How Long Do Koi Fish Live? Keeping Up With The Koi

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Did you know that koi fishes are more popular pets than dogs in Japan and can live up to 200 years?

There are regular Japanese koi competitions similar to dog shows to award the most prized Japanese koi. Various kinds of tricks can be taught to the fish, like making them pass through rings.

The passing through rings trick requires patience but is a show-stopper. Although Japanese koi look like giant goldfish, they’re not related to goldfishes even remotely and are a completely different species. Koi fish are a species of carp and are one of the most expensive and sought-after pet fish in the world. Koi fish like being pet on the head and will come near the surface of koi ponds to be pet on the head.

You may wonder what makes these fishes so expensive and why are Japanese people so obsessed with them. Well, koi were first raised in the 1700s in Japan by rice farmers who soon started breeding koi for their beautiful colors and aesthetic patterns. People then began keeping these fish as pets because they were easy to manage and very appealing to look at. Similar to the practice of breeding prized dog breeds in many parts of the globe, koi breeding is very important to Japanese people. Another famous type of fish is the hiro fish. Hiro are also known as fighting fish since they have a tendency to pick fights with their own feet or tail.

There are competitions held regularly for the family of koi owners in Japan to award the best-trained pet koi. Competition judges and potential koi buyers take notice of various characteristics like how healthy the koi looks, its body size and shape, and the grace the fish displays while moving through the water. The most attractive and important trait they look for is the koi’s coloring. The most sought-after koi are the ones that have beautiful skin patterns and a semblance of different colors that are unique to their variety. For example, there are some varieties of koi that have beautiful light blue spots. Then there are other ones that have large red patches on the backside of their bodies or fish that have scales that are metallic or golden in color. There are certain parameters for the water of koi ponds that must be measured and correct before keeping the fish and it is important to follow the minimum scales criteria.

After finding out the answer to how long do koi fish live, why not increase your knowledge and find out the answers to what do koi fish eat and how to take care of a fish?

Koi fish are one of the hardiest fish you can own as a beautiful addition to your aquarium. Being a koi fish owner from a family brings a lot of responsibility. Although these fish are not particularly high-maintenance, their life expectancy is way longer than any other pet. If you’re looking forward to getting a koi fish, then you may wonder; how long do koi fish live? Different breeds have different lifespans in captivity.

In the wild, where koi fish have to survive on their own and look out for themselves, they have a comparatively shorter life span, whereas they can live up to 70 years in captivity. In fact, it is more common than you might imagine finding a koi in Japan that is more than 100 years old. This is why koi fishes are so loved around the globe.

After whales, tortoises, tuataras, and whales, koi fish are the oldest vertebrates with the longest lifespan, which can be up to 200 years long. The koi fish Hanako is regarded as the oldest koi fish ever as she was reported to be 226 at the time of her death. Her long lifespan may lead you to wonder; why do Japanese koi fish live longer?

Japan has been the home to the beautiful koi fish for many years thanks to its clean and fresh environment, and therefore, Japanese koi breeders have had longer than other breeders to develop and enhance the quality and longevity of this adorable fish. Even when the koi fish was exported out of Japan to other countries for breeding purposes, the best quality, healthy koi, were never exported out of Japan. This means that the quality of koi present in Japan is far better than the quality of koi in other parts of the world. The western koi breeders constantly try to modify the quality of the koi in order to compete with the Japanese kind, and in this race to compete with the Japanese breeders, the main focus is has been increased growth rate, which over time has led to a greatly shortened lifespan.

Koi fish is the most popular fish breed in the world, thanks to their long lifespan. However, although they are one of the oldest living fish in the world, their age can vary depending upon their circumstances, environment, and genetics.

Environmental factors that are ideal for a long lifespan include fresh, clean water and preferably a natural habitat like a river or a pond. In an artificial setting, quality water and proper oxygen filtration are really important. The feeding methods and quality of diet also matter, especially during the long, cold winter months. The koi’s metabolism slows down drastically during the harsh, cold winters. During this cold period, the koi fish may lose their appetite and eat very little food. In fact, during the period of the coldest months, experts recommended completely stopping feeding your koi fish. Overfeeding the fish during this time can choke its system and kill it. Other factors that can shorten the lifespan of koi are climatic conditions, starvation, and underlying diseases that can be caused by unclean water in ponds or your aquarium.

The genetics inherited by the koi fish are also a significant factor in determining the potential koi lifespan. As this beautiful koi fish species was first discovered and bred in Japan, they were originally called Nishikigoi. These ornamental carp are bred for their unique traits, such as body shape and the color of their skin. Larger fish are more expensive, but only if the body shape and their color are well maintained and appealing. In other countries, koi are bred as exotic ornaments. For example, another breed of koi, known as butterfly koi, is bred to be sturdier with an extended koi lifespan and exhibit faster growth. Therefore, koi fish like Hanako that have lived for centuries are extremely rare.

