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Table of Contents Part I

All About KOI ………………………………………………………………..

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Chapter 1

Historical Background of Koi ………………………………..…………..

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Chapter 2

The Anatomy and Physiology of Koi …………….…………….………..

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Chapter 3

Goldfish and Koi: Understanding the Difference ……………………. 15

Chapter 4

Koi Varieties …………….…………….…………….………..……………..

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(Metallic and Non-metallic Koi) …………………..……………………..

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Starting a Koi Hobby …………….…………….…………..………………

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Guidelines in Buying Koi …………….…………..…………………..…..

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Where to Buy Koi…………….…………….…………….……………….

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Selecting Healthy Koi …………….…………….…………….……………

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The Koi Pond …………….…………….……………………….……………

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Building the Koi Pond

…………….…………….…………….………..

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Do-it-yourself pond …………….…………….…………….…….………..

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Hiring professional help …………………………………………..………

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Design and Landscape of a Koi pond …………….…………..………..

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Installing Pond Liner …………….…………….…………….…………….

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Filtration Requirement …………………..…………………..……………

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Aeration …………………..…………………..…………………..………….

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Water Quality …………………..…………………..……………………….

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Pond Skimmers …………………..…………………..…………………….

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Seasonal Care …………………..…………………..……………………...

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Protection from Predators …………………..…………………………….

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Pond Maintenance …………….…………….…………….……..………..

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Equipment Maintenance …………….…………….…………….……….

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Pond Cleaning Task …………….…………….…………….……………..

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Caring for Koi …………………..…………………..…………………..…..

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Chapter 5

Part II Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Part III Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Preparation for the Homecoming …………….…………….…………… 56 Quarantine of Koi …………………..…………………..………………….

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Shopping for Initial Supplies …………………..…………………..……

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Acclimatizing the Koi …………………..…………………..……………..

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Food and Feeding …………….…………….……………….……………..

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Chapter 10 –

Nutrition and Feeding Procedures …………….…………….………….

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Feeding and Caring in Different Seasons ……………………………..

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Supplements …………………..…………………..………………………..

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Food Storage …………………..…………………..………………………..

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Diseases and Treatments …………….…………….…………….………

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Stress and Fish Health …………….…………….…………….………….

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Diseases and Parasites …………….…………….…………….………….

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Disease Recognition and Treatment …………….…………….……….

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Indoor Quarantine …….…………….…………….……………………….

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Part IV

Koi Breeding …………………..…………………..………………………… 82

Chapter 11 –

Fundamental in Koi Fish Breeding …………….…………….…………

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Bringing up Baby Koi …………….…………….…………….……………

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Feeding Fry …………….…………….…………….…………….………….

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Creating a Koi Collection …………….……………….…………………..

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Selling and Showing Koi …………….…………….…………….………..

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Judging Koi …………….…………….…………….…………….………….

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Chapter 12 –

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Part I All About KOI

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Chapter 1 – History of Koi To date, Koi is considered to be the most expensive ornamental fish in existence. They have been kept as pets, swimming in mostly landscaped ponds and large aquariums. They did not start that way though, as they are actually products of a long process of selective breeding, mainly by Japanese Koi enthusiasts and hobbyists. Although it is generally admitted that Koi did not originate from Japan, their origin and the time of their introduction is debated by Koi historians. Different sources say that they came from parts of Eastern Europe, Eastern Asia and China, some 2,500 years ago. It seems though, that one of the reasons for this debate is the problem of Common Carp (cyprinus carpio) translation. Koi http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyprinus_carpio means carp in Japanese, and in truth, there are lots of carp varieties. There is the common black carp (cyprinus carpio) that indeed came from China. In fact, carp fossils have been discovered in South China dating back about 20 million years. But when referring to Koi as those that are popular today, the ones that possess beautiful colors and patterns and are kept as ornamental fish; Koi is really Nishikigoi (living jewels or brocaded carp), that although descended from the original black carp from China, are now products of Japanese special breeding methods. While there may have been natural mutations of carp which featured patches of color on them in China, the Japanese are generally recognized as the creators of Nishikigoi. They were the first to take the naturally occurring mutations and develop them further. The original Koi were cultivated as food fish by Chinese rice farmers in the 17th century. When brought to Japan, in the rice-growing 5


