Koi Fish Price: How much do Koi Fish Cost?

In 1914, a Japanese annual exhibition in Tokyo displayed the gorgeous color variations and stylization of the Japanese koi fish. Through cross-breeding, koi added high amounts of variety to an aquarium. This actually blew the Western world’s minds because of the Japanese secrecy and humility. Since then, people around the world have looked at the koi fish as an upper-class and dignified fish to keep. Hobbyists began keeping them in their own homes and the demand for these fish grew over the decades. Now, the price of koi fish has grown incredibly and reach unbelievable heights.

Koi is more of an informal and quite general name for all the varieties that have populated the world. Some consider the koi to be an invasive species because they tend to mussy up the substrate. However, keeping koi in aquariums has become a very expensive hobby. Many koi are put into elaborate and expensive aquariums as a stylish show-off and is affiliated with wealth and success, not just because of the makeup of the aquarium, but also because of how expensive buying and maintaining the koi fish can be.

Koi Fish Price
Koi Fish Price

How much do koi fish cost?

Koi fish usually will run between $20-50 on average for a healthy koi that runs just under half a foot in length. However, some koi fish prices can range from as low as $5 to well over $10,000 depending on where the fish came from and the type of koi. This is another amazing aspect of the koi which is that their popularity as hobbies and their symbolism have boasted some incredible prices in order to buy them. This really depends on where exactly you buy the koi from. If you are just looking for a basic koi to throw into a tank, then you can find them for as low as five dollars, but bear in mind that you are getting what you paid for. Why is the vendor selling it for so cheap? How exactly are they raising and keeping the koi in their shop? These are important questions because a cheap koi is more likely to have health issues or some other problem.

On the other hand, there are many vendors that sell koi for a much higher price. While you can find many places that sell koi for a few hundred dollars, there are special koi that are rare and unique. The koi fish cost is unbelievable.

How much does a 20 year old koi fish cost?

The average lifespan of koi is a bit hard to pin down. Koi that are raised in Japan tend to live about forty years of age, while koi that are raised outside of Japan only live to around fifteen years of age. This is due to Japan being the home of the koi fish, the food that Japanese people use, and the fact that Japanese koi spend more time wintering than in most other western countries. This is important because it puts the koi into a hibernation state which they can maintain for a long time. In fact, the world’s oldest recorded koi fish was Hanako, who lived to an incredible 226 years of age.

You might bring the koi fish price down if the koi has already aged a bit. For example, a 20-year old koi would cost less than a younger koi. The cost of koi really depends on whether it is an import or domestic. Koi breeders take their work very seriously. The hobby has become a lucrative business and since there are so many different kinds of koi, breeders look for koi that are of high quality.

Why are Koi fish so expensive?

Since there are so many different varieties of koi, there are many rare types of expensive koi that are quite rare and considered collectables. The Saddleback koi, for example, is a very rare type of koi that is only found in a small area of Japan. Another rare type of koi is the Harimau, which are only found by New Zealand. Each has its own unique size and coloring that makes it unique amongst its kind.

What is the most expensive koi fish ever sold?

The most expensive koi ever sold was the Kohaku, which sold at the insane price of $1.8 million. This Kohaku fish named S Legend was nine years old and was considered a “perfect” example of the breed. The koi had bright orange splotches along a white body. The koi came from an award winning koi breeder in Hiroshima, Japan named Kentaro Sakai and purchased by a woman from Taiwan. The reason the fish was so expensive was because of the lack of blemishes on the fish’s body and its incredibly bright coloring. Expensive and “high class” koi types like the Kohaku pride themselves on bright coloring and healthy bodies. If a breeder takes good care of their stock, they can sell it for a fairly good price.

Koi Fish Price List

Koi fish price can vary depending on the size, variant, and type. Here’s a list of common categories of koi, along with their approximate price.

Small koi

Small Koi
Small Koi Fish

Despite their name, small koi can actually get quite large. The larger the tank or pond size, the better. The name really refers to the fact that they get to be at least fifteen inches in size and large enough for most common aquariums. Small koi can be found in most Petco stores and run about $9. However, there are also vendors on EBay that the koi fish cost comes in a pack of fifty or so.

Small Koi at Petco
Small Koi at eBay

Big Koi

Big Koi Fish
Big Koi Fish

Now if you are looking to really fill up a pool with an impressive creature, then the big koi can certainly stand. These giant fish are generally larger than twelve inches. A vendor like Petco will sell you a low end big koi for as low as $25. But if you have the proper space for it and really want to splurge on an expensive koi, then check out Hanover Koi Farms. They have big koi there that reach up to twenty inches in length, and go for the price of approximately $600.

Big Koi at Petco
Big Koi at Hanover Koi Farm

Japanese Koi

Japanese Koi
Japanese Koi

Japanese koi fish are gorgeous bright fish that have earned quite a reputation. Because Japanese koi fish are so authentic, it has made them very popular and very expensive. The average cost of a Japanese koi is going to run several hundred dollars. EBay has a fourteen to sixteen-inch Japanese koi listed for about $500. You might be able to get a deal with these fish if you buy them in a bundle, but quality Japanese koi will be fairly expensive.

Butterfly Koi

Butterfly Koi
Butterfly Koi

Butterfly koi are well known for their longer tails that spread out like butterfly wings when they swim. Again, there are always vendors like Petco that sell butterfly koi on the cheap. But also consider some quality butterfly koi from NextDayKoi. Their prices of butterfly koi range between approximately $85 and $100 and are imported. Butterfly koi are very popular but generally stay a bit lower in price.

