Update from last weekend - 3rd selection on May '17 #2 spawning

Made good progress last weekend with selections. They’re jobs that have been hanging over me for a week or so, and particularly at this time of year, we’re constantly a week or two behind. So, it feels great to have made up some ground last weekend

I went through all the remaining small koi from the May#2 spawning – that’s the spawning with our takigawa 3 step female and the two matsue males.

I went through around 2000 fish, keeping half and the half that we are moving on, have been split by size and ready to be sold.

Having declared our new objective, to breed a kohaku capable of winning a GC price… I’m certainly feeling the pressure! Reviewing the fish from that May #2 spawning – I was acutely aware that those fish are the first batch that we’ve had where all 3 parents are about as good as we can afford; and the numbers harvested and selected for first selection – again, as good as we could do with our current set up.

So, the chances are that there’s a fish in that batch I went through that holds our best hopes – based on our current scale.

I saw some really good prospects in there – and I can tell you that almost everyone that’s seen the batch of fish over the last few weeks, has commented that they look particularly good. The white’s in particular for me, are a step up again from last year. The next 4 to 5 months is going to be really interesting – once these fish get up to around 20 to 25 cm, it will be easier to see the quality of them. And next spring, when they’re around 30-35 cm; it will be easier still.

As I selected through them, i put the best few in a cage net and took some pics and video before releasing them:

And, some video:


The other work was to move all the May#1 spawning small koi that we are still growing on – around 150 of them – we moved them into a smaller tank, to make way for the late summer spawnings which I’m putting into one of our main growing on tanks.

The May #1 spawning was with my new momotaro female, and I went with 3 males – the mainstay dianchi pair plus my new sakai male.

This batch of fish are particularly intriguing. Because, the body shapes coming through on some of the better ones are different to what we’ve seen before. There’s a pronounced volume around the shoulders, And, the growth has been pretty good too. They’ve got a certain look about them which is exciting. And, the red’s are pretty good too. So, although the numbers are lower than I’d like – we have around 100 kohaku/tancho, and around 50 benigoi, these fish are starting to draw some attention. I’ve said before that I thought the best fish in this batch is a tancho – and bear in mind, that as a kohaku breeder – I’d prefer my fish have a red pattern on the body as well as the head! But, on my last review – one or two kohakus are also looking good; so, lets see how these go over the next stint and I will try and get some video footage of them in the tank soon, and some proper pictures of the best few at the next selection round.

So, in summary, there was a lot of moving fish around last weekend. And, a little bit of selection of the 1 inchers too. And, the early signs from that mid summer spawning, are good. They’re so small – but the keep rate is at least average, and I’d say, a little higher than average. This is the spawning where I went with my trusty okawa female – the females that’s spawning all my major show prize winning koi – and I usually spawn her with the pair of dianichi males; this year, I went with just one of those pair , plus a new male from sakai. I wanted to try something different with her this year to give me a learning opportunity with kohaku genetics.

As I publish this blog tonight... at the end of the week , I'm getting ready for another busy koi weekend. I have first selection to finish off , and I'm spending the day on Sunday on the benching team for my club's Garden show.

As a weekend koi farmer... I do have the evenings too. Albeit, under artificial lights. Once I'm in the 'zone' , it's actually quite relaxing selecting through the thousands of 1 inchers... with a bit of music in the background. Searching for the one! I wonder whether it's in this spawning.