Koi Types

4 Common Koi Types and What Makes Them Unique

Koi fish are very colorful and beautiful creatures.  For those that have taken the decision to have their own Koi pond, species selection is an important part of the process.  There are dozens of Koi types; however, four species are the most popular.  As with any other species of fish, each of the types of Koi will have their own attributes and at the same time share certain behavioral traits in common. You should be aware of all of these distinctions and commonalities prior to selecting one purely based on its aesthetic beauty.

All Koi fish are variations of the common carp.  As such, they do well in cooler water temperatures, but should not be kept in waters lower than 59 degrees Fahrenheit.  When placed in waters cooler than this, all species of Koi can begin to have issues related to proper food digestion and even lowered immune systems. Size, of course, is an issue with fully grown Koi ranging from 2 to even 3 feet in length.  Water depth should never be below 3 feet in order to maintain sufficient swimming space and temperature consistency for all Koi types.

Butterfly Koi

The Butterfly Koi TypeOf all Koi types, the Butterfly Koi displays an appearance that is truly unique.  This is due to its extremely long and wavy finnage.  To some, its long fins may be reminiscent of those of a male Betta fish.

This appearance makes it a favorite to many; but incredibly, formal Koi breeding associations do not favor them.  This is due to the fact that normal judging techniques used in Koi shows cannot be applied to the butterfly Koi due its unique fin formations.


Kohaku Koi

The Japanese Kohaku KoiThe Kohaku Koi is one of the Koi types that is highly prized in its native Japan.  This is due to the fact that it is a white bodied fish with red markings.  The tone of the red coloration can vary from orange to a crimson red.  In Koi competitions, the Kohaku which have red markings as close to the color of the red rising sun of the Japanese flag are rated above all others.


Asagi Koi

The Japanese Asagi KoiThe Asagi Koi is not as colorful as some of its other cousins.  It possesses bluish to light blue sales on the upper part of its body, with red markings on the belly rising as high as the mid-lateral section.  The distinguishing feature of Asagi Koi are the “reticulations” or netted patterns formed by their blue scales. For those focusing on allowing other more colorful Koi types to stand out in their ponds, the Asagi Koi is a great addition.  Asagi Koi can be used to add volume to your pond without saturating the observer with too many colors.


Bekko Koi

The Bekko Koi is one of those Koi types that include sub-variations within its own classification.  The primary characteristic of the Bekko Koi is that it has black markings over a solid background body coloration.  The Shiro Bekko is white with a black pattern; the Aka Bekko is red with a black pattern, while the Ki Bekko is yellow with the black pattern.

In general, all Koi types are docile in temperament and get along well with each other provided that they have enough space.  The only time that aggressiveness is displayed is during feeding.  Even then, this aggressiveness can be described more as intensity in eating as opposed to aggression against each other.

Regardless of the types of Koi that you select to populate your pond you will have a lovely, resilient and long lasting fish.  A properly cared for Koi, of any type, can easily live to an age of 60 years and beyond.