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Beginers to koi

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  • Beginers to koi

    How to by KOI
    To start on the hobby, a beginner may want to know how to buy a koi. When purchasing koi, you have your selections placed in a shallow pan so that any diseases or defects can be notice.
    Inspecting KOI
    Swimming movement, should be smooth and active. Gill plate close to body and both moving slowly and regularly. Avoid KOI with redness on skin, white spot, raised scales, cloudily eyes, fin rot, lacerations and parasites.
    The price vary according to their size, quality and condition.
    Requirement to be considered when selecting KOI are as follow :-
    1. Good body conformation
    2. Good shining skin
    3. Sharp pattern edge (Kiwa)
    4. Evenness of colour in the pattern
    5. Overall well balanced pattern.
    Pond condition and environment can change the condition of the Koi. An expensive and beautiful fish can loose its colour in six months because of poorly conditioned pond. A pond with a good system, the colour will deeped and become beautiful. The knowledge of a dealer and KOI keeper determine the future of the fish.
    Transporting KOI
    Check polubags holding KOI is sufficiently large enough to contain the KOI conformably. Ask for two bags. Bags should be oxygenated. Place KOI in a confortable and secure place while transporting KOI in car. Keep KOI away from heat.
    Once the KOI reach the destinated pond, do not release the KOI directly into the pond. Float the bag (with KOI inside) in the pond water for about an hour to equalise the temperature of water inside and outside the bag.
    Quarantine KOI
    When you arrive at home. do not place your newly purchase KOI in to main pond immediately. Instead, the KOI should go the quarantine pond where the fish will have to kept for a period of four to six weeks to ensure that the KOI is clear of any undesired disease or parasite before putting it into the main pond.
    This article is written in brief as an introduction for those who want to start on the hobby immediately. There are still a lot to be learnt on the this subject.
  • #2


    I dont think you are a 'beginner, so why the post? Perhaps you are looking for debate or argument about what you are 'telling' others to do?

    OK, so quarantining, why do it? Purchase from only 1 or perhaps 2 dealers, whom you know well and can trust. They treat the Koi and look after it for a short while after importing it and because you 'trust' them you know that they wont add any more new Koi while this is going on. Take your Koi home, and put it straight into your pond.

    I have just knocked down my purpose built quanentine system, because I killed more Koi than it did good. I found keeping a Koi in 525 gallon system instead of 10,000 very stressful for them.

    Never had and dont expect to, ever have a problem from the dealers I buy from and trust.
    Regards, Bob
    ><{{{{º> ><{{{{º> ><{{{{º>
    <º}}}}>< <º}}}}><


    • #3

      got to go with you bob only buy from 1 or 2 dealers you can trust the most important thing when buying a koi besides being healthy is that you LIKE it not that it is this breeder or might do this or that.

      rick j


      • #4

        hi bob,
        i dont think you should be looking for arguments they dont get you anywhere, it is for beginners that may be browsing the forums as alot of beginers go to garden centres etc
        i went to garden centres when i first started as i didnt know any better and i think most of us did in the beginning, regarding dealers there is allways a good few dealers where you live so you could say that theres good dealers all over the country.
        thanks for your input bob.



        • #5


          Can anly apologise if you felt I was starting an argument, but you were telling others what to do. I was just disagreeing with your statement and giving my opinion.

          What do you think about the post I made, do you feel that there is an element of 'good practice' in it?

          I was previously miss-lead by the quarenteening issue and spend many ££'s building a system. It is now no more and I am far happier with my 'selected dealer' approach.
          Regards, Bob
          ><{{{{º> ><{{{{º> ><{{{{º>
          <º}}}}>< <º}}}}><


          • #6

            Bob: You are taking a calculated risk and know enough to do so. Beginners are not in the same place. Fact is, most true beginners do not have any quarantine of any type and are not going to bother until they lose a pond of fish. I'd only recommend quarantine, but given the reality, I'd also say: If you are not going to quarantine, at least salt the pond to 0.5% to prevent an explosion of nasties while the new guy adjusts.


