Sanke Koi

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Species group:

Other common names: Taisho Sanshoku

Scientific name: Cyprinus carpio

The basics:

The Sanke Koi (Taisho Sanshoku) shows three colors; a white base with red patterning and black spots. An ideal Sanke leaves a good Kohaku patterning when the black markings are left out. The Sanke is not supposed to have black markings on its head, but a black marking is highly appreciated in the shoulder area. There are two main types of Sanke, one with just a few big black markings and one with several small black markings (matsunosuke zumi). Of all modern varieties, Sanke is the most difficult to breed, due to the balance in its patterning which is easily disturbed. Sanke can have some black stripes in its pectoral fins, called tejima.

10-36 inches

Koi are peaceful, social fish but can cause stress to other fishes because of their constant activity. They are compatible with similarly active and constantly feeding species like the Goldfish.

Koi grow large, up to about 3 feet or more, making an outdoor pond the only suitable habitat for them. Ponds should be at least 500 gallons in capacity, requiring larger sizes for bigger and more mature communities. For areas that freeze in the winter, pond depth should be at least 4 feet, and heaters must be provided to prevent the pond from completely freezing over. Water should be well oxygenated and efficiently filtered because of the fish’s tendency to excrete large amounts of waste. Outdoor ponds should be protected from predators like cats and raccoons, and from winged fish-eaters like herons, hawks, and eagles. Net or wire screens are recommended, so are shade trees to cover the pond from airborne predators. Floating plants like lotus and water cabbage, as well as bamboo canopies, are often used to provide shade and some protection for the fish especially in the summer

37.00-77.00 °F


0.000-0.000 mg/L



long lifespans, outdoor ponds, color patterns, peaceful fish, living jewel


excellent breeder fish, long term investment, colourings, different varieties, famous Matsunosuke

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