Reader’s Choice – Sanke Butterfly

A large part of koi keeping and the koi hobby in general involves judging fish by their appearance.  Is this koi higher quality than that one?  How much should I pay for this fish?  Am I getting my money’s worth?

With that in mind, we would like to introduce our newest blog series, “Reader’s Choice”.  In this series, we will offer up pictures of three or four koi or butterfly koi from the same variety.  And then we will ask a simple question – “Which do you think is better than the rest?  Why?”

Hopefully this series will provide our readers with a chance to hone their koi eye, as well as the opportunity to see what other hobbyists think.


We will start today with one of the more common and popular varieties – Sanke.  But let’s throw a little twist on it.  Instead of traditional standard fin Sanke, we will start this off with long-finned Sanke Butterfly.

So, let’s assume that all three of these fish are the same age, length and price.  Let’s say each one is 8 to 9 inches in length, approximately 1 year old, and selling at a retail price of $75.  Which would you choose first?  Why would you choose that one?

three live taisho sanke butterfly koi

Remember, while one of these fish is higher quality than the other two by the generally accepted butterfly koi standards, there really is no wrong answer here.  It is often said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it’s no different for koi keeping.  You’re the one who has to look at the fish day in and day out, so it’s completely up to you.  So don’t be shy!  Leave us a comment and tell us which you would prefer!



2 Responses to Reader’s Choice – Sanke Butterfly

  1. tbbucsron December 3, 2013 at 4:44 am #

    I really like all of them. The tail and fins on C really stand out, but overall my favorite is B. The colors transition into each other beautifully and it still has nice fins as well. Now, about that $75…. 🙂

  2. HHG March 16, 2015 at 8:42 pm #

    I prefer the fins, colors and look of C because I am fond of more white on my koi and very long fins on my butterfly. The color on B appears more perfect with solid, well-defined colors and bright whites. There are faded color scales on top of A’s head and sides. C has ill defined faded black markings on its’ body and color fading around the orange at the edges on top of its’ head.