The Bekins Blog

Risks & Tips: How to Move Koi from One Pond to Another

You’ve spent years cultivating your koi pond. You chose the perfect fish to put in it, and you’ve carefully tended to them through every season. But now, you’re moving, and you don’t know how to move your fish across the country. You have a serious no-koi-left-behind policy… but how do you transfer your fish with the rest of your stuff?

We understand that knowing how to transport large koi isn’t second nature to most people. Fortunately, you can transfer your koi from one pond to another without negatively impacting them. All it takes is some knowledge of the potential risks and the proper moving techniques. Whether you’re wondering how to move fish across the country or down the street, we’ve got you covered with the tips and information below:

koi fish coming up to the surface

What are the Risks of Moving Koi Fish?

Since koi fish are expensive and sentimental, you want to protect your investment the best you can. If you’re looking for ways to move fish, it’s important to know the dangers first. Be aware of these common fish risks before you make your move:

1. Koi fish get stressed

Koi fish often get stressed when their environments change. Although you can’t do much about the change in environment, you should take a few precautions to prevent your koi from feeling threatened.

Since stress lowers your koi’s immune response, they might have a harder time fighting off illnesses and infections as you relocate. Other health problems can also arise from stress, and you may not notice the symptoms for days or weeks after the move. That is why you should do your best to minimize stress as much as possible (see tips for transporting koi carp below).

2. Injury

If you treat your koi roughly during the move or expose them to harsh environments, they could get hurt. For example, if you quickly lift your koi out of their pond with a net or shake them too much, they could lose some of their protective slime. This slime protects them from parasites, infections and other maladies.

3. Death

Death is the most serious risk of transporting your koi. If they don’t have access to enough oxygen, their water becomes too dirty, or they get sick, your koi could die during the move. Fortunately, you can avoid this fate with the proper moving process:

What is the Best Way to Transport Fish? Here’s How to Move Koi from One Pond to Another

With careful technique, you can successfully move your koi to their new home. Here’s how:

1. Net Your Koi Carefully

Invest in a quality koi net and use it to carefully coax your fish into your chosen container. Don’t chase your koi around the pond, instead, place it behind them or slightly under them to help guide them into their transportation bag or bin.

Koi fish being transported in plastic bag

2. Move the Koi in a Proper Container

You can move koi in plastic bags as long as you also have a rigid container to put the bags in. If you choose plastic bags, you’ll also want some rubber bands to close up the tops. Make sure you have enough bags to double bag the koi fish. You can also skip the bag entirely and put your fish directly into a rigid container (like a plastic bin, for example).

3. Use their Original Pond Water

The water in your koi’s transportation container should be as close to their normal pond water as possible. In fact, you can just use water directly from their pond. If you want or need to use different water, make sure its pH and temperature are the same as their original pond: the water should match within .3 on the pH scale and 4°F of its original temperature.

Group of koi fish swimming in pond

3. Add Salt to the Koi’s Water

Finally, your fish will experience less shock and stress if you add salt to their water. The kind of salt does not matter, just use 3 grams per liter of water. You can also add things like a water conditioner or slime coat product to help your fish maintain their coatings.

Make Your Move Go Swimmingly with Bekins Van Lines!

Now that you know how to transport koi, it’s time to get started with your move! Whether you’re moving down the street or across the country, you don’t have to leave your fish behind. Use the tips above to keep your koi safe during your relocation. Then, to make your move even easier, move with Bekins. We can get you, your family and your fish to your new space quickly and efficiently. Get in touch with us today!