That’s not to say that they are exclusively kept outside the house.
Even though a lot of people consider that the koi fish is a species related to the gold fish because of the brilliant gold some of them come in, the truth is that they are a type of carp fish.
So there’s nothing wrong if people call them koi carps.
With the color variety that resembles the goldfish and the body of a regular carp, the koi fish can be considered as somewhere between the two species of fishes. Maybe leaning more towards the latter.
Legend of the carp
It’s Mandarin name is 鲤鱼, pronounced as Li Yu (carp fish).
Although the word koi originated in Japan, the carp has many references in Chinese folklore.
The most famous of which is about the fish swimming upstream against the current of the mighty Yellow River and up the mountains in order to reach the Dragon Gate. Then becoming a dragon as a reward for that perseverance against all that adversity.
It is no wonder that the koi fish is a powerful symbol of success against all challenges, patience and commitment. This is in part because the mandarin word 鲤 is a pun of 力 which means strength.
They can also promote harmony and are generally good luck symbols.
They are widely recognized as powerful symbols for academic success as well.
The above story of the dragon gate is often depicted in paintings of the fish.
Another common depiction is having a fisherman presenting a carp to a woman and child. This signifies a blessing for wealth and status.
A pair of carps can be a representation of a happy marriage between a couple.
Keeping koi fish at home
This is partly because the real beauty of koi can only be fully appreciated when they are in a group. A single koi fish will look very odd and kind of weird. But when indoor ponds are constructed, the favorite among homeowners is still koi.
As they can grow up to a considerable size, keeping many of them in an indoor fish tank with limited space is not really a good idea.
However, they are the perfect fish for ponds whether it’s indoors or outdoors.
This is because kois are absolutely beautiful from a top view.
Not just for the color patches on their bodies, but also because we can fully appreciate it’s graceful movements from the top as they swing their tails from side to side.
So much so that most feng shui koi fish paintings are painted with a top view of them. The same can be said of koi fish photographs and even posters.
It’s no coincidence that the yin-yang symbol can often be creatively designed with two koi fish swimming in circles from a top view.
Moreover, ponds are assumed to be bigger in size compared to fish tanks. This extra space is necessary to maintain a healthy and harmonious group of fish sharing the same living space.
Other fishes are just not that resilient in outdoor ponds.
Taking into account that there are many koi fishes that supposedly lived (and still living) for over 100 years, do you really want your symbols of good fortune to spend those years in a claustrophobic home that is the fish tank?
What you want to avoid is to have a koi fish with a single red dot on it’s head as it is deemed as inauspicious, especially to children who are schooling.
More than symbolism
There should be no question that koi fishes are symbols of good fortune in symbolic feng shui.
But they can also play a crucial role in the use of water to enhance feng shui at home.
Water as we all know is associated with wealth luck in feng shui. And the placement of water features like aquariums and fish ponds often have a purpose enhancing wealth luck.
Having live fishes in these water features help to create more yang energy which can be critical to tapping on that auspicious energy correctly.
Finally, remember to get the location of the pond or aquarium right.
Otherwise, you might be harvesting negative energy instead of harnessing the good.