Matlock Bath Aquarium

& Exhibitions.



Some of the large Koi in the Thermal pool That spawned
in May 2013.



One of the spawning nets used for the collection of the eggs.




The young Koi in the Aquarium.

The Koi Carp Breeding Programme

In order to maintain our famous collection of Carp for future generations
a breeding programme was started in May 2013.

With so many potentially lethal viruses associated with carp across the world, it is impossible for us to confidently introduce any new stock into our existing collection in the Thermal pool. With this in mind, the only way to ensure we keep a good selection of fish with a clean bill of health is to breed from the stock that we have already got.

From our experience we knew that the Carp spawn in May. Special floating spawning nets were made and installed in the Thermal pool during April in order for the fish to get used to them. One of our two smaller ponds was prepared to act as a holding and rearing area for the baby fish when they hatched.


The Spawning
Sure enough, right on cue, the fish spawned for the first time in early May. Our staff were quick to spot this happening and removed the spawning nets which were now covered with tiny translucent eggs into the smaller rearing pool. Fresh nets were then placed in the pool for the fish to spawn on again. This sequence of events was repeated twice more as we had another two spawnings from the fish by the end of May.


Hatching and Rearing
All three batches of spawn had a high percentage of fertile eggs, which after a few short days were starting to show signs of life from within. Tiny eyes could be seen inside the eggs as our staff monitored the progress of the developing fry inside. By the end of just a week the young fish were fully hatched and could be seen in and amongst the plants in the pool.
A special food had been prepared in advance, made from high protein granules that were crushed to make a fine powder, a vitamin supplement was then mixed in to form a stiff paste for the new hatchlings. A feeding progamme was started to ensure the youngsters got regular feeds throughout the day. This food went down well with the new arrivals, and it wasn't too long before steady growth could be seen on the young fish. As the weeks continued through the summer the fish grew at a steady rate right through into early Autumn. With the cold winter weather approaching, the small pool was emptied and the young fish were moved into the indoor aquarium where they could be kept at a constant warmer temperature and be able to continue to grow throughout the winter and early spring months.


Click play to see the young Koi
on the left being placed in the Aquarium for winter and 5 months later how much they have grown.

Plans for the future
The size of the young Koi will be reviewed in early summer, as the outside temperatures start to rise. It is hoped that the young Koi will have grown to a size that will allow us to release them into the Thermal pool, but if this is not the case then we will put them into the small pool to continue their growth over the summer of 2014.
It is intended to repeat the successful breeding programme again this year, with the second small pool having already been prepared to receive the spawnings for 2014.
We aim to continue this breeding programme year on year to ensure that, young, healthy Koi are continually introduced into the Thermal pool in order to preserve a wonderful collection of Carp that has been enjoyed by so many over the years and also for the generations to come.



Some of the large Koi in the Thermal pool That spawned
in May 2013.



The empty pool prior to catching the young fish.




The young Koi just before they were moved into the Aquarium for the winter.