The last two days have been a short teaser trailer for summer - 25 C during the day and warm at night. Lovely - except I've spent they whole time sat in an office, at least with a window!
While I've been working hard, my pond are going through the green stage. I think another 2 to 3 weeks and they should be ready for hatchlings.
I am reminding myself of the lessons learned from last year's spawnings to give me a better chance this time around. The main lesson was to focus on one spawning at a time, and to take my time rather than rushing spawnings in parallel to try and fill both fry ponds as soon as I can.
This time, I'll go with one spawning per weekend and do the best I can with it. Have plenty of fresh water on hand, and I'll go with females that I have experience of spawning successfully. I'm also going to try setting up two vats with males in; the female will start off in the first vat and complete her spawning there - then I'll move her to the other vat and the 2nd set of males can finish the job; then I'll move her into the females pond rather than the males pond like last year. The objective is to maintain the separation between females and males through the spawning season.
I will probably lead with kohaku again. It's my main focus, and I promise to fit in another variety later in the year!
The tempation is to go with a repeat of one of last year's spawnings - whcih I will probably do later in the year. But first up, will be a kohaku female that I spawned late last year - she's a tantalising prospect because of her sheer volume and also her shape, and I will probably go with the males from last year's May spawning; it will be interesting to see results using those males with a different female and contrasting with last year's May spawning.
I've been sifting through my adult fish, picking some out to move on as I clear space out of my brood fish tanks for the best homebred tosai that I want to grow to nissai. they'll be appearing on the forums over the next week or so.
I instpected one of the matsunosuke kohaku's that Amanda bought in Japan a year and a half ago, and during the inspection I noted her skin was a little rough. It was so subtle but caught my attention, and a little bit more examining and it turns out she is actually a he! So, I whipped him out of the females tank and in with the other males.
And one other thing. Had a little spend this week.... I asked Mike Snaden from Yume Koi to keep an eye out for a large kohaku female for me on his recent spring Japan trip, that would go well with the males he's found for me over the last couple of years. He found one at Takigawa which is 82cm at '5 or 6 yrs old, he said' - lets assume it's 6 yrs old; that's still pretty good growth and she is supposedly a good match for the males I recently bought. She'll be with me hopefully in time for a late summer spawning. It's an uncomfortable purchase money wise and I will need to rejig my adult koi a little more than I planned to , perhaps bringing forward my plan to go down to two varieties from three- but I know Kohaku is my primary variety of focus and I need to take these risks to give myself the best chances of achieving my project objectives. the fast growing May 14 spawning kohaku's have been such a joy to watch develop to tosai, and improving my brood stock with genetics that should give me better results in that area is an exciting prospect.
Before I get carried away with new purchases, and dreaming of successful spawnings - I have a load of clearing up to do!