Different types of koi can beautify your pond, water garden, and even a small fish tank with its stunning coloration.
Also known as Jinli or Nishikigoi, koi fish is a colored variety of Cyprinus rubrofuscus. This species is popular for complementing outdoor water gardens as well as ponds.
Koi fish is originally from China, but the Japanese used them as a food source and started breeding the species for their visual interest in the middle of the 19th century.
Up to now, the Japanese have recognized a lot of diverse koi fish and differentiated them based on their patterns, scales, as well as coloration.
Since koi fish are very intelligent, you can even train them to eat from your hand or mouth without any difficulty.
This omnivore usually feeds on water plants and is capable to live for a considerably long time. The average lifespan of koi fish is approximately 50 years, making it even more intriguing to have.
Growing up to 3 ft long in general, there are more than 100 types of koi discovered until now. They remain a popular species for aquariums thanks to their stunning patterns and colors.
If you are interested in adding koi to your fish tank, reading on the following information must be great to get started.
Let’s start with Taisho Sanke, a koi species that is often called Sanshoku as well. Its second name refers to three colors, indicating the presence of the same on its body.
White, black, as well as red, are the three colors in question. It is safe to say that Taisho Sanke is one of the most favorable types of koi around the world.
Sanke has a head that consists of red and white, but this feature does not come with any Sumi markings.
The red markings of Taisho Sanke typically start from the crown of the head. As a result, you can see the face of this fish is virtually clear.
Meanwhile, the white coloration can be seen in the pectoral fins of Sanke where several Sumi markings are found as well.
If you are eager to become a professional aquarist, understanding types of koi fish and meanings should be part of your life.
When it comes to Showa koi, its name indicates that there is an existence of black, white, and red colorations on the body.
Also known as Showa Sanke or Sanshoku, this koi fish also has three different colors as mentioned before.
Even though these types of koi fish are pretty identical to Sanke, you may spot that both of them acquire different Karasu or black-colored body.
Showa koi come with red and white markings over a nearly black-colored base or body which set them apart from Sanke.
Different from Sanke, this species comes with a black outline on the top half of their bodies. Besides, Showa also has a similar colored-pattern on their heads that is not found in its sibling.
Utsuri Types of Koi
The term Utsuri does not stand for a single kind of koi fish only. Instead, it is the name of a category that consists of Shiro, Hi, and Ki.
Fish that are categorized under Utsuri koi will acquire a black-colored body with white (shiroji), yellow (ki), or red (hi) markings.
Named Utsurimono, this category is called this way because it indicates the base white, yellow, or red patterns they have.
Utsuri has a Sumi pattern that resembles one on the head of the Showa. This means the mark divides the face of this fish in an adoring way.
Moreover, the Sumi mark on the body of these types of koi is also identical to the one in Showa. You can also spot a huge, outstanding, reflective outline on the entire skins of this fish.
Wrapping around the body under the lateral line of this koi, the Sumi extends the marking from the nose to the tail.
As a result, the Utsuri tends to have a balanced marking throughout the body’s length as well as on each side of the dorsal stroke.
Kohaku koi is pretty similar to Taisho Sanke since it acquires a white body with reddish marks. However, you cannot spot black markings on this species.
More interestingly, Kohaku is well-known as the king of all types of koi fish. Its magnificent appearance looks simple yet elegant, making it a favorite choice for any aquarium.
Not only add a pop of color, but the presence of red blotches also complements the stunning white body of Kohaku koi that look somewhat uniform.
Nearly all Kohaku koi is signified by its yellowish nose. Meanwhile, the red markings on these fish are available in two different types.
Red markings with a purple tint
The first red markings on Kohaku koi feature a purple tint. These blotches seem pretty thick once the fish is pretty young.
However, as the Kohaku ages, these red markings start to lose color and result in the nonexistence of crisp margins on the fish.
Fortunately, the beautiful color of Kohaku is not difficult to maintain. Thus, these types of koi markings are typically the best option for novice owners.
Unlike the previous type of red markings, the second one is quite hard to maintain. However, these orange-red blotches are more popular compared to the first choice.
