Pregnant Goldfish Care: How to Tell If a Goldfish is Pregnant

pregnant goldfish
pregnant goldfish

Is your goldfish pregnant? Can you expect them to lay some eggs in the not-too-distant future?

Perhaps!

While noticeable weight gain on a goldfish is one of the biggest signs a goldfish is pregnant (more on that later), it isn’t a guarantee. There are in fact several potential indicators that your goldfish is expecting.

We’re going to cover the biggest tell-tale symptoms of a pregnant goldfish. We can also cover some basic care tips to help you. These tips can be helpful for both those who are not anticipating a pregnant goldfish, as well as those who are actively trying to breed them.

How to Tell If a Goldfish is Pregnant?

First of all, it is important to make a distinction here: While we are using the term pregnant goldfish to describe goldfish who are potentially about to lay some eggs, they are not actually pregnant in the technical sense. This is because the animals that can actually get pregnant are those which partake in live births.

Goldfish don’t. However, they can become full of unfertilized eggs. What happens after that can depend on a variety of different factors. It starts with knowing exactly what to look for in goldfish that are on the verge of breeding.

At the end of the day, that chubbiness could simply be due to the fact that your goldfish is overweight!

Symptom #1: The Belly

Let’s get the stomach out of the way once and for all.

A goldfish is pregnant will indeed look chubby, particularly around the belly. Keep in mind that this is not the same thing as being swollen in appearance. That could prove to be something else altogether.

There will be a slight-but-noticeable plumpness to them. While not a guarantee that the goldfish is about to lay some eggs, it is definitely the first significant sign you’re going to want to look for.

Also: As we mentioned before, it could be possible that you are overfeeding them, or that they are eating too much. Monitor your goldfish, and double check the directions for whatever you’re including in their diet. Don’t feel too bad. A lot of people overfeed their goldfish!

Symptom #2: Being Chased

During the breeding period, which can occur as early as in the first year, the female is going to become heavy with eggs. She will be looking for a place in which to lay them. We’ll discuss one of the biggest indicators of eggs you’re going to have, but for now, let’s focus on what the males in your tank are doing.

Male goldfish can be a real nuisance sometimes. When they sense that the female is filled with eggs, they’re going to look for a place to put their fertilization efforts to work. This biological need can be witnessed by simply observing the male and female interacting with each other.

When the female is ready to dump those eggs, they release a unique pheromone. This sends the definitive signal to the male, eager to fertilize. They will be excited to do this, seemingly, they will start chasing the female around the aquarium. They may even slap at the female with their fins.

While normal behavior, occurring during the spring and summer seasons, you should still keep an eye on it. If the male bothers the female for a significant amount of time, it can wreak havoc on their health. You may need to eventually move the female to a separate tank for a couple of days.

Symptom #3: Dropping Eggs

This is obviously one of the clearest examples of a goldfish about to lay eggs. It may be a little strange to imagine eggs literally spilling out of the goldfish, but this is indeed something that can happen sometimes.

If you really want to know for sure if the female has eggs, you can pick them up, and let them wriggle gently inside your hand. If they are in the best possible breeding shape possible, eggs may start falling out of them. This is even something breeders sometimes do, if the situation warrants such a move.

That is a big “if.” Squeezing your goldfish can also cause health issues and serious stress.

Pregnant Goldfish

How to Take Care of A Pregnant Goldfish?

One common myth we should do away with: Does it mean my goldfish is pregnant if they’re spending increasing amounts of time on the bottom of the aquarium?

No. In fact, if your goldfish is doing this with greater frequency, the odds are unfortunately quite high that they are sick. This is also true of a belly that appears swollen, as opposed to simply chubby.

Pay attention to appetite, as well. The goldfish is still going to have a healthy appetite. If your goldfish is not eating, it could be a sign that they are sick.

In terms of taking care of your goldfish, there are a number of things you can do. Check out this guide on breeding goldfish to see what you need to do, if you are planning to purse the avenue of breeding them for fun or profit. 

Remember that females may decide to eat their eggs after laying them. If you plan to breed goldfish, this is one of the most important considerations you are going to want to keep in mind.

If you don’t want baby goldfish, then make it a point to separate the male from the female for a couple of days. You can also simply see if nature will take its course.

Richard Rowlands
Richard Rowlands

Hello fellow aquatics enthusiasts! My name is Richard Rowlands. I’m an aquarium keeper and enthusiast and have been for about 25 years or so. While I won’t claim to be the end-all expert on aquatic life, I will say that I know my way around a tank.

The Best Goldfish Tanks 2021: Which One Is Right For You? [Reviews + Guide]

Goldfish Tanks
Goldfish Tanks

As we’ve discussed in the past, your fancy goldfish need so much more than a small bowl and some fish food.

A fish known for its simplicity and hardiness, the goldfish in any form is unfortunately the victim of several dangerous misconceptions regarding its care. The assumption is that you can give your goldfish a bowl, some clean water, a bit of gravel, and nothing more. You feed them a few flakes every day. This goes on, until they pass away after a few months to a year.

In this updated buyer guide, we’ve put together a complete list of the best goldfish tanks for you and your goldfish to enjoy.

The So-Called Secret To Long Life In Goldfish

However, did you know that under the right care conditions, goldfish can live for at least twenty-five years? It’s true. The oldest goldfishes in the world top out at 40+ years of age.

There is no miraculous reason for this. A goldfish owner with a 20-year-old goldfish does not have to do anything remarkable to achieve this. They simply have to know what a goldfish needs to be healthy and happy. Feeding them a good diet is one example. Another would be making sure you are purchasing an aquarium which is going to be well-suited to their needs and lifestyle.

