Fry selection (sample harvested, from the 3 step female spawning)

You may remember the 3 step kohaku female that we bought earlier this year, as our latest attempt to improve the genetic pool of our parent fish.

A reminder of the story so far with her. … We spawned her early in the summer with my most trusty pair of kohaku males, and the spawning itself went really well. They spawned on the first night , we had a high fertilisation rate, and all 3 fish (2 males, and the female) were in good nick after the spawning too. All good up to this point.

The problem came in the following days where we lost most of the eggs to fungal attack. We had a small hatch in two of the 3 tubs that I’d split the eggs into , and I collected all the hatchlings (woefully few… ), and reared them in one of our black tubs. Then it was fingers crossed time that there would be enough to provide a sample of her potential as a brood fish, and the result with the males combo.

The rearing phase has gone well – and despite very little attention, the fry have grown well past first selection size… and reached second selection size.

One of the jobs that’s been hanging over us for too long has been to empty the black tub holding those fry… And I got to that last weekend, and Amanda went through them on Monday, separating them into two grades – and I went through the keepers on Monday night, further whittling the keepers down a bit. The end result, we have around 50 keepers out of a total of 600 or so. Bear in mind this is first selection – albeit carried out about 3 months late! So the fry are much larger than normal for a first selection. On the up side, that makes it easier to see the quality of the fish.

It’s fair to say that over the last few months, seeing the fry growing in the tank – I saw a lot of all red/ mostly red fry which is the sign we would try a different set of males with her next year. And although the ratio of keepers is a little higher than I was expecting – it’s still not good enough… and my plan remains to try different males with her next year.

What’s been absolutely fascinating is seeing how her babies compare against our other kohaku fry. The body shapes are totally different; and you can see a resemblance of the mum’s shape in many of the babies. Her tall back, and I’d say a slightly more humped shoulder area than I personally like – but nevertheless, a trait in her shape that has been passed on to the babies. And I’m hopeful that it suggests good growth potential in the fry. And their growth has been pretty good overall so far..

Out of the 50 or so keepers…. there are a few that stand out with some potential. Overall – I’m much happier than I thought I was going to be, but we will need to try her with different males next year. And, I may try running her very early next year – and rear just a few of the fry as a test, and then try her again later in the year with another set of males. I have a gut feeling that she could deliver us a higher quality of home bred kohaku than we’ve had so far, and I just need to crack the correct combination of males to put with her.

Here are some pics from my selection stint on Monday night.

And a few of the better examples:

this one has the pattern..

this one has the skin, and colour quality

this one has the body..

Just a shame, there wasn't a fish strong in all three attributes! But, they will be interesting to watch develop.

And here's some video of those three fish:

Youtube link: click for link

Next up is finding space in the grow on system to give these keepers warm temperatures for a month or two…. That isn’t as easy as it sounds, because the tanks are all full – and, I want to keep each tank dedicated to individual spawnings so I can learn more about the development traits from each parent set… So, I need to think through the options.. and fairly quickly, because colder weather is rapidly approaching.