Whether you are looking to extend your koi fish population across your favorite garden pond or simply trying to avoid more specimens from those that you already own, you probably want to know how koi fish reproduce.
But more importantly, can koi carp breed in ponds? As long as there are both females and males present in the pond, and as long as the basic environmental conditions are met, koi carps will breed in your pond.
Minimum Pond Size for Breeding Koi
The minimum pond size for any koi fish is at least 6 by 8 feet large and 4 feet deep. Anything smaller than that can force your koi fish not just to never breed, but also to never fully develop in body size.
Also, it is really important to allow at least 250 gallons of water volume for each adult specimen, or they may become of compromised well-being and decide not to breed.
The next most important thing is planning on how your koi fish are going to breed. Are you planning on leaving them to do that spontaneously, or would you like to isolate a specific couple for a while?
In the second case, you should really plan on ensuring either a breeding pond or a breeding tank to the lucky couple.
When do Koi Breed?
Koi fish breed once a year, and mostly during springtime. This can sometimes include early spring months as well as early summer ones, depending on the weather conditions.
Indeed, the main factors which influence on their breeding season are the water temperature and the amount of sunshine that reaches them. The ideal water temperature is 68- to 70-degrees Fahrenheit.
Additionally, there are some other conditions which need to be met in order to incentivize their breeding will. Start with feeding them with protein-enriched meals for about a month prior to breeding season, and carefully clean their pond from debris and visible scum.
And finally, you may even want to set a fry mat along the pond bottom. Koi fish reproduce by spawning, so it is of the highest importance to provide them with a suitable place to lay their eggs.
Once all of the basic conditions are met and your precious fish decide to breed, you will have to wait for at least another year before their next spawning. And do not expect for juveniles to reproduce, as koi fish cannot breed before they reach 3 years of life.
Older koi fish can breed as well, but their chances of healthy and numerous fries are then much lower.
How Many Eggs do Koi Lay?
Koi fish can lay a fascinatingly large number of eggs. This depends mostly on the bodyweight of the female specimen, with the basic rule being the larger, the merrier. Indeed, a healthy 2-pound female koi fish can lay up to even 100,000 eggs per spawning. Quite impressive, right?
Not all of the eggs will survive however, so there is no need to get frightened from these numbers. Just a smaller percentage of the laid eggs will actually manage to get fertilized by the male koi fish, and even a lower percentage of the hatched eggs will manage to survive into juvenile fry.
If you are planning on keeping a smaller number of koi fry, you can simply leave them inside the pond with the adults. However, if you plan on selling them, you will want to isolate them for a while.
Do Koi Eat Their Eggs and Babies?
Yes, koi fish do eat their eggs and babies, as well as those belonging to other couples. With koi fish being such large creatures and with their eggs and fry being rich in nutritive values, they will often mistake them for a meal and ingest them.
Although this is part of a natural selection, you can prevent such behavior either by isolating the fry for a while or by featuring heavily planted ponds that can offer plenty of hiding places.
How to Care for Baby Koi?
Baby koi are extremely small and vulnerable once they come to life. Depending on your reasons for breeding them in the first place, you will probably want to either separate them from the adults or to leave the natural selection to do its own.
In any way, fry should be carefully protected by local predators with a fine net placed over the pond surface.
When it comes to feeding, crushing apposite pellets to a powder state is an excellent way of keeping them alive and healthy. Once they turn 4 weeks old, you may start introducing larger and solid meals.
Once that koi babies grow to an approximate size of 3 inches, they should be safe both from their parents and the other adults.
How Fast do Koi Grow?
Koi fish grow pretty fast. To reach a starting size of 3 inches, they usually take about 3 months. After that, they tend to grow at a rate of approximately 1 inch per month, which is quite spectacular if we take in consideration their long lifespan.
Once those juveniles reach 3 years of life, they should be around 20 or even 30 inches long, depending on their genetics and on various environmental factors. This is also their full adult size, so during every future time period they can still grow but not within a significant ratio.
Koi fish have been bred for years now in order to feature fantastic coloration and patterns, so it should come as no surprise knowing that their keepers want to breed them, too.
Whether you are looking to become a professional and to sell your precious koi fry or are simply looking to slightly enlarge the happy family, this should be not a difficult task.
As long as you provide your pets with some basic environmental conditions and take good care of them, you may soon be facing colorful baby fish around your garden pond.