April 28

Sarah Robertson

What Is the Best Koi Fish? – The Complete Guide

The koi fish is a beautiful and popular fish that has been kept by people for centuries. They are native to Asia and can be found in many different colorations and patterns. Koi is a subspecies of the common carp and were originally bred for their ornamental value.

Koi are hardy fish that can adapt to a wide range of conditions, making them ideal for both indoor and outdoor ponds. They are also relatively low maintenance, although they do require some care and attention to keep them healthy. If you want to buy the best koi fish for your pond, then you need to understand what to look for and what their needs are.

Koi are available in a wide range of colors, including white, black, red, yellow, blue, and orange. The most common coloration is orange and white, but there are also many other beautiful combinations. The average, typical koi fish will reach around 12-15 inches long, or 1-foot minimum.

If you are looking for a beautiful and low-maintenance fish, then koi are a great option. With a little care and attention, they can thrive in both indoor and outdoor ponds.

Best Koi Fish for Your Pond 

When it comes to choosing the best koi fish, there are a few things you need to take into consideration. The first is the size of your koi pond. Koi can grow quite large, so you need to make sure you have enough space for them to swim and thrive.

The second is the climate. Koi are cold-water fish, so they will do best in a pond with cooler water temperatures. If you live in a warmer climate, you can still keep koi, but you will need to take some extra steps to ensure their health and well-being. Finally, you need to consider the type of fish you want. There are many different varieties of koi, so you need to choose the ones that best suit your needs and preferences.

Over 100 different species of Koi fish may be found, with distinct body forms, proportions, color types, and scale patterns that set them apart from one another. Out of the 100+ kinds, eight of the most popular and best koi fish for sale are covered below:


The outstanding trio of Kohaku, Sanke, and Showa are the most popular Koi fish kinds. The Gosanke has a bright white skin with red and black markings all over it.

Kohaku is one of the most popular and prevalent types of Gosanke in Japan and around the world. Gosanke of all three types has the same body size, proportion, and scales. However, their color patterns are the most significant difference. Kohaku is distinguished by its red or orange and white patterns on their skin, while Sanke and Showa are characterized by a range of red, orange, white, and black spotted patches on their skins.

The color patterns of Sanke and Showa are quite similar, however, they differ somewhat. The red or orange and black patches on Showa are more noticeable than those on Sanke.


Due to its uncommon color patterns and stunning base color, Utsurimono is one of the most elegant and magnificent Koi ever discovered.

Utsurimono koi has a black base body with various color patches. There are three primary Utsuri varieties. These are Ki Utsuri, Hi Utsuri, and Shiro Utsuri.

  • Ki Utsuri has a black base with yellow as the accent color.
  • Hi Utsuri has a black base with vibrant red as the accent color.
  • Shiro Utsuri has a black base with bright white as the accent color.

Other established types, such as Kin Gin Rin and Doitsu can exist within these three basic kinds.


Tancho is a red-headed Koi variety with a Hi (red) marking on its head as a crown.

Tancho Kois has Hi markings on the head and is a part of the Kohaku family, which has lone, circular patterns of Hi on the head without any Hi markings on the white, solid body.

The ideal Tancho Koi, such as Tancho Showa, and Tancho Sanke have a circular red spot on the head that is crimson red in color.


Hikarimuji is single-colored Koi with metallic scales and they have no markings. They're better recognized for their scales' ability to reflect light. This variety of Koi, with its bright colors, is ideal for individuals searching for a simple-colored Koi to complement other multi-color types. Ogon, Yamabuki, and Matsuba are the three general types of Hikarimuji.

When picking the best fish for your outdoor pond, you must pay close attention to the solid color and sheen of Hikarimuji. They're available in white, yellow, and gold combinations.


Koi are the result of a Japanese scientist's desire to keep carps, which they loved so much, and therefore some of them were modified to create the colorful, energetic, and friendly Koi we see today. However, a few fish strayed from the main trend and conformed to their natural color and design, displaying sequences of their own regular patterns and markings, colloquially known as black Koi.

The Kawarimono is a kind of non-metallic Koi fish that is referred to as the black sheep of the family because it does not belong to any other category of Koi fish.

On the basis of color, Kawarimono koi may be divided into three categories:

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


The Bekko is one of the most popular two-tone Koi fish bred for centuries. Because of Bekko Koi's two tonal colors, finding one is uncommon, but the fish is incredibly beautiful and pleasing to the eyes.

