- Taisho Sanke
- Showa Sanshoku
- Tancho koi
- Shiro Utsuri
- Hi Utsuri
- Ki Utsuri
- Asagi koi
- Shusui koi
- Platinum Ogon
- Yamabuki Ogon
- Kujaku koi
- Hariwake koi
- Kikusui koi
- Kumonryu Koi
- Beni Kumonryu
- Chagoi koi
- Soragoi koi
- Ochiba Shigure
- Kin Kikokuryu
There are fourteen different varieties of Koi, with a fifteenth variety
that is used as a sort of a catchall variety for all of the different
types of koi that do not quite fit into one of the other fourteen slots.
This last variety is known as the Kawarimono, and a large percentage of Koi are placed in this category.
Inclusion in this variety has no bearing on the quality of the Koi.
Placement in the fifteenth variety simply means that there is
something not quite right about the fish.
It may be attractive and healthy, but it does not fit the “breed standard” for any of the individual varieties.
All Koi have a unique beauty, but those who are entered in shows must resemble this standard.
Crossbreeding For Different Varieties
The many different color varieties that you will see were brought to
fruition by crossbreeding fish that are closely related to each other.
Crossbreeding tends to make a genetic line more stable, bringing
out the good qualities while pushing back the bad.
Those who are preparing to be Koi breeders are advised to learn
about the different types of koiv arieties so that they will know
which ones they are interested in breeding and raising.
The Asagi Koi is one of the initial varieties of Koi. The body of the Asagi is a blue color, with the lighter shades of blue most preferred.
The scales on the skin of the Asagi are given high importance. The edges of these scales must all be equal in length, and must be on the entire body of the koi from its tail to its head.
The red (Hi) color that appears on the sides of the Asagi, on the head, and on the fins sometimes looks more orange than red.
The Hi needs to be symmetrical on both sides of the Koi’s cheeks all the way to its eyes.
Three varieties of the Utsurimono have been painstakingly developed. These are the –
Ki Utsuri, which is a yellow and black Koi
Hi Utsuri, a red and black Koi
Shiro Utsuri Shiro, a white and black koi
The Utsurimono should be heavily marked with black (Sumi) in
order to display a prominent contrast with the yellow, red, or white.
All colored need to be somewhat balanced, as this helps to call attention to the pattern on the Koi.
The Utsurimono is sometimes mistaken for the Bekko koi. There are two differences to look for that will allow the observer to tell the two varieties of Koi apart.
The main variation is that the Utsurimono is a black Koi with red,
white, or yellow markings, while the Bekko Koi are either white, yellow, or red Koi that have black markings.
The Utsurimono also feature black markings on their heads that run all the way down to their noses. The Bekko Koi do not have black markings in this area.
The Bekko variety is a white, yellow or red Koi that can be identified by the unique black markings.
This assortment has small and very simple black markings that are not included on the head of the Koi.
The Shiro Bekko is white with black markings.
The Aka Bekko is red with black markings
The Ki Bekko is yellow with black markings, and is considered to be rare.
The Shusui is the result of a crossbreeding that took place in 1910. One Yoshigoro Akiyama crossed an Asagi Koi with a Doitsu Mirror carp.
He ended up with a fish he called the Shusui. The color of this Koi is comparable to that of the Asagi.
The Shusui has a head that is a bluish gray color, with red on the jaws of the Koi.
The skin is a lovely sky blue, with darker fish scales outlining the lateral and dorsal lines.
Lines of red run down the back from the gills to the tail. There are several types of Shusui, including –
The Koromo koi is a relatively new type of Koi that appeared around 1950.
The Koromo came into existence by crossing the Kohaku with the Naruni Asagi.
The Koromo has a lovely pattern of deep red edged with black on a white background/body.
The red is described as being in a lace pattern, and the markings of
the Koromo are prone to variations, depending on which variety you are looking at.
The most commonly seen varieties include –
In Japan, the word “goshiki” means five colors, which are red, white, black, dark blue and blue.
