As I mentioned a few weeks back, following my brief visit to Yoshikigoi – http://nishikigoi.life/2016/07/14/yoshikigoi-first-visit-first-impressions/ –  I mentioned that I had 3 return visits scheduled in order to film a DVD on behalf of Yoshikigoi.

If you follow me on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/nishikigoi.life/ – you’ll be aware that the first of those visits was undertaken between 25th July and 1st August, and in this post I’ll recap some of the things seen during the week at the farm.

When I arrived it was hot, high 20’s C, and it stayed that way throughout the week, much like Yamakoshi the weather is one of seasonal contrasts, I’m told the winter is truly freezing.

Sunset over Yoshikigoi, 25th July 2016

Sunset over Yoshikigoi, 25th July 2016

I was not alone in visiting Yoshikigoi, quite understandably hobbyists and dealers often frequent the farm to experience what goes on first hand.

Yoshikigoi visitors outside the main house

Yoshikigoi visitors outside the main house

One of the key things I was keen to capture was the spawning method applied by Jos on the farm, something I’ve never witnessed before, and something that gave an opportunity to capture some pretty unique footage.

The spawning season at Yoshikigoi is complete in reality, the days now taken up with dawn to dusk selections of the baby fry as they grow, ideally each pond is culled on a fortnightly basis in constant rotation.  However, for the purposes of capturing the process of spawning, care of the eggs, and hatching, Jos undertook an artificial spawning of a male and female.


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Following the stripping of the eggs and sperm and mixing them together to fertilise them, as is normal in Japan, this is where Jos’ process differs, and is perhaps rather more akin to commercial fish farming.  The eggs are washed in milk and cream to prevent them sticking, as would be the norm.  In the wild of course, and mirrored with the spawning we see in Japan, the eggs stick to the spawning material.

Once preparation of the eggs is complete, they will have swelled considerably, and most importantly have hardened.  They are then placed in glass hatching jars through which a constant flow of fresh water is circulated.  Jos believes that the lack of build up of any pollutants is vital to the quality of the fry.  You can see this in the video below.

Through the videos below you can see the eggs progress through hatching and becoming free swimming.


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I think you’ll agree, pretty amazing to see.  More details about the process will be on the DVD scheduled for release in April 2017.

Ever since arriving back, whenever I meet Koi people everyone seems to want to know my thoughts on the Koi at Yoshikigoi.  As I stated in my first post – ‘The honest truth is, it’s far too early, and I’ve seen far too little, to really make a judgement call.’  Even though I’ve spent a lot more time on the farm now, I’m still maintaining the same stance, October will be when I can give a more honest answer.  What I will say is that my second visit had me seeing more and more fish in the ponds that interested me than my first visit, many Koi truly glowed in the mud ponds as they fed in the bright sunshine.

The videos below show some of the ake nisai which are being grown indoors, as I stated in my previous post this represents around 25% of the farm’s ake nisai tategoi, and I hope the videos give you a better idea of the wide variety of Koi being produced, and the level available.  I have to say, I can’t think of many breeders producing some a wide variety of Koi, see how many you can count.

The first video shows one pond of mainly Gosanke, the second video many varieties spread over several ponds.


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My week was over far too quickly, I could quite happily stayed for longer, and I certainly look forward to visiting the first week of October when some of the best nisai are planned for harvest for the cameras.

If you are in the UK then Yoshikigoi will be attending the All England Koi Show which takes place on 24th and 25th September, and Jos and Ernest are promising to bring some of the best Koi that have produced to truly showcase the farm.

For more information about Yoshikigoi visit – http://www.yoshikigoi.com/ – or their Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/yoshikigoi/

 


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