Koi: History & Care Information
Koi, or Nishikigoi, are the national fish of Japan. The word "Nishiki" describes a colorful brocade in Japanese and "koi" means carp. Therefore, Nishikigoi can be roughly translated to "colorful brocaded carp." Koi are thought to have originated in the Middle Eastern region now known as Iran from the common carp. Over a thousand years ago, carp were widely traded as a staple food source, exported to Japan, China, and Western Europe.
Koi were first bred in Japan in the 1820's, initially in the town of Ojiya in the Japanese prefecture of Niigata. While they were still being bred for food, these brown fish occasionally produced red and blue mutations. Through selective breeding, the red and white variety - recognizable as the modern ornamental Koi - was eventually perfected in 1870. More than 100 color varieties have been bred from this single species of fish, including a glossy-scaled variety in Germany now known as the "mirror" or "German" carp.
Care & Feeding