April 24

Sarah Robertson

Want to Learn More About the Kikusui Koi?

Koi fish have been increasing in popularity among fish fans over the last several years. In Japanese culture, the koi fish is a sign of good luck, wealth, and fortune. The lovely appearance of the koi fish has made it one of the most popular ornamental fish for ponds and aquariums among people seeking gorgeous fish. Kikusui koi is one such kind of koi fish that has gained a lot of attention because of its attractiveness.

Kikusui koi, like any other koi fish, are hardy, resilient, and can adapt to different water conditions. But what sets Kikusui koi fish apart is their beautiful patterns and colors. The Kikusui koi fish has a white base color with metallic red or orange patterns on its body. Their beautiful patterns make them a sight to behold. In this article, we will take a look at the Kikusui koi fish, their patterns, living condition, and everything else you need to know about them. 


In order to know about the origin of Kikusui koi fish, we must first know about the koi fish itself. The koi fish is a freshwater fish that is native to East Asia. It is a member of the carp family and was first domesticated in China over 2000 years ago. The koi fish was then introduced to Japan in the 18th century where it became popular as an ornamental fish.

The koi fish comes in a variety of colors and patterns. They can be crossbred to create new and unique patterns. The most common approach is to crossbreed a Kohaku with a Doitsu Platinum Ogon in order to get a Kikusui breed. The distinctive metallic orange pattern on Kikusui comes from the Kohaku, and the gleaming white body and fins come from the Doitsu Platinum Ogon.

Traditionally, Scaleless skin has been produced through crossbreeding Koi with similarly scaleless German mirror wild carp. Kikusui, on the other hand, was developed by crossing Hariwake koi (which are scaleless) with Shusui to produce a new line. It's worth noting that Shusui was generated by crossing Asagi with German Mirror Carp, therefore the genes of German Mirror Carp will be present in Kikusui.

What Is a Kikusui Koi? 

Kikusui is generally mistaken for a Kohaku with an orange pattern or a Shusui. They are, however, two distinct koi fish breeds. Kikusui is described as scaleless Hariwake or the Doitsu version of Hariwake.

The Kikusui koi has a lovely platinum white color base with metallic orange patterns on its body. The Kikusui koi are finely detailed and gorgeous in their patterns. Tancho Kikusui is the sole variation of Kikusui.

The metallic pattern on Kikusui koi is what sets them apart from other koi fish. They have shining fins and an elegant appearance that is sure to catch anyone's eye.

Kikusui Koi Lifespan

Kikusui Koi Lifespan 

The Kikusui koi is a long-lived fish with an average lifespan of 20 to 30 years. However, some Kikusui koi have been known to live more. The secret to their longevity is their ability to adapt to different water conditions and their resilience. Careful maintenance of their living conditions, appropriate diet, and regular observations can help increase their lifespan.

Kikusui Koi Size

The Kikusui koi is a long and slender fish that can reach up to 24 inches in length. A good breed of Kikusui has a round head, big nose, and a forked tail. The average Kikusui koi weighs around 5 pounds.

Kikusui Meaning

Kikusui is a Japanese term that translates as "chrysanthemum in water." This, of course, alludes to the exquisite colors of the Orange/Red Chrysanthemum flower, which is compared to Kikusui color patterning.

Kikusui Koi Behavior and Temperament

Kikusui Koi is a very active fish and will often swim in groups. They are social creatures and will become attached to their owner. They can be trained to eat from your hand and may even follow you around the pond. They are known to be very curious and will often investigate anything new in their environment.

However, they can be aggressive towards each other during mating season. This is when the males will chase the females around and nip at their fins. The aggression is usually directed towards other koi and not humans.

How to Carefully Select a Kikusui Koi Fish? 

So, how to select beautiful Kikusui koi? There are many factors to consider when choosing a Kikusui Koi fish. You want to make sure that the fish is healthy and has a good appearance. Here are some things you should look for:

  • Kikusui should be scaleless/Doitsu Koi with silver or platinum white base, or background skin color.
  • When it comes to describing a Koi Carp as metallic, the best method is to look at the fins, which will be opaque. Each line on the fins called "pica" in Japanese should be visible.

  • The skin of this beautiful fish may also look reflective under certain light – not to be confused with Gin Rin. Their skin is overlaid with bright orange color patterning.

  • The design should flow down the back of the Kikusui Koi and mimic fine paintbrush strokes with sharp, distinct, and unblurred edges.

  • The orange coloration should not be extended onto the eyes, fins, and tails of the Kikusui fish.

