I cannot recall the number of times I have asked a breeder the price of a particular Koi and received the reply – ‘Up to now I have refused XXXXXXXXXyen.’ – And that’s it! It’s then left to me to increase the amount he has already refused…..or so he says!


Koya Carp; Koyas; Kiyos; Chags; Mackawackabacka; Shy-roe-you-soor-eye; Shower; Organ; Prant-la; Kahoo; Quackoo;


I’ve heard this statement uttered by Koi keepers almost forever, it is far more commonplace today as is the old perennial ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. You’ll see these statements in print on Koi Internet bulletin boards where the majority of posters know each other reasonably well. A typical ‘innocent’ post goes something like this –

‘Hi Peeps, here’s a couple of pics of my latest tiddler, picked it a couple of weeks back and thought I’d run it by you all for some comments – don’t be too critical please. It’s 27cms now, I got it to ‘grow it on’ in my indoor tank for a bit of winter fun. Nothing special, a pure impulse buy, saw it whilst looking for some cheap food near the sell-by date, cost me £22 quid and that’s about my limit as far as this size goes – I’m not one to keep the rip-off merchants in the lap of luxury whilst they come out with their techie terms. But you know me, I’m not into showing Koi, ‘Smagger123’ only buys what ‘Smagger 123’ likes. Whadya’ think? Smagger 123.’

He’d be expecting replies like this –

‘Wow, looks good to me Smags, where did you find it?’

‘Are there any more Smags?’

‘Well done Smags, that’s one hell of a Koi – not that I would know lol!’

‘Let me know when you get tired of it, I can give it a good home Smags.’

Should some smart-arse come back with a reply like –

‘I’d have preferred just a touch more pattern at the back end’ or ‘Is there a very slight deformity on the right – just after the dorsal fin?’ or similar.

Then Smagger still has the ‘I only buy what I like’ card to play for his reply!

But secretly he’d be well and truly gutted!!!

When in real truth, the post should have read –

‘This is one very serious Yondan Maruten Kohaku, have been watching it very closely for the last six months. A very soft but thick beni with amazing white ground for its size, I can see the kiwa tightening up over the next few years and I know the Sashi has ‘a bit to do’ yet. Went to the National a few weeks back and took pics of ALL Kohaku in ALL sizes and, to be honest, this is in a different league altogether, doubt if any of you will ever see a tosai ‘female’ Kohaku as good as this for sale anywhere – let alone own one. For the last six months I’ve driven all over the UK to every Koi outlet there is and their prices are bloody astronomical. They were asking £995.00 for this when I first saw it in February, owner said it was from SFF – ‘Benibana’ line (looks more like the obvious traits of ‘Beauty Rose’ to me) and also said he would just get his buying price back at that price. I must have had it up in a bowl for 20 times or so over the past few months. A few weeks back whilst photographing it at the dealer’s premises, it jumped out and a tiny scale came off near the anal fin – ‘course, that’s no problem, but the owner said he’d let me have it as a one-off deal for £500.00 because of this. That’s when I got really interested and have kept in touch with Fred, the owner ever since. Got a call from him last night when he told me he’s having to shut down, said he’d take any reasonable offer for her so I shot down there today with cash. She cost me £250.00 but he threw in two big bags of food and an almost new Koi bowl. Before I left he said he’d be closed down tomorrow – sad really. I can see this Koi in four years time where she’ll get Adult Champion at the National and then I’ll be grooming her for Supreme! Took me 80 attempts to get these perfect shots with my new £3,200.00 digital camera set-up. Smagger 123.’

Of course, the Koi will never even see the National but the good news is Smagger will always have his ‘I only buy what I like’ card to play, that’s if he’s still into Koi by then!

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