South Africa’s Edeni Koi farm

Edeni Koi farm was established in October 2003. The Koi farm is situated in Mpumalanga about 50km away from Tzaneen. Johan and Allen Roets, owners of Edeni koi farm, have had previous experience in Koi breeding as they owned another farm in Nelspruit in 1995 farming koi, but this was done on a smaller scale.

Edeni Koi farm consists of 12 staff members and Johan Roets is busy with community projects trying to teach the local communities the benefits of aquaculture. In 2003, Allen went to Israel and bought their first brood stock for Edeni Koi farm for them to start breeding. After this, they went to Japan and have being going on buying trips each year to go and upgrade their brood stock. They only have Japanese brood stock at this time.
Edeni has 22 koi ponds that are approximately 80 metres long by 50 metres wide and 1.8 meters in depth. They have had the help of Dr David Huchzemeyer to develop an affordable food with excellent nutritional value to feed their koi fish consequently their food is on a par with other foods fed to koi around the world.

South Africa has a very favourable climate for breeding allowing them to spawn their Koi 3 to 4 times a year unlike once a year in Japan. This makes it possible for various koi sizes categories to be available at all times. Their brood stock is kept separately from the other Koi on the farm. This is done for bio-security reasons and they are very strict on disease and viruses and have a procedure drawn up to ensure safety. They did this to comply with the bio security standards of DEFFRA, which is a controlling body for all imports of Koi into the United Kingdom.
Once the Koi have being spawned, the fry are then put into the mud ponds where they are left for 2 months to grow. At this stage, they are around 4cm in length. The fry eat a special diet and what is very important at this stage is that they eat insects such as daphnia, copperopolis and rotifers. If the fry do not get these foods, they tend to get deformities and the deformities can be as high as 70%, which is a disastrous outcome for the farmer. The fry will eat the insects until they are large enough to start eating koi food. Once they are able to eat Koi food, all their nutritional needs are met and they grow and develop well here after. The next stage is culling. This is a very time consuming task and if you ask the farmers this is the hardest phase of Koi farming. It takes 3 very skilled Edeni staff to cull around 200 000 to 500 000 koi at one time. The babies are then left to grow for the next 3 weeks and are now around 5 to 8cm in size. After 3 weeks hardly anymore culling occurs and they are mostly sorted into groups for sale and some are kept to grow them on for future breeding. Only a small percentage of the koi at this stage are culled and only if they have lost there colour or have deformities. Each month the koi are dragged from the mud ponds and are sorted into categories for sale.

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