Koi are basically meant to be judged and viewed from the above as the fish swims in the pond. They are highly appreciated for their graceful movement around the water and they can even recognize the owner who feeds them. Their feeding and breeding characteristics are generally more or less similar to the goldfish. One obvious characteristic is of course, they are not picky when it comes to food.
Koi are omnivorous fish which means that they will eat both meaty (chicken liver, chopped fish) and vegetable-based food (peas, lettuce) . There are some owners who even go up to the extent to buy and feed them with high quality fish pellets specially formulated to bring out the colors. If they are properly cared for, koi can grow very fast and reaching large size up to at least 20 - 25 inches long.
The Koi fish classification is quite complex and is mainly developed and used by the Japanese. They are grouped according to different major varieties based on a number of features such as color combination, patterns, scale types and arrangement. For example, the kohaku can be easily identified with presence of red spots on a white body background. Further to that, these major varieties can be further divided and grouped into different sub-varieties based on other characteristics.
How to select and buy a mature Koi Fish
First thing first, decide on which variety you are going to purchase. Of course the choice that you make must be within the budget. Unfortunately, I can’t tell you the price range because I’ve not updated myself on the price list for quite some time now. Next ask yourself some of these basic questions.
Is the fish perfectly well-balanced when swimming in the water? A good specimen should not be tilting to one side or look off balance. Next, Look at their movement. Is there any jerk and is the movement smooth as they move across the water? Sometimes depending on how you convince the seller, you can even request to scoop up the fish and check for the scale deformities. All these require skills that can only be learned through years of observation and from experience.
Interested in this topic? Find out more about How to Set Up and Maintain a Koi Pond. Other related topics: Types of Aquarium Fish