April 25

Sarah Robertson

Complete Guide to Goromo Koi–At a Glance

The Goromo koi is highly popular among other kinds of koi in Japan and across the world. The goromo koi is a crossbred fish with distinctive koi scale patterns. 

The Goromo koi may be divided into three variants based on their patterns: the Ai Doromo, Sumi Goromo, and Budo Goromo. The Ai Goromo is the most popular koi fish among the three types of koi. Even an expert koi enthusiast might struggle to identify the characteristics of Goromo koi.

If you're fortunate, your Goromo will develop into a true treasure. If you notice a discrepancy in the markings on your Goromo koi, it will become a distinct type of koi fish known as the Goshiki koi in the koi species chart.

The Origins of the Goromo Koi Fish

The Goromo (also known as Koromo) koi is a relatively modern breed of koi, developed in the 1950s by crossing a Kohaku and an Asagi koi. The white (Shiro) base is overlayed with red (Hi), but owing to their Asagi heritage, they will often have some blue-tinged coloration somewhere within or edging around their red scales, giving them a reticulated appearance similar to that of Asagi.

Goromo koi can also be bred from Showa or Sanke parents, but they must always have an Asagi parent in order to provide the blue reticulation. However, The most Goromo types, on the other hand, are generated by crossing Kohaku parents.

What Does Goromo Mean?

A traditional term for koi that have been bred in Japan is "koromo," which translates as "clothed" or "robed" in Japanese, referring to the way their blue tint cloaks their Hi markings. The Japanese term for these koi is Goromo, which has no direct translation.

Goromo Varieties

Goromo Varieties & How to Identify Them 

There are now five well-known types of Koromo, although more may be created depending on exact parentage. Goromo koi may also be seen in a variety of designs, including those from Kohaku (such as Inazuma, Sandan, Tancho Showa, and Marutan, among others). True Koromo, on the other hand, can't be KinGinRin (metallic color), but they may be Doitsu Matsuba.

Here are some of the most common types of Goromo koi:

  • Ai Goromo Koi
    The Goromo variety of Ai Goromo is one of the most popular varieties of koi fish. Because “ai” translates to “blue” or “indigo,” they have blue-tinged Hi scales rather than white ones along the edges. If there is blue on the scale edges, it is not usually referred to as an Ai Goromo. The blue is often seen as a half-circle within the scale. The reticulation may appear rather neat rows, especially along the back of the Koi as in Asagi.
  • Budo Goromo Koi
    The Budo Gomoro is a sub-variety of the Ai Goromo that has blue or black markings on the Hi, producing “grape-shaped” clusters. In fact, the word "Budo" means "grapes" in Japanese. The red, which may often be seen in the blue, gives the impression of a purple tint within the markings. This is an uncommon Goromo kind.
  • Goromo Sanke/Sanshoku
    A Goromo Sanke is one that consists of one Asagi and one Sanke or Sanshoku parent. A variety of patterns can be found in the Sanke family, such as Tancho Showa or Aka. Goromo Sanke may have a blue reticulation, with black patterns(Sumi) on the entire body or head where appropriate.
  • Goromo Showa
    Goromo Showa is those who have an Asagi parent and a Showa parent. Because of this, the Ai patterning may now be seen beyond Hi and on other areas of the body.
  • Sumi Goromo
    Sumi Goromo is a relatively uncommon variant of the species, having black reticulation rather than blue along the red scales' edges. Sumi Goromo's reticulation, unlike Ai Goromo's, may appear more scattered and random.

How to Appreciate & Judge Goromo Koi 

If you're considering entering your Goromo koi into competitions, there are a few things to consider. Know that every competition is unique and reliant on the judges' individual tastes - what may appeal to one judge might not appeal to another.

In Japan, the monetary value of fish is also taken into account by judges. – A fish that costs more is naturally preferred than a fish that costs less, even if the latter is considered elsewhere and patterning and proportions are taken into account. Try to figure out who your target audience is ahead of time and check judges if possible.

General Guidelines for Judging Koi

General Guidelines for Judging Koi

There should be no illnesses, such as missing fins, a misshapen mouth, or bruises (unless they were produced inadvertently during transportation). There should be no parasites, ulcers, or other kinds of sickness.

Symmetry is also significant. The Hi, Shiro, Ai, and if necessary, Sumi colors and designs should be evenly balanced and symmetrical from front to back and side to side (not precisely symmetrical).

If present, unique patterns are preferred. The fish's head and fins should also be proportional, symmetrical, and torpedo-shaped. The scales and skin should be bright, vibrant, and free of any roughness or discoloration.

