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Basic Koi Breeding Method (Page 2 of 2)



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3.  Actual Spawning.  The pregnant female shows her readiness to spawn by exhibiting movements that seem to indicate an intention to arrange the spawning material into a nest.  The male is attracted to these movements, and tries to force the female against the wall of the pond.  If there are two males in the pond, they will attempt to sandwich the female between them. 


The thrashing and bumping of the males against the pregnant female causes the latter to release her thousands of eggs into the spawning material (and into other places as well).  The eggs are very sticky and will adhere to anything they come in contact with.  Simultaneously, the males will release their sperms onto the eggs to fertilize them.  A second cycle of the same ritual may be employed if the female still needs to discharge some eggs.



This spawning activity (see Figure 2) can be very physical, or even violent.  Injuries to the female may happen, especially if the male koi continues to beat her up.  The male should be promptly but very carefully removed from the pond if this happens.  It would be good to leave the female in the pond to let her recover her strength.  Keep her safe by keeping her properly aerated and preventing her from jumping out of the pond (some females have been observed to be jumpy after spawning).


Figure 2.  Photo of actual koi spawning


4. Isolation and Incubation of the Eggs.  The eggs, being small and immobile, are vulnerable to predation not only by its parents but by pond wildlife as well.  Thus, it is necessary to secure the eggs from predators.  If you used spawning ropes as spawning material, you can easily lift these from the spawning pond and transfer them to a hatchery (which can just be a vat or tank) where the eggs can incubate safely.  If you don't have a separate hatchery and intend to let the eggs hatch in the spawning pond itself, you should transfer the female carefully to another pond. 


The hatchery (if one is used) where the eggs will be transferred and allowed to hatch must be of the same temperature as the spawning pond.  It must also be aerated very well with no water disturbance.  Filtration of the hatchery is not required, but adequate oxygenation is certainly a 'must'.


5. Rearing of the Larvae.  Most of the eggs usually hatch 4 to 5 days after they are laid.  By the 6th day all of the fertile eggs should have hatched. The newly hatched larvae will look like a huge army of jerking 'commas'.   The main challenge in rearing the newly hatched larvae is feeding, which can pollute the water as wastes build up especially since filtration should not be done at this point.  The larvae will survive on their egg sacs for the first 24 hours.  After that, the larvae must be fed 5 times a day. Do not give dry food to the larvae to prevent water pollution.  Instead, give them live natural foods such as daphnia and infusoria. The growth of green algae will also help augment the natural food supply.  After a few days the larvae may be transferred very carefully to a larger growing-out pond where they should continue to receive live food until 6 weeks of age.


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See also:  Koi Breeding Considerations






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