Qué hacer cuándo llegan nuevos koi a casa

New koi – what to do when they arrive

New koi – what to do when they arrive

Over the years Koi Hacienda exists, we have seen many mistakes (some of them with fatal consequences) that could have been easily avoided with a little more knowledge.

In this article “New koi – what to do when they arrive” Koi Hacienda follows its philosophy to inform koi lovers.

Here are some general things to consider:

Please organise with your koi dealer that you can be at home the day the koi arrive, since it is necessary to release them as soon as possible.

The smoother the adaptation process goes, the easier your koi will get used to their new home. Calculate at least 40 minutes (depending on season and number of ordered koi).

Koi Hacienda transport box: You will find the koi in a plastic bag with some water and a lot of pure oxygen. This plastic bag is in a second plastic bag. These bags are in a cardboard box which is covered with a sheet of paper or plastic to leave the koi in the dark (to keep them calm).

The parameters of your pond water should be:

  • Nitrite (NO2): less than 0.1 mg / liter
  • Ammonia (NH3 / NH4): less than 0.1 mg / liter
  • pH: between 7 and 8.5

More information concerning water parameters, you can find in our Academy.

If you make any changes of water and you need to use water from the public network, you must neutralize it, as chlorine is harmful to fish.

We assure our customers that at the time of shipment, the koi are healthy. If we would notice the slightest indication that a koi is not right, we will inform, but not send this koi.

When they arrive at your house

Open the box slowly and gradually, removing carefully the cover sheet from the plastic bags. This process should take about 15 minutes, so that the koi can get used to the light. Doing it too abrupt, it can cause a shock to the fish which might have even mortal consequences within a few days.


Then take the (still closed !) bag and put it into your koi pond, letting it float on the surface about 10 minutes. By this, the water temperature in the bag can adapt to the temperature in the pond.

You can then open the two plastic bags and introduce a bit of pond water, so that they can get used to the water parameters of their new environment. After 5 minutes you can let in more water and then even moreThis adaptation process should take about 15-20 minutes.

If you have an oxygen stone, you can introduce it into the bag.

Completed the adaptation process you can release the koi into your pond – if possible, without the water of the transport bag.

ATTENTION: We usually use larger plastic bags to occupy as much space as possible and fill it with oxygen. That is why the bags are not inflated to the top (they would be bigger than the boxes) and may appear to be “deflated”.

Once in the pond

You better cover your pond during the first few days. New koi are stressed by the journey, the new environment, perhaps another climate, new “friends” … and so much stress may let them jump.

Do not feed the first day. Give them time to “arrive” and investigate their new home. They have been fasting the las days, so don’t exaggerate with food, even if they are very hungry.

In Koi Hacienda they are accustomed to receive “Koi Hacienda” food mixed with “Malamix” (highly beneficial for the health, increasing the mucus of the koi) and “Ichi Food” (intensifying colors). In our experience, this is the perfect mix for a balanced diet, tailored to the seasons, facilitating digestion and thus minimizing work for your filter.

Please remember, that this is a blog – share your questions and comments.

As pictures tell more than thousand words, here a video (Spanish) to visualise the process:



Mukuashi Ogon

Some of our exceptional koi during Koi Hacienda’s koi hunting 2016

Some of our exceptional koi during Koi Hacienda’s koi hunting 2016

As I have announced already in the article “Koi hunting” here are some stories about some of the exceptional koi we have found in February in Japan.

We landed on February 11 in the morning at Narita Airport (Tokyo) and from there we took the train to go to Isawa to visit Toshio Sakai.

Although Thierry has been travelling there for years, for me (Thekla) it was the first time to meet this breeder. I was very impressed with this family business. Toshio is passing the baton to his son Toshi, but also the daughters are involved in the family business (administration) and his wife is the invisible center (caring for the welfare of customers). It’s nothing special that the whole family is involved in the company, but the “how” impressed me … very calm, very aware, very harmonious.

This philosophy is also noticeable in their attitude towards koi. Toshio with his Sanke bloodline  Matsunosuke has been the first to win the Grand Championship with Sanke more than 1 meter. The Sanke of this bloodline are koi which require great patience (such as the breeder): They reach their full potential at 12 years !!! So … those who want to buy one … looooot of patience ?

