- Cleanliness – Look at the cleanliness of the store. If the store is not clean and well cared for, it's likely, the retailer does not care for their fish either.
- Dead Fish – If you see any dead fish floating in the tanks – even just one – stay away. This can indicate a poorly maintained tank.
- Quarantine – Does the retailer quarantine their fish when they are first brought in and for how long? It is very important that all new fish are quarantined for at least 14 to 21 days for salt treatments to ensure the fish are not carriers of disease or parasites.
- Sick Fish – Look to see if any of the fish are hanging out alone, with clamped fins. This is a sign that the fish is sick.
- Net Sharing – Make sure the clerk uses a different net for each tank. Using the same net for all tanks can spread disease from one tank to another.
- Clear skin – Look for fish with no marks. A fish that is missing scales, has sores or broken or missing fins are signs of a bacterial infection or parasite.
- Fish Size – You need to take the size of the fish into consideration, so you don’t overstock your pond. Remember, 1” for every square foot of surface water.
- A knowledgeable Staff – You want to purchase fish from a knowledgeable and honest merchant that can help educate you about your potential pond pets.
Just like any pet you want to be sure your future pond fish have been well taken care of. Fish, especially Koi can be expensive, and you will want to make sure they are happy and healthy. You will want to be extra careful if you plan to introduce new fish to a pond that already has fish. This way they do not carry disease to your already healthy pond.