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Baby Koi: A Fry Guide

Baby Koi: A Fry Guide

Everyone knows koi fish for their underwater beauty. But not everyone knows the effort that goes into raising them. From a baby koi to a full grown one, these fish can take a lot of hard work. However, hard work yields results – in beautiful koi, that is!

If you’re looking to raise koi, consider purchasing young ones. They cost less and you even get to watch them develop coloring, shape, and size. However, there are several things you must keep in mind when raising young koi.

 

Young koi enjoying a swim in the sunlight.

Young koi enjoying a swim in the sunlight.

BRINGING HOME BABY

When koi eggs are fertilized, they cling to pond plants for three to four days. Once they hatch, they sink to the bottom of the pond. These baby koi are called koi fry. Once released from their yolk sacks, the baby koi take cover in pond plants.

Baby koi do not typically need to be fed in the first few days. They live off of their yolk sacks and small organisms found in pond water. However, if the koi fry are hatched outside of a pond setting, they will require specialized feeding.

After a baby koi develops and begins swimming to the surface, it is ready to feed. These young koi require different food  than their fully grown friends. One thing to keep in mind is their mouth size. These koi are very small, and their mouths even smaller! In the first month of life, liquid food and very small suspended-particle food are good choices. Feed your young koi four times a day.

Baby koi fish need smaller sized food for their small mouths.

Baby koi fish need smaller sized food for their small mouths.

During feeding times, keep a close watch to avoid over and underfeeding. If food is still visible after koi are done eating, you are overfeeding your fish. The leftover food will harm the water. If you are underfeeding your koi, watch for frequent weak or deceased fish.

A koi fish will produce thousands of eggs when spawning. However, it’s not feasible for an owner to house and care for so many fish. A number of your koi will be eliminated naturally. Sometimes larger koi will eat smaller ones. Size and growth vary from species to species, so be aware of what koi are growing up together in the pond. Goldfish, which are many times raised with koi, are also known to dine on koi eggs and fry.

Sometimes larger koi will eat smaller koi.

Sometimes larger koi will eat smaller koi.

While some koi are eliminated naturally, koi owners use a process called culling to keep numbers of koi fish down to appropriate levels. Culling is the selective process that removes some fish from the koi pond. These removed koi are usually euthanized. While culling may seem cruel, it is important to remember that it is essential to the health of the koi in the pond. Overcrowding is harmful to both your koi and your pond. Culling will ensure the health and wellbeing of the koi in a safe way.

Culling is recommended once a month for the first three months. At the first and second culling, remove 80% of the baby koi. In the third month, remove 65%. While this seems like a lot, it is only reducing your numbers down to a manageable level. When culling, pull out koi that show signs of weakness or aggressiveness. Also remove any koi with signs of deformities, which are common and especially evident in their spines, fins, and tails. The Australian Koi Association  website has more information on this. 

Raising koi can be really demanding, especially throughout the early stages. But watching baby koi grow into full grown fish is the ultimate koi keeper’s reward! Navigating those early months can be a time of adjustment, but with these tips we’re sure you’ll do just fine! Do you have any advice for raising baby koi? Write us a comment or contact us via the contact form.

 

 

 

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