As I told you earlier, we could not resist to buy 5 of these nisai (= 2 year old koi) Sanke (and tosai). Jumbo Sanke with certificate of the breeder. 

And one of them is “Marylin” – making reference to the American diva Marilyn Monroe.

I immediately fell in love “Marylin” probably by feminism. Marylin has a black spot on the head – considered by the men around me as default. But I took it as a beauty spot. And when I noticed the lipstick (in Japanese “kuchibeni”), I immediately made the connection with Marylin Monroe. And in the end Marylin traveled to Spain.

Koi Hacienda: Koi Especiales 2016

Koi Hacienda: Exceptional Koi 2016

Our koi hunting with Chogoro was many hours selecting, but we are very happy with our “hunting” and especially proud of to have brought specialties – 1 year old – such as Sakura Ogon.

Sakura means “cherry blossom” (this year on March 30 was considered the day of the full flowering of these Japanese ornamental cherry trees). A Sakura Ogon is a kohaku with a “platinum film” turning the red into a dark coral color with a breathtaking splendor.

sakura ogon

Koi Hacienda: Exceptional Koi 2016

More koi with Chogoro: Ginga Daya, Hariwake Daya and Ogon Daya. “Daya” is a very fine ginrin, less obvious than the traditional ginrin. However this slight shine helps the koi to accentuate its colors.

Ginga – for us also a new variety – was created by Kyioshi Kase crossing a Kujaku with a Hajiro.

ginga daya

Koi Hacienda: Exceptional Koi 2016

Varieties such as Aka Matsuba and Benigoi are better known, but it is something special to have brought them in “tosai format.” For lovers of small koi ponds, small purse and “I want to see them grow” … here are many opportunities.

However: I would like to emphasize again in “The Adventure of a Tosai”. Although buying koi in Japan, although if there they are rigorously selected … koi are living beings and it is impossible to predict the evolution. A pretty mother and a handsome father do not automatically create beautiful children. Especially not if they have 300,000 children ?

The price of an adult koi is defined by many criteria (supply and demand, breeder, colors, patterns etc.) but mostly because a person has already assumed the risk that this koi has not developed “properly”.

With Hirasawa we discovered an almost extinct variety: Mukashi Ogon. Mukashi means “traditional Japanese way” and represent a very old, almost forgotten variety. They are reputed to grow very large. At first I thought “hm …. looks like a dirty Gin Matsuba”, but studying it more closely, there are differences. The most significant is that they have like a helmet on their head. And the koi we brought, the tail is especially nice with salmon pink tones.

And now the super good news: we will have 1 year, 2 years and 3 years Mukashi Ogon.

Mukuashi Ogon

Koi Hacienda: Exceptional Koi 2016


And the most spectacular for the end.

The history of our Mizuho.

Last year we sold some of our large koi (here again, the price is NOT defined by centimeters) and Thierry went for a special one.

When we were with Hirasawa, we looked at some, we asked for some prices … and when we got the Mizuho out of the pond and put it in the bowl, the breeder himself bit his tongue.

What a beauty !

He tried to show other koi to us – much better ? – but Thierry had caught that the breeder regretted it having given us such a  “low” price for a quality koi of 3 years.

We were amused to see that even the experienced experts live the same as we (sometimes).

Our moments of admiration were suddenly interrupted when the Mizuho jumped from the bowl back into the pond.


There were at least 50 cm between the bowl and the pond. He took advantage of a moment when everyone was busy, to return to his colleagues.

We were all surprised and stood there with open mouth.

Hirasawa was to take an anesthetic and went back to catch him.

A few minutes later the Mizuho seemed calmer and we approached to take pictures. But when Hirasawa came to measure it, he still showed great energy and almost jumped again.


Koi Hacienda: Exceptional Koi 2016

At the end we had no choice but to put him inside the sock in the anaesthetic water … and wait a some good minutes until he calmed down definitively.


