John Fornaro used to be a professional fisherman, but nowadays he breeds fish instead of catching them. The particular fish that he breeds are koi, a Japanese ornamental carp.
Koi are a cousin to goldfish, though koi can grew to be three feet long. “They also have individual personalities and can recognize people,” Fornaro said.
Fornaro bought his first koi to put in his farm ponds in the 1990s.
“That first batch must have had every bug known to man,” Fornaro said. After that, he started researching how to treat and care for koi.
“I was more into the microbiology than the fish themselves,” Fornaro said.
He soon was caring for healthier koi and he started breeding them in the farm ponds. With an abundance of fish, he opened the Hanover Koi Farm in 2000. By Fornaro’s estimation, he has hundreds of breeds and hundreds of thousands fish. Hanover Koi Farm is the largest retailer of Koi in the country, according to Fornaro.
As fish are taken out of the crowded ponds to be rated and priced for sale, they are first placed in quarantine. This allows the staff time to not only check the individual fish for illness and parasites, but to get an idea if there are problems in the pond. The problems are then addressed and the koi are offered for sale.
With larger koi costing more than $200, Fornaro wants to make sure that those fish he sells are healthy and hearty. He even sells the food and medicine to help you keep them that way. Customers also get Fornaro’s expertise because he shows them how to use everything properly.
Hanover Koi Farm also sells equipment to install your own pond and keep it running in optimum condition.
Hanover Koi Farm • www.jnfkoifarms.com • 717/637-1111 • 1332 Moulstown Road North, Hanover
- Hanover Koi Farm sells koi by mail order and ships them via FedEx Next Day Air, door to door.
- Advice about sick fish or pond is free service Hanover Koi Farms provides to regular customers as a “thank you” for their continued business.
- Koi make great pond fish because they help control algae.
- Koi are sold by size class and quality grade. The most-popular grade of fish at Hanover Koi Farm is “select,” which is a very high quality pond fish. Fornaro says that they are probably the best value fish as well.
- Hanover Koi Farms has thousands of koi in more varieties than you will find at most retailers available for sale at any given time.
- John offers seminars and private consultations about ornamental pond and natural/farm pond aquaculture, as well as general koi health issues.
- Koi are larger than goldfish and look like carp unlike goldfish, which have elaborate body types.
- Koi represent good luck and good fortune to the Chinese.
- Fornaro traveled to Japan in 2007 to see if they had improved upon their koi pond treatments and pond biosecurity. While he saw improvement, Hanover Koi Farm is far ahead of them on raising healthy koi.
- Hanover Koi Farms has a top-rated quarantine facility and one of the strictest quarantine protocols.