Here's the third part of the result from the selections we made on the tank of 'shooter' tosai - the largest growers from the winter grow on. Again, listed by 2016 spawning - and these all come from just one spawning last year.
I've written a short summary after these photos:From June 16 spawning (these koi are just under 10 months old)
|Note the slightly darkened scale - just a little low of the centre of the picture. ... a development point of interest.|
|30cm . i think the body is too stocky looking, and the pattern is front loaded. but, the white and red colours look good - so keeping this one for development interest.|
|Not enough volume at the back end, and perhaps too much at the front end; makes this one look front heavy. I had few tosai with this shape, and have kept this one for development interest. I reflect that the brood female was also front heavy looking when I bought her at around 70cm... and she subsequently lengthened out and is now a very impactful fish. so, you never know, it might happen to this tosai too. I dont think so... but, lets wait and see.|
|33cm . Quite a strange pattern on this one, which is part of the reason I've kept it. I'd like to see it with another 10 / 15cm length and more volume and see how the pattern develops. A couple of pictures below showing the koi from different angles.|
|34cm. I wouldn't usually keep a tosai with a window like this, but the fish's other qualities are pretty good compared to it's peers. and, it's one I'm keeping for development interest. the body shape is towards the top end of what I would be hoping for at this stage. if there was no window - i'd have put this koi in best best few. but, that' koi breeding for you. on the pattern... with the button nose marking, we're taking some consolation that the button nose is the inverse of the window - it looks like the button nose was carved out of the hi plate on the shoulder. and then, there's the red marking at the back to offset the button nose. that said - windows are a big no no for kohaku's... perhaps I should just stop there!|
|37cm. the red and the white on this koi look different to most of the others. they look thicker,. it's particularly noticeable on the red. the white is less shiny / less opaque than most of the other tosai. it's one of the largest in the spawning. again, keeping this one for development interest.|
So, that’s it. The last of the tosai from May, June and July 16 spawnings that we’ve been growing on in our ‘shooters’ tank, and that we are keeping to nissai.
You may have noticed a significant skew towards the June 16 spawning in terms of numbers of keepers, And the absence of any from the July 16 spawning.
The July 16 spawning was with my most recent ‘large’ female purchase last spring – the 3 step kohaku. And, although the spawning went well, the rearing of the eggs was fraught with problems. Leading to only around 600 or so at first selection. There was one ‘shooter’ from this spawning that I was very close to keeping – but the pressures of clearing the tanks meant this one has been moved on. The good news is that it’s gone to a pond where I am likely to get updated on it’s progress. And, there are a few in the ‘shorties’ tank , which I have kept for another month before making the final decision about growing on this summer. What I did learn was that the body shapes from this spawning were much different to the other two spawnings – with a strong resemblance to the females brood fish’s tall back line, and voluminous shoulder area. I hope to give her a run out this year, but with a different set of males.
The May 16 spawning has quite a few entrants in the ‘shorties’ tank of temporary keepers… but only 2 entries in the shooters range. This spawning used my trusty brood set that’s produced almost all my show winners, and I was hoping for a little more from that spawning. That said, one of the kohaku’s from that spawning currently residing in the ‘shorties’ tank is amongst my best small show bets. So, lets reassess performance of the May 16 spawning at the end of this summer.
The June 16 spawning has delivered most of the ‘shooters’ keepers, and some interesting new body shapes too. I’m fascinated to see how they get on this summer. In terms of showing them.. my gut feel is that while I might give one or two a run out this summer – I’m not sure there are any contenders there that might win me a prize. Still just over a month before my first show, so I will re-review at that point.
The tank of ‘shorties’ probably represents my most competitive show entries this year from 2016 spawnings, and they will line up in size 1 and 2. The challenge now is tapering their growth so they stay within size for the first show of the season. There’s one in there that closely resembles my All England baby champion winning fish from last year – although not quite being up to that level, it still stands out in the bowl. Unfortunately, it knocked 2 scales in the middle of it’s hi plate during all the fish movements over Easter L so, there’s no way it will be showable in June… and it’s touch and go whether those scales will come back and line up red, in time for the All England show in September too.
The general thinking and planning at the moment, is about how to schedule our spawnings, rearing tosai to nissai, whilst juggling fish between the tanks. There’s been quite a lot to do. And, frustratingly, we’ve had an ammonia spike in the males tank. Partly down to the new tubs we added to the males system over the winter not having sufficient flow through them. That’s been resolved with some new plumbing, increasing the input of filtered water, and also a new bottom drain line to take the water away a little faster. A good water change, and application of salt as a tonic has brought the fish round nicely.
Finally, some random news… on my favourite pet topic. Ducks. They’re back, and mother duck was spotted yesterday with a long chain of ducklings following her as she strolled around the edge of our plot – no doubt looking for an entrance into our lush and fox protected ponds. So far, they have been unable to penetrate our recently added duck defences. Fingers crossed the defences hold.