May 13

Sarah Robertson

Everything You Need to Know About Kawarimono

Kawarimono is a group of koi fish that come in a variety of colors and patterns. They are known for their larger size and calm demeanor and are a popular choice among koi owners. While they are not as popular as some of the other koi varieties, they are still a beautiful and unique fish that make a great addition to any pond. kawarimono comes in a wide range of colors, including white, black, red, yellow, and blue. They can also have patterns on their bodies, such as spots or stripes.

The classification of Kawarimono encompasses a wide range of non-metallic Koi that don't fit into other categories. Some are their own breed, while others have "one-of-a-kind" color and patterning. Furthermore, some Koi are kept in Kawarimono because they violate the criteria used by judges to determine what should be their own variety.

The Kanoko Kohaku, for example, which features a dappled high pattern, is benched Kawarimono because it would never be able to compete with traditionally marked Kohaku.

The lovely Kawarimono, despite being the most adored Koi variety, does not belong to any of the other fifteen kinds. However, they are produced in low quantities, with their unique characteristics. Hence they are rare.

Kawarimono is, however, not a dumping ground for strange specimens from the koi world. There is no room in this category (or any other) for fish that are only notable for their oddity.

The basic criteria of a decent body shape and skin quality, as well as an intriguing design, are still valid. Crossbred Koi should display the finest, rather than the worst, qualities of both parents. This is how many well-known varieties were created in the first place.

Kawarimono Koi - An Overview

  • Scientific Name : Cyprinus rubrofuscus
  • Origin : Japan
  • Common Names : Fancy Carp, Kawarimono Koi, Nishikigoi
  • Family : Cyprinidae
  • Common Colors : Saffron through reddish brown to nearly black
  • Care Level : Intermediate
  • Temperament : Social and Peaceful
  • Lifespan : Approx. 30 – 40 years
  • Minimum Pond Size required : 1000 gallons
  • Pond Set-up : Outdoor water garden with aquatic plants

Kawarimono - Varieties

Varieties of Kawarimono are divided into three categories for convenience:

  • Single-Colored Koi
  • Black Koi
  • others
Single-colored Kawarimono

Single-colored Kawarimono 

These are koi with a single base color, such as red, white, or black. These fish are often bred for their color rather than their pattern, and as such tend to be less expensive than other varieties of koi. Single-colored Kawarimono koi fish can be divided into the following categories;


Chagoi is a single-colored uniform brown Koi with unique characteristics, remarkable size, friendliness, and amiability. The word 'Cha' is a Japanese term that means tea, which symbolizes the breed's real color. Chagoi is a quiet koi that responds well to hand-feeding and enjoys interacting with its owners.

To identify the highest quality Chagoi, you need to search for paler variants that are free of blemishes, fading, or blurring.

Introducing a Chagoi to a pond full of nervous Koi has a soothing impact, speeding up the hand-feeding training process. Chagoi's color might range from saffron to reddish brown to nearly black, but the paler the Koi, the more highly it is prized. Gin-Rin Chagoi is also becoming increasingly popular.

Ochiba Shigure 

Ochiba Shigure is a hybrid of the brown Chagoi breed and the grey-blue Soragoi. The two colors make up a bi-colored pattern known as Ochiba Shigure.

Shiro Muji 

Shiro Muji is an all-white Koi that has resulted from successful Kohaku spawning. The hi, on the other hand, is completely lacking in Shiro Muji.

However, the Shiro Muji is frequently culled out, but occasionally one with excellent skin quality is kept back and raised. Nevertheless, the fittest ones are stored and raised into quality Koi.

Albinos are one of the most unusual Shiro Muji species. They have crimson eyes, red dorsal fins, and tails.


Soragoi is a plain blue-gray non metallic Koi. It grows very fast and, in this variety a clean head and superior scale pattern are required. Sora means "Sky" in Japanese. It is one of the few varieties that have been created in Japan in the past few decades.

They are similar to Chagoi and they have a subtle net pattern on their bodies. Their body color can vary from pale gray to bluish gray. They can reach over 30 inches in length.

Soragoi are peaceful Koi and can be kept with other varieties. They are very hardy fish and can tolerate a wide range of water conditions. Although they are just like common carp, they are not so popular when it comes to domesticating Koi fish.


