April 27

Sarah Robertson

Tancho Koi Varieties & How to Identify Them

The Tancho Koi fish is well-known, and it has become one of the most widely recognized types of Koi in the world. Tancho Koi are extremely uncommon, therefore it's no wonder that they might cost thousands of dollars.

Breeders have yet to discover a repeatable technique of breeding Tancho Koi that results in a red patch on their heads. If you come across a Tancho Koi, you must know how to care for it. When this kind of Koi is stressed, the red crest may fade or go away. It does not regain its color or return once it has faded.

Tancho koi, on the other hand, are popular among three different koi breeds: the Kohaku (Taisho sanshoku) koi, Sanke (Taisho sanshoku) koi, and Showa (Showa sanshoku) koi. Goshiki and Hariwake are two types of koi fish that sometimes display a red patch on top of their heads. This may be mistaken for Tancho. However, only among the Gosanke varieties does true Tancho exist. 

Tancho Koi Appearance 

The Tancho Koi is classified as a Gosanke Koi. The Gosanke Koi are characterized by their red, white, and black hues.

The most valued Tancho Koi will be milky white, with strong blacks and vivid reds. The colors must be consistent, so there should not be different degrees of red or black markings on the fish.

How to Identify Tancho Koi

Tancho Koi specimens must have the following characteristics in order to be of good quality:

The red crown on the head is critical, with the red head crest located exactly in the middle of the head being optimum.

Select a koi with a symmetrical, round "crest" if at all possible. This might be egg-shaped, oval, or circular in shape. The quality and color of the "crest" determine the overall price of the fish.

The skin's whiteness is also crucial since it provides a contrast to the red head patch. So a milky white color skin is preferred.

The Sumi of Tancho Sanshoku and Tancho Showa are the same as Bekko and Shiro Utsuri's requirements.

When selecting a Tancho Sanke or Tancho Showa, keep in mind that the Sumi (black markings) will usually be undeveloped and vague in a young koi, but must be deep and powerful in an adult koi.

Tancho Koi Varieties

Tancho Koi Varieties 

The three Tancho koi types that were accepted are as follows: Tancho Kohaku, Tancho Sanke, and Tancho Showa.

  • Tancho Kohaku Koi
    Kohaku koi were one of the first widely bred Kohaku koi varieties, achieving a great popularity in the 1890s, just a few years after commercial breeding began for Kohaku in 1888. The first Kohaku was most likely the result of a genetic mutation.
    White and red or orange are the only hues exhibited by Kohaku. A Tancho Kohaku, for example, is a completely white body, with the exception of a large red spot on its head.
    The Tancho Kohaku koi do not require special care and is less prone to health problems. It grows at a comparable rate to other koi. Food with high color enhancing properties can help to keep the red pattern's hue consistent.
  • Tancho Sanke Koi
    Taisho Sanshoku koi, often known as Sanke, originated from a (harmless) genetic mutation in the late 1800s and was bred in the 1910s during Taisho Emperor Hirohito's reign, hence earning its name. They're eye-catching with their bright red and white coloration, and have plenty of design options due to their black pattern.
    Tancho Sanke-type koi also has a single red spot on his head. Aside from this spot, there should be no other color on the head, and no red elsewhere on the body, but Sumi(Black skin) can exist on any part of the body.
  • Tancho Showa Koi
    The Showa koi must have black skin with red-orange markings (Hi) and white markings on top (Shiroji). At times, Showa and Sanke can be confused with one another. The distinguishing feature is that Sanke koi have white base skin with a black pattern that does not extend below the lateral line, whereas Showa koi have black skin with white and red-colored markings that show through.
    Tancho Showa has a distinctive red sun marking on top of its head between the eyes, with white elsewhere on the head and body. Sumi may be found anywhere, even in the red region.

Tancho Koi Fish Care

Tancho Koi require special attention because the prized red crest may fade or vanish with improper care. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Tancho Koi - Pond Design

The keys to successful Koi keeping are water quality, correct filtration and aeration, high-quality food, and protection from predators, all of which are closely linked to the pond in which they reside. Keeping koi requires a pond that is large enough to fit the fish.