Again, you don’t have to go to any significant extremes here. With some basic research, you will be able to see clearly how to shop for and purchase a goldfish tank, and whatever else you put in your aquarium, will love.

Why Your Goldfish Tank Is So Important

First of all, let’s just get rid of the notion of a fish bowl altogether. They are simply too small for goldfish in any form or fashion. Bowls are generally only available in sizes as large as five gallons. This is significantly less than what your goldfish will need.

Take the Common goldfish. They can grow as large as a full foot in size. They love to swim quickly throughout their environment. They also tend to leave behind more waste than many other types of fish. For all of these reasons, they need plenty of room in which to move around comfortably. Five gallons, particularly if we’re talking about a goldfish tank that doesn’t have any filtration, is not going to cut it by a long shot.

Keep in mind that the Common goldfish isn’t the largest goldfish type out there. Not by a long shot.

What Kind Of Tank Should I Get For My Goldfish?

Breeders and hobbyists all agree that you need a best goldfish tank that is at least ten gallons. In fact, many suggest going up another size for the minimum to twenty gallons. Obviously, you will want to take the potential limitations of your own space into consideration. Having said that, anything less than ten gallons is really not going to make for a very happy life for any fish you put in it.

Keeping in mind these tank sizes, we can now take a closer look at some of the best tanks for goldfish that are currently available. If you want to start with the best possible environments for your aquarium dreams, these are the tanks you will want to check out first.

Which Factors Are Most Important When Choosing A Best Goldfish Tank?

Different people are going to have different needs when it comes to finding the best goldfish aquarium. If you are new to shopping for one, there are a number of factors that are going to help influence the one that will best suit whatever you have in mind:

Size

We have already made it clear that you want to start with at least twenty gallons in a fish tank. Before you start looking for something that will work for your needs, try to estimate how many fish you’re going to want at the start. It is usually best to start with one or two, but you may feel that you are capable of handling more than that. It also doesn’t hurt to purchase a goldfish tank with an eye towards getting more fish for it later on.

Material

Paying attention to which materials are used to make fish tanks is one of the most important things to keep in mind. You want materials that are built to resist breaks, leaking, and even scratches whenever possible. The two main options are glass and acrylic. 

While both are quite good, many find that glass offers better resistance to scratches and certain types of leaking, and a better overall shape for the goldfish to swim comfortably. Acrylic fish tanks do offer a more aesthetically-pleasing view to outsiders though.

Durability

We’ve touched on this before, but it is well worth repeating a second time. When researching companies that manufacture aquariums, it almost goes without saying that you want a company with a peerless reputation for quality in their products.

One of the biggest strengths with acrylic fish tanks, for example, is the way they are generally considered to be stronger than glass tanks. They are also lighter than glass tanks, which means cleaning and carrying them is going to be a lot easier, as well.

Equipment

Decide now if you want a goldfish tank with or without the equipment you need for setup.

Filter 

Ideally, you’re going to find an aquarium with a filter that works flawlessly. However, you may have to go out and find one anyway.

Opening: There are different goldfish tanks with different types of lids, hoods, openings, or whatever the case may be. If you don’t have a whole lot of space, and every inch counts, you want to focus your search on tanks with low-profile hoods, or something else along similar lines.

best goldfish tanks

Reviews For The Best Goldfish Tanks

1. Aqueon Aquarium 20 Gallon Long – Perfect for One Large Fancy Goldfish

While the height of your aquarium is important, what matters arguably more is the length of the tank. An ideal tank is going to give your goldfish plenty of room to swim around, without having to turn around as much. Goldfish generally like to swim from one end of the tank to the next.

To that end, the 20-gallon long aquarium from Aqueon is going to be a great choice for many hobbyists. Coming in at twenty gallons, the goldfish tank is longer, but shallower. Depth is important with any aquarium you might purchase, but it’s not the only thing you’re going to want to keep in mind.

With this option, keep in mind that all you’re getting is the tank. This can be very freeing for those who want to be able to choose their own equipment. At the same time, it may not be a great idea for anyone who is new to keeping fancy goldfish, and may not want to be left to figure out every single thing they are going to need.

The choice is yours to make. However, keep in mind that at the end of the day, building your goldfish aquarium piece by piece is not too terribly difficult.

Sale
Aqueon Aquarium 20 Gallon Long
  • High quality glass construction with dimensions 30.25" x 12.5" x 12.75"

2. SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set

Available in a fantastically-diverse array of sizes and shapes, this is a good example of why quality is so important in the aquarium you choose. You want something that will ideally stand the test of time. Don’t forget that your fancy goldfish can live a quarter of a century with good care. It stands to reason that you will want them in something they can enjoy for years to come.

Another component to this aquarium that we absolutely love is the view it provides. Thanks to careful attention and exceptional materials in the production phase, this aquarium set for goldfish offers a degree of clarity that will make it wonderfully easy to appreciate your goldfish in their daily routine.

You will also appreciate the fact that this goldfish tank is made from acrylic. This means an aquarium that is extremely durable, and highly unlikely to leak or ever break. Many goldfish owners who choose this tank, which starts in the 20-gallon tank, do so because it is a good aquarium for homes with kids and pets. It also comes with at least a few of the things you’re going to need to get started.

Just keep in mind that acrylic tanks are a little less resistant to scratches than some choices. Also, the florescent light doesn’t seem to be very popular with some customers.

