• Amused
  • Angry
  • Annoyed
  • Awesome
  • Bemused
  • Cocky
  • Cool
  • Crazy
  • Crying
  • Depressed
  • Down
  • Drunk
  • Embarrased
  • Enraged
  • Friendly
  • Geeky
  • Godly
  • Happy
  • Hateful
  • Hungry
  • Innocent
  • Meh
  • Piratey
  • Poorly
  • Sad
  • Secret
  • Shy
  • Sneaky
  • Tired
  • Results 1 to 10 of 10

    Thread: Unexpected Spawn - how to catch all those little buggers?

    1. #1
      dogsnponys is offline Junior Member
      This user has no status.
       
      Feeling:
      ----
       
      Join Date
      Oct 2021
      Location
      Lebanon, OR, USA
      Posts
      10

      Unexpected Spawn - how to catch all those little buggers?

      Hello - we have a 65,000 gallon swim pond with bog filter, lots of plants. Depths range from wading deep, to 6' in the swim zone. We weren't going to have fish in it, but the number of tadpoles creeped me out(several thousand, at least), so we bought five $5 Koi from a national chain pet store, May of 2021. At that time they were about 2-3" long, very happy, grew lots, took care of most of the tadpoles. I joined this forum to learn how to keep them healthy and happy as I can. We know they are just mutts, but we like watching them, so it was all good.

      By this spring they were all in the 10-14" size range. I read on here about spawning, never saw any of the behaviors, but one of the fish had a very suspicious bulgy belly. But - they are mutts, I figured 'it' probably just had bad conformation (denial of the obvious, I suppose). Then we noticed little swimmers. I netted out a couple hundred, and hoped that other things living in the pond (frogs, salamanders, an occasional snake) liked eating eggs and fry.

      Now we know that those little buggers are more numerous than we imagined. And faster. And smarter.

      I've read posts on this forum from breeders, how they had an intentional spawn, took very careful care of them and lost all but 1. How do you do that? Just kidding....

      Netting them out worked when they were very little, and couldn't swim very well. Now they are growing into the 1" size, and that doesn't work. We even tried the night time stealth netting, with a black net, and a headlamp. We caught 1.

      We bought a minnow trap, baited it with bread, got nothing. Right now we have it baited with a bundle of sweet corn and hot dogs. I caught 1 yesterday. Careful observation shows that they are smarter than minnows, as they know how to swim out of the trap. Another part of the problem is that they aren't very hungry. Our pond has plenty of algae on the sides, and a plethora of water bugs, daphnia, dragonfly nymphs, etc. For the five big Koi, I feed about 1/4 cup of Hikari Gold once a day, just so we can watch them feed.

      I'm leaving the minnow trap in place, hoping that I can keep catching any. What other options do I have to catch the little buggers? Right now, we are planning to buy a seine net, and once the rains start up, drain about half the water out and try to catch them that way. When I catch the bigger fish, I will take some good pictures of the necessary parts to post here, to see which are girls and which are boys. We like all of them, and don't want to have to get rid of any, but we really don't care to be part of the koi breeding community.

      I know someone will ask, water parameters are:
      PH - 7.6
      Nitrites\Nitrates\Ammonia - all 0
      GH and KH are 4-5 drops
      water temp is about 76 degrees right now

      I know PH\GH\KH are all low, but I have tested both morning and evening of the same day, and PH does not swing. We filled the pond with rainwater from our roof, and we live in Oregon, so it's just soft water naturally. We didn't set out to have a Koi pond, but we're doing the best we can for them.

      Any suggestions for bait in the minnow trap, or other ideas to catch the little buggers, would be greatly appreciated.
      Thank you!
      Lori

    2. #2
      Noahsnana's Avatar
      Noahsnana is offline Koiphen Admin - WWKC
      is Lifetime WWKC
       
      Feeling:
      ----
       
      Join Date
      Aug 2004
      Location
      So. MD
      Posts
      51,577
      65,000 gallons? wow
      I have no answers, I have used minnow traps prior with little results Maybe wait for growth and use a seine net
      The will of God will not take you where the grace of God cannot keep you. .....
      "I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle." -Winston Churchill Zone 7a
      I believe it can happen... Koi World Peace
      "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." - Margaret Thatcher

    3. #3
      dogsnponys is offline Junior Member
      This user has no status.
       
      Feeling:
      ----
       
      Join Date
      Oct 2021
      Location
      Lebanon, OR, USA
      Posts
      10
      Pic of pond from early this spring. I have since doubled (or more) the number of plants in the far end regen zone. The near end is a sand-bottom wade in area, with a berm to keep the sand from migrating to the bottom of the middle swim zone. Addition of the waterfall (far right by the pipes) is postponed until cooler weather. I have also added several cheap solar powered\battery backup air stones, has helped with the string algae explosion. Name:  pond.jpg
Views: 181
Size:  294.4 KB

    4. #4
      Grumpy's Avatar
      Grumpy is offline Senior Member
      is Retired with SO much yet to
      learn
       
      Feeling:
      Awesome
       
      Join Date
      Apr 2016
      Location
      Central Oregon Coast
      Posts
      549
      Perhaps a single small bass would work, something about 5" will go after the 1-2" koi. But don't add more than one, or let the bass grow too large before you remove him. If you aren't a fisherman yourself, ask a friend to give you a live undamaged small bass. When your babies are gone, net or catch the bass, and release it back into the pond/lake it came from.
      Last edited by Grumpy; 08-10-2022 at 10:26 PM.

