Letter from Dave in the UK:
Can’t agree with you more strongly my friend, most setups are big money nowadays but what we have does us proud and it’s for the love of keeping Koi, not the price of the more expensive ones that we do it.
The big money Koi however are part and parcel of the Koi world you'll have to agree. They are the ones that keep the hobby moving forwards by generating major interest, the ones people go to see at shows like the National (when we next have one that is).
Yes the lesser cost Koi are good and they in turn at local level play their own part mainly in bringing people in to the hobby at their own shows. Our own show normally sees around 300 visitors throughout the day and we do generate new members because of this but the average ‘Joe’ will go with the Koi he can afford and no more. Personally for us its buying them in small and working solely with what we have to bring them on, that’s our own enjoyment and it gives us great delight.
There's nothing more satisfying as to grow them on to 22-24" then for a figure of £100 nothing more nothing less to sell them on again. From this we buy more Koi, equipment, food or books making our hobby self-perpetuating or almost so simply a great way to do things. However in the same breath these mega expensive Koi have a downward side as well, that’s in Koi theft as those that steal them think that all Koi are expensive when they are in actual fact not.
The same can be said for the equipment we use, ours didn’t cost the earth but more and more of these thefts are also equipment led because of the price they can get for them. [Ed: That’s one thing you will not have to worry about with the AFS, no one will steal it.] At least we can be safe in the knowledge that we didn't pay the earth. Nor you in that you are using the anoxic system, which you have proven time and again, that it works.
An AFS built into a garage because there was not enough room in the yard to build it. Chicago yards are very small in comparison to most suburban yards.
The cost of Koi are on the rise too Dave here in the USA. One breeder that came to the MPKS show to sell fish/Koi lost thousands of dollars of sales because his prices jumped up and quality didn’t. Koi and goldfish alike should not cost hundreds of dollars like a pedigree dog would. Inflation… or is it just greed on the breeders part?
Hobbyists’ incomes are not keeping up with the price of filters or the Koi that we keep. Every year less and less new people are coming into the hobby or a show because of the price of ownership of such is too steep. The fact that a US hobbyists is going to pay a hundred dollars and/or more for a 12” Koi when they can get a puppy and/or cat that has less risk factor involved just doesn’t make people want to get into this hobby. Then you have everyone trying to tell you that you need all this very expensive equipment is a real turnoff!
That same Koi breeder complained he didn’t make as much money as last year, DUH! Others and I will not buy Koi from him any longer because his prices are too rich for my/their blood. I’m sorry Dave but I don’t get pay raises at the same inflationary rate this hobby is growing. When will we say: Enough is enough, or are we too gullible for that? I love fish but I’m getting priced right out of the market with greed from over priced goods, example: Koi food costing $250 US dollars a bag!