There seems to be an ever growing interest in hobbyists breeding Koi themselves, myself included of course.

However, for those that don’t want to go to the cost of purchasing parents and going through the trials and tribulations of the actual spawning, hatching and early stage rearing process, an alternative is to purchase fry from an established breeder.

New Forest Koi is one of the breeders in the UK that has offered this service for a number of years, and we spoke to Rick to find out more about what’s on offer for hobbyists wishing to have a go at raising some.

Rick, there seems to be an ever increasing interest in hobbyists wishing to breed their own Koi which, as we both know, comes with a whole load of trials and tribulations, not least sourcing decent parent Koi to start with.

For many people they are perhaps better off skipping the actual breeding process and purchasing Koi fry direct from a farm such as New Forest Koi.

What are the options available to hobbyists who are interested in purchasing fry from you?

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Rick: What we offer are 2 week old fry from specific parents straight from our hatchery and 6-8 week olds fully weaned onto dry diets these are usually sold as a mix of 3 or 4 different spawnings.

What varieties have you bred so far, and what others do you have in the pipeline?

Rick: We started the season with Showa, Ginrin Showa, Shiro Utsuri, Ginrin Shiro Utsuri, Kohaku, Ginrin Kohaku, Sanke and Ginrin Sanke, Doitsu Ochiba, Ginrin Ochiba, Goshiki, Hi Utsuri, Ginrin Hi Utsuri and Kujaku.

Sanke and Kohaku eggs developing at New Forest Koi, April 2020

Sanke and Kohaku eggs developing at New Forest Koi, April 2020

Over the last couple of days we have completed Kumonryu, Beni Kumonryu, Shusui, Ginrin Asagi, Doitsu Hariwake, Doitsu Kujaku, Mizuho Ogon, Ginrin Platinum Ogon, Doitsu Matsuba, Karashigoi, Ginrin Matsukawabake, Doitsu Showa, Doitsu Kohaku, Doitsu Sanke, Ginrin Hariwake and some more Ginrin Showa.

Our hatcheries are currently stuffed full with a crazy mix of Koi.  With only one low hatch rate we have maybe 1 million fry from 13 different females.

1 inch Showa and Shiro Utsuri fry, April 2020

1 inch Showa and Shiro Utsuri fry, April 2020

Most of the parents you use have come from well known Japanese breeders, can you give us an idea of the breeders of some of the main ones?

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Parents for the Sanke, Kohaku and Shiro Utsuri come from South of Japan from Momotaro, Omosako, Matsue, Okawa, these have all come through Mike Snaden at Yume Koi.

Parents for the other types mostly have come from Gary at Gatwick koi  and from our own visits to Japan, these all come from the Niigata region from various breeders which we choose for their quality of certain types, i.e. Kanno and Kawakami for their Goshiki, Kaneko for his Matsukawabake, Oofuchi for his Shusui and Shinoda for Doitsu Showa and Hi Utsuri.

Are there any particular tips or pieces of advice you would give to anyone purchasing fry from you for the first time?

  • Keep them on their own
  • Keep them warm 20-25 degrees optimal
  • Filter the water as you would with large koi
  • Feed little and often
  • Reduce numbers by grading every 4-6 weeks to keep the better ones growing well, 1 inch per month is average growth rate at 23 degrees if this not being achieved then something needs adjusting
  • Don’t try to grow too many to start, maybe 1 fry per gallon maximum at 6 weeks old

You can find out more about ordering New Forest Koi fry on their website at – – and you’ll also find a blog containing various updates on the spawning/fry progress –  New Forest Koi can also be found on Facebook at –

The video below of my visit to New Forest Koi in September shows an example of what the parents above, and others used at New Forest Koi, are capable of producing.

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In that video you’ll see 2 Ginrin Matsukawabake which came home with me from the New Forest.  One of those is scheduled to go into my own breeding programme next month.

New Forest Koi bred Ginrin Matsukawabake

New Forest Koi bred Ginrin Matsukawabake

And if you need a little inspiration that something special can come from so few………….

The Cinderella Story – A true story originally published by the late Ray Jordan

In 2002 just for fun and as a special favor for some customers with aquariums and very small koi tanks Megumi Yoshida (Tokyo Koi Dealer) bought about 1500 three day old “black” showa fry about 1/4 in. long from a Niigata showa breeder named Sekiguchi. One of Megumi’s customers, a policeman named Mr. Shukuri, with a 125 gallon aquarium bought about 300 of the fry for $1 each. Megumi stopped by to help cull the baby showa fry each month for the 1st six months then every few months until only one promising baby showa remained.

At two year of age it was decided it needed to be in a mud pond and was grown by Megumi in his mud pond in Niigata. At three years Megumi’s mud pond was harvested 5 days before the big earthquake when his mud pond was destroyed. At four years it was grown in another breeders mud pond (Yohei Nagasaki) and finished there since last year’s harvest.

It was decided the showa had a big chance to compete for a major prize at this weekends 2006 All Japan Young Koi Show. It was sold to Dr. Saku a few weeks before the show for a nice profit so Mr. Shukuri could afford to buy some more nice koi for his aquarium.

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The cinderella Showa lost by only three votes to the Grand Champion Dianichi Kohaku. It was awarded Adult Champion which is considered 2nd best koi in this show.

Adult Champion, 2006 All Japan Young Koi Show

Adult Champion, 2006 All Japan Young Koi Show (Picture courtesy of Rinko Magazine




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