Buying Your First Koi
If you’re out to buy yourself a Koi for the first time, you might feel a little intimidated; and you probably should! Owning and raising Koi is a very large and considerably diverse field with many, many options for a beginner. You could spend a couple of hundred dollars for a new fish or thousands for just one. Let’s take a moment to discuss a few points of interest on buy Koi, and provide some tips on how you can avoid overpaying for your first fish.
Try Dealing Locally
This can’t be stressed enough when it comes to buying Koi. There are many variables when dealing online or a through a seller directory when it comes to buying live animals that can lead you to a bad deal. There are many stories of buyers travelling long distances to purchase Koi, only to find something different than what was advertised. Also, some of the larger Koi dealers spend great amounts of money on advertising and sales promotion; avoid paying for this by doing the research yourself. And in the case of ill merchandise, or any other problems, it is always much easier to arbitrate a solution with a local dealer than you have met in person.
Purchase Koi Young
As a general rule, the older and more developed a Koi is, the more it will cost. The only exception is a fish that has matured to full adulthood and is now descending toward old age. This is because of the heavy time investment and diligence required to raise a Koi to adulthood. Adult Koi are also capable of breeding and thus creating more Koi. It will always cost more to “purchase the goose that lays the golden eggs.” Given the high value of these animals, a breeding Koi will be more expensive and even harder to find.
Make Sure the Koi is Healthy
Despite their size and hardy appearance, Koi are very delicate animals. They have very specific conditions in which they thrive, and often can become ill with only a small amount of neglect. Like humans, not every affliction the Koi can carry is immediately visible by the eye; however, there are several things that a prospective Koi owner can watch out for. Physical damage to the fish is the most obvious warning sign. If the animal seems to have suffered trauma, it may have been psychology damaged as well. Animals with uneven or damaged scales might be trouble-makers, causing problems with other fish in the community on a regular basis. Also have a good look at the fins, and underside if you get a chance. It should be pretty obvious when something is wrong. If the fish is oozing any bodily fluids, it has likely been damaged recently. Study the fish for abnormal behaviors.
Inspect the Seller’s Facility
It would be prudent to request a visit to the seller’s raising facilities instead of simply viewing the Koi inside a display tank. You should be concerned and have reservations is the facility is not clean, or has an abnormally foul odor. Take note of how many Koi the seller keeps in one enclosure. Too many is a very bad sign. If you can’t visit the facility, try asking for pictures, or at least asking the deal about his Koi raising practice. You want to be sure the Koi you plan to purchase are a good investment and will not end up wasting your valuable money. No one likes to waste money – especially on something that you can’t get your money back for!
Check for Overbreeding
Overbreeding is what occurs when a Koi breeder mates his fish with other fish that are closely related to it. This can lead to several problems, including unattractive animals. The most obvious sign of this is the appearance of the Koi itself. All Koi should have well-defined patches of color. Colors should not appear scrambled or blend each other.