5 Things to Know about Koi

Posted by Blue Thumb on Mar 24th 2021

5 Things to Know about Koi

5 Things to Know about Koi

Koi, also known as Nishikigoi, are kept for ornamental purposes in outdoor ponds or water gardens. They are available in a variety of colors like yellow, orange, red, black, and white and can live up to 50 years.


An average koi can grow to between 24 and 36 inches in length and need 10 gallons of water per inch of fish at a minimum. So a 12” koi would need 120 gallons; five 12” koi would need 600 gallons.

They Don’t Have Stomachs

Koi are omnivorous and will eat a variety of foods but because they don’t have stomachs they do better with smaller, more frequent feedings. It’s important to feed a high-quality food like Sakana Koi which has proper protein levels as well as color enhancing benefits.

There Are More Than 100 Types

Koi come in a variety of colors and patterns- There are over 100 different types of koi but the three most popular are Kohaku, Sanke, and Showa. Other varieties include Asagi, Doitsu, Ginrin, Ogon, Platinum, Shusui, and Utsurimono.

Click here for a pdf of koi varieties.

It Can Become Expensive

Domestic koi (those born in the US) typically cost between $15 and $100 depending on the size of the fish whereas Japanese koi (those born in Japan and shipped to the US) can start at $100 and go up into the thousands.

Koi Are Not Goldfish

Koi will have barbels or “whiskers” near the mouth whereas goldfish will not. Goldfish tend to be smaller and have more variety in their body shape. Koi tend to have a more common body shape and come in a variety of colors and patterns. Goldfish also will only grow to 8-12” in size so they are much smaller than koi as adults.

Complete Your Koi Pond with Koi from Blue Thumb

Koi are beautiful animals and will thrive in captivity when kept in appropriately sized ponds with excellent filtration. They will come to recognize you and will eat food right from your hand. If you are local, feel free to check out our Koi collection in our retail store available for purchase.