According to the quantity of Koi that one wants to keep, one must construct a pond able to sustain a group of 24" to 30" on average fish with a body mass near 30 lbs! A pond that is at least 4 times the length of an adult Koi and 3 times the width, with a depth of approximately 3 feet, is considered adequate.

 Modern filtration can keep fish alive in very tiny quantities of water, but some considerable swimming area is necessary for such big fish and they require some depth to regulate their temperature by swimming closer or further from the surface of the water.

The design of the pond is also important in terms of protecting Koi from predators and water temperature. Ponds with gentle slopes and shallow depths are inviting to predators that may wade into the pond and consume the koi.

 Shallow ponds, especially those with no shade from pond constructions or overhead vegetation, make it difficult for koi to avoid the intense sun and high water temperatures in the summer. Koi ponds should have abrupt, 2 to 3-foot-deep drop-offs on all sides to repel predators and areas of the pond that are deep enough to prevent predators from entering.

Tancho Koi - Water Conditions

Tancho Koi - Water Conditions

Tancho Koi's color is affected by the water temperature and quality. Black specks might appear on a Koi's skin if the pH level is too high. Black spots can also be caused by hard water. In general, Koi thrive in ponds with the following water qualities:

  • The temperature should be between 55 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • pH level should be between 7.4 to 8.4
  • The concentration of salt should be between .13% and .25%.
  • Water hardness of 9 to 18 degrees DH
  • 8ppm or above Oxygen level

It's critical to check the quality of your fish pond's water on a regular basis. The following are some other factors to be aware of:

  • Ammonia
  • Nitrite & Nitrate
  • Chlorine
  • Copper

Water test kits can be used to spot the presence of these components in the water. Water filters and waterfalls are two other useful tools. Waterfalls may assist to circulate the water and maintain oxygen levels in your koi pond.

Tancho Koi - Diet & Nutrition

Tancho Koi fish, like most other Koi breeds, require the same dietary requirements. Koi are fond of high-quality protein. They should have 35% to 38% protein in their diet, which is optimal. The following nutrients are also required:

  • Fiber
  • Carbohydrates
  • Lipids
  • Vitamins and Minerals

In general, during the mating season in the spring, Koi should eat more protein-rich meals. In preparation for winter, they should consume more carbohydrates in the fall.

Tancho Koi color enhancing foods include spirulina, carotene, and xanthophyll. These elements might help the red crest stand out more. However, too much may cause the milky white skin to become yellow tint skin. Sumi can also start to appear blue.

If you don't want to exhibit your fish at competitions, these aren't particularly significant. Tancho koi, on the other hand, have similar nutritional demands as other koi.

In terms of coloration, males and females have varied approaches. Male Tancho Koi typically develop their hues sooner than female Tancho Koi. The younger they are, the redder their crests will be. However, this color fades as they get older.

The colors on Female Tancho Koi are the opposite of those on Male Tancho Koi. Their hues become more apparent as they get older, but their color will last longer.

Tancho Koi - Health Concerns

Fortunately, Tancho Koi do not have any breed-specific health problems. Kois are robust fish that adapt readily to a new Koi pond. However, several factors impact the health of your koi.

Water quality is a significant factor. Check to see that your water is pure and free of contaminants.

Another frequent problem that affects health is overcrowding. It increases stress, generates more waste, and depletes oxygen at an accelerated rate. Overcrowded ponds may cause koi to excrete a hormone that inhibits growth.

The greatest approach to keeping track of your Koi's well-being is to get to know them and their habits. A change in their behavior or appearance might indicate early warning signals. The following are some warning indications:

  • Koi fish sitting at the bottom of the pond
  • Lack of appetite
  • Koi fish gasping for air at the surface of the water
  • Ulcers
  • Clamped fins

If you think your Koi is ill, see your veterinarian get the illness diagnosed and treated. You might also want to isolate the sick Koi so that it doesn't spread the disease to other fish in the pond.

Tancho Koi - Diet & Nutrition

Tancho Koi -Breeding 

Tancho breeding is a roll of the dice, since the children may be quite distinct from the parent fish. If you want to breed your koi for the purpose of getting Tancho coloration, keep in mind that this is a difficult process.

