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The standard for koi fish judging used to be 50 for the figure, 50 for the color, 20 for the pattern.

Recently quality elegance and atmosphere are added to them. When the writer judges a koi, he marks it in the ratio of 30 for the figure, 20 for the color, 20 for the pattern, 10 for the quality, 10 for the elegance and 10 for the imposing appearance.

Since the Writer’s book of Nishikigoi explained how to judge them it has been the way of judging to subtract demerit marks from full marks.

However, it seems to be opposed to keepers, love for their Nishikigoi, so now the way of adding marks for the koi’s merits is used.

For example, a koi with Hi on its fin or jaw used to get demerit marks or to be neglected, but in present koi fish judging quality, it might be a champion, if it had an attractive point which makes up for its demerits.

The ranking is apt to be decided by judges’ first impression. To master powers of appreciation, it is easy to give or subtract marks according to the koi’s merits and demerits.

For example, Hi on the jaw, over the eyes or on the pectoral fin gets minus 2. If a koi gets minus 4 for its two demerits but has a very attractive point, it can have 96 which is sufficient to be a winner.

In short, if only subtraction is always done for demerits, there is a danger that a koi without any merit should be chosen as a champion.

It is more desirable to choose a koi with a charming point in spite of some of its weak points.

1.Figure 30 Marks in koi fish judging 

koi fish judging figure
The most important point koi fish judging os the figure including the style of swimming. Even if a koi has has beautiful colors and patterns, it cannot win, if its figure is bad.

Both sides should be symmetrical, but not strictly so. As mens’s faces are not perfectly symmetrical, koi’s bodies are not, either.

The female abdomen with eggs is naturally swollen, so it should not be regarded as an abnormal figure.

There is two kinds of abnormal figure a lack and a deficiency. A koi without an eye or a fin is truly abnormal and should be excepted from judging.

However, a koi with a swollen part of the abdomen or a caved part of the head can be included in the koi fish judging .
Some important points about the figure are as follows

1. Straight line of the back bone and proper curves
It is important that the koi’s line of the backbone is straight, seen from above. The top and the bottom lines should draw proper curves seen from the side. The top line must not curve sharply and the bottom line must not be straight.
The koi which twists itself when swimming is not worthy of being appreciated.
2. Beautiful fins
Beautiful and slightly large fins compared to the size of the body make a koi look beautiful. Pectoral fins are the most important of all. They are apt to be deformed either congenitally or by diseases or wounds. Some Ogons have dwarfed pectoral fins which are definitely their weak points.
Some caudal and dorsal fins are also deformed. Especially dorsal fins of which center are caved are often found. Some pelvic fins or anal fins are deformed, too.

3. A well-shaped head
Some face of koi are good looking and some are not, just like ours. One koi has a nose which leans forward and another has a turned-up nose, Depending on the degree, they may be weak points.

The most conspicuous deformation is that of the jaw most of the deformation are after-effects of gill rot which attacks fry of koi.
The deformed jaws are big.

Their heads are large and square. Gill rot effects deformation of the mouth and the gill.
Eyes, mouths, jaws are better to be well-shaped.

4. Well-balanced height, length and breadth
The ratio of height to length of a koi can tell in general whether is figure is good or not.
The bigger the number of length to height 1 is, the better the figure is. Most well-balanced koi have a ratio of 1 to 2.6 to 1 to 3.0

2. Colors 20 Marks

koi fish judging colors
All the colors of koi should be clear. White should be pure white in every koi. It must not be brownish or milky white.

Especially the head tends to become brownish white. The white texture should not have dirty spots or small Hi spots, either.

It is important that the edge of a Hi marking is clear. Hi must be uniform, that is uneven Hi is worthless.

A Hi marking must not lack a red scale or have white spots on it, either. Thick Layer of Hi is preferable.

Bright Hi with an yellowish brown tint is that best. Hi with a purple tint is regarded less elegant.

Roundish Sumi markings are better than square or triangle-shaped markings. The color should be pitch-dark.

Sumi must not be uneven Bright luster over Sumi markings is indispensable
When they are covered with white membrane. The koi has a cold.

3. Pattern 20 Marks

koi fish judging pattern
All the markings on the body of a koi should be well-balanced. A white part either on the mouth and on the tail region is necessary.

U-shaped head Hi used to be ideal, but recently more unique shapes are preferred.

Two points for judging the pattern are on the head and shoulders and on the tail region.

The former is more important. A Hi patch should spread widely on the head. A white cut on the neck is desirable for a Kohaku and a Sumi marking for a Sanke.

On the tail region a white part is needed. A heavy looking pattern is not suitable on it. Many Sumi marking of the tail region or a plain red tail region red trousers is disliked.

4. Quality 10 Marks

koi fish judging quality
The quality of koi cannot be explained in a word. How to tell good quality from bad is mastered only through experience.

The quality is a synthesis of the white texture, Hi, Sumi and the figure. A predisposition to become a large koi without losing Hi or Sumi is also important.

A koi with such a predisposition is generally round and large headed.

The quality is relevant to every item for judging.

The figure, the color, the pattern and the elegance are all related to the quality. Having a good quality is truly indispensable for a good koi

. It must be valued highly in judging. It is wrong to attach great importance only to the pattern which appeals to judges at first glance.

5. Elegance 10 Marks

koi fish judging quality elegance
A koi which a well-shaped head Hi is regarded good looking. A koi with Hi spreading over the eyes or the nose is thought to be worthless.

Though the shape of the pattern is valued highly, it must be also elegant.
A white part on the tail joint influences koi’s elegance, too.

It is important for the Kohaku as well as for the Taisho-Sanke and the Showa-Sanshoku.

A fat koi or a bad-figured koi is not regarded elegant. Even if it has good luster and pattern.

The shape and the size of the pectoral fins affect the elegance. Large roundish pectoral fins are elegant.

In a word a koi of good quality with an excellent figure and a beautiful pattern is thought to be elegant.

6. Imposing appearance 10 Marks

koi fish judging quality appearance

Generally it concers large koi. Their volume an imposingness are important elements in judging ghtem.

If a Niishikigoi lacked an excellent pattern and clear colors, its imposing appearance would make up for them.

In case two koi take the same marks for other items the larger koi will win.

Since the imposing appearance was included in the necessary points for judging, ample, jumbo female koi have been valued greatly.

However, the imposingness is not necessarily the heavyweight. A large but bad-figured koi is valueless.

A pot-bellied or double-bellied koi is disliked, either. A koi with an imposing and elegant appearance is the best. Sucha a koi can be found among male koi as well as female koi

Comment down below if you have more information about koi criteria for judging

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Published by Giovanni Carlo

I am a koi fish keeper and breeder a husband of beautiful wife Maybel and beautiful daughter May Carl I have been in fish keeping hobby for over 35 years. Like many kids in the 80's We catch fish in the rivers and canals and kept it in the "pasong" local visayan name for pond. or a large mayo bottle since We don't have aquariums yet on that time. decades later their is a small petshop open in my place and that starts me from buying aquarium and fishes that are sold in the pet store decades later start growing goldfish and koi fish until today.

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