Sale
SeaClear 20 gal Acrylic...
  • Combo includes aquarium, reflector and electrical 15" light fixture

3. Tetra Complete Aquarium Kit

If you’re looking for something that will give you everything you need to get started with a basic aquarium setup, the Tetra Complete Aquarium Kit is going to be a fantastic choice. While perhaps not ideal for those who want to keep a lot of fish, it is perfect for those who are just starting out with one or two fish.

Unpacking everything in this kit, you’re going to find that the name lives up to what it promises. Not only do you have everything you need to get set up with a basic aquarium, but the Complete Aquarium Kit from Tetra is also ridiculously easy to set up. This kit is a very popular choice for parents who want to give their children a start in keeping fish.

The filter is also pretty impressive. Not only does it do the job as advertised, but it is also exceptionally quiet. We also appreciate the fact that despite how much stuff it comes with, you will find yourself still with plenty of room for additional plants and decorations. The LED light associated with this kit is also one of the better selections we have found.

Tetra Aquarium 20 Gallon Fish...
  • Tetra Glass Aquariums are made in the USA and are built to last with scratch resistant glass

4. Tetra 55 Gallon Aquarium Kit

Looking for something a bit bigger than the choices we’ve covered? If you know for a fact that you’re going to want a number of fish in your aquarium right from the start, you’re not going to want to settle for 20 gallons. You probably won’t want to waste your time on a 40-gallon option either.

While the price tag for this second entry on our list for Tetra can strike some as a bit on the steep side, it is hard to argue with the quality, the size of the goldfish tank, and what those things will mean to your efforts at keeping goldfish.

Much like the entry above, you’re going to find that you’re getting everything you need for an aquarium setup right out of the box. You shouldn’t have to buy anything else, unless you want more plants and decorations.

Also, as is also the case with the above Tetra kit, we would say everything included functions exactly as it should. This is not always the case with aquariums. Some kits are a little lacking in certain areas. Filtration can be one example, which leads to the need for an additional purchase. You shouldn’t have to worry about that here.

Remember that this is a very large tank, with measurements of 51.90″ L x 24.40″ W x 16.40″ H. The tank in of itself weighs nearly eighty pounds. Once you’ve added your water, fish, material for the bottom, and everything else, the weight is over 500 pounds.

Keeping all of this in mind, it is something that will occupy a significant amount of time in your space. Make sure you’re going to have plenty of room for not only the aquarium itself, but in terms of being able to comfortably maintain it, change the filter, and so forth.

Tetra 55 Gallon Aquarium Kit...
  • LARGE ENVIRONMENT: Larger environments can house more fish or a greater variety of fish. Maintains water temperature. Essential for tropical fishkeeping

5. Marina LED Aquarium Kit

While available in several other sizes, you are obviously going to want to at least start with the 20-gallon option. This is considered by many to be one of the top aquariums for beginners. There are several reasons as to why this is the case. All of them point to an aquarium that is well suited for those just starting out, as well as those who many not have as much space as they might like.

This is another good kit for those who want to have everything they’re going to need right there in one place. Because this is such a solid starter aquarium kit, you’re also going to appreciate the fact that everything is extremely easy to set up. The instructions are very good indeed at laying everything out in the simplest terms possible.

Again, while compact, the 20-gallon tank itself will be just fine for one or two goldfish. Even maintenance for the tank is refreshingly straightforward. All you need to do is make sure the filter is changed out every month. Aquarium maintenance instructions are included, as well. You won’t have to worry about a thing.

However, some users have complained that the filter is not as strong as it needs to be. While this is something that you can obviously decide for yourself, it can be helpful to keep in mind that goldfish leave behind more waste than many other types of fish.

At the end of the day, this is a quiet, compact, and very affordable aquarium for those who are looking to get started on the right foot.

Marina Aquarium Kit - 20...
  • 20 U.S. gallon glass aquarium

6. Skroutz Aquarium Starter Kit

Our look at the best aquarium starter kits for fancy goldfish continues with this worthwhile entry from Skroutz. While the name may strike you as unusual, note that this is a well-reviewed, widely respected manufacturer of aquarium kits and similar products for enthusiasts of all ages.

One of the more interesting things about this goldfish tank is the fact that it clocks in at 29-gallons. This makes it a good option for anyone who wants something a little bigger than a 20-gallon tank, but doesn’t want to go all the way up forty gallons. The Skroutz Aquarium Starter Kit is a nice compromise between those sizes.

The tank includes a hood that is designed for the aquarium to function well in small spaces. Everything about this aquarium is designed to be as compact as possible.

At the same time, we would venture to say that everything included in the box is going to work exactly as it should. You may want to supplement or replace the filter, as a small number of people have complained about it, but most find it to be just fine for 1-3 goldfish.

The only thing we would suggest replacing, or at least supplementing, would be the fish food that is included with the kit. While the food is fine for goldfish, you want to give them a reasonably varied diet.

What you want to be doing is getting as close as possible to the things they would like to eat in the wild. As far as the best food for goldfish is concerned, you have some great choices available.

Skroutz Aquarium Starter Kit...
  • 29-gallon angle aquarium pack with low-profile hood - Normal light sparkle

Conclusion

Getting the right aquarium is clearly one of the most important decisions you will make as a fancy goldfish owner. With so many different goldfish tanks and kits on the market, it can be easy to feel a little overwhelmed by just how much is out there.

Don’t worry. Using our guide as your frame of reference, it shouldn’t be at all difficult to find an aquarium that is going to meet your goldfish and other sea creatures’ needs for as long as you have them.

