Breeding Koi Fish
Breeding koi fish is a fun way to stock your own pond with healthy, decorative ornamental fish. However, it isn’t the easiest thing to do. Breeding your own fish takes lots of hard work and preparation. Here we discuss some of the necessary steps to ensure the spawning of beautiful, good-quality fish. The best time to breed koi in the United States is between April and July.
The first thing to consider is the type of fish you want to breed and stocking male and female fish. When breeding koi, make sure you use the same type of koi. If you want to breed Kohakus, then use a male and female Kohaku.
How do you know which is which? The way to tell a male from a female is quite easy. Males will often have spots on their pectoral fins and gill covers. Also, females will have significantly larger abdomen when it comes to spawning season. If this isn’t enough, males are the ones usually chasing other fish! Next, you should consider the age and sizes of the fish that are to be mated. When breeding koi, make sure the female is at least about 2 years old to ensure healthy, strong offspring.
The size of the fish should be similar to gain maximum compatibility. When it comes to the ratio of males to females for mating, (there is a bit of controversy about this one) it is recommended by most experts not to exceed a 2 (male) to 1 (female) ratio for breeding koi. 1:1 maybe even better. Your fish should not be immature or too old for breeding.
When you notice your koi females becoming bloated with eggs, add a male koi of similar size to the pond. Breeding koi may be helped along by creating a nesting space using synthetic brush or willow. You will know when spawning has occurred by the fact that the water has turned cloudy and gives off a strong odor.
Breeding koi fish can give rise to thousands of eggs at one time. The eggs should be protected from predation by adults where possible.
The use of spawning ropes is recommended by many for breeding koi. These should serve as an easier means than transferring the eggs from the pond to your growing area. The water used when breeding should be perfectly clean and bacteria-free. After the eggs hatch (usually within a week) be sure to wait several weeks before you begin to cull the fish.
Culling ensures that you get the cream of the crop at the end of the breeding season. Cull the fish about every 2-3 weeks until you are satisfied. These fish will form the basis of new stock for future koi breeding sessions. Breeding koi with quality stock results in fewer poor fish and better spawning rates.
If you use the right techniques, you should have beautiful new fish at the end of your spawning. For the first few months, you will need to feed your baby koi at least five times a day. One thing to bear in mind when breeding koi is that fewer than half of your stock will survive into adulthood. This means that you will need to protect the health and well-being of the fish that do survive for future generations.
See More: Identifying and Treating Koi diseases