19 Koi Fish Facts That Will Make a Splash

Published March 25, 2021
Koi carp in a pond

Koi fish are a type of carp that can be found both as pets bred for their beautiful appearance, and in the wild in fresh water. If you are intrigued by this striking fish, spend some time learning some interesting koi fish facts.

Koi Fish Facts

Learning interesting facts about koi fish can help you understand this interesting carp fish.

19 koi fish facts

Koi Fish Recognize Their People

Koi fish, like some other fish, can recognize their owners if taken care of regularly by the same individual or individuals. While they may associate their owners with being fed, koi fish can also recognize their names, may tolerate being pet, and may allow their owner to hand feed them.

They Are Gentle

Koi fish are known for being gentle and will typically not act aggressively towards humans. Your koi may nibble your finger, which will feel more like pressure than a painful bite.

Koi Are Considered Sacred in Some Cultures

Koi is a type of carp fish. These particular carp were gifted from China to Japan because of their beauty and may have also made their way to Japan via invaders. Even though they are thought to have originated in China, they are often associated with Japan because there the koi are considered sacred and were bred for beauty instead of as a food source. The word koi means carp in Japanese. They may also be referred to as Japanese carp.

They Are Bred to Be Beautiful

While you can eat koi fish, it is noted that this type of carp can be tough, oily, and not the best flavor wise. They are also quite expensive and bred for their beauty, not their flavor profile.

woman Hand Feeding Koi Carps fish At Pond

Koi Fish Originated in the 4th Century

Koi fish breeding was thought to begin around the fourth century in China for food purposes. In Japan, koi fish domestication began around the 19th century and the fish were kept as ornamental pets instead of food.

Koi Are Freshwater Fish

Koi fish can be found in fresh bodies of water, or freshwater ponds. If kept in a pond, koi fish will need:

  • A pump to circulate oxygen in the pond
  • Access to shade
  • A pond depth of at least four feet

Koi Are Symbolic

Koi fish are thought to symbolize strength, courage, fortitude, good luck, victory, fertility, and perseverance. The specific color of the koi and koi in general can have different symbolic meanings.

koi fish in pond

More Koi Facts

Fun facts about koi fish:

  • Koi fish are omnivores and like to eat fish food, algae, insects, shrimp, rice, peas, apples, bananas, berries, and hard-boiled eggs.
  • The most popular koi fish colors include red, black, blue, yellow, and white.
  • Koi fish are thought to be highly intelligent and can recognize their owners, have memory recollection, and have unique personalities.
  • In general, koi fish can reach up to three feet in size.
  • The largest koi fish was four feet.
  • Koi fish weigh an average of 35 pounds.
  • Koi fish live for about 35 years on average.
  • The oldest koi fish was thought to be over 200 years old.
  • There are around 100 different types of koi fish.
  • The rarest koi coloring is yellow and black.
  • The average cost of a koi fish is around $50, with one koi known for going for over a million dollars.
  • Koi fish can get sunburned, which is why they need access to shade.

Interesting Facts About Koi Fish

There are tons of interesting facts about koi fish if you're interested in learning more about them.

19 Koi Fish Facts That Will Make a Splash