what determines the price of a koi specimen

Koi are rewarding fish to keep and many people take great pleasure from theirs. If you are considering setting up a koi pond then you will have to invest in stock. There is a fabulous array of fish to choose from. There are more than 20 different and these are defined by their colour, patterns and size. With some fish costing only a few pounds and other specimens selling for thousands, how is the value of a koi carp determined?Getting to grips with the factors that influence the value of koi will helpyou to decide which fish are best for you. It really helps if you know how much you should be paying if you want to ensure that you get the best value for your hard earned cash. Koi pricing can seem confusing and there are no hard and fast rules. You may also find regional variations in pricing so it could pay to shop around.


Many fish are commercially bred in large numbers with little attention paid to selective breeding. On the other hand, koi breeding is a very serious matter for some people who selectively breed to produce various traits in their fish. These breeders may also be dedicated to developing specific bloodlines. Just as with cats and dogs, top specimens from sought after bloodlines will cost a great deal more than a random fish from a pet store.

Size Matters

The cheapest koi will often be small specimens. They will require careful nurturing in order to grow. Larger koi have been cared for over a long period of time and will command higher prices.

Age Matters

Larger koi will be more mature but there is a point at which that maturity will reduce the value of the fish due to the more limited potential lifespan of the specimen. However, koi can live up to 50 years and so a fish has to reach a comparatively venerable age before its value is impacted.


The colour and pattern distribution of a koi is considered to be one of the most important factors in determining its desirability. A Koi with a desirable colour and pattern distribution will attract a higher price. The most sought-after and, therefore, the most highly valued Koi pattern is a design that is reminiscent of the Japanese flag. This is a white fish, with one lone red spot on the back of the head. Koi exhibiting this colouration and pattern are extremely rare.


Of the 22 recognised types of Koi, some are more in demand than others. If your budget is tight then you will still be able to invest in fish of a significant size but may have to avoid the more sought after types. Only you can decide what you should spend on your koi. It could be that you care little about the specific colours, patterns and bloodlines and so could find some great specimens at favourable prices. But if you are seeking fish from recognised bloodlines or of a certain type then you might need considerably deeper pockets. See our specialist page for further.

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