Cyprinus: Latin, cyprinus = carp
Koi are specially bred for their colour, all the different varieties are the same species. They have been bred in captivity since the fifth century when wild carp were first aqua-cultured for food in China. But it wasn't until the 1820's that the fish were bred for their colour in Japan. Koi are not suitable for an aquarium, they really need to be housed properly in a pond of at least 9,000 litres with a minimum depth of four feet. The pond should also have very good filtration with out which you will never see them. In good conditions a Koi could reach 90 to 120 cms (18 - 24 inches) in two to three years, so even a large aquarium isn't suitable.
Koi will eat everything offered. Most Koi are fed on a basic diet of pelleted food which has been specially formulated for them. They will also eat any worms, crustaceans and insects that they come across along with aquatic plants and algae.
Male koi are smaller and less plump than female koi when adult.
Koi are egg scatterers and do not exhibit any brood care. They come in to breeding condition in late Spring to early Summer. The male usually chases the female through the vegetation where the eggs and sperm are released. Both parents will eat their own eggs if they find them.
Koi have been introduced in to the wild both accidentally and on purpose and in some areas they have become a nuisance.
pH: 7.2 - 7.8
dGH: 5 - 12
Temperature: 3 - 28°C (35 - 82°F)
Size: 100cm (39.5in)
Min tank size: 9,000 litres - pond
Difficulty level: Intermediate
Aquarium type: Community
Swimming level: All levels
Origin: Koi do not have a wild range. Artificially introduced worldwide with the exception of Antarctica
Habitat: Ponds, lakes and canals where they have been introduced.
Species: C. carpio, Linnaeus, 1758
Carpio carpio gibbosus,
Cyprinus carpio anatolicus, Cyprinus carpio aralensis,
Cyprinus carpio brevicirri, Cyprinus carpio carpio,
Cyprinus carpio caspicus,
Cyprinus carpio communis, Cyprinus carpio elongatus, Cyprinus carpio fluviatilis, Cyprinus carpio lacustris,
Cyprinus carpio longicirri, Cyprinus carpio monstrosus, Cyprinus carpio oblongus,
Cyprinus carpio specularis, Cyprinus carpio var. gibbosus, Cyprinus chinensis,