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Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Colors of Koi

by: Mark Justice

Photo by: Araleya
The Japanese have taken a great deal of pride in the careful breeding of Koi Fish to produce the many different fabulous colors and patterns that are available today. Koi fish are loved and treasured by their owners because of the gorgeous colors and patterns available. 

Vivid and bright colors shoud mark the Koi Fish. Yellow Koi should be a vivid yellow, and black Koi should be a deep jet black. Dullness of color or spots that are slighly off color are undesirable qualities. You also don't want any specks of gray in your pure white Koi. Color is an indicator of the Koi's overall good health. Imperfect water conditions as well as dull drab colors is an indicastion of poor health. Understanding the importance of color and what the colors should be will help a great deal when you are selecting your Koi. It will also help to keep an eye on the color at home as you are raising them to be sure the water conditions and care you are giving them is the best quality possible. 

Koi Fish come in a large variety of colors. Some of the most seen Koi colors are red, black, white, green, blue, yellow and cream. Certain terms and descriptions are used by the Japanese to describe the different colors and traits of the Koi Fish, There are a large number of categories that have been identified by Koi breeders. Gosanke is the most popular variety and it includes many sub-categories such as Kohaku, Taisho Sanshoki and Showa Sanshoki Koi. The Kohaku are white with red patterns. The white on this breed of Koi should be pure white and the red should cover 50 to 70 percent of the body with well defined edges. 

The Taisho Sanshoki category or Taisho Sanke or just Sanke, as they are also known, are white fish with red and black markings. Again the white should be snowy white and the red and black should be brightly colored with distinct edges. Like the Sanke category of Koi, the Showa Sanshoki, or just Showa category are white black and red in color as well. The difference is that the main color is black with white and red markings. There are many other varieties that each come in their own color variations. The Ogon come in an assortment of colors but they are all one color. They sould be a solid bright color with no patterns, or markings at all. 

You can help keep you Koi's colors bright and distinct by feeding them a rich diet. Shrimp, marigold, plankton and blue-green algae known as Spirulina are some of the things added to commercial grade diets for Koi. These foods are specifically geared to enhance the colors and markings of the Koi. Also, adding foods such as freeze dried brine shrimp and daphnia, you are ultimately feeding them color anhancing foods. Each of these fodds have high concentrations of carotenoids, and carotenoid pigments are the major pigments in the Koi's skin.


About The Author

Mark Justice is a koi fish enthusiast. For more information on koi colors, visit:http://www.raisingkoifish.com

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