How many types of koi fish are there

Koi fish, with their stunning colors and elegant patterns, have captured the hearts of pond and aquarium enthusiasts around the world. Over centuries of selective breeding, numerous koi varieties have been developed, each possessing its own unique beauty and charm. Let’s dive into the enchanting world of koi and explore some of the captivating varieties that grace the waters.

1. Kohaku

Kohaku is a timeless and classic variety of koi. It features a pure white base with bold red markings. The simplicity of its design exudes elegance and sophistication, making it a favorite among koi enthusiasts.

2. Sanke

Sanke, also known as Taisho Sanke, is a majestic and regal variety. It showcases a beautiful tri-color pattern of white, red, and black, harmoniously blending together to create a striking appearance.

3. Showa

Showa is a bold and fiery variety of koi. It features a black base with vibrant red and white markings. The intense contrast between the colors adds to its dynamic and powerful aura.

4. Utsurimono

Utsurimono is a captivating variety that showcases the art of shadows. With a black base and bright white, red, or yellow markings, Utsurimono creates a mesmerizing play of contrasts and shadows.

5. Bekko

Bekko is a timeless and tranquil variety of koi. It features a solid white, red, or yellow base with black markings, often resembling gentle brush strokes on a canvas.

6. Asagi

Asagi is a serene and calming variety. Its blue-gray scales evoke the reflection of the sky on the water’s surface, creating a sense of peace and tranquility.

7. Ogon

Ogon is a gleaming and metallic variety of koi. Its scales shine like precious metal, casting a luminous charm. Ogon comes in various colors, including gold, platinum, and silver.

8. Shusui

Shusui is a captivating variety that captures the essence of flowing water. It combines elements of Asagi and Bekko, with blue-gray scales and bright red or orange patterns.

9. Kin Gin Rin

Kin Gin Rin is a sparkling and enchanting variety. It features metallic scales with a glittering brilliance, resembling stars reflecting on the water’s surface.

10. Hikari

Hikari is a radiant and luminous variety of koi. It encompasses various metallic varieties like Hikari Muji (single color), Hikari Utsuri (metallic Utsurimono), and more.

11. Doitsu

Doitsu is a unique variety of koi known for its scale pattern. It has large, mirror-like scales along its back and lateral line, with fewer scales on its sides.

12. Kawarimono

Kawarimono refers to miscellaneous koi varieties that do not fit into other established categories. They often showcase unique and one-of-a-kind patterns.

13. Tancho

Tancho is a striking and symbolic variety of koi. It features a single, round, and vividly red marking on its head, reminiscent of the Japanese flag.

14. Butterfly Koi

Butterfly koi, also known as Longfin koi, are recognized for their long flowing fins and tails. They come in various colors and patterns, adding a touch of grace and elegance to any pond.

15. Ghost Koi

Ghost koi are a hybrid variety between wild carp and traditional koi. They have a metallic appearance and come in different colors, making them a fascinating addition to any pond.


FAQs about Types of Koi Fish

Q1: How many koi varieties are there in total?

The number of koi varieties is ever-expanding due to ongoing breeding efforts, but there are approximately 20 main recognized varieties, with numerous sub-varieties and unique strains.

Q2: Can different koi varieties be kept together in the same pond?

Yes, koi varieties can coexist peacefully in the same pond. The contrasting colors and patterns create a stunning visual spectacle.

Q3: Which koi variety is best for beginners?

Beginners often find Kohaku, Sanke, and Showa to be great starting points, as they are classic and easy to appreciate.

Q4: Do koi fish of different varieties have distinct temperaments?

While individual temperament varies, koi fish, regardless of their variety, are generally social, intelligent, and curious creatures.

Q5: Can koi varieties change over time?

As koi grow and mature, their colors and patterns may develop and change. This natural transformation adds to the allure of keeping koi.


The world of koi fish is a tapestry of captivating colors, patterns, and characteristics. From the classic beauty of Kohaku to the fiery allure of Showa and the serene tranquility of Asagi, each koi variety is a living work of art. Whether you’re a seasoned koi enthusiast or just beginning your journey, exploring these mesmerizing varieties is sure to ignite a passion for the enchanting world of koi.

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