If you are thinking about adding Koi fish to your pond for the first time, here are few tips to ensure they make it to their new home safely.
Upon finding a reputable dealer who has a good selection, take some time to study the livestock and choose wisely:
- The fish should have bright color and its fins should be outstretched. If the fins are folded back, it's not a happy camper and needs treatment.
- The eyes should be clear. Look for any bumps or bruises. Its movement should be smooth and fluid, not jerky.
- Once you've found your new addition, ask the dealer to "bag" it. The store will place the fish in a clear bag with just enough water to cover the fish. Air is more important here, and in some cases they will inject oxygen. Let them know if you have a long ride or if you are by yourself; they can supply you with a box to keep it stable.
- Don't carry the bag on your lap, as that adds heat and raises the temperature of the water. If it's a long, hot ride, the retailer may also supply some ice.
- Upon arriving home, remove the bag from the car and float it on the pond. The temperature of the water in the bag will gradually equalize with the pond in about 15 to 30 minutes.
- Test the water with your hand every so often, and when the temperatures seem relatively the same, release the fish into the pond.
In most cases, the fish will immediately hide somewhere, and will do so for up to several days. Don't be alarmed if you come out a few days later and your new pet is nowhere to be found. One Koi that I added to my pond disappeared for a week; however, it eventually got hungry and decided to join the rest of the gang at feeding time.
Enjoy your Koi!