Gabriel R

Gabriel R

Welcome to Aquarium Fish City(AFC). I’m Gabriel and I have been keeping fish for almost fifteen years. My father was a huge fan of tropical fish and our childhood home had a huge aquarium which he tended and kept hundreds of species of fish over the years. I was always fascinated by our fish tank and would spend hours staring at the fish. They seemed to all have different personalities and would interact differently with one another. Here, you can find out everything you need to know about keeping fish and aquarium maintenance.

How To Breed Goldfish The Right Way – A Step By Step Guide (2021)

How To Breed Goldfish Successfully
How To Breed Goldfish Successfully

While owning goldfish can be lighthearted, pleasurable, and a lot of fun, learning how to breed goldfish is something else altogether. Indeed, when it comes to breeding any sort of fish, the challenges and demands are numerous. This is particularly true, when it comes to breeding goldfish.

Which goldfish breeding method is the best? What are you going to need to be successful? How long does it take to begin to see results? We’re going to tackle these questions, as well as others, in this overview guide to breeding goldfish.

Whether you plan to do it for profit or for pleasure, there are several things you’re going to want to keep in mind.

From controlling your spawn, to raising your fry, here is everything you need to get going.

Getting Started With The Right Equipment

There are two notable breeding methods that we’re going to touch on. One is known as the natural method of goldfish breeding, while the other is known as hand-breeding. Each method has their own particulars and challenges.

Before we break down what you need to know about these methods, let’s take a look at the essential equipment every goldfish breeder needs to begin:

The Main Space

This should be a large tank. We would suggest starting in the 50-gallon range, but you may want to consider something even larger. You will also want to make sure this tank includes a good filtration system, the proper decorations, and everything else a standard tank needs to be functional and comfortable.

A Secondary Tank

The main aquarium is only the beginning. You’re also going to need a nice, comfortable tank in which to raise your fry. This tank should be around 10 gallons or 20 gallons. Nothing larger than that should be necessary, particularly for a beginner.

(Looking for the best goldfish tank? )

A Heater

There are a number of different options available to you on this front.

Plants

We touched on this above, but it is worth emphasizing. An emphasis on live plants is best. Hornwort is a good example. Silk plants and plastic plants are other options that you can explore.

Sponge filter

There are several possibilities for both the 10 and 20-gallon tanks we discussed. You’re going to need this for the fry tank.

Air pump

This is another essential component for the fry tank. Research and choose one that you think will suit your needs.

Spawning Mop

This is entirely optional. This DIY goldfish spawning device is designed to fulfill the role of plants, in terms of catching and keeping the eggs safely. You will want to decide for yourself if one of these is necessary.

Finally, of course, you’re going to want male and female goldfish, as well. You want goldfish who have reached their sexual maturity, which is around one year old. You also want to know how to sex goldfish for breeding correctly. This is one of the aspects of goldfish breeding where things can get a little bit tricky.

How To Sex Goldfish For Breeding Purposes

If you only have room enough in the tank for a single pair of male and female goldfish, that is fine. Some like to hedge their bets with a few males and females. This is fine, as well, provided you have a large enough tank to accommodate all of them comfortably. You should also try to keep more males than females, as this will increase the odds of successful mating.

The challenge on your end is to sex your goldfish correctly. Otherwise, obviously, you aren’t going to get very far.

Sexing is difficult, but generally not beyond these simple measures:

Body Shape

While not reliable solely on its own, this measure can nonetheless move you in the right direction. Female goldfish generally enter their breeding age, their bodies become heavier, plumper in appearance. Males as a rule do not gain weight in this fashion. They are more often than not on the slimmer side. Females also can look from asymmetrical than males when viewed from the top of the aquarium or pond.

Breeding Stars

Made from very small tubercles, which are small, roundish growths that appear on both plants and animals, these little white dots are well worth seeking out on your goldfish. These growths are made from the same materials as what makes fingernails and hair. When a male is ready for spawning, these dots are going to be easy enough to spot on the scales, pectoral rays, and gill covers. Females can have these spots, but this is considered to be an exceptionally rare event.

Vent

Also known as the anus, the vent of the female will start sticking out a little bit, as opposed to the male, when it is ready for spawning. The appearance will be similar to comparing two different belly buttons.

Mood

This is perhaps the most important, or at least easiest, indicator of whether or not your goldfish are ready for breeding. The males will start chasing the females around the tank. You will notice this when they start shoving their heads inside the tails of the female to shove them all around the aquarium. It is not uncommon to see multiple males in pursuit of a single female.

How Do I Get My Goldfish Ready For Breeding?

Once you know for certain that they are in the breeding period, and once you are confident of their respective genders, you can get them ready for the actual breeding process.

Females must exert a massive amount of emergency for spawning. Males do, too, but the demands are particularly substantial fore the females. They are going to need to bulk up to build enough in the way of fat reserves to be able to withstand producing eggs and milting. Before you actually begin to initiate spawning, you will need to spend approximately six months on the conditioning stage.

The transition from winter to spring in nature is what triggers the spawning behavior. If you keep them in a pond, you will want to keep an eye out for some of the indicators we mentioned above. If you are keeping them in your aquarium, you are going to want to start recreating the winter/spring transition. This is where the heater becomes handy. You’ll want to get the temperature in their tank up to around seventy-five degrees Fahrenheit.

When It’s Time To Actually Breed Your Goldfish

At this point, you are now ready for the actual breeding. This is where things can get particularly challenging. It is very easy for the whole thing to go south, and to find yourself being made to begin the work all over again. Any goldfish breeding expert will tell you that this is a trial and error process. Sometimes, it simply doesn’t work out.

