New Koi


You have just purchased a beautiful koi that will bring you much enjoyment.

Transporting your Koi. Your koi has been placed in a special plastic bag filled with water and pure Oxygen and sealed with a rubber band. Your koi will be comfortable in this environment for up to two hours, as long as the temperature of the water remains between 65 to 75 degrees.

Travel Home

After purchase, place the bag with your new koi in a cool, dark place in your car. If you have a cardboard box or a plastic tote, place the bag in that and then put it on the floor in the back seat, out of direct sunlight. If no dark place is available, use a towel, blanket, or newspaper to cover the bag so sunlight cannot shine directly on the bag. Make sure the bag is safe from sharp objects that may pierce through the plastic. Do not leave the koi in the sun or in a hot automobile.

Acclimating your Koi

Once home, float the bag in your quarantine tank, pond or aquarium for around 30 minutes, so that the water temperature in the bag adjusts to the temperature of your pond or aquarium. Do not remove the rubber band. Again, make sure that the bag is not in direct sunlight.

Transferring your Koi

After the water temperatures are equalized, remove the rubber band and pour the fish and the water into a clean plastic pan or bucket. Gently scoop up the fish in your hands and place the fish in your pond or tank. Or, if you wish, just reach into the bag and scoop up the fish and place into its new home. Avoid transferring water from the bag, bucket or pan into the pond; instead, empty it down a drain.

We encourage koi keepers to keep their new koi in a separate tank for a month or so, for observation. See Quarantine article. Some also like to keep little koi indoors for their first winter. Others put them directly into outside ponds (see transferring your koi, above).

Feeding your Koi

Koi acclimate to new environments fairly quickly. However, your koi may hide out or not eat for a few days. This is normal. By the end of the week, your fish should be eating well along with your other fish. In the fall, many koi keepers are feeding a wheat germ based koi food or a multi-season food. Remember, once the water temperature falls below 50 degrees F., do not feed again until spring, when the water temperature stays above 50 degrees F. for a solid week and will continue to do so.

Learning about Koi

Many good books are available for the hobbyist. A helpful first book is The Koi Encyclopedia or ABC’s of Ponds. Also, consider joining a koi club, like the Washington Koi & Water Garden Society, to become more informed about ponds and koi. For more opportunities to see koi and learn about them, visit one of the area’s koi dealers.