A Little History About the Koi in Your Waterfall Pond

The Koi fish were originally the breeding of the common brown Asian carp and the German carp. As far back as 470 B.C. the carp were cultured for food as well as for color. The first color mutations appeared around 1805. True strains include: Asagi, Ginmatsuba, Kohaku, Kujyaku, Taisho Sanke, Platnum Ogon, Yamabuki Ogon, Showa, Doistu and Kawarimono. In the US the three big favorites are Kohaku, Taisho Sanke, and Showa Sanke. Both the Taisho Sanke and Showa Sanke are various proportions of white, black and red. Another favorite are the Ogons. They look like they are made from gold or platinum metallic. The most prized Koi in Japan is the Kohaku which is a pure white fish with red patches arranged in stepping stone patterns.

The Japanese produced the majority of modern varieties of Koi in the 18th century. Only in Niigata area of Japan were carp refined successfully. They selectively bred them for the beauty that we see today. The Japanese had very isolated winters with huge snow accumulations. Because it was so cold and there were 20 or more feet of snow, the farmers brought their Koi inside for the winter. With the harsh winters the farmers had much time to think and one smart farmer saw the potential in raising Koi and selling them to others. I would like to personally thank him for his idea which now allows me to have very beautiful Koi. Thanks to him and others in Japan we now have Koi in several awesome colors. They range from the purest white to yellow, orange and red, near lavender, blues, greens and black. Of course the patterns and color combinations are limitless.

The Japanese love their Koi and believe they possess strength, health, persistence, luck, wealth, and destiny. It is no wonder that they have Koi ponds at their homes as often as we have dogs and cats in our homes. The color red is known to express happy or bright feelings. Because of this the Japanese prefer the majority of Koi in their pond be Kohaku. In China, statues of a carp are given to a student beginning school. This is based on the story of the carp leaping up a waterfall and swimming upstream to reach the headwater. It then turned into a dragon. This is very symbolic for a student first attending school. These same statues are seen in the US at most fish stores. I have one and had no idea of its importance when I first purchased it. Now it is more than just pretty, it is a symbol of what can be accomplished if you try hard enough.

Today Koi for your waterfall pond [http://www.pondfiltersandmore.com] are bred in Japan, Singapore, Israel, and in the warm American states. Most commonly they are raised in California. These fish are sold in sizes ranging from 3 to 24 inches. The Koi continue to be bred for beauty and new strains. Two such Koi are the long fin or butterfly Koi and the Gin Rin Koi. They have scales that sparkle like diamonds. I know they will continue to produce many more beautiful species of Koi. I love the gorgeous Koi in my waterfalls garden and I know you do too. A big thank you goes out to the Japanese farmers of past and the farmers of the future.


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