant seine the pond because of algie growth. Is there something that you can put in the pond to kill the algie before he seines his ponds to make it not so hard to pull the seines? I think most of his pond are around 4 ft deep. I want to talk to him about makeing some of the ponds deeper but he sell most of the koi that he is raiseing at small sizes so the need for large grow out ponds for him has not been a issue. I on the other hand want to grow out some of the koi

                      This is something that I need to ask we are going to spawn the koi in spawning tanks and I dont know how many sets of parent koi that he has. Would he not need a pond for different spawns if they spawn say a week apart . I am thinking that if we spawn the koi and then turn on batch loose in a mud pond and then a week later we have another spawn we would need another pond. Can you tell me what would be a safe time length to be able to put fry in same pond.


                      • #12

                        Your right Dick and I would not pass this up if I was 60. There is not a chance here that I would look back even if I was a complete failure at this . The enjoyment that I will get out of this will far exceed any money that I may make. For me this is not work but plain fun and if I went to bed at night and fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow, I would be up at the crack of dawn with a smile on my face and ready for another day of pure pleasure.


                        • #13

                          Originally posted by koifishgirl
                          Your right Dick and I would not pass this up if I was 60. There is not a chance here that I would look back even if I was a complete failure at this . The enjoyment that I will get out of this will far exceed any money that I may make. For me this is not work but plain fun and if I went to bed at night and fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow, I would be up at the crack of dawn with a smile on my face and ready for another day of pure pleasure.
                          That's the way to be, KFG. Good luck.


                          • #14

                            Keeping the adults with the catfish and bream is OK as long as he can catch them when needed. If you miss with the cast net the first time, it may take a few days to get them to come up for feed again. If the adults are junk, I would leave them there. You should find something smaller and more manageable for better adults as they are collected.

                            When you say spring-fed, do you mean the water is piped to the ponds from a spring or does it just seep in from the ground? If water is constantly seeping into the ponds and overflowing a standpipe to a creek, it is going to be really hard to maintain a green water bloom and zooplankton. It will also be impossible to dry. Free water is a mixed blessing. Such ponds are notorious for having persistent string algae because you cannot build up the lignin compounds needed to suppress it. You can try pumping down a pond and keeping it pumped down for a week or so, rotenone the trash fish (if any) and spray the algae with Diquat or Rodeo. When everything is dead, refill and fertilize heavily.

                            If the situation is the way I imagine, you should not deepen the ponds. It will probably make them even harder to manage. Four feet is OK for mud-pond grow-out.

                            You can stock about 200,000 fry in a half-acre pond. Obviously, this is more than one spawn, but the fewer you stock, the faster they will grow. Mixing spawns always creates some problems. It will be harder to understand how well a particular pairing performs. The greater the age difference, the more cannibalism you will have. At modest stocking densities, you may be able to get by with 10 days of age difference. So, you will have to make some judgment calls. If there are more spawns than there are ponds available, then you will have to lump them.

                            You need to be thinking about your production and marketing plan. What is the production goal and where are you going to sell the fish? I suspect that you and this guy have different marketing plans in mind. He may want to sell a lot of small junk fish at a low price per piece. You may want to sell a few high-quality fish at a much higher price. This sounds like a good fit, but there will be conflicts too. A least one pond will have to be devoted to tosai and tategoi which means there is less space for making bait. Are you going to be willing to mix a spawn from good Momotaro broodstock with a flock spawn?

                            In a year, you and this guy are going to know most of the same tricks. At that point, what will be your contribution to the operation? Writing a good contract now will be really tough. Too much is unknown and unpredictable. Go for an agreement about how you will handle things over the next nine months. By winter, you may know what to ask for and what to expect. I think you should keep your original plan going at the same time and go ahead and build the ponds at home. They will not go to waste.

                            -steve hopkins


                            • #15

                              yep, id say give it a go kfg and good for you.
                              whatever makes you happy. you must feel like i first did when i first got a job on a farm.. like christmas, i was lucky on the second job that i actually got paid more than 2 dollars an hour like i got on the first, a bit dissapointing but anyway the experience was worth it to me.
                              then you can move on to even better things. progress.
                              if you dont take a chance the door might be always closed.
                              the watching how it all worked and learning from someone thats done the hard yards saves plenty. reading from people on here saves time for sure and now you might be able to put it to practise in a way that doesnt involve thousands of litres. i was feeling sorry for you and your high hopes and such small volumes.
                              whats that you say? clear ponds too.. hehe. whos needing a fertiliser regime now then hey!

                              youll do some hard hards sure, we still all do. certainly with atleast the hundered or so questions youve asked and had answers to you will save a good year..maybe 5 or 10 if youd closed yourself off from outside knowledge.

                              if you look at a proper production cycle and how you should manage things and do it straight away you may not deveiate too far from that basic for years. if you learnt the hard way through total trial and error, youd have changed your initial ways ten fold.
                              for example the guy thats there.. no bloom, leaves the parents to eat.
                              the culling can come later but i agree, youll get dissapointments sure but dont hesitate on that alone but your not making a million just yet either.
                              if you dont over do it youll definatley kick the numbers up rather considerably.
                              take it easy to begin with and dont freak the guy out about contracts just yet and dont tell him everything you know just yet, hold a card or two.
                              as time goes on you can draw up your agreement.


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