11 Popular Types of Goldfish: Which Is Right for You?

The goldfish is believed to have originated in China over a thousand years ago, where they were first selectively bred for their bright colors. Over time, goldfish became popular in Japan and eventually made their way to Europe and the Americas, where they quickly became beloved pets.

Goldfish are popular pets for many reasons. They are beautiful, peaceful, and relatively low-maintenance compared to other pets. They also have unique personalities and can be trained to do tricks, making them a fun and engaging addition to any home.

So, let’s explore the different types of goldfish available, from the common goldfish to more unique varieties like the bubble eye and lionhead. I’ll also discuss important considerations for choosing the right goldfish for you, such as tank size and water temperature.

The Most Poplar Types of Goldfish You Can Keep as a Pet!

Goldfish come in many different varieties, each with its own unique characteristics and care requirements. Here are 11 of the most popular types of goldfish:

1. Common Goldfish

The common goldfish is the most recognizable and widely known type of goldfish. It has been kept as a pet for centuries, and its origins can be traced back to ancient China.

These goldfish is typically orange in color with white or yellow accents, but it can also be found in red, brown, black, and white. It has a streamlined body shape and a long, flowing tail.

CharacteristicsCommon Goldfish
Body shapeStreamlined
Tail shapeLong and flowing
ColorOrange with white/yellow accents; can also be red, brown, black, or white
SizeUp to 10-12 inches
TemperamentSocial, active swimmer
Ideal group size3-4
Water temperature65-72 degrees F
DietOmnivorous
Food optionsFlakes, pellets, live or frozen food such as brine shrimp or bloodworms
Tank/pond sizeLarge
Water filtrationWell-filtered
OxygenationAdequate
Hiding placesPlenty
LifespanUp to 20 years or more

2. Comet Goldfish

The comet goldfish is a long-bodied, single-tailed goldfish that was developed in the United States in the late 1800s. Its name comes from its long, flowing tail that resembles a comet. The comet goldfish is typically orange in color, but it can also be found in red, white, and yellow. It has a streamlined body shape and a long, forked tail.

CharacteristicsComet Goldfish
Body shapeLong-bodied
Tail shapeLong and forked
ColorOrange; can also be red, white, or yellow
SizeUp to 12-14 inches
TemperamentSocial, fast swimmer
Ideal group size3-4
Water temperature65-72 degrees F
DietOmnivorous
Food optionsFlakes, pellets, live or frozen food such as brine shrimp or bloodworms
Tank/pond sizeLarge
Water filtrationWell-filtered
OxygenationAdequate
Hiding placesPlenty
LifespanUp to 20 years or more

3. Shubunkin Goldfish

The shubunkin goldfish is a beautiful and popular goldfish variety that was developed in Japan. It is a type of single-tailed goldfish, similar to the comet goldfish. This fish is known for its striking blue, red, and white coloration, with a pattern of speckles or spots on its body. This coloration is the result of careful breeding and is not found in wild goldfish populations.

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CharacteristicsShubunkin Goldfish
Body shapeStreamlined
Tail shapeLong and flowing
ColorBlue, red, and white; speckled or spotted pattern
SizeUp to 10-12 inches
TemperamentSocial, active swimmer
Ideal group size3-4
Water temperature65-72 degrees F
DietOmnivorous
Food optionsFlakes, pellets, live or frozen food such as brine shrimp or bloodworms
Tank/pond sizeLarge
Water filtrationWell-filtered
OxygenationAdequate
Hiding placesPlenty
LifespanUp to 20 years or more

4. Black Moor Goldfish

The Black Moor Goldfish is a unique and popular goldfish variety that was first developed in China. It is known for its distinctive appearance, with a black, velvety body and protruding eyes.

Black coloration is the result of a genetic mutation that affects the pigmentation in the skin. Black Moor Goldfish is one of the most recognizable and sought-after breeds of goldfish due to their distinctive appearance.

CharacteristicsBlack Moor Goldfish
Body shapeRounded
Tail shapeLong and flowing
ColorBlack
SizeUp to 6 inches
TemperamentPeaceful, social
Ideal group size3-4
Water temperature65-72 degrees F
DietOmnivorous
Food optionsFlakes, pellets, live or frozen food such as brine shrimp or bloodworms
Tank/pond sizeLarge
Water filtrationWell-filtered
OxygenationAdequate
Hiding placesPlenty
LifespanUp to 15 years or more

5. Ryukin Goldfish

The Ryukin Goldfish is a beautiful and popular breed that originated in Japan. It is known for its rounded body shape and distinctive hump on its back. Ryukin Goldfish come in a variety of colors and patterns, including red, orange, white, black, and calico. They are a favorite among goldfish enthusiasts due to their unique appearance and hardiness.

