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Trade News - Feb '24


Koi Dealer News - Koi Blog

I blinked, and a month flew by - how was it for you?!


Hopefully, everyone's ponds and koi are ‘weathering’ the winter well. Heated or not, remember to keep a pond management routine going and take time to observe your koi. Observation is THE greatest weapon in a koi keeper's arsenal, so keep those eyes on the ball. 


Unfortunately, we’re still in the depths of quiet-time in the UK koi hobby and industry, but if you look closely, there’s fun to find. Of course, the All Japan Koi Show took place at the end of January (it was awesome!), and social media got flooded with content about the best koi in the world. There’s plenty of content still being released by those who attended, so you can catch more winning koi and show shenanigans. Here’s my shot of the Grand Champion, plus a video featuring the koi entered into the “Dream Koi Exhibition.”


Grand Champion - All Japan Koi Show 2024

Kohaku // Female // Sakai Fish Farm

Handler: Ryuki Narita




With the show over, dealers and breeders are working hard to push the new season’s koi. The focus is tosai, and as dealers secure their koi earlier and earlier, hobbyists can take advantage to. There’s also the All Japan Young Koi Show on the horizon and the International Junior Koi Show, which means if you fancy exhibiting in Japan, now's the time to get your dealer hunting. Speaking of which, let’s see what some of our sponsors have been up to...




EZ-POND

EZ-POND - have been on a roll lately, introducing new products plus upgrades to their existing lines. The first to launch was the ‘Halo 1000,’ a new circular tank fitted with (or without) an infinity window. The system is perfect for those with smaller gardens or those wishing to attempt koi or fishkeeping before building a larger and more costly pond. My pond is only 1100 gallons, and I can vouch that (correctly filtered) such systems can provide excellent environments for koi without overpowering smaller outdoor spaces. If you’re into viewing windows, this could add a whole new dimension to your garden. For more detailed info, visit: 



Second in the lineup is the ‘new look’ EZ600i. I know from previous chats with Allan that the 600i is extremely popular due to its large viewing window and agreeable dimensions. They’ve been used for everything from koi to sting-ray tanks, and (always wanting to break the mould) Allan has made some improvements. These evolve around making the unit easier to clad and thus more attractive in the garden or fish house. To achieve this, the window frame is now fully revealed, and the external top edge has increased from 65mm to 100mm. It will not only help with cladding but also the installation of jump guards. Check it out here:







Tancho Kujaku

The Koi Collection - Ken Wilkie informed me that his autumn harvest koi are now ready to be viewed and bowled, and he’s also been busy buying stock (mainly tosai) for the coming season - most of which are yet to land. He and the crew are currently working their way through photographing the koi on-site, but he sent over some screen grabs he’s been using to reserve the koi. Knowing Ken, there will be new koi hiding all over the place, so it’s worth paying a visit if you’ve never been. The facility is expansive. With over 30 individual ponds and a relaxing atmosphere, there's plenty to look at. If you fancy knowing more, call the numbers below: 


Ken: 07973 442222

Sophie: 07738 510181





Norfine Nets - Koi Blog

Norfine Nets - The chaps have been making high-quality koi handling equipment for donkeys years and have recently started producing something new. These heavy-duty pond/tank/sales tank covers are made with super strong 20mm mesh. It's UV-stabilised, rot-proof and knotless. There’s a PVC binding edge with strong eyelets, making them one of the toughest nets around. They are made bespoke, so if you would like a price, contact Dan:


07378 103 743


Norfine Nets




Shirley Aquatics - John Cook and his team have been working hard to revamp the new “Japanese Koi” facility. Shirley has been importing Japanese and Israeli koi since day dot, to suit the budgets and preferences of their customer base. However, they decided last year to build a facility away from their flagship store where they would showcase their Japanese koi. Because the retail premises stock all kinds of fish and pets, it can become busy, and the idea was to create a space with a quieter ambience. Here’s a video from Richard Cook explaining a little more and giving a tour. I hope to pop along when it’s completed and share the outcome - so keep a lookout in future ‘Trade News.’




Koi-R-US

KOI-R-US - Like many koi dealers, Terry has been taking his new winter stock through the quarantine process. He strictly deploys the CEFAS recommended protocols (which include) multiple heat ramping cycles and a resting period where the koi will often need treatment for parasites. The process can take around 8-10 weeks and often longer, but Terry believes it necessary.


Of course, as this batch of new stock ends its QT period and gets moved into sales ponds, Terry will take delivery of smaller tosai and have to start all over again! If you’ve never been, Terry has built some lovely outdoor ponds and tanks to display his stocks…








Koi S.O.S

Koi S.O.S - have been working away behind the scenes, and here's what they had to say:


"We're thrilled to announce that the Koi S.O.S website is officially up and running! Dive into the world of premier koi care at koisos.co.uk For our esteemed dealers, the opportunity to forge a valuable partnership with us is just a click away. Let's make waves together in the Koi community.


After rigorous testing and preparation, we've successfully established a reliable connection with the esteemed lab of Tim Barbe. This collaboration ensures thorough testing for KHV and other crucial diagnostics, including water samples, tissue examinations, and blood analysis. Dealers interested in joining forces for top-notch koi welfare and knowledge enhancement are welcome to reach out for collaboration details.


