Blue Ridge Koi Blog

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Premium Select Koi and Butterfly Available For The First Time This Season

For the first time during the 2014 koi season, we have Premium Select Grade Koi and Premium Select Grade Butterfly Koi available for sale.  The highest quality grade we offer!  Check out our Price List and Availability for the full story.

The Premium Select Koi are available in 6-7″, 8-10″, 10-12″ and one box of 12-14″.  Premium Select Butterfly Koi are available in the 6-8″ size only at this time.

Here's a quick peek at the 10-12″ Premium Select Koi we have for sale currently.

10-12″ Premium Select Koi from Blue Ridge Fish Hatchery, Inc. on Vimeo.

 

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Save Money with DIY De-Chlorinator

Here is a tip to save you a little money.  Follow these simple instructions to make your own de-chlorinator.

Make Your Own!

De-chlorinators are made from a readily available  and incredibly cheap chemical called "sodium thiosulfate".  There are lots of formulas out there in regards to how much it takes to neutralize a given amount of chlorine.  Here is just one of those formulas:

First, there are a couple of variables that you need to know, such as:

  • Gallons of water to be de-chlorinated, or (G) 
  • Concentration of chlorine in mg/liter, or (ppm)

With these two pieces of information, you can plug them into this formula to see how much sodium thiosulfate you need:

G  x  0.0038 (milliliters/gallon)  x  ppm  x  3.49 (units of sodium thiosulfate/unit of chlorine)  =  grams of sodium thiosulfate needed 

The Easy Route

You can also go the easy route and "ball park" your estimate.  Sodium thiosulfate is very cheap and nearly impossible to over dose, so you can use this guideline:
  • Two teaspoons of the crystals will de-chlorinate 500 gallons of fresh tap water
  • Two tablespoons will de-chlorinate 1,500 gallons of fresh tap water.
  • 1/3 cup will de-chlorinate 6,000 gallons of fresh tap water
  • 1 cup will de-chlorinate 18,000 gallons of fresh tap water

Be aware that some municipal water supplies contain chloramine instead of chlorine.  Using the de-chlorinator on water containing chloramine will leave you with ammonia, which will need to be eliminated with biofilters or ammonia binders. 

Where to Buy?

Here are a couple of sources for purchasing sodium thiosulfate crystals:

The Chemistry Store

Aquatic Eco

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Updated 2014 Price List Available

Just posted are our updated prices for the 2014 season.

Dealers with a web account can check out the new prices by downloading the current Price List and Availability.

Don't have an account?  Apply for an account now or contact us for an updated Price List and Availability.

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Reader’s Choice – Gin Rin Hariwake Butterfly Koi

We continue our Reader's Choice series today with a true gem among Butterfly Koi enthusiasts – Gin Rin Hariwake Butterfly. 

Hariwake are highly prized among koi hobbyists.  The bright, vibrant yellow of top quality Hariwake cannot be found in any other variety.  Coupled with a bright white base, the yellow will really pop in your pond.  Add to that some bright and sparkly gin rin, and you've got a true stunner.

So, let's take our pick.  Assume that all three butterfly koi pictured below are 10 inches in length and a little over one year in age.  Which would you pick to take home as an addition to your pond?

gin rin hariwake butterfly koi fish for sale

Leave a comment below and voice your opinion.  And remember, there are no wrong answers!  Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder.

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Platinum Ogon Koi Picture Pak Now Available

We have just added a brand new Platinum Ogon Koi Picture Pak, available for free use amongst all of our customers.

live platinum ogon butterfly koi fish

This Picture Pak includes seven high resolution images, including Gin Rin Platinum Ogon and Butterfly Platinum Ogon.

Enjoy!

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Introducing Free Use Koi Picture Paks

Starting today, dealers can log in to their account and download free use koi and butterfly koi images.

The first Picture Pak, uploaded today, offers 6 crisp images of high-quality live Showa Koi and Showa Butterfly Koi.

Have a special request for images?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you need!  Don't have a dealer account?  Apply for one now.

