Spring has finally sprung and pond fish the length and breadth of the country are thinking about spawning. The carp in PFK's lake are even at it right now.
So what is the silly green fuzz seen here modelled by the PFK editorial team? They're spawning brushes, Koi spawning brushes to be more precise and they're available to all UK aquatic businesses via Dutch wholesaler Aquadistri (who are really into their Koi.)
Simply put, the job of a spawning brush is to catch eggs, and spawning brushes are at least this size (120x14cm in this case,) or larger, because Koi are large fish which scatter thousands of adhesive eggs.
Leave koi, goldfish or other pondfish and they'll just spawn all over the pond, usually in the warm shallows, in some aquatic plants or marginal plant roots, but if you want a good chance of raising what could be some valuable progeny then you use these things - brushes.
The Koi Pro spawning brushes come two to a box, or some retailers may sell them singly. You tie them pool-side so that they don't float off, and you basically arrange them so that the female fish can be driven into and over them by the male fish, then gently squeezed against them, releasing eggs and sperm.
The beauty of the Koi brush over live plants and roots however is that they are sterile, so less chance of eggs getting infected or of them harbouring any egg predating insect larvae. Even better though is that you can then remove the brushes and hatch the eggs/fry elsewhere, out of the pond, where you can control conditions and monitor development.
And when the whole process is over you can clean them, dry them off and use them again in the future.
Their uses don't stop there however, as you could use them to aid egg capture for egg scattering aquarium fish species or as fry refuges.
PFK visited Xiphophorus expert Dave Macallister some years ago and he used them in all his livebearer tanks to protect and provide refuge for newly born livebearer fry in the main tank.
So if you want a project this Spring/summer get yourself a Koi Pro spawning brush, put it in with your fish and have a go!