Handling Koi requires skill and the right equipment to ensure the safety and well-being of these beautiful fish. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the importance of using a Koi net and handling your Koi correctly. Read our full guide on Handling Your Koi Like A Pro in issue 6 of Koi Talk magazine.
First and foremost, it’s crucial to minimize unnecessary handling of your Koi. Constantly sticking a net in the pond can stress the fish and potentially cause damage. However, there are situations where handling becomes necessary, such as treatments, inspections, or relocating the fish. For these scenarios, having the right equipment is essential.
Choosing the correct Koi net
Three key pieces of equipment you should have are a Koi net, a Koi sock, and a Koi bowl. While alternatives like Koi bags or other containers can be used, it’s advisable to invest in the proper equipment for ease of use and the safety of your Koi. Koi socks, for instance, are more robust and easier for the fish to travel in, with a handle for convenient handling. Koi bowls are designed with high sides to prevent jumping and have a smooth surface to prevent injuries.
When it comes to nets, it’s crucial to choose the right one. Lightweight nets designed for removing debris from the pond are not suitable for handling Koi. Japanese handling nets, on the other hand, are rounded and come in various sizes. These nets are designed to protect the Koi, with a weave that allows for quick and safe capturing of the fish.
Technique is as important as using the right Koi net
Proper technique is also important when catching and handling Koi. Rather than rushing and panicking the fish, it’s best to move slowly and smoothly. Avoid catching Koi at the surface, as they may panic and jump, risking injuries. Instead, catch them in mid-depth water and gradually bring them to the surface, allowing them to adapt to pressure changes. This helps prevent damage to their capillaries and minimises stress.
If you’re having difficulty catching a specific Koi, take a break and try again later. Chasing the fish around for extended periods will only make them more difficult to catch. Additionally, consider enlisting the help of another person or coaxing the Koi into an area where it’s easier to capture.
When moving Koi out of the pond, it is important to be efficient and careful. Stability is key, so have someone hold the net while you use a sock to transfer the fish into a Koi bowl. Avoid lifting the net completely out of the water, as this can cause the Koi to thrash and result in scale damage. Ensure the Koi enters the sock headfirst for smooth and quick transition into the bowl.
When returning the Koi to the pond, the process is straightforward. If the fish has been sedated for a treatment, handling may be easier. Hold the Koi with the head facing towards you to maintain control. If the fish is not sedated, use the sock method as before, draining some water out to make it manageable to lift.
In summary, handling Koi should be minimised whenever possible to reduce stress. Use the proper equipment, sterilise it after use, and handle the fish with care. By following these guidelines and practicing good technique, you can ensure the well-being of your Koi and enjoy a harmonious relationship with these beautiful fish.
Read our full guide on Handling Your Koi Like A Pro in issue 6 of Koi Talk magazine.