Koi enthusiasts are aware of the great variety of colors and patterns associated with Koi Fish, and Black Koi are not much different to other Koi varieties outside of their coloring. Koi have been know for their incredible extended life span of up to two hundred years, but on average, with proper care and diet, they generally live between twenty-five to thirty-five years. If you have ever wondered how to distinguish the female from the male Koi, the one with the concave anal section is the male. Males Koi might also be recognized by a display of breeding spots or markings on the head. Black Koi fish, like all other Koi, spawn between spring and summer and can yield a result of as many as 1,000 eggs. Fry is the term used for baby Koi. Fry tend to begin emerging within four to seven days. This depends largely on water temperature. Then only after about three to twelve weeks of age do Fry begin to color.
These magnificent fish only came in a few color variations when the Japanese began breeding them from carp mutations. But throughout the years, with more breeding came more color variations and combinations of patterns, marking Koi Fish as a beautiful breed of fish indeed.
Black Koi specifically can mature to a length of thirty-six inches. For this reason, as it is with all Koi, it is a necessity to maintain a large pond for their environment. If a large pond is not manageable, then it is best to keep only a few Koi at a time. One of the first all black mutations, the Magoi species, can mature to an even larger size. In actuality, Black Koi are a rich bronze color but they look black when observed from above. The possibilities in Mogoi size brought about the reintroduction of their blood into other species. This is to maximize and hasten the potential of their growth.
A particular species of Black Koi fish is the Karasu. Karasu is the Japanese meaning “crow”. Like other Koi fish, the Karasu is an extremely old species. It is typically characterized by black fins and a black body, and can also be marked with a white or orange belly.
The environment and their diet directly affect Koi fish color. Typically, Koi will change color going from a duller or brighter shade. It is the Matsukawabake Koi species which posses the ability to change color, and it is the Black Koi that generally displays white areas on its body. However, this Koi Fish can turn completely black or completely white according to season changes or changes in water temperature. But, when conditions change this Koi Fish amazingly returns to its original pattern.
The most popular of the Black Koi species is the Kumonryu, which first appeared in the1980’s. Markings of the Kumonryu reminded some early observers of the bodies of dragons depicted in ancient paintings, while others imagined the fish to look like dragons ascending through white clouds in the sky, thus the meaning of Kumonryu “dragon fish”. These Koi have the ability to change their color in the same manner as the Matsukawabake.
The large variety of colors that Koi come in has been one of the attractions that draws pond owners to Koi, and an even bigger attraction is the idea of owning a fish with the ability to literally change color right before your very eyes. This characteristic is common in some of the Black Koi species.