            • #7

              hi bob,
              regarding q-tanks ive got 2 in my garage and one has been there about 7 months and its never lost a fish and i built another about 2 month ago and thats just going through its maturing stages but only a few small fish in there and none lost in there and readings are all good just a slight nitrite reading on the new one which is exspected.
              regarding quarantine i would always quarantine even though the dealers do a good job but moving fish and taking them home can cause parasites too apear and the water would need to be similar.



              • #8

                Hi Bob,
                Something doesn't sound quite right here. You've killed more koi in your quaranteen system than it did good. (?) I don't understand this statement because our quarateen system is just slightly larger than yours and we have had fish in it for years. Did you try putting fish in your system before you had cycled the filter? Was the filter large enough to handle the system and load?
                In years past I might tend to agree with your reasoning had I not had an up and going system always ready but this is a new day in koi keeping and we have a different problem. A few of our experienced long time koi keeper friends have been personally hit by the (KHV) CNG Virus and it could have been(more of ) and was a devastating experience for them. They trusted their dealers. We don't yet know enough about this virus to say how it will play out and at this point quaranteen is your only protection. Trust me - you do not want to have a break out of this virus. ......and how do you know that you didn't have an out break and that is why your fish died? Symptoms?


                • #9

                  It is definitely less stressful for fish to put them in a big pond but if you have a problem with the fish what do you do then? I can't get a fish out of my big ponds unless one they are just about dead two I get very lucky or a I drain my pond. I like to quarantine all new fish for a few months. One of my best dealers with the most interesting fish doesn't always look after them well. Last year they had some external parasites I saw this but I bought them anyway as I knew how to treat them. It is much easier to treat an outbreak in a small amount of water than a big pond. I enjoy reading the different points of view.
                  The perfect koi is always one purchase or spawning away!


                  • #10

                    Hi all,

                    Interesting isnt it. A statement is made by Paul ( on what he feels is best), I give an opinion, based upon many years of Koi keeping, but there is no definate answer. Beginers do not have quarentine ponds - I agree - so why recomend the do have? Beginers are very confused by the Koi keeping world and we've all been there. We've all lost Koi and learnt by our experiences.

                    Koi keeping is much like everything in the world, you have 2 choices:
                    - Learn by your own experience
                    - learn from others experiences

                    The difficult part is taking the right advice from those who have 'learnt' through experience. There are lots of experiences and therefore opinions - Paul's brave to put his into words and express them; without anyone stating their opinion, this thread would have died after Paul's initial post.

                    Keep expeiencing, learning and passing on those experienes for others to make up their own opinions - we all do!
                    Regards, Bob
                    ><{{{{º> ><{{{{º> ><{{{{º>
                    <º}}}}>< <º}}}}><


                    • #11

                      So, does that mean you were just taunting us? It worked!

                      Next subject for beginners buying koi: The thousand gallon pond seems really big compared to your prior lily pond puddle, but no more than 4 koi, please. Don't argue that they are no bigger than a goldfish. Just 4. Pick them carefully and cross your fingers that nothing goes terribly out of kilter, because for 1000 gals., 4 is overstocked.


                      • #12


                        For beniners it's a very difficult concept. There are too many views/opinions and the advice given to many of them, although with the best of intensions, if often confusing to them. Often advice given means the person 'buys' something from the person giving the advice, this then having knock on effects.

                        Some Koi magazines seem to also give poor advice year after year, with these magazines aimed at those new or nearly new to Koi keeping. Wrong advice means issues encured. Those that are wiling to learn more stay with the hobby, many dont though and feel ripped off.

                        I didn't mean to have a go at Paul, it's just it is very difficult to make statements that are 100% true. They dont fit all circumsatances.

                        Many people know I keep Koi and know I have dont so for many years and they think I'm therefore an expert. What I actually know, is what I've experienced and learnt from others and therefore put together my own opinions, and my knowledge you could fit on the end of a pin.
                        I'm often asked "I'm going to build a Koi pond, what do I need?". One of the first things I try and do is put people off due to the expence involved and once some details are discussed, many then admit to just wanting a 'pond' with goldfish - but some of those koi would be nice. Those nice Koi would rip up all of their plants, dirty their water (usually because their pond will have lots of muck in it) and therefore they wont quite have the idilic pond they see in magazines. I usually advise them that there are lots of pretty goldfish, commets, shubnkins, etc in the garden centres for them to keep.
                        Those that still want to to persue the Koi route, are those that further discussions can take place with. This is where the advice bit comes into play and again the difficulties, which Paul has started this thread about, come into play.

