April 24

Sarah Robertson

Everything You Need to Know About Goshiki Koi

The Goshiki is one of the oldest koi species. In Japanese, Goshiki means "five colors." Black, gray, blue, white, and red are the five colors. Goshiki is black-based koi with a red dorsal pattern and usually has a matsuba (mesh) like scale decoration on white, gray, or black skin.

The history of goshiki koi is clouded in mystery. According to most references, the original Goshiki were known as "Asagi Goshiki" and were first cultivated in 1918 or 1919 when an asagi was crossed with an aka sanke. Recent crossings of goshiki with Kohaku and other types have greatly improved the size and quality of goshiki seen today. The popularity of goshiki koi has increased in recent years, due to their distinct red color and more refined red pattern, as well as improved skin quality. 

Nowadays, there are a lot of Goshiki types being produced, and a wide range of Goshiki kinds that are still being developed.

Types of Goshiki Koi 

Goshikis come in a wide variety of hues, with several distinct types distinguished by their coloration in Japan and the West. They are:

Kindai Goshiki:

Kindai means current or modern. They have a greater proportion of white background skin than black.

Kuro Goshiki:

Traditional, with a black background and few white skin areas.

Ginrin Goshiki Koi: 

They exhibit stunning colors and a lovely glittering sheen. Sometimes normally scaled koi have KinGinRin scales, which are highly reflective, normal-sized scales that resemble tiny spotlights running down the sides of the fish and may occur in any color. The KinGinRin is colored silver (Gin Rin). The Goshiki, or Ginrin Goshiki, gets its name from this silvery (Gin Rin) scalation.

Goshiki Koi

Mameshibori Goshiki: 

The word "Mame" refers to beans, and the term "shibori" is a kind of tie-dye fabric from Japan. On the scales, it has a dot design.

Nezu Goshiki: 

“The Japanese word “nezu/nezumi” translates to gray color. It has gray markings on skin with or without matsuba pattern scale.

How Do I Choose a Good Goshiki?

Choosing or selecting a Goshiki is not an easy process. When you choose a Goshiki, be sure it's as light as possible, meaning it should have the orange pattern but the gaps between the red markings should be light in color.

In young Goshiki, the black pattern takes longer to develop. Some goshiki koi fry is similar to Kohaku koi at an early age, and the blue and black patches begin to appear after six or twelve months. In between the red markings, these goshiki koi fry have a very faded black pattern.

The baby Goshiki is initially spotted with a white background and apparent red markings on its entire body, which gives it the appearance of Kohaku. The Asagi bloodline then begins to show through after several months, giving it a gray/black and blue color.

Choosing the right adult Goshiki is considerably easier than selecting a newborn. Some people like the red and black marking to be predominant in the United States, while others prefer Gin Rin Goshiki. Some prefer the traditional Goshiki, while others like modern ones with red and blue markings. 

Characteristics to Consider When Buying a Goshiki

  • The nose should be dapple gray.
  • The eyes should not be entirely hidden by red marks.
  • The fins and tail section should not have a bright red tinge to them.
  • The red should be strong and there should be no black patches on the red marking regions of the koi.
  • How Do I Choose a Good Goshiki

    Effect of Water Temperature on Goshiki Koi 

    The black coloration is more intense at a lower water temperature. When the baby Goshiki is growing and if the pond in which it is nurtured has cold water or is wintertime, dark pigmentation becomes more apparent. For Goshiki, the warmer the water, the lighter the black marking on it. The babies tend to develop more quickly during the summertime.

    Goshiki Koi Care Guide

    When it comes to caring for Goshiki koi, there are a few important points to remember. First and foremost, these fish require high-quality food that is rich in protein in order to maintain their vibrant colors.

    They are also susceptible to parasites and other diseases, so regular check-ups and vet visits are a must. Additionally, they require a large pond or tank in order to swim and grow properly. Goshiki Koi are also known to be jumpers, so a pond or tank with a tight-fitting lid is necessary to prevent escapees.

    Here is some key information about Goshiki koi:

    • Goshiki Koi can reach up to 36 inches (91 cm) in length when fully grown.
    • They can live more than 50 years and tolerate a wide range of water temperatures.
    • They prefer to live in peace, but they may pick on slower fish if the situation demands it.
    • Kohaku koi and Asagi were crossed in 1918 to produce Goshiki, which are native to Japan.
    • Koi can learn to recognize and take food from their owners.

