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    Thread: Beginner's Guide to Home-Breeding Koi

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      Beginner's Guide to Home-Breeding Koi

      Guys I would like to make a complete thread on how to "home-breeding" for beginners..

      So I will need all your help, info, suggestion and pictures.. and please let me know If the info is wrong or fault so I could edited to make it Better

      Allow me to copy paste pictures and words.. I will put reference on it!

      ================================================== ===========
      Koi Home Breeding Considerations

      Every hobbyist at one point or another thought they might like to try breeding koi. Most who do venture into this world give up after their first season when they learn first hand the difficulties, time, and money involved.

      Breeding koi can be very fun and rewarding if you get into it prepared and with the proper goals and expectations. If you think all you will have to do is let them spawn and you will make thousands of dollars from all the baby koi, well you will be greatly disappointed in the experience. The fact is breeding koi is very hard work and very expensive. Most koi breeders in the US work 80-hour weeks and barely turn a profit...and they are professionals with years of experience and millions invested in a large scale operation. So please don't fool yourself into thinking breeding koi will be some sort of income generator.

      However, if you are eager for an education and you enjoy some hard koi work, then backyard breeding might just be for you. Those who become backyard breeders purely for the love of koi find the process very rewarding and some even manage to sell enough koi to break even.

      A few things to consider before breeding koi:

      1) Do you have the right parents? You can't just breed any two koi or you will end up with brown ugly mutts. Start with like to like. For example, if you want to breed Kohaku, use two Kohaku parents. You will need to use the best quality parent stock you can afford. Professional breeders often spend tens of thousands on a single parent koi. While this is probably not an option, you should expect to spend at least $500 to $1000 or more for each parent koi if you want to get any quality offspring.

      2) Do you have the space? Each female you spawn will produce anywhere from 50,000 to 500,000 eggs. Most will hatch and be koi fry. They will need a lot of water if they are going to grow to a size you can sell them. Where will you put 500,000 koi? Most hatching tanks are several thousands gallons and the koi are moved into large mud ponds that can be upwards of a million gallons. You may not need a mud pond, but you will need several large tanks and a thousands of gallons of water to breed koi even on a small level.

      3) Do you have the time? Koi fry require water changes several times a day and they need a constant supply of food. So don't plan any vacations for at least a couple months and make sure you can give at least a couple hours a day to caring for the fry.

      4) Do you have the money? There is an old joke. How does one become very rich breeding koi? Well first you must become very rich. Caring for the koi fry can be very expensive. Equipment, medications, food, water, and electricity can add up to the thousands by the time the fry are ready to sell.

      So now that you know just a few of the realities of breeding koi you can decide if this is really for you. If you decide to move forward to will find a vast education in koi development. You will learn so much about how koi grow and how their colors develop and you will develop a very keen eye when selecting koi. It’s not for everybody, but for the true "Koi Kichi" it can be a very rewarding journey.

      http://www.simikoi.com
      Last edited by dalozt; 04-09-2013 at 11:58 PM.

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      Home Breeding Facility

      To Breed Koi you will need a tank or pond for them to breed in. The size of tank or pond is depend on the number of Koi and how large the Koi that you are going to spawn. Here is some example of the breeding facility:

      Concrete Pond

      this is Niigata Nishikigoi Pond Facility very modern indeed..

      Vats


      DIY Vats
      For my breeding I used DIY Vats from wood log or bamboo as frame and vats nailed on the frame
      Here is my DIY Vats
      Davo's Breeding Thread




      and more example of DIY Vats



      those image from photobucket.com

      Fiberglass Tanks
      Stephen's Breeding Thread


      From Sundan's



      Aquarium


      Wayne's Aya Wakaba Breeding thread
      Another Breeding Thread by Wayne





      Mudpond
      this is from Max's Mudpond on her Ki Shusui Quest thread
      Last edited by dalozt; 04-10-2013 at 10:00 PM.

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      Selection of the Parents

      Choosing the right parents for your baby koi need not be difficult, but it can sometimes be tricky too. First things first - you need to know which of your koi are female and which are male. Female koi are visibly rounder than male koi, especially those that are ready to lay eggs. Males are slimmer in appearance, and may develop roughness on their gill plates when ready to spawn.

      Choose mature koi only for breeding, i.e., they should at least be two years old (younger koi will produce weak offsprings). Experts say that the optimum breeding age is 2-4 years old. Choose only healthy koi with no deformities whatsoever. Both parents should exhibit excellent body conformation and high-quality colors and markings.

