Exactly 5 weeks ago today there was a feeling of despondency regarding the spawning project, 4 somewhat sleepless nights had passed without any spawning, and the original female Beni Kikokuryu had been substituted for the Doitsu Hariwake who had already occupied the spawning tank for 1 night without action.  However, the night of Friday 17th May would see spawning begin and carry on until the morning of the 18th.  Whilst the spawning took place it seemed, come the light of day, that the eggs were few – to the point that the spawning was set to be written off as a failure and a second spawning undertaken.  You can read about all of that here – http://nishikigoi.life/2019/05/28/my-spawning-project-underway/.

The 5 weeks since have somewhat flown by, you can see an update here – http://nishikigoi.life/2019/06/05/my-spawning-project-fry-development-update-14-days-since-hatching/ – and there have been 2 more update videos since that post on YouTube, links to which are below.

When you look at the fry regularly each day, and on a daily basis, it’s not always easy to ascertain how they are growing, or how quickly they are growing.  In fact it’s only really when I make the videos like those above, filmed on 11th and 19th June respectively, that I can make a direct assessment of how much they’ve grown, and generally that feeling is quicker than I’d perhaps thought.

However, development is now about a lot more than just growth.  In the part 10 video above I mention and show the colour pigmentation starting to develop, and particularly the metallic lustre starting to show.


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Having just sat watching them for a while it became apparent how much change had occurred in this respect over just the last 48 hours since the the part 10 video was made.

Lots of the lighter coloured ones have started to develop a real shine in that period which is clearly evident in the photos below.  It’s also possible to make out the start of the dorsal line of scales on the Koi.  If you refer back to the very start of this project – http://nishikigoi.life/2019/03/19/my-new-pond-build-part-4/ – i wrote, ‘scalation must be neat, refined and matched side to side’ and ‘neither can i stand random scales on the body of them, or a wobbly line of mismatched scales along the back’.  The scales will be an important factor once selection starts in a couple of weeks.

Fry from spawning 17th-18th May

Fry from spawning 17th-18th May

Fry from spawning 17th-18th May

Fry from spawning 17th-18th May

Fry from spawning 17th-18th May

Fry from spawning 17th-18th May

When you look at the darker coloured ones in the tank their colour shade variations become ever clearer to see.  However, once you put them in a bowl (I need to try a darker bowl – many breeders of dark coloured and metallic Koi use dark bowls) their colours seem to blend.  What is very evident in the photograph below is the bright shiny eyes that they have, hopefully a sign of metallic lustre to come.

Fry from spawning 17th-18th May

Fry from spawning 17th-18th May

Realistically I think that proper selection of these fry is a couple of weeks away at least.  I still don’t really have a realistic estimate of how many fry there are.  As I mentioned in the videos above, last weekend I came very close to carrying out a number assessment/reduction selection, since then I’ve seen enough of a spurt in growth with a change to larger food that I am not as concerned with overcrowding as I was, and anything that doesn’t grow is likely to be picked off by its larger siblings – natures selection process.

If you’ve followed the videos on YouTube (you can see the whole playlist here – https://youtu.be/oZD4DtODIbs) you’ll be aware that there has always been the intention to have a play with aquaponics along side the breeding of Koi – much inspired by the work Mat and Jen McCann do at Beni Hanna Nishikigoi and Aquaponics – https://www.benihannanishikigoi.com.

The first sample ‘crop’ was planted on 12th June and now grows on a floating polystyrene raft on the fry tank.


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Cos lettuce on floating raft, originally planted 12th June, photo 21st June

Cos lettuce on floating raft, originally planted 12th June, photo 21st June

Other trial crops that have been planted since include coriander, basil, pak choi, tom thumb lettuce, water cress and a mixed leaf salad.  Most of these have germinated already, invariably in the shortest anticipated time according to the packets.  Over time all of these will go out on floating rafts, indoors or outdoors.

Coriander shooting, planted June 14th, photo June 21st

Coriander shooting, planted June 14th, photo June 21st

Lolla Rosso lettuce shooting, planted 18th June, photo 21st June

Lolla Rosso lettuce shooting, planted 18th June, photo 21st June

Pak Choi shooting, , planted 18th June, photo 21st June

Pak Choi shooting, planted 18th June, photo 21st June

Mixed salad leaves shooting, planted June 14th, photo June 21st

Mixed salad leaves shooting, planted June 14th, photo June 21st

 

With regards to the 2nd spawning which originally entered the realms of possibility just under 5 weeks ago when it felt the first spawning was a failure……?  Well it’s still on the cards, a possible small controlled spawning of the Beni Kikokuryu below.  The plan would be to keep only a small number of black fry from the spawning, as Aoki san would do, and see what materialises from them.

Beni Kikokuryu, Nisai, Female, Bred by AO Aokiya Koi Farm

Beni Kikokuryu,
Nisai,
Female,
Bred by AO Aokiya Koi Farm

Watch this space, and if anyone would like a few of the non selected fry to grow on then this might be a possibility, because there would probably be far more than i would ever want to keep from this spawning.  Let me know if you are interested.


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