CharacteristicsRyukin Goldfish
Body shapeRounded with a hump on the back
Tail shapeShort and wide
ColorRed, orange, white, black, calico
SizeUp to 8 inches
TemperamentPeaceful, social
Ideal group size3-4
Water temperature65-72 degrees F
DietOmnivorous
Food optionsFlakes, pellets, live or frozen food such as brine shrimp or bloodworms
Tank/pond sizeLarge
Water filtrationWell-filtered
OxygenationAdequate
Hiding placesPlenty
LifespanUp to 15 years or more

6. Oranda Goldfish

The Oranda Goldfish is a popular and beautiful breed that originated in China. It is known for its rounded body and prominent head growth, known as a “wen.” Oranda Goldfish come in a variety of colors and patterns, including red, orange, white, black, and calico. They are a favorite among goldfish enthusiasts due to their unique appearance and playful personality.

CharacteristicsOranda Goldfish
Body shapeRounded with a prominent head growth (wen)
Tail shapeShort and wide
ColorRed, orange, white, black, calico
SizeUp to 8 inches
TemperamentPlayful, social
Ideal group size3-4
Water temperature65-72 degrees F
DietOmnivorous
Food optionsFlakes, pellets, live or frozen food such as brine shrimp or bloodworms
Tank/pond sizeLarge
Water filtrationWell-filtered
OxygenationAdequate
Hiding placesPlenty
LifespanUp to 15 years or more

7. Fantail Goldfish

The Fantail Goldfish is a beautiful and unique breed that originated in Japan. It is known for its distinct double tail and rounded body. Fantail Goldfish come in a variety of colors and patterns, including red, orange, white, black, and calico. They are a favorite among goldfish enthusiasts due to their elegant appearance and peaceful demeanor.

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CharacteristicsFantail Goldfish
Body shapeRounded with a double tail
Tail shapeWide and flowing
ColorRed, orange, white, black, calico
SizeUp to 6 inches
TemperamentPeaceful, shy
Ideal group size2-3
Water temperature65-72 degrees F
DietOmnivorous
Food optionsFlakes, pellets, live or frozen food such as brine shrimp or bloodworms
Tank/pond sizeMedium to large
Water filtrationWell-filtered
OxygenationAdequate
Hiding placesPlenty
LifespanUp to 10 years or more

8. Fantail Goldfish

The Fantail Goldfish is a popular variety that originated in China. It is known for its short, round body and split tail, which forms a “V” shape. Fantail Goldfish come in a range of colors, including red, orange, white, and black. They are a favorite among goldfish enthusiasts due to their elegant appearance and peaceful temperament.

CharacteristicsFantail Goldfish
Body shapeShort and round with a split tail
Tail shapeV-shaped split tail
ColorRed, orange, white, and black
SizeUp to 6 inches
TemperamentPeaceful, social
Ideal group size3-4
Water temperature65-72 degrees F
DietOmnivorous
Food optionsFlakes, pellets, live or frozen brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia
Tank sizeAt least 20 gallons for 1-2 fish
Water conditionspH 7.0-8.4, moderately hard water
Tank setupSmooth substrate, plenty of hiding places, moderate water flow
MaintenanceRegular water changes (25% weekly), filter maintenance, monitoring of water parameters
Common health issuesSwim bladder problems, fin rot, parasites, bacterial infections

9. Bubble Eye Goldfish

The Bubble Eye Goldfish is a unique and distinctive variety that originated in China. It is known for the fluid-filled sacs located under its eyes, which give the fish its “bubble” appearance. These sacs are delicate and require extra care to avoid injury or infection. Bubble Eye Goldfish come in a range of colors, including red, orange, black, and calico.

CharacteristicsBubble Eye Goldfish
Body shapeShort and round
Eye sacsTwo fluid-filled sacs under each eye
ColorRed, orange, black, calico
SizeUp to 6 inches
TemperamentPeaceful, social
Ideal group size3-4
Water temperature65-72 degrees F
DietOmnivorous
Food optionsFlakes, pellets, live or frozen brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia
Tank sizeAt least 20 gallons for 1-2 fish
Water conditionspH 7.0-8.4, moderately hard water
Tank setupSmooth substrate, plenty of hiding places, moderate water flow
MaintenanceRegular water changes (25% weekly), filter maintenance, monitoring of water parameters
Special careAvoid sharp objects in the tank, be gentle during handling, and protect eye sacs from injury or infection
Common health issuesEye sac rupture, infections, swim bladder problems, fin rot

10. Celestial Goldfish

The Celestial Goldfish is a fascinating and unique variety that has been around for hundreds of years. It’s also known as the “dragon eye” goldfish because of its large, upward-facing eyes that protrude from the sides of its head. These fish are typically red, orange, or white in color and have a distinctive black line around their eyes. They have a rounded body shape and long, flowing fins.