      Select the parents based on what baby koi you're after. For example, if you want Kohaku fry, then you need both parents to be Kohaku. Some varieties don't result in nice koi when bred together, so be sure to do a little research on koi variety pairing before doing it (unless you're after the excitement of uncertainty).

      Some breeders use two to three males for a single female during breeding to maximize the yield of the propagation. The breeding act of the koi is very physical and can harm the participants (especially the female if the males are very aggressive), so this ratio of 3:1 must not be exceeded. One advantage of using just a single male is the higher predictability of what the offspring will look like.

      http://www.koiandponds.com

      If you want to breed specific varieties of Koi you will need to use parents from the same variety. For example, to breed Sanke, you use a Sanke female and a Sanke male. However, you might find that you don’t have the right combination to make a breeding set within your pond and so other crosses that you could consider might be Chagoi with Kohaku, which will produce Chagoi, Ochiba Shigure and Soragoi. You could cross Kohaku with Sanke quite happily and still get Kohaku, Sanke and Bekko. If you want to get some recognisable varieties from your spawning, don’t cross metallic koi with non metallic - I wouldn’t recommend breeding with Showa or Shiro Utsuri either as you will get an awful lot of wishy washy pale orange Koi which will never develop into anything vaguely attractive.

      Cuttle Brook Koi Farm's Breeding Tips

      Sexing Koi - www.koi-fish.com

      How to tell the difference between male and female Koi

      The Fins

      They are a Koi's means for propulsion. Female and Male Koi have different looking fins. Female fins tend to be larger, but will have less color. Female fins will have a rounded edge and will be opaque.



      Male fins will have a pointy edge and will have a solid color look to them, like the two examples below.



      Body Conformation

      Male and female Koi have different body conformations. Male Koi will be long and skinny, like a cigar, (its apparent with the Bekko on the right.) Female Koi will look more like a blimp, like the Aka Matsuba on the left. Female Koi get wider than male Koi because they carry tons of eggs. Many Koi collectors make it a point to only have female Koi in their ponds, since the large and wide body displays patterns much better. That is why most of the award winning Koi at shows are female.

      Female Koi grow larger than male Koi.


      This is the reason why:
      When the Japanese breed Koi, they pair a group of males to one female. They do this to get a wide variety of genetics, boosted immunities, and a nice selection of colors/patterns. Now, if you are going to breed one female with a bunch of large males, she is going to get pretty beaten up. This is not good, since a nice breeding female can cost more than a decent house. In order to prevent the female breeders from getting beaten up, they pair a large female with a bunch of smaller males. Since the process is repeated every generation, the males will always be smaller than the females.

      Telling the Difference:
      It is much easier to tell the differences between sexes when Koi get larger and older. When they reach sexual maturity, at around 2 years of age and around 12" of length, the females will fill up with eggs. This will give them the blimp look. When Koi are larger, it is easier to tell if their fins are pointed or rounded and if they are clear or opaque



      For me they easiest sexing a Koi is to see the body conformation and if you wanna make sure a male Koi then try milking its milt. Just catch the Koi, turn it over, and gently squeeze it belly from the belly to the vent. If the milt come out then it is definitely a Male




      Selection of Gene

      Bindi (is this from the same Bindi on Koiphen too?) - This is such a huge and important subject for all breeders and keepers, but for some reason, not much is written about it. I thought it might be a good idea to start a discussion so that as we go along we will have a growing resource of this information that anyone can access.

      Knowing a bit about genetics will help out when you decide to breed your koi, whether for showing, or just to improve your favorite type of koi in future breeding ventures. It influences all stages of the koi's life eg, growth, colour, shape, deformities, sex and countless more.

      There are no guarentees in breeding but having an idea about how genetics work and the genetic makeup of your koi will certainly improve your chances to breed consistant types and hopefully get what you are aiming at without the disapointment of hit and miss. This has to be good for all keepers.




      http://www.japan-nishikigoi.org

      You can follow discussion on Koi Genetics as follows:
      Koi Gene Tree
      Koi Genetic Observation
      Ladder Koi Stops the Death Gene

      Wayne, Russ, Stephen, Max, Rain and other experienced friends, please add your knowledge and thoughts here
      Last edited by dalozt; 04-11-2013 at 12:09 AM.

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      Equipments, Set Up and Preparation

      Equipments

      In Koi Breeding, you will need several equipments to make sure the Koi will have a great environtment for their spawn

      1.Egg Media

      Spawning Brush
      Spawning Brush is great material for Koi to lay their eggs. It is made from soft nylon so it does not hurt Koi when they rub their self against the brush with their mating behavior. Good thing, Spawning brush is reusable.