region of the Niigata Prefecture, rice farmers there continued the practice, especially during winter. But somewhere between the1820s and 1830s, they began to breed some of the carp for aesthetic appeal. Some were brought to ponds near the farmer’s houses to make them easier to grow. This could possibly be the beginnings of the Koi as a form of pond decoration. To denote certain periods or eras in their history, the Japanese use the reign of their emperors as a marking point. It is also through this period designation that Koi history is recorded. Bunka and Bunsei Era (1804-1829): This era is marked by the development of the first Koi with red markings on their cheeks. White Koi also appeared and crossed with the Koi possessing red cheeks. This combination produced white Koi with red abdomens. Tenpo Era (1830-1843): During this era, breeders strived to make Koi more appealing to the eye. This era featured the development of white Koi with red located on the forehead (zubinkaburi), red headed Koi (menkaburi), Koi with red lips (kuchibeni).

Kuchibeni http://www.pondarama.com/html/koi_encyclo pedia.html

Meija Era (1868-1912): This is when the kohaku first appeared, at the same time that carp from Germany were first introduced and bred with the nishikigoi, producing doitsu (German) variety. There are two types of German carp. One has no scales (leather carp) and the other has large scales along each side of the dorsal fin and along the lateral line only (mirror carp).

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Taisho isho Era (1912-1926): This era produced the perfection of the white Koi with a red and black pattern, the taisho sanshoku or sanke variety. Sanke means tri-colored and was first shown at a Tokyo exhibition in 1915; but was believed to be 15 years old at the time, giving way to the belief that it may have been developed towards the end of the previous era. It was also during this exposition that some of the most beautiful varieties were shown and presented to Crown Prince Hirohito, an event which is said to start the Koi craze all over the world. Koi with black and white markings (shiro utsuri) was introduced in 1925. Showa Era (1927- January 1989): Many Koi enthusiasts feel that this era has the largest Shiro Utsuri impact on Koi history in so far as development http://www.golden and improvement in the quality of existing Koi koi.com/Pages/Sale s/KoiforSale.asp types is concerned. It was during this time that Koi keeping beca ecam me e a national hobby and a profitable business venture as well. From being a hobby, Koi raising became a full time career for many. This led to widespread competition that gave way to the creation of new Koi types and many improvements on the existing ones. This era also showed what Koi is to the world. In 1927, the final member of the “Big Three,� the showa (black Koi with red and white markings) was produced. It was created by crossing ki utsuri (black Koi with yellow pattern) and kohaku (white Koi with red pattern); but because this color combination produced a yellowish brown pattern, Gin Rin Showa http://www.keirinponds.com

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breeders sought to improve the color to a more attractive red. A Japanese gentleman named Kobayashi began working to improve the red quality in 1964. It is this bloodline that is most sought by breeders to improve their showa line. The first gin rin (diamond scaled variety) was developed in 1929. It is the reflective quality of the scales that gave the breed its name. They resembled shiny diamonds in the light. This breed is layered on top of color pigments on the scales. In 1946, after 25 years of breeding, ogon (metallic yellow Koi) were produced. The year 1957 was marked by the production of the modern lemon ogon (yamabuki ogon); the product of a cross between the rare kigoi (nonmetallic yellow Koi) and the original ogon. This was a significant quality improvement of metallic Koi and led to the development of many other metallic versions of Koi. The oranji ogon (metallic orange Doitsu Midori Goi Koi) was introduced in 1953. In http://www.kooid.com/cd/pg2.htm 1960, the kujaku (metallic white Koi with metallic orange pattern and gray or black matsuba “net� pattern was first produced. Due to this, the last nine years has seen a lot of improvements in quality and popularity. By crossing a male kohaku (white Koi with red markings) with a female asagi (dark blue and light blue reticulated net markings scaled Koi, which sometimes has orange abdomen color) the aigiromo (white with gray, black, blue or purple reticulated scale) was created in 1950. Another Japanese gentleman, Tacho Yoshioka, spent 20 years before producing the first -goi (green Koi) in 1963. However, the