Having said that, you are now at the point in which you can determine which breeding method is going to suit your purposes best.

We’re going to cover the basics of each. As you decide the pros and cons of each, make it a point to do additional research that breaks these methods down step by step.

How To Breed Goldfish: 2 Proven Methods

First things first: Make sure you have the additional tank on hand to keep the fry in.

The two methods, as we discussed earlier, are known as the Natural Method and the Hand-Breeding Method. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. For example, the Natural Method is going to rely on expected behaviors to a significant degree. It is perhaps the easiest of the two methods, but it stil requires a great deal of concentration.

You have to keep a close eye on breeding behaviors, as well as anything that may go wrong. You will also need to be ready to have the fry transported to your secondary tank. This is also the point in which you will need to make your own spawning mop. We highlighted this above, and it is not difficult to make by any means.

Then we have the Hand-Breeding Method. This method gives you considerably more control over the breeding process. However, as the name of the method implies, you are going to be required to take things into your own hands. This creates unique challenges that you do not find with the Natural Method. As you also may imagine, there are some similarities between these methods. Up to a certain point, there is only but so much you can do.

Here are some examples of when you may need to pursue the Hand-Breeding Method:

  • You only have one male, who is finding it difficult to locate your female.
  • Your window of time for breeding is a very, very limited.
  • The male is not as active as the Natural Method requires him to be.

These are all good reasons for hand-breeding. Furthermore, some simply like the ability to be in more control of the effort. Just keep in mind that all of this requires a delicate touch in the extreme. The same degree of impressive patience is also demanded. Perhaps, even more so.

Regardless of the breeding method you choose, your eventual goal is to find yourself with a 10 or 20-gallon tank full of fry. Caring for them and then culling them are your final two steps in this arduous, thrilling venture.

When It Is Time To Raise Your Fry

The eggs should be hatched in water no deeper than six inches or fifteen centimeters. Extremely gentle aeration is required, and the water should be maintained in the 70-75F range. Your eggs should begin hatching within two to four days. When this happens, keep in mind that you will not need to feed them for several days. This is because they can live off the yolk of the egg sacs.

Once they begin moving on their own, your fry are going to be absolutely starving. You will want to have fresh brine shrimp handy to keep them fed and happy.

Culling Your Fry

Understand that culling your fry, which is to eliminate the ones with undesirable traits, is NOT something that you are required to do. This is something that is done by those who are breeding for profit, simply because it is not cost effective to care for goldfish that no one is likely to buy.

Even so, particularly among those who breed goldfish for pleasure, some opt to keep whatever they wind up with. For many who go through the long journey of breeding goldfish, the idea of intentionally disposing of any of them seems unfathomable. The choice is ultimately yours to make.

Gabriel R

Gabriel R

Welcome to Aquarium Fish City(AFC). I’m Gabriel and I have been keeping fish for almost fifteen years. My father was a huge fan of tropical fish and our childhood home had a huge aquarium which he tended and kept hundreds of species of fish over the years. I was always fascinated by our fish tank and would spend hours staring at the fish. They seemed to all have different personalities and would interact differently with one another. Here, you can find out everything you need to know about keeping fish and aquarium maintenance.

15 Most Popular Types of Goldfish + Images

Bubble Eye Goldfish
Types of Goldfish

Don’t make the mistake of assuming every type of goldfish is basically the same. While the different goldfish types certainly share a number of similarities, there are in fact some key differences that are well worth keeping in mind. Knowing the specific types of goldfish that you plan to have in your aquarium can ensure you give them the very best of care.

The Benefits Of Owning Goldfish

If you are just starting to gather your resources to set up your aquarium, goldish are likely to be the first possibility you hear about. Their popularity at this point is iconic. While you may think of them as plain, and not terribly exciting, the truth of the matter is that they have so much to offer your aquarium.

For starters, goldfish, which belong to the Cyprinidae family (which includes carps), come in far more colors than many people realize. Beyond the yellows and oranges that everyone is already familiar with, you will find a range of fish that come in an equally dazzling assortment of colors. Furthermore, goldfish are not some tiny animal, growing to just a few inches. The largest known examples grow to a full foot.

They are bright, intelligent, and very attractive additions to any aquarium. As we discuss the many different types of goldfish out there, you are going to discover that for yourself.

Remember: With proper care, your goldfish, depending on the type, can live anywhere from a full decade to 25+ years. Yes, you read that correctly.

Breaking Down The Different Types Of Goldfish

There are essentially two different categories of goldfish. Those are the ones we’re going to be focusing on here today.

Let’s get to our list of the major types of goldfish. Keep in mind there are approximately 200 different breeds of goldfish out there. We don’t have time to cover them all!

Single-Tailed Goldfish

This classification includes some of the most popular types of goldfish found in pet stores. The list extends to Common goldfish, Comet goldfish, Wakin goldfish, and Watonai goldfish. Each have their own unique characteristics and considerations.

Common Goldfish

Common Goldfish

As the name implies, this is the most common and perhaps popular goldfish type on the planet. You can certainly find hundreds of them in just about every pet store in the world. They are defined by their mix of orange and yellow in their coloring.

While they may lack the intricate, bright patterns of other types of goldfish, there is something understated and simple to their build that remains quite lovely in its own singular way.

They have what could be defined as a normal body, yet also one that is very long. Their fins are fairly straightforward, and not as flashy as some of the other types we will cover. They are the most affordable goldfish type, and they are widely considered to be the hardiest example you are going to find.

