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Koi fish is one of the most adorable pets you can own. Their graceful movements by flexing their bodies and tail combined with the outré colors, charming personality, and incredible social adaptability are some of their glorious traits.
Koi can be wonderful partners for their highly reactive nature. They acknowledge their owners as someone who brings them delicious food. Once they realize this voracious truth, they will greet you with shoaling, vying for treats, and purring for attention, which gives you another reason to domesticate them for the rest of your lives.
People new to fish keeping often find it arduous to differentiate between hundreds of types of Koi. And this is where Koi fish differs from your usual fish — we classify Koi by their beautiful qualities and phenomenal appearances than scientific classification.
8 Beautiful Koi Fish For Your Pond
Below is a quick table of the best koi fish you can purchase today. I’ll over over each type of Koi and explain what makes each one so special.
In a hurry? I recommend purchasing all Koi Fish from Next Day Koi, a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) online seller. Use coupon code ASDEPOT to get 10% off your order!
|Gosanke||Click For Best Price|
|Hikarimuji||Click For Best Price|
|Utsurimono||Click For Best Price|
|Kawarimono||Click For Best Price|
|Koromo||Click For Best Price|
|Bekko||Click For Best Price|
|Asagi||Click For Best Price|
|Shusui||Click For Best Price|
The 8 Best Koi Fish For Ponds (2023 Update)
There are over 100+ different types of Koi fish for sale characterized by their body shapes, proportions, color varieties, and scale patterns that make one stand out from the other. Out of those 100+ types, 8 of the most popular and best koi fish for sale are discussed below.
The most popular Koi Fish on the market. Comes in a variety of colors and hardy.
Gosanke is the tremendous trio of Kohaku, Sanke, and Showa, which are the most popular types of Koi fish. Gosanke is graced with lustrous white skin with red and black patches all over the shiny surface.
Kohaku is one of the most adored and common varieties of Gosanke in Japan and around the world. All three types of Gosanke are identical in terms of their body size, proportion, and scales. However, the major difference lies in their color patterns. Kohaku is differentiated on the basis of red or orange and white color patterns on their skin, while Sanke and Showa come in a spectrum of red or orange, white, and black spots on their skin.
Although Sanke and Showa are almost alike, their color patterns differ. The red or orange and black patches on Showa are predominant than Sanke.
Best Sheen Of All Koi
This variety of Koi features metallic scales that reflect light. An excellent way to showcase flashes of colors in your pond!
Hikarimuji are single colored Koi with metallic scales. They are most known how their scales reflect light. Bringing a flash of colors, This variety of Koi is best for those looking for a solid color Koi to accent other multi color types. Hikarimuji are broken down into other classes of Koi called Ogon, Yamabuki, and Matsuba.
When selecting a Hikarimuji a solid color pattern and sheen is highly valued. They come in white, yellow, and gold color combinations.
A koi fish with a unusual color pattern. Placement of the black patches determines it's rarity
Utsurimono is one of the most graceful and majestic Koi found to date because of its unusual color patterns and the striking base color.
Utsurimono, as the name suggests, has a black base body adorned with various color patches. The three beautiful varieties of Utsurimono are Hi, Shiro, and Ki Utsuri, where “Hi Koi” showcases a sublime red base, Shiro; white, and Ki; yellow.
The three different kinds of Utsurimono would surely steal the limelight of your Koi pond!
How to Spot the Rarest Utsurimono
Do you know?
You can judge the rarest Utsurimono by the placement of Sumi (black patches). Ideally, the black pigments should cover the entire body of Utsurimono Koi fish. However, if the Sumi forms an Ichimatsu (checkered pattern) over the tail and the face is multi-colored, it is the rarest and most valuable Koi fish.
Ki Utsuriis the rarest type of Utsurimono, with yellow patterns over a jet black body.
A non metallic Koi fish. Features the Chagoi Koi - known as the most friendly Koi in the Pond trade
If you think keeping Koi fish as a pet is too mainstream, try keeping one of its unique classes, and you wouldn’t have to worry about a thing.
Japanese scientists loved carps so much, so they mutated some of them to achieve the colorful, energetic, and friendly carps we now call Koi. However, a few fish deviated from the cause and conformed to their original color and style and showcased sequences of their own conventional patterns and markings, colloquially known as the black Koi.
