Acquiring the basic koi information and backgrounds are the key elements to select a good koi. A person should start by knowing some backgrounds of the dealer. Different dealers have different koi sources. For example, a dealer that buys koi from koi breeders in Japan most likely will have koi that are more expensive and higher quality than the a dealer that buys koi from a domestic breeder. One should first know what type of koi to buy, because different koi breeders have different specialty in breeding koi. Let’s use the name Hiroshima and Tokyo for now.
Hiroshima breeds better quality showas(black, white, red koi), and Tokyo breeds better quality koi in kohaku(red, white). This is because different breeders uses different parent koi to breed, great quality parent koi will mostly likely to produce more great quality koi than those poorer quality parent koi. The skills and experiences of the breeders will breed different quality of koi also. Once the person has acquired the basic koi information, he must carefully examine the koi.
Examining the koi is the most crucial and the hardest part, and it takes some experience and knowledge. To help examine the koi, one should apply the koi’s background information while examining. For example, if the koi’s parent are jumbos (more than 80cm), then the koi might have a chance to become a jumbo also. The age and sex of the koi are also important, male koi often cost less than the females because female koi can reproduce.
The age of the koi helps determine the future of the koi. In most cases, if a young koi (1 yr) has its color fully developed already, then it is not going to be better and better and instead the color will probably start to fade away in the future. Most people would not buy an older koi (4yrs+), because the price is high and it is mostly develop already, unless the person is a breeder or a person that wants to enter a koi show. A good color quality koi should have the following (regardless of age): very thin layer of color, a high concentration of colors, and some kind of glossy like layer over the colors, these features shows that the koi has a strong color characteristic which means the color would not fade away.
The pattern of the koi is the fun part, since all the koi have different patterns, one should choose the koi with the pattern he/she likes, but one should look for a more balanced color pattern. The quality of the koi, however, should not be considered first; a koi’s health condition should be the first priority when giving the koi a final check. For example, a person bought a very top quality koi, but two days later he/she found out that the koi were infected by parasites. There are ways to help to check the koi’s health condition. Ulcers and other unnatural scratches or spots should be obvious that the koi is in bad shape, but of course the dealer will not show the koi.
So, if a koi is swimming downward, slowly, lonely (koi usually swim together), bulge eyes, and not moving much, then there is probably something wrong with the koi. At last, the person should give the koi a final judgment whether the koi is worth to buy at the right price and gain more experiences. Not all koi are good koi, but everyone can select a good koi. By having good patients and experiences is the key, and being ambivalent is actually a positive thing to select a koi. Follow the guide above, and with some money one could become a successful koi expert at selecting koi.Bibliography: