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  • Results 1 to 14 of 14

    Thread: Koi farm?

    1. #1
      Koibees is offline Junior Member
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      Koi farm?

      Can I make a living raising and dealing imported Japanese Koi on my farm? I'm not looking to get rich but is it even possible? I know it's expensive, I know it takes alot of work and time. Let me know what you guys think, thanks so much.

    2. #2
      kimini is offline Senior Member
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      Yes, it is possible, just like it's possible to become President of the United States, a professional basketball player, or the next F1 world champion.

      This is a very complicated question with many moving parts, and there is no simple answer based on a near complete lack of detail.

    3. #3
      Koibees is offline Junior Member
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      Thank you for the feedback. Which specific details do you need? I would really love more input. Just let me know and I will answer, thank you.

    4. #4
      batman's Avatar
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      How to make a Million dollars with a koi farm?

      Start with 2 million.

      Difficult to get excellent prices for high quality koi without an established reputation in the business. Great hobby but don't quit your day job.
      Last edited by batman; 3 Weeks Ago at 08:51 AM.
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    5. #5
      MikeM is offline Super Member
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      There are two models for trying to make a profit on selling imported koi. The first is the traditional koi dealer. The second is the Kodama approach of acquiring huge quantities of young fish at comparatively low pricing, raising them to a larger size, and selecting for quality when pricing for re-sale. Either approach requires having business relationships with Japanese breeders; knowing enough about koi to not pay too much for what you are buying; having the skill and facilities to care for large numbers of koi; and having a marketing program that brings buyers to you..... For the most profitable sales, that means having a reputation that gives customers confidence in you. You need a great reputation to get the big bucks from high-end hobbyists, and a solid one to get even $100 from 'a typical ponder'. The fact you have a farm already means you have a piece of land to operate, but nothing else. You will not be keeping koi in mudponds unless you follow the Kodama approach. If you are going that route, you need to construct ponds, arrange for a water supply and so much more. What is your KHV bio-security plan?

      The fact that you are asking this question here means you do not know enough about the industry to be able to compete in it.

    6. #6
      audioenvy is offline Supporting Member
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      Yes, you can. The fact that there are other dealers in the US who have done it means you could potentially do so as well... but it's far from easy. The biggest hurdle, frankly, is that someone starting out doesn't even know what he/she doesn't know. I think the best way to get started would be to first build your own pond and learn to raise high end koi. You'll need to become an expert on water quality, filtration, koi treatment, and of course koi quality/potential. At some point, you'll need to spend some time in Japan. You'll need to become a regular at koi shows and learn how to transport fish. It will help if you already have experience running your own business and handling front-line sales, marketing, and customer service. It will also help if you have the funds to make a substantial capital investment (6 figures) once you have developed the expertise for selecting, treating, and raising koi.

      If you go to sleep dreaming of koi and wake up before the alarm goes off excited to clean filters then you just might have a shot LOL.

    7. #7
      msegger is offline Senior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by audioenvy View Post
      Yes, you can. The fact that there are other dealers in the US who have done it means you could potentially do so as well... but it's far from easy. The biggest hurdle, frankly, is that someone starting out doesn't even know what he/she doesn't know. I think the best way to get started would be to first build your own pond and learn to raise high end koi. You'll need to become an expert on water quality, filtration, koi treatment, and of course koi quality/potential. At some point, you'll need to spend some time in Japan. You'll need to become a regular at koi shows and learn how to transport fish. It will help if you already have experience running your own business and handling front-line sales, marketing, and customer service. It will also help if you have the funds to make a substantial capital investment (6 figures) once you have developed the expertise for selecting, treating, and raising koi.

      If you go to sleep dreaming of koi and wake up before the alarm goes off excited to clean filters then you just might have a shot LOL.
      like the 6 figures comment, well 6 figures starts @ 100k and ends at 999,999 - just a ballpark figure right. sky is the limit, best of luck, also like dont quit your day job comment too.

