Shipping and Warranty
Yes, koi can be shipped! We offer two shipping methods to meet your needs and budget.
The Super Saver: UPS 2-Day
Please note: due to bizarre weather and whatever UPS is doing, we can no longer offer our Arrive Alive Guarantee on 2-day shipments. 2-day shipments are made at your risk. We’ve been shipping small koi via 2-Day air for a couple of years now and if the weather is cool (40’s through mid-60’s) the results are just the same as overnight — but for a whole lot less money! Not only do the koi arrive in good condition, but we’ve tracked some beyond receipt and they continue to thrive in their new ponds. If you’re considering a smaller order (one budget pack can ship UPS 2-Day (approximately $18-$35 depending on location).
The Gold Standard: UPS Overnight
Ranging from $30 to $80 with an average of about $55 depending on the distance and number of koi. UPS overnight minimizes travel time and (theoretically) receives white-glove handling. Tracking is excellent, and you get our Arrive Alive Guarantee.
Packed For Success
Perhaps the most important part of shipping koi is the packaging. Our koi are double-bagged (3 mil) in water specially formulated to keep the koi calm while neutralizing dangerous ammonia. We use boxes with plenty of headroom (read: lots of air) and 100% pure oxygen, which keeps their traveling home oxygenated longer than room air.
The bag is then carefully packed in a heavy box and protected by industry-leading insulation. Yeah, it costs more but it protects the koi from sudden temperature changes, the root of unsuccessful shipments.
We ship Monday through Thursday for overnight shipments and Monday through Wednesday for 2-day.
To ensure your koi arrive safe and healthy, we limit the number of fish we will ship in one box. If you’re considering a large order please contact us first.
Food, Meds, And Other Non-Koi Purchases
Non-Koi purchases (food, medications, water conditioners, and other products that don’t eat, breathe, swim, or crawl) must ship separately from the koi. They are sent either US Mail or UPS Ground and the shipping costs will be shown separately at checkout.
Koi shipped overnight and all snail shipments include our Discount Koi Arrive Alive Guarantee at no extra cost.
- Should any of your koi perish during shipment or within 3 days after delivery, you will receive a 100% refund of the price of the affected koi — plus the proportionate shipping.
Please note: Our guarantee does not cover 2-day koi shipments. It does apply to overnight koi and all snail shipments.
Koi are hardy fish but they’re not at their best after being packed in a dark box with no food, changing temperatures, and rough handling, topped off by a long flight on a bad airline with no peanuts. Is it any wonder they’re not in the best mood when they arrive? But seriously, the transition to your pond is a delicate time for koi.
While it’s a short distance from the shipping box to your pond, we urge you to take it slowly and follow these best practices.
If possible, quarantine your new koi for 7 days. We take every possible precaution to send you healthy, happy fish but shipment stress and factors beyond our control can cause injury or disease.
We highly recommend giving your new koi a salt treatment right out of the box. A 0.3% concentration of salt (~2.5 cups per 100 gallons) will calm the fish, help protect them from parasites, and refresh their slime coat, key to koi health. Sound crazy? Take a deep dive into salt. (Note: The salt you use MUST be free of iodine. Kosher salt, salt used for water softening, or a salt lick from the feed store works best. Just make sure it is at least 99% pure salt with no iodine. We use Diamond Crystal Solar Naturals, about $5 for 40 lbs at your local home improvement store.)
To transfer the koi from their shipping container: Remove the bag of koi from their shipping box, place the closed bag in the pond or quarantine tank where it is shaded from the sun. If no shade is available put a damp towel over the bag. This equalizes the temperature between the bag and the pond. DO NOT open the bag or mix the water in the bag with the pond water. That causes an ammonia spike which can harm your fish.
After 30 minutes, or when the temperatures are equal, remove the bag from the pond. Open the bags now and remove the koi with a net. DO NOT PUT THE BAG WATER IN THE POND. Carefully lower the net into your pond until the koi swim away.
In the unlikely event that your koi die during shipment or within 3 days after arrival, please follow these instructions to request a refund.
- Photograph the dead koi out of the water.
- Photograph all of the shipping materials. You don’t need to re-assemble them, just a photo of the box will do.
- Send the photos to email@example.com.
IMPORTANT: We must receive your claim within 72 hours of the delivery time. We will review your request within 24 hours and if approved, issue a refund the same day. Please note the refund may take 2-4 days to be processed by your bank.
Your satisfaction is our #1 priority and we promise to handle your request promptly and fairly.