Koi Hacienda: Exceptional Koi 2016

Since it has really been a fight to get him, we have named him “Tatakai” (fight in Japanese).

koi mizuho

Koi Hacienda: Exceptional Koi 2016

como seleccionar buenos koi

How to select good koi

Workshop: How to select good koi

This workshop aims to train the koi lover to make it easier to select even young koi. You will have a theoretical part in which we inform about varieties and families of the koi and the history and characteristics of some varieties. There will also be a practical part to apply the newly learned.

  • Sunday March 27, 2016
  • at 11 am (approximately 2 hours)
  • pre-registration necessary (until March 25)
  • limited places
  • free workshop




Koi hunting

Koi hunting

The previous trips to Japan to select koi have been exciting, but this year … this year I got a slight idea of ​​what the gold-digger felt at the time of the gold rush. And Thierry … Thierry for the first time in 10 years of Koi Hacienda has really lived the word “koi hunting”.

Many people think it is a simple trip to Japan and go from breeder to breeder and choose what we like.

It is not. It’s like going hunting. You never know what you’ll find. Our plans – our shopping list – is purely indicative.

Let me give an example: in 2014 we had the opportunity to select tancho tosai with Torazo (which is most famous for its tancho). In 2015 they were sold out and we came back without anyone. This year, there were some tancho left … but only a few … and we will have them.

Another example: traditional breeders as Chogoro … all our purachina come from Chogoro who continuously gets the big prizes of this variety. This year we arrived and he informed us that he had sold the whole lot of purachina in November last year. A Chinese wholesaler … the WHOLE LOT. We were extremely lucky and thanks to the friendly relationship we have with him (see pictures) he left us 50 purachina of his special lot.

So the word “hunting” is very appropriate … you know that you’re going to an area where there are plenty of animals that you want to have, but until you don’t have them really in your hands, you do not know what you are going to get.

We started our “koi hunting” with the breeder Toshio Sakai. We went out with jumbo nisai (= 2 years koi) kohaku and sanke WITH CERTIFICATES of the breeder. 

koi tosai Toshio Sakai

Koi hunting: Nisai at Toshio Sakai

There are some koi that perhaps can not win a prize, but they are special. My attention was caught by “Marilyn” … as Marilyn Monroe … the super American diva. I’ll tell you … I will write a blog about all the special koi we found.

The next day we went to choose the tosai (=  1 year koi). I leave the link to see the video (preparing the pond in the traditional way to select the tosai, takes about 7 minutes):

Although we have seen precious nisai with Torazo, we limited ourselves just to buy the maximum number of tancho maximum as last year we could not get any. We accepted the few tancho he offered us and complemented them with kohaku.

A pleasant surprise was breeder Otsuka. Not particularly famous but with good koi at good prices. Because of their size (10 to 12 cm) 120 Tosai fit in a box so we can offer many varieties at an affordable price.

What a joy to find again the same quality of koi with Hiroi. Last year we bought tosai gosanke and ginrin gosanke and they grew extraordinary. They will arrive quite big (15 to 18 cm), which means that not many will fit in a box … so … “first come – first serve”.

grupo gosanke

Koi hunting: Tosai Gosanke at Hiroi

The most funny hunting – for me – was with Chogoro. This day we have had a terrible weather – a mix of snow and rain combined with wind pushing this humidity into your body which will not vanish all day. He took us to his “secret place” where he keeps his high quality koi. He showed some goshiki which left us with our mouth open.

goshiki Chogoro

Koi hunting: High quality Goshiki at Chogoro

Unfortunately we could not buy them, because in Spain there is still no market to pay thousands of euros for a 2 year koi. Especially a goshiki which would change its appearance over the next few years.

Chogoro purachina

Koi hunting: Chogoro & Koi Hacienda

We went to another greenhouse and we started the selection of tosai. Hours …. And hours have been there on our knees trying to pick the best koi of about 3,000. Unlike the others, Chogoro did not let them see one by one, selecting as Cinderella … they were all in one big net. When I saw a nice one – whoosh – gone again … Kujaku, goshiki, Hariwake, sakura ogon, Kin Matsuba, ginga daya …


Koi hunting: Tosai at Chogoro

We laughed a lot as we had chosen some koi where Chogoro – with a big smile – said those were not good (when they really were great). And we had to pay attention since occasionally he tried to take them away.

