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The Kigoi variety is often overlooked, often overshadowed by the flashy and sparkly varieties of Koi. However, understanding the unique characteristics of the Kigoi can lead to an infatuation with its exquisite yellow coloration.
Kigoi, classified under the Kawarigoi class, are single-colored, non-metallic yellow koi. The Kawarigoi class encompasses non-metallic koi that do not fit into other classification groups such as Chagoi, Benigoi, and Ochiba-Shigure. The term “non-metallic” refers to the fish’s skin rather than its scales. A desirable Kigoi should exhibit a consistent bright yellow hue from nose to tail, devoid of imperfections or pigment blotches. If a Kigoi possesses sparkling diamond scales, it is referred to as Gin Rin Kigoi. Akame Kigoi, characterized by pink or red eyes, is a particularly rare type, with Kloubec Koi Farm potentially being the sole breeder of Akame Kigoi outside of Japan.
While Kigoi may appear light colored and unremarkable as juveniles, they gradually transform into splendid specimens within a few years. Similar to Chagoi, Kigoi possess a friendly demeanor and readily adapt to hand-feeding. Their endearing and social nature, coupled with their insatiable appetite, contributes to their tendency to grow robustly.
When selecting a Kigoi for your koi collection, prioritize consistent coloring while avoiding specimens with an orangeish tint. If you desire the Akame variety, look for a pair of red eyes, although some may have only one. A broad shoulder area indicates the potential for substantial growth. Additionally, observe the fish’s deportment, or swimming behavior, to assess its overall quality.
Distinguishing between a Kigoi and a Yamabuki Ogon, both yellow koi varieties, can be simplified by examining their skin. A Yamabuki displays a lustrous, glistening yellow iridescent skin, while a Kigoi’s skin possesses a matte yellow appearance akin to a Brach’s butterscotch candy, albeit potentially retaining a subtle shine without iridescence.
During your visit to Kloubec Koi Farm, you will have the pleasure of meeting our amiable Koi mascot, The Yellow Sub. This large Kigoi eagerly greets visitors and happily accepts food from their hands. She enjoys being hand-fed and petted, and even has a penchant for giving big, sloppy Koi kisses and sucking on toes. The charming personality of our Yellow Sub is bound to enchant you and foster an appreciation for the Kigoi variety.
What is a kigoi koi?
Kigoi (KEE-goy) koi are a type of non-metallic, solid yellow koi that is typically classified as a Kawarigoi (kah-WAH-ree-GOY) koi. The Kawarigoi category encompasses all non-metallic koi that cannot be classified under any other specific category. This group includes koi varieties such as Benigoi, Chagoi, Ochiba, and other koi types that lack their own distinct competition classifications.
The Kigoi koi variety is one of the original koi types that gained popularity in the late 1920s. It originated from the Magoi carp, a black wild carp commonly found in Japan during the 18th and 19th centuries. As carp started to be kept as pets rather than solely for consumption in the early 19th century, koi keeping became a hobby. Many early koi varieties emerged as variations or mutations of the wild carp, and the Kigoi is no exception.
The Kigoi variety was developed through selective breeding of the Benigoi koi, which is a single-colored, non-metallic red variety that had recently been introduced. By selectively breeding lighter-colored Benigoi koi, breeders gradually reduced the amount of red pigment in the skin, resulting in a vibrant yellow-colored koi known as the Kigoi.
During the breeding process of Kigoi koi in the early 20th century, an albino mutation appeared. Typically, a fish with such a mutation would be excluded from the breeding population. However, in this case, the breeder found the mutation visually appealing and decided to retain it in the breeding population, ultimately leading to the creation of the Akame Kigoi koi. This variety exhibits an albino mutation that causes the fish to lack all pigments except for yellow, orange,
Pongoi (Best Quality) Kigoi Koi
When evaluating a Kigoi koi or any other single-colored koi, the primary consideration lies in assessing the color, its quality, and its consistency. While other koi varieties boast vibrant colors, captivating patterns, metallic skin, or long fins, the Kigoi is a simpler koi with a single color. Consequently, the color becomes the foremost attribute that captures attention, necessitating perfection in the case of a Pongoi Kigoi koi.
For instance, Gin Rin Kigoi koi from breeder Otsuka. Similar to most other single-colored koi, a range of yellow shades is acceptable, as koi keepers and breeders hold personal preferences. However, the color consistency remains pivotal in determining the finest quality koi. In single-colored koi, there are no striking patterns or contrasting colors to draw the eye, only a single color that must be flawless across the body, head, fins, tail, and overall appearance. In general, the greater the color consistency, the higher the koi’s quality, as any variation in shade is considered an imperfection. Additionally, for Kigoi koi, the shade of yellow, particularly a bright and vibrant sunshine yellow, is highly valued as it distinguishes itself from other koi varieties with red, black, white, or blue pigmentation.
Just like other single-colored koi, Kigoi koi exhibit a subtle reticulation pattern called fukurin (pronounced FOO-koo-REEN) on their scales. This pattern is evident as a slightly darker yellow hue at the top of each scale, continuing with a gradient effect that gradually lightens towards the bottom of the scale. While some fish display this pattern more prominently, others may only possess a faint hint or no pattern at all.
In fact, Kigoi koi are considered one of the weaker koi varieties in terms of the fukurin pattern, as many individuals lack the pattern entirely or possess only a minimal amount.
The presence of a visible fukurin pattern should exhibit evenness and consistency. Neatly arranged scales in uniform rows, with consistent thickness of the reticulation across all scales, are desirable traits.
The color of the fukurin pattern holds less significance, as different koi keepers have varying preferences. A darker fukurin color lends distinct outlines to each scale, while a lighter color produces a more subtle effect. Nevertheless, consistency remains paramount, ensuring that every scale maintains the same color and shade, as any scales exhibiting a different fukurin color will be immediately noticeable.
Kigoi koi make for a stunning addition to any pond, particularly standing out among ponds predominantly populated by red, blue, white, and black koi. Given that yellow is a relatively rare koi color, a beautiful Kigoi adds a captivating element to any koi pond.
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