Carp vs Koi: Know Their Dissimilarities

Carp and koi are the two most popular fish species due to their taste and profitability. Both offer a large number of health and business benefits. 

And you know the best part?

Both of them have the same origin. Yes, you heard it right.

It’s a researched dogma that they are different types of same cultivars. Despite being the same species, they hold some mentionable differences in physical structures, ornamental purposes, habitats, etc. However, people can’t differentiate carp vs koi easily.

A group of people can identify koi easily for their colorful bodies. But, knowing just one specification can’t be helpful for farming or business purposes. You should know all the differences and characteristics between these two to gain maximum benefits out of it.

It’s mandatory to earn sufficient knowledge about food value and taste. You should also know their food habits and lifestyle as well.

Carp vs koi quick comparison table

This table is developed for understanding the key differences between carp and catfish. You should go through this part before diving into the main part.

Carp vs Koi

Carp Koi
Carp comes with dark brown or golden brown color.  Koi comes in some common colors like red, yellow, orange, black, blue, etc. 
Carp own a compressed & tall body. They have smaller heads with rounded snouts than koi. However, the maximum growth of a carp’s body occurs in the midsection.  The midsection of the koi is very thick. Besides, its head and tail are narrower than carp. Koi looks like a torpedo shape at first sight.
Some of the carp breeds can grow bigger than koi. There is a record of catching 105 pounds carp. Averagely, carp grow around fifteen to twenty-seven inches long.  Koi grow bigger than carp naturally for growing in their ideal condition. It’s observed that koi generally grow up averagely around 28 inches.
The separated spine exists in the carp’s fin. They also have an elongated dorsal fin from an early time.   Koi have flowy spins instead of the spine. The spine is absent in the fins of the koi. 
Maximum carp breeds have a single row of scales. The scales are smaller & exist along with the lateral line organs.  The smaller and curved scale is the unique specification of koi. Their scales are more regular than carp. 
Planktonic crustaceans, insects & smaller fish are preferred by carp. They need to take 2% food daily in comparison to their body weight. Algae, small insects, worms, etc. are ideal food for koi of the pond. Koi can receive a maximum of 4% amount of food of their total mass. 

Comparison – carp vs koi

A descriptive comparison of carp vs koi is presented here. This part will help you to understand their dissimilarities in detail. 

Do carp and koi have similar bodies?

Both carp and koi express individual physical outlooks. The first dissimilarity everybody finds is their body coloration. Carp’s color depends on the pigment cells of fish. Usually, carp are dark or golden brown. There are varieties of koi fish like Koroni, Bekko, Asagi, Shusui, etc. All of them are blessed with a combination of white, black, yellow, and orange color.

A carp’s body can be taller than a koi in some cases. In general, carp grow up around twenty-seven inches whereas koi grow around twenty-eight inches. The maximum growing part of carp is its midsection. On the flip side, koi have a thick & less-growing midsection. If the comparison is about head & tail size, koi wins here. However, the shape of the koi looks like a torpedo for its head and tail. 

Is the habitat of carp and koi different? 

All the breeds of the carp love to stay in the moving part of the water. Carp have a great oxygen demand and they pick their residence with good oxygen availability. Some breeds of carp that live in the rivers can’t be cultivated in ponds. As carp have a habit of eating plants, they live nearby the plants often. Ideal ponds like 10-12 feet depth are the best habitat for common carp. 

Koi is okay in the freshwater lakes and ponds. A pond full of healthy plants, gravel substrate, and around 1000 gallons of water is ideal for koi growing. The water level mustn’t be less than 250 gallons for the ideal growth of koi. Koi can grow naturally at the minimum height of six feet in a pond. When koi live indoors, they prioritize the water between 18 to 24 degrees celsius. It’s experimented that koi can survive around 90 degrees temperature. 

Can both carp and koi be eaten? 

Both carp and koi are edible fish. But, in some cases, koi are used only for decorative purposes. However, carp’s flesh tastes flaky and no fishy scent exists while having a meal. A large number of people don’t love the muddy taste of carp as well as its huge bones. The subtle flavor lovers can taste carp once undoubtedly. After all, it’s the source of good protein.

The luxurious people put their vote on koi as ornamental fish. But, a large number of them don’t even know that koi originated from carp earlier. Koi fish taste like catfish slightly according to public opinion. Some of the koi spend a lot of time with shallow and stagnant water. Therefore, some people restrict their eating of koi as there is a chance of bacterial infection. A proper cleaning & cooking recipe can make koi a tasty meal.

Do carp and koi eat different foods?

Carp are considered omnivorous. Any natural food like planktonic crustaceans, small insects, and fishes are carp’s favorite. Carp don’t respond to any kind of brait easily because of their versatile food practice. They eat 2% food daily of their total weight.

Koi love to eat algae, small insects, worms, etc. as their regular food. Koi is also unresponsive in brait easily. But, they have an extra attraction for small plants than carp. Koi can eat 4% of their body weight in a day. 

Who is commercially better – carp or koi?

The comparison is relative as both help the fish economy to its best. People don’t eat koi as widely as different breeds of carp. Carp can’t survive for a long time and is difficult to transport. Besides, carp need plenty of ice after getting caught otherwise they start rotting rapidly. 

Koi can live without an active oxygen supply for several hours. But, they will die within a few minutes in absence of dissolved oxygen in the water. Considering this point, koi are easily transportable. But, the sale of koi isn’t as large as carp in the fish market. However, koi have a high market price as it’s familiar as an ornamental fish. 

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Conclusion

It’s clear now that there are a lot of things to distinguish between carp vs koi. From the head to the tail, everything is comparable to these fishes. Subtle dissimilarities in body structure, food habit, residence, etc. help to make a big comparison between them easily. 

Along with this, they have different economic values, popularity for cooking, and so on. Before picking one for eating or business purposes, it is mandatory to have proper knowledge about these two. Otherwise, you may end up picking the wrong one. You may suffer from this in the long run. So be smart and compare between them to pick the right one.

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