The koi carp is a distant cousin of our native carp. It is a beautiful ornamental fish that appears in ponds and ponds all over the world. It is colorful and very beautiful, which is why it is also becoming more and more popular in our country. After all, it is a delicate fish that needs to be properly cared for.
Koi fish – where does it come from?
The koi carp is a domesticated variety of farmed carp. The history of its breeding in Japan is very long as it dates back to the 17th century. It is famous not only for its very representative appearance, but also for its high intelligence. Breeders believe that koi quickly learn to recognize their handler and willingly swim up to him.
Interestingly, the fish is bred all over the world. Exhibitions are organized during which judges assess the appearance and condition of individual representatives of the species. Fish are also decorated, as are purebred dogs and cats.
Koi fish – what varieties do they come in?
All varieties of koi are considered large fish. Some individuals can grow up to 90 centimeters. The shape of the body slightly resembles farmed wild carp, which we know from Polish ponds.
The dorsal fin is long and the mouth has characteristic pairs of whiskers. Koi fish are distinguished by their unique colors. Almost a hundred color variations are defined, which differ not only in color but also in pattern distribution.
Koi carps can be classified into three basic varieties:
- koi – this is a basic variety that is covered with dull scales;
- ginrin – it is covered with mirror scales;
- doitsu – it is smooth, in some places it has a few mirror scales (sometimes spread on both sides of the back).
The other varieties of koi are:
- asagi – this is an old and appreciated variety of koi carp. These fish have a pale head and red rims around their eyes. The flesh is indigo;
- bekko – carp in this variety have a uniform base color (yellow, red or white) speckled with black dots that are spread all over the body;
- showa – has colored meanings on a black background;
- utsuri – these have a flawless and very intense base color. It is very evenly distributed between the black markings;
- taisho – this carp is white and decorated with a black pattern;
- tail – This variety of koi is single colored with very shiny mirror scales.
What are the requirements of koi carp?
Can koi be kept in the aquarium?
Koi fish are very large and should not be kept in an aquarium. This is only allowed while they are still small. As they grow up, they should be moved to their final pond.
What conditions must be kept in the pond?
Koi carp need a reservoir that is spacious and deep at the same time. A pond that is at least two meters deep will be the best. A single fish should provide at least one cubic meter of water. It is also necessary to properly prepare the water.
It should be as transparent as possible, free of bacteria and properly oxygenated. So you need to buy appropriate aeration tools for the pond. The filter should be sufficiently efficient and large to be able to filter all the water in the pond.
It is also worth using a UV lamp. The water temperature should be between 15 and 25 degrees. In winter, large fluctuations can harm the fish, therefore the lamp will be necessary.
Koi carps do best in ponds that are densely planted with plants. However, there is one thing you need to know. You should not let these fish into newly established ponds where new plants have been planted. It’s best to wait at least three weeks.
Protection of a pond
Remember that garden ponds are open to the presence of predators, especially free-living and outgoing cats. Fish are therefore endangered, so consider installing a net to protect them.
What does ornamental koi eat?
Koi carp feeding is not particularly problematic. They are omnivorous fish, but they shouldn’t be fed random food. Some say that koi fish can be fed dry food for crucian carp or goldfish. However, it is best to give a dedicated food. You can find food for koi at good aquarium stores. Its composition and size are adapted to the digestive system of these animals.
It is worth remembering that in winter, when the temperature drops, koi starts to eat much less. Pay attention to the water temperature. When it’s lower than 10 degrees Celsius, it’s a good idea to stop feeding the fish. Their metabolism then slows down and when they eaten, they may start to fall ill.
What do koi fish get sick with?
Unfortunately, koi is much less resistant to disease than domestic fish, which are typical of our ecosystem. For this reason, it is inadvisable to keep them in one tank with Polish fish – for example crucians.
An ichthyopathologist is a specialist in fish diseases. It is worth reporting to him when you notice that something is wrong with your pets. Any change in behavior and coloration problems is cause for concern.
Interestingly, the right conditions in a pond are important not only for the health of the fish, but also for their coloration. Sometimes koi carps escape and end up in natural waters. Then they change their colors to olive green and look similar to our native carps.
How many koi live?
Koi carps are large fish that are also famous for their longevity. Their life expectancy is thirty to fifty years. The oldest carp, however, can live for a century. Good conditions and disease resistance are very important. In Poland, many koi fish die far too early.
Koi Carp Reproduction – Is It Difficult?
Many people wonder if koi can be bred at home. This is possible as long as the fish are provided with good conditions. If you want to spawn, raise the temperature in the tank to above 20 degrees Celsius. The fish must be fully ripe. Specimens over four years of age commence spawning. It happens in June.
However, you need to prepare for the fact that breeding koi in home farms often ends in failure. In some cases, however, healthy fry appear and grow to adult size in good health.
Koi carp – summary
The coca carp is a beautiful ornamental fish that comes from Japan. There are almost a hundred different color variations, and there are exhibitions around the world where breeders showcase their best fish.
You can keep koi in your pond. However, it must be well prepared, equipped with a pump and a UV lamp that will help maintain the right water temperature. It is also worth protecting them against cats. Due to poor immunity, koi should not live with fish from the Polish biotope. They can get infected from them with diseases to which they are not immune.
If you provide them with good conditions, ornamental Japanese carp will accompany you even for several dozen years.