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Koi or more specifically nishikigoi, are colored varieties of the Amur carp that are kept for decorative purposes in outdoor koi ponds or water gardens. Koi is an informal name for the colored variants of C. rubrofuscus kept for ornamental purposes. There are many varieties of ornamental koi, originating from breeding that began in Niigata, Japan in the early 19th century.Several varieties are recognized by the Japanese, distinguished by coloration, patterning, and scalation. Some of the major colors are white, black, red, orange, yellow, blue, brown and cream, besides metallic shades like gold and silver-white ('platinum') scales.

Lifespan: 25 – 35 years
Scientific name: Cyprinus rubrofuscus
Higher classification: Common carp


Koi are pretty temperature-resistant— they can even hibernate under ice in winter. Just be sure your pond is at least three feet deep— otherwise, it could freeze solid, and koi aren't that tough. When they live indoors, koi prefer cool water between 65 and 75 degrees F (18 to 24 C).

Water Conditions

Most tap water is around 7.4 to 7.6, which is perfect for Koi, as they do best in water at 7.2 - 8.0. Koi can actually tolerate a wide range of PH, from 6.5 all the way up to 9.0, but they cannot tolerate a rapid change, no more than 0.2 per hour. Acceptable rang for happy Koi is 7.4 - 8.4.


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