How to care for Koi

Selecting Koi Fish

Choosing your first koi fish is a fun experience, however, you must take great care in the planning involved in transporting your new koi to your pond safely. You should have a quarantine facility in place in your new pond just in case the new koi has any disease that could pass on to other koi already in the pond. Here we will discuss some safety precautions and what to look for when purchasing koi.

Whenever possible it is best to select to koi you want yourself, koi can be purchased from many places such as koi farms, garden centres, pet shops and individual breeders. Some o the larger facilities that breed koi will only sell the fish wholesale to other suppliers, the larger the selection of koi the more variety you will have to chose from. Always talk to the breeder or the member of staff who are selling you the fish, if they personally cannot answer questions ask to speak to someone who can.

You will want to discover the answers to the kois' genealogy, disease resistance, feeding habits and their characteristics. Ensure that you have all the details about the fish and how their pond has been maintained in the past, if you cannot get answers for these questions then perhaps you have come to the wrong place to buy koi. If you do not have any breeders nearby you that you can personally visit make sure you ask you questions over the phone and try to speak to the breeder directly. Inquire about the history of the koi and how they plan to transport them to you, always get a firm arrival date as you need to be on hand when the koi arrives.

Many people purchase koi from local garden centres or pet stores, sometimes the selection you can chose from at these places can be small and unvaried but it can also be convenient for you to be able to go and view the koi yourself. There are many individual breeders who regularly breed koi, they usually have too many koi to handle come breeding time so are always looking for buyers, you can find out about these breeders by getting in touch with local koi clubs and associations. These associations can offer a wealth of information about koi care and pond maintenance to many koi enthusiasts.

When evaluating koi you should take great care in examining each fish, ensuring there are no signs of damage. Keep an eye out for fungus, nodules, lesions and any swelling on the body. Watch how the fish breathe, you want to see a regular pattern of breathing, the fish should not be scratching along the bottom of the tank.

Ask the breeder or member of staff about the quality of the water they have been kept in, include hardness, temperature and pH reading. Ask what foods they have been fed and the frequency and quantity of the feeding. Enquire whether the fish was bred here or imported and the age of the fish in question. Have the fish been in quarantine and treated for any disease in their lifetime, this is important as a lot of fish that are imported are known to carry a disease, the most common are protozoan and flukes in imported fish. If the koi have previously been treated for a disease ask if the disease was identified prior to the treatment, ask about the chemicals, duration and dosage used in the treatment.

It is always recommended that you quarantine the new fish as a precautionary measure, no matter what has happened before it was acquired and placed with other fish.

Different Koi VarietiesContinue Reading: Koi Varieties

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