What is the Difference Between Goldfish and Koi?

Difference between goldfish and koi
Goldfish or Koi?

The difference between goldfish and koi is not always obvious. Goldfish may often look like koi to the untrained eye, making them perfect for a backyard pond! Goldfish can live for over 25 years and come in a variety of colors and shapes.  In general, Koi have longer, leaner bodies while gold fish have larger fins.  Koi have whiskers, called ‘barbels’.  They use these to dig for food.  They like to root around the bottom of the pond.  Koi also will nibble on the roots of the floating hyacinth and lettuce while goldfish generally don’t. 

Koi also have a flat belly while goldfish are a bit rounder.  Both koi and goldfish have a variety of colors, adding beauty to any pond!  In fancier koi there is a larger variety of color and metallic looks.  There are koi that come in a wide range of prices.  For the real koi collector – thousands of dollars may be invested into each koi! 

Unfortunately, both koi and goldfish can be eaten by predators.  Starting the pond off with goldfish may be smart, until you figure out if it will have predators or not.  There are several ways to deter herons and raccoons.  If you live in the mountains, deterring bear and mountain lion can be a bit more difficult!

Want to learn more about fish care basics?  Click HERE.