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gene to produce midori-goi is very recessive thus; few were produced and usually turned black as adults. Heisei Era (January 1989---Present): Continuing the tradition of naming Koi history based on the reigning emperor, some present day Koi breeders would like to name a new Koi in honor of the present emperor. They have coined to replace doitsu the name, Heisi, yamato nishiki (the leather German scaled metallic sanke). However, not all have adopted this name and still refer to this Koi type in the original name. The basic colors of the Koi fish are red, yellow and white; but as the fish were bred with other types of carp and other goldfish, the end results is a mix of colors. Koi varieties are constantly being researched and changing, Heishi Nishiki developed, bred and improved. More http://www.goldenkoi.com/ variations are becoming available, some Pages/Sales/KoiForSale.asp are "one-time hits" never to be seen again, others become "fixed" and become quality bloodlines, and still others are yet to be dreamed of.

Chapter 2 – The Anatomy and Physiology of Koi Koi is simply a carp. However, because it has been selectively bred over many generations, it now exhibits the most desirable colors, patterns and body shape. Breeders have toiled over centuries on how to eliminate dullness from the basic Koi variety. These attempts to modify the external properties of Koi have, in a way, affected their physiology; but they are basically still the same carp, with similar traits as that of their hardier ancestors.

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Koi still have the physiology that makes them able to adapt to a silty, still water environment. They have a low oxygen demand and are able to tolerate a low-dissolved concentration in the water. Koi traders actually exploit these characteristics during transport and long journeys. Koi’s physiology allows them to be tolerant of short term deterioration in water quality, especially evident during spawning time. Koi can tolerate extreme deprived conditions during transport, owing to their physiology; but paradoxically, they require the best conditions you can provide for them in your pond.

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http://www.geocities.com/ghawkins_ca/Koianatomy.html

It is important to learn about the anatomy of Koi. Understanding their anatomy will be helpful in maintaining the general health of your fish and how you will treat them. Anatomically, Koi have a fusiform shaped body – it tapers toward each end. Their general anatomy may be the same as their predecessors, but shape and proportion will depend on variety. 11


Eyes: The eyes are located just forward of the gills. They are meant to allow the Koi to see in two directions at the same time. They can see either side of the body, as well as, above or below on each side. Nostrils: These are located just forward and slightly above the eyes. They are used primarily for scent. Barbel: These are located on the upper lip and contain many sense receptors that help in locating food. Gills: They do a similar function as that of the lungs. They are served by a series of fine blood vessels. Oxygen is absorbed through the blood vessels when water passes over the gills and is then transported directly to the body. Carbon dioxide is returned to the water via the gills too. Fin (Pectoral): These are paired and situated on the lower sides. They are used to rotate the Koi almost on the same axis. This is done by one fin working in a contrary direction to the other fin. They also act as the main braking fins and used to stir up the bottom when looking for food. Liver: The Koi’s liver has many functions. It acts as the reservoir for digested food as glycogen that can be further converted to glucose. It cleans up the blood by breaking down old blood cells and detoxifying substances it is able to modify. Those toxic substances that it can’t breakdown are eventually stored in the liver causing it to be diseased and degenerated. The liver also produces bile that is necessary for proper digestion. It also produces cholesterol which is important in the stabilization of nerves and cell membranes. Gall Bladder: This organ stores bile and releases it to help with digestion. It is located just below the Koi’s liver. Fin (Pelvic): These are paired and located on the lower sides, approximately mid body. They help the fish to rise or descend as it swims.

