Preparing for next year

Over the last month, things have been much quieter on the koi front. The brood fish tanks are ticking along nicely, and they're sitting at around 7 degrees C now. The growing on tank has been sterilsed with PP, then formalin, then emptied and refilled with tap water - and is now ready as a quarantine facility for new aquisitions that I bring in as I continue to re-balance my koi collection towards brood stock in kohaku and showa varieties. My hobby money is tight, and I am forced to move fish on to help fund new arrivals; with more planned for moving on at the end of the winter - they feel like big sacrifices, but a necessary step towards achieving my project aims.

I've written up a 2 part series about my breeding project for Koi Carp, and reviewed the draft of the first article this evening. I saved a bunch of my best photos for the articles, and it's great to see them laid out with the text - you'll see the first article in the next edition of Koi Carp magazine (the January edition). I started writing the articles just after losing all my yearlings, so it was tough to get the pen out after experiencing that difficult period on the project, but I found the whole process therapeutic and I'm very happy with the end result. It gave me a chance to reflect on the year, and consider each month as I wrote it up - it reminded me what my aims were, and by reflecting on the year and what I want to achieve, I am resetting my goals and taking a longer term view - which I describe in the articles, and I will share in my blog in due course. There's a lot to look forward to - such as trying out my new brood stock, and experimenting with indoor rearing as well as outdoor rearing in the fry ponds. Allan Bennett - my Australian hobbyist breeder connection - has kindly sent over plans for a hatchling selection machine which gives me a winter project. I'll use the device to help split the black and white fry in showa spawnings. More on that when I get a chance to build the thing.

The first of my new fish arrived just now - late this evening. I'm amazed at how fresh they look after such a long journey. These are the ones my wife found when she was in Japan in October, so it's my first opportunity to see them. That said - it's dark, so it won't be until the weekend I get a chance to see them in natural light, but sneaky peaks from tonight are very promising.