      Spawning Brush



      You probably could get it here


      Other alternative you could use

      Natural Plants


      Mat or Sponge
      Some people do use nets


      DIY Ropes
      I made my spawning ropes using this rope. I folding it 20x around my fingers to my elbow. then folded in two. I tied together on the other end, and cut loose the ropes on the other end. Then bind it together around 10 tied ropes to form a single spawning rope. I usually put around 10 spawning ropes in my breeding pond



      and here is my DIY Spawning Rope


      Another Good DIY Spawning Mat was made by Dragonfly1976 on this thread. And here is step by step on how to do it






      and here how it would be placed




      2. Aerator
      The water needs to be clean and gently aerated to provide a good environment to stimulate the fish to spawn and for the developing eggs and fry. The spawning pond must be sufficiently aerated at all times. Strong but silent air pumps must be used. Unlike the main pond, aeration of a spawning pond must not result in water turbulence, since water tranquility is needed during spawning. As such, the aeration system of the spawning pond must be designed well to meet the aeration requirements without disturbing the water.




      3. Safety Net
      When the Koi doing their spawning dance, sometimes they jump in the air and could end up outside your pond without you noticing it. To prevent that from happening, put a net or cover your pond for the Koi's safety.






      Set Up and Preparation

      Spawning Environment


      The spawning pond shouldn't be big - usually with an area of just 6 to 12 sq. meters. It should be thoroughly cleaned and filled with un-chlorinated water to a depth of about 50 centimeters. The spawning pond must have a generous amount of spawning material to encourage the female to lay her eggs on them. Many modern koi hobbyists prefer synthetic spawning ropes (see Figure 1) as spawning material because these are free of parasites, do not easily get damaged, and allow easy handling of the eggs, unlike spawning media of the natural kind. The easy-to-handle feature is important if you plan to move the eggs away from the parents right after spawning is completed. Many old-school breeders still prefer natural spawning material though.
      The spawning pond must also be sufficiently aerated at all times. Strong but silent air pumps must be used. Unlike the main pond, aeration of a spawning pond must not result in water turbulence, since water tranquility is needed during spawning. As such, the aeration system of the spawning pond must be designed well to meet the aeration requirements without disturbing the water.

      18c - 20c is an good temp however barometric pressure can have an effect too ie thunder
      And 20c being a far better temp


      www.koiforum.co.uk


      Actual Spawn

      Once the prospective parents have been identified, they need to be taken out of the main pond and isolated in separate and smaller ponds where they can be conditioned for spawning. Males are separated from females to prevent indiscriminate spawning. Many hobbyists start this isolation at least 1 month before the anticipated spawning date. [ I did my separation one day only but never fail to get them spawn. I took out male and female in the morning into the spawning pond, then put barrier between them and took out the barrier in the late afternoon - Davo ]

      Eventually the female becomes rounder and noticeably bloated with eggs. Now with a heavy but soft abdomen, she is presumed to be ready to lay eggs and is very carefully moved to the spawning pond. This pregnant koi must always be supported by water during the move, even while inside a net.

      http://www.koi-bito.com
      At this point the male is also assumed to be ready to participate in the reproduction as well, and is moved into the spawning pond a few hours after the female has already been acclimatized to it. Many breeders introduce the male in the evening, since spawning usually happens in the wee hours of the morning.


      http://koiking.blogspot.com

      The pregnant female shows her readiness to spawn by exhibiting movements that seem to indicate an intention to arrange the spawning material into a nest. The male is attracted to these movements, and tries to force the female against the wall of the pond. If there are two males in the pond, they will attempt to sandwich the female between them.


      http://www.koiforum.co.uk

      The thrashing and bumping of the males against the pregnant female causes the latter to release her thousands of eggs into the spawning material (and into other places as well). The eggs are very sticky and will adhere to anything they come in contact with. Simultaneously, the males will release their sperms onto the eggs to fertilize them. A second cycle of the same ritual may be employed if the female still needs to discharge some eggs.

      This spawning activity can be very physical, or even violent. Injuries to the female may happen, especially if the male koi continues to beat her up. The male should be promptly but very carefully removed from the pond if this happens. It would be good to leave the female in the pond to let her recover her strength. Keep her safe by keeping her properly aerated and preventing her from jumping out of the pond (some females have been observed to be jumpy after spawning.


      http://www.koi-uk.co.uk
      Last edited by dalozt; 07-02-2013 at 03:54 AM.

