Like an exhibition: ornamental carps return to the outdoor ponds.

Like an exhibition: ornamental carps return to the outdoor ponds.

The ponds located in the walking area of the Primorsky Aquarium are becoming populated with fish that spent winter in the Research Building for Adaptation. Koi carps, common minnows and European perches were the first to be returned outdoors.

Most of the ponds are inhabited by colourful koi carps.  Japanese farmers could raise carps for food as early as in the 15th and 16th centuries. If brightly coloured individuals occurred in a pod of dull grey fish, they were kept as precious decorations in garden ponds. Nowadays, almost none of the Japanese gardens go without a koi pond, and since 1914 koi exhibitions have been held regularly in the country. Europe and America followed its example in the 21st century. 

The Aquarium collection includes individuals of different colours: golden, black and white, red and orange spotted. The best place to admire the fish is a pavilion in the middle of the largest pond housing more than 50 ornamental carps. Several smaller ponds have been restocked with fish of similar colourations; later on, these carps will be used in the Aquarium’s breeding program.

“Koi carps produce their offspring yearly. We expect the European perch to spawn a new generation of fish this year since the ponds provide the species with an environment identical to that in the wild,” said Evgeniy Kozhukhov, Principal Specialist at the Department of Freshwater Organisms of the Russian Far East. 

The Aquarium’s ponds needed some time to mature. Several hundreds of fry of the common and crucian carps have successfully overwintered in the silt of the ponds, and this fact proves that the water bodies are well established.  Adult common carps have yet to move from the Research Building for Adaptation back to the open-air ponds.

We would like to remind our visitors that they are not allowed to feed the inhabitants of the ponds in the walking area: the food that is good for people may be deadly dangerous to fish. Their diet is developed according to their needs and consists of sliced salmon and special pelleted food for pond fish.

General information

The koi carp is a symbol of love and friendship in Japan.

Koi can be trained to do simple tricks and are able to remember up to 20 commands.

The largest individual recorded had a body length of 120 cm and weighed more than 40 kg.