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Thread: What makes a Koi a pretty addition to a pond?

  1. #1
    Tosai Bambii_x's Avatar
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    What makes a Koi a pretty addition to a pond?

    Hello everyone,

    I am new to this hobby and I enjoy it very much, everyday there is something new to be learned about these fish. because I am a begginer i have a hard time picking out (or even looking at a fish when its young) a fish that would look nice as it grows bigger. I am not really picky, but I do like having individual looking fish that I am able to distinguish apart. I like the doitsu variety, because of their neat looking scale pattern.. but im not sure if that kind of fish will look nice when it is big as when it is 6inches or so. I would like some of your advices as what to look for when purchasing cheap koi that are kept for begginers and are not for any showing purposes.

  2. #2
    Daihonmei PapaBear's Avatar
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    There is an old saying in this hobby that "Koi begin and end with Kohaku".
    That doesn't mean there is nothing in the middle. Only that the Kohaku variety is usually what draws the eye first and in the end what the experienced eye comes to appreciate most for their simple grace and beauty.
    A pond that has a lot of RED in it (Gosanke varieties of Kohaku, Sanke, Showa) is called a "Happy Pond". Having a little yellow (yamabuki ogon) and basic black and white (Shiro Utsuri or Bekko) add an accent to highlight the simple elegance and grace of a hobbyist pond.

    What to AVOID is really more important than what to get.
    One of the easiest traps to fall into is to want "one of EVERYTHING!"
    You can overload a pond SO fast (and easy) that it would make your head spin. Before you even realize it you've got more fish than water, your filtration is struggling to keep up, you are fighting water and health problems, and the pond is an unfocused and confused looking mishmash of jumbled color that is more clash than serenity.

    Move slowly and deliberately. Let your pond become a very pleasant place that gives you less work and more joy. Plan the pond well, build it to function properly, and stock it peacefully.
    Larry Iles
    Oklahoma

  3. #3
    MCA
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    Honmei MCA's Avatar
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    First and foremost.....pick a HEALTHY koi!!! But even then, it goes into QT at home if your pond already has koi.

    There are many good koi books you can get on Amazon that will explain the show classes and varities in those classes. With pictures the books will explain what makes a good example of the variety.

    Ususally you go by
    confirmation: the koi as the right number of external body parts in the right places....and they are in good proportion to each other and the overall body size.

    Skin quality: smooth even skin with luster.

    color quality: hard versus soft beni...and other details

    pattern: how much of which colors are where

    final thing: overal impression....how well do all the above parts make for a pleasing total package. How powerful, graceful, and elegant the koi moves...makes a big difference between a good fish and a great fish.
    Koi keeping is not a belief system; it is applied science with a touch of artistry.

  4. #4
    Oyagoi
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    i feel it is hard for anyone to tell you what is a great fish for a pond.
    my opinion changes alot on what i want and such over the years.
    i did have alot of different varieties but has i have grown in hobby the koi are turning to mostly gosanke.
    i am on the look out for a few other varieties again but want a good one so pocketbook and quality are opposite ends so i keep waiting and looking.
    lately for me i need to get rid of more koi then i buy.so even the number of koi i own is changing as more a simple look or "less is more" thought is what i am likeing
    Paul Korf

    member of:
    Midwest Pond and Koi Society
    Louisville Koi club
    IKONA

  5. #5
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    First, pick what you like. It's your pond.

    I think the error most of us made at the beginning was to see a photo in a book or magazine and then get that variety at the first opportunity without learning what to look for. Lots of wasted dollars along the way.

    More experienced hobbyists tend toward gosanke. But they can be the most difficult for a beginner to select. The low-priced ones often 'fail', losing color or developing unpleasant body shapes. The 'good ones' get to be more highly priced. Since a doitsu appeals to you, read up on them. There are a lot of threads on this board about different varieties. Use the search function and you'll pick up some hints. Check your local library for books on koi. Then, start searching for one that appeals to you. Searching for just the right one can be fun in itself.

    The first imported koi I bought cost $35. (Domestic koi were all junk back then.) That was what a first class discus cost at that time. I could not believe I allowed myself to be so extravagant. But, she was so beautiful compared to the koi I had kept up to then. She was a gin rin Orenji...a pond mutt of the first order.... a huge sparkly goldfish. But, I learned a great deal raising her. Her daughter, a Hariwake in her 17th season, is still with me. I wouldn't want another ginrin Orenji, but I have very fond memories of that first 'nice koi', despite the fact I'd consider her a mutt today.

  6. #6
    Meg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bambii_x View Post
    Hello everyone,

    ..... I am not really picky, but I do like having individual looking fish that I am able to distinguish apart. I like the doitsu variety, because of their neat looking scale pattern.. ....... I would like some of your advices as what to look for when purchasing cheap koi that are kept for begginers and are not for any showing purposes.
    this part of your post struck me as interesting. taking it into account, perhaps a pond of all solid one colored doitsu with a nice zipper down the back of each would be eye pleasing to you? they could all be the same color or not, as long as the color is even/clean through out the fish and the zipper of scales pleasing to your eye.... and you have found healthy fish of course.... i would think you could have a nice school for a good price. many of the domestic breeders would be happy to put together a good "pond pack" following your instructions.

    (ok, it is early and I just read your post again, I thought you said you do NOT care to distinguish individuals! not this changes EVERYTHING! lol.... my dvice still stand with one change, have each koi a different color, but still solid. it would make quite a statement in the pond....black, bronze, plat., yellow, orange....)

  7. #7
    Sansai tranquility's Avatar
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    I have a passion for the blues--So to me a pond full of Asagi is what I'm after...Like others have said its all about what you like most of the time you'll see pond with a little bit of every thing....alot of things play a role in how big koi will get--Genetics and water quality are a few--so is overcrowding...
    Lawanna

    Well I don't technically have an all Asagi pond but, the Showa has a huge personality--so I could never get rid of her...

  8. #8
    Tosai Bambii_x's Avatar
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    i dont know, to be honest.. i love all of them, there are so many interesting varieties, ginrins look amazing.. but i have one question, the red on kohakus does it ever change shape or size? does red appear in a spot where it was white before.. or when picking out a kohaku, the color that it looks when its small that's the same it will look when its fully grown? just wondering if their like goldfish, that the red sometimes goes away when there is white on the fish

  9. #9
    Meg
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    Oyagoi Meg's Avatar
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    yes, the red can go away or fade
    which is why a helping hand is, well, helpful....
    if spending what your pocket considers $ignificant, a more exsperianced hobbiest's eye can help guide. but nothing is a sure thing

  10. #10
    Tosai Bambii_x's Avatar
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    Interesting, I thought that once a fish is about 2-3inches, the way it looks then is probably how it will look like when its all grown up just bigger, Ive red that only on the shiro bekkos and other fish with black on them, that it is suppose to get bigger with age, but i didn't expect reds to do the same

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