Koi can come in a variety of bright and attractive colors. The most popular one is the black koi. The Japanese honed and developed the skills needed to breed this type of fish. They studied its habits, breeding patterns, and diet.
Although there are many of colorful koi out there, the most popular one is the black koi. With its black base coloring, this remains to be the cornerstone of the species that evolved from the Chinese carp. Unlike what its name suggests, most of the varieties of black koi have their own color variations as well. Here are a few of the following:
- The Karasu, or crow. This is known to be the oldest known black koi. Although they appear to be entirely black when seen from above the water, the underbelly can actually be white or orange. They just appear black because of their purely black upper body and fins.
- The Hajiro. This type has white markings on its nose and fins.
- The Magoi. This is the original black koi. Some consider the Magoi to be more carp than koi, and although it looks black when you first take a look, it is actually dark bronze. Of all the varieties of black koi, these can grow to be the biggest of the bunch. In fact some have grown to about four feet long.
- The Kumonryu, which first appeared in the 1980s. They are otherwise known as the dragon fish. Many of their breeders think that the markings on the fish's body remind them of a dragon, hence the name.
- The Matsukawabake. Possesses the ability to change its color, just like the Kumonryu. They usually have white spots on their skin as they mature.
Like all varieties of carp, the black koi can change their color as they mature. Some gain speckles, while others lose theirs. Their color is mainly affected by the diet, temperature, season, and health. A koi that is well cared for only changes its color slightly. So if you are worried that your fish will change its color, don't fret too much so long as you do your job in taking care of it and in catering to its needs.
The male koi can at times be recognized by the breeding spots that appear on their head. The anal area is shaped like a concave. Like most animals, the males do the courtship. And because they are social by nature, they like to swim around in small groups. Fish that swim alone are most likely to be sick or disabled. They create relationships with those they see around, even with their human caregivers.
Black koi fish spawn between the spring and summer season. The females can yield up to as many as 1,000 eggs. When the eggs start to hatch, a fry (the name of a baby koi) will only fully emerge between four to seven days. The time it takes to fully hatch is also dependent on the water temperature. After three to twelve, the fry begins to change its color. This wonderful breed of fish first came in a few color variations. When the farmers began to notice the color mutations from their fish, they began to breed them.
The black koi, in particular, can grow to as large as three feet long. That is why a large pool or pond is its most ideal living place. Typically, Koi will change color from a duller or brighter shade. The most interesting fact about the black koi fish is that it can turn completely black or completely white according to season changes or changes in the water temperature. When placed back to their natural and ideal habitat, their skin will go back to the original pattern.
The large variety of colors makes koi very attractive. It has the ability to literally change its shade right before your very eyes, a characteristic that is common to some of the black koi species. Taking care of this type of koi fish can be amusing. Its ability to be like a chameleon entertains most of its breeders. When you look at them swimming around the pond, they look like jewels sparkling in the sunlight. Aside from its beauty, many believe that the koi fish bring good luck and endless fortune.