Koi Varieties - Scale Basics
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There are, as I mentioned earlier, three different scale types to consider when talking about koi.  The first is your regular,
garden variety scales - the kind of scales you would expect to see on any fish.  The second is the diamond scale, or Gin Rin
(pronounced
Ging-Ling) variety, and the third is actually a scaleless variety developed by the Germans called the Doitsu
(
Doyt-sue).  Pretty much all of your color varieties come in one of these three scale varieties.
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A little more history here:  The Germans also raised carp as a food source, however, they decided it was just too much of a pain
in the butt to have to scale the fish when cleaning it for consumption.  So, (and I can say this because I'm of German decent and
I know it to be true) in their eminently anal-retardive quest for efficiency, they developed a scaleless variety.  Ultimately these
"scaleless" koi were crossed with the Japanese koi and the Doitsu was born.  Incidentally, the word for German in German is
"Deutsch", and since the Japanese didn't have a word describing this new variety, they converted "Deutsch" to "Doits", and
that's how the fish got it's name.  The Doitsu variety is actually not completely without scales, as it does still have a line of
scales along the backbone and typically another along the lateral line on eash side of the fish, but these scales are very large
and not much an obstacle when it comes to preparing the fish for the dinner table.
The diamond scale, or Gin Rin (Ging-Ling) scales are probably my personal favorite, as they pick up the light like tiny diamonds
encrusted into the fish.  There are a number of different Gin Rin scale sub-types, all reflecting the light in different ways, but
for the purpose of this general overview, we'll just stick with the term Gin Rin (
Ging Ling) to describe any koi that exhibits
reflective diamond scales.
Regular scales as
seen on:
Gin Rin (Ging Ling)
scales as seen on:
Doitsu (Doyt-sue)
scales as seen on:
Aka Matsuba
Kohaku
Ochiba
Asagi/Shusui
Yamabuki Ogon
Anybody have a
good picture of a
Gin Rin Yamabuki
Ogon I could use
here?
Anybody have a
good picture of a
Gin Rin Aka
Matsuba I could
use here?
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