how much are koi fish

How Much Do Koi Fish Cost?


Koi Fish in a Pond

Koi fish are a type of carp that are native to Japan and have become increasingly popular among fish enthusiasts worldwide. They come in a variety of colors and patterns, such as red, white, black, and orange. Koi fish are not only beautiful to look at, but they also have a significant cultural significance in Japan. They represent perseverance, strength, and good luck, making them a popular choice for garden ponds and water features.

One of the reasons koi fish have become so popular is their adaptability to different environments. They can survive in a wide range of temperatures and water conditions, making them ideal for keeping in outdoor ponds and even indoor aquariums. They also have long lifespans, with some living up to 30 years or more.

Another reason for their popularity is the fact that they can be easily trained to eat out of your hand. Koi fish are intelligent creatures and can recognize their owners, making them a favorite with those who enjoy interacting with their pets. They also have a peaceful demeanor, which makes them an excellent choice for community aquariums and ponds.

When it comes to cost, the price of koi fish can vary significantly depending on factors such as their size, coloration, and pattern. Generally, koi fish can range from a few dollars for a small fish to thousands of dollars for a rare, high-quality specimen. The most expensive koi ever sold was a Kohaku (a white fish with red markings) that fetched a price of $1.8 million in 2018.

Overall, koi fish are a popular choice among fish enthusiasts due to their beauty, cultural significance, adaptability, intelligence, and peaceful nature. Whether you are a seasoned fishkeeper or a beginner, koi fish are an excellent addition to any pond or aquarium.

Koi Fish Prices

Koi Fish Prices

If you are planning to buy a Koi fish, it is important to know that Koi fish prices vary greatly depending on the size, breed, and quality of the fish.

The price of Koi fish can range from a few dollars to thousands of dollars. The most expensive Koi fish ever sold is worth $1.8 million. This tells you that Koi fish can be a luxurious and high-end hobby that requires a lot of investment.

The Koi Fish Size and Price

The size of a Koi fish is one of the most important factors that determine its price. Generally, the larger the fish, the more expensive it is. This is because Koi fish can grow up to 3 feet in length, and breeding large Koi fish can take several years. So, the bigger the fish, the more time, effort, and care has been devoted to its growth which increases its value.

For example, a 6-inch Koi fish can range anywhere from $10-$50, while a 14-inch Koi fish can cost up to $200-$300. A 24-inch Koi fish, on the other hand, can range from $1000-$2000

The Koi Fish Breed and Price

Koi fish come in various breeds, each with unique coloration, patterns, and markings. Some of the most popular Koi fish breeds include Kohaku, Showa, Sanke, and Utsuri. The breed of Koi fish also affects its price; some breeds are more valuable and sought after than others, and that raises their prices.

For instance, Kohaku Koi fish, which are white with red markings, are usually the least expensive due to their commonality. Meanwhile, Sanke and Showa Koi fish, which feature black and red patterns, are more expensive due to their unique look and rarity.

The Koi Fish Quality and Price

Another factor that determines the price of Koi fish is the quality of the fish. Quality is related to the fish’s appearance, skin, pattern, and body shape.

High-quality Koi fish exhibit intense colors that are evenly distributed across the body. The skin should be free of blemishes, such as scars or spots. The fish’s pattern should be symmetrical and well-balanced, and the fish’s body should be in excellent condition.

A high-quality Koi fish will be more expensive than a lower-quality one, but the depth and clarity of the colors, texture of the scales, and overall physique of the fish make it worth the extra investment.

Growth Potential and Price

When buying Koi fish, growth potential is another critical factor to consider because it determines the size and value of the fish over time.

A Koi fish with excellent growth potential will have a large, muscular body, and well-defined fins and tail. Such fish will continue to grow in size and value over time, so they are worth the initial investment.

However, Koi fish with poor growth potential, such as those with small or weak fins, and thin body configuration, will likely remain undersized, and their value will not increase significantly.

In conclusion, the price of Koi fish varies widely depending on the size, breed, and quality of the fish. When choosing a Koi fish, it is important to consider all these factors and invest in the best quality fish you can afford. Koi fish are a rewarding and beautiful addition to any garden or collection, and owning a high-quality specimen can be a source of pride for years to come.

