Finding new homes for koi where they will be cared for
We (the Routh family) love koi and care about them. We started rescuing koi from necessity, we thought it was a limited situation but soon found there are many koi that need to be rescued so we created this organization to facilitate finding new homes for koi where they will be cared for.
Where do all these koi come from?
Just about every pond or waterway that is available to the public has had koi put in it for one reason or another, and if the pond is being drained (like when golf courses go defunct) it is a shame to let the koi die. Those types of rescues don't come up that often, the majority of koi that need new homes come from regular backyard hobbyist ponds.
Koi fish can live 60+ years if kept in good water, the oldest koi is over 200 years. With such a long life span, it is understandable that a single human is going to have a tough time caring for a koi it's entire life. Evidently parrots owners have a similar issue, parrots can live to be 120 years old. Below are some of the typical reasons that koi from backyard ponds need new homes.
House Being Sold - When a home is being sold, the new owners might not be interested in taking care of the koi. This happened to me, when we sold our home that had my first pond, the new owners were initially interested in keeping the fish, but after a couple of months shut off the filter and just let them die one by one.
Overstocked Backyard Pond - Koi grow quickly, they continually reproduce, so your pond can fill up pretty quickly. If you don't do something about the overcrowding, your pond can crash from being overloaded and kill most or all of your koi. So when your pond starts to look like a sardine can, think about adopting some of them out.
Aquariums - The tag at the pet store does indicate that koi will grow to 24" or larger, but that writing is usually pretty small and unsuspecting people will buy koi and stick them in an aquarium. If you put a goldfish in a small aquarium, they won't grow very big. Koi aren't like this, if the water is good and they are fed, they will continue to grow. Soon the koi ends up being a big fish in a tiny tank, and it becomes obvious they need a new home.
The Maintenance Is Too Much - Nobody ever tells the truth about how much maintenance is involved with a koi pond. Most store bought filters are actually kind of difficult to maintain and are a real pain to clean. There are easy to clean commercially available filters, but many of them are very expensive. Many DIY filter designs are created to make an affordable filter that is easy to clean. But still, even the easiest to clean filters have work involved, and you really have to like your koi to keep up with it. Goldfish ponds are a lot less demanding because goldfish eat less and can survive in much worse water conditions (see koi filtration page for more info).
Have small kids - Either people buy a house with a pond, or they have their first child. A pond or pool is a serious drowning hazard. Upgrading a pond to make it safer can be expensive, so often the choice is to take a break from having a pond for a few years while the kids grow up, and then start another pond again later.
PLEASE DON'T DUMP YOUR
KOI IN PUBLIC WATERWAYS !!!
Dumping your koi in a public water way is sending them to their death. Koi dumped in the canals will last for less than a year - the city cleans each section of the canals and removes all the dumped fish. Koi dumped in ponds get caught by anglers and the picture to the right is what usually happens.
Anglers often display sport fish in this manner even if they plan to return the fish to the pond, and it doesn't really hurt the sport fish because most of them have very strong jaws and fairly light bodies. If you handle a koi like this, their heavy bodies and weak jaws will rip their gills, killing them. Also holding up koi up by a hook & line stuck in their mouth will also cause similar damage. So you can see, just being caught by an angler can kill the koi.