Goromo Specific Judging Guidelines 

Goromo koi, particularly those with "robing" that is easily apparent, are often given more positive assessments. This implies that many officials search for Ai coloration that is clearly defined within or along the edges of the Hi scales and flows down the back of the fish like a robe.

Goromo can have any Kohaku, Sanke, or Showa patterning (depending on parentage), but it is commonly preferred for them to have a stepped Hi patterning, which means there are numerous well-aligned “patches” of Hi running along the koi's back. Hi is regarded as a benefit in all types of Koromo, but it is typically beneficial to have Hi on the head (though not overpowering it).

 The presence of Ai on the head is looked upon unfavorably. Most judges prefer Goromo to have completely white fins, with the exception of a tiny bit of Hi at the very base of the pectoral fins if it happens to improve the fish.

The coloration of the Ai is interpreted negatively if it extends beyond the Hi. It is more like a “smudged” robe effect (asymmetrical or uneven) is also looked upon unfavorably. Some judges want Ai to be confined to the scale, not along its edges, especially in Ai Goromo - this is when understanding your audience can be a tremendous assistance.

Sumi Goromo may have Sumi on her head, as opposed to the other kinds, which should only possess a red or white head. The color of younger koi should be lighter, such as Ai or Sumi, because it will only get darker with age. As a result, if a young Koromo with an extremely dark Ai or Sumi (even if it's technically the "correct" shade) is judged unfavorably, this is because its Koromo effect will get too dark as it matures.

Keeping Goromo – Health, Growth & Diet 

Goromo Koi are hardy fish and, as a general rule, can be kept in the same way as other koi varieties. They do best when kept in an outdoor pond during the summer months and should have access to plenty of clean water and good quality food.

When feeding your Goromo koi, it is important to provide a balanced diet that includes both live and frozen food as well as good quality koi food. This will help ensure that they remain healthy and grow well.

Here are some of the factors to consider while raising your Goromo koi:

Goromo Water Quality
  • Goromo Water Quality
    Goromo koi, like many of the more vibrant koi types, will likely exhibit some visible indications if the water quality is poor. For example, a diet high in color enhancers, such as spirulina, will cause the white body parts of the Goromo to take on a yellow pattern. It might also cause discolored orange spotting, which is bad in Goromo (they should be red Hi not orange Ki). Water with a higher KH or hardness and pH might produce Goromo with distinct black markings that are not desirable, except in the instance of Sumi Goromo, and even then the Sumi should be confined to Hi markings.

    Goromo like other koi, responds best to water temperatures of 50° F to 78° F (10° C-25° C), pH levels between 7.5 and 8.5, dissolved oxygen levels above 7 ppm, salinity levels kept very low at .05 parts per trillion (ppt) and there are only 75 to 100 parts per million (ppm) of total dissolved solids, such as metals, minerals, salts, and sulfates.
  • Price of Goromo
    Although price can range depending on the seller, Goromo koi generally cost more than other common varieties of koi. Although they are somewhat of a new breed in terms of popularity, their possession of extremely distinct blue colors and their complicated breeding lead to a greater price. The cost of juvenile Koromo varies from around $200 to $500 or more, while some can be several thousand dollars depending on size and specie.

    When it comes to purchasing, think about the demands of your pond's water quality and the fact that if these aren't already there in your pond, you'll need to purchase and maintain them. Of course, buying and maintaining these will add to overall expenditures.
  • Goromo Temperature
    Water temperature, however, is not well-researched. It appears that water temperature may have an impact on how koi appear. According to recent studies, colder water produces darker red or yellow hues over time, whereas warmer waters might produce less vibrant colors. The change in temperature may be affecting the way that fish absorb nutrients, resulting in changes in coloration. The study linked above points to a possible explanation for this phenomenon, which is that colder water slows the metabolism, allowing nutrients to be maintained in the fish's system for longer even as feeding less frequently.

    Goromo (and all koi) loves water temperatures of 50° F to 78° F, or 10° C to 25° C, as previously stated. Furthermore, ensure that your pond has a variety of depths so that your koi may swim to varying levels to assist naturally regulate their body temperature as needed.
  • Goromo Diet
    Any koi's health depends on a balanced diet. It is better to include diets rich in color enhancers, such as spirulina or krill, to promote and maintain proper goromo koi fish development.
    As per studies, High carotenoids in fish diets have been linked to more energetic red koi as well as a higher concentration of carotenoids in the skin, which leads to more vibrant coloring in Red Koi. If you have a Koromo, you might want to brighten the blue hue so it appears less grey or black markings– in this instance, use a meal with added astaxanthin, spirulina, and/or guanine. This will amplify the blue and purple coloration.
    If you don't intend to exhibit your fish, these color enhancers are less significant. Otherwise, Goromo's diet is comparable to that of other koi.

