School of koi fish swimming in a pond

For most koi enthusiasts, the idea of putting one of their koi up for adoption seems unimaginable. But real life happens. There are numerous reasons that owners will opt for going the adoption route. Here are a few of the more common reasons that koi are put up for adoption.


In some instances, it can be as simple as the previous owners of the koi passing away and the next of kin don’t share the same passion for koi keeping. Or the new owner of a koi keeper’s home are looking to move the koi on after they move in.


Before a koi owner relocates, they can be proactive and try to find a home for their Living Jewels to ensure that they are not left up to the mercies of whomever the next property owner is (as sometimes a koi pond can affect property value).

Grown Too Big

Many new enthusiasts are not made aware of how large a nishikigoi can get under good feeding and water conditions, and they can quickly become overwhelmed—especially if the koi are being housed in a tank versus a pond.

Not Aware of Proper Care

Additionally, many new owners don’t appreciate the level of maintenance that comes with koi ownership and are quickly swamped by the amount of necessary upkeep.


There is a generally accepted ratio for the size of a koi fish and the volume of water required to provide a healthy environment. A good koi owner should always be aware of their fish load. It will directly impact their water quality and as a result the quality of life of the koi in it.

Lose Interest

Sadly, some people just aren’t koi people. They will find that owning and caring for a nishikigoi is not for them. Given the alternative of simply letting them die, however, finding a better home for them is by far the better choice.

To the Rescue

It’s not unusual to see a report in local newspapers around the country highlighting how koi are unexpectedly ending up on the end of hooks in waterways. This is usually the result of koi owners simply dumping their unwanted fish into nearby bodies of water.

Fortunately, however, there are kind-hearted individuals and organizations (like Vagabond koi in San Diego) that are dedicated to”rescuing” your koi and “rehoming” them in the best possible home that it can get outside of your own pond.

The organizations that are committed to relocating koi have specific requirements and protocols for rescue and adoption. Make sure you find out what they are and follow them as closely as possible.

Alternative Options

By and large, the koi ownership fraternity is a dedicated and caring one. Do a little research and contact a koi owners’ club or organization near you, or reach out on a local koi forum. They can be a great source of information. They can often make suggestions regarding affiliated organizations or refer you to members can help to rehome your koi. Santa Barbara Koi will even inspect your pond before koi adoption to make sure it is up to spec and provide recommendations to make it so if it is not.

Koi Rescue Phoenix Arizona has a notification list, allowing interested parties to exchange information directly.  Of course, there are always offers like this on Craigslist.


Despite the best intentions of koi adoption agencies, there is no guarantee that the koi you will be adopting is illness- or disease-free. It is advisable to follow quarantine protocols before introducing them to your pond. It also gives the new addition time to adjust its new water parameters.

Like any new koi that you add to your pond, it might take your adopted koi a little while to adjust to its new environment. If you can adopt two from the same pond, it can be helpful in the readjustment period.

Once that koi leaves with the adoptive owner, it then becomes the responsibility of that owner. The new owner assumes all the risk (and reward!) of that koi.

If you are thinking of adopting a koi and are new to the world of koi ownership, here is guide on considerations for a new koi owner. And whether you adopt or buy a koi fish, chose wisely and your koi will provide you many years of joy.

44 responses

  1. Good morning,
    I have a concern. I have a small Koi pond, the size is 7’long X4′ Wide X 3′ deep (aprox 630 Gl of water). My koi are getting very big and even though I only have 5 Kois and 1 small Comet Goldfish, I starting to feel that maybe is just not enough room for them. I love them dearly and have them for about 7 years.

    Would you please give you your opinion
    Thanks a lot

    1. If you are concerned about the fish outgrowing their pond, you could look into rehoming them with another hobbyist or a dealer in your area, then start over with smaller fish.

    2. Daniel Mitchell :

      I have 3 ponds and there all over 50,000gal. And if you want to give away will take them

    3. Hello
      I have multiple koi ponds and just dug a larger one this summer to add to my love for these fish.
      If anyone needs to find a new home in and around Rehoboth Ma for there fish please contact me @
      Thank you for your timw

  2. we have 6 very large koi and they have produced 30 or husband can no longer care for his pets ,some we have had for over 20 years. can you find them good homes

    1. Daniel Mitchell :

      I have 3 ponds there all over 50,000gal. 2 of them doesn’t have any fish in them. Would love to have them.

    2. Barbara North :

      I have a very large pond if anyone is looking to regime their koi my pond would accommodate a few presently I have just been gifted from my son 7 koi they may be about3 to 4 inches… pond is the size of an in ground pool. My home,is located in Cape May County NJ. Photos of my pond upon request.

  3. Jason Hernandez :

    I am willing to adopt any koi that needs to be rehomed. Whether he has outgrown your pond or has overgrown and you cannot take care of the koi. Text me to 956-992-1808 or send me a email @ Thank you.!!

  4. sarah pearsall :

    We are buying a home with a koi pond already established. We know we are not equipped to care for them. How do I know if they are well and disease-free? How can I find out what kind they are?

