THREE GENERAL (AMERICANIZED) CATEGORIES OF KOI...
The three most general and least sophisticated categories of Koi, commonly employed here in the United States include...
1. Pond quality Koi (most common and least expensive) -
are purchasable from local pet shops and breeders. Pond Koi are usually locally bred, have mixed bloodlines, have no papers that distinguish them, and are not suitable for competition. They are, however; very inexpensive and can be every bit as enjoyable as ornamental or show quality Koi.
2. Ornamental quality Koi (2nd most common, and more expensive) -
are a higher quality fish. Most of these "will have been bred from good quality parents, have good blood lines, good conformation, and a beautiful color." (2) The differences between ornamental and show Koi are found in the pattern, the body conformation, the skin quality and the evenness of color. In other words, most ornamental Koi have unbalanced patterns with flaws in their skin, coloring, and shape.
3. Show quality Koi (for competitive Koi fanatics, who are willing to pay $$$) -
are expected to have good blood lines, good body conformation, shiny and unflawed skin, sharp edges and balance in their patterns. Experts consider bloodline to be such an important factor that they almost take for granted that show quality Koi have come from show quality parents.
Most water garden enthusiasts here in the USA stock their ponds with Koi that are of the "pond, and/or the ornamental quality" of Koi. A very small percentage ('less than 1%) own or care about owning (incredibly expensive) show quality Koi.
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