Koi Fish Fun Facts

If you’re thinking of making additions to your pond, adding some koi fish to your water garden can bring peace and beauty to your backyard. These ornamental fish have a rich history and are very interesting creatures. There are over 20 different kinds of koi fish that range in color, patterns, and type of scales.  They are known for their beautiful colors that have been created through selective breeding. There is so much to learn about koi whether you’re a seasoned breeder or a beginner.  Let’s take a look at some fun facts about koi fish, before you start stocking up on them in your pond.

1.  Koi fish are fresh water fish that originate from Eastern Asia.  People in Japan believe that the koi fish symbolizes wealth, prosperity, love, successful career and good fortune. Each variety is associated with one of those values.

2.  They come in a variety of colors, not just orange.  The color of the koi fish depends on the variety. They can be white, black, blue, red, cream and yellow in color. They can also be covered with different spots.  The different hues of color each have developed a connotation. Gold koi fish represent wealth and prosperity. Metallic koi symbolize success in business. A blue koi is thought to bring serenity. Asagi koi of blue, red, and grey colorings symbolize positivity. Black koi are believed to hold a patriarchal symbolism, with red belonging to the mother, blue to the son, and pink to the daughter.

3.  Most koi fish outlive their owners, having a lifespan of 200+ years.  There is even a legendary koi named Hanako that lived to be the oldest koi in history. Hanako was hatched in 1751 and lived to be 226 years old, passing away in 1977.  That’s a very long life span!  However, most koi live 30-40 years.

4.  Koi fish are extremely intellectual. Koi fish have the ability to recognize the person who feeds them and they can be trained, like a dog or cat, to eat from his/her hand.  Koi fish are omnivores and are known to eat pond plants as well as different kinds of fish, eggs, lettuce, watermelon, and peas.

5.  Koi fish can grow up to three feet long if raised in appropriate conditions. Due to their sensitive skin, koi need shade and deep water because they are susceptible to sunburn.

6.  Owners who received their koi fish as a gift are considered to have good luck.

7.  Although a large community of koi can be unsafe, koi fish enjoy company of other koi fish.

8.  In Japan, koi fish are frequently passed down from generation to generation as a family heirloom.

9.  During mating season, female koi produce thousands of eggs that will be fertilized by male's sperm in the water. Only half of the fertilized eggs will live.  In the mating process, koi eat their young, recently hatched offspring called koi fry. Koi fish need to be taken away from the fry during the mating session to protect the fry. 

Koi can sell for a high price.  If a breeder raises a highly sought after koi, it can go for thousands of dollars. $250,000 is a common price for a high-quality koi fish.