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    Thread: Matt's "ad lib" Showa Spawn 2019

    1. #1
      Matt24's Avatar
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      Matt's "ad lib" Showa Spawn 2019

      Well, I had not planned to spawn koi this year as I was focused on growing out my 2018 showa. More about just how this impromptu spawn came about and more details later. But for the moment, here is a basic summary.

      I have a rather small batch of three-day-old fry in a 500 gallon tub, I am guessing they number in the low hundreds. The oyagoi are a female ginrin showa (20"), a male ginrin showa (18"), and a male shiro utsuri (17"), none of which have ever spawned before.

      Edit: I added some photos of the female and the two males in the order listed above.
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      Last edited by Matt24; 06-05-2019 at 11:36 PM. Reason: Added oyagoi photos

    2. #2
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      As I mentioned, I had not planned to spawn 'em this year, but .... I have a 500 gallon tub set up with a filter that I run for quarantine or to put tobi to separate from others or whatever. A week ago, I had a couple of koi in that tub just to occupy it and keep the filter up. These were a couple of shiro utsuri (with a few tiny orange specks) from previous spawns that I may later re-home.

      After all the heavy rains, the tub was overflowing. So I siphoned some water out, but I forgot and siphoned out too much. So I added some water back by pumping in from my main pond. This equated to about a 40% water change. Later that afternoon, my wife noticed the two utsuri behaving amorously and suggested I put in some spawning ropes. Though I had not intended to spawn them, I was not hard to persuade. That night, I decided to make it more fun by adding in a "male" ginrin showa to the mix to help get some showa and some ginrin in the batch. But when I netted him out of the big pond, I saw that "he" was really a "she". Her belly was not that big, but big enough, narrowing sharply behind the vent. This had not been obvious while in the black liner pond because that area of her is black, and of course, she looks slimmer in black. I thought for a second what to do, and decided to put her in the tub anyway and include the male ginrin showa from 2016 spawn. I was thinking maybe we would get a double spawn or at least get the male's ginrin showa genes in the mix.

      I had put in three ten-foot spawning ropes, two wrapped around a wieghted submurged black ABS (plastic) pipe near the bottom and one on the side near the surface opposite the filter. There is no UV filter, but it is shady and the water was fairly clear.

      At 6:30 am on May 27th the four were all following each other in a disorderly but interested sort of way. At 9:30 am they started splashing, and it became obvious that the males were focusing on the showa while the chubby utsuri female dropped out of the activity (which was fine with me). At 10 am, a few eggs had been laid. They ended up getting a pretty good number of eggs on all the spawning ropes. The splashing died down around 12:30 pm after about 3 hours. The water was 71 F, a degree cooler than big pond, with an ambient temperature of 84 F. Barometric pressure was 29.10 and steady, 8 days after full moon (25% moon).

      I removed them at 12:45 am when they seemed pretty much done. After they'd had a 2.5 hour bath in 100 gal of 0.26% salt (2.5 lb), I returned the 4 to big pond at 3:15 pm without incident, though some other males followed the eggy utsuri female for a few minutes. I then changed out a lot of the tub water with water from the big pond without exposing the eggs to the air. At 7 pm, Ammonia was 0.15, Nitrite 0.05, PH 8.0. I also back-flushed tub's 30 gallon filter, which had not been done in a couple of months.

      The three that spawned are each three years old. The female came from a local retailer and had been imported from Japan by Pan Intercorp. The two males are brothers, or at least half brothers from my 2016 showa spawn, which also had a low hatch rate. That spawn happened to be the only other spawn in this tub in recent years, as I normally have them spawn in my 1800 gallon pond, where my 2018 showa are now.