How to Breed Goromo Koi?

Breeding rare koi, such as Asagi, Shusui, and Goromo, can be difficult. The incredible amount of chance and nuance that goes into coloration makes it difficult to get exactly what you want with any koi breed unless you're a professional with an established Goromo line. The inclusion of a blue tint, which must be present in the Hi only adds to this problem.

If you have two Goromo parents, mating is much easier, but you will struggle to achieve precise characteristics (such as a Sumi Goromo) unless you are very experienced and familiar with both bloodlines.

Goromo Water Quality

What Is a Goromo Koi?

This is certainly the most diverse Koi breed. Goshiki, which means "five color" in Japanese, is claimed to be five-colored Koi. However, you'd have a hard time distinguishing the red, black, white, light blue, and dark blue colors that are said to be available.

How Do I Choose a Goromo Koi? 

When looking for a Goromo koi fish, one of the first things you should discover is that the color and blue edging develop and improve as the fish grows. The more advanced the koi, the more intense the overall color overlay will be, regardless of the sub-variety. When searching for a young Goromo koi, consider how much-reticulated edging there is on the scales.

Because each particular reticulation gives a distinct impression to a Goromo koi fish, there is no such thing as a "correct" or "incorrect" impact. The most important feature to look for in a Goromo koi fish is an unusual and beautiful color and pattern.

However, there are certain traits that all high-quality Goromo will have. For example, both the fish's body and fins should be a snow-white color, just like that of a Kohaku koi. Additionally, the edges between the red and white markings should be smooth, blemish-free, and should have very sharp edges. On the red scales, the black, purple, or blue edging should be uniform and consistent in the pattern.

What Is the Cost of Goromo & Where to Buy Them?

The juvenile Koromo, like other koi varieties, is typically less costly but may still cost hundred dollars or pounds. Adult Goromo is often more expensive koi fish than adult koi, and the price may vary from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

The more popular Goromo, such as the conventional Ai Goromo, will generally be at the low-end of the pricing scale, whereas the uncommon Sumi Goromo can cost several thousand dollars or pounds for an adult and around $1,000 for a juvenile. On the higher end, Goromo pattern types such as Tancho may be quite pricey.

The prices of these fish are, as with all koi, unpredictable and depend on the seller and location, as well as whether or not bidding is permissible. Only buy Goromo, or any other fish variety for that matter, from reliable breeders.

A reputable breeder should have their credentials readily accessible on their website and/or in their store. You can also assess a breeder's ethics and trustworthiness by examining koi fish-keeping forums – word of mouth travels fast, and koi owners are eager to offer information about both excellent and awful breeders.

Often, less expensive koi fish come from huge fish farms or shady businesses that don't focus on the fish's health and well-being. If you buy koi from non-reputable sources, you run the risk of your fish being neglected or having diseases or parasites as a result of stocking too many other fish or not receiving adequate care.

What to Look For in the Goromo Koi Fish? 

  • When buying a young Ai Goromo, look for one with an attractive Kohaku pattern and barely-visible reticulation.
  • Even when you're sure of the parentage, there's no assurance that reticulation will happen or that it'll be even.
  • The reticulation darkens and thickens with age, so if you buy a young (one or two years old) Goromo that appears to be almost finished, the probability is very good that it will darken and transform into either a Budo or a Sumi Goromo.

How to Select Tosai Goromo Koi? 

There are many factors to consider when choosing a tosai goromo koi fish. Some things to keep in mind include the size and shape of the fish, the color pattern, and the overall health of the fish. It is also important to consider the climate and water conditions where the koi will be kept, as certain types of koi are better suited for different environments. 

Wrapping Up

The Goromo is a beautiful fish that can be found in both red and blue/black colorations. They are known for their stunning reticulated scales and are a popular choice for anyone looking to add some color to their pond. Be sure to do your research before buying one, as they can be quite expensive depending on the sub-variety.

Sarah Robertson


I am a passionate blogger who also happens to be a fish keeping enthusiast. Writing about my hobby is something that I absolutely love to do, and it's no secret that my chosen topic is always centered around fish keeping.

Sarah Robertson

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