Koi fish have a significantly longer lifespan, which, although makes them very popular pets, means they require a ton of attention and responsibility to keep them healthy.

These ornamental koi fish live long lives and are very low-maintenance: they have no particular food habits and can withstand most environmental conditions. However, like all pets, they require proper care in captivity. The happier and healthier the carp is, the longer it lives. Here’s how you can create ideal captivity conditions that would increase your koi fish’s longevity that all koi owners should be aware of:

Ideal tank size: Koi are extremely active fishes and love to swim all day and sometimes at night if they’re hungry. The ideal tank size for your beloved pet koi fish depends on the kind of koi you own and their growth rate, but there are some common guidelines for all kinds of ornamental carps you can follow.

Small-sized koi fish can be kept in a tank that can hold about 30-50-gallons of water. Big-sized koi fish need a large tank, preferably a 40-inch (1m) deep water pond that can hold at least 100 gallons of water per fish. A thousand-gallon water tank which is at least 75 inches (1.9 m) deep is needed to accommodate a group of koi fish.

Make sure that the fish tank you use is away from direct sunlight and doesn’t get too hot, and keep the lid of your aquarium closed at all times to avoid any splashing.

When getting a new koi fish tank or building an artificial koi pond, try to add only a couple of fish initially, especially if they’re fully grown adults. Make sure to create a gene pool by mixing both male koi and female koi. By introducing a lot of fish at the same time, it can get quite messy due to the sudden influx of waste that can contaminate the food and lead to various infections, even in an expensive tank. The life expectancy of fish in a good environment is higher than the life expectancy of ones in a bad environment so make sure to be a good owner of the fish and create a good environment for them.

Filter and water quality: Make sure that the filtering system of your fish tank is strong enough to cycle the complete capacity of the tank at least three times every day to enhance water quality. The koi fish live for long times and are strong enough to withstand most environmental conditions and survive in poor water quality, which has some amount of ammonia in it, but they are highly prone to catching ammonia poisoning, which is the leading cause of death in kois.

When the koi are kept in a deep enough koi pond, it allows koi fish to hibernate under the ice in winter months and slow down their metabolism to live without much food. This significantly increases their longevity.

Maintain proper Ph: The pH level of the water tank should be perfect in order to take the best care of your carp and ensure the best water quality. The Ph should be between 7.0-9.0.

Lights: While keeping your fish tank under direct sunlight is a bad idea, especially in the summer, your fish do need a couple of hours in the sunlight every day in order to stay healthy.

While installing an artificial koi fish pond in your backyard, keep in mind that you should install it in a shaded area.

Substrate: In order to provide your koi a better experience, you could use a generous layer of substrate in the fish tank to make it resemble their natural wild habitat and so that they don’t feel lonely.

You may also want to keep in mind that koi fish love to dig at the bottom of the tank, so adding any plants would be a bad idea as the plants would end up being uprooted by the fish.

Diet: These fish love eating and would never refuse food no matter how much you feed them. Although feeding them would seem like a great way to show your love, experts suggest giving them as little food as possible. We can feed our koi fish a diet of small fish and insects and even feed them plants and algae.

Did you know that if you see a 2-inch koi fish, it is probably anywhere between 2 to 4 months of age?Overeating and obesity can significantly lower the age expectancy of your beloved fish.

Kois are beautiful fish that have the ability to live for hundreds of years. Some carps die after 30-40 years while some can live over a century, which may lead one to wonder; what age is considered old for a koi, and do they die of old age?

The lifecycle of kois depends upon their species. While the western domestic koi fish and wild koi fish reach old age in their thirties, the Japanese koi are in their middle age during the same phase as they can live over generations. While fish don’t particularly die of old age, all species of the koi have something in common. With growing age, the ornamental carp loses its ability to see clearly and hibernate. Their immune system starts shutting down, which makes them more susceptible to parasites and infections and ammonia poisoning in poor water quality, which can lead to their death. During old age, hibernation during the cold months becomes difficult and many kois die of cold shock. There are various reasons why fish go into hibernation. If the water gets too dirty, for example, the fish tend to go into hibernation.

We’ve talked a lot about how long these beautiful koi fish live, which may make you wonder how old the longest living koi fish was when it died. We have an answer that will amaze you!

Koi Hanako is the oldest koi fish who lived up to the age of 226 years. She was born in Japan in the year 1751. She was born in the initial year of the Horeki, which was in the middle of the Japanese Tokugawa era. Hanako, the female carp, died in 1977 after having lived for a whopping 226 years. Hanako holds the world record for not only being the longest living koi but also for being the oldest freshwater fish to ever live. Her record of living over three generations still stands today and we don’t think Hanako’s record is going to get broken any time soon. The name Hanako translates to “flower girl” in Japanese.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for how long do koi fish live then why not take a look at how often to feed fish, or Koi Fish Facts.

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