  • The flanks of a decent Kikusui koi will be consistently broad. To check the body shape and to determine whether the body is wide, look at the fish's tail section. If the tail section is wide, the body is considered broad.

  • A round head and wide nose are mostly seen in fair quality koi.

These are the general characteristics of a Kikusui koi. You should also take into account the size and shape of the fish when making your selection. Many people mistake a Kohaku for a Kikusui, so be sure to look for the specific characteristics that make a koi a Kikusui.

Kikusui Koi Vs Kohaku

Kikusui Koi Vs Kohaku

Kohaku- A Kohaku is a kind of ornamental koi. The Kohaku has red markings on its body and white skin. It's one of the "Big Three," along with the Sanke and Showa, and it's one of the first ornamental carp breeds created.

Kikusui- A Kikusui is a scaleless Hariwake or the Doitsu version of Hariwake. These koi varieties have a lovely platinum white base with metallic orange patterns or sometimes light red color patterns on their body.


Kohaku and Kikusui are frequently confused with one another. They share some common features which confuse many people. The following are some of the similarities between the two:

  • Both koi are considered "white-based" koi, meaning they have a shining white base color with other colors overlaid on top.
  • The fins of both koi are transparent.
  • Kohaku and Kikusui are two varieties of koi that have a lifespan of approximately 20-30 years.
  • In both types of koi fish variety, the overlapping color should not have white spots on it or else it will affect the quality of the koi.
  • The overlapping hue, whether it's red or orange, should have well-defined edges. The edges of the overlapping color are seldom as sharp near the head as they are close to the tail, but they should still be acceptable.
  • The orange or red color on the fish's bodies should not go beyond the eyes, nor should it reach into their fins or tails.


Despite their overlap, there are several significant distinctions between Kikusui and Kohaku. The following table summarizes some of the most important differences:

  • The Kikusui koi is a metallic fish, known for its lovely platinum white base with metallic orange patterns, whereas the Kohaku is known for its red markings on a platinum white body.
  • Kikusui is a scaleless fish, whereas Kohaku may or may not have scales.
  • Kohaku is one of the oldest breeds of koi and was developed in Japan over 200 years ago. Kikusui, on the other hand, is a fairly new breed that was developed in Japan in the 1970s.
  • Kohaku is a descendant of the Gosuke koi fish, which is now regarded as extinct. Kikusui was created by crossbreeding the Kohaku and Doitsu platinum Ogon.
  • The Kohaku is the quintessential koi and one of the 'Big Three' koi varieties (Kohaku, Sanke & Showa). Kikusui, on the other hand, is not as popular as Kohaku.
  • Variations of the Kohaku koi fish include Doitsu Kohaku, Gin Rin Kohaku, Maruten Kohaku and Tancho Kohaku. Variations of Kikusui Koi include the Tancho Kikusui.

Kikusui Koi Habitat Setup

Kikusui koi has a similar habitat to other kinds of koi fish. The following are the foundations of a decent koi pond setup:

A six-foot by eight-foot pond with a depth of four feet is the minimum recommended size for a koi pond. This will require 1077 gallons of water.

A filtration system, an aeration system, and a pump should be used to keep the water clean and oxygenated.

The pond should have a gravel bottom for the Kikusui koi to burrow in. Rocks and other decorations may be added to the pond. Aquatic plants may be utilized to provide oxygen and assist with filtration

Kikusui Koi fish thrive in water that is between 65 and 75° F(18 to 24 C), with a pH of 7.5 to 8.5, and an oxygen concentration of at least 7 ppm. Water hardness is kept extremely low in between.05 and.15 parts per trillion (ppt) and 75 to 100 milligrams of total dissolved solids (TTDS), such as metals, minerals, salts, and sulfates.

Kikusui Koi Diet 

What should you feed your koi fish? It is dependent on their age, size, and the season. You can feed koi any sort of food that goldfish may eat. Both fish are classified as carp and will consume anything biotic, including koi pellets, vegetables, krill and plankton, breakfast cereal, and dead leaves.

In the wild, Koi fish consume algae, plants, insects, worms, seeds, and anything else they can find on the pond's bottom. They stalk the pond floor and the surface for prey.

They may continue to eat their natural diet if you have an ecosystem pond. However, when they are raised in captivity, they must be given foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, a few carbohydrates, and fatty acids.

