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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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!