Are you a koi fish enthusiast, fan or keeper? It won’t matter if you’re just starting with koi or a seasoned breeder, they always have something else to learn. Below are some interesting facts about koi, such as female koi’s are not only rounder, but larger than male koi fish.
Heritage of Koi
It is thought that the koi fish originated within China, later being used by Japanese as a food source, which started to breed koi during the 1800s for aesthetic appeal. Cool huh?
The most popular koi fish in Japan is the Kohaku, which is a white and red koi. Within the U.S the most popular koi fish are also Kohaku, as well as the Showa Sanke, and Taisho Sanke. The Showa Sanke and Taisho Sanke are white, red and black.
When it comes to intelligence, the koi are rather smart. Similar to cats or dogs, a koi fish can be trained to eat from your hand, or some train koi to eat from their mouths. As koi are omnivores, they are known for eating pond plants.
A Koi fish is able to grow to great lengths, up to 3 feet in ideal living conditions, such as a pond. However, if a pond is not deep enough, they can get sunburnt, and they need plenty of shade. Females are bigger than males, and koi do not have teeth.
The Great Mate
In the process of mating, it is common for koi to eat their recently hatched young, known as koi fry. It is important to separate the koi fish from the koi fry during mating season to ensure the fry is preserved.
If breeders are raising koi that are highly sought, it can bring thousands of dollars per koi. For a prized koi, $250,000 is not unheard of.
The Great, Great, Great Grandpa Koi
Most popular in Japan, the Kohaku is a variety of white koi with red patches.
The oldest koi recorded was a legendary koi by the name of Hanako, which was hatched in 1751 and passed away in 1977, making it 226 years old. That means this koi survived through Industrial America, French Revolution, the United States formation, inventions of the automobile and electricity, World War I, World War II, and into the Vietnam War, amazing huh?
However, the average lifespan of koi is 30 to 40 years.
Although Hanako survived 226 years, the age of the koi could not be detected by the naked eye. The scales of a koi fish are covered by microscopic growth marks, similar to the rings of a tree. These marks indicate patterns of food shortage or rapid growth.
Various virtues are symbolized by koi fish within Asian cultures. Koi are recognized as being symbols of endurance, perseverance, individualism and strength.
Koi are intelligent and owners can train them to eat from their hand.
Rainbow of Ideals
As koi are able to develop a wide range of colors, there are no surprises that every hue developed connotation. Metallic koi symbolize business success. Gold koi represent prosperity and wealth. Blue koi represents serenity, while Asagi koi of red, blue and grey color represent positivity. Black koi are considered to have patriarchal symbolism, with blue belonging to the son, red to the other, and pink to the daughter.
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