Buying Koi

Tips on Buying, transporting and
quarantining your Koi..

First of All ...

1. Don't Rush Out and Buy your first Koi ...

If you are new to the Koi hobby then initially it's going to be an overwhelming task trying to decide where to buy your Koi ... with so many adverts appearing in the various Koi magazines, and with the introduction, to many new enthusiasts, it all seems quite confusing ... and it is therefore important that before you even start to buy any Koi that you visit as many of the Koi dealers in your own area as you can ... not to buy the fish there and then, but to look around the place and inspect the premises for cleanliness and smell. Yes smell - whilst we are handling fish and selling fish, there is obviously going to be a certain 'fishy' smell - but the smell I am trying to direct you to is that smell of possibly decaying fish and food which may be laid around the pungent smell of ammonia possibly coming off the water in the holding ponds.

LOOK at the quality of the water, and how the fish in each tank are behaving and never rush in and buy the first Koi that takes your eye until you are sure that everything is well with the fish and the dealers premises ... failure to observe these simply rules can result in you taking that fish home and then for it to die within a few days ...   

2. Transport 'THE RIGHT WAY'

Unless you live very close to the dealer - you will need to have the dealer pack your Koi in a suitable good quality plastic bag the size depends on size of fish for them to be able to travel safely - Make sure that the dealer then uses fresh oxygen and the bag is not full to the top with water, they need  room in the bag for plenty of oxygen to ensure that the Koi have plenty of air to breath on their journey home ....  The bag should be sealed with elastic bands to ensure that none of the water or air in the bag escapes ... If possible ask the dealer if he has a box for your Koi or take your own box with you.. this helps to prevent the bag rolling around the back of the car .... and always place the box across the vehicle where possible and not length ways in the vehicle .. this helps prevent the Koi, especially the larger specimens, from banging their noses etc. as the car accelerates or has to break suddenly .. If you have a blanket or cloth in your car - then use this to cover the box.. this helps cut out any strong sunlight etc. .. try to keep the fish as quiet and calm as possible until they arrive at home.

If you are purchasing off the Internet, then providing that dealer has a good reputation, or may have been recommended to you .. then normally I would expect that dealer to know what is required by way of packing Koi for transportation to your own premises - but it would be advisable to give that dealer a call and ask him 'How he normally packs for Road or Air Transport' - pay attention to what he says and you will soon be able to pick-up on whether that dealer knows what he is doing and whether he is experienced in shipping Koi to his customers .

3. Acclimation of your new Koi - MAKE THEM FEEL AT HOME-

When you get your fish home, never ever simply open the bag and pour the contents of the bag, water fish and all, into your pond or tank ... always float your new Koi in the bag that they are in, on the top of the water in your pond in the shade - don't forget sunlight is magnified .. this allows the temperature in the bag to acclimatise to the same as the water in the pond or tank ... For No less than 20 minutes .. longer if there is a big difference in the temperatures in the bag to that of the pond .... Once the temperatures are equal .. then it is best, if you can and if you do have a bowl large enough, to carefully remove the elastic band from the bag and then to gently, and carefully, pour the water with the Koi into the bowl .... from where the Koi should then, using a suitable handling net or Koi Sock as they are known,  transport the fish into the pond or tank .... You should always try to avoid pouring the water in the bag that you have just transported your Koi in - into the pond .. as this water may by this time have a build-up of ammonia etc. as well as fish waste ... this water should be disposed of down a drain or sewer ...


Unless you are absolutely, positively, 100% sure about the good health of your purchase, It is advisable if you have the facilities to quarantine your fish for at least 2 weeks, preferably 3 weeks in a separate container or pond with aeration and filtration.

Keep your eye on the water quality in your quarantine tank by testing the water daily for the first 5 days and then once every three days. If your fish show signs of distress i.e. flashing, inactivity, sores, parasites call the dealer you purchased the Koi from and ask for his recommendations.

Try not use nets, containers, or any other implements from your quarantine tank in your main pond, if you do, there may be a possibility that you transfer any problems that may have been present in the quarantine tank to the main pond, or tank....  

In many cases, the fish may not eat for anything up to three days after being introduced to a new home, this is normal and should not be cause for concern.