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Just How Much Are Koi Fish?

Just How Much Are Koi Fish?

Koi fish are known to grace the interiors of fancy restaurants, elaborate businesses, and beautifully landscaped backyards. The aesthetically pleasing fish are usually paired with equally attractive surroundings. As koi ownership and interest picks up, more and more people are wondering whether they can afford to raise them, to purchase equipment, and to afford upkeep. So, we’re doing the math to figure out – just how much are koi fish?

The beauty of koi fish comes at a price.

The beauty of koi fish comes at a price.

THE KOI

Koi are a serious fish. They’re not like a goldfish you win at the carnival in a bag of water, though the goldfish is a cousin of the koi. Koi are a long-living and high maintenance fish that will require a lot out of you mentally, physically, and financially.

The koi fish itself varies in price. In the TV series, The Office, Michael Scott falls into a koi pond built into the floor of a business' lobby. In his flop, he crushes a koi fish and has to pay to replace it – a surprising $300! While that may seem like a lot for one fish, some breeders will pay an astronomical  $20,000 for a highly prized adult koi. Younger koi around four inches can sell for $10 or less for less serious koi owners.

 But pricing varies everywhere. Whether you purchase your koi fish from a breeder or a pet supply store, the variety of koi fish, the size of the fish, and the lineage can all affect pricing. How much you’re willing to pay to stock your koi pond is up to you! But koi are only a small fraction of the expenses. 

 

Unbelievably, some breeders would pay $20,000 for a highly sought after adult koi.

Unbelievably, some breeders would pay $20,000 for a highly sought after adult koi.

THE POND

Like the fish, a koi pond can vary in price too. If you have ample space inside, an indoor pond is the less expensive option for you because of what you’ll save on utilities, especially in a colder climate that may require winter heating. Indoor ponds also tend to be of smaller size.

For a traditional outdoor koi pond there are many costs involved. For an in-ground pond, you’ll need a permit to dig. You’ll also need the equipment to dig, which is expensive to rent at $300 per day. If you don’t have a fenced-in yard, you’ll need a permit and the money to build that too. Costs also vary in the construction of the pond. A permanent cement pond is much more expensive than a plastic liner that will need replacement over the long-term. DIY for koi ponds is always an option for those trying to keep costs down. Koi pond kits make construction easier and are available at home improvement retailers and online.

 

Koi ponds vary in price depending on how elaborately it is designed.

Koi ponds vary in price depending on how elaborately it is designed.

EQUIPMENT AND UPKEEP

Besides the pond itself, there are many equipment items you’ll need to purchase as well. A pond will require multiple pumps, a filter, a heater, and UV sterilizer, amongst other equipment. Each of these required equipment items runs between $300-500, though a higher-quality filter can cost over $1,000. Because koi produce a lot of waste, you don’t want to skimp on a filter.

Upkeep comes at a cost as well. Feeding your koi fish is very inexpensive at about $5 per month. Miscellaneous items such as water testing kits cost around $50 each month. Medicinal costs to treat sickness, fungus, and parasites will be unpredictable but likely as well.

Do not underestimate how much electricity will cost with maintaining a koi pond. Northern climates with harsh winters will see electric bills increase a few hundred dollars all winter for heating their ponds. And because electricity is nothing to mess with, you’ll have to hire an electrician to set it up or save the day when things go wrong.

 

So how much are koi fish? With all the expenses added up the answer's clear: a lot! Do you have methods, tips, or ideas on how to save when beginning your venture into koi ownership? Share them with us - leave a comment or write to us via the contact form!

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