Transporting Koi

Every koi keeper will, at one time or another, need to transport their koi. Whether it is to bring a new fish home, take a fish to a show, or take them to a vet or new pond.

As transportation is stressful on fish we need to minimise that stress as much as possible - stress can lead to unhappy and even sick koi.

The main things to keep in mind when transporting koi are to keep the journey as short as possible, provide enough water to cover the fish, provide enough oxygen, and minimise movement as much as possible.

Poly Bag Method

  • Poly (plastic) bags are available from our Sales Table or koi-related retailers.
  • Buy the larger sized bags as they have more space for oxygen.
  • Use the same water to fill the bag as where the fish is being taken from so that they don't have to adjust to different water parameters.
  • Fill the bag with just enough water to cover the fish - this leaves more room for oxygen in the top of the bag.
  • It is preferable to add compressed oxygen to the top portion of the bag before sealing.
  • If you can't source compressed oxygen, open the top of the poly bag up as wide as possible and then draw the top together quickly to trap as much air as possible.
  • Seal the top with an elastic band
  • Place the bag in a box (cardboard box, esky or plastic storage crate are all good) to minimise movement during the trip.

    Solid Container Method

  • Plastic storage crates or fibreglass boxes are great - preferably with a watertight lid.
  • Fill the container all the way to the top to minimise water movement during the trip (a half full container will slop around)
  • As a full container has no room for air at the top, use a oxygen bottle or battery-powered air pump and run an airline into to the water (with airstone on the end)

    Other tips:

  • Lay the bag or container so that the koi sits parallel with the axles of the car - so when you brake and accelerate the koi won't bump it's nose and tail into the bag/container
  • Place the bag or container on a layer of foam or material to minimise vibrations.
  • Plan your route before you leave so you're on the road for as little time as possible, and avoid speedbumps and roundabouts if possible
  • Have enough petrol to make the return journey, so you don't need to stop to refuel
  • Drive as slowly and smoothly as practical
  • If using a battery powered airpump, have spare batteries on hand. Koi can become stressed very quickly without adequate oxygen in their water


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