Successful kohaku harvest

We harvested the kohaku fry last weekend, and we pulled out our largest harvest yet - we were blown away by the number of fry - roughtly 1.5 x to 2 x the number we harvested from the same pond last June. I'd be surprised if we don't hit somewhere in the region of 40k fry when we do the count up later in the year, and thats more than the total amount of fry we've harvested in the previous two years.... combined! It's also more than I thought the pond could sustain... so a learning point there, and I guess now the challenge is to repeat it!

And, when you consider these babies came from the same parent set that produced 6 out of the 7 awards for me at the recent South of England koi show - it's very exciting. And this spawning may be my best hope of winning prizes next year at the larger shows

On the flip side, the amount of selection work I now have to do is so big, I'm struggling to get my head around it. And, it's difficult to bring help in for this stage of selections when the fish are around 1 inch long; they're so small. Its much easier when they're 4 to 5 cm long but with so many in our tanks, I have to thin them out. Last year, I grew all the fry from the same parent set onto the 4 to 5 cm size before selecting and I've looked back at the pictures from last year and at 1 inch they look so different. This weekend, I'm just going to have to work through it as quickly as I can - making sure I don't make any mistakes and let a future baby champion slip through my fingers! And use the intel from last year that 10 to 20% are likely to be good enough at 4 to 5 cm.

To whizz through it - I'm going to cut the amount of nice to have processes, like counting them. With experience gained over the last 2 years, we can approximate how many we have just by looking at them in a cage net and comparing it to similar looking cage nets in the past where we knew the exact number of fry. Its good to know, or at least have an estimate as I factor it into the way I'll grow them on. How many I have in a tank, how much we feed and so on.

The scale of our harvest changes how we prioritise hobby time for the rest of the year. It takes the pressure off further spawnings, and quite frankly, I don't need to run any more spawnings. I hope to find sufficient koi from this spawning to fill my growing on system from now until next summer, so we could stop now if need be.

Usually, when we harvest a pond I like to reline it on the same weekend and start it filling - because the lead time until I can next use the pond will be at least a month. So even though it's the last thing we want to do at the end of a harvest - it keeps the project moving. But we were so tired after the harvest - completing that in addition to what was a really busy weekend with general life stuff - we didnt re line. The other fry pond is almost finished cycling, and we will run other spawnings - but the rest of the year will be more about trying other brood sets and different brood combinations. If we can use both ponds again then we will, but lets say we do that and if we had a good harvest from each pond, the volume of fry would be tough for us to handle. We could build another growing on pond, but time and project spend is tight, and it would be another pond to manage - and we're at maximum capacity that we can deal with right now, so another tank doesnt appeal this year. As long as I get enough fry from any further spawnings this year to sample the quality from those brood set combo's - that will be enough. Unless ofcourse, something goes wrong with the kohaku harvested - and you never know! - and then the priorities will change once again.

To end, some pics and video:

We seine netted twice and this is the result from one of the goes.

We tend to collect unwanted predators as well as the precious fry... we spend some time after the harvest picking out the trouble makers.

After two sweeps of the pond with the seine net - here's the haul. A few more thousand came out after when we drained the pond down

Video of newly harvested kohaku fry:

video link: click here