Descended from wild asian carp, Koi have been selectively bred for generations to enhance their beauty. Originally kept by farmers as a winter food source, carp were kept in small ponds, isolated from their wild bretheren that roamed the creeks and rivers of asia. Over time, these isolated populations began breeding, and the farmers noticed some of the offspring had mutations in the form of red scales. Intrigued by this, they spared the colored carp from the plate, separated them from the plain carp, and began to breed the most attractive colored carp with those from other farmers. This first mutation is thought to have occurred sometime in the early 19th century, though aquaculture (the keeping of fish) dates back thousands of years.
The further development of Koi as we know them today was pioneered by the Japanese. B y 1915 a triple colored Koi was introduced at a fish show in Tokyo, after which Koi keeping became very popular in Japan. The development of the plastic bag in the 1950s allowed live Koi to be shipped worldwide with high survival rates, due in part to their hardy carp ancestors. The popularity of Koi continued to spread worldwide, and over time the beautiful variety of colors we see today were developed. Seeking a more ornamental koi, several breeders developed what is known today as the Butterfly Koi.
Butterfly Koi, also known as Longfin Koi and Dragon Carp, are easily recognized by their long flowing fins, which make them the stars of many ponds. Butterfly Koi are the result of a mid 20th century cross between Standard Koi, which provided the color, and an unattractive, grey indonesian grass carp that had long, flowing fins. Interestingly, Butterfly Koi fry are actually grey in color at first, with the stunning colors beginning to appear as they mature. Butterfly Koi come in a variety of colors, from solid yellow to tri-color patterns.
Today, there are over a dozen officially recognized Koi color combinations, each with several different patterns, which become more prominent with age. Koi can grow up to three feet long and live up to 50 years with proper care and feeding, and will rise to greet you at the edge of the water for their daily feeding.
They are graceful in the water, and once you see their scales sparkling in the the sun, you will understand why they are called living jewels. It's easy to become mesmerized as you sit and watch their movements while your stress melts away. No pond is complete without them.
We stock a mixed variety of Koi at our showroom for you to choose from, so stop on by. You may also order them from our online store www.ThePondHub.com where we have premium and standard grades of Koi, as well as Butterfly Koi and the following varieties of goldfish: Comets, Sarasa Comets, and Shubunkins. All mix well with and compliment the Koi and Butterfly Koi we sell.