How long do koi carp live?

If you keep koi carp or are thinking of setting up your first pond, one of the most important things to consider is how long koi carp live.

While the life span of a koi carp can vary greatly – depending on factors such as genetics and quality of care – you should of course plan for the possibility that your koi will live for a very long time.

Koi carp life expectancy

In a good quality hobbyist pond, you can reasonably expect the average koi carp to live for anything between twenty and thirty years, assuming that you start off with good, healthy specimens.

In superior quality ponds with excellent filtration systems and a large volume of water in relation to the amount of stock in the pond, koi reaching ages of forty years or more is certainly not unheard of.

However, the premium environment for koi longevity can be found in the long-established lakes and naturally stream-fed mud ponds of Japan; the historical home of the koi. Average longevity within this type of environment can easily reach seventy years or more, with some of the best-regarded koi specimens in the world being produced within this environment.

The oldest known koi carp on record was a Japanese scarlet specimen named “Hanako,” who lived to the grand old age of 225!

Life span differences between the different koi varieties

how long do koi carp liveAs with other pedigree pets, such as cats and dogs, different varieties of koi will have different life spans. Knowing the type of koi that you keep in your pond will therefore help you to make a more accurate prediction of their potential longevity.

Wild koi and hybrid koi that have not been subjected to deliberate selective breeding tend to be much more long-lived than specialist strains, such as the Gosanke koi, which is unlikely to live for more than 25 years, even with optimum care.