All of these colors can be mixed on the body of one fish. The result of this is a Koi that has a rather purplish tint.
Originally created by crossing the Asgai Koi with the Sanke Koi, the
Goshiki has patterns that are quite striking.
These surprisingly lovely fish are very popular with those who keep Koi as a hobby.
The Kawarimono classification is given to many non-metallic fish
who do not seem to fit in any other variety of Koi.
This classification should in no way be considered as a variety in which to dump the oddly marked Koi! Many gorgeous crossbred Koi come from the Kawarimono variety.
Often, these are not bred on purpose, but appear in a spawning as a “sport” koi.
Generally, the Kawarimono are divided into three groups –
Other colors of Koi
Kumonryu. The Kumonryu is a Doitsu (German) koi that has a jet
black pattern that emerges like billowing black clouds against a white background.
beni kumonryu koi
Beni Kumonryu came from Kumonryu and Doitsu Kohaku. Since Doitsu varieties have no scales, their colors can be very bright and bold.
Beni Kumonryu are a rare form of Kumonryu, they have red along with the black and white.
They are scaless and their pattern actually changes throughout the year.
No one is absolutely sure what causes the color change, but the two
best theories are a change in temperature or a change in pH. Beni Kumonryu are usually black in the winter.
The white and red usually appears in the spring and summer.
The Chagoi is known as the “gentle giant”. They are not the most colorful or fanciest of Koi varieties, but make of for that in other fabulous ways!
Chagoi are the friendliest and most docile Koi breed to the point
that most actually like interaction with people.
In as such they tend to make all of your other fish more friendly and trusting.
They are also known to grow large and grow quickly. They come in
various shades from brown, reddish brown, beige,copper/rootbeer,
and even shades of green. learn more about chagoi at hanoverkoifarms.com
Soragoi, similar to Chagoi, are koi of a solid grey or silver color, combined with a subtle net pattern.
Also like Chagoi, mature Soragoi are very docile and will be among the first koi in your pond to learn to hand feed. … Soragoi belong to the Ogon group of koi, which appeared in the Showa Period (1926-1989).
Ochiba-Shigure is an interesting name for a Koi. The words translate to mean “dead leaves on the water”.
These fish are clothed in the basic colors of gray and green with a
network of brown lines, rather like the stems of a dead leaf.
The word “Hikari” translates from the Japanese to mean “metallic”.
“Mono” means one particular single color. This means that the ogon koi is classified as a highly metallic-colored variety of Koi. There are –
Metallic silver, or Platinum ogon koi,
Platinun- Ogons are metallic white and are one of the most popular Ogons.
The color should be as white as fresh mountain snow. As with other Ogons
Metallic yellow, or Yamabuki ogon koi.
These two colors are the most common, and the easiest shades of ogon koi to purchase.
There is also the –
Fuji ogon koi, where only the head of the Koi is metallic
Orenji ogon koi, which is all orange like a common goldfish, with a red splotch on its back. Goldfish lovers are usually quite fond og the Orenji.
Except for the Fuji, the metallic color of the ogon koi must
be the same from the head to the tail, and even flow down to the ends of each fin to be considered “correct”.
The size of the fins also matters a great deal. Everyone wants to see long fins on the ogon koi, as they help to counterbalance the plain Koi body.
Ogon koi are a single solid colour with a metallic appearance. This variety is very popular, particularly with those new to keeping koi.
These fish can be a variety of attractive colours. Cream specimens
are rare and the most popular choices are bright yellow (Yamabuki
ogon koi) and Platinum (Purachina ogon koi).
Any Koi that are metallic and have several colors, but do not come from Utsuri lineage are in this group.
The Hikarimoyo-mono was created by crossing a Platinum Ogon
with several other varieties, none of which had any Utsuri genes at all. This cross resulted in the
- Gin Bekko
- Kujaku koi
The Kujaku is a metallic or Ogon koi with the reticulated net-like pattern of the Asagi on its back. …
The development of high quality Kujaku has led to their being
judged in a category of their own at recent koi shows.
