Species group: Koi
Other common names: Tanchozuru
Scientific name: Cyprinus carpio
The Tancho Koi (named after the Japanese crane) variety of Koi is distinguished by a red crown that resembles the red symbol of the Japanese flag. Tancho is actually short for Tanchozuru, meaning Japanese crane bird. This equally magnificent bird, shows the same red marking on only the head.
Tancho Kohaku are Kohaku with only a round red marking on the head, but there are manny Tancho varieties like Tancho Sanke, Tancho Showa, Tancho Kujaku, Tancho Goshiki etc. As long as there are no other red markings on the Koi, they are called Tancho.
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.