Steps to maximize koi babies?


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So I have a few seemingly pregger females (I know they’re not technically pregnant but you know what I mean) ;) and atleast one male in a 4600 gallon pond … I’m hoping for babies…and I’m wondering if there’s a method to optimize spawning & optimize how many babies survive rather than fall prey to potential predators and skimmers??? Any links or suggestions of what to do when and how? Please teach me your wise ways, great koi baby bearers! ❤️ I know people put them in separate tanks but when and for how long and how big does it have to be and how many can be together for a spawning tank? Any and all wisdom welcome!

And if I do nothing and just let nature take it’s course in the big pond with zero intervention from me, will I likely only get a few babies?

Total noob with big baby dreams ;)
 
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Mmathis

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Be careful what you wish for!!!! Yes, chances are you will get babies that survive, but you are also at risk of overpopulating your pond once those babies grow up. Once spawning happens, the parents will probably eat a good proportion of the eggs. Provide lots of plants (floaters) that babies can hide in, and that will help their chances of survival. Babies are fun! The first 2 years that I had my pond, I would catch every fry (goldfish, though, not koi) I spotted and hand-raise it/them in an indoor tank! Oh, it was so exciting…..until it turned into work, trying to keep the water balanced so they would survive, etc. Now, I just let nature take its course. Not necessarily trying to discourage you. It really was fun and exciting!
 
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Be careful what you wish for!!!! Yes, chances are you will get babies that survive, but you are also at risk of overpopulating your pond once those babies grow up. Once spawning happens, the parents will probably eat a good proportion of the eggs. Provide lots of plants (floaters) that babies can hide in, and that will help their chances of survival. Babies are fun! The first 2 years that I had my pond, I would catch every fry (goldfish, though, not koi) I spotted and hand-raise it/them in an indoor tank! Oh, it was so exciting…..until it turned into work, trying to keep the water balanced so they would survive, etc. Now, I just let nature take its course. Not necessarily trying to discourage you. It really was fun and exciting!
Thank you so much! I appreciate your response and your candor!
 

mrsclem

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Lots of floating plants and keep the adults well fed. The exact opposite of what I do! 20+ years of koi keeping, I dread spawning!
 
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May I ask why you dread it? We have baby chickens, baby songbirds, baby lizards, baby turtles, baby frogs, baby plants… love them all! It’s that Spring thing! ❤️
 
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I too dread spawning. I have 4 adult koi, 2 males and 2 females. Spawning is rough and often the females are injured. Last year is the first year they haven't spawned, but every other year I have what I call " The Great Koi Round Up" and have to lower the pond water ( or empty it ) and catch all the babies. It isn't easy to find homes for them and there is no way my pond can support more then 4 adult koi.

I had lots of fun with it for years and you will too. My koi are nearly 20 years old and need space.
 
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just like any new mom the first is cherished protected and desired . by the third time around it s more like here take the damn thing... how do i stop them how do i catch them . the babies get a year in the pond then as they grow and i can catch them . its dead pool for there second b day. and shipped off to the pet store
 

mrsclem

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May I ask why you dread it? We have baby chickens, baby songbirds, baby lizards, baby turtles, baby frogs, baby plants… love them all! It’s that Spring thing! ❤️
A large female koi can produce 300,000+ eggs and while most won't hatch, even a small amount can lead to overstocking. This is how I financed my ponds for years, selling large amounts of koi.
 
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So If I want to move their Extracurriculars to a spawning tank… When is the best time to do that? How many fish do I put in a spawning tank? And how long do I leave them there to do their thang ? ;)
 
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Mmathis

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So If I want to move their Extracurriculars to a spawning tank… When is the best time to do that? How many fish do I put in a spawning tank? And how long do I leave them there to do their thang ? ;)
Look into something called a spawning mop — usually made of yarn. It collects the eggs, which can then be relocated.
 
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For koi, you can get spawning brushes, larger than the mops. The fish deposit eggs on the brushes and you can move the brushes to a large container of water for them to develop. It requires serious monitoring of water quality to make sure the eggs and fry survive. Also, you would likely need to make your own fry food. There may be commercial ones available, but I'm not sure about that.

You can end up with hundreds upon hundreds of fry. They take a lot of care and attention. Some will always have deformities, and those need to be culled. Some will outgrow the others and those will tend to eat the smaller ones, so the larger ones would need to be moved to their own space, also with excellent water conditions, of course.

It's a lot of work, but it can be very gratifying. If you are lucky and very diligent, you can end up with a ton of little fish that will need homes. That's not an easy task either.

Most of us choose to let things be, especially if we have already had that experience!
 

Mmathis

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I made a few.. how many are typically needed?
Depends on how many eggs you want to save.

Reread this post. Out of those hundreds and hundreds of eggs, not all are going to be viable. Be sure you have a very large grow-out place for them (I used a 20 gal. aquarium when I payed with goldfish fry — and it soon became overwhelmed. Water quality has to be impeccable! Oh yes, and there is the matter of fry food……. You might want to search online about raising koi fry. While we can give our 2 cents, you’ll get better insight from some good reads.
For koi, you can get spawning brushes, larger than the mops. The fish deposit eggs on the brushes and you can move the brushes to a large container of water for them to develop. It requires serious monitoring of water quality to make sure the eggs and fry survive. Also, you would likely need to make your own fry food. There may be commercial ones available, but I'm not sure about that.

You can end up with hundreds upon hundreds of fry. They take a lot of care and attention. Some will always have deformities, and those need to be culled. Some will outgrow the others and those will tend to eat the smaller ones, so the larger ones would need to be moved to their own space, also with excellent water conditions, of course.

It's a lot of work, but it can be very gratifying. If you are lucky and very diligent, you can end up with a ton of little fish that will need homes. That's not an easy task either.

Most of us choose to let things be, especially if we have already had that experience!
 
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If you have enough cover (floating plants with roots like water lettuce, hyacinth, oxygenators like hornwort ect... your chances are good at leaving the fry in the pond and letting them grow up there. I started with 7 shubunkins 6 months ago and now have 7 adults and about 20 fry that are up to 3 inches already..(this is the second batch...I gave the first 23 back to the fish store). I think they do better in the pond. There will be no change in water parameters and they will get enough to eat with the algae and little water creatures (almost microscopic but if you shine a light on them at night you will see that the pond is full of them and the fry eat them which is better than fish food since it is a natural food source.) My adult fish never ate any of the fry...This is only my experience so far....Good luck with however you decide to raise them!
 
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If you have enough cover (floating plants with roots like water lettuce, hyacinth, oxygenators like hornwort ect... your chances are good at leaving the fry in the pond and letting them grow up there. I started with 7 shubunkins 6 months ago and now have 7 adults and about 20 fry that are up to 3 inches already..(this is the second batch...I gave the first 23 back to the fish store). I think they do better in the pond. There will be no change in water parameters and they will get enough to eat with the algae and little water creatures (almost microscopic but if you shine a light on them at night you will see that the pond is full of them and the fry eat them which is better than fish food since it is a natural food source.) My adult fish never ate any of the fry...This is only my experience so far....Good luck with however you decide to raise them!
Thank you so much for the suggestions and insight! I appreciate it!! ❤️ How big are the fry to start?
 

Mmathis

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Thank you so much for the suggestions and insight! I appreciate it!! ❤️ How big are the fry to start?
I don’t know about koi, but for my goldfish, I called them “eyelashes,” because that’s what they looked like when they were newly hatched — eyelashes.
 
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question… how big are koi hatchlings? Anyone have a pic of a brand new koi baby?
 

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