For fish hobbyists, collecting and raising tropical fish is a source of fun and relaxation. Just being able to watch them swim in their artificial habitat is the perfect stress reliever after a long day’s work. The same goes for Koi enthusiasts’ and their garden ponds. Watching these colorful fish swim gracefully while enjoying the outdoor air can make for a wonderful recreational activity. For some collectors that want to take things to a totally different level, breeding Koi is the ultimate hobby; it is exciting and can generate income at the same time.

It takes a lot of patience and effort on the part of the owner to breed Koi. Selecting the breeding partners and preparing everything for spawning takes a bit of time, as well. The metabolism and appetites of Koi are at their highest during the summer months, so this is the ideal time to have them mate.

What color combination and pattern you want your baby Koi to have will determine your choice of breeding partners. Different combinations of parents produce different offspring, so it’s necessary to do extensive research and planning. Consult Koi experts you may know, surf the web and read material on the subject. You’d only be wasting your time and money if the offspring that results from the breeding aren’t to your liking.

Once you’ve decided what variety of Koi you want to breed, it’s time to pick-out the healthy breeding partners. It’s a good idea to put two males with a single female that’s ready to spawn. This ensures that the most number of eggs are fertilized. Males that are ready to spawn (3-5 years old) will develop small bumps on their pectoral fins and foreheads; they use these to “tickle” the females into spawning. Female Koi will be ready for spawning when they’re between 4-6 years of age.

Proper preparation of the spawning area will be a big factor in successful breeding. You should separate the mating trio from the rest of the fish and make sure about the quality of the water- ph levels, oxygen concentration and so forth. There also should be something in the water onto which the female can lay her eggs. Underwater plants or submerged twigs will work. The fry will also need a place to hide in when they hatch, so keep this in mind when choosing your medium.

Last but not least, it’s necessary to isolate the fertilized eggs from the parents to avoid cannibalism. It’s not unusual for Koi and other fish to feed on their own young. Yolks from hard-boiled eggs and brine shrimp are a good starter food for Koi. Again, make sure there’s ample oxygen in the water and that the ph levels are where they should be to ensure your success in breeding Koi.

Douglas Cain is an expert on breeding Koi. For more information on breeding koi [] and to get your FREE 10-part Koi Care e-course, visit [].

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Originally posted 2015-08-22 09:07:45.