Preparing for more spawnings

Spawning brushes clean, and ready for action!

Last weekend was all about selection - first selection on the kohaku harvested the previous weekend. I estimate we pulled 40k of them out of the pond, and I managed to get through most of them by using every waking hour possible on Saturday and Sunday while it was light.

I was hoping to see a similar level of keepers to the first selection I performed on the fry from the same parent set last year - but I didnt see it. Slightly frustrating, also worrying - but mainly, there was so much to do I didnt have time to dwell on it.

Last year I performed first selection when the fish were around 4 to 5cm in length, which is the size I would typically perform second selection. As we had so few of them last year, I thought it was worth growing them on before performing selection, and that really helped as it's much easier to see what you have when the fish is 2 inches long rather than 1 inch long - which is what I was faced with last weekend.

This year - we have so many that it's imperative to select them now to create the space for the ones I want to keep and enable them to grow well.

Even if the quality ratio is lower than last year - the total harvest is around 15 x larger. So I hope at the very least the two cancel out; and really what I'm hoping for is that the quality is there and the fry are just too small to differentiate - and that we'll end up with a really good haul of kohaku's with show potential. I'll have a better idea at second selection when the fish will be 5cm.

My eye keeps drifting to the cage net with the fry we've decided to let go - to see if there are any keepers that I missed. And there are some... not many, but when I spend a few minutes looking at the cage net, casting my eye across thousands - I can pick out the odd one that we should have kept. Time is short, and where we can we'll retrieve the keepers, but other priorities are pressing now.

More spawnings for starters! Relining the second fry pond is still hanging over me too.

The other fry pond is in perfect condtion to receive fry, and that's what I'm going to do next.

I'm going to run with showa's for the next set of spawnings. I have two females - the first was picked out when Amanda visited Shintaro a couple of years ago; he selected a breeding set for us and they didnt spawn last year. The female's looking ready and with my own trip to Japan coming up this autumn - I'd really like to make something of this set so I have something to show for my efforts with her, should I get the chance to meet Shintaro later in the year.

Then plan is to spawn the Shintaro set first - then follow a day or so later with a set I've put together based around a well known tancho showa show fish.

the idea behind the second spawning is give me the best chance of having enough hatchlings to fill a fry pond. If both spawnings go well (would be almost too good to be true!) then I will work out what to do at the time! it will involve rearing at least a sample from both spawnings.

By the way, the sample fry from the shiro spawning are doing really well. they must be 2 inches by now and I've just left them to their own devices. Must harvest the pond when I get a chance to conclude the experiment, and free up the tank.

I need to collect my new kohaku female from Yume Koi, and spawn her too. Plan is - to get the showa's sorted over this weekend, fill the second pond with water from the mature pond - then spawn the kohaku in a couple of weekends' time; ideally, just before the East of England Show.

I've also had a little measure up on the tosai I'm growing on, and hoping to exhibit at the forthcoming East of England Koi Show. First - the bad news. Despite me holding back on the feeding and swapping to a low protein food - The baby champ from the last show has grown a couple of cm's and is now just into the next size group. Literally by a few mm's. I would have loved to show that fish again whilst it was in size 2 - and if I'd measure it a week earlier, I could have intervened and considered holding off food until the show to keep it in size 2. But it's done now, and I have others in size 2 that I can give a run out to. I really need another tank - one where I can push the fish, and another where I can focus on show prep. As it happens, I'm kind of doing neither - so growth is not being maximised, and I'm not maximising my chances at the show either. Overall - if I look back at the end of this summer and the only prizes I've won were the ones at the South of England show - I'll still be over the moon. I do need to push the tosai on, and get them to a decent nissai size.

That said - I'm really looking forward to the show and having seen which fish did well at the last one, I will select a slightly different team for the run out at the East of England. For me, it will be a chance to show off some of the other koi I've bred - and some of the other tosai have developed quite nicely over the last couple of months and I'm interested to see how they get on.

My vat at the next show will be solely red and white once again. Appologies in advance!

A few pics since my last blog:

Picture taken on Saturday night - half way through selections. Top right = Sunday's job, Bottom left = selected out/for ebay, Bottom right = keepers.

Keepers from Sunday's selection efforts - feeding!