koi without dorsal fin


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I have been keeping koi for the last 15 years and currently have a 10,000 gallon pond in PA. It was stocked with my 6-7 year old koi in 2016 which happily multiplied. This spring I caught a baby koi in the skimmer which lacked a dorsal fin like some of the fancy goldfish (lion heads, celestials, etc.). However, it still has the koi shape and although it doesn't have a perfect back minus the dorsal fin (very slight bumps on the back in two places) I can't find anything on the internet about koi without dorsal fins. This particular fish is currently in a 40 gallon breeder tank together with two other (perfectly normal) koi babies and they are all doing well. They eat well, they swim well and I can't distinguish any difference between the behavior of the normal koi versus the "abnormal" one. Has anyone ever come across a koi minus the dorsal fin?
 

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Welcome!
I haven't seen that before in koi, but I would say just treat him/her as any other koi but watch out for any other deformities.
 
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Hi Mitch,
Thanks for your reply. I am not so much worried about other deformities, but more interested in possibly propagating this fish. Just as there are different shaped goldfish or long finned koi there could be intertest in dorsal-less koi. Specifically since this koi seems to be as healthy as the others, swims just as well, but it just looks different.
 
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I wish there was a site or forum I could direct you to for further instruction, but the sites I know of will be pretty critical towards any fish that falls outside of standard show koi standards.
The best suggestion I have is to raise this fish as healthy as you can ( this forum promotes naturally balanced water quality rather than micro-managing water quality) and breed this fish to see what offspring have the same dorsal-less quality.
I don't know what the potential marketability could be for a fish with that distinct physical trait.
 

Mmathis

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I wish there was a site or forum I could direct you to for further instruction, but the sites I know of will be pretty critical towards any fish that falls outside of standard show koi standards.
The best suggestion I have is to raise this fish as healthy as you can ( this forum promotes naturally balanced water quality rather than micro-managing water quality) and breed this fish to see what offspring have the same dorsal-less quality.
I don't know what the potential marketability could be for a fish with that distinct physical trait.
Thank you! Your compassion is appreciated!
 
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Nature is wonderful, with all the variations that crop up. Your fish is such a pretty color - has he/she always been so brilliantly colored?
 
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I wish there was a site or forum I could direct you to for further instruction, but the sites I know of will be pretty critical towards any fish that falls outside of standard show koi standards.
The best suggestion I have is to raise this fish as healthy as you can ( this forum promotes naturally balanced water quality rather than micro-managing water quality) and breed this fish to see what offspring have the same dorsal-less quality.
I don't know what the potential marketability could be for a fish with that distinct physical trait.
Thanks Mitch, I realize there are very specific standards for koi but I am just baffled that I can't find anything anywhere about a koi without a dorsal fin. It's a spunky little fish and it will remain in the 40 gallon tank this winter with the other two baby koi. Come spring next year it will go into the 10,000 gallon pond outside and it will have to take its chances there. Hopefully it will do well with the others and we will see how it goes from there. If you want to see some pictures of my pond, check out my webpage www.martysgarden.us
 
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I wish there was a site or forum I could direct you to for further instruction, but the sites I know of will be pretty critical towards any fish that falls outside of standard show koi standards.
The best suggestion I have is to raise this fish as healthy as you can ( this forum promotes naturally balanced water quality rather than micro-managing water quality) and breed this fish to see what offspring have the same dorsal-less quality.
I don't know what the potential marketability could be for a fish with that distinct physical trait.
 
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Thanks Mitch, I realize there are very specific standards for koi but I am just baffled that I can't find anything anywhere about a koi without a dorsal fin. It's a spunky little fish and it will remain in the 40 gallon tank this winter with the other two baby koi. Come spring next year it will go into the 10,000 gallon pond outside and it will have to take its chances there. Hopefully it will do well with the others and we will see how it goes from there. If you want to see some pictures of my pond, check out my webpage www.martysgarden.us
 
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Nature is wonderful, with all the variations that crop up. Your fish is such a pretty color - has he/she always been so brilliantly colored?
Yes, it has been this color probably its entire life. When I caught it in the skimmer filter at about one inch long it was already this color. You can check out my pond on my website www.martysgarden.us
 

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I think most of here feel the same way about the creatures in our care, @Mmathis (y).
I was mostly referencing the first part of your comment — about the attitude found on other sites.