These types of red markings feature a crisp, visible margin that is between the red and white. If you are experienced in taking care of koi fish, picking Kohaku with red-orange blotches should be perfect.
Then, how about the pattern of Kohaku’s markings? Just like any other koi fish, the blotches on their body make them fascinating to see.
A red-colored marking on most Kohaku’s head tends to separate from the blotches on the rest of this fish body.
Kohaku koi that has extended markings to the head is known as the Bongiri while the one without such blotches is called the Boze.
Regardless of the pattern or color, a Kohaku fish comes in these types of koi are indeed eye-catching to adorn any pond and aquarium.
When you are looking for koi types and prices in the market, don’t forget to add the exceptional Tancho fish on your list.
The inspiration for this fish name is coming from the national bird of Japan that has an eye-catching red spot in its head, the Tancho Crane.
Tancho koi looks simple and sleek without many blotches on the body. Thanks to the red spot on their head, these fish are popular for their uniqueness.
Similar to Utsuri, these types of koi come in several varieties with Tancho Kohaku as the most prominent ones.
These types of Tancho koi have snow-white color and a charming crimson red spot on their head. The shape of this marking is typically round, but some of them may come with a more symmetrical figure as well.
When a koi fish has a heart-shaped, diamond, oval, or a circular red marking, it will be commonly categorized under the Tancho umbrella.
Aside from Kohaku, these koi varieties also include Tancho Sanke and Showa.
Shusui is a small version of Asagi. Because of the nonexistence of scales over its body, you will not spot a blue, net-like pattern on this fish.
It is common for Shusui koi to have red-colored, extended cheeks on their body too. Meanwhile, the head of this fish can be either white or blue.
These types of koi have no spots or markings on their head. There are no specifications related to the blotches on the body as well.
However, you can spot a single row of black scales running evenly and neatly along the length of the Shusui’s back.
Due to their appearance, some people find it difficult to differentiate Bekko and Utsuri. The easiest way to distinguish these two koi fish is by taking a look closer to the base color.
While Bekko comes with a red, yellow, or white-colored base, Utsuri generally features a black base with colorful markings.
In contrast, Bekko has black-colored blotches on its body. However, you will not find any Sumi markings on the head of this koi fish.
Bekko also comes in several varieties such as Aka with its red body and Shiro, the most common variant of this koi that has white-colored skins.
The main characteristic of a Bekko fish will be the absence of black Sumi markings on the head. Instead, the spots are spreading all over their red, yellow, or white-colored body.
Koromo, as known as Goromo, is among the most charming types of koi out there. The stunning appearance of this fish is a combination of Asagi and Kohaku since the species is a hybrid between these two.
This koi fish features the coloration of the Kohaku with its red and white colors. Meanwhile, the net pattern of Koromo resembles one in the Asagi.
Similar to a Kohaku fish, a red-orange pattern complements the white-colored body of a Goromo koi.
What sets Koromo apart from Kohaku is the nonexistence of blue, net-like outlines on the scales. Instead of the said patterns, these types of koi have red scaly marks on their body.
Furthermore, you can also find three varieties of Goromo koi fish in the market. These variants have different colors that contribute to their name.
First, an indigo-blue border to the scales characterizes the Aigorama variant. This edge is running within the red-colored patterns of this koi fish.
Second, there is Sumigoro, a koi fish with a black edge to the scales across within the similar red-colored outlines of the first variant.
Third, there also Budogoromo variant. These types of koi acquire an overlaid red pattern with a black-colored Sumi marking. This specification gives the fish a grape-like (budo) appearance.
Acquiring a blue-colored, mesh-like pattern over their bodies, Asagi koi is indeed one of the most striking creatures on the planet.
A red-orange coloration complements the appearance of this koi fish, especially on several spots like fill plates, belly, and fins.
Interestingly, when these types of koi are growing old, the red coloration begins to spread upwards from the underside.
Like some other koi types, Asagi also comes in several variants due to the difference in the amount of their red coloration.
For instance, one with an exceptional amount of red coloration is often called the Hi Asagi.
Taki Asagi is another popular variety of this koi type. This fish features a usual red coloration and a blue-colored mesh pattern. However, an extra white-colored line of scales completes the appearance by running between the pigmented areas of the other colors.
