Koi Varieties


Nishikigoi otherwise known as “Koi” are a glorified “Common Carp” that are sought after for outdoor ponds or water gardens. They are bred to have certain colour patterns, colour vibrancy and body shape.  There are many different kinds of Koi, from Domestic, Malaysian, etc. to the ultimate Japanese Koi. The Japanese Koi has the best in all three sought after features. The beginning of testing with colouration dates back to the 1820’s in Niigata, Japan but not shown to the world until 1914, The Kohaku (red and white) was the original breed leading to the multiple variations there are today. The Doitsu variety is a scale less Koi, generally having a much sharper colour edging and vibrancy, initially started from the Mirror Carp and the Butterfly Koi has very long fins, making it very distinctive. The Ginrin Koi has a specific metallic shine to their scales, making them very vibrant in an outdoor environment.

Breeding (Pictures of Breeding)

Breeding generally happens as the water temperature is about 18 degrees Celsius.  The female will lay her eggs on either a Spawning Mop, Hyacinth\Water Lettuce roots or other plant life, the male will then milt the eggs to fertilize. The Spawning Mops are most preferred as it is much easier to remove the eggs from the main pond to a separate holding tank.

hyacinth with eggs eggs close up


Koi Varieties

The  Go Sanke group consists of Kohaku (Red & White) Sanke (Taisho Sanshoku)- (White, Red & Black) and Showa (Showa Sanshoku)- (Black, White & Red) and are the most highly regarded and highly sought after for Japanese Koi keepers and breeders.

Pictures of Japanese Koi

Check out these awesome underwater videos of different Koi Varieties!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbForlk7QWs –

Here is a list of the most desired Koi varieties

  • Tancho – (Fish with red spot on centre of head and no other red located on body)
  • Asagi – (Primarily a blue fish with orange highlights such as on its fins, cheeks and sometimes on belly)
  • Shiro Utsuri – (A white fish with distinctive black markings)
  • Chagoi – (Tea coloured in different shades of green and brown)
  • Shusui – (Similar colouring as Asagi but a Doitsu scale less variety)
  • Goshiki – (A five coloured Koi with black, red and grey being primary colours)
  • Kumonryu – (A black and white Doitsu Koi known as dragon fish by the Japanese)
  • Ogon’s – (Platinum (white), Yamabuki (yellow) and Orenji (orange)
  • Ochiba – ( Bronze and grey – literal name meaning”Autumn leaves on water”
  • Bekko – (Solid base coloured Koi (red, white or yellow) with multiple black markings)
  • Kikokuryu – (A metallic version of Kumonryu)


Differences between Goldfish and Koi

The Goldfish is much smaller then the Koi, usually having unique variety of body shapes and colouration. The Goldfish does not have (Barbels) or as some call them “whiskers” this is a very distinctive feature of the Koi

Most common types of Golfish suitable for ponds.

  • Common Goldfish
  • Comet
  • Sarasa
  • Shubunkin
  • Wakin
  • Black Moor


ranchu japanese tosakin japanese


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