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The Many Wonderful Koi Varieties

The Many Wonderful Koi Varieties

When you are looking at a koi fish they are always lovely, but what type of koi are you admiring? There are so many koi varieties that many people forgo even asking they type. Koi can differ dramatically from one variety to another so before purchasing a koi it is very important to know the variety you are purchasing- especially if you are purchasing online. Without further adieu let's look at the major koi varieties!

Kohaku

Often considered to be the king of koi the Kohaku variety dominated the winner's circle in most competitions with their simple but enchanting beauty. Kohaku have red markings on a white ground, and when competing the judge looks for clear lines between the red markings and the white ground. This is hard to achieve and develops only in older fish, but you can look out for a young fish with a pattern that extends the length of its body which will have promise. 

Sanke and Showa

These koi varieties are very similar - both have red and black markings with a white ground. The difference between the two varieties lay in the black markings, A Sanke should have no black markings on their head and fewer black markings than red ones while a Showa should have a black marking on their head and will often be covered in more black than red (though that is not a requirement) further a Showa is more likely to have black on their fins. These differences can be hard to spot and often times a fish could pass for either. 

 A Sanke koi ready to be judged

A Sanke koi ready to be judged

Bekko and Utsurimono

The Bekko and Utsurimono varieties of koi fish can have a ground color of white, red, or yellow so if you are looking to add a simple splash of color to your pond a red Bekko or Utsurimono might be a good choice. Bekko's should have a pattern of black markings that look like stepping stones from the shoulders to the tail and give a feeling of elegance. The Utusrimonos markings are much larger and continuous to the point that it could appear to have a black ground creating an interesting appearance that often looks more powerful. 

Asagi

Unlike the koi fish you are probably used to seeing the Asagi have a blue coloring. This koi variety also has no scale on its head which is often white and red, further red markings often appear on the fins and body without overlapping the blue. 

 A Asagi koi waiting to be judged

A Asagi koi waiting to be judged

Koromo and Goshiki

The Koromo variety looks much like a Kohaku but their red markings have scales which are outlined in black or have a look of black markings being smeared over it. This meshing effect should not extend onto the white ground. A Goshiki Has this same mesh effect on its red markings but on the white ground the mesh appearance continues or with a blue instead of black. 

Hikari and Kinginrin

The word Hikari translates to "shining" and that perfectly defines the stunning Hikari variety of koi. While Hikari comes in a few different variations they all have a metallic luster which makes them appear to shine. The Kinginrin also has scales which hold this luster but they are actually completely colorless allowing the color of the skin to show through clearly. 

 Hikari koi and a Kinginrin 

Hikari koi and a Kinginrin 

Armed with this information you are ready to fill your pond with a stunning mix of koi varieties! However not every koi fits into these categories and it is important to keep in mind that these koi (called Kawarimono) can be the most stunning, so don't overlook a koi you love just because they don't fit into a specific category. 

Did you have a koi fish you didn't know the variety of? Where you surprised by how many types of koi there are? If you are looking to purchase a koi of any variety you should check out our survive and thrive mini course to keep them happy and healthy!

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