Kohaku Koi House Sdn Bhd
5, Jalan Banang,
Taman Johor,
81200, Johor Bahru,
Johor, Malaysia.






Business Hours :  
Tuesdays to Sundays:
10.00 am to 6.00 pm

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Koi Varieties

Why has koi keeping become so popular?

Koi are believed to bring good luck, prosperity, and health to their owners. Watching koi swim around is soothing and peaceful. Also, gardening is becoming more popular and many house owners want to have a koi pond to enhance their landscaping (especially so during the pandemic that we are experiencing now).  

You may have garden fish or Arowana in your pond, but many people eventually end up choosing koi over other fishes. Koi are 'evergreen' and never goes out of trend with home owners.

Where does the name “koi” come from?  

Koi” is short for “Nishikigoi,” (Embroidered Carp) which was derived from the Japanese word “Nishiki,” which was a many-colored cloth imported from India, and the Chinese symbol for “Goi” which was the original red carp from China. Koi came to Japan from China about 800 A.D. Koi keeping has become a very popular hobby around the world today. Koi varieties were created by selective crossbreeding, with most varieties developed since World War II. Almost all koi terminology is Japanese.

Are koi aggressive?

Koi are not aggressive except when spawning. Males will chase and harass females but never fight. It is commonly observed that if a single koi gets sick, other koi will try to help the distressed koi swim. 

How big do koi grow?

This largely depends on several factors such as genetics (parent koi; 50%), environment (size of pond & quality of filtration; 30%) and the food you feed to your koi (20%).


Typical koi lengths at various age are as below:  
Age Length
1 year 6'' to 8''
2 years 12'' to 16''
7 to 10 years 24'' to 36'' (weighing around 8 to 13Kg)

Females usually get much larger while males usually look their best when small. Females usually look their best and develop peak colors at a larger size when they mature. 

Varieties of Nishikigoi - The 16 categories according to the ZNA are as follows:

Kohaku is koi with red pattern on a snow white ground. Kohaku, Taisho-Sanshoku and Showa-Sanshoku together are called ''Big Three'' in Koi's family.

Ohmoyo: with single unbroken pattern extending from head to tail.
Nidan: with two-step pattern.
Sandan: with three-step pattern.
Yondan: with four-step pattern.
Godan: with five-step pattern.

Taisho Sanshoku is koi with relatively spotted black markings on Kohaku pattern but there should be no black markings on the head. The variety was created in the era of Taisho (early 1900's) in Japan, it is called ''Taisho Sanshoku''. In short, it is also called ''Taisho Sanke'' or ''Sanke''.


Showa Sanshoku is koi with white and red markings against a strong black base. It is called Showa because the variety developed them in the era of Showa (1930's) in Japan. In difference with Taisho Sanke, Showa has black pattern running down the face as well as at the base of both pectoral fins and tail.

Kindai-showa: Kindai means ''modern''. Kindai-showa has more white than black colours in comparison with original Showa.

Tancho has a single red crown-like marking in the center of the head.

Depending on the pattern of the other colours on the body, they are categorized as Tancho Kohaku, Doitsu Tancho Kohaku, Tancho Showa, Tancho Taisho Sanke, Tancho Goshiki, etc.


Utsuri mono indicates varieties with black calligraphic pattern on one solid white, yellow or red ground such as Shiro Utsuri, Hi Utsuri, and Ki Utsuri

Like Showa, it should have black patterns at the mouth or nose, at the base of both pectoral fins, and at the base of the tail.


Asagi is the origin of Nishikigoi. It provided the basis for many subsequent varieties. Its back is covered in a net-like reticulated scale pattern of indigo, navy blue or pale blue, and pectoral fins, tail fin, belly, gill plates are in orange or red.


Shusui was created by crossbreeding of Asagi & Doitsugoi (German scaleless carp). It was one of the first Doitsu varieties of Koi.

Shusui has a bold line of blue scales on the back. And pectoral fins, tail fin, belly, gill plates are in orange or red like Asagi. Shusui that has red colour up to the dorsal line is called Hi-shusui.


Bekko has small black pattern running down its back set against a white, yellow or red background, just like a Taisho Sanshoku with red patterns removed. There are three types of Bekko: Shiro Bekko (white background), Ki Bekko (yellow background) and the Aka Bekko (red background).


Goshiki means ''5 colours''. The original Goshiki was developed with colours of Taisho Sanke (red, white, black) and Asagi (navy and blue)

Lately, the name ''Goshiki'' refers to any koi with a grey Asagi-like net scale pattern overlaid with a Kohaku-like pattern. And ''Goshiki Sanke'' refers to koi that has black markings of Sanke in addition to Goshiki.


Koromo means ''clothed''. It was developed by interbreeding Kohaku and Asagi. The difference between Goshiki
and Asagi is that Koromo has a pure white ground with Asagi-like net scale appeared in red patterned area.

Ai-koromo: It has blue net-like reticulation scales and red pattern area.
Budo-kormo: Is has blue or purple clusters of markings on the red pattern.

Hikari Muji also refers to the name ''Ogon''. It has a solid metallic shining colour.

Matsuba which has a pinecone-like pattern is also included in this category. It was created by crossbreeding the Hikari Muji with other existing varieties.


Hikari Utsuri was developed by crossbreeding of Showa or Utsuri Mono with Hikari Muji that produce pattern koi with metallic sheen. Showa becomes Kin Showa, Shiro Utsuri becomes Gin Shiro, and Hi Utsuri or Ki Utsuri becomes Kinki Utsuri.


Hikari Moyo is a metallic shiny koi with colour pattern(s) excluding Hikari Muji and Hikari Utsuri.

Hariwake: Gold pattern on platinum ground
Yamato Nishiki: Metallic Taisho Sanshoku
Kikusui: Doitsu Hariwake that has stronger red.
Kujaku: Metallic Goshiki.

Kin-ginrin has metallic flake effect on its scales which reflecs light like tiny silver and gold mirrors. It is simply referred as ''Ginrin''. This type of scale occurs in nearly every variety of Koi.

Class A includes:
Ginrin Kohaku, Ginrin SHowa, Ginrin Taisho Sanke

All other Kin-ginrin koi except in Kin-ginrin (Class A).


This category contains virtually all of koi that do not fit into any of other categories mentioned above.

When new breed is created, it usually start out in this category. When the new breed becomes stabilized, it sometimes awards a new category of its own.


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