      Description of the egg development and hatching to follow

      Edit: I added a photo of the spawning tub. It is in a hole, mostly in-ground for thermal warmth and insulation against cold winds. This helps mitigate rapid temperature changes.
      Name:  Q-tub 6-2019.JPG
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      Last edited by Matt24; 06-05-2019 at 11:40 PM. Reason: Added photo of the spawning tub

    3. #3
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      After the eggs were laid, I was concerned that my 500 GPH pump would be too powerful and suck up all the fry. So I made two changes. I replaced the pump with a 300 GPH pump, a 40% reduction in power, and at a head height of about 2 feet, it pumps 240 GPH. I also set up a screen for the pump by first putting the small pump in a mesh bag. Then I used two plant baskets to make a cage for that, which I wrapped in a double layer of cheese cloth. The cheese cloth will decompose in a few days but by then hopefully the fry will be of a safe size.

      As the days went by, I continued changing lots of water with water from the big pond water and using Fritz ACCR to bind ammonia. It also rained about 4" one day. Unfortunately most of the eggs begain to look white and fuzzy with fungus. I think there was a rather low fertilization rate. So those eggs grew fungus which spread to many of the fertilized eggs that they were touching, which I think were the ones that had two black eyes, yet the eggs had turned white. A very small percentage of the eggs were tan, good eggs with eyes. Water temperature cooled from 71 F to 66 F and then warmed up a little. As of 4 pm on 5/30, I could see no hatched fry.

      At of 6:30 pm, ~81 hours after eggs began to be laid, I confirmed hatching had begun at 67 F, as I saw 3 hatched fry. By 9:30 pm I saw several dozen fry.

      Day 1 (5/31): Started feeding 2 tablespoon of yeast mixed in pond water from a squirt bottle in 5 feeding over a day. In the evening, I removed ropes, netted out most of the leftover eggs, and changed a lot more water. That night I used a flashlight to search for fry. For some reason fry seem to show up better this way. But I saw very few fry. I would shine the light in a spot and see one, then move the light and see two, then moved the light and see one more. I am used to seeing hundreds everywhere that I point the light. This was quite disappointing, be not that surprising given the small percentage of the eggs that looked good.

      Day 2: Adjusted feeding to 1 tablespoon of yeast and 1 tablespoon of pulverized adult koi pellet powder. That night, I used a flashlight again and saw quite a few more fry swimming around, several wherever I shined the light. Whew! So rather than just a few dozen, maybe there are a few hundred. Still not great, but hopefully enough to get some decent results. I guess maybe they just are not as active when a day old as when two days old.

    4. #4
      Roger's Avatar
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      Matt,
      We try so hard to get some good ones from a large spawn, but the perfect one seem to elude us. Maybe, you get lucky with this small spawn. Keep us posted.
      Last edited by Roger; 06-05-2019 at 07:49 AM.

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      Congrats on the spawn. I expect you'll go from hundred to a thousand as they get larger. Whenever I have a spawn I think there's not that many and then a week later it looks like "millions"
      I use a filter sock slid over a 2-3" perforated pvc pipe with a cable tie to prevent fry entry into the pump. Reduce the 2-3" down to your pump inlet and connect with a piece of tubing or pipe. If it gets dirty (usually several weeks) I just disconnect and hose it off. I start with 200 micron and use bigger socks up to 800 micron as they get larger and generate more waste.

      Here's a sample
      https://www.amazon.com/CONIE-Aquariu...%2C211&sr=8-34

    6. #6
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      I added photos of the oyagoi in post #1 and a photo of the spawning tub in post #2. Also, this is the first time I have dipped up some of the 6 day old fry. I was very surprised and pleased at the number of fry that look like they are becoming dark ones. Most of the best koi from showa spawns are the dark ones that become showa and utsuri, whereas the light ones tend to become orange muji and low quality kohaku. I typically consider myself fortunate when I get 20%-30% dark ones in a showa spawn. Last year was the worst. I think it was less than 10%. But the first look at these seems like 40% dark or maybe a little more.

      Name:  showa fry Day 6 6-5-2019a.JPG
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    7. #7
      Matt24's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Roger View Post
      Matt,
      We try so hard to get some good ones from a large spawn, but the perfect one seem to elude us. Maybe, you get lucky with this small spawn. Keep us posted.
      I know what you mean. Thanks for the encouragement. At least in this one, the % of dark ones looks good so far.

