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Updated on May 5, 2009

Koi Fish Photos

Koi Fish Care

Koi fish are some of the most beautiful fish in the world. Because of this fact, most people will choose this hobby as the one of choice for their yard. But before you begin this amazing hobby, you should know the basics of koi fish care. Knowing how to take care of koi fish is essential to keeping them alive.

First of all, nothing adds more beauty and serenity to your home than a koi fish pond. The koi fish in your pond have a habit of calming whoever is watching. It doesn't matter who it is, when you see a koi pond in someones yard,(whether in the front or backyard) you immediately have to look. I don't know if it is the sound of the water splashing off the rocks or the elegant way that the fish swim. The whole experience is calming to whoever watches.

But in the beginning the koi hobby was not that. The forefathers of this amazing hobby bred the koi for food. They kind of stumbled on to the hobby and a phenomenon was born. To understand where the hobby is going, we first have to understand where it came from.

Japanese Koi Fish

In the beginning, what we know today as the Japanese Koi fish was nothing more than Common Carp. I know some people would argue with me but the Chinese, according to history, were the first to use the koi. The Common Carp were found all over the surrounding seas around China. But they used them primarily for food and didn't realize their potential. How they wound up in Japan is still up to speculation. Some say that they were traded to the Japanese for goods. Some say they were brought there by traders.

At first the Japanese were using the Carp for the same reason, food. Many of the ingenious rice farmers were raising carp in their flooded rice paddies. A diet of fish AND rice is better than rice alone, right? Eventually someone noticed the different colors that the koi were exhibiting. And they started to pick out the colored koi from the black koi. After some time, the rice farmers began to cross-breed the colored fish making more and more varieties.

This was done way back in the 1800's! Who says that the earlier civilizations were inferior! All this was going on without the knowledge of the outside world. According to Wikipedia, Japan and the rest of the world did not know about Koi until 1914, when the Niigata Koi were entered into a annual exposition in Tokyo. After that, the koi hobby exploded in Japan and eventually the rest of the world.

There is still a great interest in koi. With some of the rarest varieties of koi going for thousands of dollars. Currently there are over a hundred varities of koi on record. There are many different varities of koi, but there is also some controversy about what is called the "Butterfly Koi" or "American Koi."

How to Buy Koi Fish...

Butterfly Koi

American Koi

 The Butterfly koi, or Dragon koi were also bred by the Japanese. They are distinguished by their long flowing fins. But amazingly they are frowned upon by the same breeders that created them. Believe it or not, they are viewed as inferior to the traditional koi.

Butterfly koi are not allowed in the many of the Japanese koi hobbyist competitions. But in true tradition, some American thought that the fish was beautiful (and he/she was right...) and decided to bring it home. Outside of the United States, you cannot find this fish. but here in the states, they are extremely popular. Thus the nickname, "American Koi." So popular in fact, that they have their own club, the AKCA. The American Koi Club Association.

Koi Fish Care Tips!

When it comes to Koi fish care, there are a couple of things that you should have in place BEFORE you buy your koi. These are things that are essential to the survival of your koi, whether they are in a pond OR a fish tank.

1. Proper filtration.Proper filtration is essential because like all living things, koi fish excrete waste. And left unchecked, that waste will become the building blocks of the minerals that can harm your koi fish.

2. Different Varieties of Food.Like you, your koi fish will need a variety of food. This will ensure that they have a well balanced diet. There are different types of food for your koi. You have Summer food and Winter food. Summer food provides a well balanced diet in the Summertime. A well balanced diet will result in the most colorful of koi. Unfortunately, the most expensive food will also result in a wider variety of colors.

But, in my opinion, the Winter food is the most beneficial. During the Wintertime, the koi's metabolism slows down and your koi will digest their food more slowly. This in turn allows them to survive those long Winter's on autopilot. So make sure that you buy your koi the best formulated Winter food that you can afford.

3. Information. Information. Information!There is no substitute for information! You should make sure that you have ALL of the info that you can find BEFOREyou begin your koi hobby. The last thing that you want is to be burying koi after you have begun your pond. Find out all of the information that you can and then proceed. It will work to your advantage in the long run. Your koi will live longer, and you'll be happier!


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    • BlogZoneUSA profile image


      6 years ago from Tennessee

      Awesome Hub! Koi are such amazing fish.

    • profile image

      Koi Fish Care 

      8 years ago

      Great post! Knowing how to take care of koi fish will take some time, but in time people can be an expert themselves.

      You offered some great advice here on koi fish care. The biggest thing people can do like you said is learn as much as they can and gather as much information on many related koi topics. It's through information we'll all learn.

      Check your water quality regularly, perform pond maintenance and observe your koi fish and get to know them.

      Great article and I hope many people read this as it will ultinately help them learn more about koi and overall how to take care of koi fish.

    • jahnbar profile image


      8 years ago from Ozamiz City

      You can use water pump filter so that it will filter the suspended particles that turns your water to black or you can replace all the water in your pond and to maintain it by using water pump with filter. Whats the use off keeping koi that you can't see it.

    • profile image

      Sam Tosill 

      9 years ago

      I have bought a place and the Koi pond has not been maintain for 2 years. The pond is muddy can not see anything in the pond. I see the fish when they come to the surface. I need to know how to get it back to the beauty that it should be and how to keep the fish from shock and dying while I do this.

      The ifo you have here is very good for me after I get the pond cleaned and restated.


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