    Heat & Light

    • Goshiki Koi that live outside are robust and can survive in hibernation as long as their pond is deep enough to not entirely freeze in the winter. (They won't survive in solid ice.)
    • Your koi's pond should have a little shade.
    • Install a light in an aquarium that is to be kept indoors for 8 to 12 hours each day.

    Water temperature 

    Goshiki Koi are quite tolerant of temperature extremes, as they can hibernate under ice in the winter. Just make sure your pond is at least three feet deep; otherwise, it might become ice-bound, and koi aren't that resilient. Koi are cold water fish that prefer temperatures between 65 and 75-degrees Fahrenheit (18 and 24 C).

    Goshiki Koi Care Guide

    How do I keep my Goshiki koi healthy?

    To keep them healthy, you must give them high-quality food and take them to the vet for regular check-ups. Goshiki koi are also susceptible to parasites and other diseases, so be sure to keep an eye out for any signs of illness. 

    Don't worry if your Goshiki koi in an outdoor pond doesn't seem to be eating in the winter; It's common for them to cease consuming when the temperature falls below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It's critical to visit the veterinarian if you detect any of these symptoms in your koi:

    • Swimming style is unusual.
    • Thinness or a lack of hunger
    • Abdominal swelling
    • Skin or fin that is inflamed or discolored
    • Fins are clamped to the body's sides.
    • Scraping body on rocks (flashing)

    How  Do  I  Set  Up  My  Goshiki  Koi’s Aquarium?

    • Goshiki Koi mature quickly and develop into large fish. Mature koi should be kept in an outdoor pond with at least 3 feet of depth, as well as at least 50 gallons of water per fish.
    • In an aquarium of at least 30 gallons, young Goshiki koi may be kept indoors.
    • Set the aquarium in an area away from direct sunshine and drafts.
    • To minimize evaporation and splashing, cover the aquarium with a hood. Fish will not leap out if they are covered by a hood.
    • To shift new Goshiki koi to the aquarium, float them in their bag of water for around 10 minutes to acclimate to the new temperature.
    • Quarantine the new fish in a separate pool or lake for 2 to 4 weeks if you're introducing Goshiki koi to an existing school in an aquarium or pond water.
    • When moving, use a net to move the koi so that old water doesn't mix with new pond water.
    • Whether they're kept indoors or outside, no more than three new koi should be added at a time.
    Goshiki Koi Is Male or Female

    How Can I Tell if My Goshiki Koi Is Male or Female? 

    The best way to determine the gender of your koi is by looking at the body shape. The female has a rounded body whereas males have an elongated body. In addition, males often have larger and heavier fins than females. Another easiest way to tell the difference is during spawning season when the females will have a gravid spot, which is a dark patch near the vent.

    Are Goshiki Koi Fish Friendly in Nature? 

    Goshiki appears to be a pleasant and non-frightened fish. They are occasionally carried by their keepers, and It is discovered that the majority of these koi fish were not struggling for a few seconds; however, if you continue to hold them out of the pond water, they become uncomfortable and shake their bodies. They are also seen eating meals directly from their owners' or koi keeper's hands. They're pleasant, and they make excellent pond fish.

    What breed comes after goshiki in zen koi?

    The next generation of koi after goshiki koi and zen koi is called kawari koi. Kawari koi are the result of breeding these two varieties of koi together.  This produces a very hardy and colorful koi that is perfect for beginners.

    What Should I Do if My Goshiki Koi Is Sick? 

    If your fish becomes ill, you should verify the pond water quality and other factors. If the condition of the fish does not improve after a water change, you should take it to the vet. Your koi's vet will likely prescribe medication, which you'll need to administer as directed. You'll also need to take extra care of your koi during this time, such as feeding it high-quality food and keeping the pond water clean.

    Final Thoughts: 

    Goshiki Koi are beautiful fish that come in a wide variety of colors and make a great addition to any pond or aquarium. They're relatively easy to care for, but it's important to do your research before getting one. They are hybrid strains of Asagi and Kohaku koi. When choosing a Goshiki koi, look for one with even coloration and few blemishes.

    These fish are relatively hardy, but they're still susceptible to parasites and other diseases. Be sure to quarantine new fish and check them for parasites before adding them to your pond or aquarium. Goshiki koi are a beautiful addition to any pond or aquarium, but it's important to do your research before getting one. 

    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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