What Is A Ghost Carp? All on Magical And Attractive Fish

Did you know that there is a magical and attractive fish with metallic markings in the world of fish? Ghost koi (cyprinus carpio) is the fish that you need to know about. The wonderful thing is Ghost carp can add great beauty to your pond. Let’s walk through this article to own a wonderful tank with a collection of magical Ghost carp.

What is a ghost carp?

Ghost carp or Ghost Koi is a hybrid fish species that produce in 1980 in Japan. Their scientific name is Cyprinus carpio , and their common name is Ghost Koi.

Farmers breed naturally colored common carp (mirror carp) with Koi carp and produce offspring named ghost carp.

The first Ghost carp had dark metal scales, and they quickly disappear underwater. They earned this name because of they seem like a ghost when the swim in the bottom of the pond.

Ghost carps have many similar traits to true Koi carp and are genetically identical to Koi carp (Nishikigoi).

They can easily distinguish themselves from other varieties by observing their coloration, way of scale arrangements, and color patterns.

This species has both scales less and scaled varieties. These carps have a great number of color varieties, and major colors are red, orange, white, yellow, blue, and cream.

Ghost Koi Fish Origins

Ghost carps were introduced to the world in 1980, farmers breed naturally colored common carp (mirror carp) with Koi carp and produce offspring named Ghost carp.

Although the Ghost koi was often completely black early, the current versions are more colorful and come in both scaled and scaleless (Doitsu) variants; Thus, it has become a staple feature of many ponds around the world.

Furthermore, Carp fish are originally found in Asia and Central Europe. In east Asia, they are mainly cultivating for food purposes. Carps are cold-water fish, and they can survive and adapt to many environments and waters

What does a ghost carp look like?

Ghost carp or Ghost koi is a cross-Variety of a mirror or common carp and koi carp. Ghost carp is harder than koi carp and can grow fast.

Metallic markings can identify ghost carps on their head and around their body. You can see The Ghost carp are set in metallic colors against the carp’s original dark colors, often come in shades of white, gold, and silver.

That is helping to identify them as Ghost carps. And also, this is what makes the carp’s head looks like a ghost.

But often, koi carp has more elegant colors such as reds, orange, white and black. You are not able to see metallic patterns on the head and body of koi carps.

How big do ghost carp grow

They can reach around 30-45 kilograms and can grow about 18-26 inches in length in the natural environment.

Ghost carp grows to an overall size similar to koi carp, but their heavy eating habits often cause them to grow large quickly. It is not uncommon for Ghost koi.

They come in first for food and consume the most; it is innate behavior in the pond. Also, they spent their time on the water surface looking and seeking food. And they are very visible and worth watching.

Ghost carp lifespan

The average lifespan of Ghost carp is about 9- 45 years. You can improve Ghost koi’s lifespan by maintaining good water quality, Good water filtration, stable temperature, and environment, providing high-quality nutrition and predator protection.

What do ghost carp eat?

Ghost koi is omnivores. Therefore they will eat anything, but most plant matters are preferred to eat like grass carps.

And they prefer insects too. Also, Ghost carps feed on fish eggs. Further, they feed on crawfish and benthic worms. But it is rare.

If you have Ghost koi in your pond, Ghost koi consume anything just like koi in terms of food requirements. But sustainable foods for fish that promote fish health, size, and color are best.

Many people doubt about, does Ghost koi eat other fish? Ghost koi is not predatory. Therefore, they rarely eat other fish.

Do ghost carp eat other fish?

Ghost carp is omnivorous. They eat both vegetable and animal matters, but they mostly prefer vegetable matters. And also, It does not show predatory behaviors. Therefore they eat other fish very rarely.

By the name of ghost koi, some people may think they are ferocious. But they are not like that. They are typically gentle.

The first Ghost carp had dark metal scales, and they quickly disappear underwater. This reason is cause for their name.

Is Koi Fish Aggressive

Ghost koi is as friendly as any other koi. Although koi are typically gentle and easy-going fish, they can sometimes be aggressive and can harass other fish, depending on the circumstances.

Some factors that can be affected koi carp aggression are general temperament, breeding & spawning, lack of space & overstocking, poor quality food & nutrition, illness or injury, heightened stress, poor water quality, unsuitable pond companions.

If your Ghost carp fish aggressive, you can stop them by doing these things.

You can separate aggressors and quarantine newcomers. For Ghost koi that are naturally aggressive, please keep them in a separate pond from other fish.

You should maintain good water quality and include plants & shelters. Adding a variety of native and non-toxic plants to your pond will not only improve water quality but also provide valuable housing for your koi. Always make sure your fish are in good health.

This type of koi is also very active – you can always find them swimming on the surface of your pond looking for food.

