Is Koi Keeping an Expensive Hobby?

piggy bank with some coins

If you are attracted to the idea of keeping koi, you must consider the financial implications of your potential new hobby. Koi can live for 30 years and more! The costs will depend on the scale of the pond that you create, the construction method and whether or not you build it yourself. But a koi
pond is never going to be cheap!

Complex Needs

If your idea of a constructing a pond is to dig a hole and to throw in some pond liner in, then think again. Koi would not survive in this type of garden pond. Koi need a generously proportioned pond with exceptionally clean water in order to thrive. In other words, you need a big pond and some serious filtration equipment.

There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to pond size but your pond will need to have a volume in excess of 4,000 litres. 7.5 metres long by 4 metres wide is probably the optimal size and that means that you face a serious and expensive project to create your pond. It will cost you at least £15,000 for a professionally installed fibreglass pond with heaters and filters. But you could easily spend more if you have extravagant plans. Unheated ponds are cheaper to install and to run but are still going to set you back a considerable sum, especially if you have to engage a contractor to do the work.

The Ongoing Costs of Koi Keeping

You will face ongoing costs too. Your water bills are likely to rise considerably if your supply is metered and those pumps, filters and heaters will increase your energy bills. You will also have to finance food and water treatments. The cost of food will depend on how many fish you keep. As a rough guide, 15 koi will cost around £100 per year to feed.

How Much do Koi Cost?

The cost of your stock will actually prove to be the least of your problems unless you insist on investing in prize specimens and that wouldn’t be a good idea if you are just starting out. You will be able to buy fish for as little as £10 but premium koi can cost £thousands.

You should also think about what will happen to your fish if you are away for more than a few days. Do you have friends and family who would be prepared to look after them? If you don’t, you will incur more expense paying someone to take care of them.

It is also worth thinking about how long you will be living at your current home. There is no point attempting to finance an expensive pond installation if you might be moving in the next few years. if a move is on the cards, try to choose a set-up which enables you to maximise what you can take with you when you move. Investigate all of your options before making your decisions and choose a pond which you can afford to build without seriously impacting your lifestyle.

 

Header image by Skitterphoto via Pexels (CC0)

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