Preparations continue

With the spawning season rapidly approaching, I've been prioritising my time and resources towards brood fish health and fry pond prep, and have also made some headway on tank improvements and adding an additional tank to the polytunnel.

The fish we imported from Japan have been growing well, but we noticed they have gone slightly off their food - a scape later, and we spotted costia. I am treating them with salt. On the upside, one of the kohaku females in the tank arrived at 46cm and just 3 months later she's 53cm. Unfortunately the other kohaku has developed a lump on the side of her mouth which I need to look at more but I suspect it's a tumor or growth of some sort - which is a shame. Koi keeping isnt always fair! The other fish in the tank are all fine, as are the other two tanks.

The males can't seem to get enough food at the moment and there's a fight for every handful I put in. I've increased water changes to keep the ammonia in check as the bio filtration catches up after a winter at ambient temperatures. The same is true for the females tank, except they are much more lazy with their eating habits. Both tanks are sitting at 15 degrees.

The fry ponds are looking good. We fertilised with chicken manure pellets recently and they've just gone green.

My daughter, working her way through a large bag of chicken manure pellets. I am sticking with them this year as they provide some substrate in the pond, as well as fertilising

I still hold on to the hope that I will have time to spawn and rear fry indoors, in a recirculation pond in addition to the outdoor ponds. To that end, in the polytunnel, Ive got a new 10k litre tank with bottom drain connected and dug in, so it's not going to take much more work to get it connected up to the filtration system. This is the method my friend in Australia uses, and I think it could make breeding koi a viable project for hobbyists in the UK too. So watch this space.

On another note - two hobbyists I know have discovered white spot in their ponds over the last week; that;'s more cases than I've heard about in the last year. And lots of people at my club are suffering from parasite outbreaks of one sort or another - so keep an eye out for it in your own ponds, because it seems likely most people will be in the same situation.

Happy koi keeping!