Difference between Koi Fish & Goldfish

1 min

Difference between koi fish and goldfish.  There is one easy way to distinguish them apart.  I will show you in this video below, you will learn how to tell the difference between these fish in your backyard fish pond.

Brian Moore of Serenity Ponds joins me for discussion about koi fish, goldfish, fish breeding in general and a few other pond related topics.

Koi fish and goldfish are related yet not that closely. Consider them cousins.

Carp Cousins

Both koi and goldfish descend from types of carp fish.

Goldfish descended from the Prussian carp. Although Koi fish originally came through the same common carp lineage they were very selectively bred in Japan.  The Japanese highly value the various breeding lines.  Certain markings are considered good luck to the Japanese.  Koi bred in Japan are sharper in color and have more distinct separation between the colors.

Financial Investments

Koi fish are respectable financial investments for pond lovers.  As prices for koi have become astronomical you can now add them to your net worth.

Many backyard pond enthusiasts pay hundreds to thousands of dollars for their koi.  The substantial difference in the cost of a domestically bred koi versus one bred in Japan is apparent a koi auctions.

In 2018 a record amount of 1.8 million dollars was paid for a Japanese bred koi.

They have several important differences, though, and these differences translate to some major differences in care. Learn to tell these two fish apart.

Colors, patterns and body structure are the most particular distinction between the two fish types.

There are numerous ways to differentiate the two one from the other, yet the most straightforward route is to search for “barbels” or “hairs” close to the mouth. Koi will have these barbels on the lips, while goldfish don’t.

This video shows how apparent it is to tell the difference between koi fish and goldfish.



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Rick Davis


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