Kujaku are koi with a solid white base, accented by a black net pattern along with patterns of red/orange/yellow.
The net pattern is created by a black edging on each individual scale.
Variations of Kujaku include Doitsu Kujaku, Tancho Kujaku and Maruten Kujaku.
There is another group in this classification, which has fish of two
colors, either gold, orange, or platinum.
These Koi are called Hariwake. The Orenji Hariwake and the Hariwake matsuba koi are two examples of this variety.
The matsuba koi is basically an Ogon with reticulation. It is a one colored metallic koi with dark pigment on the scales.
This variety is in the Hikari Muji class, and is considered one color
regardless of the contrasting scales.
KIN matsuba koi are orange-red metallic skin, GIN matsuba koi are platinum based.
Kikusui – Kikusui. Although technically they are the Doitsu version
of Hariwake, scaleless white koi with patterns of orange or yellow
goshiki koi pronounced (gosh-key or Go-she-key by some) are an interesting breed of Koi. The name means ‘five colors” in Japanese, but frankly it is not a fitting name in my opinion with today’s goshiki koi. You do not readily see five colors at a glance and it is a stretch to do so no matter. This is one breed I feel the Japanese creators misnamed.
Most times the Japanese names are right on the money as for
descriptive names that tell a story of what the Koi breed looks like.
The name was probably created because of the look of some of the
first goshiki koi created when they crossed a Sanke to and Asagi. Today yet I don’t see the “:five colors) easily. Anyway, enough about that.
The goshiki koi basically a white based Koi that has a fishnet black
pattern on top of the white base that covers the entire back and
runs from the top of the back down to the lateral line (center line of
the side of the fish that runs from gill plate to tail base).
On top of the fishnet pattern there is a red or orange pattern like the Kohaku.
This pattern is called the Hi (hee) plate. One difference in this Hi
plate from Goshiki to Kohaku is that the Goshiki Hi tends to be
much thicker, bolder and more neon in color intensity as
compared to the Kohaku Hi plate which can be a glossy red/orange but not neon.
The Goshiki Hi plate actually glows and gives the impression of
thickness to the point that the Hi plate can look like a sticker stuck on top of the fishes fishnet pattern.
There are also offshoot breeds from Goshiki called Goshiki Sanke and Goshiki Showa. We won’t get into those details now though.
The term peacock koi refers to the five colors on the body of the koi.
The base color of this variety is white and the fins are generally white and free of any pigment.
The pattern markings on Goshiki are red, or Hi. … Kloubec Koi Farm is a breeder of Japanese Goshiki variety koi.
The Kohaku is a White koi with red, or Hi markings. The color white should look as if it is freshly fallen snow,
and there should be no superfluous marks on the white to distract the eye from the pristine color.
The clarity between the Hi color and the white is called the Kiwa.
The pattern on the Kohaku should have depth and should be as well balanced as possible.
There are several different pattern types, including the –
- Inazuma, which means lightning strike in Japanese.
- Nidan is the name for two red or Hi markings on the white background of the fish.
- Sandan is the name for three red or Hi markings on the white fish.
- Yondan is the name for four red or Hi markings on the Kohaku.
- learn more about kohaku koi click here https://www.giobelkoicenter.com/kohaku-koi/
The Taisho Sanke is a Koi carp with three different colors. In this instance, the colors are red, or Hi, black, or Sumi, and white.
The color depth and the balance of the pattern on the fish is important, just as it is on the Kohaku.
The Taisho Sanke should not have any black (sumi) on the head.
Black (Sumi) is welcome on the fins, and most particularly on the pectoral and the caudal fins. T
his is taken as a sign that the Sumi color should stay even over the entire body of the fish.
The red (Hi) patterns may be on just a part of the body, or can extend back over the entire length of the body.
The Showa Sanshoku Koi has much more black (Sumi) included in its patterns than does the Taisho Sanke.
In fact, this classification is mostly black with a foreground of red and white markings.
Color depth is very important in this variety. The black (Sumi)should be deep and dark, the color of an object made of the dense and dark black wood known as ebony.
