Sunday, November 15, 2009

Metallica, but without the bad music

Perhaps the most striking Koi we have here at the Koi Garden is a nice Metallic Showa. 

Showa koi are typically called "black fish with red and white markings."  This is because the Showa koi's base color (the main color of the belly, the mouth, and the base of the pectoral fins) is black.  My Koi-aphile friends say that metallic Koi have “an abundance of reflective iridocytes into their skin”.  What more normal people say is that a metallic Koi has a great looking metallic shine to their skin.  What we at the Koi Garden say is that we have a beautiful metallic Koi that we have named Metallica.

We got our Koi at one of our favorite Koi store (Oasis Water Gardens  We bought this Japanese Koi with a few of our other ones in a group, when they were about 3 inches long.  Buying Koi at that length is always a bit of a crap shoot.  It takes a while for Koi to show their true colors, if you will.  Reds take some time to develop.  The blacks of an infant fish will change as the fish grows larger.  Plus infant fish are tough to keep alive.  Once a fish reaches 12 inches it’s chances for survival get a lot better.  

 But this Koi has always been a little different.  Even when he was a small fish, he had a dark black base with a beautiful orange/red diagonal swath on its head.  That mark and the colors have stayed or even gotten better as the fish grows larger.  Metallic is now over 12 inches.  He has a beautiful shape representative of a nice male Koi. He also has an interesting personality.  He grabs his food and shakes his head as he takes control over those pesky food pellets!  If nothing else, the other fish give him wide latitude affording him little competition for a good meal.

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