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      Eggs and Fry Care

      1. Egg Caring and Incubation

      From my Own experience, after spawning usually the water will be cloudy and foamy this due to the liquids extracted by both males and female when spawn. It does creates ammonia booms in the spawning pond. First thing you should do is to remove the parent from the spawning pond so the eggs are not being eaten by the parents. After that, If you plan to hatch your eggs in the same pond, then you will need to do 80 percent water change to throw away the ammonia. but if you planned to hatch the eggs in the different pond then you could use a bucket of water for the transportation media. Take all the spawning ropes out from your spawning pond and put inside bucket of water and shift them gently to other pond to hatch. (Davo)

      Isolation and Incubation of the Eggs. The eggs, being small and immobile, are vulnerable to predation not only by its parents but by pond wildlife as well. Thus, it is necessary to secure the eggs from predators.

      The hatchery (if one is used) where the eggs will be transferred and allowed to hatch must be of the same temperature as the spawning pond. It must also be aerated very well with no water disturbance. Filtration of the hatchery is not required, but adequate oxygenation is certainly a 'must'. (www.koiforum.co.uk)


      http://www.australiankoiassoc.bizland.com

      Lay the ropes out in the tank water which has been treated with malachite green solution to stop fungus from attacking dead eggs and spreading infection to living eggs. Position the ropes somehow just at 2” below the water level. Do not add any more water at this stage, but place an air stone on the floor of the vat to gently and continuously aerate the water, as developing eggs need plenty of oxygen. When you begin to see the growing Koi's eyes in the egg, after one or two days, run a fine trickle of water into the incubation vat. The day before the Koi hatches the eyes in the egg will have a shine to them. Soon afterwards, the young Koi will begin to wriggle then, gradually, over the next few hours, it will break out of its 'shell'. It will take three to four days for the Koi eggs to develop and the fry to hatch at temperatures of 68°-7l°. Koi fry can develop at temperatures as low as 63°, in which case their incubation will take five or six days, or as high as 77°, which will decrease their hatching time. However, there is a greater chance of the fry being deformed at such extreme temperatures. (www.pondkoi.com)

      Here is a fertile egg looks like. It has eyes and the colour of the egg is transparant


      http://forums.gardenweb.com

      and here is infertile and got attacked by fungus


      http://www.koi-uk.co.uk

      If your eggs turn white it could be infertile or already get attacked by fungus


      http://www.tadege.com


      2. Fry Hatching
      3. Fry Caring
      4. Fry Foods
      5. DIY Fry Foods
      5a. Wayne DIY Infusoria

      5b. Wayne DIY Decapsulated Brine Shrimp
      Wayne's DIY Decapsulated Brine Shrimp

      An old trick is to decapsulate the shell, the outer hard case. As this causes blockages and choking of larvae at an early stage of fry development !
      So just by using a few house hold chemicals you can get round this safely and easily .

      What you need are as follow:

      - Artemia Cyst, usually come in vacuum dry package.
      - A Bowl
      - Aerator
      - An Air tube
      - An Air Stone
      - Household Bleach
      - Vinegar
      - Sea Salt
      - Coffee Filter Paper
      - Container With Lid

      How to:

      1. Pour the dry eggs into a bowl and add water around 4 pints and aerate with a small air-stone and leave it for 1 hour .





      2. This may seem harsh but you need to add household Bleach around two pints with air still mixing them up, just watch and over the next 20 mins depending on how strong your bleach is the eggs will go white then orange brown at this point they will sink .




      3. Turn off air and let the eggs settle to the bottom of the bowl then pour off the water and bleach mix. Add 4 pts of vinegar, this will neutralize the bleach. Then leave it for 15 mins, and trickle fresh water into the bowl. All these processes are done in a well ventilated kitchen sink .




      4. Keep running water for one hour until the smell of bleach and vinegar has gone. While you are waiting, mix up a sea salt solution of 10ozs per half gallon of water this is a super saturated salt solution this will stop you eggs from hatching for up to 4 years on the shelf and you wont' need to store in a fridge just leave in a cool place out of sunshine ,I just store on a low shelf in my fish house.




      5. Now using a coffee filter paper. Use two inside each other as they can split decant the eggs to another bowl with the supersaturated salt solution when all the eggs are in the solution stir well as the eggs will sink if you have removed the outta shell properly ,pour into your clean bottles or container and secure lid .

      6. Place on shelf for use in fish house as and when needed .

      7. The Eggs for use shake bottle or container pour about 50ml out or if in a yoghurt container I use one teaspoon full of eggs and mix in a separate container of two pints of fry tank water mix well and pour strait into tank of fry.

      Well you have made Brine shrimp eggs that can be eaten straight away and has more nutritious than a hatched live shrimp, but because you have removed the shell its soft to eat and safe for larvae stage of koi fry .