CharacteristicsCelestial Goldfish
Body shapeRounded
Eye placementLarge, upward-facing eyes
ColorRed, orange, and white
SizeUp to 6 inches
TemperamentPeaceful, social
Ideal group size3-4
Water temperature65-72 degrees F
DietOmnivorous
Food optionsFlakes, pellets, live or frozen brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia
Tank sizeAt least 20 gallons for 1-2 fish
Water conditionspH 7.0-8.4, moderately hard water
Tank setupSmooth substrate, plenty of hiding places, moderate water flow
MaintenanceRegular water changes (25% weekly), filter maintenance, monitoring of water parameters
Special careAvoid sharp objects in the tank, and be gentle during handling
Common health issuesSwim bladder problems, infections, fin rot

11. Lionhead Goldfish

The Lionhead Goldfish is a popular variety that’s named after its distinctive “mane” of fleshy growth on its head. This variety originated in China during the Tang Dynasty and was prized for its unique appearance. Lionheads come in a variety of colors, including red, orange, white, and black. They have a round, egg-shaped body and can grow up to 6 inches in length.

CharacteristicsLionhead Goldfish
Body shapeRound, egg-shaped
Head growthFleshy “mane” on head
ColorRed, orange, white, and black
SizeUp to 6 inches
TemperamentPeaceful, social
Ideal group size3-4
Water temperature65-72 degrees F
DietOmnivorous
Food optionsFlakes, pellets, live or frozen brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia
Tank sizeAt least 20 gallons for 1-2 fish
Water conditionspH 7.0-8.4, moderately hard water
Tank setupSmooth substrate, plenty of hiding places, moderate water flow
MaintenanceRegular water changes (25% weekly), filter maintenance, monitoring of water parameters
Special careAvoid sharp objects in the tank, and be gentle during handling
Common health issuesSwim bladder problems, infections, fin rot

How Can You Choose the Right Goldfish for You?

Choosing the right goldfish for you can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but keep in mind a few key considerations before making a decision. Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting a goldfish:

Research Different Types of Goldfish

There are many types of goldfish, such as common goldfish, fancy goldfish, and long-bodied goldfish, each with their unique characteristics and requirements. Research the types of goldfish available to choose one that suits your preferences and experience level.

Tank size

Different goldfish types have different space requirements, as they can grow quite large. Make sure you have a suitable tank size for the type of goldfish you want to keep. Consider the size of your aquarium when choosing a goldfish. As a general rule, allow 20 gallons of water per goldfish, with an additional 10 gallons for each additional fish.

Compatibility with Other Fish

Some goldfish can be kept with other fish, while others are better kept alone. Consider the compatibility of the goldfish type you’re interested in with other fish in your tank.

Check the health of the goldfish

Choose a goldfish that is active, alert, and has clear eyes and skin. Avoid goldfish that appear lethargic, have cloudy eyes, or show signs of illness.

Availability

Some goldfish types are more readily available than others, depending on your location and the time of year.

Cost

Different goldfish types come with different price tags. Consider your budget when selecting a goldfish.

Appearance

Different goldfish types have unique physical characteristics, such as color, shape, and size. Choose a type that appeals to you visually.

Temperament

Some goldfish types are more active and outgoing, while others are more docile and shy. Consider the temperament of the goldfish type you’re interested in and whether it will fit your personality and lifestyle.

Water Temperature

Some goldfish types thrive in cooler water temperatures, while others require warmer water. Consider the water temperature requirements of the goldfish type you’re interested in and whether it will fit with your existing tank setup.

Time Commitment

Different goldfish types require different levels of care and maintenance. Consider the amount of time you have to dedicate to your goldfish’s care and choose a type that fits your lifestyle.

Experience level

Some goldfish, such as fancy goldfish, are more delicate and require more specialized care than others. If you are new to fishkeeping, choose a hardier and more resilient goldfish, such as the common goldfish.

Personal Preferences

Ultimately, the goldfish you choose should align with your personal preferences and interests. Consider what you’re looking for in a pet and choose a goldfish type that fits your unique needs and wants.

All Types of Goldfish in One Video

Which Types of Goldfish Are Compatible with the Plants You Recommend for a Goldfish Tank?

When setting up a goldfish tank, selecting the right plants for goldfish tank is crucial. Certain goldfish varieties, like the common goldfish or the comet goldfish, can be a bit rambunctious and might uproot or damage delicate plants. However, there are a few plant options that are more compatible with goldfish and can withstand their antics. Some suitable plant choices include Java fern, Anubias, and hornwort, as these plants have tougher leaves and can tolerate the occasional nibbling or bumping from the fish.

Conclusion

Goldfish are one of the most popular and diverse breeds of fish in the aquarium hobby. With so many different types of goldfish available, each with their unique characteristics and traits, it can be challenging to choose the right one for your aquarium.

If you’re looking for a peaceful and easy-to-care-for fish or a show-quality specimen to compete in shows, there is a goldfish variety out there for everyone. Hopefully, this guide has helped you get a better understanding of the different types of goldfish and will help you choose the perfect goldfish for your aquarium.

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