Baby Kois - When will I start seeing colours?

nedchiu(vancouver)August 16, 2006

My babies are about 3-1/2 weeks old. When will I start seeing colours?

Just curious.


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depends on the variety. What were the parents? Flock spawn? If so many will just remian brown. Keep in mind and even the best breeders with champion parent stock usually only keep about 10% of the fry, the rest are destroyed. So regular pond fish fry from a group spawn rarely ever develop any colors, if they do the odds of it being a recognizable variety are slim.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 2:08PM
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It was as group spawn. It was a surprise because I've had some of these kois for 15 years and this is the first time. I thought they were all males. I believe the female was my 24" Kohaku from Japan.

At this point they are a variety of white, yellow, grey, and black.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 7:37PM
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Christopher (Dallas Garden) Miller

Don't get discouraged so quickly. I have several friends with Koi ponds and they usually don't start showing color until about 6 months. All have "flock" spawn. Carol has a red and black, a white and red and a black. Michael has one yellow and one platinum butterfly. I got some this year, and they're still brown, but they usually stay that color for awhile to keep hidden from predators. Keey your eyes open!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 10:18PM
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thomba(z6a sw IN)

I discovered several (5-7, can't sort them out, hiding in different places, etc.) babies a week ago. They are now about 1-1/2" and colors are gold, brown, a couple are multicolor! My bigger fish are 2 14" platinum koi, several 6-8" multi-color koi, and assorted goldfish, total 23 fish before babies. Trying to get pictures.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2006 at 12:20PM
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what is the difference between flock and group spawn?

I have several baby fish in my koi pond that are about 1-1 1/2 inches long and they are still brown.
Have other fry (from a previous hatch this year in the same pond) that are orange and white and I am pretty sure they were "colored" by the time they were 1-2 inches long, am beginning to wonder about these other "new guys" in the pond ?!
Do have mosquito fish in a nearby pond, can frogs bring over fish eggs with them on their legs, etc?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 10:43AM
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Often 2-3 years. Be patient.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2006 at 3:56PM
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I have been wondering the same thing! I had 2 Koi in my pond last year and they had about 25 babies. They are about a year old now and still are mostly brownish - gold. I didn't think that I would have to worry about babies. Haven't been able to find anything on the web that gives a definite answer and our library doesn't have any books on Koi. I hate to get rid of them if they will develop colors later... Anyone know for sure the answer?

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 4:38PM
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ccoombs1(7B SC)

Pondhaley, If they are brown now after a year, they will never be pretty. Goldfish are born dark and change to orange later on.....koi generally do not. Young showa are dark....but they start showing their colors soon too. Kohakus are often nearly white when born and develop colors quickly. If you have spawn from last year that are still brown or black, they will never improve much beyond what they are now.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 10:18AM
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HMMMMMMMMMMMM, last summer, I netted quite a few baby fish!! I hesitate to say KOI, eventho thats what I have in my pond! (80'X60'X26', NOW, but it will recede back as the temps warm up! Anyway I scouped the babies up, then put them in a kiddie poolw. pond water. They were so small and kinda grey? I even netted some of them and looked thru magnifying glass, didn't recognize what the heck they ALL were?? I do have A HUGE BUNCH OF BULLHEADS :( ACK, I just have that feeling thats what they are :( I did see the Koi just swimming with each other and jumping together over all the floating pond lilies!!! I suspected they were mating?? No?? Ugh, someone have any pics of small, young, Koi??

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 6:50PM
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I always heard they dont color till a year old.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2007 at 5:51PM
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Hey, dont know if you are still checking this because you were talking about it in May...but Koi will spawn with other fish ie; goldfish and when this happens you will get brownish black fish with golden underbellies. They will be sterle like a mule. We have baby koi that are 3" and they are bright colors and patterns, however they will change some as they grow...kind like appaloosa horses change their spot patterns as they age. Koi will generally
lock into their color pattern at about half grown.
Koi originally were bred from brownish black carp and so
naturally some of their offspring will revert back to that color also.
My advise is to destroy or give away the non-colored babies. Good luck

    Bookmark   June 24, 2007 at 9:43PM
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buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Even the most gorgeous top show quality koi will produce a ton of ugly babies.

Breeders cull thousands to get the few colorful fish that they sell.

Koi fry show color at a very young age. Their colors can change as they grow but they are not hatched dark like goldfish.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2007 at 12:36PM
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Well, I must just be lucky then..I started out with 9 purchased fish about 7 years ago. I now have about 35 or so. I have never seperated them to mate, they always flock spawn, and the ones that survive are always colored, lots of gin rin and lots of kohaku. I would be shocked if mine ever turned out brown.
But I am just a hobbyist with a really large backyard pond.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 8:12PM
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I have 7 large Koi. 3 are just regular Koi that I started out with a few years ago. 4 are show quality Kohaku's that I bought last year. They started spawning this year before I realized that the water was even warm enough. I was only halfway prepared because I had planned to let my show quality koi spawn. I netted my red and black regular Koi and 2 of my show quality Koi and placed them in a spawning pond. I had a nice hatch out of them and got many colors from that spawn. They are about 1 1/2 months old now and I have several bright yellows, some blue with black spots, some black, red, and white, some black and yellow. As soon as you could. They are all colored well and some look like they are still developing color but I have never had any Koi hatch and not show color immediately. I also got a spawn out of my Kohaku's this year. I have several that are solid white out of that hatch and many that are developing the Kohaku colors. They are about an inch long, some a bit longer but the colors are appear to be really good. Hard to tell alot at this point though. I plan on selling my regular Koi this year and just having my show quality to breed, but out of the hatch I got this year, I have some that have alot of black on them. They are very pretty fish and the black looks like it was painted on them. It is so defined, it is just unreal.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 12:23AM
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