Ghost Koi were first conceived in the 1980’s when Koi Carp bred with more naturally coloured wild carp. The end result was fish which are characterised by many of the traits of true Koi Carp (Nishikigoi) but with dark scales down the back and often dark markings on the face and body.
In the 1980’s Japan when Koi farmers came across such fish, they would be culled on account of being undesirable. While Ghost Koi were often almost fully black in the ’80s, the present-day versions are much more colourful, coming in both scaled and scale-less (known as doitsu) varieties; and as a result, have become a staple feature in many Koi ponds worldwide. We can thank Koi pioneering countries such as Israel, for the beautiful specimens we see today.
Ghost Koi are genetically identical to true Nishikigoi. While the wild Amur carp species may have separated from the Koi Carp in looks due to hybridising the two varieties, they’re very much still the same species and are able to produce fertile offspring. One of the key differences other than colour, is Ghost Koi tend to be more voracious, eating more than their counterparts.
In our experiences Ghost Koi grow to a similar overall size as Koi Carp, but their close links to wild carp give them a voracious appetite. Quite often this causes Ghost Koi to grow much larger quickly. It isn’t unusual in a pond to see Ghost Koi coming up for food first and consuming the most, which is an instinctive behaviour. Likewise, they will often spend their time patrolling the water surface looking for food making themselves very visible and great to watch.
With Ghost Koi, you really do get a lot of bang for your buck. Today’s Ghost Koi come in a vast array of beautiful colours and patterns, making them a great addition to any Koi pond.