The Koi is the national fish of Japan. They are symbolic of strength, beauty, and endurance. These colorful carp acquired the name “nishikigoi,” which literally means “brocaded carp” in Japanese. Koi is short for nishikigoi.
It is of interest to know that Koi:
- Are ancestors of brown carp that would occasionally spawn colored mutants.
- As carp were first kept in Japanese rice paddies being a secondary high protein
- 200 years ago in Niigata prefecture in Japan Koi cross-breeding began to create
the fish we know today. Many highly colored varieties have been developed through
selective breeding. They are designed to be looked at from above.
- Newly hatched “fry” – baby fish – are about 1/16th
of an inch long, koi can grow up to 40 inches.
- Don’t bite because they can’t. Their teeth are located
in the rear of their mouth.
- Suck food into their mouths.
- Their distinctive feature is “barbells” (one large one
small) on the sides of their mouths which are actually little feelers.
- Have good eye sight up to about 10 feet.
- Primary connection to what is happening around them is via sonar.
- They can recognize their care givers.
- Can detect the sound of the footsteps of a care giver and those of a stranger.
- Koi can live to be 50 - 70 years old. The longest recorded life span was 226.
- Koi are known to be very curious and social, each have personalities
- Are the happiest when schooling with other Koi.