In other words, they are basically the perfect beginner’s fish. However, they still require the very best of attention and care.

Comets Goldfish

Comet Goldfish

Despite having similar shapes, sizes, and even coloration similar to that of the Common goldfish, there are some elements to Comet goldfish which set them apart from Common.

This is particularly true when we talk about their caudal fin. You can always tell you’re looking at a Comet goldfish because the caudal fin is going to be just about as large as the rest of their body. Also, the similar coloration to Common differs sharply when we look at the blotches of color which can be found at different points on their body.

Because of their love of swimming, some experts suggest Comet goldfish, which have been popular pets for well over a century, do best in ponds. If nothing else, make sure you are putting these guys in a large tank. You may have to go to the 50-gallon range.

Credit: Juan Carlos Palau Díaz

Shubunkin Goldfish

This is the point in which it becomes clear that goldfish are far more colorful and diverse than they sometimes get credit for. These are utterly gorgeous goldfish. They offer some of the most unique patterns and colors to be found anywhere in the wide world of this fish type.

Available in such varieties as Blue, London, American, and Bristol, Shubunkin goldfish are celebrated for their singular patterns and coloration. Their clear, shining scales are quite something to behold. In fact, if you look closely, you will realize their distinctive dark spots are actually beneath the scales themselves!

Wakin Goldfish

This is another profoundly fascinating example of different goldfish types. Despite some marked similarities to Koi, to the point where Wakins are sometimes mistaken for them, this is in fact one of the most characteristic goldfishes we’re going to cover here.

Why do people love the Wakin? Perhaps, it is because they are the only single-tailed goldfish to spotlight two caudal fins, in addition to a pair of anal fins. This gives them an appearance that truly sets them apart from the seemingly endless array of types and breeds.

In fact, some dispute whether or not the Wakin is single-tailed or fancy. Due to the build and other features, it makes more sense to us that they should be seen as a single-tailed example.

Jikin Goldfish

Jikin Goldfish

Here we find another example of a single-tailed goldfish with an almost overwhelming aesthetic appeal. Purely on the basis of their looks, they are another very popular, sought-after goldfish example.

The body type is very similar to that of the Wakin. Both are quite long, and both are notable for the presence of the double fin. However, the Jikin differs sharply on the color side of things. The white body with red fins can make for a very compelling addition to any aquarium. You’ll love the way they “flicker” while swimming about the tank or pond!

Fancy Goldfish

In the other corner, we have double-tailed goldfish. These are generally referred to as “fancy” goldfish. The only reason why anyone really calls them fancy in the first place is because of the presence of that extra fin. Other than that, they really aren’t all that different from single-tailed examples.

Fantail goldfish

Fantail Goldfish

At last, we come to some of the most impressive examples of fancy/double-tailed goldfish you are going to find. It makes sense to that end to start at the top of the list for most people with what is known as the Fantail goldfish.

While looking fairly similar to the Common goldfish, the fancy part comes when you see that they have two tails. This gives them an added flourish which makes them perhaps the most popular fancy goldfish available in pet stores and from breeders.

Much like Common goldfish, they can grow up to a foot in length. They are also among the hardiest examples of fancy goldfish. Nonetheless, to reiterate an earlier point, they still need optimal tank conditions, good food, and so forth.

Telescope Eye Goldfish

Telescope Eye Goldfish

Whether or not the eyes really are the windows to the soul, there is something about a distinctive pair of peepers that can captivate our attention. It is this thought which can be used to perhaps explain the popularity of the Telescope Eye goldfish.

Of all the different breeds and types we can discuss, the Telescope Eye goldfish is perhaps the most unique-looking of them all. Featuring a pair of huge, decidedly round eyes, which stick right out of their head, combined with their small mouths, Telescope Eyes have a look that is memorable, to say the least.

Unfortunately, those noteworthy eyes make them more susceptible to injury. If you aren’t carefully in how you set up their surroundings, your Telescope Eye is very likely to bump into something, damaging those eyes. This creates a higher risk of infection than other types of goldfish. They also have tremendously bad eyesight.

While they can make for a wonderful addition to any aquarium, they do require a relatively more intense approach to their care.

Oranda Goldfish

Oranda Goldfish

For many enthusiasts and goldfish lovers, the Oranda goldfish is one of the most delightful looking in the bunch. They have an expressive face that many seem to fall in love with.

Yet this is not why so many people consider them to be one of the best Fancy goldfish types on the planet. To understand this, you simply have to look at the top of their head. That is where you’re going to find a large, orange hump on the top of its head. Some people like to pretend it’s a little hat.

Regardless of whether or not you do that, there is no question that Orandas are just gorgeous and singular in that beauty. Many recognize the look of the Oranda, if not the actual name.

Available in several colors, the orange hump is just a decorative collection of skin folds.

Pearlscale goldfish

Pearlscale Goldfish

One of the first things you’re going to notice about the Pearlscale goldfish is that they have a hump on the head that is similar to the Oranda. That is really their only similarity. In fact, you’re going to find that a number of different goldfish feature this hump on top of their heads in one form or another.

What makes the Pearlscale goldfish so different are their round bodies, combined with shortish white fins. The large scales you’ll notice have an aesthetic quality that is often compared to jewels. For this reason in particular, they are regarded as some of the prettiest goldfish you can add to your aquarium.

One interesting tidbit: Compared to other types of goldfish you can find, Pearlscale goldfish swim much more slowly than many of the others we’ve covered here.

