Koi Quality

With dogs, horses, cats, and cows, there is “show” quality, and there are varying degrees of lower classes for different levels of participation. The koi hobby has its varying degrees as well; the four basic grades of koi are AAA, AA, A, and pond grade. Hardscape Materials only sells the higher grades of koi. Selecting your koi is fun! The best advice: choose a fish you like.

Koi collectors usually base their decision on several factors:

40% size and shape In small fish, size is not as important as they are going to grow fast in the first 2-3 years. The desired shape is a symmetrical and husky-looking fish. Look for a well-shaped body and head. Look at all the fins and make sure they are in good shape; check to see that the spine is straight. Females are generally huskier than males.

20% pattern Unique patterns are more desirable, with lightning patterns even more popular. Crisp edges to patterns are preferred, and a lack of blemishes is important. No “dirty” face, head, nostrils, etc. In Doitsu, the scale pattern should be symmetrical.

20% color Depth and purity of color is very important; a delicate, creamy white with a depth to it. A deep black. A pure red. The depth of luster is sought after–especially in metallic varieties.

20% is their star celebrity elegance. Intelligence and personality, social behavior and graces all play in to a regal presence while swimming around the pond.