Magoi koi have dark bronze scales. Regardless of color, the Koi appears black from above.

Some experts believe the Magoi isn't a genuine breed. Nonetheless, the tradition of preserving the fish continues. Because they're not subjected to the negative side effects that result from breed-specific color or pattern selection, these fish may reach enormous sizes. Therefore, Go Sanke bloodlines are being reinvigorated with Magoi blood to increase and accelerate growth.


The Kigoi or lemon Koi are a breed of non-metallic fish with yellow or pale or citrus orange hues, and quite an old variety. They are flat-shaped, with a few exceptions of brighter and metal-toned skin.

When the Ogon Koi were first introduced, these fish were not so popular, but they are now making a comeback. There are two types of Kigoi koi;

  • Leucistic: Koi with black eyes
  • Red-eyed albinos, known as Akame Kigoi

They have no red blemishes or silvery spots above the lateral line. Black-eyed Kigoi are sometimes mistaken for saffron-colored Chagoi, owing to the fact that they vary considerably in color.


Benigoi are from the Kohaku line and they are also known as Aka Muji. In this breed, the hi covers the entire body in a manner that resembles a huge goldfish. This species has two types of fin colors: red and white-tipped. Koi with white tipped fins are sometimes known as Aka Hajiro.

To be of any worth, Benigoi's hi must be uniform in color tone, and the body form should be big. Any damage on the skin in simple Koi breeds such as this is obvious, severely lowering the value of the fish.

Black Koi Kawarimono 

The five different varieties of black koi kawarimono are as follows;

Kumonryu Koi 

It's a black-and-white variety of Koi that has no scales. Kumonryu is the most well-known black Koi variety since it became prominent in the 1980s. The name Kumonryu is derived from the Korean legend Dragon Ryu, which means dragon with nine markings. Ryu is considered as a koi that transformed into a cloud and raced through the sky.

Kumonryu gets its name from dragons, who have a metallic coiled physique that is reminiscent of those seen in ancient art. The scaleless (Doitsu) nature of Kumonryu Koi is always accompanied by white markings over the head, fins, and body, as well as a black surface.

Various experts have stated that the design is similar to that of a Killer whale. The patterns of Kumonryu vary, ranging from huge to wavy-edged white chunks spread over the body's flanks and head.

However, the Kumonryu Koi is mainly Doitsu Matsukawabake, which means their pattern varies seasonally depending on the quality and water temperature, creating a black net design.

The species of koi, while mostly scaleless, features a collection with numerous lateral and dorsal scales in the lines. That, however, is unusual.



Kumonryu koi with scales are known as Matsukawabakke. Matsukawabakke is an off spring of Kumonryu and Shusui.

Matsukawabakke, like its contemporaries, changes colors frequently during its existence. In some seasons, Matsukawabakke may turn to a pure white or black color. However, in the transition period, they showcase cloudy black patterns.

Beni Kumonryu

Beni Kumonryu is a scaleless Koi with a red pattern on its white and black body. However, some of these forms have a single line of huge scales on the lateral and dorsal surfaces.

The red (Beni) design varies frequently, depending on water quality and temperature. In the winter, Beni Kumonryu will often completely darken and turn to black. The red (Beni) pattern and white background emerge as the summer and spring approach.


Karasu is a Japanese term that literally translates as "crow." Karasu refers to a type of ancient Koi with black fins and body and a white or orange stomach. However, there are occasions when Karasu's appears to be blue rather than black.


Hajiro is a descendant of Karasu with a white nose and pectoral fins, which adds variety to the pool. Hajiro is also a scaleless koi.


Hageshiro is similar to Hajiro, with the exception of a little bit more white on top of the head.

Other Varieties of Kawarimono 


The Matsuba Koi is a Japanese ornamental fish with a matt-scaled, non-metallic body. It comes from the Kawarimono variety, which are regarded rare and costly. They have a black netting or “pine cone” pattern on their bodies. Matsuba may have a variety of colors throughout its body, but the black pinecone design is constant among all Matsuba.


The Midorigoi family is named after the color green, which it displays. It's the only family that exhibits this hue. They are translucent green Doitsu Koi with black or silver mirror scales.

