You are interested in koi. This interest may have led you to want to get some for your very own. However, if you like koi you may have been to their shows where the best of the best are shown off to very picky judges. As well as seeing whopping price tags in the internet realm. The most expensive koi on record fetched 2.2 million. So, you might ask what’s with the koi fish cost?
We will get into why this is so and also more affordable solutions. Koi are not in everyone’s budget. Online shopping is your best friend in this regard. Some sites have koi for around $25.
Koi are usually best kept outside in a water pond feature. Not everyone can dig up a pond in their backyard. Not everyone has a backyard to dig out.
Why Are Koi Fish So Expensive?
Well, the thing is not all of them are expensive. You just see the cherry-picked high-quality Japanese born and bred Nishikigoi. These beautiful carp have all the stats. They have the perfect color pattern that doesn’t fade. It goes from a bright red to white to black with no variation on their color patches.
A high-quality six-inch koi may command $3000. A high-quality Oghon of similar size may only command around $100. It’s hard to tell the metrics that koi fish dealers use to justify their prices. I think they all have their own ideas about what justifies a quality koi carp.
The good news is that your perception you may have that all koi fish are expensive is outright false. Just look at online shops to see this yourself. You’ll see young koi that are around $50. I know that is still expensive, but not too bad.
Consider Adding Goldfish First.
If you want to you can get a few goldfish instead to start out in your garden pond. The large goldfish, not the really fancy little ones, actually mix pretty well with koi. You can get your goldfish first and add koi later if you want to.
This is a good option if the cost is a real issue and this is a real issue I know. You could just keep goldfish instead of koi too. Keeping goldfish can be expensive too depending on the extra bells and whistles you choose, but I also read an article online someone wrote that had the whole home, food, and fish set up at just $70.06. Pretty reasonable, right?
The added benefit to goldfish is they can be raised in a tank. They are attractive and you don’t have to go outside to see them. They are there to greet you in the morning and at nighttime.
Popular Online Shops
Next Day Koi- https://nextdaykoi.com/
The first online store on this list is a site that has some affordable options in butterfly koi. Small butterfly koi are around $30. They have been dealing with pond hobbyists and shipping out live koi since 2006. They have a lot of experience in koi keeping. They also rely heavily enough on UPS that they have forged out a very competitive shipping rate as well. Reviews are also available for them.
Kloubeck Koi Farm- https://www.kloubeckoi.com/
This site seems to be slightly more expensive than Next Day Koi, but the tradeoff is they seem to have koi closer to show-quality too. That’s the tradeoff for shelling out the extra dough. They also have the added advantage of being able to boast over 30 years of experience in aquaculture!
Kodama Koi Farm- https://www.kodamakoifarm.com/
There are some beautiful koi on this site. Kodama seems proud of their koi going by the price tag they command. They are an online koi auction site and the bids are pretty high. This is because koi they raise are sometimes the ones you see getting judged in the shows.
They still have more affordable options on there. I just say they are more pricey because there were the highest prices seen among these three online koi stores here. If you want to see what champion-style koi look like then this is a good website to browse.
When you click on links from this website and buy something from this website, I may receive an affiliate commission. These are my opinions and are not representative of the companies that create these products. My reviews are based on my personal own experience and research. I never recommend poor-quality products or create false reviews to make sales. It is my intention to explain products so you can make an informed decision on which ones suit your needs best. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Full Disclosure.
We all know about Amazon. You might have not known that they have live butterfly fin koi fish on there too though. Amazon is a good choice because of its reviews. If someone makes a purchase and actually gets burned by it they can leave a review. These reviews help to inform future customers and lets them know when to stay away.
I’m not particularly into the koi-show scene. I like koi for their character. The blemishes just give them more of that unique character. So, I’m not the one that would be shelling out thousands for fish. Sorry, not trying to offend the koi fans who say the skies the limit, but that’s why you wouldn’t see me buying that $100,000.
Going To Pet Shops
You got your pond set up. The liners in. There are beautiful pond lights emanating from the bottom. There is a nice pond waterfall trickling down one side of it. Now is the time for purchasing some koi for your backyard pond.
So, you go to your local pet store and there is a young guy behind the counter.
You say “ I’m here to look at koi “.
“ What” he responds.
“Koi, beautifully patterned fish, you know what those are, right?” you extort.
“Oh, you mean koi bettas? yeah, they are toward the back” he replies back.
You, being the newbie at koi-shopping, think maybe they are the same thing. You arrive at the area in the store the register guy pointed out to you. Turns out that nope, those are not koi and the employee knows as much as you do about them.
Koi are only sold in pet stores occasionally, or seasonally. So there’s no guarantee they will be available at the store down the road. If they do happen to be selling it is the very young and small variety.
Koi grow to 3 feet in length, after all. Imagine buying one of those lunkers, putting it in a tiny plastic water-filled bag, and transporting it home in your passenger seat. Not happening. So, they sell some of the smaller ones.
Petsmart has koi available, but it is available only seasonally. You want to call before you go to know if there are koi in the store in stock. I’m honestly not sure about what their season is so that’s why I suggest you call. The price is a steal though at $5.99.
The site itself has good, basic koi care information.
Petco has koi sometimes too. Unfortunately, as of this writing, they are currently out of stock and I don’t know when they will be back in store tanks. Whenever they do they have:
- Koi Grade A -Small-Sized Koi(As I mentioned, they can’t carry the huge adult variety)
- (Cyprinus carpio)
- The site has basic information on koi care
- $10.99(another reasonable choice if available)
Non-availability is one great reason to venture online instead. Koi are one click away. Experts are available to consult you on what’s best for you. The cashier in the pet store you talk to is possibly a high school kid that just knows how to operate a cash register. Pet stores may just not have a koi expert to talk to.
What Is With the Price Tag?
Let’s cover the reason for some koi being so pricey. Are they made of gold? What makes a koi fetch $100,000, where another one that looks similar land well below that price.
It’s that koi judges fault. They really do share a lot of the blame because their standards are what is used when shop owners and koi farm owners decide the prices of their stock.
Perfection is the game when determining a koi fishes value
When you do look after show-quality koi there is money and prizes on the line. Not all your pet fish will have the desirable qualities to be worthy of going through the show circuit. Show koi have to have to be perfect. You have to consider factors like:
This is the conformation part of the standards. Then there is:
- The attractive overall shape, no defects
- Perfectly proportioned fins to their body
- Intensity-really bright colors
- Purity-no deviations in the color pattern
- Borders well established. The ends of the color patches are very well established
- White areas need to be clear of speckles
- For certain breeds of koi, like Kohaku, the red coloring is highly scrutinized by judges.
- Basically just the overall cleanness to the pattern
- Head symmetry, shoulders, midsection, tail and pectoral fins are taken into consideration
- Size matters. In this game bigger is considered better
These are the factors that make one koi so much more expensive than the other. The guidelines are a little more intricate than this but it gives you an idea about what goes into establishing the value of individual koi fish.
There are some prices thrown in here for you to consider. Goldfish are a good alternative to koi if you want a pet fish that’s not as expensive. There are many factors that we went into that decide a koi value. Do you look at any of these traits to decide whether to pull the trigger on a koi purchase?
Are you a serious koi-collector or just a pond hobbyist? Really, it doesn’t matter. Next Day Koi has a little something for everyone.
When you click on links from koipondinfo.com and buy something from this website, I may receive an affiliate commission. These are my opinions and are not representative of the companies that create these products. My reviews are based on my personal own experience and research. I never recommend poor-quality products or create false reviews to make sales. It is my intention to explain products so you can make an informed decision on which ones suit your needs best. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Full Disclosure.