Breeding koi fish takes a lot of effort and patience on the part of the breeder/owner. Selecting the right breeding partners and preparing everything from the breeding environment down to the spawning process takes a bit of time, also.
To ensure success, it is important to learn about rearing the species the right way. Raising Koi as your pet might not be easy in the beginning, especially for a newbie. You have to consider so many factors.
To learn a better way of breeding Koi, you have to familiarize yourself with some of these tips. Remember that first-time activities always involve a trying and failing, that is applicable in all life situations including Koi breeding.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN BREEDING A KOI FISH
- The Size Of The Pond
One thing you should always keep in mind is the size of your pond as it will affect their overall size. Obviously, even the numbers that you breed has an effect on their growth as well. Keeping a large pond and maintaining a large number of Koi is the same as keeping a small pond and maintaining a small number of Koi – this affects their interaction and hinders their size. In order to keep 8 Koi fish, you need to build at least a king-size bed pond. If you have enough space in your garden, this shouldn't be a problem. This is on the ground that you want to breed big-sized Koi fish.
- The pH Level Of The Pond
Your pond needs to maintain a standard pH level of 7.4 and exceeding 8.0. Seashells and corals can be used in your filtration system to neutralize your pond’s pH level in the event that it drops down.
- Perfect Breeding Month For Koi
The best month to start breeding Koi is between April and July.
It is very important that you sustain your fish with nutritious food that keeps their color bright and alive. Vibrant colors are an indication that your Koi fish is in its perfect state of health. You may feed them with fruits and veggies such as cabbage, melons, and lettuce. Commercially prepared fish food can also be used to provide all the necessary nutrients to preserve your fish’s health.
STEPS INVOLVED IN KOI BREEDING
After taking note of these factors, it’s time to breed your Koi!
- Setting Up Your Breeding Environment
Using water hyacinths work well with outdoor ponds. Set up your pond in an environment that will encourage fish breeding. You will not want to see your beautiful jewels jump outside the pond or have them eaten by insects. This is why we employ breeders to place a net over their outdoor pond. Set up your breeding environment to ensure one male is assigned to one female fish. The population of males should not outnumber the females over 2 to 1.
- Choosing Your Fish
Obviously, your breeding pond will be stocked with both male and female Koi. You can identify a male Koi by the spots on its pectoral fins and gill cover while females have larger abdomens during the breeding season.
It is important to select males and females that are of similar sizes. For breeding purposes, females need to be at least two years old. The perfect age for breeding a female Koi is around four years. Younger females produce thinner eggs with a lesser chance of survival. Likewise, the eggs of older fish are too hard for the sperm to penetrate.
- Perfect Color Combination
Your preferred color pattern and the combination will determine your choice of breeding partners. Of course, different offspring are produced from a different combination of color, so it is important to do extensive planning and research. Gosanke is the most popular Koi with an unlimited color pattern. Consult Koi specialist and read Koi breeding materials else, you’ll end up being disappointed when you realize that the offspring aren’t to your liking.
- Selecting Healthy Breeding Partners
Having two males with a matured single female that is ready to spawn is a good idea. This ensures fertility in most of the eggs. Males that are ready to spawn will develop small bumps on their foreheads and pectoral fins; these are used on tickle the female Koi into spawning.
- Preparing The Spawning Area
Proper preparation of the spawning area will lead to a successful breeding. You should ensure the pH levels of the water, oxygen concentration, isolate the mating trio from others, et cetera. There should also be submerged twigs or underwater plants onto which the female can lay her eggs. The fry will also need a hiding place when they hatch, so take note of this when choosing your medium.
- Isolating The Fertilized Eggs
In order to avoid cannibalism, it is important to separate the fertilized eggs from the parents even though it is not usual for Koi to feed on their own young. Yet, it is better prevented!
- Hatching Of The Eggs
This process typically occurs in about a week. A month after hatching, it is best to cull out the bad fish and high-quality stock. Continue culling out the fish every week until you have a high-quality pond of new fish. They will look for spots like branches or grass or the pond wall to develop.
These new sets will serve as new breeders in the future and should only be fed 3-4 days after. Brine shrimp and yolks from hard-boiled eggs are a good starter food. You can also visit the fish store to get nutritious fry food. An indication as to know when they are ready to eat will be when you see them swim around the pond in a group.
Four days after hatching, you are advised to remove the breeding material – this reduces the ammonia levels on the water and evacuates unhatched eggs. With thousands of fry, there will be limited space in the pond to keep a lot of waste gathering. Get rid of these wastes and add fresh water regularly to improve the quality. It is important to know that only half of your baby Koi will grow into an adult. This is why proper care of your Koi will help maintain a high-quality standard for the future generation of Koi.
- What To Do After The First Three to Four Weeks
You will need to move the fry to your pond or another tank when they are about three to four weeks old. Make sure you keep an eye on them because the bigger and stronger fry might eat the smaller ones, so split them into separate tanks if you need to. At this stage, your Koi will start growing fast so proper and frequent feeding is necessary. However, be careful not to overfeed them as they will get too fat and lose some color.
- Introducing The Fry To The Main Pond
Once your Koi have grown to around 7-8 inches, you can now introduce them back into the main pond, but keep an eye out to see if the bigger Koi do not pose a threat to them.
CARING FOR THE KOI FISH
Proper care for your Koi fish will require you to know the seasonal care. That is because every season means a different caring need which demands a different caring approach. For instance, during the spring season, the temperature of the water is can either rise or fall at any time. It is therefore important to focus more on the water temperature of the pond of the Koi as irregular fluctuation of water is not good for the Koi fish.
Koi fish are known to thrive in the mud ponds due to the rich mineral content in the ponds. These minerals add to the overall health and color of Koi fish. Bentonite clay contains over 60 minerals that will help your fish grow up healthy if sustained with bentonite clay-rich foods. More so, when bentonite clay is added directly to pond water, it will bring about stability in the pH level of the water. When water temperatures reach 75° F, Koi will need to maintain a high protein diet because at that point their metabolism is at its peak. This is the period where they get to be fed two to three times daily.
Providing your Koi fish with adequate and appropriate sources of food is essential to the health of the fish. When feeding is concerned, you must consider several basic factors such as the size of the pond, the season, the number of fishes in the pond, and they type of filter that is used.
Always make sure you take proper care of the pond as well. Cleaning the filters, supplying fresh water, et cetera makes a neat pond and a neat pond will be void of diseases and insects.