Bubble Eye Goldfish
Credit: Jonathan Leung

Bubble Eye Goldfish

If you thought the Telescope Eye goldfish was a strange-looking customer, then we would venture to say that you haven’t seen anything yet!

The Bubble Eye goldfish is perhaps just too unusual for some newcomers to keeping and caring for goldfish. There is something decidedly comical about the appearance of the massive water sacs which protrude impressively beneath their wide-open eyes. Their coloring is an understated orange, but when you look at pictures of them, you can see why their owners aren’t really concerned about that.

However, as you may have perhaps guessed from looking at them, their distinctiveness comes at a fairly high price. Because of the sheer size of these sacks, Bubble Eye goldfish consistently run the risk of seriously damaging them by running into something. This also means they are more susceptible to infection, which is a possibility we also mentioned with the Telescope Eye.

For this reason alone, they are not considered a good goldfish choice for beginners. Furthermore, for those who do decide to put these in their tank, you will want to make certain to avoid overcrowding accessories and other features. You will also want to keep in mind that their vision is severely impaired, perhaps more than any other example of a goldfish. They also possess mobility issues, when compared to other types.

Many feel that it is simply not fair to these fish to breed them in the first place.

Moor Goldfish

This is a good reminder that despite the name, not all goldfish are actually gold. It just happens to be that a lot of them are. What makes the Moor goldfish so completely fascinating to us is the fact that they do indeed live up to that name. They are completely black in appearance, with the exception of a space under their stomachs.

Specifically bred for this unusual color, the Moor goldfish offers one of the most striking contrasts to the water, and indeed, to everything else in the tank. They are nimble, yet very slow and methodical in how they swim throughout their environment.

You will also want to note that their trailing fins are the same as that of the Telescope goldfish. There is a reason for that. To create the color in the first place, a Moor will often be bred with red Telescopes. This creates a breed that is highly sought after among enthusiasts.

Celestial Eye Goldfish

Celestial Eye Goldfish

With the Celestial Eye goldfish, we once again look to a type of goldfish that has been specifically bred to look a certain way. While these fish are beautiful and unique in appearance, with large, rounded eyes, they also go through many of the same issues as other goldfish with large eyes and/or protruding features.

Their most differing feature from any other goldfish would have to be that their eyes face upwards, rather than sideways (as is the case with Telescope goldfish).

While the large eyes do give them a very satisfying cartoon-like appearance, this look does come with the same price as the other large-eye examples we’ve discussed. This means you’re going to need to take special care with their surroundings. Physical damage can also result in being more prone to various infections and diseases. They are generally orange-red in appearance.

Lionhead Goldfish

We haven’t come even close to exhausting the full assortment of goldfish types that you can find. At this point, we can only hope you appreciate their diversity and other unique characteristics as much as we do.

The Lionhead fancy goldfish is so wild looking to some, they don’t even realize they are indeed looking at another example of a goldfish. They are proof that we still haven’t even run out of the goldfish examples that can completely change the way you think about them.

No dorsal fin. That is one of the first things you will notice. You will also want to pay attention to the impressive growth that can be found around the eyes and face. From a distance, they look like something of a blob. You may not even be able to see the eyes up close.

They don’t move particularly well, due to their odd appearance. To counter this, make sure they always get enough food. This is even more important, if you decide to keep them in the tank with other, different fish.

Conclusion

These are just a few of the most well-known types of goldfish. If you want to start with some great ideas for your tank, we suggest beginning here!

Gabriel R

Gabriel R

Welcome to Aquarium Fish City(AFC). I’m Gabriel and I have been keeping fish for almost fifteen years. My father was a huge fan of tropical fish and our childhood home had a huge aquarium which he tended and kept hundreds of species of fish over the years. I was always fascinated by our fish tank and would spend hours staring at the fish. They seemed to all have different personalities and would interact differently with one another. Here, you can find out everything you need to know about keeping fish and aquarium maintenance.

Goldfish Lifespan: How Long Do They Really Live?

goldfish lifespan
goldfish lifespan

One of the biggest misconceptions about Goldfish concerns their lifespan. Chances are, you know more than a couple of people who have owned and lost goldfish after only a few weeks or months. The misconception comes down to the assumption that this is normal. Entirely too many people believe that Goldfish as a rule are doomed to short lifespans.

However, there is so much more to this subject than many realize. For example, there is a long list of factors which can influence the lifespan of a goldfish. Furthermore, the type of goldfish you own can also determine how long it is likely to live.

The truth of the matter is that in many situations, your Goldfish can live for years. In some cases, they can even live happily and healthily for several decades. We’re going to show you what we’re talking about. This will also cover everything you can do to ensure your Goldfish lives the longest, most comfortable life possible.

Why Are My Goldfish Not Living Very Long?

Bred since the 19th century, people love Goldfish for how easy it is to care for them. Unfortunately, a shocking number of people subscribe to the notion that Goldfish are a disposable pet, prone to a short lifespan. These are falsehoods more frequently than many realize. This ranks right up there with the incorrect belief that Goldfish have short memories.

Goldfish belong to a carp family known as Cyprinidae. Among other traits, this family of freshwater fish are known for their ability to live upwards of twenty full years. Yes, you read that correctly.

So, what’s the problem? Why aren’t your goldfish living even a tenth of that average lifespan? There are a few things on this subject you need to keep in mind.

Factors Influencing Goldfish Lifespans: Which Type Do You Have?

Two problems with giving you a rough estimate of how long your Goldfish is going to live:

  1. Different types have different lifespans. In some situations, we’re talking about decades’ worth of difference in the number of years.
  2. Conditions impact Goldfish lifespans dramatically: Does your Goldfish live in a bowl? In an aquarium? What is their average water temperature? What are you feeding them?

