Koi Keeping 2021
I think it’s fairly safe to say that this time last year, none of us would have predicted the long lasting events that have quite literally wobbled the world...
Whatever your beliefs or opinions the chances are, 2021 will not see the full return of our ‘normal’ koi calendar. This will have a big effect on koi shows worldwide and everyone involved, with further impacts on koi clubs, social events, trips to japan and dealer visits among others, what can we do to maximise our hobby, keep positive and support the industry?
Start With Your Own Hobby
Sometimes it’s a blessing to get back to basics. As an exercise, sit in a comfortable position (preferably in view of your pond) and ask yourself the following question…
What do I want from koi keeping?
The answer may come immediately, it might take a little time, but in the current climate I think it’s a great question to ask. Answers could be:
I want a tranquil space to escape to
I want to show koi
I want something to share with my friends
I want to breed koi
I want an ornamental koi pond
I want to grow jumbo koi
I want to rear high quality koi
Locate the answer, whatever it may be and set yourself a challenge, I dare you. The challenge?
Do THREE things this year to bring you closer to that ideal
That could be anything from; building a whole new pond, tweaking your filtration, buying some parent koi, learning about feeding techniques, understanding the show classes you could compete in, the list is endless... Why bother? Well, sometimes re-identifying why you enjoy something and what you ultimately want from it, can reinvigorate your passion and get you back on track, even if it’s from a slightly different angle! Even if your love for the hobby is unshakeable, ask yourself the question and set yourself the challenge, you might just surprise yourself!
I shall be taking on the challenge - who’s going to join me?
The Wider Hobby
What can we do to support the hobby as a whole? This might sound unachievable or unrealistic but actually there are small steps we can all take to keep things moving forward and keep people engaged. A few potential suggestions...
Share some pictures of your pond or koi on social media.
A picture speaks a thousand words and yours might just become the inspiration for a new debate or a new hobbyist! Every pond counts, so don’t be shy!
Check in with your koi club.
If you’re a member of a koi club, drop the group a message, check in, see how the members and their koi are doing. Consider joining a club! Or if you have your own ‘koi social,’ check in with them!
Share something you found interesting.
Be it directly with friends, on social media or in your club, share an article, a magazine, a book or video that you found interesting or useful and tell them why you liked it.
Subscribe to a koi channel
The internet can be a dangerous place for misinformation, but there are some informative and enjoyable 'koi channels' about these days. Show your support and encouragement and subscribe to those that tickle your fancy.
I’m sure with the many great minds out there people can think of all sorts of ways to support and promote the hobby. I'm also positive there are already things being put in motion, but don't wait for others, get thinking. Ideas big and small, everything is welcome!
It’s fair to say that without hardworking koi dealers filling their sales ponds and stocking their shelves, the hobby in the UK would be somewhat dull and gloomy. 2020 was fairly kind on most and in some cases, dealers saw record sales. But 2021 may not be so kind, we just don't know...
Supporting the koi industry is about supporting the 'good guys' where you can (and there are many). Whether it's a bag of food, a pipe fitting, a new koi or a total pond overhaul, try to support the proper koi dealers in the UK, the ones who are always willing to offer their sound advice and guidance. The experience most of these guys have acquired, isn't earned cheaply and yet most of them offer it for free...
Of course it’s all personal choice and we all have our budgets, I just think it’s something to consider before ordering off Amazon for a quid or two cheaper…
We have a fantastic hobby and we’re very lucky that we have such easy access to so many beneficial koi resources and technologies here in the UK. The times may be uncertain, the ‘koi calendar’ might not be what we want, but I’m not a fan of the word ‘can’t,’ because with a clear focus and a bit of grit, anything can be achieved...
So what is your 'Koi Keeping 2021' going to look like?