What’s elegant, regal, and can be found gracing outdoor ponds and water gardens throughout the world? The koi fish, of course! These big, bright fish have been around for hundreds of years and make a great addition to any suitable garden pond or large water feature.
Koi are an ornamental species of fish that descend from the carp. In the 1600s, Chinese farmed carp in rice paddies, a practice that traveled to Japan, where the Japanese noticed odd color variations in some of the carp and bred them, creating the koi species. Koi used to only be found in red, white, black and blue, but have since been bred in different combinations of all the colors in the rainbow.
Because of our Hot Summers in Folsom …
Folsom landscapers need deep Koi ponds — Koi are cold-water fish, but benefit from being kept in the 15–25 °C (59–77 °F) range, and do not react well to long, cold, winter temperatures; their immune systems are very weak below 10 °C. Koi ponds usually have a metre or more of depth in areas of the world that become warm during the summer, whereas in areas that have harsher winters, ponds generally have a minimum of 1.5 m (5 ft). Specific pond construction has been evolved by koi keepers intent on raising show-quality koi.
4 things to know about your koi
Size: Koi grow up to 36 inches long Lifespan: They can live for more than 50 years and thrive in a wide range of water temperatures Temperament: They are generally peaceful but may pick on slower fish Origin: They’re a type of carp native to Japan Did You Know: Koi can learn to recognize and take food from their pet parents
The Difference Between Koi and Goldfish
Koi and goldfish have plenty in common. Their feeding needs are about the same, as are their breeding habits. Both are popular fish for stocking outdoor ponds, and both can be kept indoors. Koi will end up costing you more money, though. Not only do they require filtration systems for the water, they can be priced in the thousands of dollars, whereas goldfish may cost $5 to $50 or even just a little change. They may seem identical, but they have plenty of differences.
Two species of carp are often kept in ponds and larger home aquariums. Both are Asian in origin and appear superficially similar. Goldfish are actually descended from crucian carp, while the koi have barbels, grow longer, and are in fact a fancy domesticated version of the common carp. Although more widely known in the wild, the koi fancy is more “elite” than the goldfish scene, with millions of dollars being invested in the finest fish.
Goldfish can display coloring besides the familiar golden orange. Goldfish can be black, red, white or a combination of these colors. In his book “Goldfish: Your Happy, Healthy Pet, ” Dr. Gregory Skomal noted that koi have coloring very similar to that of goldfish, but the patches of contrasting color they display tend to be larger than those of goldfish.