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    Thread: Do female koi have to spawn every year in order to live a long healthy life?

    1. #21
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      Thanks KoiRun. The 36% protein food that I feed them does not sound much lower in protein than the more expensive foods. Since I have not tried feeding them the high end stuff, I don't know how much of a difference the food is making. I don't keep track of how much I feed them, but it is a lot to try to get good growth. Of my adults (say 4 years and older) one female is definitely too fat, whereas the rest of the females are what I think of as just robust, which looks better to me. Over 60% of the adults are males, which do not tend to get very fat. So since all but one of the adults do not get very fat, I just keep the heavy feeding.

      My pond is 12,000 gallons, but not so deep, about 4' varying to as little as 2.5' in some places, but it has lots of surface area, roughly 30' by 20' at the widest parts. I've heard that koi build more muscle by swimming vertically rather than horizontally. I guess mine have to get most of their exercise horizontally. With two 7000+ gph pumps, the pond is getting turned over a little more than once per hour. I think the only place with very strong current is where the waterfall flows in.

    2. #22
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      I wish my pond were bigger and deeper, but it's too late for that. I hope my koi don't suffer for it. If I ever have to replace the liner, I will definitely go deeper, since I'm sue I'll have to hire someone to redo it. Boy, the koi get all the money in this household!

      I feed pretty much the same as Pam, surprisingly. I'm not sure how hold my fish are, since I didn't keep track of when I got them, but I'm thinking right around the time I joined the forum so about 10 years old, maybe? I have two males and two females. I thought there were three females and one male, but time and behavior changed that! For the first 8 years or so, I never fed in the winter. Currently, I feed sparingly in the summer, always thinking about the insects and worms that fall into the pond. Usually once or twice per day, max. Plus the occasional spawn and eggs that get eaten, so ther's plenty of food!! In the fall, I usually double up on the food, to fatten them up for the long winter. For the past two years, in the winter, I will feed once or twice a month, depending on if we have a sunny week and the cover absorbs and retains enough heat to keep their digestive tracts healthy, and I only feed mandatory fu. I also feed that coming out of winter.

      As for spawning, I'm betting it happens more frequently than I know. I'm very bad, and don't keep track of that, except if they survive. When they hit maturity a couple of years after I got them, they had a yearly spawn, and I would scoop babies out and try to save them; water hyacinth is great for spawning if you want babies!! I don't! Pretty much, the majority of babies ended up getting eaten by the parents, since I would flush them out of the hyacinth, and then put them back in the pond, as I didn't have anything to keep them in. One year, I did put them in a Rubbermaid stock tank, but they all ended up dying, since I don't know how to keep babies, and it's always recommended to just leave them in the pond for best results. The last major spawn I had, 70 babies survived; that was about 3 years ago, and I haven't seen much breeding activity since then, maybe because all of my underwater aquatic plantings died. Right now, I have a large string algae bed on one side of the pond that "may" serve the same purpose, but not sure. I did vacuum the heck out of it a couple of weeks ago, but it's pretty tough and the majority stayed stuck to the liner wall.

      Overall, I think longevity in females encompasses more than just being eggbound, obviously. However, I would imagine that being of the fairer sex, having the job of making and laying the eggs opens up the female to more ways to pass away from complications, not limited to being eggbound, tumors, blockages, cancers, etc.

      Eliminating the need to spawn could ensure the elimination of the above, but I doubt many (any??) aquatic vets would spay a koi; and I'm betting it would be very expensive if they did. It would be interesting to find out if any vets did this, it could be a veterinarian niche that needs to be filled, eh?

      BTW - I think this thread is very interesting, glad you started it! Made me think about getting some Anacharis (a.k.a. Elodea). wonder if I can find any.


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    3. #23
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      Great thread Koirun,
      My 9 wet pet kids turned 13 this yr (born in pond) in March (parents are 15-16 yrs old), of the 11 koi 3 are females. For the first 9 yrs they faithfully spawned every spring, one flock spawn then done for the year. In 2013/14 I did a total pond make over removing all rocks, plants, adding skimmer, BD, under water returns, new filtration set up including Zakki sieve, new pumps and added a shower. In the spring of 2014 the koi spawned in March and continued to spawn through August. Spring of 2015 was my first yr ever that they did not spawn for what ever reason I do not know, that summer I lost one of my females. http://www.koiphen.com/forums/showth...-acting-normal
      It is now 2018 and the koi have not spawned since 2014. Every spring I throw a few spawning ropes in pond to entice the females to drop their eggs but still nothing. Me personally, I would rather have them spawn and deal with the mess then to take a chance of losing another one. But in fairness I do have to say that I have had no issues with any of the other females and they have not dropped any eggs since 2014 either.

