As the title suggests, taking Koi to the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham for us was a new challenge. I know I can hear a lot of people out there saying ‘so what’ there are Koi shows all over the country, and people take Koi…………..ofcourse they do, but……..

This was slightly different.

The Aquatic World – our retail outlet has had some strange challenges thrown at it over the last twenty years, but last year as The East Riding Koi Co one of our friends and colleagues laughingly decided to put us to the test in a completely different direction…………

As you might have noticed we have a link to a certain classic car web site – everyone’s all time favourite car - The Morris Minor? Well we happen to be the proud owners of a Morris Minor Van and a much sought after Morris Minor Pick-Up

The Classic Car Show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham is one of the most prestigious car shows of the year.


Now for the challenge…………

Could we create a real live Koi ‘pond’ in the back of our Pick -Up and  bring some Koi to take part on the planned exhibition stand that’s theme was based on the working Morris Minor. Our Pick-Up is sign written with ‘Aquatic World for Pond Supplies’ so it would fit nicely in with the only remaining Morris Minor Fire Engine in existence, Post Office and GPO vans, Wedding Cars and a Gentleman’s Taylor’s vehicle.



Well our answer just had to be yes of course we could………but we had some important stipulations, we had to be near a water source and we needed a 24 hour electricity supply. No compromises, no turning it off at night…………….it had to be 24 hours.

All that settled, we turned to the logistics of the matter -

When we actually measured the space we had to create the ‘pond’ in it was a little less than we had imagined, only 36” x  48” x 18”  we also had to allow for the best filtration possible, all our ‘props’ to make it look like a pond and of course some clothes. Then we realised that for big fish there really wasn’t  too much room for keeping them sweet and healthy even for a couple of days, and this was going to be for four, so we decided to compromise for safeties sake with half a dozen 6 to 7 inch Koi and half a dozen Gold Fish of the same size.


We contacted Aquosis who made us a Zippy Fish Transporter. This is a container that is especially made for transporting fish by vehicle, it is jump proof being able as the name suggest to be securely zipped up, but with an ample oxygen inlet. In our case it was especially made to measure for the back of our Pick-Up – we had already been seeding our filtration for several weeks. We had decided to use an Eheim Professional 2026 external canister filter as this was not too tall to fit in without being seen, but also was good for the job. An Air Tech 40 was going to supply the air for our 30cm air ring.

We also invested in a 300w inverter that powers mains equipment from a 12v source, as we obviously wanted everything still running as we were travelling down to Birmingham. The journey in a modern vehicle usually takes around two and a half hours, so in a Morris Minor rather weighed down with water and all the rest of the baggage it was going to take considerably longer!

I travelled the entire 145 miles to the NEC with six large buckets between my knees; these were for filling up purposes. A Morris Minor Pick-Up is only built to carry ¼ ton in total, so we had to travel with the pond only just full enough to keep the fish happy.

When we finally arrived on the show stand we had to support our Minor first by putting axel stands under the body to take the weight off the wheels. Only then could we fill up the ‘pond’ to its optimum level. Our Zippy held 82 gallons, which, when every gallon of water weighs 10lb counts up to a whopping 58 stones – well over our ¼ ton weight limit!!!

All set up with filtration and air, the artificial pond plants looking very real under the lights, plus extremely lively fish that seemed to have quite enjoyed their journey we stood back and admired our efforts. Even though it was only the setting up day and no public were yet in attendance our pond was already creating quite a stir among the other stand erectors.

We had three marvellous days. All the equipment ran perfectly with no hic ups, the fish basked in all the attention that surrounded them, almost performing for the cameras that were continually taking pictures to be taken back home to all corners of the world……….As for feeding times they became something of a side show………All quite bizarre really!

Then on the final day the icing on the cake for us was that our stand won the ‘Best Classic Car Stand’ for a car club of 5,000 members and over. Classic Car Magazine quoted that it was the best stand in over a decade. The challenge had been met and all the effort and planning had paid off.

It was hard work but worth it. The ‘Celebrity’ fish? Well they are in a holding pond under cover waiting until the weather warms up before being transported to their new home…………..

ERK Ltd.

Please contact us if we can help in any matter <sales@koicarp.net>