By Eric Triplett
Relatively speaking, building a Koi pond is often the easy part. The tough part? Working with clients to select the fish who will call the new watershape “home.”
I have to say that I’ve been bitten hard by the Koi bug and have spent countless hours learning as much as I can about these beautiful fish. It’s a level of involvement that has paid handsome dividends for my business; it has also exposed me to the selection process frequently enough that I know my clients will generally head in one of three directions.
Some will ask me to make all the choices, which I will do only with great reluctance. After all, they’re acquiring pets that will be with them for many, many years, and I believe these relationships work best when they start with the pond owners’ close, personal involvement. Then there are some who will be intimidated by the range of possibilities they see in a big tank of yearling Koi and will start choosing fish at random. Others are not so overwhelmed but, like kids in a candy store, make impulsive choices that seem just as random.
Through the three videos linked below, I suggest taking control of this key situation by using a simple, systematic approach that eases my clients toward a middle ground where the choices are neither stressful nor random. Naturally, it takes a while to fill their pails with Koi, but it results in a better-informed, much more personalized selection process that’s actually a lot of fun.
My hat’s off to Shawn McHenry of Mystic Koi (Upland, Calif.): He’s taught me an awesome amount about Koi through the years, and I trust his instincts so much that I asked him to partner with me in preparing these videos. As he discusses along the way, he’s been involved with Koi for most of his life, and his honesty and level of commitment shows up in all sorts of ways.
The videos are self-explanatory, so I won’t recap them here. But I will urge you to watch through to the end, because the third video covers a step-by-step approach that turns picking Koi into a fun, stress-free exercise – one so personal for pond owners that the fish are already parts of the family even before they reach their new homes.
To see the videos, start here with part one, then follow the on-screen links to reach parts two and three.