The Koi fish is sought after for it’s beauty and friendliness. With very little training they can be hand fed.The Koi is a hearty fish, which by nature is a survivor.
Raising Koi fish is a very relaxing hobby and involves more than just the fish. The pond, plants, other animals in the pond and the fish leave room for your interest to grow into all of these areas and help keep you occupied.
There are two lines of reasoning when it comes to the pond. The first is that you want to see the fish, which is understandable, since you will be putting so much time and effort into raising them. The second is the health of the Koi themselves. The way to keep Koi healthy is to keep the pond healthy.
Koi do best in what are called “mud ponds”, they inhabit fairly still mud bottom bodies of water naturally. They do enjoy plant life and use it to provide shade and food. The plants are a plus for your pond because they will help clarify the water and provide oxygen to the pond. Koi raised in mud ponds will develop richer,brighter colors and grow larger than those raised in clear artificial ponds. Koi are bottom feeders and root through loose silt in search of food.
The common Koi pond you see are clear ponds which allow perfect viewing of the fish, but over time they will lose some of their vibrancy and slow their growth to a degree. When making a clear pond for your Koi you have to make sure the filtration is adequate and the water stays oxygenated. The cost is greater for a clear pond mainly due to all of the equipment.
A well balanced mud pond is healthier for the fish and cheaper for you. A nice clear pond is more expensive for you, but also more satisfying. A few of the people who know more about these things than me suggests cycling your Koi from a mud pond to a clear viewing pond for the best of both worlds.
The Koi has a rich mythology based upon it. It’s said that Koi make a perilous trip up a river every 1000 years and of the thousands that make the trip only the strongest, bravest and most persistent Koi makes it to the end. That single Koi is then transformed into a dragon. This story of perseverance has inspired the Koi fish tattoos that are a common subject of the Japanese style of tattoo.
Koi are definitely persistent. A Koi can live up to 200 hundred years under the proper conditions, but they have an average lifespan of around 25 years.
Koi themselves can be very expensive. Koi.com has a retail section here you can check out to see what I’m talking about, but a quick search on eBay reveals a variety of Koi for a variety of prices. A 5″ to 6″ Koi runs about $30.00. If you are feeling particularly thrifty or maybe have a better understanding of raising Koi you can opt to buy a lot of smaller fish, for example I see an auction here for 250 1″-3″ fish going for $152.50. Raise them to 6″ and sell them back on ebay and you can make approximately $29.00 per fish. You shouldn’t raise koi as a get rich scheme though, do it because you enjoy it.
Raising Koi can be a very rewarding hobby and can give you a beautiful landscape to look at everyday.