Most people think, higher the price, healthier the Koi. Not so. Price is usually dependent on Koi’s patterns and colors. Raising a “pond grade” Koi or a “Show-quality” Koi costs the same. Both go into the mud ponds for summer, harvested in winter and sold in spring. But the “show-quality” koi is where profit lies. This is the reason why nearly all Koi dealers want sell “Japanese Koi”, “Tategoi” etc. Of the thousands of show-quality sold a premium price, only 10 may win awards.

But is it a good investment?
The answer is “ Does Warren Buffet invest in Koi?
He will probably have a good laugh! The nagging worry about possible scale damage reducing the Koi value to zero is not worth it. There are plenty of good investments. Investing in Koi is equivalent of buying lottery tickets to become a millionaire. Lottery ticket is a better choice because there are no worries or expenditure once you buy the ticket.

So, how much to pay?
Walmart sells Koi for $5. But the Koi are small. Small koi are the worst buys.
-They do not have good immunity because immune system is yet to face its enemies and learn.
- It is hard to see if they have ulcers, cuts or fungus. If they are sick, they can hide easily and you will not know until it is too late.
-Catching them is very difficult.
- you need large numbers to make your pond attractive. Then when they grow larger, you need to find homes for them.
-In northern regions, small Koi can not survive winter starvation because they don't have enough fat. Even if they did survive, they may not grow very big because food is available only for 5 months a year.
-If a 4” Koi costs $5 and a 22” Koi costs $600, the latter is cheaper because for your 4” Koi to grow to be 22” Koi, it takes 3 years if you are lucky. You need to add your pond maintenance expenses to the $5 you paid for it. You will realize that your $5 koi is actually a $2000 Koi!

If you love baby koi and do not mind the hassles of bringing them up, then buy small Koi. But one should always look at 16+ inch Koi for easy maintenance. Large Koi communicate. If they are sick, you can see easily. Catching them is easy. No worries about Pond becoming too small.

Do not buy a “show-quality” koi if you do not participate in Koi shows. “Show-quality” koi are the Koi that judges love. You don't need a “show-Koi” unless a Koi judge lives with you. Otherwise, spend that money to buy a larger Koi that looks good to you. Seller's reliability is something to look for. No Koi seller will take your Koi back if you don't like it because you may have contaminated the Koi with parasites from your pond. Cheap Koi sellers may have fed their Koi only oatmeal and kept them in a pond with 1000 other koi. Such Koi will cost you a lot in treatment. Some hobbyists have very small ponds. Koi that grow in small ponds and aquariums do not grow big. Baby koi of such Bonsai koi do not grow big.

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