This is a most important chapter and koi keepers should note the contents.


Quick Info

Incorrect Handling Procedures

Lifting the koi out of the pond in the net will result in and body damage.

Chasing koi around the pond to catch them will result in muscle exhaustion and prolonged recovery time.

Dropping koi into bucket or basin. Dropping slippery, wriggling koi onto ground.

Holding or squeezing koi tightly when lifting them.


Correct Hanndling Procedures

The method used to catch the koi in the pond is of importance. In large ponds we should use some type of drag net to isolate the koi and bring them towards one side. In the small area created by the drag net the particular koi can then be caught with a koi net.

A large round koi net is used to gently catch the koi. Work the net under the fish then gently and slowly (if possible) raise the net under the fish. The fish is then guided within the net towards the edge. Keep it under water.

The koi can be treated in the net at the edge of the pond or it can be lifted out of the pond in a sock net or plastic bag.

Never lift a koi out of the pond with the catching net. This will damage the fins and  scrape the protective mucus off the fish.


Facts You Must Know

Koi Nets

A sock net is a unique and clever net for catching and lifting koi out of ponds and basins. The net is made of soft material, is long like a large sock and has a short handle. The unique feature is the net is open at both sides. The koi is guided into the net through the metal ring side. The fish is literally scooped up by holding the open side closed with one hand and the handle in the other hand. The water falls through the netting and only the fish remains in the wet net making it easier to handle larger koi.

This lightens the load. The few seconds the fish is inside the sock net is not stressful. The koi is then placed into the basin or bowl for treatment. The "open" side of the net is released and the koi swim out in the same direction that it entered the net.

Courtesy - Ultrazap

A very clever and useful modification is to make a small hole in the sock net about half way down. The koi is caught in the normal manner but when placed into the bowl the sock net is left over the fish. The eyes are covered and the koi settles down. The hole can be maneuvered over the area to be treated whilst the fish is calm. The net will be a gentle restriction on the fish so it cannot jump whilst you are treating it.

When the treatment is finished the same procedure with the sock net is used to return the fish to the pond.


Transporting Koi

There are large plastic bags that are used to move koi.

Once the fish is netted and brought gently to the edge of the pond the plastic bag can be slipped over the fish whilst it is still in the net. The fish will move from the confines of the net into the bag with the least trouble and stress.

It is always advisable to double bag koi. A single bag can puncture easily.

It is important to place just enough water to cover the backs of the koi and then add pure oxygen to fill the bag. This is critical when moving koi.

With larger koi make sure there is enough water in the bags to lift the koi off the ground i.e. suspended in water.

Support the bags during transport in a box or a container so the whole bag does not roll around in the motion of the vehicle.


A Word of Caution

Be careful when moving koi at low temperatures. Below 12°C the koi's immune system is very suppressed. Lower temperatures slow the metabolism to the extent that very little food, if any, is required and the body's ability fight infection has been greatly reduced. The metabolism is very slow therefore koi react far more slowly to changes and infections.

Therefore, if koi are placed into ponds at these low temperatures their chances of surviving a possible infection is greatly reduced.