If you want Jumbo koi in your pond, domestically bred koi are your choice. Our pond has both domestic as well as imported Koi. In the same pond, under same conditions, our domestic Koi have grown to be 8-14” in the first year and to 16”-26” in length in the second year while our imported Koi (Japanese) have grown only 6-10” in the first year and are 12-16” long in the second year.

Some people love torpedo-shaped koi, others love rounded. No matter what you like, do not buy koi that look like carrots. The carrot shape is caused by starvation due to fluke or parasite infestation or from chronic bacterial infection. The sick, malnourished koi have big head, skinny body. Healthy koi have torpedo shape.

          11inkinkimatsuba        13intanchokohaku1

The koi on the left has carrot shape and looks malnourished. It came loaded with flukes. The fluke problem had affected its growth. it took nearly a year to make it fluke-free. The koi on the right is how a healthy Koi should look.

Some koi recover quickly and start growing but only after you spend hundreds of dollars on treatments. The koi below was a 21 inch malnourished koi that grew up with 1000 koi siblings in a 10,000 gallon pond eating ONLY oatmeal. On the left is the picture taken when it came to us. We treated it for flukes and parasites, fed nutritious pellets and put it in a pond that had plenty of zoo-plankton. The picture on the right was taken just after 2 months! See how rounded and healthy it looks.

 21inkumonryu         kajalfat2

When possible, find out when they were born. An 8” koi sold in summer 2012 could be only 6 months old (born in December 2012 in the south) or 2 years old (born 2 years ago in July 2010). The latter has less chance of becoming a jumbo koi. It could be a weakling genetically (born in the first spawn of a new mother or from a weak egg) or it is a shy koi that wouldn't come up to eat.

Make sure the koi you buy does NOT carry Koi Herpes Virus (KHV) or Spring Viremea Virus (SVC). A single koi that carries these viruses can wipe out all of your Koi. The koi that are infected with KHV can be saved by heat treatment. But survivors are known to carry the virus in a dormant state. No research has been done to check whether the carrier can infect other Koi because most infected koi are destroyed for economic reasons.

Typically, Koi dealers do not know age or health conditions of their koi. While buying, do not rush to buy a new shipment. The koi go on sale on the day they arrive. But you must allow  the koi to recover in the dealer's pond for a week or two so that the dealer will deal with most of the problems. Almost all koi that are bagged will have parasites/flukes because of the enormous stress of transportation. You MUST treat them for flukes, parasites and possibly for bacterial infections, quarantine them for 3 weeks at 72*F-75*F. Read the section on quarantine procedure for more information.

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