Weekend update - harvests, selections, BKKS National - sitting on the panel and giving a talk

I’ll keep this update brief. It’s not because things are quiet – in fact, it’s the exact opposite! time is in short supply…. And right now, it’s all about prioritising …

Last Friday, I finished work at 7, and then Amanda and I used the last remaining 2 hours of day light to start our harvesting work.

We started on the top pond – this is the May ’17 #1 spawning. The size of the fry is great, and some even have patterns to. Phew.

When we unravelled the seine net, the first thing we had to sort out were all the new holes! That left us around an hour to sweep the pond, which we managed 2 or 3 times from memory. I estimate we will end up with around 10k fry for first selection from this pond.

Then, early on Saturday morning we drove to the BKKS National Koi show, near Coventry. I sat on the panel for the ‘ask the panel’ seminar in the morning. And then provided a talk about our breeding project in the afternoon.

Amanda had a little go on the panel too :-)

Giving my talk on the Saturday afternoon.

Also sitting on the panel were Lara Day (a qualified vet! and university lecturer for veterinary students!. koi is her hobby, and she has a unique perspective from her professional background), Dr Dave Pool (from ‘Fishscience’) and Syd Mitchell (the legend!)… It was such an honour to be asked to sit on the panel with those guys and I had a great time! We had a steady flow of people into the lecture tent , and they asked loads of questions!

On Sunday morning, I sat on the panel again – then we made our way home and completed harvesting the top pond. There are a few stragglers still in there, but with such abundance of natural food still present – we decided to harvest the bottom pond and them move some of those fry into the top pond to benefit from the food source. The natural food in the bottom pond has all but run out, and there are masses of fry in there – so in the end, it was a no brainer. this is just about giving us the best chance of maximising the harvests. We have enough of a harvest from both ponds before any mixing of fry to give me the intel on the new brood set combinations.

I have a very full on week at work this week – so, progress with the koi is going to be limited. I did manage an hour of selections on the May ’17 #1 spawning fry last night (Monday). And, kept count for the first 300 or so fry to measure the keep rate:

It’s more time consuming to keep count of both the keepers and the others, so after I was satisfied I had sufficient a sample, I then just kept count of the keepers.

Overall, I’m happy with the keep rate.

That's a 16.9% keep rate.

Plus, a little excited about the body shapes on some of the fry. The volume around the shoulders is very promising – and some of them look quite different to previous spawnings; and I guess that isn’t unexpected considering we used a new female, and one new male (from sakai) along with our trust pair of dianichi males. I have a slight nervousness on the head shape - looks a little shallow on the lower jawline. something to keep an eye on at the next selection.

Always a relief when you spot a decent one during selections. they stand out a mile!
Next weekend – we’ll be completing the selections and also more harvesting from the fry ponds. I think the following weekend there will be more harvesting, and also in parallel – another round of spawnings. It’s all go!

Oh, apart from one last thing. On my rounds last night (Monday night) – where I go around the tanks and check everythnig’s ok. At around 9.30, I spotted a leaking joint on one of the filters in the stock tank outside the polytunnel, and the tank was emptying! Not what you want at that time of night! I moved the fish, and we’ll have to make repairs this weekend - because I want to use that tank for spawnings in a couple of weeks time.

That’s it for now.