Bekko is a group of Koi that includes three distinct varieties: Shiro, Aka, and Ki.

The black Sumi designs on the Bekko Koi are highlighted with a colored base. Shiro koi is white at the bottom, Aka koi has a red base, and Ki has a beautiful lemon yellow base. The rarest Bekko Koi is the Ki variety, as these have not been spawned yet.


Koromo is a Japanese term that refers to clothes and robes. The Koromo Koi's blue scaled veil, which is a unique trait among other koi varieties, adds to the overall aesthetic appeal of this fish species. Kohaku and Asagi are said to have been crossed to create Koromo. Koromo's blue hue gradually darkens as the Koi get older.

Ai Goromoi is a beautiful type of Koi that features a crystal white skin base with intricate deep crimson hi, surrounded by dark blue scales. The dark blue color lining may seem thin at first, but it will darken when the Koi matures.

Taisho Sanke

Many neophytes are perplexed by the many names given to the excellent breed of Koi fish, which include Sanke, Taisho Sanke, and Taisho Sanshoku.

The most popular name for this Koi fish breed is Sanke, and Taisho Sanshoku is the most appropriate term. Sanshoku is the Japanese term for "tricolor," which refers to the three hues of Sanke, especially white, black, and red. Taisho Sanke Koi is simply a solid white fish with red and black markings. The whiter the Sanke Koi, the healthier it is.

The base color of Sanke Koi fish is shiroji (solid white), which covers the nose to the tail and fins. The Hi on Sanke is not a Cardinal red but rather a deep-orange hue. The color pattern of the Sanke is appealing, with shiroji in between the patches of Hi. The Sanke has large, bright red-orange markings that make its coloration beautiful.

The Sanke Sumi is the rarest of all the colors available. The Sumi (black) on Sanke are considerably smaller than the Hi or Beni, making it a secondary color, whereas Beni or Shiroji are primary.

When it comes to choosing the best Taisho Sanke koi, there are many factors that you need to take into account:

  • Shiroji should be clean, bright, and free of discoloration.
  • The lateral line should be clear of Sumi once again. The patches of Sumi should appear as round spots and should be restricted to the area above the lateral line.
  • There should be no Sumi in the head.
  • On Sanke, the red should make up to 70% of the Koi, while the black should make up approximately 10%, and the remainder should be Shiroji.
  • Sanke with a lot of tiny, spicy-looking Sumi markings should be avoided. It's an indication that your Koi are of low quality.
  • The fins should be entirely or mostly all-white, with black stripes.


The Asagi is one of the oldest breeds of koi and the most gorgeous option for any serious Koi enthusiast. The Asagi offspring are often a spitting image of the typical Asagi koi, with blue nonmetallic scales, reticulated diamond-like scale pattern, and splotches of red coloration known as hi. These red spots appear on the gill plates, belly, and tail.

The Asagi Koi do not have the same color patterns as other family members. They have bluish to light blue scales on the upper half of their body. The belly and mid-lateral region, on the other hand, are emphasized with vivid red markings.

The reticulations created by Asagi Koi's blue scales are the trademark of the breed. The head of the flawless Asagi koi is entirely white. However, the majority of these koi have grey-hued heads. Examine the tip of a young Asagi koi's nose when selecting one. It is possible that the head will eventually become clear when there are no splotches or blemishes on it.


The butterfly Koi is one of the most popular and attractive varieties of Koi fish. It's a shame that it's been labeled a fake breed of Koi fish by the Japanese since this is the reason it's more well-known in America than elsewhere in the world.

Butterfly koi, also known as longfin koi or dragon carp, is a species of exotic fish with elongated finnage. These fish are a type of common koi carp, Cyprinus carpio, which includes many wild and domesticated koi.

The butterfly Koi is the offspring of a goldfish and derives one of its parent's most attractive characteristics. i.e., long, flowing fins

Most Popular Types of Koi for Shows 

Although any Koi fish may compete in competitions, certain types of Koi fish are more popular for shows than others. They include.

  • Kohaku 
  • Showa 
  • Sanke

The Gosanke variety of Koi is especially popular for Koi shows. However, the following classes are also popular for competitions: Bekko, Utsuri, Hikari Mono, Shusui, Koromo, Hikari Muji, Kawarigoi , Hikari Utsuri, Tancho, and Kin Gin Rin. Doitsu Koi are also popular in some shows.


How Many Types of Koi Fish Are There?

