Koi Spawning and BreedingBreeding Koi is one of the most rewarding pursuits a pond owner can engage in. To be able to produce koi eggs and stock out of your own efforts is an achievement in itself considering the degree of difficulty required in such an endeavor in a koi pond environment.
There are many things to consider when breeding Koi.
Undertaking fish spawning requires careful study and knowledge of fish spawning behavior, amongst others.
Time is of paramount importance when planning to produce your own broodstock.
Koi spawning occurs best during specific periods of the year, following the pattern of their wild carp ancestors.
Late spring or early summer is the best time to induce Koi to breed and spawn their koi eggs.
In the wild, this is the period when Koi fingerling growth can be at a fast rate, due to the abundance in food supply and ideal weather conditions in ponds.
What Are The Best Conditions For Breeding Koi?Females are very sensitive to changes in temperature, which can affect their ability to release koi eggs for fertilization. For successful Koi fish spawning, pond temperature should ideally be around 20 C. On the other hand, in koi eggs production, day length is the one variable that has the most impact. Nor mally, female Koi would produce their best quality koi eggs during long days. Another thing that would stimulate females to release koi eggs is the presence of male breeding koi. Timing is crucial for fish spawning in that males should only be allowed to mingle with females once it has been established that the latter has produced the right amount of mature koi eggs.
Picture is of a floating flexible spawning brush on which fertilised eggs are deposited. Eggs and the brush are then removed and allowed to float in a protected area of the pond (or the eggs will be eaten) for example a fine mesh homemade netting container attached to pieces of polystyrene foam to allow the quarantine cage to float.
Inducing Fish SpawningToday it is now possible for people breeding koi and pond owners to artificially fertilize Koi eggs to minimize damage to broodstock. Females are injected with hormones to induce fish spawning, making them release koi eggs to their ovaries for manual stripping. A similar procedure is also applied in males, wherein they would be artificially induced to produce sperm that are ripe and ready for collecting in your pond.
Difficulties Faced in Breeding KoiOne of the hardest and most technically challenging aspects to breeding Koi is ensuring the production of good quality offspring for your pond. All Koi breeders aspire to produce high quality fry, but not many actually to achieve this. There is a lot of science behind selecting the right kind of stocks that would produce the best fry. Using two outstanding fish for koi breeding does not always guarantee success. This is because exceptional characteristics or traits may not manifest in the resulting fry due to the absence of complimentary genes. Admirable qualities may hide behind recessive genes, which would not surface unless matching genes are paired with them. Japanese breeders have apparently mastered the art and science of producing high quality Koi fry. Their secret lies behind their practice of inbreeding top quality stocks. By doing this repeatedly they are able to stabilize the impressive traits of their Koi stock. However, one downside to this technique is that resulting offspring are known to have less vigor and are often more prone to diseases.
In the UK, most Koi breeders have not yet attained the level of sophistication and proficiency of their Japanese counterparts. This may be explained partly because in the UK, pure bred Koi stocks are less popular than lower quality garden varieties. It would therefore make more business sense for local breeders to crossbreed rather than in-breed Koi fish stocks.