July update 2015

This is a brief update, as I'm conscious I've not blogged for over a week.

It's been a tough couple of weeks. In part, through things just not going according to plan with the project. And, project time has been somewhat restricted too... Amanda's helped out a lot, and it's the first time I've had to ask her to clean spawning ropes. We wouldnt have got through these spawnings without her help on that.

Over the last 2 weeks, I've run several spawnings. 1 x shiro spawning, which went ok - she laid eggs, and I had some fertilised ones too. But the eggs failed, and not sure exactly why, but I think it was critters in the water I used for the rearing of eggs; the water was teaming with bugs after a couple of days.

Here's a video of the shiro spawning just after I put them in the vat:

video link

I also tried both of the showa females, once each. Neither spawned.

I tried again with the shintaro showa for a second time - a different approach this weekend to try and get her to spawn - she's my special showa female that I have really high hopes for.... This weekend, I put her with a kohaku female that I know spawns well, into the same vat - with 3 showa males. Two of the Shintaro ones, and one from Ueno that I bought from a well known hobbyist last year, and that he bought from Yume koi. I was hoping the kohaku female would spawn, and the showa by being in close proximity to proceedings would also spawn.

There was a spawning, but it was the kohaku female that spawned - the showa female still reluctant to do the business!

here's a clip from the spawning:

video link

Initially, it looked like the eggs were a white out. But, looking at them tonight, it appears there is some fertilisation, and in this pic below you can see some eggs with pairs of eyes.

As a recap - these are kohaku eggs, fertilised by showa males. I'm expecting showa offspring. If the hatch goes ok, these will be an interesting prospect for me to rear over the next 6 weeks.

And on that - the fry ponds.... The one that I re-set after the shiro disaster in May.... was ready a couple of weeks ago, and has now over matured! It's teeming with daphnia. Clouds of the critters everywhere and I'm not sure whether this is now an adverse condition to introduce hatchlings.

The other pond is several weeks behind, but I've seen the beginning of daphnia populations there too.

So here's the thing - even if I get a hatch at this stage in the season, I'm not sure how well they'll fare in the fry ponds.

Other things that have happened over the last couple of weeks:

On the hottest day of the year - this pump deposited half the volume of water in my females tank onto the floor; as you can see, the plumbing came loose.

Thankfully, the way I've set up the filtration - once the water gets past the first two bends in the waste pipe from the bottom drain - the pond volume drop is limited to about half the pond volume which leaves enough water for the fish.

the view as I walked into the tunnel; flood alert!

heard a strange noise when I was in the tunnel, cleaning stuff - popped outsite, and saw this!

The kohaku fry are going ok, and have settled into the tank environment. I've changed the bottom drain to the vertical stand pipe with fine net screen for the next few weeks to ensure none of my keepers go down the bottom drain! I've had to get into the pond and change the screen a few times.... thankfully, the water has been warm.

Women, look away now! Adjusting the bottom drain with a vertical pipe and fine screen - to allow water to flow, but stop the fry getting drawn in.

Amanda pan netting the keepers out of the cage net .....

and releasing into the tank...

And finally, it's the East of England koi show next weekend, and I'll be exhibiting some of my home bred kohaku's at the show and will be at the show ground on Sunday. The show won 'best show' in Koi Carp's readers awards this year and if you're there on the Sunday - please say hi!