Raising Koi As a Hobby and for Profit
Sat, April 17, 2021

Raising Koi As a Hobby and for Profit


Have you ever wanted to build your own koi pond? If well-designed, it can make your backyard more beautiful and tranquil, said Pet Coach, whose objective is to offer the best care and attention to your pet. Seeing koi of various sizes and colors evoke a sense of serenity and beauty, making koi raising a special hobby.

Koi are handy and easy to raise animals. However, you would need to plan their pond environment before raising a couple of them. You might be excited to acquire a few koi, but first, you need to construct a pond that would ensure their health and longevity.  

Exotic Fish and Waterweeds Survey: Key Findings (2018)

Brooke Hartigan of New Zealand’s local government Northland Regional Council said a mail survey in June/July 2018 was conducted to learn about the distribution of four invasive water weeds and exotic fish. According to the respondents, the lakes were commonly used for duck hunting (42.75%) and pumps, hoses, and tanks (41.30).

Other uses included kayaks, canoes, dinghies (25.36%), eel fishers (24.64%), stock access (18.84%), diggers/other machinery (13.04%), power boats (2.90%), and freshwater anglers (1.45%). Weeds were found when duck hunters used the lake (24.24%), followed by kayaks/small boats (24.24%), pumps/hoses/tanks (18.18%), eel fishers (12.12%), stock access (9.09%), and machinery (6.06%).

Exotic fish were recorded when kayaks/small boats (54.55%) were found to be the common use of lakes along with duck hunters (45.45%), eel fishers (36.36%), machinery (33.33%), pumps/hoses/tanks (33.33%), and stock access (24.24%). 2% said Hornwort was present in their waterbodies (versus 65% unsure and 27% no) while 2% said Egeria was found in their waterbodies (versus 62% unsure and 26% no). The respondents also found Elodea (2% yes, 29% no, and 64% unsure) and Lagarosiphon (3%, 25%, and 67%).

Among the exotic fish the respondents found were Gambusia (10% yes, 29% no, and 53% unsure), Koi carp (1%, 10%, 82%), and Grass carp (3%, 11%, and 79%).  Other exotic fish documented by the report were tench (1%, 12%, 83%), Rudd (5%, 11%, and 79%), Perch (1% 12% and 82%), goldfish (3%, 13%, and 79%), and brown bullhead catfish (0%, 13%, 81%). No participants documented the presence of Orfe.

A total of 372 lakes, ponds, or dams larger than half a hectare were chosen for the study, excluding around 100 lakes which NRC and NIWA ecologically monitored. The NRC and NIWA monitored the lakes on a five to 10 yearly rotational basis, which is also known for its good biological data. 141 responses were received from 121 individual landowners and covered 143 waterbodies.



Basics of Taking Care of Koi

1.     Water

Koi can grow to eight inches in the first 12 months and 12 to 16 inches by the end of their second year. If they grow in the right pond size, temperature, water quality, and fed, they can grow to a whopping 36 inches and weight more than 54 pounds. However, most household or corporate bonds seldom grow that big due to size limitations. It is more common to see koi that 21 inches in length.

To set up your pond, you need at least 1,000 gallons of water and a smooth gravel substrate, rocks, and hearty plants. Your pond should be at least three to four feet deep. Before purchasing koi, be sure to consider their size at full growth and not on their size at the time of purchase. Quality, well-oxygenated water is needed to help your koi thrive. Having a waterfall or fountain on your pond is a good start. You will also need a substantial mechanical and biological filtration to maintain proper water conditions. Ideally, your pond should have a bottom drain to aid in water changes and waste removal.

2.     Feeding

Diet affects the appearance and health of your koi. Therefore, it is recommended to purchase quality pellet or flake food. Try to include a balanced diet of wheat germ, fruits, protein, vegetables, plankton, shrimp, and color enhancing foods.

You can also find color-enhancing foods containing ingredients like carotene and spirulina to bring out your koi’s brilliance. Overfeeding will not help them grow quickly, but it will lead to an overload of nutrients. This will cause an overgrowth of algae in the pond and poor water quality.

Koi feed on certain algae to enhance their color. Keep algae populations at acceptable levels to ensure that your koi have something to feed on. Koi can also control mosquito by consuming their larvae, minimizing your need to use pesticides.  

3.     Protection

Their color and size make koi an easy prey for natural predators like large birds and mammals. You can set up a motion detector that sprays water for three seconds to ward off predators. If large predators like raccoons and bears are a threat to your koi, it may be advisable to install electric fencing to keep them away.    



Raising Koi for Profit

Feeding your koi will be the most expensive part of your business, cautioned Nancy Wagner of Chron, a website that helps readers how to operate and grow a business. Don’t skimp on the food because a healthy, growing koi will help drive profit. You will able to reduce your expenses at the water temperature drops during colder months.

You can sell your koi at wholesale prices to dealers. The dealers mark up the prices and sell your koi at retail prices to hobbyists and individuals who want one for their ornamental pool. Another alternative is to sell the fish at retail prices to customers who want them for their ponds. It is possible to have the koi shipped, allowing you to sell them on e-commerce websites. However, you must provide enough oxygen in the water. Be sure to have the fish shipped overnight.

Prices are determined by the body shape, skin quality, and color and pattern of each koi. Prices are based on show-judging standards, ranging from $15 to $5,000 for the highest quality koi, said Joseph Zuritsky via CNN Money, a business website, cited Wagner. If you sell show-quality koi, you can sell them at a higher price than younger or smaller koi.


Raising koi can be a fun hobby for owners and enthusiasts. They can also sell their koi at high prices depending on the fish’s health, color and pattern, body shape, and skin quality. Owners should be prepared to maintain the health of their koi if they want to venture into this business.