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Types Of Koi Fishes

13 Types Of Koi Fishes

A little history about Japanese Koi fishes which is the domesticated variant of ordinary carp. The Koi fish lives and breeds in freshwaters of Eastern Asia which is said to be its place of origin.

This fish is famous for its beautiful patterns and colours which is created by years and years of continuous selective breeding. There are over 100 different varieties of koi fish that differ in their colour, patterns and type of scales.

These differences have split them into 13 classifications which are listed below for easy identification.

1. Kohaku is the most common white-bodied koi with patches of red markings.


2. Sanke are white (Shiro) koi with red(Ki) patches which are overlapped with black patterns. These koi were believed to be developed in the Taisho era in Japan and were originally displayed in 1914.

Types of Koi Fishes - Sanke

3. Showa is a black-bodied koi with red and white markings. It is some times hard to distinguish between present breeds of Showa and Sanke, but normally a Showa will always have their black colouration on below the lateral line and heads.

Types of Koi Fishes - Showa

4. Utsuri is shortened form for Utsurimono, which interprets as reflections or reflective ones. There are three common variants which are all black bodied koi with one of the red/white/yellow patches.

Types of Koi Fishes - Utsuri

5. Bekko has a black patch on a coloured base. It can be very confusing when selecting an Utsuri koi and Bekko koi. The simplest way to identify a Bekko to check for any black markings on the head of the Koi. Like the Utsuri there are three types white-bodied, red bodied and yellow bodied.

Types of Koi Fishes - Bekko

6. Asagi and Shusui - Asagi is generally the ones with a blue-grey colour net pattern on top of their body particularly with a dark blue edge to each of their scales. And red is present below the lateral lines and sometimes on the abdomen and lateral fins.

Types of Koi Fishes - Asagi

Shusui means "autumn green", it was created by selective breeding Asagi with small carp in 1910. The Shusui is in another word a scale-less version of an Asagi.

Types of Koi Fishes - Shusui

7. Koromo and Goshiki - Koromo are white-bodied koi with red distinct patches. Koromo was developed using selective breeding from Kohaku and Asagi. Koromo is also known as Goromo. There are three types of Koromo namely Aigoromo, Sumigoromo, and Budogoromo.

Types of Koi Fishes - Koromo

Goshiki were bred from Asagi and Sanke, therefore they have inherited the red, black and white colours of the sanke, which superimposes a two-tone Asagi.


8. Kawarimono or Kawarigoi are non-metallic varieties of koi which don’t fit into any other division. This list of koi varieties is very big and is furthermore growing day by day. Some of the more recognised types are Hajiro, shiroji, Hageshiro, Kumonryu otherwise known as Dragon Fish. Some of the singled coloured varieties of Kawarimono are Benigoi, Kigoi, Soragoi, Midorigoi, Shiro Muji, Chagoi, Ochiba Shigure.

Types of Koi Fishes - Kawarimono

9. Hikarimuji is single coloured koi with a glossy shine to their skin. Some of the familiar varieties are Orenji Ogon, Aka Matsuba, Yamabuki Ogon, Kin Matsuba, and Gin Matsuba.

Types of Koi Fishes - Hikarimuji

10. Hikarimoyo is very similar to Hikarimuji, except with a distinct pattern having two or more colours. But the metallic versions of Showa and Utsuri fall into the Hikari Utsuri category. Some of the prominent varieties of Hikarimoyo are Yamatonishiki, Hariwake / Orenji Hariwake / Yamabuki Hariwake, Sakura Ogon, and Kujaku.

Types of Koi Fishes - Hikarimoyo

11. Hikari Utsuri is the metallic versions of Showa and Utsuri. There are gold, silver and black-bodied variants of Hikari Utsuri.

Types of Koi Fishes - Hikari Utsuri

12. Kinginrin the name means the once with gold and silver scales. Scales of these koi do have a distinct sparkling effect. Kinrin koi has gold sparkles to their scales and Ginrin silver whereas a Kinginrin koi will display both gold and silver sparkles.

Types of Koi Fishes - Kinginrin

13. Tancho is named after the national bird of Japan Tancho Crane. the fish has a red spot on its head similar to that on a Japanese flag. Tancho is not a breedable feature, it only occurs by chance for this reason Tancho koi are very popular all over the world and all ways in great demand.

Types of Koi Fishes - Tancho


Is the cross-bred of mirror carps and Nishikigoi. The subsequent offsprings are born with scales or without scales. Doitsu is not normally recognised as a classification.

These Koi fall into classes as per their distinct colouration. An exception is the Shusui koi, which is sometimes graded individually.

Types of Koi Fishes - Koi Fish Chart

Non-Nishikigoi Varients

Ghost Koi and Butterfly Koi are developed by the 20th-century breeders But, are not officially classified as Nishikigoi. They are very much popular with beginner level koi keepers who are not hardcore koi keepers and breeders.

  • Ghost Koi are developed by crossbreeding metallic Koi and the common carp. They are mostly found in silver/gold colour and there is a skeletal pattern flowing down the back.

  • Butterfly Koi, alias Long-fin Koi or Dragon Koi, are Nishikigoi which is cross-bred with longfin carp of Indonesia. These koi are fast growers, has a long body and barbels are long.

For building your koi pond and to buy good breeds of koi fish kindly contact us.



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