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View Full Version : New breeding setup - input please! :)



freki
04-08-2010, 03:09 PM
So I'm extremely new to freshwater fish. I've built small (~1000 gal) ponds and koi in them before, but that's about it. I've had some success with breeding percula and ocellaris clowns in the marine environment, but this is a new ballgame for me.

Me and a friend have access to a hatchery and they are letting us use, for free :), 6 10x5 ponds that have a max depth of about 4-5ft. All the ponds are wood sides with mud bottoms except for one, which is all concrete. The ponds have a constant geothermal supply of water that is mixed with cold water to about 77 degrees (we can further cool it, just turn up the cold water) all year round. Each pond also has a drain that empties into settling ponds.

I think for this year we just want to purchase a few good males and females that are small (maybe about 4-6 inches?) and let them grow and fatten up over the next year and shoot for spawning next year in two of the ponds.

For aeration we figure some kind of spray bar or drip plate over each pond from the inlet should be sufficient...?

What suggestions do you guys have? Any and all welcome. I'll keep you updated as well.

Noahsnana
04-08-2010, 04:50 PM
:bump: for poster

skubasteve
04-09-2010, 07:23 PM
do you have any pics of these pond ?

Tommygug
04-10-2010, 10:12 PM
It sounds like a great deal to have access to the amount of pond space you quoted. I don't know if your fish will be ready to spawn next year. They may be still to immature. It is almost extremely difficult to sex such young fish. You may be better off buying older fish(2/3) year olds. You will be able to better determine the sex and they should produce in the fish year.

freki
04-11-2010, 04:45 AM
Sorry, was out of town, just got back.

I will post pics on Tuesday (the next day I have time).

I'm also beginning to realize that I will probably need to buy slightly older fish. A fish that is already a year or two old will still be a lot cheaper than one that has already spawned I'm sure. I'm leaning towards buying 6-7 fish this year and taking a best stab at the sexing, hopefully I'll end up with at least one or two females ;)

freki
04-14-2010, 12:02 AM
As promised....some pics of the ponds we've been cleaning out. Sorry about the crappy quality, I just had my phone out there today and then resized the pics to fit in the upload limit.
Explanation of the pics:
1. Best shot of all 5 main ponds I could get. Only the first two have water in them at the moment.
2. Pond 1 full of water. This one is a mud-bottom pond.
3. The concrete bottom pond.
4. Pond #4 with a whole bunch of crap in it.
5. Pond #5 completely full of sand and junk.
6. Some of the prospective smaller ponds (need to be dug back out).
7. The junk we've been pulling out of the ponds. The plastic there is from pond #4, we pulled 3 of those plastic liners out. There is at least one more still in there.
8. Another shot of all the junk.
9. Pond #3 after clearing all the junk out of it and starting to level it for a slope.

Any feedback now? :)

Tommygug
04-14-2010, 07:19 AM
I am not so sure I envy you for having all of that pond space any more!! It looks like you have your work cut out for you...

Good Luck.

Do the ponds hold water? What type of filtration do they have? The ponds look like they are the perfect size for raising fry. Are the walls concrete?

freki
04-14-2010, 08:17 AM
I am not so sure I envy you for having all of that pond space any more!! It looks like you have your work cut out for you...

Good Luck.

Do the ponds hold water? What type of filtration do they have? The ponds look like they are the perfect size for raising fry. Are the walls concrete?

Oh it's not so bad, a little hard work never hurt anyone! :harhar:

The ponds hold water that we've tested so far. Pond #1 leaks through the sides a little it seems, so we are lining the sides with some of that PVC lining. The walls are made up of wooden slats.

Filtration is non-existent, just a constant supply of fresh water in and drainage of water out into the settling ponds, and eventually the river.

Tommygug
04-14-2010, 11:35 AM
Constant water changes, the fry should do well... One of the most time consuming chore is water maintenance while raising fry but that is non existent with your set up!!

I still have not gotten over digging my last pond.. 25 x 15 x 5+ by hand....I am about to dig a growout pond but I seem to keep putting that off...

freki
04-14-2010, 01:44 PM
Will I need constant water changes for the fry with my setup? I was thinking of putting a hose stocking over the drain pipe to keep the fry out of the drain and just turning the flow down (currently about 5 gal/min).

Digging out these ponds certainly has been a chore. I feel for you, I dug out both of the previous 2 ponds I've done by hand, one was 6'x3'x4-5' and the other was about 10'x4'x4' ;)

freki
04-14-2010, 02:03 PM
Oh, forgot to ask a few questions I have. Currently the water temp is set at 77 degrees, but I'm sure we can drop it down to 68-70. However, the water temp is constant year-round. Is this a problem? If it is I suppose we could simulate fluctuations, but I'd really rather not.

And about feeding fry when they do come about, I was thinking of dripping green water/rotifers into the pond and then hatching brine shrimp (I have a setup at home, leftover from the clownfish) and dripping a supply of those in. Is this an acceptable way to do it or are there better ways?

Tommygug
04-14-2010, 03:21 PM
You don't need a constant water change to grow fry but I think it would only be a plus for the fry. In a regular pond, the water starts degrading the moment you finish your water change. With your set up, it never has a chance to degrade. If you think the flow is too strong when the fry are small, turn it down a little. Once the fish start to develop, I would raise it back up.

Tommygug
04-14-2010, 03:43 PM
Oh, forgot to ask a few questions I have. Currently the water temp is set at 77 degrees, but I'm sure we can drop it down to 68-70. However, the water temp is constant year-round. Is this a problem? If it is I suppose we could simulate fluctuations, but I'd really rather not.

And about feeding fry when they do come about, I was thinking of dripping green water/rotifers into the pond and then hatching brine shrimp (I have a setup at home, leftover from the clownfish) and dripping a supply of those in. Is this an acceptable way to do it or are there better ways?