Even if you breed two Tancho parents, there's a good chance that their children will appear entirely different.

Because the Tancho marking occurs by accident, it is not a "breedable" trait, and they are therefore not comparable to other Koi varieties in terms of breeding. There's a similar chance of producing a baby tancho koi by breeding any two Kohaku as there is of doing so with two Tanchos.

FAQ:

What Does Tancho Mean? 

Tancho koi carp have a single red circle on top of their heads, which is most closely translated to "red sun." Regardless of the precise kind of Tancho, this is usually the only red on the fish - there must be no additional Hi markings anywhere else.

Tancho is highly popular in Japan because of its resemblance to the Japanese flag and the red-crowned crane. The red-crowned crane is also known as Tancho in Japanese, which is derived from its resemblance to the fish.

What Makes a Good Tancho Koi? 

The purest of white bodies, as well as a red patch that is strong and brilliant, are the ideal characteristics for breeders. The white portion of the fish should be flawless, and the red spot should be the only marking. A broad forehead is a positive feature as it better displays the red patch.

Cost of Tancho

What Is the Cost of Tancho & Where to Buy Tancho? 

Tancho is a higher-priced variety of koi fish, and the more expensive one is Gin Rin Tancho, which has a metallic color. If you're thinking of getting a Tancho, keep in mind that they're almost always more expensive fish because of their inability to reproduce themselves frequently or consistently.

Tancho koi are highly valued by Japanese koi enthusiasts since the marking on their heads resembles the Japanese flag. This breed of koi is quite popular types, and because of that, they often sell for more than $1,000.

The cost of purchasing a Tancho is rather exorbitant, especially if you're buying from a certified, professional breeder or for the purpose of competing. The most pricey of the three is Tancho Showa, which ranges from a few thousand dollars to several thousand pounds. Tancho Kohaku is sometimes available at a much lower price, around a few hundred dollars.

There are other factors that influence the cost of the fish. The size of the fish, Rare patterns, and so on are some of them. For example, The Gin Rin and Kin koi have metallic scales, which can result in a very costly price tag when paired with the uncommon Tancho design.

Saving money is certainly appreciated, but keep in mind that even very inexpensive koi, regardless of kind, may have originated from large fish farms and may harbor health concerns. However, please be sure to conduct your own study so that you may discover what works finest for you in terms of variety and price!

Tancho is accessible from a variety of physical shops, although it is simplest to get it via the online shops. Don't just settle for any company. Do your homework on each firm to assure that the fish are treated ethically and that shipping conditions are safe.

What Are the Difficulties of Taking Care of Tancho Koi?

The Tancho koi may appear to be basic as compared to other koi breeds. Its distinctive red spot on the forehead, however, is something that is difficult to find. 

Only two adult Tancho koi or Kohaku are capable of producing a Tancho. Even if the parents have perfect red spots on their foreheads, there's no assurance that the kids will. Furthermore, the red spot on the head isn't permanent.

The red spot on Tancho koi may eventually fade if the circumstances are unfavorable. Given that this variety is so uncommon, It's no surprise that this breed is rather pricey.

How do you tell a Showa koi? 

The Showa koi have a glossy, sumi-dominant base color and a thick, sumi-dominant head. The black runs the length of the body and is sparsely extended into the fins. When it comes to Showa, the black color is crucial. Beni is frequently seen in large swaths on Showa.

Final Thoughts 

The Tancho koi is a beautiful koi fish and unique breed that's perfect for anyone looking to add some flavor to their koi pond. Though they may be difficult to come across, the search is certainly worth it in the end!

To identify a Tancho, look for a koi with a single, circular red spot on its head. The red spot should be symmetrical and centered on the fish's forehead.

If you're looking to purchase a Tancho Koi, be aware that they are typically more expensive than other koi varieties. Even if you're not interested in showing your fish, the Tancho koi is still a stunning addition to any pond. Its defining characteristic is sure to turn heads, and you'll be the talk of the town with this exquisite breed of koi in your pond!

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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