Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Best Time to Buy Koi

Even though for many koi owners, in the west especially, their thoughts are turning to preparations for winter and less time spent by the pond, actually autumn is one of the best times to buy koi. Currently most of the koi dealers have end of season sales on and some real bargains can be found. As well as a reason for the dealers to boost their sales they help to clear some of their koi ponds to give them more room for the new stocks coming in later this year and next spring.

There is much anticipation and excitement amongst the breeders, dealers and koi fans about the autumn koi harvests in Japan that are due to start in October. If you want to be there many of the breeders and dealers have put together packages for buying trips as most of the dealers will be there selecting their koi. You will have to be quick as these trips have become very popular if you can afford to, as the autumn harvest is the most magical time on the koi calender.

A good reason to buy koi now is because all the koi will have been through the quarantine procedures (or should have) and should have settled down well. You may have seen the koi before on several occasions when visiting your dealer and so you can get a better idea of its health and character. Watching a koi feed is one good indication of whether a koi is going to grow big and a health koi should always be hungry.

Obviously the risk is that some of the best koi will have already sold but most dealers hold some good ones back to spread throughout the season,and often have regular smaller shipments. There will be some koi that are harder to sell but this should be reflected in the price. Never feel pressured into buying koi and if you are not 100% happy then walk away as there are plenty more fish in the sea; or should that be pond? As well as sales many dealers and clubs have auctions this time of the year which are popular and can be a very good way to get a bargain as long as you stick within your budget. I would say that you should definitely view the koi you are interested in before the bidding and try to find out everything you can about its history. Some of the koi breeders also have auctions this time of year, with the Sakai farm harvest auction on 3rd-4th of October one of the favorites and eagerly awaited but sadly invitation only.

Where ever you buy koi from the same rules apply regarding quarantining them yourself. As the water temperatures decline so quarantining the new koi is also helpful to adjust the koi to your ponds temperature not just for the health reasons. Many dealers ponds are indoors in the UK and often heated to much high levels than outdoor ponds. A newly bought koi that's been feeding heavily in a warm indoor pond is not going to take too kindly to being thrown into an outdoor pond if it's icy. If the temperatures are very low and you don't heat your pond then it's best to wait to next spring before adding anymore koi. It's common sense really.



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