overhead
to


block


the


view


of


aerial


passers

-

by.


It

may
prove

necessary

to


string


nets


or


wires


above


the


surface.
A
pond


usually

includes

a

pump


and

filtration


system

to
keep
the


water


clear.
Koi

are


an

omnivorous

fish

and

will


often


eat


a

wide
variety

of


foods,


including


peas,


lettuce,


and

watermelon.
Koi

food


is


designed

not


only


to


be

nutritionally

balanced,
but

also


to


float


so

as

to


encourage


them

to


come


to


the
surface.
When

they


are


eating,


it

is


possible

to


check

Koi
for

parasites

and

ulcers.


Koi


will


recognize


the


person
feeding

them

and

gather


around

them

at


feeding


times.
They

can

be

trained

to


take


food


from

one's

hand.


In


the
winter,

their


digestive


system

slows


nearly


to


a

halt,


and
they

eat


very


little,

perhaps

no

more


than


nibbles

of


algae
from
the


bottom.


Their


appetite

will


not


come


back

until


the


water


becomes

warm


in


the


spring.


When

the
temperature

drops


below

50

degrees

Fahrenheit,

feeding,

particularly


with


protein,


is


halted


or


the


food


can

go
rancid

in


their


stomach,

causing


sickness.


Koi


can

live


for


centuries.


One


famous


scarlet


Koi,


named

"Hanako"
(c.

1751



July


7,


1977)

was


owned


by

several


individuals,


the


last

of


whom

was


Dr.


Komei


Koshihara.
Hanako

was


reportedly


226

years


old


upon


her


death.


Her

age

was


determined


by

removing

one

of


her


scales
and
examining

it

extensively


in


1966.
Breeding

KOI


-


Like


most


fish,


Koi


reproduce


through


spawning


during


which

a

female


lays


a

vast


number


of
eggs
and

one

or


more


males

fertilize

them.


According


to


the


size


of


the


female,


the


egg

count


during


a

spawn
could

be

anywhere


between


50,000

upwards


to


300,000

for


just

one

female.


Nurturing

the


resulting


offspring
(referred

to


as

"fry")


is


no

more


difficult


than


raising


the


fry

of


the


tropical


cichlids


that


Tropical

fish

hobbyist


do
every

day.


Although


a

Koi


breeder


may


carefully


select


the


parents


they


wish


based


on

their


desired
characteristics,

the


resulting


fry

will


nonetheless


exhibit


a

wide

range

of


color


and

quality.
As
previously


mentioned,


Koi


can

produce

literally

thousands

of


offspring


from

a

single

spawning.


However,
unlike
cattle,


purebred


dogs,


or


more


relevantly,

goldfish,


the


large


majority


of


these


offspring,


even

from

the
best

champion

-

grade

Koi,


will


not


be

acceptable


as

Nishikigoi.

In


other


words,


they


won't

all


bear


coloration


or
design

of


coloration


when


compared


to


their


parents.


Thats


when


the


culling


process


begins


as

in


addition


to
run
-

of

-

the

-

mill

coloration


and

design


there


are


almost


always

some


that


are


genetically


defective.


Could

be

a
crooked
spine,


misshapen


tail


or


some


other


physical


defect.