Age of the Koi Fish

Age of the Koi Fish

The age of a koi fish is an important factor that affects the price. Generally, a younger koi fish will be less expensive than an older one. This is because younger fish have not yet developed their vibrant coloration and distinctive patterns. As koi age, their coloration and patterns become more defined, making them more valuable to collectors and enthusiasts.

In addition, the age of a koi fish also affects its size. The older a koi fish, the larger it will typically be. Larger koi fish are generally more expensive than smaller ones because they require more space to thrive. They also tend to have more impressive coloration and patterns, which again, makes them more valuable.

When considering the age of a koi fish, it is also important to keep in mind the potential lifespan of the fish. Koi fish are known for their longevity, with some living for thirty years or more. A young koi fish may be a less expensive option initially, but it may require a bigger investment over time if the tail then grows or its colors brighten.

Coloration of the Koi Fish

Coloration of the Koi Fish

The coloration of a koi fish is perhaps the most obvious factor that affects the price. Koi fish come in a wide variety of colors, from solid white to black, and everything in between. However, some colors are more rare or desirable than others, which can impact the price.

For example, a koi fish with a deep, vibrant red coloration is highly prized in the world of koi keeping. Red koi fish are relatively rare, so they tend to be more expensive than other colors. Similarly, a koi fish with a metallic sheen to its scales – known as a ‘gin rin’ – is also more rare and therefore more expensive.

However, it is important to note that personal preference also plays a role in the value of koi fish coloration, so what one person finds desirable, another may not.

Pattern of the Koi Fish

Pattern of the Koi Fish

The pattern of a koi fish also influences its price. Koi fish can have intricate patterns that range from simple, single-color scales to complex designs with multiple colors and shapes. Like coloration, the complexity and rarity of a koi fish’s pattern can impact its value.

For example, a koi fish with a pattern that resembles a map of Japan or a goshiki pattern (literally, “five colors”) is highly valued by collectors. Conversely, a koi fish with a very simple or plain pattern may be less valuable. Again, personal preference plays a role in selecting patterns that are most attractive to an individual.

It is also essential to consider the consistency of the pattern, as this is another crucial factor in the price. If the pattern is clean and consistent over the whole body of the fish, it will be more valuable than a fish with an irregular or uneven pattern.

In summary, a koi fish’s age, coloration, and pattern are three essential factors that impact its price. While there are other factors at play, including body shape, rarity, and breeding quality, these three are the most significant when it comes to assessing the value of a koi fish. Ultimately, the price of a koi fish comes down to personal preference, as what one person considers to be a high-value fish may not be the same for another.

Place of Purchase

Koi Fish for sale

Koi fish are considered to be one of the most popular and beloved fish species in the world. They are known for their vibrant colors and patterns, as well as their peaceful demeanor. They come in different sizes, colors, and breeds, and can be found all over the world. However, one of the factors that people consider when purchasing koi fish is the place of purchase. The costs of buying a koi fish can vary depending on where it is purchased, whether it is from a pet store or a specialized koi dealer.

Pet Store

Pet Store

The cost of buying a koi fish from a pet store is generally lower compared to buying it from a specialized koi dealer. Pet stores cater to a range of animals, not just fish, so their inventory of koi fish may be limited. If you are a beginner and want to start with a small pond, purchasing from a pet store may be a good choice. Pet store koi fish can be purchased for as low as $5 up to $50. However, this price range is subject to the size and breed of the koi fish.

Specialized Koi Dealer


Buying koi fish from a specialized koi dealer means you are investing in high-quality and specific breeds. Specialized koi dealers typically have a vast inventory of koi fish with unique patterns and colors. They can provide assistance with the right koi selection and care. In addition, they offer health guarantees and have access to top-notch equipment and food. The price of koi fish from specialized koi dealers usually starts from $50 and can go as high as $10,000, depending on the rarity, size, and quality of the koi fish.

Online Koi Retailers

Online Koi Dealers

Online koi retailers are gaining popularity in recent years. They offer convenience and a wider range of koi fish breeds and colors. They also offer delivery services, so you don’t have to worry about carrying the koi fish home yourself. The prices of koi fish from online koi retailers vary depending on the breed, age, and quality of the fish. Buying koi fish online can cost as low as $10 to $500 or more for high-quality koi fish.