Then we could not resist buying some nisai both goshiki and purachina:

goshiki purachina

Koi hunting: Nisai at Chogoro

To cut a long article a little bit down, I do not enunciate to the many breeders we have visited and we left without buying anything.

In 2015 we did not visit him, but in 2014 we bought some koi and we already liked this breeder: Yagenji. Definitely one of the most organised and hygienic koi farms (not counting large ones as eg Dainichi). As we were missing Showa, we got there a mix with lots of wonderful Showa and the rest other varieties.


Koi hunting: Tosai at Yagenji

With Marudo we “fished” some 2 years chagoi, karashigoi, soragoi and yamabuki:


Koi hunting: Kawarimono and Yamakuki at Marudo

We will also have tosai of Marudo: 30 sanke, 20 matsuba gin, 20 asagi and … a few units of a very seldom variety … I will write in another blog.

And … finally … Hirasawa. Mr. Hirasawa is already about 70 years old, but he can not live without his koi. The koi are his life. Hirasawa family has large greenhouses in the mountains managed by  his children, but he stays with the two greenhouses that are connected to his home.

We knew that here we would take hours and we were really there from 14h30 to 18h30 !!! With Hirasawa we bought nisai, sansai (=  3 years koi) and exceptionally tosai.

Here only photos of Hirasawa and nisai … I want to keep some secrets and some suspense ?


Koi hunting: Hirasawa and his traditional polaroid camera 

To finish this post with good news: Some of you have followed us on Facebook and have seen the picture of “SOLD OUT” when we visited Dainichi. This sign was referring to the category of Dainichi Showa we brought last year.

We did not want to disappoint our customers and have made the big effort to bring again Showa from Dainichi of an even higher category. 

NEW KOI for sale  from 15th APRIL on (10.00 – 14.00 hours)

Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th ALSO OPEN (10.00 – 14.00 hours)

Reservation only possible for koi from 2 years on.

peces koi

Koi water ballet

Probably not really worth a blog post, but … I like to share spontaneous things and anecdotes with you (that’s works very well in the social networks, in fact, I’ve also posted this on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter).

Today a customer called who wanted to buy kohaku and Purachina (officially called platinum ogon).

You know that in Koi Hacienda we always take pictures of koi and send it to the client. He then decides – with all the time he needs –  if he likes them. If not, we return to take other koi and send photos of the new proposal until the customer is satisfied.

While I was trying to get a good picture of the kohaku, they made me a gift: a water ballet. Really … they were posing and swimming in formation …! Incredible!

koi kohaku

Koi Hacienda: Koi water ballet by kohaku

But that was not all, the story does not end here. I still had to take some photos of the platinum ogon … and there, too. There they presented me another koi water ballet !!!

koi platinum ogon

Koi Hacienda: Koi water ballet by platinum ogon

These are little gifts during my labour day … a real pleasure which makes life even more enjoyable.

Please remember, this is a blog … if you want to share something similar with us … here is the right place to do.

río shinano japón

Ojiya, Niigata, Japan

Ojiya, Niigata, Japan is considered to be the cradle of the koi. It is located about 250 km northwest of Tokyo and has approximately 40,000 inhabitants mainly engaged in the koi business.

Ojiya Niigata Japón

Ojiya, Niigata, Japan … the cradle of koi

Ojiya looks like a village because it is very extensive and the population – in my opinion – rather rural. Unfortunately I can’t say much about the nature in this area, as I know it only during the period of cold and snow. However, what always impressed me, is the river we have to cross to head into the mountains where many breeders have their farms. The Shinano River is the longest in all of Japan and impresses with its channel width.

Really not really much to see in Ojiya, except the Museum of Koi (which – I admit it honestly – I have not yet visited yet, as we see so many wonderful koi every day when we are there).

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I leave here some photos such as the extraordinary gully tops. For a certain festivity (I could not figure out what they celebrate) they make holes in the snow and illuminating the whole street with candles – lovely. Below right, an image of the cemetery. Very curious is that in Ojiya there are hot springs and they use the warm water to “irrigate” the streets to melt snow. Thus the streets are usually passable – except when there is heavy snow.

