Do you know there are over 100 Types of Goldfish out there in the world? One interesting fact is all these Goldfish Breeds are man-made. You can’t find a single type of Goldfish in any natural habitats as a native fish breeds. All those you find in lakes, rivers etc are leases by someone who decided to get rid of their pet fish. Every pet post usually has a couple of breeds of Goldfish for sale. So it’s better to learn how to recognize these types of Goldfish and a few details about each breed.
Why should you Learn about different Types of Goldfish?
Goldfish are delicate fish. They are not aggressive towards other fish nor can defend themselves. Also, They can get very easily. Because of this, Goldfish keeps should know which are the best tankmates for their breeds of Goldfish, Should keep them in a tank or outdoor pond, what types of food etc. Besides that, anyone would love to learn about the history and origins of their pet Goldfish.
Common Goldfish probably are the oldest type of Goldfish out there. They are hardy fish who can survive in ponds even in extreme winter conditions. But Commons grow big very fast. They are a good beginner fish because of their hardiness but not so good if you can’t offer a big tank. Unlike twin tail, Common Goldfish have a shorter single tail fin. These guys look pretty much like their living ancestor, the Prussian carp. Can be found in so many colors like gold, yellow, metallic, white etc. This breed of Goldfish should not be kept with slow types such as Bubble eyes, Celestial Goldfish etc because they are aggressive feeding habits. Very good pond fish but don’t buy them for indoor aquariums unless you can provide enough space.
Comet Goldfish are created in the USA. Difference between common Goldfish by their long deeply forked tail fin. Both these types of goldfish grow large. These guys are very active so you can find them swimming back and forth in the tank all the time. Many believe Comets were created by Amecian Goldfish breeder called Hugo Mulertt in 1880. This type has slender bodies than other goldfish types. Comet Goldfish average lifespan is known to be between 10-15 years but there are many cases where they lived a lot longer than that. More suitable for ponds because of their size. Very good beginner fish but you need to provide at least 30-gallon tank for one fish.
Shubunkin Goldfish were first bred in Japan by a mutation of other Goldfish type called Demekins which is more commonly known as telescope eyes around 1900. A breeder called Yoshigoro Akiyama has done that by crossing a calico telescope-eye, a comet and a common Goldfish. Like the other 2 types of single tail Goldfish, Shubunkin can grow quite large up to 18 inches. They are excellent pond fish some keep them even with Koi. Shubunkins with blue color are priced in Japan. There are several breeds of Shubunkins, London Shubunkins, American Shubunkins, and Bristol Shubunkins.
Telescope Goldfish are also known as Demekins. They have enlarged projecting eyes which makes them different from other types of Goldish. There are long bodied Telescope Goldfish like Blackmoor as well as Short bodied varieties similar to Ryukin but with projecting eyes. Demekins have poor vision so they are not suitable for ponds. Also, they should not keep with aggressive fish which would harm their eyes. Also, You must be careful when clean the tank. There are been too many cases of eyes sucked into the hose. Bubble eye Goldfish, Ranchu are good tank makes for Demekins because all of these fish are slow-moving types.
Ryukin Goldfish is a very good beginner goldfish because of hardiness as well for their looks. This Breed of Goldfish has a pointy face and a characteristic hump on their back behind the head. Ryukins won’t get big as Commons but they do grow up to 8-10 inches. They are originally from China. But got the name from the Ryukyu Islands after brought into Japan. Japanese Goldfish breeders perfected this breed and created many sub-varieties such as Ttamasaba, Tetsu Onaga etc.
Oranda is one of the most popular types of Goldfish out there. They do have a unique characteristic, bubble-like growth on their head which is called as “Wen”. Sometimes it covers the whole face (Tigerhead or Tiger Goldfish) and sometimes it just limited to head making it look like a cap. Their delicate and sensitive nature makes them not suitable as a beginner fish. Oranda is suitable for tanks, not outdoor ponds. They do not like extreme temperatures or bad water conditions. Therefore, not a good pond fish. But they can survive in well-maintained ponds when conditions are right. Oranda Goldfish can live 10-15 year in optimum conditions. Also, they grow as big as 8-12 inches and sometimes even bigger than that. This Wen can become a problem sometimes
because it grows over eyes making them blind or having poor vision. This breed of Goldfish often lose their balance due to the unusual body shape and end up unable to swim. It’s better to keep Oranda Goldfish with slower types of fish such as Ranch or Ryukin. Should provide quality food or they tend to end up with swim bladder issues or bloated.
Lionhead Goldfish are originated in China. They are the precursor to modern Goldfish type called Ranchu. The main difference between these 2 breeds of Goldfish is Lionheads have a flat long back while Ranchu has more curved back. This type does not have a dorsal fin. Some get a Wen growth but not all of them. Lionhead goldfish was first important to Japan in the 17th and 18th centuries. These days this breed is a little hard to find in pet shops.
Runchu is a product of Japanese Goldfish breeders who till regard them as one of the most valuable breeds of Goldfish. They look pretty much like Lionheads but have more arched back and egg-shaped body with shorter tail fin. Ranchu breeding standards require back should be rounded, sufficient space between the eyes, eyes to the front of the head, rounded tail lobes and all other finnage are paired. Sometimes Ranchu are mistaken for Lionheads when they do not have a Wen. But, Not all Ranchu have a wen. Even though today most of Ranchu breeders focus on Ranchu with a Wen.
Japanese call them Chinshurin. Their main characteristics are golf ball like body shape and thick, domed scales which look like pearls. Pearlscale Goldfish easily fall for swimbladder disorders because of their body shape. Also, they can’t swim fast so better keep with other slow-moving goldfish types. Pearlscales grow up to 6-8 and live 10-15 years. They are hardy fish which can live in outdoor ponds. But should not mix with single tail larger types like Shubunkin, comet or Common Goldfish. There are standards for a quality Pearlscale, greater than 2/3 of body length, domed scales, Single dorsal fin and rest of the fins are paired etc. One variety has a head growth like Oranda. That’s Crown Pearlscale Goldfish.