    8. #8
      montwila's Avatar
      montwila is offline Supporting Member ~ Koi Health Care Committee Member
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      All the above.

      In addition, a couple of people are already doing this. They have been at raising and marketing their fish for about a decade or more. I seldom see their fish mentioned outside of E-mails I might personally receive from them. Blue Ridge is the only "successful" one that I can think of. They are now on their second generation of family to run the business.

      One of the other "farms" had a staff just for the fish and their parent stock was 5-6 digits for each fish. They did not go very far.

      But heh....... Good Luck!

    9. #9
      batman's Avatar
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      Blue Ridge, Blackwater Creek and a couple others are domestic producers successful for several years. Appear to make money on larger volumes of lower quality fish. Don't think they import any to resell. Currently someone in central Ohio in second year with larger operation selling domestic and imported koi. Check them out on FB and website - Ohio Koi Ltd. https://www.ohiokoi.com/

      Seems that everyone that bought expensive breeders wishing to produce high dollar domestic fish struck out.

      Unfortunately I've known many that have started up , lost money and shut down through the years.
      Last edited by batman; 3 Weeks Ago at 04:06 PM.
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    10. #10
      MikeM is offline Super Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by batman View Post
      Seems that everyone that bought expensive breeders wishing to produce high dollar domestic fish struck out.
      Yep. Folks think koi must be like AKC registered dogs. Buy the top bloodline & you will get top of the line pups. .....With koi, you get 100,000 fry among which are maybe 1,000 saleable fish, one or two of which may actually be quite good. Without an experienced eye, you have to raise 100,000 fish to figure out what you have that can be sold. Nobody would pay the prices required to break even on the cost of raising the 99,000 crapagoi to find the 1,000 marketable fish. ......Cheaper to buy bulk tosai from Japan.

      People do not understand that the most knowledgeable breeders in the world, with the best oyagoi on the planet, primarily produce junk. It's the eye for selecting the few worthies that makes them the best.

    11. #11
      kimini is offline Senior Member
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      All good points above. I'll add that realistically, you need to know Japanese and to strike up relationships with the breeders. As was said, the key is gaining the skills to be able to quickly go through a thousand koi fry, picking out the ones that you think have potential. This skill alone is perhaps the most important requirement, and something gained only through years of experience. Where is that experience going to come from? If you try it on your own, it'll likely take far longer.

      My advice is to learn Japanese, move to Japan, and volunteer to intern at a successful breeding operation in order to learn what's involved. Only then, after a number of years, then you can decide if it's going to work out. Summed up, it's a venture that takes years to learn, with no guaranty of success, and comes down to your resolve - and bank account.
      Last edited by kimini; 3 Weeks Ago at 09:22 PM.

    12. #12
      pondfishguy is offline Senior Member
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      If you don't mind getting offers all day long for half what you paid for the fish, it's possible to make a little money. Don't expect to sell many fish over $50 unless you are really connected into the high end buying community and plan on shipping fish. Let me tell you from dozens of experiences that shipping losses really spoil your day and profits. I won't mention any names, but I believe postal workers are especially fond of koi and I can't tell you how many boxes disappeared and were never located. I'm still getting notices 9 months later that they are searching for my shipments.

    13. #13
      Matt24's Avatar
      Matt24 is offline Senior Member
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      For a few years, I've bred koi in the back yard for fun, never for income, and I still enjoy it a lot. As I suspected before I began, and confirmed pretty quickly, a really good looking koi is an extreme rarity, not even remotely the norm. It's a fun very hobby, but I would never consider trying to do it for a living, and I'm sure glad that I don't have to.

    14. #14
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      Several post have already hit the nail on the head. Domestic koi farms that breed real quality koi are slim these days. Back years ago there were several promising breeders, now not so much. In fact I wanted to do the same, but reality set in especially because I'm not the most wealthy person. Maybe one day as a amateur breeder but that's about it.

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