The red (Hi) markings need to be a blood red color, and the white
should be as crisp and clean in appearance as a freshly washed and starched white shirt.
The white color on the Showa Sanshoku should be even and uniform on the base of the pectoral fins.
There are several different varieties of the Showa Sanshoku that can
pop up in other Koi classifications, such as the –
Kawarimono (Kage Showa, Kankoko Showa)
Hikari-Utsurimono (Kin Showa)
What is a Chagoi koi?
Chagoi Koi – Mr. Personality (Chah’-goy) … You’ll discover this pet is probably more intelligent than other koi in your pond too.
It is almost universally agreed to be the friendliest of the koi
classifications because it is the most aggressive at feeding time and
almost always the first fish to become hand-tame
The Cha-goi is a part of the catchall class known as Kawarimono. “Cha” is the word for a tea-colored Koi that is a very fast grower.
The Cha-goi is very easy to tame, and most people thoroughly enjoy having this variety in their pond.
How many types of koi are there?
Types of Koi Varieties. There are over a 100 different types of koi (Nishikigoi).
To find the proper koi classification you will need to look at their
colors, patterns, and body confirmation.
Each type of koi fish variety has it’s own specific details for
identification and can described based off another classification of Japanese Koi type.
For example, a Showa Sanke is a koi with calligraphic Sumi pattern
on Kohaku and the Goshiki created by breeding Asagi with Kohaku. View popular koi varieties below and click to learn about each type of koi.
What type of fish is a butterfly koi?
Butterfly koi, longfin koi, or dragon carp are a type of ornamental
fish notable for their elongated finnage.
The fish are a breed of the common carp, Cyprinus carpio, which
includes many wild carp races as well as domesticated koi (“Nishikigoi”). … They are also sometimes referred to as Dragon Koi.
Also known as American koi, Butterfly koi, Longfin koi, and Dragon
koi, the Onagaoi has beautiful long fins reminiscent of a butterfly’s wings.
The Japanese bred these koi, hoping to improve the hardiness of all koi by doing so.
A type of wild fish called Indonesian Longfin river carp were
captured by these breeders to use in breeding experiments.
These carp were bred with koi that were more traditional in appearance.
The fish that resulted from this breeding had the long fins and the resiliency that hoped for.
Koi Purists Dislike the Butterfly
Other breeding experiments carried out in the hopes of
setting the different patterns of traditional koi onto the long finned.
This attempt at crossbreeding was mostly successful. Many koi purists are adamantly against the Onagaoi.
This is the reason why many of the people who sell koi do not offer this variety.
Famous breeders in Japan would not think of breeding the Onagaoi.
These koi are not popular anywhere in the world except for the United States.
What is a ghost koi?
Ghost Koi. … The Ghost Koi that surfaced in the early ’80s are a hybrid mix of wild carp and single-colored metallic Ogon koi.
They are also referred to as Ghost Carp—one of the reasons that
koi purists don’t recognize them as true Nishikigoi at all.
Koi with a red head patch are called “Tancho.” Most common are
“Tancho Kohaku (all-white Koi with Tancho),” “Tancho Sanshoku
(white Koi with Sumi similar to Shiro Bekko, and with Tancho),” and
“Tancho Showa (Showa Sanshoku without red markings except for
Tancho),” etc. However, “Tancho Goshiki (Koi of five colors with
Tancho),” and “Tancho Hariwake” are rare.
Tancho do not form a single, independent kind of Nishikigoi; they
all can be bred from Kohaku, Taisho Sankshoku or Showa Sanshoku.
Their red patch happen to show up only in the head region. Tancho, therefore, can not be produced in bulk even if you so wish.
The essential point for appreciation is the red patch in the head region, of course.
The red head patch sitting right at the center of the head region is the best.
The white skin is also important as it is the milky white color that sets the red head patch off to advantage.
The Sumi of Tancho Sanshoku and Tancho Showa are the same as Bekko and Shiro Utsuri respectively.