How to Breed Koi

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Koi (or "nishikigoi") are colorful fish in the carp family that were first bred in Japan more than 200 years ago. Today, many people breed koi as a hobby and even enter these fish in competitions and shows.

Things You'll Need

  • Aquarium Air Pumps
  • Aquarium Filters
  • Aquarium Water Test Kits
  • Aquariums
  • Shovels
  • Yard Sticks
  • Buckets
  • Understand that April to July is the best time for koi to mate. Try for a one-to-one ratio of males to females when breeding.

  • Take into consideration the age of your fish. (Koi that are too young or too old may not breed as easily.)

  • Look for female koi to become bloated when they're carrying eggs. Add a similar-sized male koi to the pond at this point.

  • Help the fish to form a natural nesting area with synthetic brush or willow cuttings submerged underwater. The fish will nest beneath the brush.

  • Expect the breeding pond to appear cloudy and give off an unpleasant odor immediately following the spawning process.

  • Keep in mind that koi will lay thousands of eggs at one time. The eggs need to be separated from the adults to prevent them from being eaten.

  • Expect the eggs to hatch within a week.

  • Plan to feed the baby koi as often as five times a day for the first few months.

Tips & Warnings

  • Realize that less than half of baby koi will survive to adulthood.
  • Know that koi can grow up to 36 inches. Remember that the size depends very much on the pond size, aeration and feeding.
  • Be aware that in some cases, breeding koi can jeopardize their health.

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