HANDLING YOUR KOI
Koi is an investment that we should protect at all costs. With that being said, we should handle them with such care. When handling koi, there are a couple of things we must take into consideration. The first is the koi's length and age. When we understand this, we will be able to hold them correctly and support their body. Koi are very delicate animals, their natural state is in the water gracefully swimming amongst the current. Koi at certain ages require different amounts of attention. For example, a tosai may be more forgiving when you handle them as they are younger and still growing. On the contrary, a yansai will need more spinal support as they are carrying more weight. Hobbyists tend to want to remove their koi often. There are a few reasons why someone should move a koi: Selling a koi, seeing an injured koi, treating a koi, cleaning a koi pond, thinning out your koi in your pond, etc. Koi keeping will require you at some point to move your koi, and we are here to help you learn how you do that safely. Many hobbyists when handling koi assume a net will provide adequate support for their koi. We strongly advise against relying only on a net. Why? Koi have a very sensitive spine that the slightest stress could stunt your koi's development or worse it will deform their spinal shape.
Koi Fine Net
Sock Net or Plastic Koi Bag
Koi Viewing Bowl
*Sanitize your Hands before handling koi
The first step when picking out the koi you need to remove, we advise that you lower the water level to a manageable depth in which you will be able to retrieve your koi. By doing so, you will be able to pinpoint the koi you need as well as reduce the stress for the others. Next, you will need to fill up your Koi viewing bowl with some of the water from the pond. This will make it easier for you when you catch your Koi, as you will have a place to put them! Once you have identified the fish that needs to be removed, use the Koi fine net to follow that fish. It is essential that you slowly chase the fish and try to corner them. You should try your best not to stress the koi out, as this process is already stressful for them. Once your desired fish is in the Koi Fine net, use the sock net to carry it out of the pond. The sock net should start out by covering your Koi's head and up the tail and making sure water is being collected for extra support. Then, lift the sock net out of the pond, but make sure you extend the net out horizontally. This will give the fish space in the sock net and it will help with the spinal support. Next, you will need to place the koi in the viewing bowl very slowly. After this is complete, sanitize your hand and place one hand under the head while placing the other under the belly. The idea is to comfort the Koi while supporting the weight it bears. When you support the koi this way, you will in turn reduce its stress tremendously. Then, tuck the koi as close as you can to your body to add another point of support, and then transfer the koi to its new location. This may be to a plastic koi bag as you are selling it or even a new koi tank/pond. All of which require this process. An alternate would be to carry the koi from the origin pond with the sock net to the new pond or bag. The viewing bowl step is usually our precaution to check the koi's overall health or deformities before it goes out to our clients. We hope these steps are helpful to your transfer of koi.
Congrats, you moved your desired koi safely!