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Ornamental varieties of the common carp, koi have long been kept as decorative pets in large koi ponds, also called water gardens. The word 'koi' comes from the Japanese nishikigoi, literally means 'brocaded carp', but is also homophonic with another Japanese word meaning 'affection'. For this reason, the colourful patterns and still serenity found beside a Japanese koi pond are considered symbolic of love and friendship. Because of their bright colours, domesticated koi are highly vulnerable to fishing predators, and koi ponds are therefore specially constructed to prevent predation - too deep for heron to stand in, overhangs to prevent mammals reaching into the water and trees providing cover necessary to prevent birds from spotting the fish from the sky.