Tim's Tropical Fish






Fantail, Carassius auratus

Goldfish originally came from China.  Goldfish differ from Koi in that goldfish grow to a maximum of about 12 inches whereas Koi will grow to more than 2 feet long.  Also, goldfish don't have barbs at their mouth.

Main Categories of Goldfish:

Pond Comets - include Common Goldfish, Comets, Sarasas and Shubunkins.  They have a single tail fin and a dorsal fin.  Single tailed goldfish are generally hardier but require more space than fancy varieties, so they are often better suited to ponds. Commons and comets are very similar with the exception of the tail shape, with comets having long scissor-shaped tail fins. Both are most commonly seen in orange, bronze, white, orange and white, or red and white (also known as sarasa).  Shubunkins have calico colors.

Fantails - include Common Fantails, Black Moors, Ryukins and Orandas.  They have forked tails and a dorsal fin.  Orandas have a red cap on their forehead.  Ryukins have a pointed nose and tall hump on their back, which gives a notched appearance to their profile.

Fancy - include Fancy Fantails, Ranchus, Lionheads, Bubble Eyes, Telescopes, Pearlscales, Celestials, Jikins and Wakins.  Most are related to fantails.  Fancy Fantails have flowing long tails.  Ranchus are similar to Orandas, but have no dorsal fin and an extreme arch to their back.  The lionhead is a variation of the ranchu.  Bubble Eyes have eyes set in large "bubbles", while Telescopes have eyes that extend out from their bodies.  Celestials have eyes that face up.  Pearlscales have round bodies with scales like a golfball.  Jikins and Wakins are similar to comets, but have double anal and double caudal fins.   Jikins are bred to be only white with red lips and fins.

Sarasa, Carassius auratus

Comet, Carassius auratus

Oranda, Carassius auratus

Black Moor, Carassius auratus
Black Moor

Ranchu, Carassius auratus

Ryukin, Carassius auratus

Shubunkin, Carassius auratus

Goldfish are extremely hardy and can survive outdoors in freezing conditions provided that they have a fresh supply of oxygen through the ice.  They eat a variety of flake and pellet food, as well as plant material.  Breeding occurs in temperatures around 75 degrees Fahrenheit and can result in hundreds of eggs.  The fry hatch in five to six days.

Although goldfish are predominantly an outdoor cold water species, they can tolerate warm temperatures and aquarium life easily.  Fancy goldfish generally are not good pond fish because they are more sensitive to cold and canít compete well with other types of goldfish for food.

Goldfish are incredibly messy fish that need large tanks, powerful filtration, and regular maintenance.  A bowl is not a good home for these fish.  The 1 gallon per inch of fish guideline does not apply to goldfish, even if you measure the adult size since much of their size is not in length, but in width too.  A good suggested minimum for small fancy goldfish is 10 gallons each, and single tailed goldfish 15 gallons each, but bigger is always better for these fish.

Many more breeds are appearing, so keep on the look out.  Also, all types of goldfish can interbreed and this results ongoing varieties of goldfish.

Scientific Name: Carassius auratus
Family: Cyprinid
Temperature: 0 - 38 C; 32 - 100 F
pH: 7.0 - 7.5
Size: 30 cm; 12 inches
Life Span: Decades
Breeding: Easy, Egg Layer


Goldfish are peaceful fish.  Comets should not be combined with fancy goldfish, as the fancy goldfish will have trouble competing for food.  If goldfish are combined with other freshwater tropical fish, it is best to limit this to catfish.  Fancy Goldfish can also be combined with danios, ottos, white clouds, barbs, kuhli loaches and weather loaches.