Koi Fish Prices For Backyard Pond Owners In Maryland

Add Life To Your Backyard Pond And Make It A True Ecosystem

“Fish are awesome, and my kids and I love interacting with them around the pond, but our pond is actually not that big.

I do not personally invest a lot in fish like some of our clients do. For any backyard pond in the mid-Atlantic region, there are many predators to consider, and I can’t stomach waking up one morning having lost 5 figures of fish.

In my pond right now I paid around $500 to stock my pond with 24 beautiful 7 to 10-inch assorted koi and fantail goldfish. In the past we have inherited fish from clients that have overpopulated ponds or might be moving or closing up their pond.”

– Andrew Lingan, owner of Premier Ponds

Beautiful silver and orange koi

Have you ever gazed into a vibrant backyard pond and wondered how do koi fish cost? Or perhaps, pondered what makes one koi fish worth more than another? 

In this post, we’re diving deep into the colorful world of koi fish, unraveling the mysteries behind koi fish price ranges and what factors play a pivotal role in determining their value. 

As you swim through this article, you’ll not only learn the answer to how much do koi fish cost and types of koi but also gain insights into how to make the best choice for your pond.

Key Points

  1. Koi fish prices in Maryland can range from as low as $10 to upwards of tens of thousands of dollars for the most expensive koi fish, depending on various factors.
  2. Factors like color, pattern, size, age, and genetic lineage significantly influence the cost of koi fish in Maryland ponds.
  3. Proper pond preparation and understanding koi care are essential for Maryland pond owners considering koi fish investments.

Koi Fish Prices In Maryland

Here is what koi fish cost and more you need to know:

ShopSourcePriceType of Koi
PetcoUnited States$10 to $17Grade-A domestic
LiveaquariaEast Asian standard koi farm$8 to $20Assorted Grade-A
Next Day KoiIsrael$30 to $660Large Butterfly koi
Kloubec KoiUnited States advanced koi farm$100 to $2,500Large to extra-large koi with rare color patterns
Kodama Koi FarmJapanBids (up to $16,000)Certified Grade-AAA koi, large to jumbo-size
Sakai Fish FarmJapanBids (up to $200,000)Certified Grade-AAA koi, large to jumbo-size, contenders for Grand Champion, high-quality koi fish

How much are koi fish? They can be anywhere from $8 per fish to thousands depending on the bids. 

You’ll love having koi fish as much as any pond owner does (which is a lot). Koi add vibrant colors and life to your pond. Wait! Before you hop off this page to go buy some, you’ll want to know koi fish prices.

There’s a wide range when it comes to how much koi fish cost. There are several factors that determine how much one will cost, and it can range from about $10 per to tens of thousands of dollars.

If you’ll be investing in adding living creatures to your backyard pond, it’s a great idea to have someone maintain it first.

You can trust Premier Ponds to maintain your koi pond.

There are several reasons why we’re the number one choice for backyard pond maintenance and pond cleaning in Maryland. You can use us to make sure your pond is koi fish-friendly so they’ll be happy and healthy in their new home.

What Affects Koi Fish Prices In Maryland?

Lots of koi

1. Color and pattern Of The Koi Fish

In Maryland, the color and pattern of a koi fish make a big difference in koi fish price. 

There is a rule that affects koi fish costs just like it does everything else; the better it looks, the more expensive it is.

People have been breeding koi fish for centuries, resulting in vivid colors and patterns, but only on some. One of the most sought-after color combinations is bright red-orange, the darkest black, and a shining white. People also compete over koi that are solid yellow, gray, or white.

In Japan, people want koi that look like the Japanese flag, meaning pure white with a large red dot on their head.

2. Genetic lineage

You’ll find some koi can trace their ancestry back for generations.

This affects koi fish prices because it’s like buying a purebred dog versus a mutt. It’s all about class. The koi with the highest value is the Gosanke. Inside of this breed are Sanke (Taisho Sanshoku), Showa (Showa Sanshoku), and Kohaku.

There are even koi fish competitions resembling dog shows. The rule of thumb is the more rare the features are, the more expensive the fish is.

You can find cheaper domestic koi at local pet shops and online fish shops. It’s harder to tell which breed the koi is. These koi tend to be hardier than show koi, meaning they’ll live better lives in your backyard pond.

3. Body shape and fin-type

Japanese and United States koi farmers usually have a different preference here.

In Japan, short and neat fins are more sought after. Some traditionalists see long fins as mutations and thus imperfect. 

In the United States, koi with long fins are called Butterfly koi because their fins look like fragile wings. Some can even start looking like little swimming dragons!

This causes koi fish prices to differ in each place based on which fish you buy. Just go for which look you prefer.

