Are you planning to incorporate a pond water feature in the garden of your Dunedin, FL, home? Imagine lively fish darting from the middle of the water to greet you as you rest and relax. The colors, sizes and shapes distinguish each fish. Here are the differences between goldfish, koi and carp.


Carp is the base species for both goldfish and koi. They display solid silvery, brownish or gold tones without the spots that breeders developed in other two species. Carp make a beautiful addition to your outdoor pond.


This species demonstrates the results of many generations of fine-tuning the torpedo-like shape known to fans. Colors include orange, blue, black, white, yellow and red. Here are some features of these famed fish:

  • Koi uses its long barbels to feel its way along through murky waters or trailing underwater plants. Goldfish have no barbels, and carp have short ones.
  • Koi dorsal fins nearest the tail join gradually with the fish’s back, where the goldfish shows a clearer separation between back and fin.
  • The jaw of the koi flattens underneath the head and the goldfish’s jaw demonstrates a more rounded shape.
  • Goldfish features may include double tail fins, bubble eyes, tubular eyes and a short, rounded body shape.


This species own smaller shapes than either adult koi or carp. Their swift movements display their generally solid colors of black, white or traditional gold. Goldfish tolerate cold weather well and are now considered a separate species from their ancestor species, the Prussian carp.

We realize you want to find your perfect fish among the different kinds, so contact or visit Tampa Bay Ponds & Rocks for help. Your attention to detail combined with our expertise in carp, koi and goldfish will result in a delightful water feature.

Image provided by iStock

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