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Spleen: cells.

The spleen produces lymph cells and stores red blood

Reproductive organs: The testes are the internal sex organ of males while the ovaries are for females. In both sexes, they are located below the swim bladder. Eggs and sperm exit the body via the gonopores, which are connected by the gonoduct and are located just in front of the urinary opening. Anal Pore: This is situated just forward of the anal fin. The anal pore serves as the exit points of the Koi’s digestive system’s waste products. Water in the form of urine is also passed through the anal pore. Urinary Bladder: This is a very important part of the Koi. The Koi has a salt content higher than that of the water where it lives. Because of this, its body continually takes in water to equalize the salt concentration. This is a process called osmosis. As a result, the Koi must release the excess water, or it would blow up just like a balloon. Anal Fin: This organ is located just forward of the tail and is used for stabilizing the fish. Caudal or Tail: This part of the Koi acts as the rudder and is used to gain maximum speed or thrust. Kidney: This organ produces cells and substances that fight disease. They play an important role in osmoregulation by allowing the excretion of excess water as dilute urine. It also helps in reabsorbing needed salts back into the blood prior to excretion. In freshwater fish, control of blood pressure and flow are major determinants of urine flow. They are excellent filters, thus, they serve to detect toxins and bacteria. Swim Bladder: It is located just below the backbone. It consists of two different size chambers. Koi use it to adjust their position by inflating or deflating these chambers. In conjunction with the auditory system, it controls the orientation and level at which the fish swim.

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Dorsal Fin: This is located on top of the fish and is the major stabilizing fin that keeps it upright. Koi can lower the dorsal fin to have a more streamlined effect when the fish need to move faster. Lateral Line: This line runs roughly along the mid-body of the Koi. It is a row of special pores that open into a channel. This channel runs to the head and brain and is filled with a viscous solution, which is extremely sensitive to water vibrations. Scales: Most Koi have scales over most of their bodies, but none on the head. Scales are thin, normally flat, flexible plates with a layered structure that grow from the dermis. Since scales are produced in the dermal layer, removing one creates an ulcer or hole in the skin, which can be a potential entry point for pathogens. Scales generally grow from the center outward. Ears: Koi, like all fish have no external ears. They do have internal ears that respond to vibrations in the water through the Weberian Ossicles, a group of bones that are connected on one end to the forward swim bladder and on the other end to the auditory center, a sensing organ that resembles our inner ear. This setup is responsible for maintaining the Koi’s balance. Mouth: The Koi’s mouth is located in an inferior position, indicating that it is a bottom feeder. The mouth is not quite at the tip of the head, but slightly below. Color: Variations in color are determined by the amount of guanine cells or reflective tissue in the skin below the scales (dermis). These cells contain waste by-products of the body’s metabolism. The outer layer or epidermis cells contain color pigments, such as erythrophores (contain red or orange pigment granules), melanophores (contain the black pigment melanin), xyanthopores (contain yellow pigment granules). Their location in the skin determines the Koi’s color. The more complete the guanine cell layer, the more metallic the appearance of the Koi. If this layer is partially or completely missing, more colors are visibly deeper.

