Buying Koi

Anyone who wants to purchase a koi for their pond or watergarden should do a little homework.

Everyone buys koi for different reasons.

  • The koi kichi who plans to show koi competitively will purchase the highest quality Japanese koi they can afford from a reputable koi dealer.
  • The koi kichi who doesn’t plan to show koi but wants high quality Japanese koi will also purchase from a reputable koi dealer.
  • The water gardener who wants koi that reflect the amount of pondwork completed, quality plants, and design aesthetic will purchase better to high quality Japanese koi from a reputable koi dealer.
  • The owner of a water feature, who has not done their homework, might buy koi from lower cost sources such as Petsmart, local garden supply store, craigslist, or eBay.

 So what’s wrong with cheap koi? Nothing if you love your koi. The Charlotte Koi Club mission is to support all types of koi hobbyists. Included in our mission is to provide education about koi so that you understand the difference between show quality and pond grade koi. Understanding quality will make you a better shopper and help you purchase koi that fits your lifestyle and wallet.

Where do I find a reputable koi dealer?  We recommend you look in our Pond Supplies page for recommendations. If you are curious about how to purchase koi online, ask one of our experienced club members. Better koi can also be purchased at koi events such as a koi show or activity sponsored by a local Charlotte Koi Club member.


No matter where you get koi from — quarantining is always recommended.

The process of quarantining minimizes the possibility of introducing pathogens into your pond or water garden.

How to Quarantine Your New Koi Purchase

(reprinted courtesy of Bristol Koi Farm, )

  • Please have a quarantine tank setup with proper filtration and aeration.
  • We recommend that koi keepers add salt, 3 lbs per 100 gallon, for koi arrival and quarantine your koi for 3-4 weeks before introducing your new koi to your pond.
  • Acclimate the koi to the new water temperature for 30 minutes by floating the bag on top of the pond. Before releasing your koi, add some of your pond water to the koi bag for two to three minutes introducing your pond water slowly to the koi.  Then release your koi by hand and discard the bag and water. Never mix the water from the bag with your pond water.
  • Water changes should be tested daily for parameter checks of zero ammonia and nitrates.
  • Customers should not feed their koi upon arrival for at least one week. Koi should be given lighter portions when feeding begins.