Transporting koi will definitely be something you will have to do, whether it is locating your new koi to its new home, to take a fish to a show, or to a vet or new pond. Transportation can be stressful on fish, so you will need to know how to minimise that stress as much as possible. Stress, as with humans, can lead to unhappy and even sick koi.
You should keep the journey as short as possible, and provide enough water, aeration to the fish. You should also minimize movement or shaking of the fish during transport.
There are two methods that you can use to transport your koi, but before you catch your koi to bag then, remove any airstones and other obstructions from the pond so that you can see much more clearly. Then prepare a floating basket at the edge of the pond as a temporary ‘holding pen’ for your netted koi when you prepare the bags.
Poly Bag Method
1. Prepare poly (plastic) bags and buy the larger sized bags as they have more space for oxygen.
2. You should use the water where the fish is being caught from. This is so that they don’t have to adjust to different water.
3. Do not over fill the bag; have enough to cover the fish, leaving more room for oxygen in the top of the bag.
4. With a long-handled, large-head net, approaching a koi head-on and corner it. Very slowly and gently net the koi.
5. Transfer the koi into a floating basket located by the edge of the pond.
6. Place koi into bad either by bringing the filled double bag down to the basket or lifting the koi up to the bag.
7. Add compressed oxygen to the top portion of the bag before sealing. If you do not have sources compressed oxygen, trap air in the top part of the bag by opening the top of the poly bag up as wide as possible and then draw the top together quickly.
8. Seal the bag with elastic band
9. Place the bag in a dark box to minimise movement during the trip.
10. Get to your destination
11. Once you are at your destination, float the bags in the new pond then add water to them from the new pond.
Solid Container Method
- User plastic storage crates or fibreglass boxes with a watertight lid.
- Fill the container with water all the way to the top to minimise water movement.
- Use a oxygen bottle or battery-powered air pump and run an airline into to the water (with airstone on the end)
When in your car/truck:
• Arrange the bag or container so that the koi is parallel to axles of the car. This is to minimize accidental head-on bumping into the bag or container when you brake and accelerate.
• Layer a piece of foam to minimize vibration, then place the bag or container on it
• Plan for the quickest route with the least speedbumps and roundabouts if possible and have enough fuel for a return journey.
• Drive as slowly and smoothly
• Have spare batteries on hand if you are using a battery powered airpump.