    8. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by pondfishguy View Post
      Congrats on the spawn. I expect you'll go from hundred to a thousand as they get larger. Whenever I have a spawn I think there's not that many and then a week later it looks like "millions"
      I use a filter sock slid over a 2-3" perforated pvc pipe with a cable tie to prevent fry entry into the pump. ...
      Thanks. I don't have big numbers, but you're right about there being a lot more than I initially thought. I once had a spawn in this tub where I got under 200 fry. So I was worried it would be something like that or worse. Thanks for the tip on the filter sock.

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      Congrats Matt



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      Congrats Matt!!

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      Matt, I think nature uses the left over eggs from the spawn to create an environment that supports the fry. The fry in my dirty tank with the left over eggs are 2 to 3 times bigger than the fry in my clean tank.
      Last edited by Roger; 06-06-2019 at 07:18 PM.

    12. #12
      Matt24's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Roger View Post
      Matt, I think nature uses the left over eggs from the spawn to create an environment that supports the fry. The fry in my dirty tank with the left over eggs are 2 to 3 times bigger than the fry in my clean tank.
      I can see that happening. It reminds be of years ago when about 50 flock spawn fry got sucked into the filters of the main pond. About 25 stayed in the really dirty pre-filters and about 25 continued on to the cleaner second stage filters. When I checked and found them in there several weeks later, the ones in the pre-filters were much bigger than those in the second stage filters.

    13. #13
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      After hearing others here with fry just a few days older than mine (20 days) telling about their tobi, I got to wondering if I might have some down my green water. After running an adult koi net around the tub a few times this morning and again this evening I did not see many that did not easily slip through the net, but I did catch a few that were outgrowing the others a bit too much. The largest one was 7/8", which is not that big, but much larger than many of the other fry.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Matt24 View Post
      ...but I did catch a few that were outgrowing the others a bit too much. The largest one was 7/8"....
      Replied to you in my thread, but figured I'd double-duty in yours as well. My 'tobi' are only about 7/8" or so, they aren't big, but apparently big enough to start eating the runts. Glad you were able to scoop a couple out. Are you separating them out at all into a different pool/tank/pond?

      I'm a bit jealous of your outdoor spawning pool, still too cold up here in WA so I have an obnoxiously large tank invading my living room :P

    15. #15
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      Save me a ginrin showa pls

      Love these breeding adventures going on right now! Tons of work but so gratifying!

    16. #16
      Matt24's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by HAMMATRON View Post
      My 'tobi' are only about 7/8" or so, they aren't big, but apparently big enough to start eating the runts. Glad you were able to scoop a couple out. Are you separating them out at all into a different pool/tank/pond?
      If I get a dark tobi, I might move him to the little pond where the one-year-olds are and wish him luck. So far, the only couple of tobi have been yellow ones, and I've decided not to keep yellow this year. Some showa spawns I grow them out, and some years I don't. I've netted most of the fry and done a selection, just keeping the black ones. They were about 1/3 of the total, but now its more like 85% dark. There are still a lot of them. I didn't count, but it's at least several hundred. So I wound up with a lot more fry than I thought I had early on.
      Last edited by Matt24; 06-20-2019 at 11:18 PM.

    17. #17
      Matt24's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by TylerDurden View Post
      Save me a ginrin showa pls

      Love these breeding adventures going on right now! Tons of work but so gratifying!
      It's very challenging, and often not what I wanted, but I keep tryin'.

    18. #18
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      Yeah ive thought of just keeping Male koi before just because I don't have the room or time to deal with spawning or fry.

    19. #19
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      I found that if I don't have water plants and keep most of the leaves et cetera out, my koi in my main pond usually won't spawn, due to not having good material to spawn on. But once every few years, they do it anyway.

    20. #20
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      Matt, I gave up with the tobies, there are too many of them, they win.

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