Final spawning of the year, complete

We’ve completed this year’s spawnings a couple of weeks ago and we’ve been rearing the eggs and hatchlings from our Ogon and Karashigoi/Ochiba spawning since then. We’ve been slightly delayed in preparing the ponds, and we got there over the bank holiday weekend just gone, and released the hatchlings. Now… it’s fingers crossed for the next 6 weeks that we get some warm weather and sun!

The Sharkey fry are almost ready for second selection; they are around 2-3 inches and growing really well. When the tanks are performing like that it always feels like I’m interrupting something good when we net the pond for selection… but, it’s an important part of breeding our quality Kohaku and we are also very excited to get a close up inspection of some with future show potential. In past Sharkey spawnings, I have video records of most of the show winners and the kohaku that go on to be our top nisai back from when they were 2-3 inches… So, hopes are high for this year’s Sharkey spawning and selection is probably a couple of weeks away.

We have two fry ponds that are ready for harvest – one has our LMC showa spawning, and the other has our kujaku spawning. Both spawnings were modest in size, and I’m expecting half a pond of each variety from those ponds.

Early glimpses of the LMC showa are promising. We reared a handful of her showa up to an inch in a tank, and the pattern % is high. This all points in the right direction, and I have a good feeling about LMC as a parent for us. This is the first batch of fry from her, and also the first use of the male I put with her too… We’ll be able to verify the early prospects from this spawning on first selection. And that might happen this bank holiday weekend – or possibly the weekend after. LMC herself is a very substantial showa ; a jumbo specimen from Ueno in Japan – who specialises in Showa.

In an ideal world, we would have performed first selection on the showa hatchlings at 2 weeks old – as hatchlings; and just grown on the black hatchlings. But, we didn’t have sufficient time back then – it clashed with other important harvesting and selection of kohaku. With the black percentage being reasonably good.. at around 40%, and there being a modest number of hatchlings in total – certainly no more than the fry pond could manage… I decided to grow on all the hatchlings. The benefit of that is we don’t suffer any detriment from inaccuracy during a selection at just 2 weeks old. And… now they are reaching an inch or so long – we can start to pick out the showa from the fry, and you can see the c. 40% showa there. Here’s a short video taken with max zoom on my iphone camera… A bit blurry, but gives you an idea of the percentages.

This month is the second measure up point for the 2018 Shooting Stars competition. The few Ogons that we’ve grown on are looking very substantial and we have started to receive sizes from a few of the entrants… and entrants have until midnight on 31st Aug to email us their sizes. There’s a bottle of champagne up for the winner… and remember, it’s just a growth based competition! I’ll share the results in early September.

Some of the Ogons in one of our sales tanks... Always on the hunt for food!

One of 3 bays of Sharkey babies