Koi Handling Tips for Beginners

Earth Works offers these koi handling tips for beginners interested in protecting the health of one of the most popular fish available for ponds and water gardens.

Introduction: What is a Koi Fish?

Koi fish are a type of ornamental carp bred primarily for their colors, patterns, size, shape, and, most importantly, their friendly nature. They have been selectively bred over centuries, first in China and then most significantly in Japan. Koi are also known in Japan as Nishikigoi, “living jewels”. Grand Champion koi at the annual All Japan Koi Show are valued at more than a million dollars. Worldwide koi fish are mostly kept for decorative purposes in outdoor ponds or water gardens growing up to four feet long in optimum growing conditions. The oldest known koi, Hanako, was hatched in 1751 and died in 1977, making her a whopping 226 years old! Learn more about Hanako

Improper koi handling can result in koi stress, injury, or death.

Large Koi Handling Tips Step by Step

If you don’t have specialized equipment such as sock nets to evenly support the weight of large koi, consider these tips to protect your koi from injury. 

-Remove all jewelry that might scratch or otherwise injure the fish before attempting to pick up and carry.  

-Wash your hands and wet with dechlorinated water or the water the koi are being removed from before touching the koi to protect their slime coat.

-Net fish when possible to reduce thrashing that can cause physical damage and increase fish stress that invites infections. Avoid rapid or erratic movements with the net to keep the koi calm and reduce the chance of jumping.

-When lifting large koi support their underbelly to avoid internal organ damage, especially in the case of large round-bellied females (large males have elongated torpedo-shaped).

-After safely moving the koi, you can supplement aeration to increase oxygen saturation in their holding tank or a new location to assist in calming the fish and reducing stress. There are also products like ‘Stress Coat’ that condition the water helping koi more rapidly replace any lost slime coat and heal wounds. 

Visit the Earth Works Garden Center that stocks koi, goldfish, plecostomus, and supplies for all your koi, pond, and water garden needs.

For comprehensive solutions to your specific lawn, garden, and landscaping need, contact Earth Works of Jacksonville online and at 904-996-0712. 

Earth Works operates a retail Garden Center/Plant Nursery in Jacksonville and provides landscaping, hardscaping, water features, lawn care service, lawn spraying, and drainage solutions. 

Earth Works proudly serves clients in Northeast Florida, including Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra Beach, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Nocatee, St. Johns, Fleming Island, Orange Park, Middleburg, Green Cove Springs, Amelia Island, Fernandina, and St. Augustine.

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