The Wonderful White Koi

Published: 05th April 2011
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Which Koi Are The Most Common?

Generally, Koi fish existed in a single shade. Ever since the Japanese started breeding them from carp mutations, we have more varieties of Koi fish, appearing in colorful patterns. Their popularity has increased further. Nowadays, Koi can be found easily in assorted colors. Most common and popular Koi appear in red, black, green, yellow and white.

When you understand all the different categories that koi can be grouped into, it becomes easier to distinguish the different varieties of koi. Each type has different features and color patterns diversity. Among the most popular Koi varieties are Kahaku (which are snowy white with distinct red markings) and Hikarimono (or Ogon).

"Hikari" translates to metallic and "Mono" means a single color, which means the fish are composed of a single color. Ogon koi also have a very metallic coloring. The most common Ogon koi are yellow (called Yamabuki Ogon) and white or silver (known as Platinum Ogon). Whatever their color or variety, all Ogon should be composed of a single color with no markings or spots. Large fins are preferred on the Ogon koi since they add an interesting dimension to the simple unmarked body.

White or Platinum Ogon is inimitable but therefore the most popular types of koi. Its body is as shiny as a precious metal, making them stand out in dark ponds. This dazzling Koi first appeared in 1963, as a result from cross breeding Kigoi with Nezu Ogon. (greyish silver, "Nezu" is short for the Japanese word for rat, nezumi). This Platinum Ogon is hardy and grows quickly. It is popular in unfiltered ponds since its body shines in the muddy water and can easily be detected.

Other popular Ogon fish include the Nezu, Yamabuki and Orenji koi. Nezu is short for 'nezumi', the Japanese word for rat, and are grayish-silver. They often have a dark area on their head, causing koi lovers to affectionately call them Helmet Head. Yamabuki koi are bright yellow, which makes them a popular choice for those with unfiltered ponds since they stand out. Orenji koi are just like giant goldfish - they are orange and can grow up to 36 inches long!

Many Platinum Ogon koi are reared with Ginrin scales, which make them look even shinier than they already are. These Ginrin scales are different from those present on metallic koi - instead of a shine caused by reflective pigments, Ginrin scales have a reflective sheen all over them, creating a glimmering diamond-like effect. To be eligible as Ginrin, the koi should have at least 20 of these glimmering scales.

Because of the huge range of colors koi fish come in, owners love keep them as their pond fish. Since majority of koi's pigment is found at the top of its body, the best view is to see Koi from the top angle. This is why Koi are always displayed in round pools and mostly viewed from the top when displayed in events around Asia.


Travis Taylor is a Koi fish keeper and breeding enthusiast, and enjoys helping others get started in this amazing hobby by sharing information about koi fish meaning colors

His newest book,"Koi Care Secrets," teaches Koi Fish owners everything they need to know about and caring for their pets. http://www.koicareguide.com

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