I had a conversation with a very well known hobbyist in another country and the conversation took an interesting turn that I think would be good to share.
Both he and I have spent a number of our adult years writing and offering advise on many aspects of dedicated koi keeping. We have even differed on subjects like koi pond depth, winter feeding and other such things. But what we have in common beyond obvious love for this ornamental fish, is that we give our information away for free! He was once called " a dangerous man " by a major dealer/dealer organizer in his country for doing this. And to this day that dealer is a a koi judge and businessman selling his information. We both chuckled about that because information is both fungible and common. Good information, accurate and vetted information, however, is not. It is a commodity of course, but not common. Therefore even though it is given freely and free- it is of significant value. And in the past when I represented an International koi organization, I promoted the idea that this was the environment to tap into that valuable information for free. A little during the construction process or a lot during a life time- your choice-- it all costs the same -- zero.

Things in the hobby change and that is probably a good thing. I would just advise the beginner and the intermediate hobbyist to know the sources of their education and consider the purpose of the lesson. It is not mutually exclusive for a dealer to also be a good stewart of unbiased information. But it is also common place for such input to have a specific financial purpose. I used to know a well known dealer that would actually get a kick out of selling a koi to enthusiastic tourist individuals that were found for a song and then sold for a fortune. Indeed some were represented as being from one breeder when they were actually purchased from another the day before. To add to the technique, customers, while hanging on every word, were brought to a breeder's facility and shown the dealer's already purchased fish! the fish were 'discovered' in the school, netted and presented to the wide eyed innocents as if the dealer had never seen the fish before! All were bowled over by the discovery! It was both funny and sad to see that from the inside.

So if you are an enthusiastic newbie or a very advanced hobbyist and a teacher of newbies, I hope you will pass along what you know with humility and honesty. It is free but it is highly valued for the person in need. JR