For those of you who love Koi Fish, the Black Koi, specifically the Karasu, which is Japanese for ” crow”, its an exceptionally old variety of Koi. These Koi are generally characterized by black fins along with a black body. It can also have marks of orange or white on the belly.
The Black Koi can reach lengths of 36 inches when mature and in a large pond, their environment must be maintained properly, to ensure they are and stay healthy. Another one of the first black mutations is the Magoi Black Koi and they can grow to an even larger size, once matured. The color of a Black Koi is actually a rich Bronze color, but when viewed from above, they look black. The possibilities in Magoi size, brought about the reintroduction of their blood into other species, to speed up and maximize the full potential of their growth.
A Koi`s color is directly affected by their diet and environment and will typically change color, going from a less lustrous or brighter hue. The Matsukawabake Koi is a Black Koi that has the ability to change color and generally has white areas on their bodies. This Koi species can change into completely black OR completely white, depending on changes in water temperature or season changes. Then, once conditions change, this Koi can astonishingly change back to regain it`s original pattern.
The most popular Black Koi species is the Kumonryu and it first showed up in the 1980`s. The markings on this Koi reminded some early observers of the bodies of Dragons, which are shown in historic paintings and others saw the fish as Dragons rising through the white clouds in the sky, therefore the meaning of Kumonryu is ” Dragon Fish”. as per http://michaelcharris.articlealley.com
These Koi have the same ability to change color as the Matsukawabake. When the Japanese first started breeding Koi, there were only a few color variations, but through years of breeding there are now more color variations and combinations of patterns than ever before! With proper diet and care,they can live from 25 to 35 years, though on record, they have lived over 200 years.
To tell male from female, the male has a concave anal section and might also be distinguished by the breeding spots or markings on the head. Like all other Koi, Black Koi spawn from spring through summer, laying as many as 1,000 eggs.
The fry generally emerge after 4 to 7 days, depending on water temperature. Koi fry will start to color only after from 3 to 12 weeks of age. One of the biggest attractions to this fish is it`s ability to change colors, literally before your eyes! This is very common among many varieties of Black Koi. For more info, you can visit: www.koifishschool.com
Image source en.wikipedia.org used with permission
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