Previously, they were developed as a scaleless variety from a cross between Shusui and a Yamabuki Ogon in the 1960s. However, they are now being marketed as scaled versions of Koi.

How to Choose a High-Quality Kawarimono Koi

How to Choose a High-Quality Kawarimono Koi? 

The Kawarimono is a breed of fish that is not only distinct but also quite different from other varieties. There are several more types of unusual yet beautiful Koi fish in the Kawarimono family. So, the criteria for evaluating Kawarimono are identical to those used to judge other Koi fish.

  • The best quality Kawarimono should be deep and robust, with a healthy, lustrous body.

  • There should also be no indications of spotting, blurring, or fading. If any of these symptoms appear, the fish is considered to be low-quality and usually thrown away.

  • Furthermore, the distribution of hues and designs should be consistent all over the body.


What is Kawarimono?

The koi variety known as Kawarimono is a kind of Koi fish with non-metallic bodies that have a subtle sheen on their skin.

Kawarimono falls under three categories:

  • Single-colored koi: Kigoi, Shiro Muji, Benigoi, Soragoi, Chagoi
  • Black Koi: Karasu, Matsukawabake., Kumonryu.
  • Others: Matsuba, Midorigoi.

Which Is the Friendliest Kawarimono Koi?

Despite the fact that all Koi fish are regarded as being extremely friendly and docile, one Kawarimono variety surpasses all other Koi in terms of friendliness. And that is the Chagoi Koi.

Chagoi is a lively, energetic fish that gets along well with people and enjoys handfeeding. They are also known to be very hardy, which makes them ideal for beginners who are new to keeping Koi fish.

What Is the Most Expensive Kawarimono Koi? 

The most expensive Kawarimono Koi is the Kumonryu variety. A single Kumonryu can cost $10,000 and upwards. Kumonryu is very rare and their black-and-white coloration is considered to be extremely beautiful.

What Is the Most Popular Kawarimono Koi? 

The most popular Kawarimono Koi is the Midorigoi. Midorigoi are translucent green Doitsu Koi which have black or silver mirror scales. They are relatively new to the Koi world and their striking appearance has made them very popular among hobbyists.

How Big Do Kawarimono Koi Get? 

They are capable of growing to a very large size. Kawarimono koi fish, particularly males can reach a length of 1m (39 in) or more.

Which Are the Other Fishes Compatible With Kawarimono? 

Carps and amphibians make good tank mates for Kawarimono. They are all peaceful fish that will not bother or harass each other.

Can I Keep Kawarimono in a Pond?

Yes, you can. In fact, it is recommended that you do so as they are much happier and healthier in ponds. Ponds also provide them with the space they need to grow to their full size.

Do Kawarimono Koi Eat Algae?

Yes, they do. In fact, all Koi fish are known to be voracious algae eaters. So, if you have a problem with algae in your pond, adding a few Kawarimono to your pond will help to solve the problem.

How Often Do I Need to Feed My Kawarimono Koi?

You should feed your Kawarimono 2-3 times a day. They are very active fish and require a lot of food to maintain their energy levels.

What Should I Do if My Kawarimono Koi Dies?

If your Kawarimono Koi dies, you should remove it from the pond as soon as possible. Leaving a dead fish in the pond will pollute the water and put the other fish at risk. You should also clean the pond to remove any potential diseases that the dead fish may have been carrying.

How Often Should I Clean My Kawarimono Pond? 

You should clean your Kawarimono pond at least once a week. This will ensure that the water remains clean and free of disease. It

will also help to keep the fish healthy and prevent them from getting sick.

Final Thoughts 

Kawarimono, what is normally regarded as leftovers or waste fish are unique, with a broad range of unusual yet beautiful fish bred all around the world. With so many different varieties of koi to choose from, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. However, by doing your research and learning about the different types of koi, you will be able to find the perfect fish for your pond.

Kawarimono koi are a beautiful addition to any pond and with the proper care, they will live long. They are very friendly fish that enjoy being around people and other koi. They are also great algae eaters, which will help to keep your pond clean. If you are looking for a unique and beautiful addition to your pond, consider adding some Kawarimono koi.

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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