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Mucus Layer or Cuticle: This layer covers the entire external area, the skin and scales, of the Koi and is its first line of defense against water-borne irritants and parasites. More commonly known as the slime coat, it provides protection against bacteria and fungus through its many protective substances including antibodies, lysozomes (an enzyme that is destructive to cell walls of certain bacteria) and c-reactive protein (a protein that may have some antibacterial properties. This layer also gives the fish its slippery feel. To make sure that the mucus layer is not damaged during handling, it is important that your hands are wet. Digestive System: This system in the Koi is more or less similar to that of any higher animal. The main difference is that the Koi doesn’t have a stomach. Food enters through the mouth and is crudely crushed by the bony projections from the gill supports called pharyngeal teeth. The crushed food then passes to the esophagus and into the intestines to exit out the anus (vent). The intestines are long and coiled, usually about 4-5 times the length of the adult fish itself. This allows the fish to extract much of the food nutrients by the time they exit the fish; and to process a variety of materials that, in nature, includes a lot of plant materials. On the other hand, the intestine in very young fish is short, only about the length of its body. This makes it better suited to digest more protein-rich food. Small finger-like projections line up the intestinal wall. They serve to increase the surface area and help it absorb more nutrients. The wall of the intestine also contains mucus-secreting cells that help lubricate the food and protect it from the harshness of some ingested food. Nervous System: This system consists of the optic and other sensory nerves that originate from the head. Fine fibers at the nerve endings transmit and receive message to the Koi’s brain. The spinal cord helps protect the central nervous system which extends to all parts of the fish’s body. Heart: This is a two-chamber organ that has a ventricle chamber and an atrium chamber. There are two extra chambers that precede and follow the two pumping chambers called the sinus venosus and the bulbus arteriosus. These are smaller chambers compared to the pumping chambers and function as compliant

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accumulators to smooth out pressure surges and protect the cardiovascular system. Immunity & Defenses: Koi are as exposed to different pathogens and parasites as any other living things that share the environment. As such, they have highly developed defenses against disease organisms. They have an immune system and involuntary defense mechanism to cope with the continual onslaught of disease causing organisms and parasitic elements. These defenses can be classified into two: innate and acquired. Innate Defenses: These innate defenses are relatively older, evolutionary-wise and are essentially constant. They do not change in nature or intensity based on whether, or how many times, the fish has been exposed. External first lines of defense are barriers of entry such as the skin, scales and the mucus membrane. Internal ones include the mucosa, the epithelial covering of internal cavities. A second group of defense factors take over should a pathogen penetrate the external barriers. Macrophage-like cells are large phagocytic cells that roam the blood, tissue and organs of the fish. They engulf damaged host cells and other foreign invaders and deliver lysing enzymes to breakdown the damaged cell or invader. Acquired defenses: These types of defense are those that the Koi has developed as a response to a threat, which is almost any foreign body or substance that enters the body. Cells and substances within the blood “learn� to defend the body by recognizing a particular invader and developing defensive measures against it, thus, is better prepared to cope with future attacks. This acquired or learned immunity is the basis of vaccinations.

Chapter 3 – Goldfish and Koi: Understanding the Difference For people planning to have a water garden or a pond, their set-up will not be complete without fish swimming in the water. Everyone has their own criteria for choosing which ones. Their reasons for choosing one over the other could be based on practical, economic or aesthetic reasons. Once they have made their selection on 16


which type of fish to care for, there are those who will even go a step further and name their fish, just like they would to any other pet. Picking the type of fish may seem a simple task: just select the prettiest and most colorful ones you see. However, for those who are serious, fish selection is much more involved. There are several factors to be considered when A Hama Nishiki goldfish planning the pond as to what http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldfish type of fish is desired. Towards this end, the most common pond fish that people choose are Goldfish and Koi. Both Goldfish and Koi are popular ornamental pond fish. They are hardy and can survive, although briefly, in adverse pond conditions. They even share some common historical origins and breeding development. Both are selections of carp, but they come from two different families. Goldfish are mutations from Crucian Carp (Carassius carassius) and Koi are from common carp (Cyprinus carpio). These may be simple and non-essential differences, but for those who have no experience in having a pond and caring for fish and want to do so, it is quite an unsettling question to ask themselves, “Which should I put in my pond, Koi or Goldfish? Or is it ok to put them both together?� The answer to this question lies in your situation and the habitat you are able to provide for either fish. If you prefer a pond or water garden that combines fish and plants, it is a good point to remember that Koi can knock and uproot the plants in the pond and even eat them. Goldfish, on the other hand, would just happily dart around the plants, but hardly disturb them. While some fancy Goldfish need to be brought inside over the winter, any Koi will survive cold climates as long as the pond is at least two feet deep. Small water gardens, those in the 50-500 gallon range, can very well accommodate Goldfish. Being extremely hardy and easy to

