of some of the numerous varieties of Goldfish are detailed in separate
- There are
basically two distinct body types - Torpedo-shaped and Egg-shaped.
The Egg-shaped Goldfish
are also known as Fancy Goldfish.
- Within the Egg-shaped
varieties there are fish with or without dorsal fins, single and
double-tailed, fish with unusual eyes and head growths, as well
as a variety of colours and patterns.
- Within the Torpedo-shaped
varieties the variation is more limited - single or double tailed
- Similar species....
- Koi Carp (Carassius
similar to the comet and shubunkin-type Goldfish. However, Koi have
barbels on each side of their mouth, that Goldfish lack.
Actinopterygii (Ray-finned Fish)
- Not applicable,
as many man-bred forms exist.
In the wild, goldfish can be found in
slow-moving, freshwater bodies of water. As with their close relative
the carp, they thrive in slightly sludgy water. None
of the Goldfish varieties found in aquariums occur naturally in the wild.
They are all specifically bred for a particular characteristic - colour,
fin or body shape, etc. The closest in shape to the wild Goldfish is the
Comet, although the wild form is a slightly stockier fish with shorter
to tank size is indicative and depends on factors including the type and
size of fish kept with the species being discussed. It is intended to
be used as a rough guide only to give some idea of the space requirements
for the fish.
thrive in large tanks or outdoor pools supplied with clean, well-aerated
- Fancy Goldfish
are not suitable for outdoor ponds.
- Comets (right)
and Shubunkins must be kept in tanks with lids as they will jump.
tanks may be used for juvenile fish initially.
- When you
begin your aquarium, you need to keep in mind that it is a home
for your fish. Goldfish require more room than other varieties of
fish. As a general guide: 1 fish per 50 litres of water.
- Use a fine
rounded gravel substrate and if using rocks and wood make sure there
are no sharp edges that the fish could damage itself on.
- All of the
swimming and vision-impaired breeds do best with no decorations
at all, except for gravel and live (or plastic) plants. Rocks and
driftwood and ceramic castles are merely obstacles to most of these
- Real plants
can be used, however, as all Goldfish are vegetarians they will
eat soft plants. Elodea is the ideal plant to use with Goldfish
as it is a coldwater plant, quick growing and, although the Goldfish
will eat it, it can be easily replaced.
are extremely messy fish and good filtration is essential to remove
the waste the produce. Small, weekly water changes, about 10-20
percent, shoud be undertaken to keep the water clear.
of the single tail varieties are quite hardy and are the most forgiving
of imperfect conditions.
are not tropical fish; therefore, they do not require a heater in
the tank. Typically,
goldfish will survive in water temperatures ranging from freezing
to about 28oC. They do much better in cooler temperatures.
Goldfish should be kept in water no cooler than room temperature.
They aren't really suited to outdoor ponds (although many will do
well in large containers in sheltered areas (such as a balcony)
away from predation and weather extremes.
should not be overfed.
diseases seem to affect Goldfish more than other fish - watch particularly
for Dropsy, Fish Lice and Fin or Tail
Rot (in longtailed varieties). Some
of the Fancy Goldfish, such as Orandas and Lionheads can develop
fungal growths in their head caps if the water quality is poor.
much ammonia in the water shows as blood lines in the ribs of the
fins and tail.
Goldfish diseases can be avoided by just meeting the minimum acceptable
levels of care and hygiene.
Goldfish are pretty hardy if their needs are met.
- The addition of
aquarium salt to the water is beneficial for Goldfish.
- Water parameters:
- pH: slightly
acid to slightly alkaline (6.5-7.5: optimum 7.0)
should preferrably be kept with Goldfish.
- In the wild
they will school to a certain extent. In aquariums, however, they
can be kept seperately or in a group. Goldfish are quite intelligent
and will recognise the person who feeds them.
are not particularly aggressive, so combining sizes is not often
a problem. However, Goldfish with different body shapes should not
be kept together. For instance, a slow, heavy-bodied Oranda should
not be kept in the same tank with a fast, slightly more aggresive
variety such as a Comet.
