Species group: Koi
Other common names:
Scientific name: Cyprinus carpio
The Utsurimono Koi can have a a white, red or yellow base carrying only black markings in the same way as seen on the Showa. Utsuri means 'mirrored' which points out the ideal or traditional expression of the black patterning on these Koi as if one side is the mirror reflection of the other side. Nowadays less conventional or even artistic patterning is highly valued as long as there is balance. This variety is very popular; the white based version; Shiro Utsuri is the most loved one, but the red 'Hi Utsuri' is also highly valued. Good quality Ki Utsuri (yellow) are quite rare. The Ki Utsuri is a two-color, black bodied Koi with yellow markings.
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.