Ghost koi or Ghost carp is a wonderful addition to any pond, especially a new pond. The Ghost koi is beautiful, friendly, and hardy, making it the perfect first koi for a new koi parent.

If you decide to add a Ghost koi to your pond, make sure you have enough space to accommodate because this type of koi will quickly grow into one of the largest koi fish in your pond.

Can Ghost koi breed

Yes. They can breed. Ghost koi are not a fertile hybrid. They can reproduce thousands of offspring naturally as well as artificially.

Ghost koi mostly prefer a temperate climate to spawn. Therefore, the weather must be warm enough to achieve success.

When the right time, fish search out places where heavily planted areas in pond or spawning brushes where applicable.

Then female fish scatters the eggs, and the male fish fertilizes them. Ghost koi will most likely consume the eggs after laying.

Therefore, after laying eggs, it is good to remove the eggs to a separate hatchery tank/pond.

How to look after a Ghost Koi

Ghost carps bring a colorful and attractive look to your pond. But you should look after them carefully. Let’s see what the tips which help to look after Ghost koi are.

1. You must feed them well.

Like any pet, what you feed your Ghost carp has a huge impact on their health and longevity. Because you should pay more attention to their foods, ghost koi is omnivores, so they will eat almost anything.

Do not forget to give quality foods. Quality fish foods always promote growth, health as well as color.

These quality foods have balanced nutrition that comprised vitamins, proteins, and carbohydrates at the requirement level.

2. Observe your Ghost koi

Observing the looks and behaviors of your Ghost carp is the best method to ensure the health of fish. Thus, observing your Ghost carp’s behaviors and outer appearances are important to ensure their health.

• Not eating

• Change in color

• Visibly injured

• Consistently swimming alone

• Swollen areas

• Raised scales

• Lethargic behavior

If you see one of the above signs, examine your fish and check the following,

• Check underside for damage and injury

• Check gills for damage and discoloration

• Irregular gill motion to sign of oxygen deprivation

• Scales for red markings

3.Check the water in your pond regularly

Regularly check the quality of your pond water significantly reduces the risk of unhealthy Ghost carp. Periodically check the temperature, pH level to ensure the water quality in the desired level of fish.

4.Choose the right filter

Many good pond filters help you to keep healthy Ghost carp. The trick is getting the right filter for your pond. Thus, you must choose it correctly, keeping in mind the volume and stock level of your pond and considering future fish growth.

5.Keep the correct water temperature

When they live indoors, koi prefer cool water—between 65 and 75 degrees F (18 to 24 C).

6. Ensure optimum water conditions

Ghost carp is hardy fish that can handle wide ranges of water quality. This is mostly due to they are closely related to wild carp that live in the wild.

Ghost carp can tolerate salinity levels up to about 5 PSU is tolerated. The optimal pH range is 6.5-9.0. Also, they can tolerate low oxygen concentration (0.3-0.5 mg/liter) as well as supersaturation.

Credits – Andrew Lintott

Similar questions

Is a koi a ghost carp?

No, Ghost carp is another variation of koi. And it is a hybrid one. This fish is a result of breeding Mirror or Common Carp with koi carp.

Variations in these can cause large color changes in Ghost carp from bright white to gunmetal grey, which may develop with age.

As normal with hybrids, they are more powerful in terms of growth and health than koi carp and can compete well for food with all varieties of Cyprinus carpio that live in the wild and breed with each other.

Are ghost carp rare?

Simply Ghost koi is not rare. Though Ghost carp is a hybrid, they are not fertile. They can breed with each other naturally as well as artificially.

Therefore, it helps to grow their population. They can produce more than 10,000 offspring per one breed. They can survive in wide environment ranges.

Their ideal range of pH level is 7.5 to 8. Ghost koi can live anywhere in the water between 34- and 90-degrees Fahrenheit.

But their survival rate depends on environmental factors such as food availability, space, predatory activities, etc. And they are omnivorous. Therefore, they can feed easily. Thus, the Ghost koi is not rare and commonly found all over the world

Are ghost koi Hardy?

Considering their relationship with the original wild carp, Ghost carp is very hardy. But, as expected, all fish-based parasites can affect this fish.

But there are less health issues with Ghost koi. They work well with parasitic infestations.

Do ghost koi kill other fish?

Although Ghost carp is omnivorous, they mostly prefer vegetable matters. They are typically gentle and friendly. And also, they are not predatory. Therefore, they eat other fish very rarely.

When hearing the name of Ghost koi, someone may think, Ghost koi is violent. But they got this name because the first Ghost carp had dark metal scales and quickly disappeared underwater.

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About Dr.Chamika

Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am Researcher in water and environmental chemistry. I am passionate fish keeper, with years of experience. My mission is to help other aquarists experience the joy of fish keeping.