What Is a Koi?

Pet ownership is very popular around the world. It is apparent in the thriving pet food industries, grooming parlors everywhere, and pictures your crazy neighbor has in her wallet of her “cutest” cat she just has to show you. I own cats too so no offense to cat owning readers reading here.

Owning a pet can have many health benefits. Pets alleviate feelings of loneliness, help anxiety, lower blood pressure, and some can keep you in shape. I want to discuss one type of pet in particular and I’ll bet you can guess it from the website title-koi.

Koi fish are a fairly easy pet to take care of because they can survive in many climates. When you have a rough day at work you are guaranteed to feel refreshed after paying them a visit. So now you might be pondering to yourself “What are they exactly?”, so here is a quick Q and A.

What Is a Koi? Koi are colored versions of Amur Carp kept for their beauty. They are a decorative fish. The main colors they display are yellow, red, orange, black, white, blue, and cream. Their interesting attributes are the whiskers they grow as adults and the colorful patterns to their scales.

What is a koi?-A colored version of Amur Carp.

They are very recognizable as adults, but as little fry they resemble goldfish. Koi is an informal group of the colored variants of C. carpio. There are seven different varieties of Koi identified by the Japanese-who were the first to develop koi. The type of Koi is determined by differences in color, patterns, and scalation.

The Koi is a symbol of good fortune in Japanese culture

What Temperature Does Koi Need To Grow In?

Koi are a very hardy fish and can last in almost any temperature, but they need a warm climate to grow. In the winter, they will just hibernate and not eat. Koi don’t have stomachs and their metabolism shuts down in cold weather. So Spring and Summer hold the right temperature for Koi to grow in.

Where Can You Get Food For Koi?

Most pet stores have what you need to give your pet Koi fish the right nutrition.  They are omnivorous and eat a lot of bug larvae and plants alike. You can give them pieces of watermelon and watch them happily chomp away. You will even see them on golf courses in the US because people put them in their “water-hazards” to keep water-borne insect larvae at bay.

Are Koi Friendly?

Once they get used to you most Koi are very friendly fish. Some you can even pet and seem to enjoy it. They are fun to sit out on your back patio and watch. Koi carp are gentle fish that are known to show affection for their caretakers even eating out of their hand in some instances.

Who Can Benefit From Koi?

Are you anxious or stressed out? Did you know that some people who own Koi ponds find them as a great way to destress? Just having a beautiful pond you can go out to and watch the fish is very relaxing. There is actually a therapy called pond therapy. Just watch this and try to stay anxious.

Can Koi Be Tanked?

How great it would be to kick back after a hard day at work to come come to these guys greeting you.

In order to make this a reality though you need to build an awesome Koi pond to keep your fish in. Tanks just won’t do unless they are built to hold a lot of water. How much water? Koi grow to around 3 feet or longer and require a lot of space. Generally speaking, the recommendations are 1 inch of fish per 10 gallons of water(100 inches per 1,000 gallon pond.) Koi grow to around 36″ inches so that’s a 360-gallon tank. Much too big for most houses.

So Koi are not a “tank” fish in my opinion. You see them in tanks, but it isn’t the best place for them.

Care And Feeding

Koi are survivors and can withstand many different climates. They need warmer temperatures to mature and grow. They need proper koi food like TetraPond Koi Vibrance, Soft Sticks, Floating Pond Food as an example. Predators need to be kept at bay usually requiring a net be cast over your pond too. Koi need ample space to swim around in and are very social so you will want more than one. Have some pond plants around that they can eat or throw them some sliced up fruit. These are just a few basic needs a koi has and you can read this article on a kois habitat needs for more information on that subject. Your going to love them.

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Image by Jon Kline from Pixabay