We are half way through the season and have worryingly few fry at 1 inch to show for it.
Both ponds outside are in use - but numbers of hatchlings seem too low. The one that have made it this far are large enough to gorge themselves on the clouds of daphnia but I fear too many didn't make it this far.
We have a test batch of around 100 of the hatchlings from sharkey's spawning coming along nicely in a tub in the Polytunnel - and whilst it's great to see them growing so well, even at this early stage I am very worried about the quality . I can tell by the variation in colouring that we are probably low in the percentage that will end up with a pattern. We will wait until they are at first selection size to confirm the finding.
So, as things stand:
- we have a few thousand (at most) 1 inchers from the May spawning of our trusty parent set.
These fish have been reared indoors using techniques we've tried for the first time this year. They are finally at 1 inch and first selection size . We've taken it slow and steady with them - feeding regularly but also mindful of staying within the limits of the filter.
We've moved them into the grow on system, into the green vortex tank . In a normal year - they should be 2 to 3 inches by now ! I'm not too worried by that because we have plenty of time to grow them into good sized Tosai. I just hope we have one or two in there that make it worthwhile.
- on the fry ponds outside ; first, the bottom pond. We filled this pond wth hatchlings from the Sharkey spawning about a week and a half ago. We can see fish in there but not that many :-(
- the top fry pond outside ; again, filled with hatchlings from Sharkey spawning. Numbers in this pond are even lower than the other pond . With the concern I have over the pattern ratio from this parent set, and with so few hatchlings in this pond - I am considering emptying the pond and giving it another go. It's a risk because there may not be time to cycle the pond in time - but it may be worth the risk because there is not much to lose.
So, I will probably make my first attempt to spawn my new takigawa 3 step this weekend. And at the latest, the following weekend .