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Who and Where They Come From…

Period!

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Koi Varieties

At Blackwater Creek Koi Farms we have dedicated ourselves to producing the best American Bred Koi, Standard Fin, and Butterfly Fin. Our breeding programs allow us to provide the following varieties of Koi for sale. Many of the varieties we produce are available in Standard fin and Butterfly (long-fin) variants as well as  Gin-Rin and or Doitsu (see below).

The Fish that we produce here at Blackwater Creek Koi fall into one of three Koi grades and are priced accordingly.

Sub varieties of Ginrin; Ginrin can be divided technically into four sub varieties. In Beta-Gin the whole surface of the scale is reflective, while Kado-Gin describes scales where only the leading edge carries this pigment. The latest type to appear - Diamond, or Hiroshima, Ginrin - originated in 1969 on the Konishi Koi farm in southern Japan. Here, the reflective element radiates out from the insertion point of the scales in a fan shape. The Japanese like this type of Ginrin least of all, as it makes the koi appear flashy and unrefined and can blur the edges of hi and sumi patterns. Additionally, the leading edge of these scales is often ragged, coming to a series of small points, rather than being pleasantly rounded.

Where the sparkling effect is heavy, the surface of the scales becomes slightly raised; this is Pearl Ginrin, also known as Tsubu- or Tama-Gin. More than one type of Ginrin scale can appear on the same fish. Beta-Gin is usually found on the abdomen, along the lateral line or in individual rows toward the dorsal surface. Diamond and Kado-Gin tend to cover the back of the Koi. Most hobbyists today do not differentiate between the types of Ginrin, but accept them as enhancing already beautiful Koi.

example of Metalic Gin-Rin Koi Scales

Metallic Ginrin

Doitsu Koi fish, without shoulder scales example

Doitsu (Doh-Eet-Sue)

Doitsu (German-scaled fish) typically describes Koi with no scales other than enlarged scales along the lateral line and two lines running on either side of the dorsal fin. In Japan, the Doitsu classification applies only to Gosanke, while in Western shows there is no separate category for any German-scaled fish, with the exception of Shusui. However, the growing popularity of these virtually naked-skinned Koi suggests that some revision may be necessary, so that Doitsu scalation can be recognized for what it is; an intriguing and challenging variation on the endless theme of Nishikigoi.

There are a few Doitsu Koi with their own names, such as Shusui and Kumonryu. Any other Koi that would fit into a separate classification yet dons Doitsu scalage would have an extra prefix or suffix of "Doitsu" such as Doitsu Kohaku or Hariwake Doitsu. Whether you place Doitsu before or after the main classification of the Koi is of no real consequence either way.

Keep in mind that Doitsu are not necessarily scaleless Koi except for a few larger scales along the spine and lateral line. There are Doitsu specimens with the thick German scales all along their body length and width, which gives them the appearance of wearing a suit of armor. While these rare Doitsu are not valued very highly at Koi shows, they make for a very interesting and unique Koi, perfect for a treasure-hunting hobbyist. On the flip side of this, Doitsu don't always have scales along their sides and sometimes do not even have scales by their shoulders. However, Doitsu always have German scales on either side of their dorsal fin whether or not the scales can be found elsewhere on their body.

All patterned Doitsu Koi should have clearly defined markings. Without scales to diffuse the light, colors appear bright and sharp. A good Doitsu should seem like it's lit from within.

The Koi-buying public is becoming more and more attuned to this style of Koi. Their sales are increasing year after year and when you consider that any Koi, except for Ginrin, can be produced in a Doitsu version, that is hardly surprising.

Example of Doitsu scales at the shoulder

Doitsu scales at the shoulder

Example of Armored Doitsu Scales

Armored Doitsu Scales

Doitsu without shoulder scales

In the West, only Ginrin Gosanke are benched Kin-Gin-Rin, although many other Koi varieties have this type of scalation. In Japan, Kin-Gin-Rin "A" includes Gosanke, while Kin-Gin-Rin "B" covers the rest.

A shimmering coat of reflective scales can lead the novice to fall for Koi of otherwise limited attributes. Show judges in the Kin-Gin-Rin class, looking at a Ginrin Kohaku, will first ask themselves "Is this a good Kohaku in its own right?" Only if they are satisfied that it is will they mark it highly.

Telling the Difference.… A deeper look at the scales on metallic, Ginrin and Koi with both combined, can clear up confusion between the different styles.

Example of Gin-Rin Koi Scales Close up

Metallic Ginrin

Even metallic fish are now being bred with this scalation and a good Ginrin Ogon is an unforgettable sight. To qualify as Ginrin, a Koi should have more of these scales than it is possible to count as it swims past the observer - about 20 is the accepted minimum. Individual Ginrin scales on otherwise matt-scaled Koi can look very attractive and do not detract from their value.

Example of Gin-Rin Scales

Ginrin

Gin-Rin Koi Fish from Blackwater Creek Koi Farms

Ginrin (Gin-Rin)

In 1929, Japanese Koi enthusiast Eizaburo Hoshino first discovered individual sparkling scales on Koi he had bred and coined the style Gingoke. These mutant scales were later termed Dia, but today the accepted word outside Japan is Kin-Gin-Rin, often shortened to Ginrin.

Ginrin scales are quite different from those on metallic Koi. Instead of an overall gleam caused by the reflective pigment guanine, Ginrin scales have a reflective sheen over all or part of their surface creating a glimmering effect not unlike cut diamonds. The color they appear is determined by the pigment they overlay - silver (Gin) in the case of sumi or white, and golden (Kin) over hi.

Real Nice Gin-Rin Sanke Koi from Blackwater Creek Koi Farms

Koi varieties continue to evolve and improve. Less than 200 years ago, all Koi came from the common carp grown as a food source in and amongst the rice paddies. Along the way the first Koi variety appeared as an Asagi type. With careful breeding and selection, many more varieties were produced and today there are over 25 major varieties with countless variants and crosses. Around the world, each farm works hard to perfect just one or a very few varieties. This is mainly due to the cost of ponds and space constraints. 

Blackwater Creek Koi Farms prides itself on the fact that so many high quality varieties are produced each year at our farms. Whether you are looking for a nice Kohaku or a very very rare Matsukawabakke, or even something exotic such as a Goshiki Showa. You can trust that it's been produced, or in the works, resulting in providing you a one stop shopping experience. You are able to stock your Koi pond or Koi store from one place. Americas mist trusted Koi farm. Learn more about some of the varieties we produce on the following Koi varieties pages. 

If you are ready to stock your pond with specific varieties, check out our Individual Koi For Sale

Occasionally we will offer a wholesale box of one or more Koi varieties. These are typically found on our Specials shopping page. 

Metallic Ginrin