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care for, Goldfish is the best choice for the new pond owner or water gardener. In most cases, caring for Koi require a little more knowledge and experiences on the part of the pond owner. As Koi thrive in ponds with better water quality, they are best suited to ponds over 1000 gallons. Koi can grow quite large and, therefore, need more space in the pond; both for the fish themselves, and for proper biological breakdown of waste. If you plan to stock your pond or water garden with plants such as lilies, lotus, iris and other submerged annuals, Goldfish would be a better choice. Goldfish will thrive among them and will enjoy playing around under the lily pads without disturbing them. On the other hand, Koi, especially the larger ones, will often make a mess out of submerged plants. They quite enjoy darting in and out of the plants, sometimes even knocking over those that are potted. They may even eat some of them. This can create a real problem, especially for the inexperienced pond owner or water gardener. It is, therefore, best not to mix submerged plants when you have Koi in your pond. The ideal Koi pond is actually much deeper than the average water garden, so there is less need to have plants that help with water quality and shade. However, if you having potted plants in your pond are more to your liking, it is a good idea to wrap nettings over the top of the potted plants to prevent the fish from darting in and out of the plants. There are two major differences that you should consider before deciding which one you will care for in your pond: 9 Size 9 Cost Size: Koi can be very large--up to 100 centimeters (3.28 feet). It is obvious that their eventual size depends on many environmental conditions, such as the size of the pond itself, oxygen concentration, water temperatures, water quality, amount and type of food, as well as vitamin intake and exercise. Based on their age 18


and optimum growing conditions, Koi can grow over 2 centimeters each month or faster. According to the preceding data, you would choose goldfish instead of Koi if you had a pond that was less than 1,000 gallons. Remember, the bigger the surroundings the bigger the fish will grow. Female Koi tend to grow larger. Because of this, many Koi breeders prefer them as show fish. For others, they prefer male ones because they develop faster and are less likely to outgrow the confines of the pond. Some breeders say that Goldfish and Koi males have brighter colors. Water quality is essential for maintaining healthy development of Koi. Some breeders avoid having the Koi spawn, as the stressful spawning process can damage valuable fish and the release and deterioration of eggs and milt can degrade water quality. Cost: As for cost, Koi normally cost a lot more than Goldfish. There are varieties that sell for $10 to $50. Those with more elaborate patterns and colors; and with top quality bloodlines, can cost hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars. Long-term commitment: A lot of people have the notion that Goldfish are the best pet because they don’t want to invest much in taking care of pets, and have no interest in really having a pet for an extended period of time. There is also the myth that Goldfish will thrive even in a simple, small bowl. Yet, the total lifespan of your fish and the level of attachment you allow to form between the two of you, largely depends on how much of your time and resources you share with your pet. If you are going to be a serious in caring for your fish, you have to plan on having them around for a while. Goldfish may not be as big as Koi, but they aren’t necessarily short-lived. If a Goldfish doesn’t succumb to predators or illness, you can expect it to live for 10 to 20 years. The oldest goldfish on record lived for 43 years. The oldest Koi recorded was over 200 years old. Its average lifespan is 50 years. Koi get big as they grow old, up to about three feet long. Goldfish, under the best conditions will be around a foot.

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If at this point, if you really can’t decide, consider mixing and matching them for now. A lot of people have been successful in having both in one pond.

A Koi Pond http://www.koifishponds.com

Chapter 4 – Koi Varieties First of all, like snowflakes, no two Koi are alike. They may belong to one species, cyprinus carpio, but each individual Koi exhibits unique markings that breeders and Koi lovers look for and appreciate in a prize-winning fish. However, there are general classifications that Koi enthusiasts use to identify a Koi’s variety. The Japanese, the premier breeders of Koi, recognize thirteen basic varieties (some authors mention 15) with several forms and patterns in each of these varieties. But the truth is that it is not easy to classify the vast majority of Koi in our ponds and water gardens into any one of the top varieties at all.

