A Beginner's Guide: Koi Fish and Koi Ponds
Author: Terry Newhaven
Koi are kept in outdoor water gardens or outdoor koi ponds for decorative purposes. The Koi is also called nishikigoi, which means brocaded carp. Koi are ornamental varieties of the common carp that have been domesticated. There is a wealth of information available for those who are interested in learning about koi fish and koi ponds. This article provides you with information on koi in general, about koi classification and about koi diseases. It also discusses the koi life cycle, koi ponds and additional reading material for koi.
A variety of carp species were domesticated in East Asia originally; it is here where they were used as food. The carp was originally found in Asia and Central Europe. They were propagated to new locations because they were easy to domesticate due to their ability to easily adapt to water conditions and climate. Over one thousand years ago in China, they were first bred for color mutations. They can get as large as three to four feet and need to be kept in large ponds.
- Japanese Koi: A Fish Guide on Koi from Animal Planet.
- About Koi Fish: The Olympic Koi, Goldfish and Water Garden Club provides an informative page on Koi fish.
- Koi History - Myths and Mysteries: Information on Carp in eastern cultures as well as Koi fish origins.
- Old Man Koi: Information and facts on Koi fish and how long they live.
- Koi: Wikipedia page on Koi fish.
- Koi Fish Guide: A basic page that discusses Koi fish and why they have become a popular hobby today.
Some of the major colors that koi come in include black, white, blue, red, cream and yellow. The possible variations in color have no limit, but breeders have named varieties and breeds within the koi categories. There are 21 major breeds which include Kohaku, Tancho, Asagi, Taisho Sanshoku, Showa Sanshoku, Utsurimono, Bekko and Goshiki. Other varieties include Shusui, Kinginrin, Ogon, Ochiba, Kawarimono, Kumonryu and Koromo.
Koi are open to a number of diseases including the herpes virus disease. They are stressed and their immune systems are lowered due to sudden changes in water temperature. Debris should be removed from the floor of the pond as well as keeping the water filtrated and aerated. The most common disease agents that cause disease in koi fish are bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites that are in the water.
Koi eat a wide variety of food such as peas, watermelon and lettuce. The food that is designed for them is made to float so that it encourages them to come to it. Koi can live for hundreds of years; one of the most famous cases is one that died in 1977 at the age of 226. It had several different owners throughout its lifetime. When bred, the koi produce thousands of offspring although many do not classify as koi due to the color.
Koi ponds are usually used as a part of the landscape that holds the koi fish. They are sometimes specifically designed to promote the growth and health of koi. The ponds should be large enough to let a four-foot koi swim around freely without being cramped. It is vital that the pond water is filtrated and aerated so that the koi has an optimal environment to live in. The temperature of the water should ideally be between 59 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
Popular Pond Supplies