Difference Between Koi & Goldfish

1 min


The difference between koi and goldfish is a common question amongst backyard pond enthusiasts.

Pond and koi fish experts from Koi Smart in Riviera Beach, Florida join me for more pond talk. John and Andy discuss how to tell the difference between these fish.

Andy tells us that the biggest difference is that Koi have whiskers, also known as barbels, whereas goldfish do not. He also mentions that this can be difficult to tell when the fish are young and small but as they grow larger it easily becomes evident.

While it is true that both koi and goldfish exist in similar colours and shapes.  The koi fish are generally longer and slimmer and goldfish can have some unusual features like bulbous heads and a multitude of wispy tail fins.

Family Background

These breeds both follow a lineage that comes from the carp.  Koi has been said to come from the common Japan carp while goldfish come from the Prussian carp.

When it comes to longevity Koi do have a lot of staying power.  Given the right conditions some koi have been known to live for 10 to 20 years in different parts of the world.  

In Japan, where koi are highly admired, the average life expectancy is over 40 years.

Our Koi Smart guests also talk about how big Koi fish can actually become. There are stories out there of growing over 3 feet or a metre in length.

I want to thank John and Andy from Koi Smart for their generous time spent chatting with me. We covered many topics.

America’s Best Koi & Goldfish Food

Camera and Video Recording Gear I use in making these pond videos:

Canon XA30 Professional Camcorder   

Nikon D7000 DSLR   

Zoom H5 Audio Recorder  

Sennheiser EW 100 Wireless Microphone    

Apple Final Cut Pro X Editing Software   

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Rick Davis

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