  5. Keely Sullivan :

    Hi, my dad loves his koi fish but my mom doesn’t have the same feelings. My dad was diagnosed with cancer and passed June 1, 2018. We need to re home the koi fish. We have been searching for an individual but haven’t had any luck. We live in Texas between Huntsville and Conroe. Anyone in the area that you know of willing to take the koi. Mine of them is huge and dad had about 11 years or longer. Any help is appreciated. Thank you in advance, Keely

    1. Sorry, we don’t know of anyone to recommend, however you can try looking up koi clubs or koi dealers in your area. Thanks and good luck.

  6. roger salindo :

    Casey, I too am getting to old to care for my Koi fish that are 18-16″ . There is a local Koi club (Camellia) where I live in Sacramento, CA. should I contact to see if I can sell? Disappointing to see such large fish sell for next to nothing, Please advice.

      1. Leslie Secour :

        I live on Rehoboth Ma
        I have 4 koi ponds vary on sizes and will be custom building one.
        If there is anyone that needs to find homes I will take them for you.
        Please email me at

  7. Mark Presley :

    I’m interested in adopting koi Live in Georgia at the Florida line off 95 Love the tricolor ones Let me know if you have younger or older but it really doesn’t matter

  8. Anthony Halll :

    Hi we’d love to rehome some koi in Wa. State. We live in the Seattle area & we have a 3000 gal. pond. I can be reached @ 253 761 6554 Thx.

    1. Hello, unfortunately, we do not have any koi available for rehoming at this time. There may be other enthusiasts looking to rehome their koi though. Best of luck in finding some. Thank you.

  9. Blanca Zuniga :

    I am interested in adopting Koi. I cleaned my my pond and I did not put the net on cause it got dark. This morning a found a Heron and it ate all of them and I only have 2 left. Would rather adopt than buy. I live in Aurora IL 60503. My number is 630 306 2059. E mail is best.

    1. rosaline :

      I am so sorry to hear this! I hope someone in your area will contact you soon. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at

  10. Rick Mil. :

    I have recently added on to my koi pond again (1000 gal) and have room for more. If you are looking for a good home for your koi and live in around Wayne Co. Mi please contact me. I rather adopt than buy. It makes my wife feel better.

  11. Rick Milbank :

    I have recently increased my pond size (again) another 1000 gal. and have room for more fin friends. I would rather give a great home to adopted koi than buy them. I live in Wayne Co. Michigan. so give me an e-mail if you want your fish to go to a very nice home. Thank you

  12. Daniel Mitchell :

    I have 3 ponds there all over 50,000gal. 2 of them doesn’t have any fish in them. I’m look for koi that needs a good home.

  13. Hi if anyone is located in Northern California and wants to rehome a 4-year-old plus (got him when he was about 2 inches long and have had him for 4 years and he is about 12 inches long now) koi please contact me at

  14. Shutting down my small pond (250-300 gal) in central Florida. Have two 10”+ solid color koi (1 orange and 1 gold) and several Shubunkin and fancy goldfish in need of a good home. Have had all for over 5 years.

  15. We are moving out of state (Arizona) and would like someone to adopt our 8 koi. Three are pretty good size and 5 are still small. If you are in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area and are intrerested in having these guys please let me know.

  16. Montoria Smith :

    I have a koi and he has outgrown his aquarium. I would have him placed in a pond but I live in city limits and renting so I can’t have one of my own. I need to adopt him out as well as 5 goldfish but I am more concerned with my koi. Any suggestions are welcome.

    1. Sorry to hear about this. Craigslist, local pet shops that allow advertisements for animals, and koi forums are the places we think you will find the most interest.

    2. I would like to adopt some Koi if anyone needed to rehome them. I’m willing to pay the shipping. please contact me 586-4-5-7045. Thanks

    3. If u want to give those kids away please contact me, I would like to take care of them like u did.

  17. Jamie klinginsmith :

    I would like to adopt some koi. Some ko i will become therapy for disabled children and adults. Also those with addictions or ptsd, or domestic violence. they will be at our office facility. some will go to.our private home.for therapy for family member. Jamie 623 226 2201

  18. Judy Shadle :

    I recently lost 4 12″ koi to a heron. I am looking for some that are being rehomed. Also if there any fry to be rehomed.
    Thank you, Judy

  19. Conrad Caguimbal :

    I just came back from being out of the country and lost my whole pond of kois. Im desperate to re-stock my pond again. My pond is 5700gal pond. Its 4 feet deep with a waterfall and has 6 turles also occupying the pond. Please contact me at 408-318-1306

  20. Billy Olofsson :

    Hi, I’m looking for 1 or 2 medium size Koi (11-16 in.). If your plans have changed, moving, whatever. Please reach out 323.371.1204.
    If you are in northern California I can pick up. Thanks.

  21. Arisa Yoshida :

    Years ago we built a deep water feature in the front entrance area of our home and added goldfish and guppies from the pet store. One of the “goldfish” ended up being a beautiful white and blue koi. We had plans to relocate it and build a proper pond for it in the back but then Covid happened and now no chance for pond. Even worse, something has begun snatching the fish out front and our poor koi is all scratched up. We are protecting with a metal pet cage on top for now but the koi needs a good home that is safe and size appropriate. I am in Fresno, CA. Is there anyone around who can help?

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