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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How to Breed Koi


It is a very laborious process.

You need good brood stock, which will cost you several hundred thousand dollars or decades of careful breeding. You will also need equipment, facilities and a great staff. You also need a lot of time.

The oyagoi (parents) are placed in ponds that are full of spawning matting. For a few hours, the female will ready itself to release the eggs onto the spawning matting. When she ready to expel the eggs, you'll need to coax them out of her into a bowl. The male is then taken out of the pond, anesthetized, and then has his sperm is extracted. When the sperm and eggs are gathered, they are mixed together to achieve fertilization.

The eggs are then put on the spawning matting that is in the ponds. This must be done carefully, so they get attached to the matting correctly.

Within a few days, your Koi will hatch and you will see the fry swimming around in the pond.

Now you'll need to move them into a large pond and feed them a decent food that is full of packed with nutrients.

When they grow large enough, you'll need to cull them. This involves sitting for days on end while you sort through tens of thousands of baby Koi. You'll whittle them down until you are left with a few thousand of your best fry.

After the culling, the fry will go into a mud pond to grow until they are large enough to sell.

You'll repeat this process over the years as your Koi grow. You'll remove the ones who lose their color or have deformities. You'll also separate out some Tategoi, Koi which have future potential but don't look the greatest right now.

The process can get very complicated, here's what you have to be knowledgeable in:
  • Fish Husbandry - You'll need to know how to take care of thousands of fish and keep them healthy. One bad disease outbreak and years of work will vanish (not literally). You'll also need to know how to filter your display ponds.
  • Management - You'll need to know how to keep your employees in line.
  • Selling - It doesn't matter what quality of Koi you produce if you can't sell them.
  • Importing/Exporting - Why limit yourself, but you do need to keep up on all that paperwork.
  • Funding - It can take up to a few years to produce a single quality Koi, what will you do for cash flow in the meantime?
  • Construction - Those mud ponds aren't going to build and maintain themselves.

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