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Nishikigoi Terms





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This Glossary is Koi, Plant and all things relating to the Pond.


Pronunciation Guide:

A - pronounced ah, as in paw or draw EI - pronounced aye, as in bay, play
E - pronounced eh, as in spend or friend OI - pronounced oye, as in toy, boy
I - pronounced ee, as in bee, he, tree OA - pronounced oh ah, as in boa
O- pronounced oh, as in tow, oak OO - pronounced oo, as in who, boo
U - pronounced uu, as in moo, who UI - pronounced wee, as in tree, bee
R - sometimes pronounced like the letter "d" JI - pronounced gee, as in bungi
AI - pronounced eye, as in pie, fly JY - pronounced jah, as in draw, jaw
AO - pronounced ah oh RYU - pronounced droo, as in Andrew




Word(Pronunciation)Meaning
B Cell Lymphoid stem cells from hemapoietic tissue that migrate to and become mature antigen-specific cells in the spleen.
Bacillariophyta Also known as diatoms. Free floating, microscopic unicellular algae surrounded by a cell wall which is highly impregnated with silica (SiO2 :nH2O). Around 10,000 different species, which comprise approximately 20% of all primary production. Typically brown in colour (as a result of their containing the carotenoid - fucoxanthin).
Back flushing The general term used to describe the process where filters are cleaned. Also sometimes called back washing. The washing can be either from flows in filters a being reversed, filter beds being agitated by air or some mechanical means, or the jetting of water/air onto screens to clean them. Although many of these operations are not technically correct under this heading, they all tend to be grouped into the back washing/flushing term.
Bacteria Usually single celled microscopic organism about 1 micron in diameter.
Bacteria diseases Diseases caused by bacteria. Bacterial diseases fall into two categories, those that affect specific areas of the body (localised) and those that affect the entire body (systemic). External bacterial diseases usually respond well to chemicals such as Chloramin T and the quaternary ammonium compounds. Systemic infections (such as Enteric Red Mouth Yersinia ruckeri) usually require antibiotic treatment. Many pathogenic bacteria are present in the body tissues and environment all the time, a trigger such as stress is often responsible for lowering the fishes defence mechanism (see Corticosteroid) allowing the bacteria to multiply.
Bacteria Gill Disease A condition where the gill lamellae of the fish are infested by colonies of filamentous bacteria which cause the gills to produce excessive amounts of mucous and stick together. Both of these have the result of limiting the transfer of gasses across the gill surface and lead to respiratory stress. The disease, which in Salmonids and pond fish is usually caused by the bacteria Flavobacterium branchiophila although in warm water fish, the bacteria Cytophaga (formerly Flexibacter) columnaris is often the culprit. Small fish tend to be more susceptible to bacterial gill disease (BGD) and infections often follow periods of stress. Fish can often be seen with their opercula sticking out due to the excess mucous build up of the gills, and breathing seems rapid. Cause of most BGD outbreaks in salmonids. Infections are often reported following exposure to high ammonia, but there can also be many other non-specific causes such as high suspended solids. Treatment is usually by the use of quaternary ammonium compounds such as Benzalkonium Chloride at 1-2ppm (active ingredient) and are often followed by a treatment of Chloramine T or a similar chemical. The rational behind this is that the latter is better at killing the bacteria, but cannot effectively penetrate the thick mucous layers that have built up. In addition to the antibacterial effects, the quaternary ammonium compounds have the added benefit of "washing" most of the excess mucous off the gills). Care should be taken using quaternary ammonium compounds in soft water. When BGD, caused by C. columnaris, occurs in pondfish, external treatments for the control of columnaris disease are used. Diquat at 8.5ppm, Copper sulphate at 0.5 ppm, or Potassium permanganate at 2 to 4 ppm can be added to ponds and allowed to dissipate over time. If copper sulfate or potassium permanganate are used, treatment levels may have to be adjusted, depending on water chemistry. In soft water, 0.5 ppm copper sulfate may be toxic; and if pondwater is high in organic material, potassium permanganate concentrations must be increased.
Bacteriocide A chemical that kills bacteria.
Bacteriostat A chemical which inhibits the multiplication of bacteria and so enables the animal to cope more easily with the infection.
Bacterium Typically these are unicellular microorganisms whose shape ranges from spheres to rods to spirals. Some are pathogenic to koi, others are beneficial, e.g. for the biological conversion of ammonia to nitrate and for the decomposition of organic matter.
Barbel A fleshy protrusion from the body, usually the mouth. Used by some fish to feel for food.
Base metabolism The minimum amount of energy required for the body to perform it's vital life functions i.e. excludes the energy required for growth, activity etc.
