Are Black Koi Rare?

If you’re a koi enthusiast, you might have heard about black koi and wondered if they are rare. In short, yes, black koi are rare, but there’s more to it than just that. Let’s dive deeper into the fascinating world of black koi.

What are black koi?

Black koi are a type of koi fish with a solid black coloration. They can also have patterns on their body, but the base color is always black. Black koi are also known as “sumi” in Japanese.

Why are black koi rare?

Black koi are rare because their breeding is more challenging than other types of koi. To produce a solid black offspring, both parent fish must carry the recessive gene for black coloration. If only one parent carries the gene, the offspring will not be entirely black.

Additionally, the process of producing a solid black coloration in koi requires careful breeding and selection over several generations. This means that it takes more time and effort to produce high-quality black koi than other varieties.

How to identify high-quality black koi

Not all black koi are created equal. To identify high-quality black koi, look for the following traits:

  • Deep and consistent color: The color should be deep and consistent throughout the body with no fading or uneven patches.
  • Clean edges: The edges of the scales should be well-defined and clean.
  • No visible patterns: High-quality black koi should not have any visible patterns or markings on their body.
  • Balanced body: The body shape should be balanced and proportional.

The significance of black koi

In Japanese culture, koi fish hold significant cultural and symbolic significance. Black koi specifically represent overcoming adversity and achieving success. They are also associated with good luck, which makes them a popular choice for garden ponds and water features.


In conclusion, black koi are rare but highly prized among koi enthusiasts. Their solid black coloration represents strength, resilience, and good luck.

Producing high-quality black koi takes time, effort, and careful breeding. If you’re lucky enough to own a black koi, make sure to appreciate its beauty and cultural significance.

Photo of author

Lindsay Collins