Everything you need to know about Sanke koi fish
The Sanke variety of koi fish has been a beloved pet since the first one was brought to the Tokyo Exhibition in 1914. These lovely koi captured the hearts of breeders and casual owners alike since then, and Sanke koi fish quickly become a common sight in shows and ponds around the world. What sets Sanke apart from other koi fish is its color and Markings.
Like the Kohaku Sanke koi fish have a white base color with red markings, but they also have black markings as well. Ideally the white color should be as pure as snow in order to contrast the deep red and black of the markings. The red coloration should be a vibrant red-orange color-which is difficult to develop or a purplish-red color which is easier to maintain. The black markings that differentiates a Sanke from a Kohaku may not show until they have matured so you may not even know if you have one until they are fully grown. These black markings should be deep and contrast greatly with the other colors on the koi fish.
The markings on a Sanke koi fish should all be above the lateral line on the koi fish so that the belly of the koi is all white. The markings should also extend along the whole length of the koi without being to heavy on one side or the other in order for the fish to appear balanced even though perfect symmetry can never be achieved. When judges evaluate a Sanke in a koi show they tend to prefer small black marking and larger red patches with no windows revealing the white base color in them. If a koi has windows in their red coloring it means they may eventually lose that coloring all together. Ideally a Sanke will have little to no black on their head, only red markings and all marking on the koi will be crisp so the lines between marking and ground are clear. The fins of a Sanke koi can be clear, have black stripes, or a block of black either near the body or tips of the fins. All of these markings make for a beautiful and visually interesting fish - even if they do not fit all the ideals.
While the Sanke koi fish has a simple pattern when compared to other koi fish varieties such as the Asagi or the Hikarimoyo it is still very eye catching and has a presence in almost every koi parents pond. The contrast between red, white, and black make this variety of koi fish a charming and beloved member of the koi fish family.
Do you own a Sanke koi fish? Are you thinking about purchasing a koi fish? Send us a picture of a Sanke that you love even if it is not your koi we love to see them!