Every year a Koi variety is chosen to be the special Koi for that year. The 2015 special variety is the Tancho Koi.
A Tancho is a koi that has one red marking on the body. The name Tancho is derived from the national bird of Japan. The Tancho crane (Grus japonensis) which has one round red marking on its head. The word Tancho means ‘Red spot on the head’ and in Japan koi keepers love the Tancho koi as it is reminiscent of their flag.
Tancho koi are very attractive due to their perfection in simplicity. The red marking on the fish’s head is very central and does not extend onto the eyes or to below the eyes or the shoulders. The single red marking on the head should be a deep, solid even red colour and it must be the focal point of the fish. There are many different head patterns that the Tancho may have, these are:
1. Circular shaped pattern.
This round spot is the most highly prized of the Tanchos, but there are other interesting patterns as well.
2. Diamond-shape marking.
Since diamonds are a girl’s best friend, I think this is my favorite shaped pattern.
3. Flower-shape marking
4. Heart-shaped marking
5. The elliptical head marking
There are different types of Tancho koi that you can buy:
The most popular one is the Tancho Kohaku. The red marking on the head is the only marking that should be visible on this Tancho. Its body colour must be snow white from the head to the tail and there should be no red in any of the fins.
The Tancho Sanke has a red marking on the head and the rest of the body is black and white.
The Tancho Showa is a koi that combines the black and white pattern of a Shiro Utsuri over its body and head with the Tancho red marking on the head.
The Tancho Goshiki and the Tancho Hariwake are also varieties found but these are not as well known as the other three.
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