As you will hopefully have read, last Sunday spawning got underway at Purdin Koi Farm – http://nishikigoi.life/2018/04/22/purdin-koi-farm-a-new-season-about-to-begin/.
You can see video of the parent sets which were put together last Sunday below
Late Sunday evening the constant pursuit of the females by their respective males turned into full blown spawning activity and many thousands of eggs laid on the spawning ropes by all females.
Over the course of the next 5 days the embryo have developed inside the fertilised eggs to a point where today they have on mass hatched resulting in 10’s of thousands of tiny fry swimming around the spawning nets. As I type this I’m on the night duty to provide them with powdered fry feed every 4 hours to sustain their early development. My alarm is set for 1.30am and 5.30am – the joys of parenthood!
Today the process of preparing the mud ponds for accepting the fry began. Over winter and early spring the mud ponds have been constantly pumped dry in order to allow the bottoms to harden and grass to grow over the bases. The grass has 2 fold benefit; firstly it keeps the base of the pond firm, secondly once full with water it breaks down providing nutrients to the micro life important as a food source for the young fry.
Paid banner advert - put your ad here for just £50 per month
Firstly the damp base of the pond is sprinkled with chlorine. Once the pond is filled with water this will dissolve to provide ‘sterilisation’ before soon dissipating making the water safe.
Each pond has a 120lpm Medo air compressor to provide aeration, and perhaps more importantly water movement. Within a few weeks the days will be long and very hot, more so the nights when dissolved oxygen levels could easily become depleted.
The pond below is one of the smaller 1/4 acre fry ponds, there are 8 in total. You can see how much of the base is covered in grass. When full the pond will contain around 4ft of water at the very deepest part, although most is rather shallower.
The first of a 2 part fertilisation process to encourage microlife to develop as the vital food source for the fry is to add cotton seed meal to the pond, effectively the same as chicken or pig manure may be used.
Late this afternoon the well water pump was switched on to start adding water to the ponds and then later next week the ponds will be ready to take the new fry.