Koi carp: everything you need to know about it!

For all garden pond lovers, the Koi carp is an exciting fish, as well as its origins, its character, its physique. Take advantage of the many tips on our blog to take care of your new companion. This very large fish will seduce you with its varied colors, its closeness to humans and its peaceful character.

Where does the Koi carp come from?

The Koi carp, also called ornamental carp or Cyprinus carpio by its scientific name, is one of the varieties of common carp. It is a species obtained by crossing two types of carp. Its origin suggests that it comes from Japan as it is often called “Japanese koi carp”, except that it is native to China.

It was first imported to Japan for food purposes, but by the year 1000, it became a majestic fish raised by the Japanese nobility. After the 19th century and the Second World War, it was introduced in Europe, and farms were created outside Japan. Nowadays, even if the Koi carp from Japan are of a superior quality, many countries produce them.

The character of Koi carp

Koi are rather peaceful fish, and are not predators, despite what one might think. It is common to be able to touch its carp when feeding, because it is a fish very close to humans and not very shy. This fish being mainly herbivorous, you will be able without any problem to place other fishes in the bottom of the pond without fearing conflicts. It feeds on any type of pond fish food or Koi food, but also on worms, seeds and aquatic plants. It is a very lively fish despite its size, and able to detect the food that best suits its needs.

The physical appearance of the Koi carp

Koi measure between 15 and 120 cm, the female being longer and bigger than the male. Young red carp measure between 8 and 10 cm, and the evolution is obvious during the first 4 years of their life, during which they can grow from 16 to 18 cm in only one year. In addition, the scales of red koi change color throughout their growth. Many physical characteristics differentiate Koi from other fish of the same type. First of all, it has “barbels” near its lips, which are part of its gustatory system and allow it to select food. Secondly, its belly is flat, unlike goldfish for example.

The Koi Carp in daily life

Koi carp usually live between 18 and 20 years, but some individuals have already reached the age of 70.
A carp of this type, as an adult, needs one cubic meter of water to develop in good conditions. Therefore, these carps should be placed outside in a pond with a sandy bottom preferably, as they like to explore the sand in search of food, thanks to their barbels.

Living outside, the carp undergoes the changes of temperature: during the nice days, with the heat, the carp will feed more and more. However, when we pass under the bar of 6 °C, it will practically not eat any more and will be in a phase of “semi-hibernation”. During this phase, your Koi carp will hide in the sand to protect itself from the cold.

In summer, be careful not to leave your Koi pond exposed to full sunlight, and to create a shaded area to avoid overheating the water. Indeed, this could harm their health and their scales.

Furthermore, it is important to set up your Koi pond with a filtration system in order to eliminate waste, and it is also important to install a pump for the oxygen in your pond.

In summary, Koi carp are fascinating fish that not only show a certain intelligence, but will also please you with their calm and sociability. However, it needs an optimal environment, and it is important to provide it with the right food and accessories for its well-being.