We have finished our first round of culling and ended with way too many Shiro Utsuri keepers. The problem is that at first selection the keepers just need to be grey and when you’ve got a bumper harvest like we’ve just had, that can mean more keepers than you planned on. We could just not keep the smaller ones but since breeding Nishikigoi isn’t just about keeping the biggest koi but keeping the best, it isn’t in our interests to do that. All this means however is that we will be harvesting the Shiro Utsuri again a little earlier than we might otherwise have done.
The Chagoi/Ochiba was another bumper harvest but we are able to be much stricter on these. As you know, we tend to keep the paler Chagoi, so it’s a bit more straightforward. The Ochiba pattern can be hard to identify on such small fish but once you set the standard for what you are looking for, it makes it a bit easier. We’ve done a little experiment this year with this spawning. The faster growing ones have been moved straight into the tosai house whilst the slower growing ones have gone back into the mud pond. This gives the ones in the mud pond a better chance and the faster growing ones should do well too.
We’ve done both Kujaku and Sanke spawnings recently and the fry are both growing well in the mud ponds.
A couple of weeks ago we moved the fish we are growing on over the summer out of the tosai and nisai houses and into the mud ponds. The mud ponds were and still are teeming with daphnia which is great and the nisai were so happy they spent the first four days spawning!
We are currently upgrading some of our systems too. Our original filtration on our sales tanks in the first polytunnel included settlement chambers and whilst they have done a good job of looking after the fish, they are not as efficient or easy to maintain as the systems we have built more recently which include both static and biological K1 chambers, they also take up more space. We upgraded one of the systems a few months ago and have in the last couple of weeks upgraded another which will free up some space to add another sales tank for small fish. The plan is to upgrade the remaining two sales tanks and have all our sales tanks in the first polytunnel by the end of the season. In addition to this, we are also building a new brood fish tank in our second polytunnel and replacing the filtration in there too. Not quite sure how we are going to fit building our new Sansai house into this plan but where there’s a will there’s a way!
We have a Koi Club Day tomorrow which should be good as we have both South Hants and Chiltern Section coming along.
Next week we are planning another couple of spawnings which will be our last lot for the season – hopefully Shusui and Showa. Our last spawnings in 2006 were done the week after the National last year, so we aren’t too far behind. The advantage we will have this year is that the tosai house is already up and running so we will be able to bring all our tosai keepers inside in the autumn instead of January like last year. This should give all our tosai a head start on previous years.
Well that pretty much brings you up to speed on what we have been up to over the last few weeks and as you can see, we’ve been putting our time to good use!