Even genetics and breeding conditions can play roles in the average lifespan of your goldfish. In order to give you the best possible estimate, we’re going to need to tackle all of these questions individually.

Let’s start with the different types of Goldfish you can come across.

How Goldfish Type Influences Longevity

Common Goldfish have the longest lifespans of any of the different types you are going to encounter. When properly cared for, they can live as long as twenty-five years. In some cases, they can live for fifteen full years longer than that.

Tied for second are the Shubunkin and Comet goldfish types. Each can live for upwards of fifteen years under the best possible circumstances. You will also want to pay attention to the Oranda goldfish. While they tend to live for around ten years on average, the best examples of the type can live for as long as twenty years.

In fact, most goldfish, under the best efforts towards how to care for goldfish, are going to be able to live for at least a decade, if not more. The only type of goldfish with a potentially and relatively short lifespan are the Fancy goldfish. They may live just five years, compared the others we have mentioned here. On the other hand, they can also live as long as ten years under certain circumstances.

There are also Fantail goldish. These usually live for at least fifteen years. Many live for much longer than that.

At this point, it should be pretty clear to you that the issue does not come down to goldish being stuck with a short lifespan. As it turns out, there are many things you can do that are going to give your goldfish, regardless of the specific type you purchase, the best quality of life possible.

In order to achieve this, you’re going to want to start with how you’re keeping your goldish in the first place.

Why You Should Never Keep Goldfish In A Bowl

The image of the goldfish in a bowl is something almost all of us can bring to mind. It is a visual that can be found or referenced in virtually every type of media imaginable. It can even be used to describe someone who finds themselves living in crowded, overwhelming conditions.

This description is apt for goldfish, as well. The truth of the matter is that goldish should not be permanently kept in a bowl under ANY circumstances. The thing about goldish is that they are very, very hardy fish indeed. This means they can live under fairly diverse settings.

However, this hardiness, combined with other factors, has created a situation in which it is believed goldfish need very little to survive. A bowl is simply too small, with the largest examples usually in the five-gallon range. Like most freshwater fish, goldfish need lots of room to live, eat, play, and potentially breed. Experts say you should start with tanks that are least twenty gallons.

Goldfish have lots of energy. Make sure they have enough space in which to use that energy properly! You should also keep in mind that goldfish produce quite a bit of waste. This isn’t prohibitively so, but a small tank or fish bowl will not be enough to keep this fact in mind. Their waste can impact the water to the point of creating an unhealthy environment. This is why many do not live long.

Another reason is that smaller tanks and bowls also limit their growth. Goldfish need room enough to grow the standard size of anywhere from half to a full foot. Considerably larger than the impression we sometimes have of them as these tiny things.

To summarize: Getting a good-sized tank is literally the most important thing you can do to ensure a long lifespan for your goldfish. There are a few other things you can do, and we’re going to touch on those shortly, but a large tank with good filtration and other features is essential.

What Else Can I Do For My Goldfish?

In case you are wondering: Yes, establishing an actual outdoor pond for your goldfish is the best way to recreate their natural habitat. However, as you may have also guessed, creating your own goldfish pond is something that requires a significant time, money, and energy investment. At the end of the day, you can take our word for the fact that a large tank with the right accessories and other essentials will be just fine for your goldfish.

Let’s wrap things up with a few more tips on how to give your goldfish the best possible degree of attention and care:

  • Remember that because we’re talking about some of the messier examples of ideal fish for an aquarium, you’re going to need to clean the aquarium on a regular basis. Once every couple of weeks should be just fine, as long as you’re taking care of other aspects of their care and maintenance.
  • You should also purchase a water testing kit, so you can always be on top of the levels for stuff like ammonia or nitrogen. Remember also that cleaning the tank entails having the water changed out, as well.
  • The temperature of the tank is another thing you are going to want to keep in mind, as well. One of the most important things to remember is that these are temperate fish. You still have a good range of anywhere between 68F and 74F.
  • It is also of considerable importance to make sure your goldfish have the best possible filter for their needs. External/cannister filters are a good idea, if you plan to keep a large school of a fish that once again, can get pretty messy.
  • The diet of your goldfish is another area that is often neglected due to certain misconceptions. Like any fish you’re planning to keep, you can’t just feed them anything. Zooplankton and insects are eaten by goldfish in the wild. The diet you give your goldfish will need to reflect this as closely as you can manage. This means seeking our goldfish food that provides them with a good mixture of veggies and protein.
  • You should also avoid overcrowding the tank. For example, if you have a 20-gallon tank, you probably shouldn’t have more than 2-4. Some would even go so far as to suggest you should only just have two. Click here for a comprehensive guide to how many goldfish you should keep in your tank. This includes keeping in mind that some types, such as Fancy, require more space than Common goldfish.

Conclusion

It is estimated that there are over 125 different goldfish breeds in the world. Regardless of the specific ones you choose for your home, keep all of the above in mind to ensure they receive the best care.

Gabriel R

Gabriel R

Welcome to Aquarium Fish City(AFC). I’m Gabriel and I have been keeping fish for almost fifteen years. My father was a huge fan of tropical fish and our childhood home had a huge aquarium which he tended and kept hundreds of species of fish over the years. I was always fascinated by our fish tank and would spend hours staring at the fish. They seemed to all have different personalities and would interact differently with one another. Here, you can find out everything you need to know about keeping fish and aquarium maintenance.