NINE awesome facts about Koi
Koi fish are like no other fish. They are, of course, mainly kept in garden ponds and large aquariums for their pure aesthetic beauty and ability to take all our troubles seem so small and simple as we watch them glide through the water…but here are 9 facts about Koi we thought you should know… enjoy!
1. Koi are not for everyone
Koi fish are the most expensive pets; today, the most exclusive Koi fish can command up to $100,000. Some koi fetch up to $10,000; most koi are reasonably priced within a few hundred to a $1,000. Check out some of our amazing koi fish for sale in the shop – don’t worry, none are priced at over $100,000!
2. The Big Three
There are three main types of Koi you’re likely to see everywhere: the Kohaku, with its distinctive white body and red patterns, is known as the King of Koi and form the cornerstone of any serious koi collection; the Sanke, with its peculiar white body, red and black patterns are much admired for their strong and striking colors; and the Showa, with its jet-black color base, white and red patterns are sought for their powerful, heavy and magnificent appearance. Together, these three are renowned as “Gosanke” or “The Three Families”. In the US, they are often known as “The Big Three”.
3. The origins of Koi
The carp we know today as koi were originally bred as fish food by Chinese peasants. They were first brought to Japan, also to be used as food, by returning Japanese rice farmers of the Niigata Prefecture. Around the early 1800′s, the Japanese began to breed koi for their aesthetic beauty. After years of careful breeding, several color variations and patterns started showing up. One of the first color patterns were recorded in Niigata Prefecture in Japan as early as 1805. Today, there are thousands of color variations available. The most well-known colors are white, red, black, orange, yellow, and blue.
4. Koi can outlive you
Koi are also known for their long life. The oldest koi on record was a female and lived to a ripe old age of 226 years old. However, on average, koi can live up to 20 years in your garden pond. If you can accommodate a healthy habitat for your koi within your own backyard, be prepared to pass down your beloved koi to your children and even your grandchildren because they are known to live up to 60 years old in captivity.
5. Indigestion but no stomachs
Putting aesthetics and longevity aside, koi do not possess stomachs. But they do have expandable intestines that function as pseudo-stomachs. This is why you should be careful feeding your koi in winter while their metabolism slows down almost to a halt, most especially with protein based diets, because this will only rot inside their intestines and make them sick.
6. An appetite fit for a king
Koi have insatiable appetites. They love eating and eat almost anything. Their appetite is so huge that they can consume up to 2% of their overall body weight in a single day.
7. Koi have their teeth, too
For those wondering whether koi have teeth, you may be surprised to know that, yes, they do have teeth. Those teeth, small as they are, are neatly lined up round the back of throat and are used to crush crustaceans your koi may happen to ingest.
8. Koi are socialites
Koi are gentle fish. They can live with such other fish as goldfish and comets. They will even recognize you if you feed them regularly. They are so friendly that, in time, they will eat food from your hands.
9. A healthy Koi is all about water
Koi are integrally linked to their water environment. This means that the overall health of you koi depends largely on the quality of water in your pond. You should check your water once a week to make sure it remains within safe levels.