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Showing your Koi

This article was posted on the South African Koi Industry Forum By Pieter De Villiers on 20 March 2007 and published here with his kind permission.


If your want to show your Koi, you need to transport them to the show and therefore you should take note of a few things before and during the show.


Sort your Koi and take photos of your Koi one month before the show.
Stop to feed you “Show Koi” about 10 days before the show date.
Did you book your exhibit ponds?
Did you pay the necessary fees payable to SAKKS?
Do you have enough plastic bags and rubber bands?
Do you have a net and bowl (clearly marked with your name) to be used at the show?
Do you have the two photos of each Koi? (Not smaller then A6 size)


The correct netting procedures must be learned, a proper Koi net is only shallow and purpose made for gently guiding a Koi into a container, big enough to accommodate the Koi being netted. It is not made for lifting a Koi out of the water. Anyone attempting to do this will damage the Koi. Also take care not to damage other Koi in the process of catching the one you need. It is already stressful to them.

Always try to catch your Koi by getting your net under its head as it swims towards you.
Guide it into the bowl or sock-net held by another person, with a minimum of actual contact between the net and the Koi. Once the Koi is in the bowl, a polythene bag can easily be placed over the head and the Koi and some water can be carried in this way to where you need to take it.


Taking the Koi to a show, then pure oxygen is vital, many Koi Keepers have their own supply or oxygen or you can ask your friendly Koi Dealer to assist you. The bag should be big enough to house the Koi.
An extra bag can be used, placing one bag inside another to give extra strength, a small amount of salt should be added to the transportation water and the oxygen tube inserted.

Before the oxygen supply is turned on ensuring that enough water is percent in the bag to cover the gills of the Koi and that all air is first squeezed from the bag, add oxygen slowly until the bag is inflated, then seal each bag separately with rubber bands. It is always better to use one bag per Koi.

Some Koi have a sharp “needle” or “ hook” on their anal fins which can burst a plastic bag. Always check this whilst the Koi is still in the bowl before packing. If this is the case it should be carefully clipped off with a nail clipper and sterilized, before transport and a few drops of Methylene Blue could be added to the water in the bag.

Koi could, when handled for transportation bleed from the gills and blood is pumped into the water. This is not serious, but do not transport them in this water, re-pack in fresh water.

Try to ensure that lager female Koi has enough depth of water within the bag to give them enough buoyancy so that the majority of their body weight does not rest on the base of the floor, box or container during transport.
Koi travels better in a dark environment.

When loading the Koi into your vehicle place the bags that the heads and tails of all Koi are facing the sides of the vehicle to avoid damage during braking.

When carrying a large Koi in a plastic bag, always carry the length of the bag in a horizontal position and never the other way as this could damage fins.


On arrival at the show ground, your must local the show ponds allocated to you.
There should be water in and oxygen supply to your exhibit ponds by this time.
Place your plastic bags containing your Koi floating on the water, show officials will then “bench” your Koi. That is they will sort them into the appropriate variety and size ready for judging, and your Koi photos should be handed over to them.
The officials will use the net and bowl supplied by you.


Water testing will be done during the time of the show regarding the water in every exhibit pond, and the necessary water changes will be done by the show officials.


Do not put your hands in the water!
Do not remove any netting over the pond!
Do not remove the oxygen supply to the pond!
Do not remove any nets or bowls at or near the ponds!
Do not drop stuff into the pond!
Do not bump, kick or hit the side of the ponds!
Do not remove photos from the side of the ponds!
If you like to take photos of Koi in the ponds, ask an official to assist you!


Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 May 2010 23:30