WHAT KIND OF KOI IS THAT?
I want to talk about the different colorations in koi, namely
the basic varieties that many of us may want to add to the pond
this year, if we don’t already have one.
First is the very special Tancho. This is the all white fish
with the red circle on its head. The red circle is said to
signify the rising sun of Japan so is a sacred symbol of their
The fish should have a very clear and deep white color with no
pink or yellow cast to it and the red circle should be as close
to centered as possible. Now, this fish will still be a Tancho
if you add black markings, but it will become a Tancho Bekko or
Tancho Sanke (which is more correct).
I could even be a Tancho Showa if the black color extends down
to the nose area. But the round red “sun” should remain circular
and centered on its head. It will not be eliminated from
competition if it is sort of square, but round is better.
The next type is the Kohaku, the standard for all other markings
in koi. It is a basic red and white koi and the markings can be
in any fashion as long as there is only red and white. The best
fish will have clear, clean white and deep red with crisp
markings between the two colors. This is probably the most
favored koi with hobbyists and breeders alike.
Their colors are easily seen and appreciated in a pond and are
the basis for many other color types.
Next is Sanke, which is simply a Kohaku with black markings on
its back or sides. It cannot have black markings on its head
however or it becomes, then, a Showa. Both are the basic Kohaku
with black markings added.
Now, one more lesson and we are through: Ogon. The word Ogon
signifies single-colored fish. So, if you have an all-yellow or
all-white fish, you have an Ogon. Sure, there will be another
name before –Ogon to signify what type Ogon (i.e.- yellow or
white) but it will be Ogon, nonetheless. So if you have an all
white Ogon, you probably have a Platinum Ogon. And if you have a
yellow Ogon, it is a Yamabuki Ogon.
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