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Koi, Cold Water and Carp Pox

Randy LeFever, Owner and President of Blue Ridge Fish Hatchery, offers some advice regarding carp pox, and what it may mean for your fish.

Carp pox is a herpesvirus that affects koi.  Effects are primarily seen in the cold winter months, when a koi's immune system is less active. Carp pox is not to be confused with KHV (Koi Herpesvirus).  Where KHV can result in massive losses, carp pox is relatively benign and typically not life-threatening.  Symptomatic fish will have hard, waxy-looking lesions, usually around the head and shoulders and on the fins.

carp_pox

But what to do about it?  Well, the recommended treatment is… do nothing… and wait for the water to warm.

There are no chemicals (antibiotic or otherwise) that will have a positive effect on fish infected with carp pox.  This is because viruses do their damage by inserting themselves into normal cells and killing them, but not before instructing that cells' machinery to duplicate the virus. So any attempt to destroy virus particles will necessarily kill the host as well.

So what's a koi keeper to do?  The only thing you can do is support the koi's immune system so that it can destroy the virus on it's own.  In the case of Carp pox, this means simply providing your fish with good water quality and waiting for the water to warm.  Then your koi's immune system will work it's magic and the carp pox lesions will disappear.

Dealers, you can find a copy of this article in the Downloads section.  Print it out, display it in your store, or offer it as a handout to educate your customers!

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Reader’s Choice – Asagi

One of the oldest varieties of koi.  Many of the varieties available today were formed from Asagi crossbreeding.  Asagi is truly a cornerstone of the koi hobby.

But what makes a great Asagi?  You have the blue reticulated pattern, and of course the orange or red hi markings.  But how much red is too much?  How much will the red expand as the koi ages?  Any serious koi hobbyist must do their best to answer this and many other questions.

So, at 8 inches and less than one year old, which would you choose?  Would you go with the strong, solid reds of Asagi A?  Or maybe the less developed hi of B or C? 

Leave a comment and let us know which you would take home!

asagi_readers
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Reader’s Choice – Kohaku

The king of koi.  Where koi keeping begins and ends.  Everyone has heard the sayings that accompany Kohaku.  Kohaku is what most novices envision upon hearing the word "koi", and indeed is the most popular variety in the koi industry.

But what makes a great Kohaku?  What do you look for when selecting young Kohaku?  Take a look at the three koi pictured below and let us know which you would choose.

Let's assume that all three fish are less than one year old, and approximately 7 inches in length.

live kohaku koi against blue background for comparison

What variety would you like to see showcased next in the Reader's Choice series?  Let us know in the comments!

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Koi and Winter Hibernation

Did you know that koi hibernate during the winter?  Yep, just like many other animals, koi are very sedentary during the fall and winter months.

Now, to be clear, koi do not technically "hibernate" during the winter.  And their activity is not like other hibernating animals.  There is no burrowing, no hoarding of food, no stealing of pic-a-nic baskets.  But they go into a hibernation-type state just the same.

When the water turns cold, you will notice a dramatic decrease in the activity level of your koi.  They will "sit" on the bottom of your pond, floating upright with their pectoral fins tucked up underneath the body.  Their heart rate and metabolism slows during the cold period. 

Check out this video clip of koi in cold fall water.  (Sorry in advance for the bad cell phone quality).  Notice that while some of the koi are still moving slowly about the pond floor, others are already sedentary, floating in place with their fins tucked.

Hibernating Koi in Cold Fall Season Water from Blue Ridge Fish Hatchery, Inc. on Vimeo.

Koi should not be fed (and in most cases will not eat) when the water gets below 50 degrees.  That's right, they don't need to eat at all.  Koi will go through your entire winter season without eating pellet food added to the pond.  

Although koi can live through the winter in a frozen-over mud pond, it is a good idea to keep at least a part of your pond's surface unfrozen.  The climate that you live in will determine what you need to do to prevent freezing.  In some warmer climates, keeping the water circulating constantly may be enough.  Colder climates might require a heater.

If you have any questions, look for a qualified koi and pond dealer in your area.  Someone local will be best equipped to answer your questions about koi and the cold winter season.