Butterfly Koi at NextDayKoi

Platinum Butterfly Koi

Platinum Butterfly Koi
Platinum Butterfly Koi

A variety of butterfly koi is the platinum version. With its obvious feature being the platinum colored skin, this beautiful fish can be bought for around $80-120. Live Aquaria sells a high quality platinum koi for around $120.

Platinum Butterly Koi at Live Aquaria

White Koi

White koi are usually a bit smaller in size ranging around six to twelve inches in length. With their beautiful white scales, they are quite popular fish. White koi generally range from $80 to well over $150. Blackwater Creek sells a variety of white koi, which vary in size and price.

Black Koi

Black koi are basically the yang to the white koi’s ying. With these fish, be wary of how dark the water will be wherever you plan to put them. These black koi are very dark in color and can sometimes be harder to see in the water. Blackwater Creek specializes in white and black koi.

Black Koi at Blackwater Creek

Orange Koi

Orange koi live up to their name with their vibrant orange surface. Orange koi are very popular because of how they make a pond or aquarium really pop with color. EBay has many listings of orange koi ranging from approximately $30-300. You can also find these fish at any local pet store.

Tancho Koi

These snowy white versions of koi have usually come with markings on their heads. This round marking on their heads make them identifiable. There is a place called Kodama Koi Farm that sells Tancho koi. Their fish are quite valuable and will run over a thousand dollars easily.

Tancho Koi at Kodama Koi Farm

Ghost Koi

The ghost koi get their name from looking so similarly to the true nishikigoi fish of tradition. They grow quickly because they have quite a voracious appetite. There is an international store called Complete Koi that sells ghost koi for around $150.

Ghost Koi at Complete Koi

Yellow Koi

Yellow koi, much like the orange koi, are very bright in color and tend to stand out in a pond. They do tend to come in multiple shades and have a price range as low as $100 and as high as almost $500. Check out Kloubec Koi Farm for many options of yellow koi.

Yellow Koi at Kloubec Koi Farm

Kohaku Koi

This is well known in the fish communities that the kohaku koi is one of the most expensive koi out there. Finding quality kohaku koi can be challenging. A place called Grand Koi specializes in breeding and selling quality kohaku koi. However, get ready to pull out the checkbook because the koi that come from Grand Koi will run you about $20,000.

Kohaku Koi at Grand Koi

Chagoi Koi


Chagoi koi are a uniform brown koi that are known to be quite friendly. The fish has been compared to the personality of a Labrador retriever. Blackwater Creek sells chagoi koi for just a couple of hundred dollars.

Chagoi at Blackwater Creek

Hi Utsuri Koi

This is a fantastic fish that has orange with dark spots all over the body. This is one of the more interesting color schemes of koi, so the price of the koi is a bit higher. Kodama Koi Farm sells hi utsuri koi for anywhere between approximately $200-700.

Hi Utsuri Koi at Kodama Koi Farm

Asagi Koi

Asagi koi have blue, net like patterns across their backs and usually have little pockets of red coloring by their gills. Asagi koi are one of the oldest koi varieties and has been the root for a lot of other varieties of koi. NextDayKoi have a selection ranging from approximately $55-280.

Asagi Koi at NextDayKoi

Shusui Koi

Counterpart to the asagi, the shursui koi features a single row of dark blue scales along the dorsal fin and a lighter blue coating on the rest of the body. Blackwater Creek sell sshursui koi and is not overly expensive.

Shusui Koi at Blackwater Creek

Ki Utsuri Koi

The ki utsuri koi have a black body with areas of yellow pattern along the back. These fish cannot be bred in large quantities because their gene is a recessive gene which make them difficult to reproduce. They are very rare and sought after. Kodama Koi Farm sells them for a price between approximately $300-3000.

Ki Utsuri Koi at Kodama Koi Farm

Showa Koi

Showa koi are another gorgeous and sought after fish. They are peppered with orange, white, and black coloring. Grand Koi sells them for as low as $3000 and as high as $25,000.

Showa Koi at Grand Koi

Benigoi Koi

Also known as Higol, the benigoi koi is a non-metallic solid red colored koi with red and orange fins. EBay has a wide variety of benigoi koi to sell but the average price will be around a few hundred dollars.

Doitsu Koi

Doitsu koi usually have dark lines along their backs and have a bit of orange coloring in the front. They are friendly fish that are popular in ponds and aquariums. Live Aquaria sells doitsu koi for approximately $110.

Doitsu Koi at Live Aquaria

Cost to Keep Koi Fish

As you probably guessed, the cost to keep koi in a pond or aquarium can be quite expensive. Depending on what kind of koi you are trying to get, you may end up paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars just for the fish itself. But keep in mind, there is a lot more to keeping koi. They are a large and hungry fish and require a large area to swim in. To set up a pond, you will be paying at least $1000 for a halfway decent pond. But some of the more expensive ponds will run you in the upwards of $30,000 just for the initial costs. Plus, you have the maintenance of the pond and upkeep, which will stack up on you. You also need to pay for water maintenance, which can often come with some kind of annual fee. Finally, you will also have to invest in quality fish food for the koi. Koi fish food is not like regular fish food and can cost between $50-150. Therefore, please plan accordingly with your finances to make sure you can cover this expensive hobby.

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