Have been existed for more than 400 years, Koi fish is the cross of goldfish with other type of fish. That condition can create many new variant of Koi fishes based on its reproduction. Many Koi breeders tend to breed their Koi with other variant of fishes to create new Koi species.
Commonly Koi fish is categorized based on the color of its scales. These are the sub-category of Koi fishes:
This variant of Koi are the common type which is bred by breeders. The scale color dominantly red, white and black. Gosanke itself have some variant such as:
- Kohaku Koi
- Sanke Koi
- Showa Koi
Kohaku Koi have different color compared to the other two types of Gosanke. Kohaku koi doesn’t have black on the surface of its scale, while Sanke and Showa Koi have it.
This type of Koi can be identified by seeing its color, which it doesn’t have any black color on its scale. The main color of this Koi fish are red and white.
Based on its history, Kohaku koi firstly founded in 1804 and 1829, by someone who saw it have only two main colors which are white and red. It is said that it is founded, there was a similar wish with the black carp on its scale, namely Hookazuki.
People who bred Hookazuki then find out that its baby fish mainly white color. This white colored koi then bred with red Koi, namely Higoi. From these white and red Koi, it created Koi with red stroke on its stomach area. It continuously come with different color and pattern, such as Zukinkaburi (red forehead Koi), Menkaburi (red head Koi), Kuchinebin (red lips Koi), and Sarasa (red spotted Koi).
Kohaku variety continues to expand especially in Niagata region, which until now known as koi fish farming center. The most famous type of kohaku today comes from Hachi Hi’s descendants, the female koi fish with a red head, which is crossed with the Sokura Kana stud (cherry blossom pattern) circa 1888.
In general Kohaku Koi is named based on its red and white color. A good Kohaku Pattern, ideally having a good color depth, and more importantly a good Kohaku size if the red (Hi) has a firm border, uniform shades. This line of red and black lines is called “kiwa.”
Another good characteristic of Kohaku is that its white color should be as white as snow. The unpleasant colors are usually slightly yellowish white. This is considered to make the red color becomes not prominent. Good kohaku style consists of Hi color which covers 50 to 70% of the whole body of koi.
Variant of Kohaku:
1. Inazuma Kohaku. The pattern line doesn’t cut from head to tail.
2. Nidan Kohaku. Having two red pattern on its scale.
3. Sandan Kohaku. Having three red pattern on its scale.
4. Yondan Kohaku. Having four red pattern on its scale.
5. Goten Zakura Kohaku. Having stripped color similar to grape color.
6. Kanoko Kohaku. Head full with red, but not with its body.
7. Gin Rin Kohaku. Having glossy color.
8. Maruten Kohaku. Having red crown pattern on its head
9. Tancho Kohaku. Having similar color with Maruten Kohaku, but the body plain white.
10. Doitsu Kohaku. Rare-scale Koi which is bred from Japanese and Germany koi.
This variant of Koi fish is similar with Kohaku, but having black line on its scale, which is called with Sumi.
One of the good criteria of the Sanke koi is to have a red pattern on his head, but it does not have a black color on it. A good red color stretches between his eyes, but should not touch his nose and mouth, leaving the white part at the tip of his body.
The white color of sanke is called shiro. Shiro’s color must be white as snow, or white as milk, thick, strong and flawless.The white color should not be yellowish.Hi color (red) should look full, sharp, and evenly throughout the body of koi sanke.
Showa Sanshoku, is a koi that has three colors namely black, red, and white. Sanshoku itself means ‘three colors’. And Showa refers to the era of the Japanese empire from 1901 to 1989, which was when this type of koi began to be bred. This variant very similar with Sanke, but have more black color composition.
Koi showa fish is the result of crossing koi shiro utsuri with koi kohaku. In its development, there are three types of koi showa, namely Matsukawabake (which is the forerunner of this type of koi), Kobayashi Showa (developed by kobayashi and often we meet now), and Dainichi showa.
2. Bekko Koi Fish
Bekko have mainly black color on its scale. There are some variantof Bekko:
- Koi Shiro Bekko
- Koi Ki Bekko
- Koi Aka Bekko
- Koi Bekko Gin RIn
Koi Shiro Bekko
This koi type has two black and white colors. Black or called sumi on good shiro bekko, must be balanced and have a sharp edge (kiwa). White color became the base color on shiro bekko.
Koi Ki Bekko
The basic color on koi ki bekko is yellow, and black on it. Almost the same as Shiro bekko, which is two colors, but the basic color is bright yellow.
Koi Akka Bekko
It Is koi bekko fish with red base color, with black pattern on it. Just like any other bekko, the totol-totol shades of black are small. There is no real white color on his body.
3. Koi Utsurimono
This is a koi fish with black base color. On it can be any other color, red, white, or yellow.
Utsurimono koi fish consists of:
– Koi shiro utsuri
– Koi ki utsuri
– Koi hi utsuri
Koi Shiro Utsuri
This is an interesting fish with a combination of black and white. The black color is more dominant than shiro bekko koi, while the white color is the color on it.
Shiro utsuri with good criteria if the head consists of two colors, black and white. Not a single color, just black, or white only.
Koi Ki Utsuri
Koi Ki Utsuri is a koi fish with yellow base color and black color on it. In general a good judgment or criterion, almost the same as shiro utsuri, it’s just yellow and black. The black color should be solid, the border is firm and sharp, and the base of the pectoral fin has lines.
Koi Hi Utsuri
Namely koi fish with red base color with contrast black color.
4. Koi Asagi
Asagi is a koi fish with indigo blue color dominantly, but red on its stomach, row fins, back, and tail. In Japanese, Asagi means blue/indigo.
The Amime pattern or blue mesh scales pattern on the body of the asagi should be neat.The full red color on the lower abdomen is excellent. Red / Hi on the cheek, often called Yakko, is also an important assessment.
When it is young, the net of Asagi scales will look less tidy, only when the age of 3 years, when it is about 50 cm long or more, the net of scales will begin to look neat.
Kinds of Asagi koi:
– Koi Konjo Asagi
That is the most ancient asagi. Dark blue and dark blue sides are also like diamonds. The boundary between sides will look like a thin light blue line.
– Koi Narumi Asagi
Koi asagi is light blue or sky blue. Most of the scales are light blue or white. This makes the boundary between scales wider.
– Koi Mizo Asagi
In Japanese, Mizo means water. Characteristics of this type has a thin blue color. The blue color is easiest among other types of asagi.
– Koi Ginrin Asagi
It means having a silver or silver color. This type has a silver color on the blue color.
5. Koi Tancho Fish
Koi Tancho is a koi fish which has no red color on its body, but its head have red color.
Types of Koi Tancho fish:
– Koi tancho goromo
Unlike most tancho, this koi type has a round pattern on the black head. This circle is a Goromo, or a grape.
– Koi tancho kohaku
With red dots pattern on its head, which is similar to Japan flag, this variant is very popular.
– Koi tancho goshiki
Red dots are also exist in this type. Plus in the head has a yellowish base color. On the back, there is a black color, especially on the back.
– Koi tanco kujaku
This type of koi is very unique. His body looks like koi asagi. The pattern of the scales is very beautiful, which is a neat pattern of webs. This species also had circle red pattern on the head.
– Koi tanco sanke
Similar to Tancho kujaku, black color is also in the body, but not as irregular as in tancho kujaku. The red circle in his head is more beautiful with the yellowish base color.
Those are some of the most common types of koi fish. It looks very much koi fish has a long history and development is quite interesting. No wonder, if one of these ornamental fish can touch a fantastic price if it has a good quality and in accordance with the expected.