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Buying Koi

You have decided that you want to stock your pond with koi. Knowing what to look for when koi shopping is the next step. Consider fish shopping in the same way you would when car shopping. You need to observe the fish, watch it’s movements, notice it’s color and size and most of all, make sure it’s what you’re looking for.

First of all, watch the way the fish moves. Its movements should be smooth and fluid, not jerky. Consider how it interacts with its surroundings and other fish if applicable. Check to make sure that its gill movements are slow and steady, using both gills. The gill plates of a healthy fish are close to the body. Fish with gills that are protruding and show irregular movement should be avoided.

Keep a mental checklist of deformities to be aware of such as white blooms (Ichthyobodo-parasites), raised scales, holes, cloudy eyes, fin rot, bumps on the gills or the head, to name a few. These illnesses can be treated but can get costly and lengthy in treatment time. Find a dealer that will allow you to “bowl” the fish you want to consider buying so you can examine it closer and away from other fish.

Once in a smaller container, check for redness on the body or around the fins. If it shows signs of redness that could mean it has just been imported and is stressed but could also be the starting symptoms of internal problems. Check closely for parasites at this time. Fish lice (Argulus) and anchor worms (Lernaea) show around the dorsal fin and tail area. Again, this can be treated but knowing about it before you buy is advised either way.

Once you have found the fish you wish to purchase, be sure to ask the dealer what variety you have chosen so you can have a better understanding of what to look for in the future. Dealers can indeed be very helpful but just as you wouldn’t buy a car just because the dealer wants you to, be sure to keep your personal preference a priority when shopping for your new pet koi.

Koi Fish, History Bits

Koi fish are an every changing fish, from breed to breed and with the ever changing generations, the Koi fish varies. If you are looking for the highest quality and the purest breeds of Koi, you will be happy to know that they do still exist but these pure breeds are more expensive. Most of the purest Koi fish are still found in Japan where the Koi originally was ‘found’, but in some fish breeding stations around the world, they still try very hard to keep their Koi blood lines in tact but it is difficult. Most Koi are cross bred and interbred so that the colors of the Koi and the hardiness of certain fish are ‘brought’ out for the amazing displays that are seen in the water gardens around the world.

Most all modern Koi fish keepers are happy with the lesser pure breeds of Koi because these fish keepers are looking for the colors, the habits and the hardiness of certain fish. Pedigree Koi are more difficult to raise in some areas of the world which is the main reason behind the interbreeding to begin with. While the quality of the ‘pure’ bred Koi is reduced, the quality of the overall fish that are still named Koi fish are better for fish keepers everywhere, but be sure you know what you are looking for so you don’t pay for expensive pure bred fish when you don’t live in an area that can support this need.

Pond Goldfish

There are numerous types of goldfish; some of these varieties can be raised in the water garden while others must be kept in an aquarium or a more stable controlled environment. Goldfish that cannot be kept in the water garden are most often the tropical an subtropical types of goldfish. One thing to be aware of when you are going to keep goldfish in your water garden is the other fish that are kept in the water garden as well. Some fish will eat the goldfish such as the terrapins, just as some birds will eat the small goldfish as well. The birds that often prey on the goldfish are the heron and kingfishers.

What is often found, in the varieties that are in the water garden, is that attacks by birds or other fish can cause harm to the fish that are more delicate. The delicate fish who have the fluid filled sacs below their eyes are most at danger. If you only have goldfish in your water garden, you have already eliminated the problem of other fish attacks. Rocks on the sides of the water garden, cement in the bottom of the water garden, and even statues or plants in the middle of the water garden can sometimes cause damage to the delicate fish, but you can help control this problem with salves and medications for treatment.

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