May 15 spawning update

I've been keeping 40 to 50 fry from the May 15 spawning separate from the others, housed in the green vortex tank which is plumbed into the growing on system.

It's been a while since I've taken a look at how the May 15 kohaku spawning are coming along so I went through the green vortex today, and took some pics and video for the record.

Size wise - the largest one was 21cm, and I also measured an easy to identify koi - the tancho, which measured 20cm. At Christmas last year, my largest fry reached 30cm, so I am roughly 10cm growth behind where I was last year; this growth differential has stayed at about 10cm for the last few months - so further evidence that the growth was lost in the period May -> Sep.

I found 26 that I'm still interested in, and here are a few pics, followed by a video clip:

And, some video:

And a link to the video: video link

There are a few decent looking ones in the main growing on tank too. But overall, we both think that this year hasn't delivered a repeat of high rate of decent quality patterned fish that the parent set did in the July 14 spawning. I can see one or two out of these 26 where the red is similar looking to the way the red looked on the tosai that I won my first baby champion award. And with pattern and skin etc that could leave us with a fish I'd be willing to show. But we reared 10 x as many from this parent set this year compared to last - and I was hoping we'd have 10 x as many with that really good red at this stage.

I see a few in this video where the pattern looks ok, but I'm not sure whether the red is going to be good enough to get it through the next selection point in the spring. The only saving grace is that I remember feeling exactly the same at this point last year :-) And, in the end, last year's spawnings worked out ok based on the show awards achieved this year.

Its wait and see time I guess. And over the holidays, Amanda and I will pull out the seine net and catch up the other 150 or so fry, and I'll go through them properly.

With only 200 fish left from this year's spawnings - and sufficient growing on tank space to grown them all on until the spring, there's no pressure to select them down. This means I will be able to prioritise time onto developments for next year - although if we don't select some out, I will end up with some 30cm + shiro muji fish.

And there's quite a bit to sort out for next year - because we're going to trial rearing some hatchlings artificially (in parallel with rearing in our outdoor earth ponds). I've bought some tanks, that will take up the space in the polytunnel currently housing the spawning vats. Spawnings will be done in the recirculation systems - just like the way I tested successfully this year; and the fertilised eggs moved either outside or into one of the new tanks for rearing. each tank will need a small filter, uv etc - and I want to make a start on building those.

Those one or two fry that have potential are peaking my interest, but to be honest, right now my head is already into next year's spawnings. I need to deliver a full batch of fry from Elle Macpherson or Sharkey. That's the challenge.