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The quality of the koi is judged using different standards for each variety. However, there are also common standards that are applied to all Koi, not withstanding the variety to which each has been categorized into. Each variety has its own unique patterns and color markings that judges look for in a show or competition. Some of the major colors present in a koi are white, black, red yellow, blue and cream. Each of these colors occurs naturally in Koi; but because of selective breeding, or cross-breeding (i.e. breeding closely related types together) with the outcome being that of more stable varieties, each color and pattern has been brought out in many of the Koi varieties we have today. Breeders have identified and named a number of specific categories, based on the Japanese classification, and the most popular is Gosanke, composed of three major varieties. They are also further divided into two types, namely: metallic and nonmetallic. Metallic Koi varieties: Koi of this variety are probably the most eye-catching of all. They are called metallic because of their resemblance to gold or platinum bars and the glint of their flashing pectoral fins. The luster, or metallic sheen, they exhibit is produced by an abundance of a particular type of color cell that reflects light. Metallic Koi have more reflective iridocytes in their skin than chromatophores or color cells. Their quality is determined by the shape and proportion of their body, the depth of their luster and the clarity of their head, which should not have any blemishes. Three classes of metallic Koi include: 1. Hikari Muji - Single colored metallic Koi. They are divided into 2 groups: a. Pure Ogons - where scales, finnage and head exhibit the same coloration. b. The Matsubas - Being an Ogon, these are singlecolored Koi, but with Matsuba features, where each scale has a darkened center.

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Hikari Muji

http://www.koiscapes.com/prod377.html

Hikari Utsuri

http://www.simikoi.com/prod35.html 22


2. Hikari Utsuri - The Showa and Utsuri varieties are highly regarded as they are the only traditional varieties of Koi with their own metallic luster. 3. Hikari Moyo These are the patterned metallic Koi (excluding Hikari Utsuri and Matsuba Ogons). Basically, if it is patterned and metallic, it falls in this 'catch-all' group. Color Patterns Classified by Japanese Names ™ Ai - blue ™ Aka - red ™ Bu - size classification ™ Budo - purple ™ Cha - brown ™ Gin - silver ™ Hi - red ™ Kana - male Koi ™ Ki - yellow ™ Kin - gold ™ Mena - female Koi ™ Midori - green ™ Nezu - gray ™ Orenji - orange ™ Shiro - white Sumi – black ™

Hikari Moyo http://www.usakoi.com/ buyKoi.php?id=200375

The Major Varieties of Koi 1.

Kohaku. (non metallic) A white base, or ground, with a red pattern. The red is called Hi. This is the most popular Koi variety that has given us the expression “Koi avocation begins and ends with Kohaku.” The features to look for are the purity of its white body and the intensity of its red patterns. The edges of the red markings should be crisp and clear against an unblemished white background.

2.

Taisho Sanke (non metallic) (usually called Sanke in the U.S.) White Koi with a red pattern overlaid with a black pattern. The black is called Sumi. Black markings were 23


added to the basic kohaku pattern during the early 1900’s producing this variety. The beauty of the overall pattern is accentuated by the positioning of the sumi. 3.

Showa Sanshoku (non metallic) (or just Showa) Black Koi with red and white patterns. This variety was developed in the 1930’s. As in the sanke, the sumi is the basis for appreciating this one. The sumi should form a strong background against the white and red markings. All three colors should be present in the face, most preferably in the nose.

4.

Utsuri mono (non metallic) Black Koi with white, red, or gold pattern. The name literally means “reflections” or “reflecting ones”. This variety is marked by three different color markings, white, red and the very rare yellow, and accentuated by black, which emerges from under the other colors to create a pattern suggestive of reflection of color on a black background.

