For those who love fish, knowing koi history is important! There are many types of koi that people enjoy and some even make a living off of breeding them or designing new lines of fish.
Koi come in different colors, shapes, and sizes and each one has its own unique set of features. Even though there are over 9,000 recognized varieties of koi worldwide, only about 200 to 250 individual species have been documented completely!
That’s why it’s so interesting to learn about how different cultures developed their koi strains. We may be able to pick up some helpful tips for developing our own!
There you have it — an easy topic and great way to start exploring all things aquatic! Read on to find out more about this fascinating field.
Origins of koi
Many people associate koi with Japan, but they do not know where these beautiful fish originated. In fact, some say that koi are not even Japanese! Ancient Chinese art features painted white lily shaped carp in ponds, which have been linked to modern day koi.
The word ‘koi’ comes from the Japanese language and means ‘beautiful flow’. The kanji (Chinese characters) for this word is 恋，the same as the English word love.
Koi were most likely introduced into Asia directly through China or indirectly via India. It is thought that they made their way out of the East by being traded along ancient trade routes between Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Koichorning is an inherited characteristic among descendants of Asian immigrants in North America. Some believe that it was once popularized after World War II when many veterans returned home with koi as companions.
The rise of koi
As mentioned earlier, China was one of the very first civilizations in the world to have domesticated fish. These ancients had many different types of fish including carp, catfish, loofah, snakehead, and even dragonet (the little boy fish you see at aquariums that grow extremely large).
It is thought that these early Chinese fishermen captured wild paddlefish in their native habitat and took them back home as pets. When these paddlefish grew too big, they would be set free.
However, some of these freed paddlers would survive by traveling inland along rivers or streams. Since riverbeds are often lined with limestone, this helped contribute to the growth and development of new koi species.
Koi that live near water sources tend to be much bigger than those who do not!
After World War II, Japanese fishermen noticed how beautiful certain types of koi could be and decided to breed them for show. A few successful breeds were born, such as the hakutai which comes from Thailand and has become quite popular all over the globe.
But it was still mostly just Japan where people enjoyed them. That began to change in the 1980s when more and more individuals discovered koi keeping.
The golden age of koi
During this time, people would talk about how much koi have changed over the years. Before color was an important feature in choosing which breed you wanted to invest in or begin keeping as a beginner.
There were very few colors at that time! Almost every breed had white fish with only small amounts of other colors. This is because most beginners do not own a light source so they cannot tell what kind of gold undertones their koi has until they get one that is illuminated better!
After the Industrial Revolution, more people began using electricity for lighting. This allowed people to notice all sorts of beautiful patterns and shapes on their koi’s bodies. Because people invested in brighter lights, they could now see more detail and parts of the body that may have been covered up before!
This inspired more people to want to keep koi as pets and learn more about them. It also helped create a market for koi since people needed to know more about them to determine which ones are worthy of space and water to thrive.
The downfall of koi
As mentioned before, adding supplements to your water isn’t good for koi. Many people believe that these additives help keep their koi healthy, but research shows that some can be harmful or even deadly for them.
A few years ago, there was an outbreak of bacterial sepsis in the koi industry due to excessive use of probiotics. Probiotic is the term given to any fermented food product that contains live microorganisms (bacteria).
Some brands of probiotics contain alcohol as a preservative, which doesn’t go away until it is used so the bacteria will last longer. Unfortunately, when you drink enough alcohol, it becomes toxic to humans!
In fact, one large dose of probiotics caused death in several human patients within hours because they were unable to get rid of the alcohol quickly enough. Even small doses may not be safe for someone with a sensitivity to alcohol.
This problem wasn’t limited to just individuals who felt tired after eating a probiotic meal- it also had devastating effects on the koi themselves.
Probiotics are usually sourced from fermented foods like kefir, yogurt, or fecal matter. All of those sources have different types of bacteria in them, so professional breeders add either the same type of bacteria or a mixture of ones to ensure offspring remain healthier.
Since the mid-20th century, most people have known about modern koi. Most of us have at least seen a picture or two of a white fish with long fins that someone calls a koifish. These pictures are very popular as they seem to show the fish having a beautiful expression and setting like statues.
However, aside from these pretty looks, most people don’t know much about how to care for them. This is quite unfortunate since there are many ways to enjoy creating your own little family members!
Luckily, you do not need any special training to take good care of a koi! There are several things that anyone can do to ensure the health and happiness of their koi toy. In this article, we will go over some basic tips and tricks for caring for your new friend.
Disclaimer: We make no claims about being an expert in aquarium keeping, but our readers might consider ourselves experts in other areas! Only try these suggestions under careful supervision of yourself and/or a professional.
Popular koi fish
While not everyone enjoys keeping aquariums with little to no decorations, there are some very popular species of koi that people enjoy owning. These include such beautiful patterns and colors!
Koi are an interesting aquatic animal. They are usually born as golden or white colorations, but sometimes parents pass down colored offspring.
These types of koi are often considered “showy” because they like to swim around and display their beauty to others. Because of this, most breeders choose to keep only those individuals so that they can show off their gorgeous fins and patterning!
Interbreedings between different strains have created even more unique looking koi! For example, Siamese koi are famous for having two distinct dorsal (back) stripes along with a nose stripe and whisker markings.
History of the koi fish
Ever since ancient times, people have been creating beautiful ponds and water gardens to contain and house koï (or as they are more commonly known today, Japanese carp). The word ‘koï’ comes from the French term for freshwater eel, which in turn is derived fro the Latin word for fresh water.
In Japan, where most modern day koi originate, the word ‘koï’ has its roots in the Ainu language. The Ainus were an indigenous tribe who lived primarily off hunting and fishing before being conquered by Han Chinese tribes around 300 AD.
The kanji used to write the word ‘koï’ mean ‘swimmer’ or ‘diver’.
Popular koi fish names
Many people give their koi fish specific, interesting names to identify them as individuals. These are often funny or clever monikers like “Killer”, “Angry”, “Needy”, “Lovely”, and so forth!
However, not all of these cool koifishmono are appropriate given the situation. For example, using the word ‘love’ in a koifish’s name is typically considered poor etiquette because it can be used for affection towards someone else, or even self-love if you’re very romantic about yourself.
The same goes for ‘koihori’, which means “same region” or “similar area”, making some dogs (and now koi) feel left out. Therefore, we recommend avoiding these words when naming your koi fish.