In Japan, the carp is a symbol of friendship and love, and also stands for resilience and courage. It was in this country that fish began to be domesticated a thousand years ago. The inhabitant of aquariums, the koi carp (or brocade carp) managed to fall in love with many people around the world for its amazing appearance. Who would have thought that this ornamental fish with a bright color has come a long way from the most ordinary carp.
The name carp koi is decorative domesticated fish, bred from the Amur subspecies of carp. Initially, fish were bred only for human consumption. In some Japanese regions, fish farming was the only source of food. Later, they began to notice that some fish have a brighter color. Such animals began to be selected specifically for home ornamental ponds. Nowadays, koi carp bear little resemblance to their ancestors.
Now more than 80 breeds are known, there are about 16 groups of koi carp that are similar in their characteristics. Koi carp are considered to be fish that have passed 6 selection selections and are assigned to this category. These are large, bright and colorful fish. There are individuals with black, red, white, cream, golden, blue, orange, gray colors in color. Fish are both plain and colorful.
Koi carp are distinguished not only by a variety of colors, but also by a unique physique, proportions, shape of fins and head. Adults reach 20-23 cm in length. Females have a more powerful body than males. The male is distinguished by a narrower head and more powerful pectoral fins, the appearance of growths (tubercles) on the gills. Koi should have well-proportioned fins and a medium-sized symmetrical head.
A feature that the koi inherited from their ancestors — characteristic mustache. The body is dense, the tail is powerful and single. The texture and coloring in the characteristic do not have global significance. It is generally accepted that each variety is unique in its color combination. The skin should be even and shiny. Most often, preference is given to individuals with brightly defined and balanced spots in color.
In their natural environment, koi live in ponds and have high water quality requirements. Prefers well-aerated artificial reservoirs with clear water. They feel most comfortable at a depth of 0.5 m and practically do not fall below 1.5 m. The fish are very mobile, so a large pond is required. As a rule, they are left to winter in the pond. Koi carp tolerate temperatures as low as 4 degrees.
In addition to artificial ponds, koi are often bred in aquariums. For their maintenance, a large aquarium with a capacity of more than 500 liters is required. For a comfortable existence, a minimum of 5 liters per centimeter of the body is required. A good filter and daily changes of at least 30% of the water of the aquarium volume are required. A comfortable water temperature is 15–30 C. But in feeding these fish are quite unpretentious.
Koi carps are quite voracious, they love both animal and vegetable food. Many manufacturers have special feed for them. As a top dressing, you can add seafood like shrimp and gammarus, as well as various cereals. It is advisable to add food with a color enhancer to the diet. It is necessary to feed the fish several times a day in small portions. On the day they should eat about 2-3% of their weight.
Koi are distinguished by excellent intelligence, calm character and a complete lack of aggression. It lends itself well to training and easily gets used to people. These fish can easily be trained to be hand-fed. A carp that recognizes its owner may swim up and allow itself to be stroked. In general, this is an ordinary pet, from communication with which you can get a lot of positive emotions.
Despite the peaceful nature, it is difficult to find neighbors for koi carps. Before, because of their specific environmental requirements. Of great importance is the size of the fish, which will affect the hierarchy. Too small fish are not suitable for this role, because everything that fits in the mouth will definitely be eaten. Usually, this role is chosen for us by long-bodied goldfish, large catfish, some types of rainbows, golden orphs.
An individual that has reached the age of two is ready for reproduction. It is difficult to pick up a female and a male, up to 23 cm they differ little. But females can be identified by a more rounded and larger body, rounded edges of the pectoral fins. Usually the sex is determined by depositing and personally inspecting the fish. Males have an elongated anus, stroking which releases sex products. In females, it is round, there is no discharge.
For spawning take one female and 2-3 males. Perfect timing — the end of May or the beginning of June at an air temperature of at least 20 degrees. It is better to put the parents in a separate pond, change the water more often and feed the fish with abundant animal food. After laying out the eggs, it is necessary to put the fish again so that they do not mistake the eggs for food. A week later, the larvae appear. After another 3 days, you can start feeding with protein food.
It is worth remembering that if carps are not properly cared for, they begin to be overcome by diseases. In fish, immunity begins to decrease, which leads to carp pox and spring viremia of cyprinids. Parasites may appear. very often, koi carps are attacked by bacterial diseases: pseudomocos, aeromocos, epitheliocystosis. They lead to ulcers, breathing problems and subsequent death of the fish.
Thus, koi — An interesting fish that has won love around the world. Koi carp have a bright and varied color that attracts a lot of attention, and an excellent peace-loving character. They can truly decorate an artificial pond or aquarium, and fit perfectly into the Japanese style. With proper care, they are able to live for many years and give their owners a lot of positive.