A Guide for New Koi Keepers by Mike Savage of New Canaan

The vibrant colors and graceful movements of koi fish have captivated people for centuries. 

If you’re considering adding these mesmerizing creatures to your pond, selecting the right varieties is crucial. With over 100 koi varieties to choose from, it can be overwhelming! 

But worry not, this guide will help you navigate the exciting world of koi selection.


Considering Your Pond’s Ecosystem

Before diving into varieties, think about your pond’s capacity. Koi can grow quite large, so consider the pond’s size and filtration system. A good rule of thumb is to allow 1000 gallons of water for every 10 inches of mature koi length.

You also need to consider the seasonal care of your koi pond as the delicate balance of temperatures and weather can affect how you treat the water and the living creatures inside. 


The Alluring World of Koi Varieties

Now, let’s explore the dazzling world of koi varieties! Here are some popular options to consider:

  • The Gosanke: These “Big Three” varieties are highly sought-after for their classic elegance.
    • Kohaku: Characterized by a white body with vibrant red markings.
    • Showa: Known for their bold black markings with red and white patches.
    • Sanke: Similar to Showa, but with less black and a higher emphasis on red and white.


  • The Doitsu Varieties: Recognized for their metallic sheen and lack of barbels (whiskers).
    • Doitsu-Gaishi: A metallic koi with blue or grey body and a white or yellow pattern.
    • Shubunkin: A colorful variety with a mix of red, white, black, and blue markings.


  • The Kawarimono: This diverse group encompasses many unique varieties.
    • Bekko: Black koi with red, yellow, or cream markings.
    • Kin Gin Rin: Metallic koi with shimmering scales that reflect light like gold and silver.

No matter which variety you choose, the proper nutrition and diet for your koi is key in keeping these wonderful fish alive, healthy and happy.

Choosing Koi for Harmony

Beyond aesthetics, consider how the chosen varieties will interact. Some koi, like carp varieties, can be more finicky eaters and might outcompete slower fish for food.


  • Research individual varieties: Each koi type has specific care requirements. Ensure your pond setup caters to their needs.
  • Start small: It’s tempting to fill your pond immediately, but introduce koi gradually to give your filtration system time to adjust.
  • Enjoy the journey! Choosing koi varieties is a fun and personal process. Let your preferences guide you while creating a beautiful and harmonious underwater haven.

With careful planning and this guide as your companion, you’ll be well on your way to selecting the perfect koi varieties for your pond. Remember, a thriving koi pond is not just about the fish; it’s about creating a balanced ecosystem for these living jewels to flourish.



Michael Savage from New Canaan is the Founder of 1-800 Accountant that helps businesses with their accounting services and needs through cutting-edge technology and customer support. He runs the company alongside CEO Brendon Pack.

In his spare time, Savage enjoys creating collecting Michael Jordan sneakers, vintage Lego sets, and admiring muscle cars and unique pop art. He and his wife also spearhead the Savage-Rivera foundation to help impoverished families in Honduras.