Koi fish are a form of carp fish originally from Japan. They are very similar to goldfish, and some experts believe kois were an attempt by Japanese breeders to imitate goldfish. Raising koi fish was not introduced worldwide until 1914, and before that date it was solely a Japanese affair. During this time period, shipping became faster and safer and so the threat of fish death was very low. The hobby of raising koi exploded.
Different types of koi fish are classified by their patterning, scalations and coloration. Koi fish come in many different colors. A few of the main ones are blue, yellow, purple, white, and black. On the scales of a koi, it is possible to see a metallic gleam. This is what’s called Gin Rin. Also, there are types of koi that have no scales. Scaleless kois are usually called Doitsu. Doitsu fish were made by crossbreeding Nishikigoi and German mirrored carp.
Although there are endless variations of koi fish, there are some varieties in specific categories. An example of a popular type of koi is the Gosanke. Fish that fall into this group are Kohaku, Taisho Sanshoku and Showa Sanshoku varieties. The main groups of named koi are Kohaku, a white and red striped fish; Taisho Sanshoku, a white fish with red and black design; Showa Sanshoku, a black fish with a red and white design; Asagi, a fish with blue scales on top and red scales on the bottom; Shusui, a similar fish to Asagi with less scales; Bekko, a white, yellow and red fish with a black design; Utsurimono, a black fish with a yellow, red and white design; Goshiki, a black fish with touches of brown, blue, white and red; Ogon, a fish that’s all one color ( can be red, orange, platinum and yellow); and KinGinRin, a fish with shiny scales.
Today, there are fourteen types of koi and they have been bred especially to draw attention to their visual appearance. A lot of koi are bred in the US, but some koi come from Japan, China and Israel. There is a wide range of prices for purchasing koi, starting at $3 for baby koi and skyrocketing up to $20,000 for a prize fish.
Really, to pick a good fish you want to start with a good koi dealer. They can give you advice on color and sizes that will fit how much you can spend and how much experience you already have with koi. Usually dealers will sell inexperienced owners fish that range between three and five dollars. Then they can trade in for bigger fish once they have more experience.