One of the most important steps to effective koifish keeping is learning how to identify different koi types, so that you can understand information that is specific to your chosen Koi types and Koi varieties and become well versed in what they need to thrive… because all good koi keepers want healthy fish – right?
Bekko: The Turtle Koi
Some koi hobbyists prefer the fish called Bekko. Its solid body has black markings. Often confused with another variety called utsuri, the Bekko only have markings on their backs. One koi keeper I know calls them “turtles” because of this. (Turtles, if you haven’t noticed, only have markings on their backs.)
The Utsurimono, although similar to Bekka as we have already noticed, is a black-bodied koi with markings of only a single color.
The koi called Koroma is similar to the Kohaku, but with additional colors of blue, black, and purple blended into the red. (The Koroma was cross-bred with the Asagi to produce this result.)
You may also find a type of koi called Gin Rin. This refers to the fish’s scaling. It’s not only a pearl-silver coloring, but it’s reflective as well. Talk about stunning!
Related, but much harder to find, is the Kin Rin. In this variety, of koi the scales are a reflective pearl-gold coloring. If you can find one of these, you are one lucky koi keeper!
Sky Color Koi
Asagi refers to “sky color” and when it appears on a koi, it refers to a fish with a blue-gray body. Occasionally, this variety also possesses a red marking about midway onto its head and body.
The Shusu have large scales that are only found along the midline of the back or on its sides. In some instances, these scales are found in both areas. They may be mistaken for Asagi because their bodies are the same beautiful blue-gray.
The Kawarimono have sometimes been referred to as the “leftovers“ But leftovers have never looked so striking! These koi are not metallic and they just don’t seem to fit in any other category.
For lack of any other typing, the following fish are usually found grouped together. This is especially true in fish shows.
The type known as Hikarimuji are not only single-colored, but they’re metallic as well.
And they aren’t to be confused with the similarly-named Hikarimoyo. This category describes a koi with two or more colors. Excluded from this is the Hikari Utsuri. The Hikari utsuri includes all of the metallic Show varieties.
There’s another Koi type called Doitsu. These fish are mirror-scaled koi. They have enlarged rows of scales along the midline of the back or on the sides of their bodies.
The name interestingly comes from the Japanese for “Deutsch” after the German-scaled carp. This fish initially was bred so it could be scaled easily for cooking purposes. Varieties of the Koitsu include the Kohaku, Sanke, and Showa.
Another Koi type is referred to as the butterfly koi. The name butterfly refers to the long fins this fish has in the front of its body.
Category: Koi Fish Guide