To date, there are over a hundred distinct types of Koi fish recognized by mankind. Each variant has its own set of characteristics that distinguish it from the rest. The most distinctive characteristics of Koi are its color, patterns, and body form.

What Is the Best Koi?

If you're new to Koi keeping, the Kohaku Koi is the greatest alternative for you. Kohaku Koi is one of the most popular Koi available. It's simple to find and maintain, and it comes from the Gosanke family.

These beautiful koi are more costly than Ghost koi, but they're far easier to find. They're also known for being simple to maintain and quite resilient, if not as so as Ghost koi.

What Is the Rarest Koi Fish?

The most unusual types of Koi are those that are no longer bred or far less frequently bred. One of the most attractive and uncommon types of Koi is Ki Utsuri, which has a black body with yellow markings.

What Is Grade a Koi? 

The top grade of all the koi is Grade A Koi. They come in a range of colors and designs, the majority of which are white, yellow, and orange. Koi are beautiful fish that have been referred to as "living jewels."

What Is the Most Beautiful Koi Fish?

The Showa koi are the most magnificent, with brilliant colors of white, red, and black on their bodies. Showa is one of the Gosanke, or “Big 3,” koi fish along with Taisho Sanke and Kohaku.

What Are the Three Major Varieties of Koi?

In the world of koi, the term "Gosanke" refers to three distinct types: Kohaku, Taisho Sanshoku (Sanke), and Showa Sanshoku (Showa). Although there are over 100 different varieties of koi, these three species stand out from the rest for their exceptional quality, perfection, and popularity.

How Much Does It Cost to Buy a Koi Fish? 

Koi can range in price from $10 to $1000 depending on their size, proportion, and category.

What Color Koi Fish Is Most Expensive?

The most expensive Koi in the world is Kohaku Koi, a red and white koi carp that was sold for approximately $2.2 million US dollars in China.

What Is the Biggest Type of Koi Fish?

Koi can grow to be enormous. Some Koi, on the other hand, exceed expectations. In 2007, the Koi named "Big girl" was in the limelight as the world's biggest Koi fish. This female koi was around 90 pounds and 1.2 meters long. No other Koi has matched the record of enormous "Big Girl" thus far.

What Are the Best Koi Fish to Buy?

If you are just starting to get into Koi keeping, the best Koi fish to buy are ones that are easy to care for and have a good chance of survival. The most popular Koi for beginners are Kohaku, Showa, Sanke, and Gosanke. These varieties of Koi are relatively hardy and have a good track record for surviving in captivity.

It could be difficult to find the finest Koi for your garden ponds. Because to know the poor water quality or nutritional health of your fish, you need to spent some time with it.

Before purchasing, it is always a good idea to go to the shop and examine the water conditions and nutritional requirements of the fish.

Do Koi Fish Grow Faster Than Goldfish?

Koi are strong, long-lived fish that need a lot of food. They have a stronger immune system than goldfish. Koi grow at a quicker rate than Goldfish, doubling in size in their first year.

How Big Do Koi Fish Get?

Koi fish have different growth rates, depending on the variety. The typical domesticated Koi fish grows to be about 12 to 15 inches long, while Japanese Koi grow up to 22 to 26 inches long. The maximum length of a jumbo Koi is about 36 to 34 inches.

What Is the Best Food for Koi Fish in Aquarium?

You can offer koi vegetables, fish food, fruit, and most anything else that doesn't include a lot of carbs. Pellets are ideal for ordinary-sized koi, whereas bars of fish food are preferred by larger koi. The majority of these foods have plenty of proteins, a few fats, and all the required vitamins and minerals. Other favorites include earthworms, larvae, tadpoles, shrimp, and clams.

Which Is the Friendliest Koi? 

Chagoi is the most friendly and docile Koi breed, with many of them even enjoying the interaction with humans. They also tend to make all of your other fish more amiable and trusting. They may also grow to be rather large in size.

Final Thoughts:

Koi are beautiful, peaceful fish that makes a great addition to any pond or water garden. With so many different varieties to choose from, there is sure to be a Koi that is perfect for you. Do some research to find the best Koi fish for your needs and be sure to provide them with proper care and attention to ensure a long and healthy life.

Best koi fish are those that are easy to care for and have a good chance of survival. According to experts, the most popular koi for beginners are Kohaku, Showa, Sanke, and Gosanke. These varieties of koi are relatively hardy and have a good track record for surviving in captivity. It is also a good idea to visit the shop and examine the water conditions and nutritional requirements of the fish before purchasing 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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