Ojiva la cuna de los koi

Ojiva … some photos

Como había dicho anteriormente, yo – de momento – solamente conozco la zona con mucha nieve. Pero muuuuucha … para haceros una idea, aquí algunas imágenes. Lo que más me fascinó era el bambú. Hasta ahora siempre lo había asociado a climas tropicales y ahora lo veo aquí en montones de nieve. Y lo más fascinante: Nada de quemado, si no en un precioso y sano verde. Las fotos de abajo muestran Thierry (mide 1,86 m), un templo budista en Ojiya, paisaje nevado y el trabajo enorme de quitar masas de nieve del tejado de una casa.

As I already mentioned, I know this area – by now – only with snow. With a loooooot of snow … to get an idea, here are some pictures. What most fascinated me, was the bamboo. Until now I had always associated it with tropical climates and now I see it here in snow. And most fascinating: Nothing burned, but a beautiful healthy green. The photos below show Thierry (measuring 1.86 m), a Buddhist temple in Ojiya, snowy landscape and the huge job of removing masses of snow from the roof of a house.

nieve en Ojiya

Snow in Ojiya and surroundings

Finally some curiosities which have drawn the attention to my European mentality:

1. At the entrance of a (good) restaurant, you will find before entering the dining room, a closet in which you must deposit your shoes

2. At the entrance of our hotel room, there is a place where you must “park” your shoes and there are slippers provided to wear inside the room

3. Garbage “container”  …

4. In front of a (good) hotel a locker for umbrellas

mentalidad japonesa

Curiosities … for a European mind

Perhaps with this, I was able to bring you Ojiya, Niigata, Japan a little closer. We will see, the new impressions we are “harvesting” during our trip 2016.

P.S. The cover image shows the Shinano River


como coger un koi

The art to catch a koi

It is a real art to catch a koi … but people who have not tried, can not understand that.

And all who have attempted to catch koi in a pond of a certain size, they know what I’m talking about.

I use the term “catch” a koi instead of “fish” a koi because I get an image of a fish on the fishhook hanging from a rod.

It is more an art than a mere method. A method or tactic is a clearly defined process, following instructions to achieve a particular result.

Here we want to achieve a particular result, too – the koi – but is not a method … It is rather an attitude towards life. If you approach the pond with stress  to catch the koi, you will not get it. Or at least with much more effort and much more time.

The video that you will find at the end of this article,  was not retouched, cropped or modified in any way. I swear it. We had to catch the koi to put it apart for a client and when Thierry took the net, it occurred to me to film. Nothing more, nothing less. And the same video I took, I publish it here (obviously with its introduction, watermark etc. but without tricks or traps).

Those who have been in Koi Hacienda, will see that this is the main pond. It has 70,000 liters and a maximum depth of 2.70 meters. I mean … there is enough space to escape.

The video takes 1 minute and 20 seconds – starting to catch until introducing the koi in another pond. It is a time record in these circumstances (taking into account the size of the habitat) that can only be achieved with a peaceful, respectful and balanced attitude. What the Japanese would call “Zen”.

Congratulations Thierry!

Viaje a Japón

Trip to Japan selecting koi

The countdown for our trip to Japan has started. Another year we undertake the way to the home of the koi – Ojiya in the “province” of Niigata northwest of the Nippon Island.

On Wednesday 10 February the plane departs from Málaga at 9:35 am to take us first to Paris. There are several possibilities to get to Tokyo, but usually with a stop in one of the largest airports in Europe (Amsterdam, Frankfurt …). Those who have been in the airport of Paris Charles de Gaulle can confirm that it is huge and somehow disconcerting … we have 1.5 hours to change terminal, but at Charles de Gaulle is a challenge and we will be happy when we are in the plane to Tokyo.

While you will prepare yourselves for lunch, we will accommodate us – both physically and mentally – to spend 20 hours on our seats which will not be more than 1 cubic meter.

viaje a Japón

Trip to Japan: views from the plane approaching Narita (Tokyo)

If all goes well, we will arrive at 9:40 the following morning at Narita Airport – one of two airports in Tokyo. And from now on, the adventure begins.

