The Coloring Changing Black Koi Variation

One of the attractions that draw pond owners to the Koi is the large variety of colors that they come in. An even more attractive notion is that of having the ability to own a fish that will literally be able to change color before your eyes. This “feature” belongs to some of the koi in the black Koi family.

Black Koi are set apart from other Koi varieties due to their dark coloring and not much else. They are regularly seen in outdoor ponds all over the world. Koi males are recognized by their concave anal section and may also display breeding spots on their head. Spawning females may lay as many as 1,000 eggs. Baby Koi known as fry will start emerging in about four to seven days, depending on the temperature of the water. They begin showing color around three to twelve weeks of age.

There is some disagreement as to who originally started breeding koi however the best information I can find gives breeding goldfish to the Chinese and breeding Koi for color to the Japanese. The Japanese began breeding koi in the 1820s. Koi are the result of breeding carp mutations. Koi originally only came in one or two colors. Now with over a thousand years of breeding we have a large variety of colors and combinations of patterns. One breed is known as the Black Koi.

Black Koi can grow to be about thirty-six inches in length. Like all Koi fish because of their length, black Koi need to be kept in large ponds. One of the first all black mutations is the Magoi Koi. They are actually a deep bronze; however, appear black when viewed from above.

Another koi in the black Koi family is the Karasu meaning “crow” in Japanese. The Karasu is an extremely old species. It has black fins and a black body some Karasu can have a white or orange belly.

Some Koi will change color due to changes in their environment and/or their diet. These color changes typically entail the fish going from a duller or brighter shade of a color. The Matsukawabake Koi species takes the ability to change color to a whole new level. It is a black Koi that typically has areas of white on its body. According to the temperature of the water or the seasons the color of this Koi fish can change from completely black to completely white or vice versa. But, amazingly the Koi will return to its original pattern once the conditions stabilize.

The most popular Black Koi, the Kumonryu , appeared in the 1980’s. The name means “dragon fish” and the Kumonryu earned this name because some were reminded of the bodies of the dragons depicted in ancient paintings. Some also thought that these fish looked like dragons ascending through the white clouds in the sky. These also have a tendency to change color.

Alan Brenner finds koi ponds relaxing. If you would like to find out more about black koi, visit Koi Pond Build.

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