5.

Bekko (non metallic) White base with black, yellow, or red pattern overlaid. This variety has a simple stepping stone pattern of black running down its back, set against a red, white or yellow background. It is similar to Utsuri. A good specimen should have a balance of black markings but none on the head. A yellow bekko is a rarity.

6.

Asagi and Shusui (non metallic) Asagi are blue reticulated upper with orange or red along the lower side the length of the body. Shusui are a scale less version descended from Asagi. Asagi one of the oldest varieties and has been the basis for many subsequent varieties. The features to look for are conspicuously vivid appearance of the meshes and light blue, spotless head region. Shusui it is a cross between a doitsugoi and an asagi. It has a bold line of navy scale on the back with a bright orange or red belly like the asagi. A good quality shusui must have proper alignment of large dark-blue scales along the back. There should 24


be red on the snout, below and behind the eyes, at the bases of the fins and on the abdomen. 7.

Koromo (non metallic) A combination of Kohaku and Asagi. A bluish reticulated pattern over a Kohaku pattern. Its literal meaning is “clothed” or “robed”. It is a product of interbreeding the kohaku and the asagi. It has a pure white base with the asagi-like scale reticulation showing only in the red patterned areas.

8.

Kawarimono (non metallic) A collective grouping of Koi which do not readily fit into any other group, such as black Koi, or Karasugoi. They are true varieties, but compete against each other in shows under kawarimono classification.

9.

Hikarimono (metallic) (Ogon) Single color, platinum, yellow or orange, metallic Koi. They may have a matsuba or pinecone pattern overlaid. Whatever the variety, coloration should be of the same hue from the head to tail and down to the tips of the fins. Large fins are highly desirable on Ogon, as they offset the plain body.

10. Hikarimoyo-mono (Metallic) This variety includes all shiny Koi except hikari-muji and hikari utsuri. The features to look for are strong kikiari, followed by bold patterns. The color patterns should be well balanced on the entire body. 11. Hikari Utsuri (Metallic) The markings are similar to those of showa sanshoku and utsurimono. The features to look for are the intensity of the hikari; deep tone of gold and black. 12. Kinginrin Brightly glittering scales. Not the same as metallic. Koi with shiny golden or silvery scales are called “kinginrin”. Shining white scales are called “ginrin”, and shining scales within red markings are referred to as “kinrin”. 13. Tancho The feature to look for is the red patch positioned at the center of the head region, set against a milky white color that sets the red markings off to advantage. This variety includes Koi from the kohaku, sanke, showa and any other 25


varieties that have the round red mark on the head, and no red markings elsewhere. Doitsu: A Special Breed of Koi: Doitsu lineage does not mean koi bred in Germany, but rather those that were crossbred with Japanese Koi and black carp imported originally for food from Germany during the Meija era. This German variety was selectively bred to produce Koi with few or no scales at all to facilitate in the processing. They differ from ordinary Koi in scale arrangement. They have either no scales or with only one line of scales on each side along the base of the dorsal fin (leather carp), or they have a line of large scales along their lateral and dorsal lines (mirror carp). The features to look for include the orderliness of scale arrangement and the absence of unnecessary scales. Doitsu Koi are crossbred into almost all varieties of Nishikigoi but each Koi should posses the characteristics of the original variety. KOI VARIETIES a.

Aka Matsuba

Asagi

Bekko

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Benigoi

Chagoi

Goshiki

Hariwake

Gin Matsuba

Karasugoi

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Kigoi

Kin Showa

Kikusui

Kohaku

Kin Ki Utsuri

Koromo

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Kujaku

Kumonryu

Ochiba Shigure

Ogon

Platinum

Shiro Utsuri

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Showa Sanshoku

Shusui

Taisho Sanshoku

http://www.mystickoi.com/K oi_Varieties.php

Tancho

Yamato Nashiki

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Koi Fish Pond Secrets