                        Hope you dont mind me prattling on a bit, just trying to make the beginner point - it's very difficult.
                        Regards, Bob
                        ><{{{{º> ><{{{{º> ><{{{{º>
                        <º}}}}>< <º}}}}><


                        • #13

                          You raise an interesting subject: What to say to the watergardener who sees a koi at the garden center or aquarium shop or a glossy ad in a waterlily catalog. A few retailers will discourage the impulse purchase, but most will simply say, "sure, you have room for three. They're small." And, most folks with koi will not discourage the purchase. They may suggest the need to put large rocks around the lilies, or that better filtration will be needed as the fish grow, but not: "Don't! Koi do not belong in a watergarden. One or the other will eventually fail." Even if the particular koikeeper believes it will be a failure, usually there is silence on the fundamental point. Why? The newbie is so excited, it is tough to rain on their parade.

                          But, as long as the koi involved is inexpensive, what's wrong? Bet most koikeepers started the same way. Who is going to build a $5,000 pond for a fish that's a few inches long that they've never kept before? Yes, the newbie will experience disappointment; but will al;so experience that great feeling of a shiny ogon swimming under a lilypad. It may have splotches of discoloration, would never have avoided culling in Japan, and will be dead in a year if not sooner.... but the newbie will learn. And, if the learning is a process the person enjoys, and the work of pond maintenance does not seem like cleansing the Augean stables, and the pleasure in the beauty of nature is great, so what if there is wasted money along the way? I read all the advice about building the truly proper koi pond from the beginning, and I know it is good advice for a person who is hooked on koi. However, I also know that I'd never have owned a koi if the first 1.5" ogon costing maybe $1.99 had come with a swimming pool price tag! Have I wasted money over the years? In a sense, yes. But, it would have been a far greater waste to build the proper pond etc and decide 3 months later that getting gunky filter mess on one's fingers is simply too absurd to ever endure.

                          So what's wrong with new hobbyists getting recruited by folks with self-interest in doing so? Not much different than the way the world works generally. The sad part is that the koi that should have been culled, but instead gets a few months of life, then suffers a terrible death. Somebody needs to weigh the moral scales, including some measure for the teaching of the newbie. Having gone through that process myself in 1978, I am not the one to do the weighing. If I had not gone through it, I'd not be keeping koi today.

                          If only the world could be perfect and the earthworms did not die when fed to the koi.


                          • #14

                            I too was new once and made some small to large mistakes,if it were not for forums such as this and poeple who were willing to help me along inspite of my lack of knowing what I was doing, and that is a understatement I just jumped in with both feet feeling as you stated they are only gold fish/carp." How hard can this be, boy was I wrong and almost sunk! I feel for others that make mistakes as I did I felt very foolish at times.
                            My cousin even killed 5- 6 to 8 inch koi in one night. I had never seen him cry it was a first.
                            But there were many to help him and myself now I love passing on what was once give to me becuase of those that helped me and I am by NO means a PRO now, but I can care for my koi in there pond, bog, etc. that houses them, my koi In crystal clear almost perfect water. No longer do I think of them as "Gold Fish/Carp." They are my FRIENDS! i care for there water and they care for me with many hours, days, years of peace! A place were I sit to forget about a world that is running so fast, it seem to crash me into a new wall each day.

                            Those mistakes were in the past and I shake my head in disbelief and shame over some of the mistakes that were made. I will always be greatfull for those that helped me that knew nothing of what he was doing thinking, all a pond is, is a over grown aquarium with carp! How hard can that be?" and for not stateing what I know they were thinking as they answered my questionsi know shaking there heads all the time in disbelief, but in the end weve all got to start somewhere and that somewhere is at the begining with as much help and knowledge from forums, books, videos, where ever we can.

                            thanks for listining


                            • #15

                              Thanks Mike - I've saved your post to reread, since it deals with the crux of a real ethical issue (at least for me). Everyone does have to start somewhere. I'm a rank novice (after 8 years) and there aren't many good resources in my area for beginning koi keepers. Without forums like this I would still be clueless.
                              Lynne in St. Louis


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