Koi Auctions

Koi Auctions

Koi auctions are popular among koi fish collectors and enthusiasts. Auctions offer a wide variety of koi fish breeds from different regions and even countries. The prices of the koi fish in the auction vary depending on the demand and intake price. Auctions offer some of the rarest and most expensive koi fish breeds that can sometimes reach up to $1 million or more.

Overall, the cost of koi fish varies depending on the place of purchase. Pet stores and online retailers offer affordable koi fish for beginners, while specialized koi dealers provide high-quality koi fish for enthusiasts and collectors. Koi auctions, on the other hand, offer the rarest koi fish breeds for those who are willing to invest their money.

The Cost of Caring for Koi Fish

Koi Fish

Koi fish are a beautiful addition to any backyard pond or aquarium. However, owning these majestic creatures requires an ongoing financial commitment. The initial cost of purchasing a koi fish can range from $20-$1,000 depending on the size, breed, and quality of the fish. Beyond this, there are several ongoing expenses associated with caring for and maintaining the habitat of these unique fish.

Feeding Costs

Koi Fish

Koi fish require a special diet to stay healthy and vibrant. Their food should consist of a high-quality high-protein diet with a mix of vegetables and vitamins. Depending on the size and number of fish, it can cost between $20-$100 per month to feed your koi. This cost can increase during breeding season when the fish require additional protein to stay healthy.

Water Quality Maintenance

Koi Pond

Koi fish require a clean and controlled environment to thrive. This means maintaining proper oxygen levels, pH levels, and water temperature. Water filters and pumps can cost anywhere from $100-$500 depending on the size of your pond or aquarium. Water testing kits and chemicals can range from $20-$50 per month to ensure your koi fish are swimming in a healthy environment. In addition, Koi fish require regular water changes, which can add up to $50 per month.

Healthcare Costs

Koi Fish Disease

Koi fish, like any pet, are susceptible to illness and disease. They require regular health check-ups and vaccinations to maintain their health. Koi fish veterinarians can charge between $50-$200 per visit. In addition, medication and treatment can also add up to the overall cost of healthcare. Make sure to budget for unexpected illnesses or injuries that may require immediate attention.

Miscellaneous Costs

Koi Fish Pond

Finally, there are additional miscellaneous expenses associated with owning koi fish. These can include the cost of pond or aquarium equipment such as nets, pond plants, and rocks that provide cover for the fish. Additionally, you may choose to add aeration or lighting to your koi fish environment to enhance their aesthetic appeal and overall health. These expenses can vary depending on your preferences and may add an additional $50-$100 per month to the cost of caring for koi fish.



As you can see, caring for koi fish can be an expensive endeavor. While the initial purchase price can be steep, the recurring costs of properly feeding, maintaining water quality, providing healthcare, and miscellaneous expenses can add up quickly. Before committing to owning koi fish, it’s important to consider how much you’re willing to spend on caring for these beautiful creatures.


Koi Fish

Overall, koi fish are an investment that require a lot of consideration before purchasing. Their prices vary greatly depending on factors such as size, color, and breed. While starting prices for small koi can be around $15, prices can go up to $10,000 or even higher for koi of exceptional quality and size.

In addition to the initial cost of purchasing koi, owning these fish can come with other expenses such as filtration systems, food, and maintenance. Koi need a large pond to live in, which may require professional installation and can cost thousands of dollars.

Owning koi also requires a commitment of time and effort. Koi need to be fed daily, and their pond must be kept clean to avoid health problems. As they grow, they may require additional space to prevent overcrowding and maintain good water quality. All of these expenses can add up over time.

Despite the potential expenses, many people find owning koi to be a rewarding and enjoyable hobby. Koi can live for several decades and become cherished members of a family. Additionally, caring for koi can be a relaxing and meditative activity, making it appealing to those who value the benefits of mindfulness and spending time in nature.

In conclusion, the price of koi fish can vary greatly depending on a multitude of factors. Additionally, the expenses associated with owning koi can add up quickly. However, for those who are willing to make the investment in time and money, owning koi can be a rewarding experience that brings joy and relaxation to their lives.

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