Asagi offspring tend to be a spitting image of the typical Asagi koi – blue nonmetallic scales, reticulated diamond-like scale pattern, and splotches of red coloration, called hi. These appear on the gill plates, belly, and tail. These red areas can also appear on the koi’s dorsal fin. The red hue that develops in Asagi koi is less of a bright red and more of a rusty color. The hi sometimes spreads as koi age.
Asagi Koi Fish South Africa
While Asagi koi produce many typical offspring, few are seen as perfect or faultless. The reason why is the Asagi koi breed is recognized as an acquired taste. In the ideal Asagi koi, symmetry is favored. This oftentimes disliked requirement in koi is actually admired in the Asagi lineage. The symmetry that is idealized in Asagi koi pertains to their red patches. The red areas should be defined and clean – any spotting or straying of red pigment on the head or scales is recognized as an imperfection. And because the blue scales are so distinct, any patches of missing scales are very apparent and are seen as a major fault. For the ideal Asagi koi, red eyes are desired.
Asagi Koi Fish Patterns
As I’ve previously mentioned, symmetry is valued when it comes to the asagi koi. That said, anyone looking for a perfect specimen actually needs to look for very particular patterns. Unfortunately, spotting the perfect young koi fish can be quite tricky. Here’s what you need to know about the patterns:
- Perfectly white head: Most of them develop a grey-toned head, which is fine as long as it doesn’t have splotches of other colors, but a perfect white head is still ideal. When picking out a young fish, look for one with a spotless nose. Asagi which has splotches at the tip of its nose will likely develop more coloration on its head.
- Net-like pattern on their back: Another distinct characteristic is its reticulation or net-like pattern at the back. The pattern should be balanced with no scales looking out of place. The reticulation at the back should have a flat black color in the center bordered in blue. The contrast between the blue and the black on each scale is idealized and if you are buying a young koi, a lighter blue coloration is preferred. A strong blue color in a young koi can develop into an almost black color when it matures, a characteristic that isn’t ideal.
- Pectoral fins: The pectoral fins should also have some red coloration. The splash of red may appear orange on a young koi and may even be barely noticeable, but it will develop as the koi matures.
- Orange sides: The orange coloration on the side of the koi resembles a sunset, so it’s also something to look out for when buying one. Note, however, that if you’re buying a young fish, the orange coloration shouldn’t be too strong. Otherwise, the orange color may end up migrating upwards and onto the back of the koi, spoiling the reticulation.
Competitive Koi Shows
In today’s world of competitive koi shows the Asagi koi variety is still ranking in the champion categories on a regular basis, across a wide spectrum of koi shows around the world. The Asagi koi variety even has very strong showings in the world-class All Japan Koi Show. This is pretty impressive considering all the jazz that surrounds many of the “newer” varieties of koi, all these new koi that have been created. With its long history of making it the “original” ornamental carp, the Asagi koi variety still stands the test of time as the nishikigoi hobby heads towards its 200-year mark.