Excitement is bubbling here at koi S.O.S as we're preparing to unveil our very first workshops! That's not all - our online community platform is taking shape, promising a hub of interaction, learning, and shared passion for koi enthusiasts. Stay tuned for updates, and follow us for the latest scoop."





Shosha Koi - Japanese koi for sale

Shosha Koi - Lee and Mike are still on a high after their recent wins at the All Japan Koi Show. I was wandering around taking photos at the show before the awards had gone up and spotted a tancho goshiki. I thought:


“That would make a nice photo.”


Unfortunately, the koi in question proved to be a little ‘so and so’ and wouldn't pose, so after proclaiming “sod it” to anyone within earwigging distance, I moved on. 


The next day, I received a message from Mike and Lee asking if I came across their three winning koi, would I mind taking a pic or two? However, they specifically wanted the one that won the 35bu Tsubaki Award.  


To my utter dismay, I’d already met this koi - it was the very same tancho goshiki. Luckily, it was far more willing to behave the second time around, and I nabbed a few snaps:


Tancho Goshiki - All Japan Koi Show 2024

Tsubaki Prize 35 Bu

Dealer: Shōsha Koi

Breeder: Kawakami Koi Farm

Handler: Narita Koi Farm


Video:


Mike and Lee are still building their new business and are keen to excel on the show scene in Japan and the UK, so if you’re looking for koi to compete, give them a nudge or take a nosey here:



Selective Koi Sales - Chris put a short video together detailing how they photograph their koi to catalogue them for the website, and I thought it was worth sharing. It’s a side of running a koi business that most dealers despise, and most hobbyists know little about. 


A good, truthful photograph and video will sell a koi. However, producing good photos and videos takes the right equipment, knowledge and (most importantly) considerable time. Remembering the number of fish some dealers keep in stock, it's easy to see how continually updating their websites can become tricky. 


However, it’s all part of the game, and different dealers will have different strategies, but at some point, they all have to pick up that camera - or find someone else who will!





Clearwater Koi

Clearwater Koi - Matthew Ball (the proprietor) has been a busy bee, heat ramping his way through many new shipments in his QT facilities, ready for the new season. With quite a few more on the way. He has also launched a new program for customers called the ‘100 Club,’ it sounds like a great way to save some money on koi-shopping and koi keepers are already signing up. Check out their flyer below, but essentially you pay a yearly subscription, get a free bag of Hikari Koi Food and access to discounts and special offers throughout the year. If you want to jump on board, contact Matthew:



100 Club - Clearwater Koi



South West Koi - Koi for sale

South West Koi - have just reached the end of their “Sale Week” which saw them offering mega savings across loads of products and koi. If you’re lucky, there might still be time to grab a bargain (or two). If not, they’ve also finished their new website and have been uploading some of the many koi they have for sale:



They also have a part-time vacancy for anyone nuts about koi in Bristol or the surrounding areas, so if you’re looking to involve yourself in the industry, this could be a great and friendly place to start - contact: info@southwestkoi.co.uk



Absolute Koi

Absolute Koi - Darren and Donna informed me that it’s been ‘all systems go’ this year. They’ve recently moved their company ‘ProfiDrum’ into a new factory to upscale and cope with demand. The ProfiDrum was one of (if not the) first top-tier drum filter to be released onto the UK market. Since then, the company has gone from strength to strength, is now UK-based and owned and has supplied countless koi hobbyists with innovative filtration solutions. I’m looking forward to seeing more of the developments at the new factory, which I’ll be sure to share here.


The Absolute Team are also planning a trip to Japan in the coming months to hunt for more high-quality koi. Darren focuses on the southern breeders and special sales events, so should you want to follow his progress or keep updated with his purchases, follow his Facebook page and keep tabs on the website.



 Koi Magazine

World of Nishikigoi - Well, I returned from a fantastic trip to Japan. I covered the All Japan Koi Show and then went on my travels searching for content with fellow koi nutters Robin Whittell and Johan Leurs. It was incredibly prosperous hunting, and I’d like to thank everyone who made it possible. I will share more from these adventures on the blog and social media, plus some cracking articles and interviews for future magazines. Speaking of which…


If you haven’t yet subscribed or purchased the magazine, you can now buy the current collection of back issues and save money with combined postage!


The new product is called “The Stack.” It consists of volumes One, Two, Three & Four, totalling over 520 pages of koi content. The bundle saves you £7.00 if you live in the UK. If you live overseas, it saves considerably more! I’ve also added a list of new countries I can ship to, but if you can’t find yours, drop me a message.  



I am incredibly proud of the magazine and how it stands fast in a digitally dominant age. It’s high-quality, tangible, and all about supporting and promoting this fantastic hobby. I’m forever grateful for the ongoing support of the readership. Without readers, there is no magazine. 


Koi Magazine

I have also made subscription live - this is a pre order service to join as a subscriber from Volume 5 onwards (released the start of June) hit the link below to become a 'subby,' and reap the rewards of cheaper magazines, priority delivery and the subscribers 'Discount Card.' If you're already a subscriber, worry not, the fee is a rolling yearly Direct Debit. (there's no need to do anything). https://www.worldofnishikigoi.com/product-page/yearly-subscription


Other than that, it's full steam ahead at the HQ producing the next Volume and making some alterations to my pond, which I'll share when completed. In the mean time, Keep Safe and Keep Koi.


Best Wishes & Happy Koi Keeping, 

Liam 




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