Need more success in the spawning vat...

Kohaku fry are doing really well. I expect the natural food supply to run out soon so we've started feeding with powdered fry food (From ZM Systems) so they can begin to get used to it. The race is on to get another decent batch of fry so I can make good use of the second outdoor fry pond - which is ready and waiting....

I had a chat with Mark Davis the other day to talk about progress, and explained about the double showa spawning effort the other week and how neither went.

He suggested checking all the females and running with the ones that are most ready. It makes sense, but it means moving away from my plan - 2 x kohaku spawnings and 2 x showa spawnings. I only have one more fry pond outside and I really want my primary showa set to make use of it. There are the indoor vats too - but with the kohaku doing so well outside, I feel I've got the hang of the pond cycling and want to see whether I can repeat the success in the other pond, with a large quantity of hatchlings.

Not knowing how long I will have to wait until the showa set are ready, I decided to go with the female I thought was most ready - attempt to make use of the fry pond now, which gives me the option of re-using the pond again later in the summer.

I examined the females and to be honest, none seem to be ready to spawn. Thing is, that with a bit of time off work, I have some hobby time available now - so I kicked off spawnings with the 2 I thought were most ready in the hope of success in at least one vat.

The female most ready was the shiro Amanda brought back from Japan last autumn. And I went with my primary showa in the other vat.

My primary showa set didn't spawn - again. That's my second attempt with them. It was looking more promising, and I thought they might go last night but nothing this morning and in fact the temperature was too low.

The shiro did spawn, but fertilisation rates look low. There are some fertilised eggs in there, but far below the 50% I experienced with the kohaku spawning. I predict I'll get a reasonable number of fry, but not enough to take full advantage of the blooming daphnia in the outdoor fry pond.

So over the next week while I'm off work, I'm going to try as many spawnings as I can, in the hope I have another successful spawning with good fertilisation and hatch rate to increase my options before I had to decide where to rear the shiro hatchlings.

If this new plan pans out, then I'll give my primary showa female a few weeks in the females tank to reset herself, and then go for a july spawning, and by that time I'll have harvested the kohaku fry and I could re-use that fry pond for the showa fry. It's all if's and but's, and it's not easy picking through the decision tree....

This afternoon, I re-set one of the spawning vats and kicked off another showa spawning. It's turned cold where I live, so I'm going with the cage net approach that enables me to add aquarium heaters to the spawning vat but keeping them away from the oyagoi.

This Takeda showa female is pushing 80cm and I picked her up late last summer. Takeda has a long history of producing showa, and lots of breeders in Japan started their own Showa lines with Takeda brood stock.

There are two other males in there... honest :-) I usually go with just the two males, but I'm trying three on this occasion. Two from Shintaro, and the other from Takeda.