      If any eggs are then missed as the sink past the fry ,these hatch out within 16 hours so you then have a constant supply of fry food so you will find you won't get Tobie FRY ! WHICH IS GOING TO EAT ALL YOUR OTHER FRY !.

      This is Wayne's way and has been developed over some 36 years and it works well above just using dry eggs and its easy to make you just need the right amount of bleach to eggs and a good eye so when your eggs drop and go orange you must add the vinegar to stop the dissolving action of bleach, there are many types of bleach so just buy the best quality ordinary bleach .
      also always soak your eggs first in plain tap water for one hour or you will spend a extra hour at the kitchen sink waiting for your eggs to sink and change colour, so this will speed up time making them also you can use any plastic or glass jars if you want .

      I find one teaspoon will feed around 30,000 fry for two days and any eggs left will also hatch in the fry tank its self as they don't need salt water to hatch ,in fact fresh water will speed up the process by 8 hours so your fry will always have a constant food source .

      I feed the eggs up to adult hood and in fact feed to adult koi every day to make better and more fertile eggs and milt as koi are plankton feeders anyway and this is missed by most koi keepers that just feed pellet foods to adult fish .

      You will have healthy and better fish with this food ''Fact '' just try it its a simple process ,most people believe you can't hatch decapsulated eggs this is not the case ,but most decapsulated eggs sold at high prices are dried so they won't hatch ! but if you make them fresh you can have hatched brine shrimp in less than 16 hours instead of the dry hatch at 24-28 hours !.

      Have a go and tell me how you get on but take it from me fry do best on this food as its the safe food to use in all fish breeding .

      and shorty pen I feed fry on day three from hatching they eat this food right away !so as soon as a mouth has developed they eat this food so has a advantage over live shrimp as this is to big on day three of hatching and that's at a temperature of 72-75f in the fry tank .

      SO the advantages =

      1/Hatch occurs in the fry tank so you have a constant supply to large amounts of fry if added every day !.

      2/ no messing about hatching in bottles /saves time and money on hatching equipment .

      3/ fry can eat this food safely on day of mouth formed usually on day 2 or 3 after hatching depending on temperature of hatching tank .

      4/ no fry loss like old dry eggs /and no Toby koi fry as you have a high volume food in the early stages of fry development .

      5/ easy to feed just shake up and pour in every morning and afternoon !

      6/ it hatches in 16 hours so you have two foods eggs and hatched shrimp and in constant supply !.

      7/ no salt build up as salt is not needed to hatch

      8/ this will also hatch out at low temperatures from 58f- 60f so no high electric bills heating water to hatch .

      9/ low cost food and less hassle

      10/ shelf life up to 4-5 years !

      11/ easy storage cool dark place ,no fridge needed

      12/ high fry production and no fry deaths due to off hatches of dry eggs of brine shrimp so less risk to fry health.


      5b. Stephen's Mix Fry Foods
      Last edited by dalozt; 04-11-2013 at 01:37 AM.

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      Great work putting together all the info!!! Gonna print this out for reference when it's all finished . How about a section with different feeding routines? I know Stephen has posted the mix he feeds and how to make it, there's a few other experienced fry-raisers that probably have their own tricks as well. You know...Like a fry food recipe post

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      Great idea, I have just one suggestion. Credit sources where you pulled the info and photos from.
      Still learning as I go but y'all can call me Marilyn

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      Thanks Stacy, Thats why I need everyone give inputs and info.. if they know such a great thread that could be inserted here then please let me know or post links here so I could read and compile it.. And if there is grammar error I am so sorry that my English is not very good..

      I know Steve and Wayne had secret recipes for their fry so I will ask them.. and prob Wayne, Russ and Rain knows a lot about gene.. I would like them to write all about it..

      Yes Marylin.. I already put all the links where I took the words or pictures from.. or is there anything missing?

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      Anywhere you posted a pic that you didn't take. It's a courtesy if you aren't directing people to the source of the pic via a link.
      Still learning as I go but y'all can call me Marilyn

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      Yeah just notice I fotgot to put hyperlinks on the pic..!! thanks for noticing.. I will update it.. but some already has.. it comes with the articles.. once again thanks Marilyn!!

    19. #19
      Charlie Brown's Avatar
      Charlie Brown is offline Senior Member
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      Thanks for doing this, lots of great info here

    20. #20
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      dalozt is offline Senior Member
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      Just wanna help others.. I need helps my self so dun mind sharing it.. I will try to complete it when got time.. To busy with travelling right now..

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