FAQs About Nishikigoi (Koi Fish)


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General Koi Facts

If you a Koi beginner, you probably imagine their size as 20 inches based on your experience of seeing a Koi in public, but I’m sure the biggest exhibited Koi will blow your mind and break a Koi-size-record in your head.

In the 38th All Japan Koi Show, a Koi in a size of 97cm (about 38”) won the biggest Koi of the year, and it’s the largest Koi in history so far. Since Nishikigoi are mutated from carp (which have gotten as big as 1.5 m and almost 100lbs) we think we may see koi that are as large as these wild carp one day!

Read about our best types of koi food guide for increasing color and growth size.

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In Japan, Koi is a living charm of long life because Koi live a very long time.

Nishikigoi can live over 200 years if you keep them in the right way. It is said that you can calculate their age by analyzing their scales. You probably know that you can estimate the age of tree by counting its cambium layers, and you can also use the same method for Koi. Koi’s scale has certain lines, and you can find out their age by analyzing those lines.

In Gifu prefecture, Japan, there is a river called “Kiso river 木曽川”. The water in Kiso river was suitable for Koi keeping. The first president of All Japan Koi Promotion Association Komei Etsuhara was also using water from Kiso River for his pond, and he had a Koi that was called Hanako. Hanako died when she was 30 inches long in 1977. After she died, her scales were analyzed, and to everyone’s surprise, her age was calculated as 226 years old.

As you can see, Koi fish are actually very robust, and Koi hardly die if there are no failures, and it’s totally depending on owners how they manage it!

Treat your koi very well and they will share a long life with you and your family.

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It depends on how you categorize them, but in general there are more than 120 varieties.

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Yes, it is true. It can be hard for koi to digest food, so it is important to feed them easy-to-digest food.

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Some koi have been found that are 58 inches long.

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The season depends on the location. The temperature of the water triggers the spawn. In hot places like Okinawa, the season begins in March, while in Niigata it is in May and June. In tropical countries, it is possible for the Koi to spawn 2-3 times per year.

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At night when there is no sun-light, Koi stop swimming actively and are quiet at the bottom. They look like they are sleeping.

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Ginrin is the short term for Kin Ginrin. They are shiny scales. Ginrin shines gold on red, and silver on white.

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Yes. Almost all fish have a silver shine. The gene that creates silver scales is strong and any variety can have a beautiful Ginrin variation.

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Tancho Kohaku is produced from regular Kohachu breeding. Tancho Taisho Sanshoku are produced from breeding Taisho Sanshoku.

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Hachiware is a type of pattern that devides the face into half.

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They come from the same parents. Bekko is a koi with Sumi (xsimu) on the shiroji that is bred from Taisho Sanshoku. Sometimes koi with sumi on red skin appears. This is Hi Bekko. Hi Bekko and Bekko are brothers and sisters of Taisho Sanshoku.

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Yes. Like Shiro Bekko, it comes from Taisho Sanshoku breeding.

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Goshiki is bred by crossing Asagi with Kohaku. Aigoromo came from the process of leaving pattern only on the Hi, making the other part white. Simply speaking, Aigoromo has white as its ground and Goshiki has color there, and sometimes Hi as well.

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“Ai” means indigo and “Koromo” means clothes. Therefore, Aigoromo means koi wearing indigo clothes.

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It is Koromo with Sumi instead of Ai. Because Aigoromo comes from Asagi bloodlines, it usually has the Asagi’s scale color on its Hi plate. When Sumi appears instead, it is recognized as Sumigoromo.

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Goshiki literally means five colors in Japanese. When the variety was developed, there were five colors.

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It is true that through generations of careful breeding the black carp has turned into this beautiful fish. No tropical fish has ever been mixed into koi bloodlines.

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Yes, any Ogon except Doitsu Ogon can have Fukurin. Fukurin does not appear until the koi grows at least 24 inches. As it continues to grow, the Fukurin will become thicker and more beautiful.

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It is one of the clues. Breeders can estimate the age simply by looking at the koi. Breeders can tell the age by collecting various information such as body conormation, coloration, head and fins size, scale size, thickness of fukurin, etc.

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Koi can live more than 80 years.

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After spawning, a female eats food very aggressively and gets ready for the next season. Males do not have as big of an appetite as the females. Typically, the female eats more and ends up growing bigger in girth and length.

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