Can Koi Fish Change Colours?

Koi Fish

Koi fish are widely known for their beautiful, vibrant, and attractive colours. Unlike other freshwater fish, they are ornamental fishes and they come in different variety of sizes and colours. Their variety of colour pallets is what attracts a lot of hobbyists to them. Some people believe koi change their colour.

This article will answer all your questions as regards koi fish and its colour. You will also get to know how to maintain your koi fish colour for it to stay vibrant for years.

Can Koi Fish Change Colors?

No, koi fish cannot change their colour. Rather they can lose their colour as a result of fading due to many factors like genetics, diet, improper care, and a lot more. Most times when they lose their colour as a result of one factor or the other or when their colour gets faded, people assume they’ve changed colour. In a real sense, they do not change colour.

Whenever you notice your koi fish losing its colour or the colour fading then it is an indication of a problem. Either they are not feeding well or they are unhappy with their environment.

How Can I Enhance My Koi Fish Color?

Koi colour enhancement is a topic of much interest, especially if you have expensive fish in your pond. There are many different ways to bring out the colour in your koi, but few of them are effective.

– Quality Food and Nutrition

There is some koi food that is designed to enhance growth and colour. These foods are packed with health vitamins for your koi’s growth and colour enhancers for their colour. Poor quality of food is one of the major reasons why your koi might lose its colour.

Poor quality food means poor nutrition. If you maintain a healthy diet and a conducive environment for your fish there is a higher chance of it maintaining its colour till adulthood.

For young koi fish, ensure their diet contains protein, fats, and vitamins. The protein enhances growth and muscle development while the day helps in weight gain. The vitamins will ensure they develop a strong immune system and the colour enhancers will maintain their colour and make it more vibrant. You can seek advice from a professional when choosing the best koi good brand for your beloved pet.

– Water Quality

Clearwater doesn’t guarantee that your water is of good quality. Always test your water using a test kit to check for the quality. Whenever you notice a change in substance or your fish behaviour, it’s always good to test the water.

Your koi can change colour and behaviour as a result of stress from the high level of ammonia, or pH. This can make your koi lose its vibrant colours. Sometimes you notice a change not from the water but your koi fish behaviour.

They are naturally happy and lively fishes, when you notice them hiding, not eating properly, or constantly swimming in circles, then it is an indication of poor water quality.

– Filtration and Aeration

Optimization of aeration and filtration helps in maintaining good water quality. Poor filtration cause ammonia buildup and this can stress your koi. In turn, this stress will make your koi fish lose colour.

Proper filtration and Aeration ensure an adequate supply of oxygen and this will ensure your koi thrive. In the absence of natural aerators, you can opt for an external one. An air pump can be used to aerate your tank.

– Prevent Stressors

Stress is not good for any type/specie of fish. It can be the major cause of why your koi fish is losing its colour. When your koi are constantly stressed, their colour begins to dull gradually and if the cause of this stress is not alleviated, their colour will get faded and they will become pale and happy.

Some of the causes of stress are poor water quality, tight environment, predators, and new environments. Koi fish are very sensitive, any little change can be stressful to them.

There are some stress relief products for koi fish in the market. You can purchase some for them to help improve their condition after solving the root cause.

How To Achieve A Bright Koi Fish Color

If you can take care of your Koi fish properly, then it can stay for a year maintaining its bright, vibrant colours. Here are a few tips on how to achieve and maintain your koi fish colour for years;

– Genetics

A lot of koi fish colour fades as a result of poor genes. The top colouring age for koi fish is around 2 years of age and as they get older, the colour begins to fade if they do not have a good gene. When buying koi fish from a pet store, make sure you buy from that which is from a good gene pool.

Most times, privately bred koi are of good genes and high quality and they can maintain their colour for years. High-quality koi fish means more money and also means more beautiful bright and lush koi. You will surely get value for your money.

– Environment

Creating a comfortable and stable environment that is about 4 ft deep and 10 ft wide will enable your koi fish to have good circulation and maintain a healthy weight.

These are important to maintain their colour. Their pond should always be free from films.

– Temperature

Koi fish colour becomes more vibrant with a cooler temperature. The cooler it gets the more it enhances the colour. For white koi, it gets whiter in cooler temperature/water and for red koi, the colour deepens.

– Nutrients

Always feed your koi with food packed with nutrients and colour enhancers. Some of the colour enhancers include carotene and spirulina. You can add them to your koi food to enhance their colour.

July and August are the prime growth month of koi fish, ensure to add these enhancers during these months more often to their food because colour change and enhancement occur during the growing months.

– Pond Color

Koi fish always adapt to their habitats. When choosing a colour for your pond, go for the one that can enhance its colour.

A darker habitat will help them deepen their pigment and in turn, their colour will become more vibrant. If your pond colour is light, the fish will adapt to the environment and have a lighter pigmentation or become pale.

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Koi fish are ornamental, bright, beautiful, and lively fish you can keep as a pet. As a new hobbyist, you might notice your koi fish changing its colour by becoming less vibrant or pale. This often happens as a result of poor nutrition, bad water, stress, and increased temperature among others.

You can help your koi fish maintain its vibrant colours by feeding it properly with food that contains vitamins like carotene and spirulina.

Some koi fish food also contains colour enhancers and they can be a good food choice for both growth and maintaining their colour. The cooler pond also helps in enhancing their colour and makes them happy.

Above all, stress is a major factor that makes koi lose their colour, you can do well to prevent any cause of stress to your koi fish, and this way they will maintain their vibrant lush colour while thriving stress-free in their ponds.

Written by Justin Michaels

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