These types of koi fish usually have a clear, soft blue or white-colored head with no markings at all.
Hikari Moyo refers to a wonderfully stunning family of koi fish. They are popular for their shimmering skin and fascinating patters.
Not to mention the coloring that makes Hikari Moyo a superb sight to look at in any water garden and aquarium.
A lot of fish that fall under the umbrella of Hikari Moyo is an outcome of breeding between diverse Mono koi.
This category consists of several fish including Yamatonisiki, a metallic version of the beautiful Sanke koi, and Hariwake, a species with a white body featuring yellow or orange markings like Kohaku varieties.
Other types of koi that fall under this class are Kujaku and Sakura Ogan. They are the metallic versions of Kohaku.
Kujaku that literally means Peacock appears like Kohaku koi with metallic bodies and a Matsuba (pinecone) outline.
Meanwhile, Sakura Ogon is very similar to Kohaku koi except for their metallic bodies.
While all the Hikari types of koi that acquire two or more colors fall under the Majo umbrella, those with single-colored characteristics like Matsuba, Kin, and Ogon are categorized into the Muji.
Also known as Hikari Mono, this class of koi fish has single-colored and shiny skin. The name itself refers to the metallic color of the body that distinguishes them from others.
Due to their gleaming beauty, these types of koi are the first to be traded in the fish tank market.
Since Hikari Muji does not come with any patterns on their bodies, their sparkly appearance is more intense.
Like Hikari Moyo, this koi fish also consists of different varieties including Aka Matsuba and Orenji Ogon.
Akat Matsuba is a type of Hikari Moyo that comes with red scales and black centers. This characteristic adds a pinecone effect to this koi.
Meanwhile, Orenji Ogon refers to a Hikari Moyo that has a deep-orange appearance.
In addition to these two varieties, there is also Yamabuki Ogon, a metallic-looking koi fish that acquires a yellow-colored body.
Kin Matsuba, on the other hand, features a yellow-gold coloration with a metallic appearance. Then, its pattern looks like an Aka Matsuba koi.
Furthermore, you can also find Gin Matsuba, a silver-colored version of the previous Kin.
A solid, white-colored body and blue-black, net-like patterns are the main characteristics of Goshiki koi.
The meaning of Goshiki itself is five colors, referring to the variety of colors present on the body of this koi fish.
You can mention several colors when looking at the Goshiki such as white, red, orange, black, and blue. These types of koi are the result of breeding between Kohaku and Asagi.
A red-colored plate of the Goshiki resembles one in Kohaku koi. It runs over the blue-black net-like patters that appear like Asagi.
Once the Goshiki is grown-up, the red-colored plate will get thicker and dense. It may turn like an external sticker over the fish body.
Besides, the net-like pattern will also fade away in the old Goshiki. The only feature that remains on its body once this fish age is the solid red-colored plate.
To encourage the colors to develop perfectly and keep its stunning appearance last for a pretty long time, make sure to take care of the Goshiki properly.
Kawarimo, as known as Kawarigoi, refers to large, fast-growing types of koi. Hajiro, Komonryu, and Hageshiro are among the most popular species in this category.
Kumonryu koi acquires a Sumi Doitsu body with swirling blotches in white color all over the head and body. This popular dragon fish does not have a fixed pattern, making it very prominent among the other Kawarimono species.
Hajiro is pretty popular as well in this class. White-colored tips on its tail and fins complement the black body of this koi fish.
Besides, you can also find Ochiba Shigure that has a similar pattern to Kohaku. The name was inspired by its appearance that looks like fallen autumn leaves.
The Kawarigoi family also consists of single-colored koi fish such as Benigoi, Shiro Muji, Soragoi, Midorigoi, Chagoi, and Kigoi.
Aside from the mentioned types of koi fish above, you can also find other varieties such as Kin Gin Rin, Hikari Utsuri, and so on.
Compared to the above list of koi fish, these types are less popular and common. But if you like them, then you can buy them.
To conclude, koi fish becomes everyone’s favorite for a reason. Their decorative traits make them very favorable. Besides, all types of koi can add elegance and beauty to your water gardens, aquariums, or ponds.