I don't have any sound advice for your temperature issue. I know the Japanese kept their tosai in warm ponds and feed them over the winter to get more growth out of them. 77 sounds a little warm, I thought Idaho was really cold in the winter. I don't know how the ponds could stay that warm exposed to the elements.

I feed my fry rotifers and daphnia. Brine shrimp would be good but I would think brine shrimp would be more time consuming to produce. I would think you would need more a than a drip to feed them.

I once had a pair of Red Sea Maroon Clowns spawn in my reef tank. They built their nest dead center right next to one of my blue clams. Awesome....or so I thought. Over the next few days they got so protective, the killed every single living thing in my tank. The tanked spiked and they died as well.

EricT
04-14-2010, 05:30 PM
Curious as to whats on the other side of the road? It looks familiar. Like i've seen it in a youtube video.. maybe.. :thinking:

freki
04-14-2010, 11:26 PM
Tommyguy: Idaho does have very cold winters, but it also has abundant sources of geothermal water ;). The water source is actually about 150 degrees year-round, but it gets mixed with creek and river water to make it colder.

Good to hear about the rotifers and daphnia. What about frozen brine shrimp down the road? I still have about 5 lbs of frozen brine shrimp from my clownfish, and I know where to order plenty more.

Sorry about your Maroons, that's a common story unfortunately.

EricT: The other side of the road are raceways for Tilapia. It's a totally separate deal.

Also, I screwed up on the calculations....each pond is actually about 550 gallon.

EricT
04-15-2010, 07:56 AM
EricT: The other side of the road are raceways for Tilapia. It's a totally separate deal.

Also, I screwed up on the calculations....each pond is actually about 550 gallon.

Oohhh, pictures?? :D:

Tommygug
04-15-2010, 08:49 AM
I would think frozen brine shrimp would be excellent for koi fry...

freki
04-15-2010, 11:34 AM
Oohhh, pictures?? :D:

There are pictures on the first page. We finally got all of the larger ponds dug out yesterday. Now we just need to grade the bottoms and redo some of the valves and it'll be done, which we plan to do this weekend. I'll post more pictures on Saturday :)

freki
04-16-2010, 02:51 AM
I love Google Earth :)

The area overlayed in red is what we're using for this project.

EricT
04-17-2010, 10:12 PM
What is the name of the farm?

freki
04-18-2010, 12:23 AM
What is the name of the farm?


No idea...sorry.

freki
04-18-2010, 12:26 AM
So just got back from putting in new valves for each pond and digging up a line to go to the smaller ponds. We need some ideas to provide aeration for the water. Any suggestions?

Our idea so far is to use a spraybar. Seems to be the cheapest and easiest to implement in our setup...what's everyone's take on this?

EricT
04-18-2010, 12:39 AM
So just got back from putting in new valves for each pond and digging up a line to go to the smaller ponds. We need some ideas to provide aeration for the water. Any suggestions?

Our idea so far is to use a spraybar. Seems to be the cheapest and easiest to implement in our setup...what's everyone's take on this?

That or hook up a airline that travels the whole length, and hook it up to a airpump. That is what i have in my greenhouse. A airpump is connected to a 3/4" PVC pipe that goes all the way around the outside of the greenhouse. I then have 3/16" barbed connectors to connect the airline to, to drop down into the tanks.

-eric

freki
04-18-2010, 12:53 AM
That or hook up a airline that travels the whole length, and hook it up to a airpump. That is what i have in my greenhouse. A airpump is connected to a 3/4" PVC pipe that goes all the way around the outside of the greenhouse. I then have 3/16" barbed connectors to connect the airline to, to drop down into the tanks.

-eric

That would work great but there is no electricity on the farm...at least not at this portion :S

freki
04-21-2010, 01:18 PM
No ideas or input? My planning is that perfect?

wayne1
06-25-2011, 11:05 AM
Nice one ! you could use solar pumps or a inverter from a battery to power pumps in a field ,and i would culture these mud ponds with daphnia ,and feed yeast to keep a good supply of free food all year ,keep a few ponds just for food production !.

but I'm sure you have that planned ,use a good bentonite clay for linning the mud ponds and lime it every season ,and add barley straw with the clay this will help control algae and feed lettuce for insuforia .
koi if brought on in clay for a year can become sexually mature in 10-12 months if kept a a temprature of 65f and above I bring mine in and keep yearlings that look good and feed boiled barley and clay paste so this can be achived in in door vats as well its all about them getting enough minerals down them in the first 10 months of growth .

and live foods ,I have mature fish at 10 and 12 month of age and spawn at 10 and 11inches and these spawns are very fertile and the koi grow quick and some of the best koi I have bred in over 33 years of breeding and keeping koi .

so don't belive everything you read in books as its all in the minerals and food !!
and experiance in breeding will give you a insight into the secrets gained in koi breeding ! I must say a good food for breeding is decapsulated brine shrimp and its easy to make and a ideal stanby food for getting koi larve into fry in just a few weeks and able to cope with plankton in fry ponds as put out to early can kill larve off quick ,like flat worms ! so 77f is good but for the first two weeks ramp it up to 86f and they will get past larve stage quikly then turn it down to 79f and pump the live food and decap -shrimp and then on to dry crumb with plenty of frash yeast and keep the water a live and you will see good size growth add yeast every three days ,this works well in mud ponds and live food will keep abundant ,and fry healthy !

and then keep culling ,culling is the way to go as your fish will be good and you will have a good name for breeding good quality fish ,not pond fillers ,all the best and good luck ! and keep a eye out for otters,heron,mink,fox,snakes, you name it they all eat koi
and can wipe you out so do some home work on your local pests and it will pay off !!!:yes: