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Benigoi koi Benigoi (BEN-ee-GOY) koi are non-metallic, solid red or orange koi fish. The term “Benigoi” translates literally as “red koi.” In the koi keeping hobby, various Japanese terms are used to denote the color red, with “hi” being the most common. The koi variety known as “Benigoi” is distinguished from “Higoi” because it embodies an ideal orange-red color, associated with the word “beni,” rather than the deep fiery red associated with “hi,” as seen in Kohaku koi.
The Benigoi koi variety originated in the early 1920s and was one of the original koi varieties to gain popularity. Its lineage can be traced back to the Magoi carp, a black wild carp commonly found in Japan during the 18th and 19th centuries. As carp keeping transitioned from purely food-oriented to a hobby, various koi varieties emerged as mutations or variations of the wild carp.
The Benigoi koi is no exception to this trend. Interestingly, the first observed variation of the wild carp was the red-bellied Magoi, characterized by small amounts of red coloration on its underside. By selectively breeding pairs of red-bellied Magoi, carp farmers were able to produce a Magoi with a purely red belly, aptly named the red-bellied Magoi. Breeding this red-bellied Magoi with the Kohaku koi, a white koi with a red pattern, resulted in the creation of the pure red Benigoi fish.
A true Benigoi koi displays red or orange coloration across its entire body, including the fins and tail. However, some Benigoi fish may have white tips on their fins and tail. This particular variant, known as Benigoi Hajiro (BEN-ee-GOY hah-GEE-row), is highly sought after and commands great value in the koi market. The term “Hajiro” refers to a black koi with white tips on its tail and fins, thus describing the combination of the red coloration of Benigoi with the white pattern of Hajiro.
Benigoi Hajiro koi are rare due to the challenges associated with breeding individuals that possess both white tips and ideal positioning of the white markings. In fact, many breeders avoid attempting to produce Benigoi Hajiro koi due to the difficulty involved, as well as the fact that subpar specimens of this variety are also considered poor-quality Benigoi koi.
Consequently, a significant number of culls are required to obtain only a few high-quality Benigoi Hajiro fish. For most breeders, it is more practical to focus on breeding top-quality Benigoi rather than attempting to produce Benigoi Hajiro koi.
Pongoi (Best Quality) Benigoi Koi
When evaluating a Benigoi koi, or any single-colored koi for that matter, the primary factor to consider is the quality and uniformity of its coloration. While other koi varieties may boast brighter colors, captivating patterns, or distinct variations in fins and scales, the Benigoi is a more straightforward koi with a single color and no patterns. Consequently, the color of the Benigoi takes precedence as it is the initial aspect that catches the eye, demanding perfection in any Pongoi Benigoi specimen.
Regarding Gin Rin Benigoi from breeder Yamazaki, like most other single-colored koi, a range of red shades is deemed acceptable, with each koi enthusiast having their personal preference.
The consistency of the color determines the superior koi, particularly in the case of single-colored koi, where there are no striking patterns or contrasting hues to captivate attention. Instead, the focus lies solely on achieving a flawless coloration across the body, head, fins, and tail.
Generally, the higher the consistency of the color throughout the fish, the better the quality of the koi. Any deviation in shade is considered an imperfection. Additionally, for Benigoi koi, the shade of the beni (red coloration) holds significance.
While varying shades of deep orange or red are generally acceptable, the ideal shade leans toward a deep orange-red—sufficiently dark to be unmistakably red instead of orange, yet light enough to retain a hint of orange pigmentation.
Similar to many single-colored koi varieties, Benigoi koi exhibit a faint reticulation pattern on their scales known as fukurin (pronounced FOO-koo-REEN). This pattern appears as a slightly darker tint at the top of each scale, extending across the entire scale with a gradient effect, so the darker color does not overshadow the bottom portion of the scale.
In the case of Gin Rin Benigoi from breeder Oya, the fukurin pattern showcases a darker red color, creating the impression of scales with darker red hues outlined by lighter orange-red tones. Notably, the prominence of this pattern may vary among individual fish, with some displaying it more prominently, while others exhibit a subtle or even undetectable fukurin pattern.
If a Benigoi koi does possess a visible fukurin pattern on its scales, it should exhibit uniformity and consistency. The scales should be neatly arranged in even rows, and the thickness of the reticulation pattern should be consistent across all scales.
While the color of the fukurin pattern holds less significance due to personal preferences among koi enthusiasts, a darker fukurin color provides distinct outlines for each scale, whereas a lighter color yields a more subtle effect.
Nevertheless, consistency remains paramount, with every scale requiring the same color and shade. Any scales displaying a different fukurin color will be immediately noticeable.
Benigoi koi make excellent additions to any pond, standing out effortlessly with their vibrant red coloration, ensuring they are always noticed among a group of koi.
More information about Benigoi koi
Benigoi koi, also known as the “red carp,” is a stunning and popular variety of koi fish. These fish are prized for their brilliant red coloration, which ranges from a pale pinkish-red to a deep crimson hue. Benigoi koi are considered one of the “Big Three” varieties of koi, alongside Kohaku and Showa.
Origins and History The origins of the Benigoi koi can be traced back to Japan, where the species was first bred during the Edo period (1603-1868). It is believed that the Benigoi koi was created by crossing a black carp with a red carp, resulting in the unique red coloration that is so highly prized today. The word “benigoi” itself is derived from the Japanese words “beni” (meaning “red”) and “goi” (meaning “carp”).
Appearance and Characteristics Benigoi koi are easily recognized by their bright red coloration, which covers the entirety of their body. The shade of red can vary greatly depending on the individual fish and can be influenced by factors such as age, diet, and water conditions. These fish have a streamlined body shape and can grow to be quite large, with some specimens reaching lengths of up to three feet.
One of the most striking features of the Benigoi koi is their lack of patterning. Unlike other koi varieties, which may have spots, stripes, or other markings on their scales, the Benigoi koi is completely solid in color. This simplicity of appearance makes them a popular choice for those who appreciate a more minimalist aesthetic.
Behavior and Care Like all koi, Benigoi are social and intelligent fish that thrive in a group environment. They are omnivorous and will eat a variety of foods, including pellets, flakes, and live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp or bloodworms. Proper care of Benigoi koi involves maintaining a stable water environment with a pH between 7.0 and 8.0 and a temperature between 68°F and 77°F.
In terms of behavior, Benigoi koi are generally peaceful and will get along well with other koi and similar species of fish. They are active swimmers and enjoy exploring their environment, so it is important to provide them with plenty of space and a well-maintained aquarium or pond.
Symbolism and Cultural Significance In Japan, koi are highly regarded and are often associated with good fortune and success. The Benigoi koi, with its bold red coloration, is particularly prized and is often seen as a symbol of perseverance and strength. In traditional Japanese art, the Benigoi koi is frequently depicted swimming upstream, a representation of the fish’s determination to overcome obstacles and achieve its goals.
Beyond Japan, koi are admired and appreciated around the world for their beauty and grace. Koi shows and competitions are held worldwide, with breeders and enthusiasts showcasing their prized specimens and competing for top honors.
In conclusion, Benigoi koi are a fascinating and beautiful variety of fish that have captured the hearts and imaginations of people around the world. Whether you are a seasoned koi enthusiast or simply appreciate their striking appearance, the Benigoi koi is sure to inspire awe and wonder.
Benigoi koi people also ask
What is the rare koi?
There are many rare koi varieties, some of which are highly sought-after by koi enthusiasts and collectors. Here are a few examples:
- Doitsu Kohaku – This variety of koi has a smooth, scaleless skin and a white base with red markings. Doitsu Kohaku are relatively rare and prized for their unique appearance.
- Ginrin Chagoi – Chagoi koi are known for their solid brown or green coloration, but the Ginrin variety has a glittering, reflective scale pattern that sets it apart. Ginrin Chagoi are relatively rare and highly prized for their distinctive appearance.
- Kin Showa – Showa koi are typically black with red and white markings, but the Kin Showa variety has a metallic gold pattern that adds an extra layer of shimmer to its appearance. Kin Showa are relatively rare and sought-after by collectors.
- Ochiba Shigure – This variety of koi has a unique appearance, with a grey or brown base color and a pattern of bronze, copper, or orange markings that resemble falling leaves. Ochiba Shigure are relatively rare and prized for their distinctive appearance.
- Yamabuki Ogon – This variety of koi has a shimmering gold or yellow coloration and is relatively rare compared to other Ogon varieties. Yamabuki Ogon are prized for their striking appearance and are often used as a centerpiece fish in koi ponds.
These are just a few examples of rare koi varieties, and there are many more that are highly sought-after by collectors and enthusiasts. However, it is important to note that rarity does not necessarily equate to higher quality or beauty, as beauty is subjective and each koi is unique in its own way. learn more other types of koi