I’ve probably spent more time in Japan with Gary at Gatwick Koi than any other dealer, certainly over the last couple of years, somehow we’ve both managed to survive to tell the tale…..although there have been some incidents, the least said of which the better!

Knowing there was lots of work going on at Gatwick Koi I popped in the other day to catch up with Gary and see exactly what.

It seems that whenever I arrive at Gatwick Koi Gary is sat in the same place, doing the same thing, almost always with a smile on his face.

Service with a smile

Service with a smile

Having posted the above picture on Facebook it was pointed out that despite it being 7th September, the calendar behind him was still on July and August’s page.  Amid claims of being too busy to change it beforehand it was soon sorted, the power of social media at work!

Updated calendar

Updated calendar

For the benefit of anyone that hasn’t visited Gatwick Koi, a few shots of the shop’s retail area.  Whilst it won’t win prizes for the biggest Koi store in the world, every inch of space is well used, and it’s a bit of an Aladdin’s cave as you wander through to the back room where the food is stored.

Gatwick Koi entrance and main display pond

Gatwick Koi entrance and main display pond

Gatwick Koi sales ponds

Gatwick Koi sales ponds

Prize wall

Prize wall

Food stocks

Food stocks

Probites food

Probites food

Oase products

Oase products

Over the last few years in the UK the Koi business has been very tough for a variety of factors including the general economy, the weak pound against the Japanese Yen amongst them.  Dealers have come and gone, and at times you have to wonder for the future of the Koi industry and hobby.  Koi show numbers are on the decline, and we don’t even have a regularly published magazine that features the hobby any more in the UK.


Paid banner advert - put your ad here for just £50 per month

I have to say the visits I’ve paid to dealers this last week, including Gatwick Koi, give me renewed encouragement that keeping Koi is not a thing of the past, a dying hobby, it’s just changing.  Gary was not the only one to tell me about young people coming into the hobby, and the reports I’m getting about filter sales, which equals pond builds or refurbs at least, is encouraging for sure.

Whilst business may be tough, the strong survive, and the fact Gary has had to employ a shop manager, Tom, to share the workload on him and his wife Sue shows they are surely doing something right.

Tom feeding Koi

Tom feeding Koi

In 4 dealer visits over 3 days, there was 1 common product that received strong words of commendation from 3 of them, that product being the Oase ProfiClear Premium range of filters, particularly the drum filter module of it, a product that Gary is putting to extensive use.

I would probably have written off any Oase filter product without even looking at it properly if I’m honest.  Indeed, I passed it by at the BKKS National without even a second glance.  When I lifted the lid on one of the units running at Gatwick Koi I was immediately struck by how solid it was, when I expected it to be light flimsy plastic typical of box filters.

If you want to know more, then contact Gary about them.

Oase ProfiClear drum and moving bed

Oase ProfiClear drum and moving bed

Oase ProfiClear Premium Compact

Oase ProfiClear Premium Compact

As I mentioned at the beginning, there is a lot of work going on at Gatwick Koi at present, specifically the remodeling of the quarantine centre, situated in a remote building around 100m from the retail shop.


Paid banner advert - put your ad here for just £50 per month

Effective quarantine is a necessary, if time consuming, and expensive, part of being a Koi importer/handler in 2016.  The days of selling Koi and releasing them to customers hours after they’ve been unloaded from a plane should now be a thing of the past, the long term benefits are for everyone.

The building below has been used by Gatwick Koi for their very strict quarantine process for several years, however, for several reasons Gary has deemed it time for some changes.  Firstly, the ponds were small, reflecting the size of Koi that were being quarantined when built.  With more larger Koi coming in now, they simply need more space.  Secondly, the maintenance of the ponds was time consuming when time was becoming an ever decreasing resource.

All of the new ponds will be filtered using pump fed versions of the Oase ProfiClear Premium Compact filters, testimony to the faith Gary puts in the units which already maintain 2 of the systems in the shop.

When complete the quarantine centre will have 6 ponds of 4000, 1500, 1250, 850, 850 and 700 gallons, all isolated to keep any risk of cross contamination between breeders Koi to a minimum when imported and provide customers with the greatest confidence and comfort that their Koi are disease free on purchase.

Quarantine centre

Quarantine centre

Newly rendered quarantine pond

Newly rendered quarantine pond

Newly built quarantine pond

Newly built quarantine pond

Gary heads out to Japan for his autumn harvest buying trip around the 16th October by which time the above quarantine centre will be fully operational, as will be the new Gatwick Koi website at – http://www.gatwickkoi.com/ – where his trip will be blogged on a daily basis.


Paid banner advert - put your ad here for just £50 per month