Bekko (beck koh')koi fish picturesSolid color Koi with black spots; Shiro Bekko is a white Koi with black spots, Hi Bekko is a red Koi with black spots, Ki Bekko is a yellow Koi with black spots.
Beni (ben'knee)Holds the impression of a stronger red color.
Benigoi (ben' ee goy)koi fish picturesRedder than Higoi, these are the truly red Koi.
Beni Haijiro (BENNY HA-JEER-O) A red-based koi with white tips on its pectoral fins.
Beni Kujaku (BENNY COO-JA-COO) An orange/red Kujaku which has red markings all over its body.
Beni Kumonryu (BEN ee koo mahn droo) (ben' ee coo mahn' drue)koi fish pictures Kumonryu with Hi patterns. Beni is another term for red. Kumonryu is a Doitsu version in the Karasu family. When Karasu were bred to Kohaku, Beni Kumonryu were created. The Hi pattern should be similar to the more linear pattern of Kumonryu rather than the patch pattern of Kohaku.
Benthic Algae grow on the bottom or bottom sediments.
Benzalkonium Chloride Sometimes referred to as Roccal, or B.A.C.. A quaternary ammonium compound used as per Hyamine 3500. Typically supplied as a 10,20 or 30% solution, so care should be taken when using the chemical to ensure that the right amount of active ingredient is used. Dose rates are typically 1ppm in poorly buffered water to 4ppm in well buffered water for a period of one hour.
Beret Hi (BEH reh HEE) Asymmetrical head hi (red) on one side only.
Beta Ginrin (BEH tah deen) (beh' tah geen' reen)Mirror shine. The entire scale shines like a mirror. Also called Niigata Ginrin. The shine itself is strong, but depending on the angle, it could appear strong or weak. The breeder later developed Hiroshima Ginrin which has a much stronger shine.
Biocide A chemical which will indiscriminately kill any life in the water. In addition to chemicals which are simply toxic to all life for (example derris), this also includes chemicals (such as cyanide) which take all the oxygen out of the water.
Bire (BEE reh) 'Fire', a name used for the specific red patterning on Asagi and Shusui.
Bito Love
Black Spot Often used to refer to the black cysts caused by the intermediate stages of trematodes in fish.
Blue sac disease A condition of sac fry (alevins) in which the yolk sac takes on a blueish colour. Brought on by a lack of oxygen and / or high Carbon dioxide concentrations which limit the uptake of oxygen into the bloodstream.
Blue tinge Irritation of the skin on fish can cause an excessive production of mucus which can give the fish a pale blue color, especially when viewed from above in the water. Particularly associated with the parasite costia. Can also be brought on by malnutrition, especially a lack of biotin in the diet. Should not be confused with the blue color that some naturally sterile and triploid fish (especially salmonids) can exhibit.
Bohr Effect Discovered by C. Bohr (1855-1911). High concentrations of carbon dioxide in the blood, causes the blood to become more acidic. This has the effect of inducing the hemoglobin to release any bound oxygen in to the tissues, but has the opposite effect at the lungs/gills, where the haemoglobin is less inclined to take up oxygen. Can lead to respiratory stress and exhaustion as the fish has to breath harder to maintain it's oxygen supply. Can be caused by high carbon dioxide levels in the water, which inhibit the release of carbon dioxide from the haemoglobin into the water.
Boke (BOH kee) Undeveloped showa sumi.
Boke Showa (BOH kee SHOW wah) A popular form of Showa, with blurred, grayish sumi - netting sumi.
Boke Sumi Blurred sumi like Kage.
Bongiri (bone' geen ree) Light second half. Nishikigoi that has little pattern on the second half of the body or has a very light pattern compared to the first half. The Koi would look like it was wearing only a shirt. It is a disadvantage when the Koi is small. But if the Koi is high in quality and grows large, it could become an outstanding beauty. There are actually many famous Koi with Bongiri.
Bozu(bow' zoo)Bald. Refers to the bald head of a Buddhist priest. Koi with a white head having no Hi or Sumi. Originally, Koi that had even a spot of color on the head were not referred to as Bozu. Recently, all Koi with light heads are called Bozu.
Branchiocranium The part of the skeleton that the gill arches are attached to.
Bu(boo)Length division unit as Japanese Koi shows. Many Koi shows use 5cm (2 in.) as one unit. For example, 20 Bu is the class for Koi that are 15cm. (6 in.) up to 20 cm. (8 in.)
Buccal Cavity The mouth cavity.
Buccal force plate The plate feature at the bottom of the mouth which is controlled by muscles to pump water through the gills and also to give a coughing action to prevent choking or clogging of the gills.
Budo Goromo (BOO doh go ROW mow) (boo dough' go' row mow)koi fish pictures Graped-colored goromo. Budo means a "grape" color that is dark purple. The Budo color covers all the Hi plates rather than forming crescents like the Ai does in Aigoromo. The Fukurin is also Budo. There is great contrast between the Shiroji and the Budo, which enhances the beauty.
Budo Sanke (BOO doh SAHN keh) A koi with a pattern resembling that of Budo Goromo combined with solid black markings.
Bunka A variation of the sanshoku or tricolor pattern
Bunka Sanke (BOON ka SAHN keh) A blue Sanke with shiny pectoral fins, Seen only as a baby koi.
Butterfly Koi Any variety of koi that has long fins that reflect light


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