- Algae eaters
such as the Chinese Algae-eater, are not recommended for Fancy Goldfish,
as they are very quick, grow large and, if their is not enough algae
in the tank, will suck the slime coating from the slow-moving Fancy
fish listed below are indicative of the species that can be kept
with this fish. Other fish may also be suitable - please ask us
which other fish are compatible.
Goldfish of similar body shape are suitable to
Chinese Algae-eater(Gyrinocheilus aymonieri)*
White Cloud Mountain Minnow (Tanichthys
Rosy Barb (Barbus conchonius)*
Bitterling (Rhodeus ocellatus)*
Bristlenose Catfish (Ancistrus sp)
Pleco (Glyptoperichthys multiradiatus)
Swordtail (Xiphophorus hellerii)
Shiner (Notropis lutrensis)*
not be kept with the less robust or slower Fancy Goldfish, such
as Bubble-eyes, Ranchus and Celestial-eyes.
will chase females for several days before spawning occurs.
can produce several thousand eggs per spawning period up to several
times within a few months. The
males release milt into the water, which will turn the water a milky-white
the spawning season the male will have tubercles (small white dots,
not to be confused with the disease White Spot) on their head, pectoral
fins and gill covers.
eggs hatch in about 4-5 days at between 18-20oC.
- The parents
are voracious egg eaters and must be removed immediately after spawning.
Because there are many
different Goldfish varieties, each with different characteristics and
requirements, separate Fact Sheets have been developed to provide more
information specific to that particular type.
today vary enormously from the original Common Goldfish. They come in
many different colours and patterns - yellow, orange, red, gold, white,
blue and black. Some have calico patterns, yet others have long, veil-like
fins and others have double fins. Some varieites have no dorsal fin, others
have coloured fleshy growths on the head; strange eyes; egg-shaped bodied
or high backs. Many varieites have one or more different traits.
Sheets are divided broadly into information on:
- Single tail (Torpedo-shaped) Goldfish
- Double tail (Torpedo-shaped) Goldish
- Double tail Fancy Goldfish
- Other Double tail Fancy Goldfish
- Fancy Goldfish with no dorsal fin
- Fancy Goldfish with different eyes
- What to
Look for in a Fancy Goldfish
Fancy Goldfish - Deep, rich colouring; Smooth, undamaged fins without
blood spots, frayed edges or major tears.
- The higher the back the better;
Head should be narrow and come to a point.
and other dorsal fin-less varieties - Smooth curved back; No sign
of vestigal dorsal fins
- Head growth should cover as much of the head as possible without
covering the eyes. It should sit on top of the head like a hat; no
fungus on head growth.
- Every scale should be pearled; Back should be completely pearled.
- Both eye sacs inflated and even in size.
- Eyes the same size.
are also referred to as Egg-shaped Goldfish. They have the typically rounded
body shape of other Fancy Goldfish, but have no dorsal fin. The two most
common varieties are the Ranchu and the Lionhead. These fish are similar,
with a headgrowth, short double caudal fins, and smooth back contours
without evidence of the missing dorsal fin.
The Ranchu (right)
has been known in Japan since the 1700s and the first competitive Ranchu
exhibition was in 1885. The Lionhead is about 300 years older and it is
thought that the Ranchu was developed from the Lionhead.
The Lionhead gets its name from the massive headgrowth, which grows beyond
the top-of-the-head cap of the Oranda, becoming a "mane" all around the
head and gills. In addition, the dorsal fin is completely absent, and
the other fins are greatly reduced in size. This produces a softball-with-fins
appearance, and many large lionheads are very ungainly when swimming.
These fish should never be kept with more agile breeds, who will get all
the food and bully the awkward Lionheads. This in another dorsal less
breed that has the same general characteristics as the Ranchu. this Chinese
breed has much larger head growth and this breed has the largest head
growth of any breed. A double tail propels the short boxy body. View this
tail from above and the tail looks like butterfly wings, which is very
attractive. the back outline is straighter than found in the Ranchu, but
it still has a gentle, even curve, which is carried right to the caudal
for your Goldfish
Diseases of Goldfish
ph: (07) 3823 1866