The Difference Between Koi Carp and Goldfish 0 1015

Difference between koi and goldfishAlthough goldfish and koi carp are sometimes kept together in the same pond, and are related, the two types of fish are actually different species.

In this article, we look at the origins of both koi carp and goldfish and compare the two species.

Read on to find out more about the differences and similarities between koi carp and goldfish.

The history of the koi carp

While ornamental carp of different types have been kept in Japan for centuries, koi carp as we know them today were first developed and selectively bred in Japan during the 1820s. Koi carp are a domesticated version of the common carp, which were selectively bred for particularly eye-catching and vibrant colors and patterns.

Koi carp are not considered to be a distinct species from the common carp, but rather a sub-species. Left alone in the wild, even the brightest and most visually impressive koi carp will interbreed with common carp, and revert to the standard common carp color palette and appearance within just a few generations.

The history of the goldfish

goldfish cartoonThe goldfish as a fancy, ornamental fish was developed in China over a thousand years ago, by selective breeding of the Prussian
carp to develop the attractive colors and patterns that modern goldfish display.

By the reign of the Song Dynasty (960-1279AD), several goldfish colour variations had been successfully produced, including orange, white, yellow, and red/white mixes. While early goldfish were direct descendents of the Prussian carp, the two are now regarded as completely different species.

Goldfish were later introduced to Japan, home of the koi carp, in the 16th century, then spread to Europe in the 17th century.

The physical differences between goldfish and koi carp

While goldfish and koi are very different and quite distantly related, it can be difficult for the uninitiated to tell the difference between the two. However, it is not difficult to tell koi from goldfish once you know what you’re looking for.

The main differences between the two types of fish are:

  • Goldfish are generally smaller than koi when adult.
  • Goldfish can be seen in a much greater variety of body, fin and tail shapes than koi.
  • Koi tend to have a greater range of color and pattern combinations than goldfish.
  • Koi have clearly visible barbels near their mouths, which are missing from goldfish.
  • Goldfish have a split caudal fin, while on koi, the caudal fin is joined.
  • The dorsal fin of the goldfish is detached and free at the back, while on the koi, it is attached along the whole of its length.

Koi are generally much longer lived than goldfish and while the two can interbreed, the resulting offspring are always sterile.

Learn more about koi carp…

Or

Visit thegoldfishtank.com to learn more about goldfish

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5 reasons a tortoise is the perfect pet 0 247

Tortoises are adorable animals and they are great pets to keep in your home. Here we explore the top five reasons why you should consider getting a tortoise as a pet.

1. Low maintenance

With some space to enjoy and some lettuce to chomp on, a tortoise will be pretty happy. This low maintenance pet won’t need walking twice a day and will keep themselves entertained.

2. Tortoises are very affordable

Tortoises are very affordable to keep in your home. Once they are set up with a comfortable space to enjoy, there will be very little cost to upkeep them. Their food is cheap and their space remains clean for long periods without needing to be changed.

3. Tortoises live long lives

Tortoises will also be around for a long time. They can live from 14 to 30 years or more depending on the species, which means you will have a friend for years to come. Unlike most other pets, you will be able to enjoy your tortoise for vast periods of your life.

4. They’re harmless

Tortoises are far more harmless than cats and dogs. While they may bite your finger if you put it in their mouth, little damage will be done. A tortoise is a very safe pet to have in the home and is great when you have children too.

5. Tortoises are loyal

Tortoises are unlike most pets in that they are happy in the space you give them. With room to wander around, food to eat and occasional trips into the garden to play and eat grass, the tortoise will be happy. Tortoises will not try to run away from you like dogs, hamsters or guinea pigs.

Tortoises are adorable creatures to keep as pets and they are a very practical and affordable animal to have in your home. Unlike many pets, it is easy to keep a tortoise and to keep them happy for a long time. With a tortoise, you will have a friend for years and years to come.

Photo: Tortoise by snowmentality licensed under Creative commons 2

Keeping exotic fish as pets 0 374

Exotic fish

There’s something mesmerising about watching a tank full of brightly coloured fish swim around. Do they make good pets though? Is it hard to keep exotic fish? With the right pet care and pet advice, exotic fish make great, if unusual pets.

Tank size

Go for the biggest sized tank you can afford and have room for. The bigger your tank, the easier you’ll find keeping the balance of the water right. Your fish need plenty of room to swim too. Aim for at least a 20-gallon tank.

Tank set-up

You’re going to need a heater to warm the water. You’ll also need a filter to ensure clean, healthy water, which is crucial for fish to thrive. It’s advisable to add an air pump to boost the oxygen levels.

You’ll also need a light for the tank, and a timer for the light, so it’s not on all the time. Bear in mind a fish tank should be placed out of direct sunlight, away from draughts and heating sources.

On top of the things that make your tank work you’re going to need everything that goes into your tank; gravel for the bottom, plants, and decorative caves and tunnels so your fish can hide if they want to.

You can usually buy aquarium starter kits at pet food stores if you want help in pulling everything together.

Getting the water right

The filter will cycle your water to make it suitable for fish to live in, never add tap water directly to the tank. You need to de-chlorinate it first. You can also add a water treatment to help keep the water healthy between changes.

You should change about 10-15% of the water each week to keep it clean and healthy for the fish. Never do a full tank change once your fish are in the tank.

Choosing your fish

When you choose your fish, make sure you start introducing them slowly – this will help you identify if you’ve got the water balance right, and at this point, your tanks eco-system is still developing, so adding lots of fish can damage it.

There’s a wide range of tropical fish to choose from – Cichlids, Betta and Swordtails are good starter fish, and are nice to look at. Never mix goldfish and tropical fish together.