Things to know before picking a koi fish tattoo design

Koi Fish Tattoo

A tattoo is a great way to express your personality. From an average Joe to a well-known celebrity, everybody has been faulting their tattoo which represents who they are as a person. So, it will not be a surprise if you also want to get a tattoo on your body to express your own individuality.

If you have decided to have a tattoo then, you must know in order to get the best result you need to take a lot of things into consideration like how big the tattoo should be. On the other hand, you need to think of the placement for the tattoo, that is where on your body you want the tattoo to be. Besides this, you also have to do your research to find a skilled tattoo artist who can turn your idea into a reality.

But, the one thing that you need to think about the most is the design of the tattoo. If you have decided to go for a koi fish tattoo design, then know that you have chosen the best possible tattoo design. But also know that the problem with this particular design is that there are just too many options floating around which makes deciding on a particular design a hard task. So, to make it easy for you here are some important information about the different tattoo design associated with the ever popular koi fish:

Meaning and Symbolism Behind Koi Fish Tattoo Design

Yes, there is the option of laser tattoo removing procedure and getting a cover-up tattoo, but these options are very time-consuming, difficult, expensive, and of course, very painful. Thus, it is best that you make sure that you select the right Koi fish design as tattoo is a permanent thing. So, learn the Chinese and Japanese legend/myth about Koi fish before getting the design inked on your body. If the struggle of the Koi fish to become a legendary Golden Dragon is something which speaks to you then only go for it. Some of the things which certain koi fish designs can symbolize are as follows:

  • Power and Strength
  • Overcoming hurdles to achieve a goal
  • Transforming into something else in life
  • Independency
  • Passionate Love or True Friendship
  • A long and prosperous life or good luck
  • And sometimes Masculinity.

Now the question comes which design will represent what. From the positions/directions to colors to complementary symbols; each thing has a different meaning and to know then all do read on:


You basically have two options to go with. You can either have a Koi fish design that is swimming upstream or one that is swimming downstream.

If you go with the upstream direction then the tattoo design will represent that you are right now struggling with something or you are fighting a battle now. You have a positive mentally and doing your best to overcome all hurdles and will not give up until and unless you succeed. This upstream design can also mean that you need or have gained strength to fight on. A downstream design, on the other hand, will represent that you have finally won the battle and successfully achieved your goal after overcoming a lot of struggles.


  • Red and Orange– A popular choice to go for when it comes to selecting the color for your Koi fish tattoo design. Red or Orange or a combination of both represents an unconditional and deep love for someone special, a friend or a family member. A red or pink colored Koi fish sometimes even represents a daughter or any other special girl in your life. In many cases red colored Koi fish even represents power, bravery and strength to move on or to fight on.
  • Black– Black colored Koi fish is also another popular color to go with. Usually the black color represents a success after overcoming a difficult battle. People who have suffered from depression and are now finally over it or those who were able to successfully get rid of their addiction of alcohol or drugs mainly go for the color black. In many cases, someone who has come out of an abusive relationship also chooses the color black to represent their new found freedom and self-love.
  • Yellow– Yellow or golden or a combination of orange and yellow represents good fortune, meaning a great wealth. It can represent good luck also.
  • Blue– The blue Koi fish design and detailing are not that popular but, having said that they look amazing. A blue colored Koi fish has many different meanings. It can represent musicality or son or some special guy in your life. Besides this, it can also mean tranquility, peace and calm as these things are associated with the color blue.

Additional/Complementary Designs and Symbols

When you will look into the many different designs that are associated with Koi fish tattoo, you will see that they come with additional designs like lotus or water/waves and other such things. These are some of the popular complementary designs along with their meaning (when they are a part of a Koi fish tattoo design):

Water and Fire– When you add water and fire along with the Koi fish in your tattoo design then the design will represent a balance. It is like a representation of harmony of the different things in your life, just like what the symbol yin-yang represents. So, if you want opposite powers in your life to come together or you finally found a balance in your life then this combination will be perfect for you.

Lotus– If you go for a tattoo design which is a combination of Koi fish swimming in water with lotus flowers then, in such a case, the design will represent some kind of pain or struggle you experienced. Lotus is a very beautiful flower and it grows out of dirty mud that is there in the bottom of the pond. So, the flower represents you went through hardship to grow and become a person you are today.

Besides this, some other popular complementary designs are yin-yang (male and female harmony or balance), respective zodiac signs, dragons, waves (currently dealing with a great hardship) and other such symbols.

Now you are familiar with all the information you need about going with a tattoo design involving Koi fish. So all you have to do is find and select the right koi fish tattoo design that suits your personality according to the information given here. And you will see that the end result will be a perfect reflection of who you are.

Some design ideas: