SF Bay Area Koi Club

Organization of Pond and Koi Keepers




Descriptions of the thirteen varieties of Koi and their classifications.




Koi Classifications In A Nutshell.....


Koi can be distinguished in thirteen classifications with different types within those classifications. These classifications are all Japanese Terms.  Koi Fish have many different colors. Some of the major colors are white, black, red, orange yellow, blue, and cream.

If you can learn the complex classifications of koi, it  will help to look after them.


The majority of breeds, do not have metallic shine, but a some popular breeds do have scales with a metallic shine - golden or silvery (Platinum ogon).


The version deduced in Germany Doitsu at all has no scales, except for several strips from large scales on each side or on a back.  Transparent fish koi have imperceptible brown or grey painting.


     Kohaku - a white-skinned Koi, with a red pattern


     Taisho Sanshoku (Sanke) - a white-skinned Koi with a red and black pattern


     Showa Sanshoku (Showa) - a black-skinned Koi with a red and white pattern


     Tancho - Any koi with the only red being in a circle on its forehead. The fish can be a Tancho Showa, Tancho Sanke, or even Tancho Goshiki


     Asagi - a Koi with light blue scales on its top and red scales on its bottom


     Shusui - A nearly scaleless koi with bluish grey scales only on its lateral lines and dorsal lines, as well as red on its sides and fins


     Bekko - a white, red, orange or yellow-skinned Koi with a black pattern


     Utsurimono - a black Koi with a red, white, orange or yellow pattern


     Goshiki - a mostly black Koi with red, white, brown, and blue accents


     Ogon - a Koi that is one solid color, can be regular or metallic; known colors - red, orange, platinum, yellow and cream


     Kin Gin Rin - a Koi with shiny scales. The name translates into English as "Gold Silver Scales" There are also Gin Rin versions of almost any other type of koi.


     Kawarimono (kawarigoi) - Miscellaneous types of Koi


     Koromo - Koi with areas of blue-edged scales aligned neatly


     Hikari-Moyomono - Koi with coloured patterns over a metallic base, and koi in two metallic colours


Koi or more specifically, are nishikigoi.

Butterfly koi and Ghost koi are considered by some to be not true nishikigoi.


     Ghost koi - "Hybrid" of Ogon and wild carp. Not Nishikigoi.**

     Butterfly koi - Long-finned version of all others. Not Nishikigoi**





Koi Geneology



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