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Is my koi fish pregnant?

Some fish can become pregnant and are carriers of life. Koi does not fit into this category. A female Koi will lay eggs. The eggs must be pushed out of her by the male. There are signs that she should look for to determine if her Koi is full of eggs.

1. The Koi looks fat or bloated.

2. The males chase the female around the pond. It can be quite aggressive as it can be knocked against the edge of the pond.

3. Koi are swimming far from the surface, they rarely come out.

4. The female stays away from the other fish because she is looking for a place to lay eggs.

5. The female Koi may suck on the plants or the sides of the pond to make room for the eggs.

6. The male acquires white spots on his pectoral fins and the cover of his gills.

7. A month before they begin to spawn, they begin to eat at an optimum level.

Most of the time, your male Koi will be 3-5 years old and the female 3-6 years old before they are mature enough to spawn. Your Koi will be interested in spawning (mating) in the spring and most experts say this is usually after the first water change. The water will be at 65-70 degrees during spawning. Once the males hit the female, the eggs will be released and the males will then fertilize them. Eggs are very sticky and will stick to just about anything. Koi love to eat their eggs when they are released. It is a tasty treat for them.

You must watch closely to catch the spawning process. If you want to save the eggs, you’ll need to lay string (even a mop will work) in the pond for the eggs to attach to. Very soon after they attach, you need to move on to another tank/pond. Koi usually spawn early in the morning. If you suspect it’s time, check your pond often as fish can jump out of the water. If you find them early enough, you can return them to the pond and they will live. A sure sign that they have already released their eggs is bubbles or foam in the water along with a bad smell. Also ammonia levels will skyrocket.

If you pay close attention to your Koi on a daily basis, you will recognize the signs. Knowing your Koi is the key to determining if it is ready to spawn. I have been told that spawning occurs more frequently when there is a full moon. The same has been said of babies. You decide if it’s true. When were your Koi’s eggs ugly?

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