The following are some of the best foods you can give your Kikusui Koi:

  • Koi pellets - These are specially formulated for koi and goldfish and should be the mainstay of their diet. It contains all the nutrients they need to stay healthy.
  • Vegetables - You can supplement their diet with fresh or frozen vegetables such as peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, lettuce, and zucchini. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
  • Fruit - Kikusui koi loves eating fruits such as watermelons, cantaloupes, and oranges. They are good sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Krill and Plankton - These are tiny crustaceans that are an excellent source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants.
  • Live food - You can give them live food such as earthworms, nightcrawlers, brine shrimp, and daphnia.

Kikusui Koi Breeding

Kikusui Koi breeding is similar to that of other koi fish. This may be accomplished by choosing the healthiest and most colorful koi from a pool of fish. The choice of koi fish is up to the owner's preference. If the aim is to breed koi with attractive patterns, the parents must also have beautiful patterns or if the goal is to breed koi with lovely colors, the parents must also have nice vibrant colors.

When the weather is nice and the water temperature has increased, Kikusui koi are observed getting ready to breed. It's critical to be prepared, as koi can produce up to 1 million eggs. Consider removing the male Kikusui koi from the pond if you don't have adequate conditions or capacity for baby koi during this time of year.

Filter systems need to be running at their optimal level, and there should be plenty of oxygen in the water. Place a fry mat at the bottom of the pond in an obvious location. This provides a surface for the Kikusui koi to lay their eggs.

Spawning may begin in the early hours of the day. The female Kikusui koi will release her eggs, and the male koi will fertilize them. After mating, the froth will rise to the top of the water and the eggs on the fry mat will become visible.

Kikusui Koi Fry Care

Kikusui Koi Fry Care

  • After 10 days, feed the baby Kikusui koi powdered koi pellets. Feed the fish four times a day using this method for 5 minutes.
  • Continue feeding the baby Kikusui koi powdered food for another four weeks. By this time you can see how much the Kikusui fry is able to consume in a five-minute feeding. Try not to overfeed as it can pollute the water and cause health problems.
  • After one month, you can start giving them chopped-up vegetables such as peas, carrots, and zucchini. You may also give them live food such as brine shrimp and daphnia.
  • As they grow older, they will be able to eat larger pellets and eventually adult Kikusui koi food.
  • Cull any weakfish as soon as possible. Remove them from the pond if you find them ill or deformed.
  • Keep the pond clean and the water quality high to ensure the health of your Kikusui koi fry.


What Is Kikusui Butterfly Koi?

Kikusui refers to the scaleless or Doitsu Hariwake with an orange pattern. Kikusui butterfly koi refers to the crossbreed of Kikusui with butterfly koi. This type of koi fish will have shining long and flowing fins with metallic orange patterns on a platinum white body.

What Is an Ikan Koi Kikusui? 

The Ikan koi Kikusui is the Indonesian name for Kikusui koi that has metallic orange patterns on a platinum white body.

Does Kikusui Koi Have Scales?

No, Kikusui is a scaleless version of koi fish. Scaleless skin commonly known as Doitsu is traditionally derived from cross-breeding Koi with similarly scaleless koi carp. 

Are Kikusui Koi and Yamato Nishiki Koi Same?

No, they are both different types of koi fish. The Yamato Nishiki Koi fish is a cross between the Sanke and Platinum Ogon. The Yamato Nishiki has red and black marks from the Sanke, as well as a metallic sheen from the Platinum Ogon, a solid white Koi fish.

Kikusui Koi, on the other hand, is a cross between the Kohaku and the Doitsu Platinum Ogon. The Kikusui Koi has a metallic orange pattern on a platinum white body.

What Is the Rarest Koi Fish?

Ki Utsuri is the rarest type of koi fish. This variety of koi fish combines patterns of yellow over a black body. Shiro Utsuri hi and Ki patterns are all judged on the same criteria. Gin Rin Ki Utsuri and Kin Ki Utsuri are two forms of Ki Utsuri.


Kikusui Koi is a beautiful breed of koi fish that is known for its vibrant colors and patterns. They are a popular choice for koi enthusiasts and make a great addition to any pond. These scaleless fish originate from Japan, where they were created by crossing the Doitsu platinum Ogon and Kohaku koi. It has metallic orange patterns and a platinum white base owing to its parents. These koi are known to be hardy and can adapt to different water conditions.

Although many people take Kikusui as inferior compared to the Kohaku variation, Kikusui was prized first in many Japanese koi shows. The quality of a Kikusui, according to the Kikusui koi winner, is judged by its bone structure, skin quality, and pattern rather than just its color.

Kikusui Koi is excellent entry-level fish for individuals interested in keeping koi who can provide many years of pleasure. So if you are looking for a koi fish that is both beautiful and hardy, the Kikusui koi is a great choice! 

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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