Time to post some pet pictures - these are Koi Carp (or more properly nishikikoi meaning brochaded carp). Koi are in reality the offspring of coloured sports found among ordianry carp farmed for food in Japan. The sports were bred and bred and bred to produce a number (about 70) of strictly defined colour forms or varieties (though they all remain the same species). I took these with one hand whilst holding the bread with the other.
This is a soragoi. Although they are relatively dull compared to some varieties, soragoi are almost naively tame and greedy. This chap will always nuzzle a hand put in the pond in the hope of food and if I ever need to catch him I'm fairly sure he'll swim happily into a net containing bread. We laways suggest to people who want tame koi purchase a soragoi as it will calm the others and train them to be more friendly.
This is an aka matsuba, matsuba are metallic koi with pine cone effect scales. This is one of our oldest fish. You can see the soragoi again in the background (so greedy guts) and his equally greedy tan coloured cousin the chagoi below.
kohaku are two coloured koi and are popular among beginners as they are so bright. What distinguishes good kohaku from averages one is the shape of the red markings on the back and head (koi are bred to be seen from above not the side). There are a number of forms - tancho (named after the red headed crane) are marked on the head only for example.....and yes it is the soragoi again in the corner!