      Since I can no longer get the females to drop there eggs I'm very careful on when and how much they get fed. Sometimes that's very hard to do, no matter how much/little I feed it seems the females still get most of it before the males even have a chance.
      They are all truly family members (pond mutts) that have a forever home at my house so I don't feed them to grow them but to keep them healthy.
      Happiness is adopting a mutt and my pond is FULL of Happiness....
      Deb

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      https://youtu.be/PR3Q2MInsQg

    4. #24
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      Nancy and Deb thank for sharing your experience. They are very relevant.
      Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. ---- Marthe Troly-Curtin



    5. #25
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      I made a spawning net. Apparently spawning time around here is near. Time to catch some eggs. I hope this works.
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      Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. ---- Marthe Troly-Curtin



    6. #26
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      My female was being chased. My co-worker also had some females being chased for a day about 3 days earlier. We have not had any spawn yet and I've never had a spawn. His fish spawn every year but they haven't spawned yet

    7. #27
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      This is not entirely relevant, but I have to tell someone. There is so much splashy splashy going on in my big mud pond, i think eyewitness news chopper came in for a peek! Then, slurpy, slurpy, slurping all around the perimeter. It's about 500,000 gals and I don't know the circumference - it's free form, and i don't know how many "mature" fish, say 150. They pick partners and combinations of partners I would not choose for them. They don't want to eat anything but eggs while this fish-foolery is going on. I have chided them for bad manners and they don't even look up. Slurrrrp. ok. that's all. disgusting.



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    8. #28
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      Quote Originally Posted by Koigrl View Post
      This is not entirely relevant, but I have to tell someone. There is so much splashy splashy going on in my big mud pond, i think eyewitness news chopper came in for a peek! Then, slurpy, slurpy, slurping all around the perimeter. It's about 500,000 gals and I don't know the circumference - it's free form, and i don't know how many "mature" fish, say 150. They pick partners and combinations of partners I would not choose for them. They don't want to eat anything but eggs while this fish-foolery is going on. I have chided them for bad manners and they don't even look up. Slurrrrp. ok. that's all. disgusting.
      Lol that must be a lot of fun to watch. You can save on food for a least a couple of days. Do you get any detectable ammonia spikes after a spawn, if so then what do you do?
      Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. ---- Marthe Troly-Curtin



    9. #29
      Koigrl's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by KoiRun View Post
      Lol that must be a lot of fun to watch. You can save on food for a least a couple of days. Do you get any detectable ammonia spikes after a spawn, if so then what do you do?
      john clark, my fish farming buddy, and he said, 'smells like they've been spawning."
      LOL. wide open field and this big pond!
      a. i feed them, anyway
      b. and i didn't think to check the ammo. We're having torrential rain, lots of water running off, filling the new empty mud pond plus running massive air. ok. now i'm going to dig up the API kit.
      .



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      Updated for the 2018 Harvest: What is "ki shusui?" Short version http://www.kishusui.com

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    10. #30
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      "I made a spawning net. Apparently spawning time around here is near. Time to catch some eggs. I hope this works."

      It looks like a fun place for the koi to play and spawn. I made one out of rope with pieces of tulle fabric tied onto it, it hangs about 6-8" below the surface and is just clamped to sides of pond. Every year when I first put it in pond they wont even go to that side of pond because they are afraid of it for the first day or two, then it becomes a buffet table of bugs and a play toy. Unfortunately my chunky females have no interest in spawning again this year.
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      Happiness is adopting a mutt and my pond is FULL of Happiness....
      Deb

      My pond
      https://youtu.be/PR3Q2MInsQg

    11. #31
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      Quote Originally Posted by DBibbins View Post
      "I made a spawning net. Apparently spawning time around here is near. Time to catch some eggs. I hope this works."

      It looks like a fun place for the koi to play and spawn. I made one out of rope with pieces of tulle fabric tied onto it, it hangs about 6-8" below the surface and is just clamped to sides of pond. Every year when I first put it in pond they wont even go to that side of pond because they are afraid of it for the first day or two, then it becomes a buffet table of bugs and a play toy. Unfortunately my chunky females have no interest in spawning again this year.
      Your boys need some moves.



      Ki Shusui Project : 300k Challenge : 500k Build : Flock Spawn Jamboree : Our Ki Midori Champions




      Ten minute video of Russ Peters sexing our future ki shusui oyagoi. : http://youtu.be/AhROs1cjC18

      Updated for the 2018 Harvest: What is "ki shusui?" Short version http://www.kishusui.com

      Twelve seconds that are the entire point of the last seven years!
      https://youtu.be/zNqTJgM3lpY

      If you're reading this, you're on Team Ki.
      Kichi loves company. Max


      K-POTY 2013

    12. #32
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      Yes they do!!!! After all they are "Teenagers" now, you would think they would get more excited.
      Happiness is adopting a mutt and my pond is FULL of Happiness....
      Deb

      My pond
      https://youtu.be/PR3Q2MInsQg

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