Koi carp or Nishikigoi [Cyprinus carpio] the fish we know and love are descendents of the common carp.
The carp in their original form [eating koi or magoi] are a dull brown in colouration and since the first mutation are through selective breeding by the Japanese Rice farmers, it was found that numerous coloraton and paterning could be developed .
These mutant carp where further bred by the Japanese and its these ofspring that over time eventually became the koi Carp that we know of today.
However It wasn't until early in the 20th century that koi left Japan and came to the UK late 60's early 70's and Europe where numerous clubs and societies such as the UK's BKKS where formed .
Eventually the koi crossed the atlantic and arrived in the US where again numerous clubs and societies such as the US's AKCA where formed
How long do koi live for , well if looked after they can live to 80+ years there is even talk of a famous koi Hanaku living from 25 years before the signing of the independance of America and lived right up to 1978 .some 200 + years.
Koi Carp will grow to lengths of approximately 2 or 3 feet and gain in weight around about 30 lbs.
So because of their size, they should only be kept in large ponds of at least 1000 gallons and upwards.
Water quality must be kept just right to remain healthy filtration systems should be used to maintain this water quality and there are a very wide variety of filters out there so make sure you shop around before buying they cost around about £400.00 UK and upwards .
Clasification of colour paterns can be somewhat complicated so bellow I have listed them
Ai = Blue .
Aka = Red .
Bu this is a size classification .
Budo = Purple .
Cha = Brown .
Doitsu This is the german Large scaled koi however they can be scaleless or the leather koi ***
Gin = Silver.
Hi = Red .
Kana Means this is a male koi .
Ki = Yellow.
Kin = Gold .
Mena Means that this is a female koi .
Midori = Green.
Nezu = Gray .
Orenji = Orange.
Shiro = White.
Sumi - black
Tategoi Means that this is asmall koi with potential when grown on .
Now the complicated bit colour combinations of koi , koi can be found to have just about any combination of colours.
Many club and society hobbyists like ourselves seek out specific colour patterns, non club and society hobbyists just go for koi that the are attracted too. Colour patterns are classified by Japanese names.
Asagi its body has blue-gray reticulated scales along with a red/hi underside as well as red/hi in the pectoral fins.its head should be an unblemished pale blue.
Bekko is a koi with red, yellow, or white background with sumi/ black clouration running down the back.
Goshiki this literally meaning five colours these are as follows , white, red/hi, black/sumi, blue, and dark blue. and has usually a white body with blue reticulated scales which are overlane with a pattern similar to a kohaku or sanke.
Hariwake This koi has a platinum body with patternations of orange or yellow.
Kawairmono is a term for recognized patterns that do not fall under one of the major pattern types.
Kohaku this koi has white body with patterns of red/Hi .
Koromo/Goromo this koi has a white body with blue or black pinecone scales over red/Hi patternations.****
Kumonryu this is a German or Doitsu koi with a white body with patterns of black/sumi .
Matsuba this koi has a pinecone pattern over whole body.
Ogon this koi is a solid or single coloured koi and can be white red/hi, lemon, orange.
Sanke this koi has a white body with patterns of red/hi and black/sumi, however there should be no black/sumi on the head.
Showa this koi has a black/sumi body with patterns of white and red/hi but can also be orange.
Shusui is a German or Doitsu koi, white body with blue scales along dorsal fin or line and a red/hi underside to its body
Tancho this koi has a solid white body with a red/hi circle on the head. but can also be black/sumi with a red circle it can also have the sanke makings etc but these koi should be transfixed with Tancho first then Sanke ****Note the black tancho with red markings will always fall in the class of korromo Gorromo[I know not why].....
Doitsu***Note the Doitsu can be of any variety if the koi has large scales/no scales so if we had a sanke we would tranfix the name by Putting Doitsu before its varety
I hope this helps those new to our winderful hobby and that they fall in love with koi and as such progress to a club or society .
W are considered foundng fathers of our own club the Plymouth and district koi keepers society .
If you cant find a koi club or society in your area do as we did create your own then affiliate it to omne of the large Societues loke the BKKS or AKCA
BKKS means the British Koi Keepers society and the AKCA the Associated Koi Clubs of America .
Happy Koi keeping