Selecting and Adding Fish
Get a fish you LIKE!!  If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times.  Don't start with feeder goldfish or cheap, ugly koi.  
Why?  Because if they don't die within the first week you have them (and they most likely will), you will NEVER kill them,
and what's more, they will BREED!!  Besides, feeder goldfish aren't MEANT to live very long.  They are meant to feed to
something else, like a bigger fish or a frat boy.  They are raised in a very poor environment, so if you throw a dozen in your
pond and half of them die, you don't know if it's something you did or if they were terminally ill to begin with.
Koi and goldfish like company, so start with just a couple of fish and work your way up after 6 or 8 weeks.  It is better to
start with small, quality fish than big, ugly ones.  Like I said, you will never kill an ugly one.  Just assume you are going to
do everything right and these fish are going to grow to their full size in your pond.
TIP #1:
TIP #3:
Pick healthy fish from a healthy tank.  When choosing a koi or goldfish for your pond, you should look for active, healthy
fish.  I use the term "active" here loosly.  Koi do not typically dart about, but they should be responsive to your presence
when you lean over the tank.  Don't even THINK about getting a fish that is gasping at the surface, lying on it's side at the
the tank appear to have something that is making them act funky, move on.  In most cases, the tank of fish you are the
tank appear to have something that is making them act funky, move on.  In most cases, the tank of fish you are selecting
from have been through a lot of stress already, what with shipping from the breeder to the wholesaler to the distributor to
the retailer.  They have been in an overcrowded environment, they have not been fed during the shipping process, and
they have been chased around with net after net after net.  (I'm getting tired just thinking about it!)
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Whether you are selecting koi or goldfish, you should keep in mind that these fish will be viewed from the TOP in your
pond.  If the display tank is a glass aquarium, and you are viewing the fish from the side, lift up the lid and look down at
the fish.  This is how you will see the fish in your pond.  Check and make sure it has all of it's fins:  one dorsal (top), one
caudial (tail), two pectoral (side), two ventral (below) and two (or one, depending on variety) anal (under tail).  Yes, you
CAN buy a fish with missing fins if you want to, just be aware that this particular fish might have problems keeping up with
the rest of the class when feeding, so you will have to be extra careful to make sure they get enough to eat.
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ALWAYS treat your new pond water with AmQuel or another product that will bind any chloramines (chlorine and ammonia)
from the water.  I have never (never say never?) lost a fish in a new pond that I have installed because I
always treat the
water.  More koi and goldfish are killed by ammonia than anything else, so do yourself and your new pets a favor and invest
in some AmQuel.  Removing the chlorine alone is not enough.  Get something that removes, or more accurately, BINDS,
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Step 12:
Here are some general tips that you should follow when selecting and adding fish to your pond.  These general tips apply to
whatever type of fish you ultimately decide to select (koi or goldfish), and even if you don't follow every tip, you should at
least be familiar with them.
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DIY Hints
When bagging your fish to transport home, be sure there is only enough water in the bag to cover the fish.  More than that
is just unneccessary and will take up valuable air space.  Typically, pet stores will bag your fish by trapping air in the bag.  
This air doesn't contain very much oxygen, which the fish needs to survive to journey home.  A fish bagged in air will last
about 2 hours before it suffocates.  A fish properly bagged in pure O2 can live for up to 3 days in the bag!  So you can see,
the "air" part of the bag is more important than the "water" part of the bag.
If you are not able to quarantine your new fish, I suggest a salt dip.  To do a salt dip you will need the following:  Three
Then, take the bag with the fish in it and set it in tub #1 for 15 minutes.  The fish will have to adjust to two things:  1.  
Water temperature, and 2.  Water quality.  While waiting for the first 15 minutes to tick by, add as much salt to tub #2 as
the water will hold.  Stir it around and remove any excess salt that will not dissolve.  Back to the bag - when the 15
minutes is up, open the bag and add some water from tub #1.  Roll the top of the bag down and you can release your fish
into the pond as follows:  Take your hand and scoop the fish out of the bag (Do NOT use a net!) and set it in tub #2 until it
looks distressed or starts swimming sideways.  Scoop it out, again with your hands, and place it in tub #3 until it is
swimming normally again.  Finally, scoop it out of tub #3 and place it in your pond.  Do this for all of the fish in the bag
and DISCARD THE TUB WATER AFTER USE.  This dip method will knock off most parasites before you introduce the fish to
your pond.  DO NOT add any water from the transport bag to your pond!!  The last thing you need to do is add some new
parasite or disease to your pond by throwing dirty pet store water in it.  Get in the habit of doing things right now and
you won't be sorry later.
Keep your fish in a cool, dark place until you get it home.
Keep in mind that these are just general tips on adding fish to your pond.  If you want to get more specific information
on koi or goldfish, please click on one of the links below, and of course, if you have any questions, please don't
hesitate to contact me.
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