Kawarimono is a diverse class of non-metallic Koi fish that is termed as the black sheep of the family because they don’t fit into any other classes of Koi fish.
Kawarimono can be further classified into three categories:
1. Single-colored koi: Kigoi, Benigoi, Shiro Muji.
2. Black Koi:Karasu, Kumonryu, Matsukawabake.
3. Miscellaneous: Matsuba, Midorigoi.
The friendliest Kawarimono:
There’s a classification in Kawarimono Koi that is considered being the most adorable of all the species for its unrivaled aggression at feeding hours and ingenuousness at active hours.
The uniform brown colored Chagoi Koi is the real McCoy in the world of Kois.
Chagoi is known for two distinct qualities:
- The ability to outgrow other Koi.
- Extreme friendliness towards its keeper.
Fun Fact about Kawarimono
Scientists made several attempts to achieve the green varieties of Koi fish through Kawarimono mutations, and the research is still in progress. The fish exhibits a green color in the beginning. However, it darkens with time.
If you’re a connoisseur koi lover, you will adore Koromo Koi.
Koromo is a Japanese word that means Robe or Garment. And rightfully so, as the Koromo Koi appears to carry a blue scaled veil on top of its regular patterns. Since Koromo has several varieties, let’s discuss the most common one, i.e., Ai Goromo.
Its literal meaning is indigo blue in Japan. Therefore, Ai Goromo is an elegant breed of Koi that is graced with a crystal white skin base with intricate deep crimson hi, outlined with dark blue lining across the scales. The dark lining may appear thin in the beginning and turn out dingy when the Koi is older.
One of the oldest domesticated Koi fish. Two toned in color. A very striking fish to have in your pond
Bekko is one of the most popular two-tone Koi fish domesticated for ages. Because of Bekko Koi’s two tonal hues, it is quite rare to find, but the fish is stunningly gorgeous and easy on the eyes.
Bekko is a diverse group of Koi, which is further divided into three types; Shiro, Aka, and Ki.
The Bekko Koi has a colored base glorified with black Sumi patterns. The Shiro koi has a white base, Aka; red, and Ki; lemon yellow.
Ki is the rarest type of Bekko Koi because these are not spawned yet arise from Shiro Bekko, Kigoi or Snake crosses.
Fun Fact about Bekko
Did you know?
There’s a variety of Bekko Koi that is completely scaleless, which is known as Doitsu Bekko.
Asagi is the historic and most beautiful choice for any avid Koi keeper.
Asagi Koi do not exhibit the same color patterns as most of their family members. They commonly showcase bluish to light blue scales on the upper part of their body. However, the lower part i.e., the belly and mid-lateral portion are accentuated with vivid red markings. The trademark of Asagi Koi is the reticulations formed by their blue scales.
Fun Fact about Asagi
If you’re looking for the most impressive Asagi Koi to wow your friends and family, look out for the scales.
When the back of the Asagi Koi is covered with pale blue scales at the surface and dark blue at the edges. The transition between the two colors stands out, and your Koi pond looks incredibly outstanding.
A combo of the German mirror carp and Japanese Asagi. One of the most striking scale features available for Koi
Shusui has inherited some of the most peculiar traits from their progenitors, i.e. German mirror carp and Japanese Asagi.
The Shusui Koi is identified with Asagi’s contrasting colors and exclusive scale patterns to either side of the dorsal line that is neat and uniform. Despite the bizarre, colorful patterns swirling around the pond in circles, the scales of Shusui Koi are the most stunning feature on the Koi fish.
Fun Fact about Shusui
Sometimes, as Shuisui age, they have a tendency to show black spots around their head region. However, Shusui with the spotless white, pale bluish head is the most valuable kind.
Selecting A Koi Fish – How do I choose one?
So, here are some tips for choosing the best Koi fish for your pond.
- Find the best koi dealer and take a tour of their koi ponds in order to know the condition of their fish. Talk to the supplier about some knowledgeable stuff that determines his command over Koi fish. If looking online, a WYSIWYG koi dealer is highly recommended.
- Before buying Koi, always examine the fish for some signs of illness. Observe the way they swim. Healthy Koi swim peacefully with no jerk movements.
