HomeFreshwater FishFreshwater Aquarium BasicsKoi Fish Cost: 9 Reasons Why Koi Fish Are So Expensive

Koi Fish Cost: 9 Reasons Why Koi Fish Are So Expensive

If you’re thinking about adding a Koi fish to your pond, be prepared to pay anywhere from $20 to $100 for a single fish. However, the Koi fish price could be even higher if you’re looking for a rare color or pattern.

Koi fish are some of the most popular fish in the world. They are known for their bright colors and impressive size.

Koi also tend to be quite expensive, which has led many people to ask why they are so costly. This blog post National Park Aquarium will take you on a journey to explore the reasons behind Koi’s high price tag. We will also look at some factors that make Koi a desirable addition to any backyard pond.

How Much Does a Koi Fish Cost?

The average price for a Koi fish can vary greatly depending on the specific type of Koi, the size, and the quality.

In general, however, Koi fish sell for anywhere between $30 and $600. Some of the most expensive Koi can cost upwards of $1,000 or more.

So, if you’re looking to purchase a Koi fish, be prepared to spend anywhere from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars.

  • Assorted Grade-A koi are priced between $8 and $20.
  • Grade-A domestic koi are priced between $10 and $17.
  • Large Butterfly koi are priced between $30 and $660.
  • Large to extra-large koi with rare color patterns are priced between $100 and $2,500.
  • Rare breeds from Japan have been purchased for nearly $200,000.

Remember that the average price for a Koi fish is just a starting point. What you pay for your Koi will depend on several factors. Koi are often purchased in pairs or sets of three, so the total cost can be quite high.

Why Koi Fish Are So Expensive?

why are koi fish so expensive?

1. The average size of a Koi fish

Size and color are two of the biggest factors contributing to a Koi’s price tag.

Koi can grow to be quite large, with some fish reaching lengths of over three feet. The biggest Koi on record was over six feet long and weighed over 300 pounds!

The Koi colors are also very striking, and many people find them quite beautiful.

2. Koi Fish’s Distinct Appearance

Koi display a range of hues, with certain shades being more uncommon than others. The Koi that are highly valued usually sport vibrant red and white shades. Such fish are referred to as “red-and-white Koi” or “mirror carp.”

Mirror carp are the rarest and most expensive type of Koi, with some fish selling for tens of thousands of dollars.

Certain colors of Koi are quite rare. This is because they are challenging to breed. For example, black Koi are rare because they are usually accidentally bred.

Most breeders are trying to produce white Koi, but sometimes a blackfish will be born. These “mistakes” can sell for a lot of money, as many people find them quite beautiful.

Because of their unique and beautiful appearance, Koi fish are often considered a status symbol, making them even more exorbitant.

3. Unique Origin

Koi fish are also unique because they are not native to Japan, where they are most popular. Instead, Koi fish originate from China, where they were first bred for color.

This means that Koi fish are relatively rare outside of their native country, which contributes to their high price.

4. Age

Koi can live for a very long time, with some fish living for over 100 years. The oldest Koi on record was 226 years old! Because of their long lifespans, Koi are often seen as symbols of good luck and prosperity. This makes them even more desirable to many people.

It means that if you purchase a Koi fish today, it could still be swimming around in your pond long after you’re gone.

5. Popularity

Koi are very popular fish, both in Japan and around the world. This popularity has made them quite expensive, as people are willing to pay a lot for these fish. In Japan, Koi are often given as gifts to business associates and clients. They are also used in many traditional Japanese ceremonies.

6. Quality

The quality of a Koi can also affect its price. Koi that are healthy and have a good body shape are more expensive than those that are sickly or have deformities. The fins of a Koi are also important, as they should be well-formed and symmetrical.

Koi that meet all of these criteria are considered to be “show-quality” fish and can sell for very high prices.

7. Pedigree

Another factor that determines a Koi’s price is its pedigree. Koi that come from famous breeders or have winning ancestors can be quite expensive.

Koi that have won competitions are also usually quite pricey.

8. Breed

Koi fish are expensive because they can be difficult to breed. Koi fish reproduce by laying eggs, which a male Koi fish must then fertilize. The eggs must then be incubated to hatch, which can be a complicated and time-consuming process.

In addition, not all Koi fish eggs will hatch into healthy fish, contributing to the high cost of these beautiful creatures.

9. Easy to care for

Koi are also easy to care for, making them a desirable addition to any backyard pond. Koi fish are also relatively low-maintenance, as they do not need to be fed very often.

Koi can go for weeks without food and remain healthy. This is because Koi can store fat in their bodies, which they can use when food is scarce.

They are hardy creatures that can live in a wide range of conditions, making them a good choice for those who do not want to spend much time caring for their pets.

What Other Costs should I consider when buying Koi Fish?

Beyond the initial purchase price of the fish, you should consider the costs of creating and maintaining a suitable habitat, which includes the pond installation, filtration system, and regular cleaning.

Additionally, factor in ongoing costs such as fish food, healthcare, and potential costs for heating the pond during cold months.

What Color Koi is Most Expensive?

The “Kohaku” koi, recognized for its white body and red spots, is often considered the most expensive due to its rarity and the symbolism attached to it. However, the price can vary significantly based on the fish’s size, health, and the intensity of its colors.

These might range from $1,000 to $5,000 or even more, depending on the fish’s rarity and perfection.

Are White Koi Fish Expensive?

The price of a white Koi can vary significantly based on factors such as size, health, and lineage. While they’re not necessarily more expensive than other Koi, the demand for them can drive up prices.

How Much is a Golden Koi Fish?

A golden Koi, or “Yamabuki Ogon,” can range in price significantly, anywhere from $50 to several thousand dollars, depending on its size, lineage, health, and the vibrancy of its gold color.

How Much does a Platinum Koi Cost?

Platinum Koi, known as “Platinum Ogon,” can also vary significantly in price, from as low as $50 to several thousand dollars, based on similar factors as above, including size, lineage, and overall health.

How Much are Ghost Koi worth?

Young or small Ghost Koi (around 4 to 6 inches) might range from $10 to $30 each.

A medium-sized Ghost Koi (around 8 to 12 inches) could be priced anywhere from $30 to $60. Larger specimens, like those over 15 inches, might range from $60 to $150.

How Much is a 24 inch Koi Worth?

A 24-inch Koi is considered a fairly large and mature fish. The value of such a fish can vary widely based on several factors, including the variety, coloration, patterning, age, health, and where it’s purchased. It may be priced anywhere from $100 to $500.

If the 24-inch Koi is of show quality with perfect conformation and coloration, the price might even exceed $10,000.

How Much does a 10 inch Koi Cost?

If the 10-inch Koi is of a common variety with standard coloration and patterning, you might expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $200. For more specialized or unique breeds, the price might range from $200 to $1,000 or even more.


Why are koi fish so expensive – Koi fish are expensive because they are bred for their color patterns and have been selectively bred over many years. This has resulted in some Koi fish worth more than $100,000.

Koi fish can be a good investment if you know how to care for them properly. Koi fish can be expensive, but they are worth the price if you take care of them properly.

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Further Reading
Kevin Mills, the founder of Nationalparkaquarium.org


-- Founder --

I'm Kevin Mills, the founder of Nationalparkaquarium.org, where I share my deep passion for aquariums and aquatic life. With over 20 years of experience in fishkeeping, covering everything from tending to saltwater and freshwater tanks.

Kathleen Wood


-- Interrogator --

Kathleen Wood, a seasoned marine biologist, possesses a wealth of knowledge and experience in her field. Her research on tropical fish biodiversity spans over three decades, and she has contributed numerous scientific papers on aquatic life.