How Much Do Koi Fish Cost? Ultimate Guide For 2024: Own The Yard (2024)

How much do Koi fish cost?

How Much Do Koi Fish Cost? Ultimate Guide For 2024: Own The Yard (1)

Koi is a carp species, and it’s among the most expensive pet fish around the globe. An average koi fish can cost anywhere from $5 to $10,000. In this article, we’ll discuss all of the costs associated with getting Koi fish.

Table of Contents

How Much Do Koi Fish Cost?

If you want to get pet koi fish, you’ll likely have to pay $5–$100 per fish, depending on its size. Those fish will be healthy, but they won’t have remarkable characteristics or unique colors. They’ll still look good in your pond, but that’s as good as it gets.

If you want to get on the expensive side, show-quality koi fish will cost you around $10,000 each. These will have better bloodlines, and they’ll have unique colors that’ll gain approval from the judges.

A breeding pair can cost up to $100,000 because the genes will be passed down to new generations.

How Much Does It Cost to Construct a Koi Pond?

In order to keep pet Koi fish, you’ll need to construct a pond for them. Koi fish grow rapidly, getting very large in a short time period. So, they need to stay in a pond that’s at least three feet deep. Not only that, but you’ll also have to provide nearly 50 gallons of water for each fish.

You can keep young Koi in indoor aquariums, but mature ones will have to stay in a pond outside. To calculate the pond’s cost, you’ll have to keep everything in consideration, including the landscaping costs and the plumbing rates.

To give you an overview, you’ll need to get a professional excavation, which will cost from $1,500 to $5,000, depending on the area.

You’ll also need to install landscaping, which doesn’t cost much. You’ll only have to pay around $5 per square foot.

If you’re going to grade your lawn, you’ll pay an average of $2,000, give or take. You can also have it done with the excavation in one package to save costs.

Lastly, you’ll have to get a plumber to reroute lines to your pond. The costs can go from $50 to $200 per hour.

So, all in all, you’ll have to pay around $10,000 to make a new pond for your Koi.

How Much Does It Cost to Maintain Your Koi Pond?

The maintenance costs for your koi fish pond depend on its size and details. Smaller ponds are less likely to need much maintenance. They’ll only need the basics, such as the water filter cleaning and the yearly check-up. If you only need cleaning, you’ll have to pay around $1,000, but it varies according to your region.

For a medium or a large pond, you’ll likely pay an average of $3,000 per year.

Of course, if you need to add a new fish to the pond, that’s more money you’ll have to pay.

Why Are Koi Fish So Expensive?

How Much Do Koi Fish Cost? Ultimate Guide For 2024: Own The Yard (2)

Why are Koi fish so expensive?

There are many reasons for the high prices of these Japanese fish. However, there are still cheaper bloodlines. You can get a Koi for as low as $5-$10 per fish; it just won’t be as pretty as a $10,000 one.

Here are the reasons some koi fish can cost up to $100,000.

High-Quality Koi Are Scarce

When Koi fish breed, they lay millions of eggs. Out of these millions, only 60% hatch. So if a fish lays a million eggs, only 600,000 eggs will result in new fish. Still, that’s not good news.

The large number of fish results in a lot of deformities among the babies. The farmers can get baby Koi fish with missing fans or abnormal gill covers. That’s aside from other problems that may appear as they age.

As a result of all of that, the number of fish that manages to make it to the market is actually quite low, compared to the fish’ laying abilities. The farmer will only take the young Koi that are completely healthy and likely to develop nice colors. Those won’t cut 25% of the original amount.

With the high demand for Koi and the low amounts that reach the market, it’s only natural that they arrive at high prices. On top of that, breeders spend a lot of time and money raising the fish, so they’ll typically want to make a decent profit.

It’s Hard to Find a Good Koi Dealer

Koi fish dealers don’t have an easy job. They travel around various countries, looking for the highest-quality koi to sell to the highest bidder. They must be experts at what they’re doing, and they must have full knowledge of the best-quality Koi fish around.

On top of that, they likely have good relationships with popular breeders, so they know when to expect a good batch of Koi.

Some dealers are so experienced that they can recognize a high-quality Koi at first glance. Typically, this makes their rates higher.

With all that said, you must now realize that it’s not easy to find a good Koi dealer. Dealers often travel around the world to get you the best Koi around. These travel expenses normally add to the price of each fish.

You Have to Pay Shipping Costs

As you probably already know, traditional Koi fish are raised in Japan. For you to get it in the US, the dealer will have to pay shipping costs for it, in addition to a couple of fish-associated costs.

For example, he’ll need to pay for transportation, which is done through water, so it’s a bit expensive. Additionally, he’ll pay custom fees because the fish is considered imported goods.

There’s also the trading license, which is essential for selling the fish.

So when you’re paying for a Koi fish, you’re also paying for customs, shipping, and trading license. The total shipping costs of one basic Koi fish reach up to $40, and that’s not even including the dealer’s share.

Best Koi Fish Competitions

This may seem odd, but the competitions held for the best Koi fish are actually among the reasons why they cost a lot. In these competitions, fish owners compete for a reward. The fish with the best color and shape wins, so those who want to participate start looking for the best fish on the market from early on.

As a result, around these competitions, the demand for good Koi fish rises, and the dealers increase their prices.

To Wrap Up

How much do Koi fish cost?

Koi fish are pretty costly if you’re getting them for a competition, or if you’re getting a unique bloodline. If you’re buying them as pets or for a pond, you can get them at pretty reasonable prices, but don’t expect rare, flashy colors or unique traits.

For a backyard pond, you can expect to pay anywhere from $5 to $40 a fish, depending on how and where they’re bred.

Related posts:

  1. 25 Inspiring Koi Pond Ideas for Your Backyard
  2. How to Build a Koi Pond in Your Backyard
  3. How Long Do Koi Fish Live? Ultimate Care Guide!
  4. What Do Koi Fish Eat? Ultimate Guide
How Much Do Koi Fish Cost? Ultimate Guide For 2024: Own The Yard (2024)


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