- Other places to look for are gills for any respiratory diseases. If the gills exhibit uneven movements, know that the Koi might be facing some respiratory distress.
- Also, if the fish is lonely, leave it. Lonely Koi is not a healthy Koi. Therefore, always observe how Koi interact with other fish in the pond.
Follow these tips before choosing Koi for your pond.
Tips To Help Your Koi Become More Friendly – How to Hand Feed
Koi is undeniably the most darling fish you’ll ever find. However, if you’re a new parent, you might have a hard time taming them.
Here are some koi keeping tips to help you settle down with your Koi in the smoothest manner instantly.
- Feed your Koi the food it enjoys 2-3 times daily. Ideally, the food should be enriched in proteins.
- Koi fish are extremely social creatures. Therefore, the more the merrier. Introduce Chagoi Koi to your pond and see the difference in social adaptability. Do not overcrowd the pond as Koi doesn’t respond well to swarming ponds.
- Train the Koi to eat directly out of your hands. First, introduce your hand. Offer it some treats on the edge of the water and wait for the reaction. If the Koi comes to your hand and eat the treats, you’re all set. However, if it is reluctant, leave the treats floating in the water and wait for Koi to eat it. Repeat the same for the following weeks until the day it eventually eats out of your hands.
If you want a more in-depth explanation, check out this video by Lee Calladine. Also check out our Koi Fish Care guide for extra tips!
I have compiled a list of frequently asked questions about Koi fish. Please feel free to ask more, and I’ll definitely try to answer them.
Which Is The Best Koi?
Well, if you’re new to Koi keeping, the Kohaku Koi is the best option for you. Kohaku Koi is one of the most popular Koi available. It is easily located at a koi dealer and easy to care for. They are part of the Gosanke family
Which Is The Rarest?
There’s no one answer to this question. The rarest kinds of Koi are the ones that are not bred any more or less of. However, Ki Utsuri is considered as one of the best and rarest kinds of Koi with a black body graced with patterns of yellow.
Why are they so special?
In Japan and China, Koi was raised for consumption. However, with the passage of time, much positive symbolism has been associated with Koi, such as good luck, wealth, health, love, and compassion.
People tend to spend more on fish if they have a symbolic omen in their patterns and colors.
Koi are considered being the most expensive fish to keep because of the care and attention it requires in breeding these fish.
How Much Do They Cost?
Depending on their size, proportion, and class, Koi cost around $10 to $1000.
Where to Buy?
You would be surprised to know that most of the wannabe breeders are opportunists.
Therefore, do your homework and proper research before buying from any importer or breeder.
First, the Internet is your friend. Search for the best Koi fish for sale and you will be directed to some website where they breed Koi fish and put it on sale. You can visit their farms and since most of the online shops are credible and deal with the highest quality of Koi, you will get the Koi of your choice at a much more reasonable price than any breeder.
If shopping online, a what you see is what you get (WYSIWYG) koi dealer is the best route to go. I recommend Next Day Koi as they deliver high quality Koi at great prices. Use the code ASDEPOT to get 10% off your order!
How Big Do They Get?
Different types of Koi grow at a different rate. Most domesticated Koi fish grow about 12 to 15 inches long while the Japanese Koi grow 22 to 26 inches long. The jumbo Koi reach their maximum growth at 34 to 36 inches long.
However, domesticated Koi fish are best suited home ponds and large aquariums.
Koi fish are the jewels of pond adorned with beautiful colors and intricate scaling patterns. They are an outstanding addition to your home interiors and outdoor patio.
If you’ve been thinking to buy Koi for your home pond lately, think no more. I’ve covered seven of the best breeds of Koi fish to get you all sorted.
Happy Koi Keeping!
Mark is the founder of Aquarium Store Depot. He started in the aquarium hobby at the age of 11 and along the way worked at local fish stores. He has kept freshwater tanks, ponds, and reef tanks for over 25 years. His site was created to share his knowledge and unique teaching style on a larger scale. He has worked on making aquarium and pond keeping approachable. Mark has been featured in two books about aquarium keeping – both best sellers on Amazon. Each year, he continues to help his readers and clients with knowledge, professional builds, and troubleshooting.