4. Koi Size

Again, the rule of thumb that governs most things also governs koi; the bigger it is, the more expensive it is. This is why koi fish cost more when they’re larger.

  • Domestic koi tend to grow between 12 and 15 inches in length
  • Japanese koi tend to grow between 22 and 26 inches in length
  • Jumbo koi tend to grow between 34 and 36 inches in length

5. Koi Age

You can more easily tell the quality of a koi fish as it gets older.

Larger koi are more expensive. When you buy younger koi you can’t tell how large they’ll get, which means you can’t tell their quality. This is why koi fish prices are lower for younger ones.

Also, you won’t be able to enjoy your koi for as long if you get older ones. They can live for decades depending on the fish and their care.

6. Koi Sex

It’s imported vs. domestic and value here.

Females are more expensive when it comes to highly-valued Japanese koi. They’re usually longer and have rounder fins. You can also use them for breeding, which makes them cash fish.

Domestic koi are usually closer in price, so it’s not usually a significant difference in the koi fish price.

6. Where You Buy Your Fish In Maryland

Where you buy your koi fish in Maryland can also change the price. Special koi farms might have more expensive fish, but local pet stores or places in neighborhoods around Columbia, MD, might have better deals.

Why Koi Fish Prices Are Higher Than For Other Fish

Koi fish swimming in large backyard pond

Koi, renowned for their elegance and vibrant colors, are not just any ornamental fish. In Maryland, particularly in areas like Columbia, the demand for these beautiful fish reflects their unique status.

Here’s why koi fish prices often surpass those of other pond fish:

Koi are higher-quality fish

Koi fish cost more because only quality ones make it to market.

Even though koi lay millions of eggs throughout their life. Sadly, most of them will have deformities. These can be sold at lower prices.

Koi fish, especially those of show quality, command higher prices due to their exceptional beauty and rarity.

Unlike regular pond fish, koi are bred for specific colors and patterns, making each koi a unique addition to backyard ponds across Maryland.

The cost of koi fish reflects the meticulous care and selective breeding practices employed by top Japanese breeders and koi farmers worldwide.

Selective Breeding And Rarity

Breeding koi fish is an art form deeply rooted in Japanese culture. 

In Maryland’s koi community, enthusiasts often seek out specific types of koi, such as the vibrant Showa koi or the elegant Butterfly koi. 

The rarity and uniqueness of these koi varieties, often sourced from renowned farms like Kodama Koi Farm, contribute to a higher koi fish price. The price is even higher when compared to other fish.

Raising koi is a commitment

Raising high-quality koi is a commitment that requires time, effort, and resources. 

Koi farmers, dedicated to nurturing these living creatures, invest heavily in ensuring optimal pond quality and fish health. 

This dedication is reflected in the koi fish prices, as only the healthiest and most vibrant koi make it to local pet stores and koi ponds in Maryland neighborhoods.

Transportation costs

Imported koi fish, particularly those from top Japanese breeders, incur significant transportation costs.

Koi farmers have to pay shipping, customs, and a license fee. These expenses, coupled with the need for specialized care and pond maintenance, drive koi fish prices way up.

For Maryland residents, investing in a koi pond means considering these additional expenses, which contribute to the overall cost of koi ownership.

It might be best to start with less expensive koi fish. This way, you can see what it’s like to raise pond-quality koi fish in your Maryland outdoor pond without risking hundreds of dollars.


Most other pond fish are easier to get and are more common, raising the koi fish price range.

Unlike common pond fish, koi are prized for their unique beauty and lineage, making them more expensive. This is especially true for show-quality koi.

The selective breeding process, especially by Japanese koi experts, focuses on cultivating koi with specific colors, patterns, and body shapes. This meticulous process results in each koi being a distinct, living work of art, sought after by enthusiasts.

This is why koi fish cost more on average.

FAQs About Koi Fish In Maryland

Closeup of koi fish in a backyard koi pond

What is the average lifespan of koi fish in Maryland ponds?

Koi fish in Maryland typically live between 25 to 35 years, with their longevity heavily influenced by pond conditions and care.

How big do koi fish get in Maryland backyard ponds?

In Maryland, koi fish can grow up to 3 feet in length, with their size being a factor of pond space, diet, and overall health.

What are the best koi fish types for beginners in Maryland? 

For Maryland beginners, hardy koi varieties like Kohaku or Sanke are recommended due to their adaptability and vibrant patterns.

Put The Finishing Detail In Your Maryland Pond With Some Koi Fish

But before you do, please make sure it’s going to be a good home for your fish! You don’t want to pay these koi fish prices only for it to not work out. It’s best to prepare to be a fish parent first.

You can always use Premier Ponds to make sure your pond is fish-friendly. Contact us today or see our pond maintenance page for more information.

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