Quarantining New Koi. The first 36hrs 27 April 2019


We thought we’d give you a quick insight into some of the processes involved in quarantining Koi once they have been imported by Utopia Koi prior to them being delivered to their new owners or being placed on sale.

At Utopia Koi, All things Koi aren’t just a job to us but quite simply it’s a way of life. A lifestyle. We take everything we do at Utopia Koi very seriously and aim to offer the highest possible levels of service with everything we do. Quarantining Koi is obviously one of those things.

As part of the quarantine process deployed by Utopia Koi we check the Koi for viruses and pathogens. KHV is unfortunately currently in the spotlight and is one element during the quarantine process we thoroughly check as well as other areas for things such as parasites and other pathogens.

The process of quarantining Koi is a complex subject and this blog doesn’t cover all aspects but is meant to give a glimpse of some of the work undertaken within the first 36 hours of the Koi landing in the U.K.

At Utopia Koi we have carried out a huge amount of research and discussed quarantine processes with eminent authorities within the animal welfare and veterinary sectors allowing us to devise a protocol that we believe is as thorough as possible. 

Importing Koi is probably the most stressful thing you can possibly do to a Koi. If you think about it the fish are held for period of time in holding nets in Japan without food so that the level of ammonia in the shipping bags is kept to a minimum. This is essential but the Koi are starving when they land in the UK. The fish are packed in bags and boxes for travel which takes around 36 hours door to door. They don’t have the luxury of a box each and share their box with other Koi. Durning their transportation every effort is made to make the Koi as comfortable as possible however they go through water temperature changes, oxygen deprivation and suffer water of imperfect quality whilst being bounced around the bag and box they are held in throughout the 5000 mile journey.


The result of transporting Koi is pretty obvious. Koi that are in a state of extreme stress. 

KHV is a virus and a virus is most easily detected durning times of stress because as with all living things when they are stressed their immune system takes a pounding and illnesses are more easily contracted or viruses that are already within the body can become re-activated from a dormant state.

When a virus is active more antibodies are produced making it easier to detect via an antigen test. It there for follows that the best time to check for a virus is when the subject (in this case a Koi) is in its most stressed state.

There are a couple of tests available to check for a virus such as KHV within a Koi. A pcr test or an antigen test. At Utopia Koi we have opted for the use of multiple antigen tests as part of our quarantine procedure.

Carrying out antigen tests for KHV on Koi is above and beyond and most Koi dealerships don’t carry out such tests but at Utopia Koi we felt it showed complete transparency and offered our customers a level of peace of mind that they deserve and won’t be offered at all Koi dealerships.

Performing an antigen test on a Koi is safe and does not harm the fish. It involves a simple gill swab which can be performed quickly and without damaging or hurting the Koi.

We are happy to say that today the latest shipment of Koi from Japan has been checked with antigen tests and all of the tests were negative 

Koi KHV Antigen Test

Here’s a quick video we have made showing part of the quarantine process carried out in the first 36 hours within a bio secure quarantine area. 

Obviously we’d love to show you the fantastic Koi we have but the health of the Koi comes first. Once we are fully satisfied that the fish are “tip top” we’ll showcase them in all their glory.

We hope you find it interesting and we’ll post further updates as we progress through the process of quarantining the new Koi

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