    5. #5
      msegger is offline Senior Member
      This user has no status.
       
      Feeling:
      ----
       
      Join Date
      Apr 2018
      Location
      St Louis, MO
      Posts
      200
      try the minnow trap in the shaded area and or where water is movement. dog food and or pieces of bread rolled into a ball. check every hour.

    6. #6
      Matt24's Avatar
      Matt24 is offline Senior Member
      is watchin' em grow
       
      Feeling:
      ----
       
      Join Date
      Jul 2012
      Location
      Oklahoma
      Posts
      2,500
      In most hobbiests' ponds with koi and plants, if there is an unintentional spawn, the adults eat most of the eggs and tiny fry. Other predators, including the larger baby koi, take out a bunch more. So if the hpbbiest just lets a flock spawn go, there may be only 20 - 100 fry (out of the tens of thousands of eggs) that make it to 2". Usually, it is not a lot of trouble to catch them all from a small pond. But your pond is maybe 5 to 50 times bigger than most hobbiests' ponds. The eggs and fry would have been spread over a much larger area with many more hiding places. No tellin' how many survivors you might have.

      Also, with such a large pond with lots of plants and hiding places, it would seem unlikely that you could catch them all with a seine net. Unless they are removed, the plants can prevent you from moving the net as you would like. Mutt koi seem to have a substantial number of babies that are very dark. Even if you think you have them all, you might see a few show up in the spring. So the trap and bass suggestions above might be more effective in your case.

      msegger mentions and interesting thought about the moving water. I've noticed that if I run water into the pond with a somewhat horizontal flow (either by a pump or the tap), little koi get attracted to it and like to swim against the current near the surface. It might take some ingenuity, but if you positioned a large seine net under that flow and devised a means of lifting it when they congregate there, you could get a bunch of them at once.

      If in the end you can get to where you have only males or only females you should be okay. But as they say, it only takes one mistake. Or in your case, one elusive survivor.

    7. #7
      dogsnponys is offline Junior Member
      This user has no status.
       
      Feeling:
      ----
       
      Join Date
      Oct 2021
      Location
      Lebanon, OR, USA
      Posts
      10
      Update - we baited the minnow trap with some Hikari koi food wrapped up in a cheesecloth bundle, moved it to a shady area and got lots of schooling fry. I managed to net out about 40 as they were schooling. Checked the trap a bit later and got a few more. Going to keep doing that for now. Thought about the bass idea, but afraid we would have trouble catching that fish. Time to get my bigger temporary tank set up for these fry. Not sure what we will do with them, but it is interesting to see how they develop. The five big koi are: 2 kohaku (one of these had the bulgy belly), one tancho, one sanke(this is the biggest fish by far), and one all orange with a yellow freckle on its nose. The babies I have netted are all variations of orange to white.
      Thanks for the suggestions!
      Lori

    8. #8
      Muscles is offline Junior Member
      This user has no status.
       
      Feeling:
      ----
       
      Join Date
      May 2022
      Location
      RoI
      Posts
      4
      How deep is that pond ?
      I'm finding it hard to believe its 65k gallons!

    9. #9
      dogsnponys is offline Junior Member
      This user has no status.
       
      Feeling:
      ----
       
      Join Date
      Oct 2021
      Location
      Lebanon, OR, USA
      Posts
      10
      Hi Muscles - the pond is about 30' x 60', and the middle part ranges from 4' to 7' deep. The planted area is actually 3' - 6' deep (sloped), just layered with lava rock and pipe to provide filtration. The plants are in baskets sitting on top of the rock. We had two different pond builders consult with us, for sizing the liner, and the pump, and that was their estimate as well, since it is an irregular shape.

      So far we have caught over a hundred little buggers, using the minnow trap. And lots of patience. We have a seine net, and are planning our next big catch. :-)

      Cheers -
      Lori

    10. #10
      dogsnponys is offline Junior Member
      This user has no status.
       
      Feeling:
      ----
       
      Join Date
      Oct 2021
      Location
      Lebanon, OR, USA
      Posts
      10
      Final update: we ended up draining the pond to catch all the little ones. We rehomed all of the fish, including the 5 big koi. The biggest was almost 20", which I figure was pretty good considering we bought it at 3" just 18 months ago. We estimate there were over 500 babies in the pond. We are cleaning it out, putting in our waterfall feature, and will refill this winter with rain collected from our roof. If we decide to have koi again, we will build a proper koi pond, with bottom drains, and an easier arrangement for catching them if they decide to spawn. Thank you to everyone on this forum for your advice.
      Lori

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •