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    Thread: Matt's Showa Spawn 2017

    1. #1
      Matt24's Avatar
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      Matt's Showa Spawn 2017

      The showa spawned early this spring. Eggs have hatched, and there are now thousands of 6-day-old fry. The adults are:

      Female: 25 showa, ~6 years old, fully scaled, just a little yellow-orange, looks like shiro utsuri from a distance
      Male: 24 showa, 9 years old, fully scaled, red
      Male: 24 ginrin showa, ~5 years old, fully scaled, orange
      Male: 24 kin showa, 5 years old, fully scaled, yellow-orange (now fully recovered from ~40% paralysis caused by nearby lightning strike in July 2015)

      I use an 1800 gallon pond for spawning / raising fry with a 2800 GPH submersible pump and a mature 100 gallon simple gravity fed filter. The night of 4/12 (night after a full moon) I moved the female and a male into the pond where the other two males had been for a while. I had added 5 home-made nylon spawning ropes all around the edges, with a double layer of them under the waterfall since they always seem to lay more eggs there. The water was only 61 F (16 C) but the forecast was for substantially warmer temperatures for the next several days. I figured that after several days the water would be up around 70 F and maybe they would spawn. But the showa decided it was already warm enough and were acting spawny the next night. Then a light rain started and continued overnight and they spawned the next morning, 4/14 (Good Friday), in 61 F water with barometric pressure of 30.08, slowly decreasing.

      The spawning appeared only moderately vigorous, not as much splashing as is typical in warmer weather, but still effective. This female did not scatter her eggs as much as other females have in the past. She focused heavily on the ropes under the waterfall and along the two sides nearest the waterfall. Very few eggs got on the ropes along the other two sides, and she did not let as many fall to the bottom of the pond as previous females.

      I removed the adults after 6 hours and returned them to the big pond after a 2 hour bath in 100 gal of 0.30% aeriated salt. Changed out ~55% of the little pond water with water from the big pond. It looks like roughly 75% of eggs were fertilized.

      The forecasted warm weather never came, and the pond water never exceeded 64 F. So it took 4.5 days for the eggs to hatch. Before that, I put double layer of cheese cloth around the 5 gallon bucket (with holes drilled in it) that I keep the pump in. I think that helps keep fry out of the pump. The cheesecloth breaks down after a few days, but it seems to last until the fry get through the really vulnerable days. After hatching, I removed the 5 spawning ropes which had unhatched eggs on them. In addition to water changes and netting out debris (mainly oak tree tassels), I used some Ammo-lock to bind ammonia until the filter could catch up.

      Started feeding 2 tblsp yeast with 3 tblsp powder from adult food pellets in about 4 or 5 feedings over a whole day, the day after hatching. Like last year, to help with growth, I plan to start supplementing their diet with protein using the Wombat-style blended seafood when they get around 2 weeks old.

      From the evening of Day 2 to the morning of Day 5, a cold front dropped the water temp from 64 to 54 F, while raining nearly 4. But it did not seem to bother the fry. It is now the evening of Day 6 (after hatching), and the water is 57 F. It is still somewhat difficult to tell the dark fry from the light, perhaps due to slower development in the cool water. So I don't yet have a good feel for what percentage of dark ones I've got, but will update as things progress. Below are some photos of the adults:

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    2. #2
      dragonfly1976 is offline Senior Member
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      Nice work Matt. We'll be following your thread to see some hopefully interesting results. You should get some nice ones from this spawn.

    3. #3
      kevin32's Avatar
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      awesome.thanks for all your info. always interesting seeing your spawns...

    4. #4
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      Way to go Matt !! You got it going early this year
      I'll be watching



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      Thanks Dragonfly / Kevin / Delbert! We were needing some rain after many dry months, and man have we been getting it, something like 10" since these fry hatched. It has been cool as well. The water is 57 F and has been in the 50's for a few days. I think that's a significant reason why the fry are so small, the largest being around 3/8" at 12 days old. Out of this sample of ~50, ~1/3 are dark (black or gray). So I am fairly pleased with that percentage. I used a food processor make a high protein blend of about 40% sardines, 30% mackerel, & 30% pumpkin that I put in freezer bags. Soon I will see if I can get them to eat some of that. Similar blends following Wombat's tips resulted in good growth last year. Hopefully it will do so again.

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    6. #6
      dragonfly1976 is offline Senior Member
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      Do you have something like Daphnia to feed them, or do you start them right off on the paste you make?

    7. #7
      Matt24's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by dragonfly1976 View Post
      Do you have something like Daphnia to feed them, or do you start them right off on the paste you make?
      I have not used daphnia or anything much like that. I start by feeding them active yeast mixed with powder from adult food pellets (run through a coffee grinder). Then I supplement with the high protein blended seafood starting at around 2 weeks old. It also helps that they are in an established pond, with algae et cetera on the sloped sides, rather than in a clean plastic container. I was very pleased with the fast growth last year, but the small numbers and the warmer temperature helped I'm sure.

    8. #8
      Matt24's Avatar
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      At 3 weeks, the water got above 64 F to some better growing temperatures. Now at 30 days, it is 71 F. Most of the fry are 1/2 - 5/8. I have not seen any tobi to this point.

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      After the first couple of weeks, the cheesecloth around my pump bucket had decomposed (as expected) to the point it was doing little good. So I replaced it with mosquito netting. Next year I think I'll cover the pump bucket with both from the beginning, so that when cheesecloth decomposes, the mosquito netting will already be there.

    9. #9
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      They sure look good Matt . How many do you think you got in the pond ?



    10. #10
      Matt24's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by delbert View Post
      They sure look good Matt . How many do you think you got in the pond ?
      Thanks Delbert. I'd like to know that myself. Since they are little and dark in somewhat dark water with black liner, there's no way to tell by looking. And I don't have reasonable means of catching them all at once. But from looking at the numbers I've gone through and the percentages of light and dark in the samples, I'm going to estimate the number of dark ones at this time to be somewhere between 500 and 800. Time will tell. Hopefully it will be a little more, as we know pretty showa are a very small minority.

    11. #11
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      Lol .. Yes it does take a lot of little ones to find 1 good one .
      Keep up the good work Matt . I am still waiting on my koi to spawn .



    12. #12
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      Quote Originally Posted by delbert View Post
      ... I am still waiting on my koi to spawn .
      Glad to hear you've got one in the works. Maybe it won't be much longer at these temps.

    13. #13
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      At 39 days, size uniformity is still pretty good at 5/8" to 7/8". Also, unlike 2015, there is little size difference between the light colored and the dark. Water has warmed from 65 F to 73 F in two days.

    14. #14
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      Quote Originally Posted by Matt24 View Post
      At 39 days, size uniformity is still pretty good at 5/8" to 7/8". Also, unlike 2015, there is little size difference between the light colored and the dark. Water has warmed from 65 F to 73 F in two days.
      nice. 73 is about perfect temp. I'm growing my first tosai I've ever had and it is fun watching them develop. look forward to seeing your progress. when you say tobi what is that? trying to learn lol

    15. #15
      Matt24's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by kevin32 View Post
      nice. 73 is about perfect temp. I'm growing my first tosai I've ever had and it is fun watching them develop. look forward to seeing your progress. when you say tobi what is that? trying to learn lol
      Thanks Kevin. Yes, it is interesting watching development. I have been surprised at some of the changes in past spawns, and I'm sure you'll see some significant shifts in yours.

      Tobi are larger fry that start eating smaller siblings. The protein boost seems give the a big surge in growth, so they eat more siblings exponentially until they run out of siblings they can swallow. I've heard the word "tobi" can be translated as "jump" and these fry are called tobi because they get a jump in growth.

      The koi in the photo below from my 2015 spawn were just under 5 months old. The little ones are around 4" but there are 3 that are about 10". Though not a danger at that point, they had wreaked havoc on the population when they were younger. I moved those 3 to my big pond when they were 3-4". At two years, they are still bigger than the others, but the smaller ones have caught up a lot.

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      Last edited by Matt24; 05-27-2017 at 11:04 PM.

    16. #16
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      Quote Originally Posted by Matt24 View Post
      Thanks Kevin. Tobi are larger fry that start eating smaller siblings. The protein boost seems give the a big surge in growth, so they eat more siblings exponentially until they run out of siblings they can swallow. I've heard the word "tobi" can be translated as "jump" and these fry are called tobi because they get a jump in growth.

      The koi in the photo below from my 2015 spawn were just under 5 months old. The little ones are around 4" but there are 3 that are about 10". Though not a danger at that point, they had wreaked havoc on the population when they were younger. I moved those 3 to my big pond when they were 3-4". At two years, they are still bigger than the others, but the smaller ones have caught up a lot.

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      thanks Matt. seems mother nature knows how to thrive.

    17. #17
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      Quote Originally Posted by Matt24 View Post
      Thanks Kevin. Yes, it is interesting watching development. I have been surprised at some of the changes in past spawns, and I'm sure you'll see some significant shifts in yours.

      Tobi are larger fry that start eating smaller siblings. The protein boost seems give the a big surge in growth, so they eat more siblings exponentially until they run out of siblings they can swallow. I've heard the word "tobi" can be translated as "jump" and these fry are called tobi because they get a jump in growth.

      The koi in the photo below from my 2015 spawn were just under 5 months old. The little ones are around 4" but there are 3 that are about 10". Though not a danger at that point, they had wreaked havoc on the population when they were younger. I moved those 3 to my big pond when they were 3-4". At two years, they are still bigger than the others, but the smaller ones have caught up a lot.

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      I've never had any fish spawn. I added 2 female recently so we will see. i would do proper breeding if needed. i like watching everyone spawns. i get excited off this
      Last edited by kevin32; 05-28-2017 at 12:47 AM.

    18. #18
      Matt24's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by kevin32 View Post
      I've never had any fish spawn. I added 2 female recently so we will see. i would do proper breeding if needed. i like watching everyone spawns. i get excited off this
      There's lots of ways to enjoy this koi hobby, and spawning them and raising them is sure one of them. Here are some Day 40 photos, no color yet, just growing.

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    19. #19
      Matt24's Avatar
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      Here is the 1800 gallon little pond where the spawning and raising happens. It is normally covered with netting that I have pulled back at the time of this photo. Also here is the tub filled to about 350 gallons where I will put any that get too big and are a threat to their siblings.

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    20. #20
      Matt24's Avatar
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      I netted a small sample of the fry to examine today. At 53 days, most are now 1" to 1.25", getting a little thicker, and many are beginning to show variation in color or shades in pattern from dark to light. The larger one on the left side of the last photo is 1.75". I may be overly cautious, but I moved that one to the tub for the safety of the others.

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