Clearing our tanks and ponds

Preparations for this years spawnings are well underway. And there's so much to do that I've roped in my eldest daughter to lend a hand.

She's been a great help, particularly with Amanda not being able to do quite as much recently, as she's getting over a small op.

You know the puzzle game, where there's a chequered board with all the spaces full apart from one - and then you move the pieces around one square at a time, until all the pieces are in the right place. well, it's a bit like that with fish in tanks at our place. I've got fish in warm water, some in cold water, some being moved on, some being sold. and, I need to end up with several tanks free at the end of it all for spawnings and egg rearing...

We started the process a few weeks ago when we started our tosai selections. And, we have two more sets of tosai selections to make - but have run out of time so far this Easter. There's a small chance we may get to it tomorrow...

The first tank free'd up is the QT. Yesterday we put the new seine net that Amanda made for us into good use on the quarantine tank. We've been using the tank to hold some medium sized fry over the winter.

We netted almost all the fish in the tank in one go. Just a couple of straddlers that I caught with the pan net. Then, Amanda and Annabel separated the fry into size groups, and these are now going eBay over the next couple of weeks. This free's up tanks to be used for spawnings.

Today, we seine netted one of the black tubs that currently holds some fry from last year's late summer spawning - and that I need empty for rearing eggs in a few weeks time. Then Annabel counted the fry, while I got on with some jet washing - cleaning cage nets that we'll need in a few weeks time.

I took a break to watch the Grand Prix... then, set up the pump in the top fry pond outside, and have started pumping it out. there are some fry remaining that we need to catch, and I also need to start preparing the pond for hatchlings.

We've had a lot more selections to do this year compared to last, with the larger number of fish we've grown on over the winter. And, there's only so much time available for the koi, and I'd rather no rush the breeding side of things this year. We're on course for spawnings in the first week of May... perhaps mid May.