Questions? Feedback? powered by Olark live chat software
lock plus

​Kohaku: How to Evaluate the Two Colors on a Kohaku

​Kohaku: How to Evaluate the Two Colors on a Kohaku

A Kohaku is a white koi fish with red markings. The white base color of the fish is called Shiroji. (sheer-row-gee). The Shiroji base may be more important than the red pigmented markings or the pattern of the markings. Many times the Shiroji base is overlooked by hobbyists as they search for specific patterned fish. A very good base color will make the red markings stand out and appear stunning. Often the base color of a young Kohaku will appear translucent or slightly pinkish. Generally this is very good, high quality Shiroji that should develop as the fish grows into the stunning white Shiroji that we often see on Grand Champion koi. Look for clean milky white Shiroji on Kohaku that is consistent from nose to tail. However, the head or face of a mature Kohaku may have a slight yellowed tinge especially if the fish is a female that is carrying a lot of eggs, or a male during the spawning season.


The only color on a Kohaku is red, or hi (he) or beni (benny). The beni of Kohaku can be orange-red color or purple-red color. The orange-red color is the most common type of beni and is certainly not indicative of a poor quality Kohaku. This type of beni can usually be brought up to the desired scarlet color with good water quality and good nutrition infused with the correct color enhancers. Also, pay attention to the quantity or depth of the beni; the thicker, the better. In fact, if you have a difficult time distinguishing the scales within the pattern areas, regardless of color type, you are looking at very high-class beni.


So, if you are looking for a very good Kohaku to add to your Koi collection assess the quality of the Shiroji base and the beni markings before proceeding to evaluation the fish’s pattern.