@23moostveen Hello and welcome. You mention possibly breeding this fish. Genetics is a fascinating science and there are so many variables and possibilities. The only thing I would be worried about is if this lack of dorsal fin has any other physiological or anatomical anomalies [or hidden weaknesses] associated with it — these could be hidden to the eye, but still be present (like Mitch said, keep an eye on it), and could be passed on to offspring. Or not. You never know. All you can do is try it and see what you get. You might have the start (foundation stock) of a new fish “breed.” Or, its lack of dorsal fin could be a one-time thing that will never show up again. I would love to hear about the outcomes, so please keep us informed!
 
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I was mostly referencing the first part of your comment — about the attitude found on other sites.

@23moostveen Hello and welcome. You mention possibly breeding this fish. Genetics is a fascinating science and there are so many variables and possibilities. The only thing I would be worried about is if this lack of dorsal fin has any other physiological or anatomical anomalies [or hidden weaknesses] associated with it — these could be hidden to the eye, but still be present (like Mitch said, keep an eye on it), and could be passed on to offspring. Or not. You never know. All you can do is try it and see what you get. You might have the start (foundation stock) of a new fish “breed.” Or, its lack of dorsal fin could be a one-time thing that will never show up again. I would love to hear about the outcomes, so please keep us informed!
I will definitely keep you posted although it will probably take a while before this fish will do what seems to come natural to my koi, i.e. multiply. I don't want to segregate it in a separate pond with just a few fish, but prefer to have my fish all in the large pond come spring. Then we will see what happens. Thanks again for the reply. This is a fascinating website.
 
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I was mostly referencing the first part of your comment — about the attitude found on other sites....
oh, ok.
I think we should distinguish between attitude and approach, though.
Someone with an attitude has a closed mind, not open to new facts.
Someone with a different approach may change their actions because new facts come available.
I've posted studies on a different popular koi forum before and I've seen instances where older members are starting to promote the results of those studies. That's a good thing, but the adaptation of new facts (to the other members) happens slowly.
 
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I took a look at your website @23moostveen and you sure have a beautiful garden. I had a good chuckle over your dislike of cauliflower and brussels sprouts, my parents also grew them in large quantities however unlike you I love them, boiled or roasted or with a good cheese sauce I'll eat them. Now boiled cabbage is a whole different kettle of fish and is what I ended up hating. Just looking at the picture you posted, I'm curious if it has any barbells as they are not noticeable.
 

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@23moostveen I found this site that talks about certain goldfish, not koi that do not have dorsal fins.
Fin Variations
There are really only two major caudal fin variations, single and twin.

Within these two types, caudal fins can be long, short, pointed or rounded at the ends, forked or have no fork at all, depending on the goldfish type. The rest of the finnage generally follows the caudal fin form.

Single tailed varieties include the Common, Comet, Bristol and London shubunkins.

All other fancy varieties should have two caudal fins (and two anal fins on the better specimens).

Sometimes single tailed fancy goldfish are called nymphs, but they are only poor specimens that shouldn’t have made it passed the first cull.

The only other major fin variation is goldfish with a missing dorsal fin. These varieties include the Celestial, Water Bubble Eye, Pompom and Lionhead. These goldfish are some of the most highly developed.
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They breed these fish to not have dorsal fins and cull out any that do. I would not like doing that. I think I would just enjoy your fish as it is cuz chances are you would not find another one to breed it with. Also I read somewhere that the dorsal fin helps the fish to stay upright and not have a tendency to roll over.
 
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I wondered the same thing - kind of why I was surprised to see so much color in a small koi. I wondered if this might be a goldfish.
 
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