Starting with filling out forms for visas and customs (so used to travel in Schengen countries that all this seems very distant) to buy tickets for the train that will take us from the airport to downtown paying with Not-Euro currency that on top is difficult to calculate (1 € = 127 Y).

From Tokyo Terminal – train station in the center – we have to find the train line called “Joetsu Shinkansen Yamagata“. For this we have 3 advantages:

1. The line is indicated in dark green, which means a great visual help

2. We already have several years of experience

3. No hurry

The trains are very futuristic and reach speeds up to 285 km / h. At this speed, the 275 km we have left to reach Nagaoka, are done in 1h42. If we are lucky, we will see by far the famous Mount Fuji and several ski resorts.

viaje a Japón

Trip to Japan: Shinkansen train

What impressed us in our previous trips by train, is the behavior of the Japanese: absolutely silent. There was no sound of a mobile ring, not even the “beep”of the smartphones’ keyboard.

The last part of our trip to Japan we usually do in taxi. From Nagaoka to Ojiya there are only about 20 km, but depending the weather conditions it can take up to an hour to arrive.

viaje a Japón

Trip to Japan: Difficult weather conditions


After more than 11,000 km we have reached our final destination.With 8-hour time difference! This means, when we arrive finally at the hotel at about 18h local time, in Spain it is 2 am (8 hours plus). Just to think, and I feel sleepy  :o)

There will be more articles about our trip to Japan, the koi selection, about Ojiya, some anecdotes … here and in our social networks (Facebook, Google+ and  Twitter).

See you soon – Sugu ni (in Japanese)







regalos koi

Koi gifts

Koi gifts for Christmas … here in Koi Hacienda we have numerous presents related to the koi world.

Obviously can be koi of any type, but have also created a very attractive Set “Tosai”: 3 koi of at least 18 cm and a bucket of 4 kg of winter feed Ichi small pellets with FREE SHIPPING (Peninsula).

By creating this pack, we came up with more ideas for packs: Set “Health” (5 kg of feed Malamix + 5 liters of our flagship product Malamix17) and the Set “Liberty” composed of an automatic feeder and feed Malamix. The two with FREE SHIPPING (Peninsula).

Those who need some smaller gifts but with koi, we can offer magnets, key chains, posters and many more …

Happy Shopping … Happy Festive Season Captura de pantalla 2015-12-14 a las 19.31.29


regalos koi Navidad

Koi Hacienda: koi gifts … enjoy shopping

Ciber Lunes en Koi Hacienda

Cyber Monday in Koi Hacienda

Cyber Monday is – as well as the Black Friday – a commercial event started in USA. 

While the Black Friday has not gained much commercial impact in Spain, Cyber ​​Monday is much more settled and accepted by customers, even if it made its debut much later: November 28, 2005.

Let us structure these special events in a chronological way:

  • 4th Thursday of November: Thanksgiving Day, a holiday to celebrate agricultural crops
  • Friday after Thanksgiving Day: Black Friday, with sales in physical stores
  • Monday after Black Friday: Cyber ​​Monday, with sales in online shops

According to wikipedia in 2014, Cyber ​​Monday online sales in the US rose to a record $ 2.68 billion, compared with the previous year’s $ 2.29 billion. However, the average order value was $ 124, slightly less than in 2013 of $ 128.

A little anecdote … Cyber ​​Monday was so successful in some countries like e.g. Argentina, that many web pages collapsed.

In Koi Hacienda we also this commercial event:

Cyber ​​Monday: only this day 20% on products and 40% on koi (except koi 3 years and +) in the online shop

So … we have events for both: for those who like to come to visit our facilities and for those who prefer the tranquility of the house to surf on our website … everyone can take advantage of great deals on Koi Hacienda.

Both – the Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday –  I will send a reminder to those who are subscribed to our newsletter. If you’re not yet registered, then sign up quickly to have all the information in your email box.

So easy: Fill in the newsletter from any page on our website: it is in the footer on the right … just your email & name and you’re done! 

ciberlunes en Koi Hacienda

Cyber Monday in Koi Hacienda: ONLY this day important discounts in our online shop