Blue Ridge Koi Blog

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Killer Big Ryukin!

We have loads of 5″ Calico Ryukin and 5″ Red & White Ryukin available for sale this week!  View our complete list of Imported Goldfish.

live calico ryukin gold fish 5″ Calico Ryukin


red and white ryukin 5″ Red & White Ryukin

These guys have high, arching dorsal fins and long and flowing tail fins.  The red on the Red & White Ryukin is deep and dark!

And don't forget, this is only a taste of all of the Imported Goldfish that we have for sale!

Posted by Casey LeFever


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pH and Ammonia – What You Might Not Know

Everyone knows that pH and ammonia levels are vitally important to the health of your koi and goldfish.  But did you know that measuring pH and ammonia tells only a portion of the story?

Commercial ammonia test kits measure total ammonia.  But it’s the un-ionized portion of the total ammonia that is toxic to your fish.  And the amount of un-ionized ammonia changes drastically as the pH changes.  

Take a look at the chart below for further explanation.

ammonia and pH chart

As you can see, an ammonia level of 1.0 ppm is harmless to fish at a pH of 7.0.  However, at a pH level of 9.0, that same 1.0 ppm of ammonia is potentially fatal.  Put another way, a given amount of total ammonia is approximately 10 times more toxic at pH 8.0 than it is at pH 7.0.

So what does this mean for your koi?  Well, it is always best to keep your pH somewhere in the range of 7.0 to 7.5, and to keep your ammonia as close to 0 as possible.  However, when your ammonia starts to rise (due to over feeding, added stock, or for any other reason) be aware that a spike in pH could turn that small amount of ammonia into a potentially fatal killer.

In the short term, elevated ammonia levels can be mitigated through water changes.  For a long term solution, consider adding additional filtration to your system.

An Aside On Ammonia and Shipping Water

You may see some dealers and hobbyists in the koi industry recommending that, upon arrival of a new shipment of a fish, pond water should be added into the shipping bag in order to acclimate the new arrivals to any difference in temperature.  We do not recommend adding pond water to your shipping bag.  We strongly discourage this practice.

But why?  It all has to do with the ammonia and pH relationship. 

While fish are packaged in a shipping bag, they release waste into the water, and ammonia levels rise.  The fish’s respiration inside the bag lowers the pH, rendering the ammonia less harmful than if the pH were higher.  By adding higher pH water (your pond water) into the shipping bag, you run the risk of increasing the toxicity of the present ammonia and in turn harming your fish.

For temperature acclimation, we recommend floating the sealed shipping bag in your pond for approximately 20-30 minutes before releasing the fish.  This is assuming that the fish appear lively and unstressed.  Fish that appear stressed or lethargic in the shipping bag should be released into the pond as soon as possible.

Dealers, download and print this article to display in your store, or hand out to your customers.


Posted by Casey LeFever


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Extended List of Imported Goldfish For Sale

We've added loads of new Imported Goldfish items for sale this week. 

calico oranda goldfish 5.5″ Calico Oranda

Lots of great options for your customers, including:

  • 3″ Celestial Eye
  • 2″ Calico Lionhead
  • 2″ Red Lionhead
  • 3″ Calico Ranchu
  • 3.5″ and 5.5″ Calico Oranda
  • 2.5″ Blue Oranda
  • 5-6″ and 6-8″ Chinese Veiltail Shubunkin


Check out the Imported Goldfish page, or download our current Price List and Availability for a closer look.

Posted by Casey LeFever


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Hatching Fish on the First Day of Spring

Check out this video from our Virginia farm.  Baby Golden Orfe, less than one day old, swim around in a hatching cone.  These fish were hatched on the first day of spring!

Posted by Casey LeFever


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Availability and Featured Items for the Week of March 17th

Our updated availability for Monday, March 17th is available now.  Check it out and place your order now!

Let's take a look at a few featured items for this week.

4 to 5 inch Skeleton Koi

Skeleton Koi

Offer your customers something different with this Skeleton Koi mix!! Available in 3 to 4, 4 to 5 and 5 to 6 inch!

3 to 4 inch Premium Grade Koi

Premium Grade Koi

Our 3 to 4 inch Premium Grade Koi are particularly nice this week.  This batch includes lots of Sanke, Platinum, Yamabuki and other metallics!  Place your order before they're all gone!

Start your order now or view our availability list to get started.

Posted by Casey LeFever


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Expanded List of Imported Goldfish Available

As we gear up for spring, our list of Imported Fancy Goldfish for sale has expanded ever further.  Check out our full list at Imported Goldfish or on the Price List and Availability.

New additions to the list include:

  • 2″ Red Lionhead
  • 2.5″ Red Moor
  • 5.5″ Calico Oranda
  • 3.5″ and 5″ Red & White Oranda
  • 5″ Calico Ryukin
  • 5″ Red & White Ryukin
  • 3″ and 5.5″ Red & White Wakin


Our quantities are still low on account of the early season.  Place your order today and don't miss out!

Posted by Casey LeFever


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Hi Fin Banded Sharks Are Here!

We are happy to announce that, for the first time in the 2014 season, we have Chinese Hi Fin Banded Sharks that are here and ready to ship!

Not actually sharks at all, these fish make for great pond pets.  They can winter over in all but the harshest northern climates, and feed on the algae growing on the side of your pond!  They are very docile and perfectly compatible with Koi and Goldfish.

This week we only have the little guys available, at 4 inches in length.  We have a limited amount, and these usually sell out fast!  Bigger sizes will follow later this spring!  Check out our Price List and Availability for the full story!

Posted by Casey LeFever


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First Imported Goldfish of the Season Available

For the first time during the 2014 pond season, we have Imported Fancy Goldfish available.  Check out the full list.

Although this is a limited selection compared to what we will have later in the spring, there are still some great fish to be had.  Including:

  • Red & White Bubble Eye
  • Assorted Butterfly Tail
  • Calico Oranda
  • Red & White Oranda
  • Redcap Oranda
  • Calico Ryukin
  • Red & White Ryukin

and many more! 

Posted by Casey LeFever


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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.


Posted by Casey LeFever


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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