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5 Types Of Koi Fish You’ll Love To See In Your Pond

These Are The More Popular Koi Fish Populating Ponds In Des Moines
Koi fish with a beautiful yellow lotus

You might not recognize the names of these koi fish but they are still the more popular types of koi fish out there. For one, their colorings are beautiful!

You can see the differences in these koi for yourself in the post below.

Aren’t Koi Just, Koi?

“Apparently not.”

Justin raises an eyebrow in disbelief. “Koi fish are koi fish, it’s not like there’s enough difference between subspecies or whatever to be able to tell.”

Koi fish pals

Nicole shakes her head. They’re trying to get koi fish for their pond and that’s how this pointless “heated discussion” started. Nicole keeps telling Justin there are different types of koi fish but he either doesn’t believe or doesn’t think it matters.

It’s just one of the many fish questions/answers they need to settle.

“Ok, fine, I’ll show you then.” Nicole whips out her phone to show Justin the differences there can be between 5 popular koi fish.

5 Popular Types Of Koi Fish

  1. Kohaku
  2. Taisho Sanke
  3. Showa
  4. Tancho
  5. Utsuri

“Ok, there’s the top 5. Now if we scroll down we can see the differences and learn a bit about them.”

1. Kohaku

“The king of koi right here!”

Kohaku koi fish are the king of all types of koi
Photo by Maxikoi – creative commons license 3.0 Unported

Kohaku koi always have 2 colors: white with red spots. Most of them also have yellow noses. They have a simple yet majestic beauty that makes them a treat for any water feature.

The red markings can either be darker with a purplish tinge or a brighter orange-red color.

Fun Fact: Kohaku koi were the first koi fish to develop 2 colors.

“Well, if it’s the king of koi we definitely need a few for our pond,” Justin says. “Let’s look at a few others farther down the page first,” Nicole says, scrolling down.

2. Taisho Sanke

“3 colors? The more the merrier!”

Sanke and Goshiki koi fish together
Photo by Maxikoi – creative commons license 3.0 Unported

These fish have mostly white and red markings with black spots mixed in. They do not have black markings on their heads which separates them from the next type of koi fish.

3. Showa

The difference here is that Showa koi tend to be mostly red and have black on their heads.

Showa koi fish
Photo by Maxikoi – creative commons license 3.0 Unported

“See? At least these 2 are basically the same fish, just slightly different markings,” Justin crows. “It takes a fine and sophisticated eye to see the difference. Maybe one day you’ll get there,” Nicole fires back.

Justin laughs as Nicole scrolls down to the next type of koi fish.

4. Tancho

“There is beauty in its simplicity.”

Tancho koi fish though this one is not the rare type of koi fish
Photo by Maxikoi – creative commons license 3.0 Unported

Tancho koi fish have one red dot on the top of their head. It is rare to find a perfect specimen, so you’ll usually see ones with other markings on their body as well.

Fun Fact: koi farmers can bleach or remove scales to make them “perfect”. Some even tattoo their koi to perfection!

“If only we could afford one! They’re just too expensive though,’ Nicole sighs sadly.

The couple scrolls down to the last type of koi fish.

5. Utsuri

“Now we’re back to 2 color koi.”

Black and white utsuri koi fish
Photo by Maxikoi – creative commons license 3.0 Unported

Utsuri koi have black bodies with one other color laced in. They can have red, white, or yellow/gold mixed in with the black.

“If we really want to get into the differences we might as well become koi fish judges,” Nicole says with a shrug. “Yeah, I’d rather not. I will agree there are differences between types of koi fish, if only slightly,” Justin admits.

Now the couple needs to figure out how many fish will fit in their pond.