Please visit our Sponsors

FAQs About Goldfish Varieties

Related Articles: Goldfish Varieties, Bubble Eye Goldfish by Spencer Glass, Goldfish in General, Goldfish Systems, Goldfish DiseaseGoldfish Mal-Nutrition,

Related FAQs:  Goldfish in General, Goldfish Behavior, Goldfish Compatibility, Goldfish Systems, Goldfish Feeding, Goldfish DiseaseGoldfish Breeding/Reproduction

Closely related... Koi... Cyprinus carpio... which is the same species as the common carp.

New Print and eBook on Amazon

Goldfish Success
What it takes to keep goldfish healthy long-term

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Merlion Goldfish League     3/2/13
 Photo of the Oranda Cat 7 Champion held this weekend.
 <Thanks Per. B>

Merlion Goldfish Show    3/2/13
Photo of the Cat 4 Ranchu (side view) Champ
<And this. Thanks>

Merlion Goldfish Show
This one is the 2nd Runner up of the Cat 4 Ranchu
<Got it Per>
Merlion Goldfish Show
 This beauty won Best In Show
<Nice. B>
Merlion Goldfish Show March 2013    3/2/13
Attached are pics of the Ranchu Cat 2 Champion and the Ryukin Cat 9 Champion
<Winners! B>

Arofanatics carnival 2012, Sing.       9/4/12
Bob Photo of the Oya class Grand Champion . Perry
<Thanks Per. B>

Arofanatics Carnival 2012, Sing.     9/4/12
Bob, <Per>
Pics of  prize winners of the All Singapore Ranchu Show 2012. These guys are a serious bunch of hobbyist. They flew in Japanese judges ..Perry
<The way to "do it". Thanks, B>

11th Pramong Nomjai Thai Tuala Show   4/2/12
 This beauty won the Best In Show and HM Queen Sirikit's Trophy Perry
<A very nice goldfish indeed. B>

The long and short of it! Finnage of GF varieties    3/29/10
Greetings from the Texas Panhandle-
<And likewise from the edge of the Chiltern Hills.>
After several attempts at referencing the subject of short and long tailed varieties of goldfish with no luck I have almost given up. I like to exhaust all attempts at solving my own problems before bothering some one like you as I understand you are covered up. I do hope this is a valid request. If not, well, by all means lambaste away!
<Lambasting tools at the ready.>
Now my question.
I keep fancy goldfish as one of my many hobbies. After several years of perfecting the goldfish menu I no longer see the float and bloat fish problems. Thanks to the kindness of goldfish breeders and their shared experiences that have gone before me... The diet I feed my Moors, Ryukins and Ranchu, that share my abode, is made up of cooked strained green peas, squash or sweet potato, sardines, sushi seaweed-( I can't recall the name of it-Kim I think- maybe!) gelatin in water with a Acidoliphus tablet added. They also get a steady diet of Elodea, duck weed and algae. The diet seems to work as I have had no problems in over a year with the bloat and float.
<Honestly, sounds a perfect diet!>
I also do a fifty to seventy five percent water change every week. Praise be to the ancestors for water wells. My water ph is 6.5 and the nitrites and nitrates are non existent. The water sure does taste good over ice with or without a squeeze of lime!
<Goldfish aren't wild about acidic water, but if yours are healthy, I wouldn't worry unduly.>
Back to my question! Some of my black moor fish are short tailed and some have long flowing tails.
<Yes. Happens.>
It seems that the short tailed ones have more of a pot belly, have to put more of an effort in their swimming and seem a bit more prone to problems.
<Quite possibly. There is variation, and if your Goldfish come from one particular batch, then the shorter tailed ones may well share some less than helpful genes.>
The black moors with long tails don't have the large pot bellies and move about much easier. The short tailed Moor when resting will stand on their heads and remain stock still in the center of the tanks. The glass tanks are fifty gallons up to two hundred and fifty gallon tanks. The fish outside in ponds don't demonstrate any of these problems. None of the fish swim erratically. Are there different black moor goldfish or just different genetics and only one kind of black moor goldfish?
<Oh, certainly that's the case. All Fancy Goldfish are inbred -- by definition -- and compared to standard (what Americans sometimes call "feeder") Goldfish they are invariably more predisposed to health problems.
With that said, pond conditions tend to be better for Goldfish generally, not least of all because there's more swimming space so fish are able to exercise and interact some more. There may even be some natural selection going on, the less "fit" Goldfish being removed from the gene pool by cats and herons. On the other hand, Fancy Goldfish are prone to health problems if maintained outdoors during cold winters, and they generally tolerate frosts and freezing conditions poorly, so maintenance of Fancy Goldfish certainly isn't recommended here in England.>
An example: I am large and rather rotund. My brothers are tall and bean poles. When I purchase black moor goldfish I try and buy the long tailed ones. However some never develop a long tail.
<Yes, there's variation in the lengths of Goldfish tails.>
I have not been able to find the answer to my question. Back when I began the goldfish hobby it was the short tailed fish that had the worst float and bloat problems. I realize that me asking a question is like traveling from Texas to Oklahoma by way of Chicago. You will eventually get there and what a ride.
<Assuming you can factor out dietary shortcomings and problems like Finrot, then any differences in fin length will be down to genes. If you're also finding other problems connected with those genes, then accept that at face value and adjust your fish breeding accordingly.>
Thanks a bunch- Bob
<Hope this helps. Cheers, Neale.>

fantail comet, var.  8/26/2009
i bought a regular large comet gold fish he is long skinny body but has two tails or a fan tail but is just a regular comet gold fish feeder his tail is straight it is shaped like a fan tail but not pointing down just
straight back is it a birth defect?
<Simply a normal long-tail rather than fan-tail Goldfish; doesn't sound like a defect, and in fact provided his spine is nice and straight and he can swim about happily, I wouldn't worry about it at all.>
he also swims great!!!!!
<Glad to hear it>
thank the Albrights
<Cheers, Neale.>

what kind of Goldfish? Crosses   8/8/09
I bought 2 dozen 1 inch "feeders" several months ago to stock my economy 125 gallon preformed Lowe's garden pond. A month ago I tired of cleaning it out and changing the water every few days so I dug a larger 350 gallon pond closer to the house and used a liner. I moved all of the "feeders" plus I bought 4 itty bitty Shubunkins and the larger ones that were on sale for $1.99 ea. Last week I was told that to 30 or so fish in
my 350 gallon pond were overcrowded and I needed to cut the population in half.
<Mmm, not for a few years, really>
The water does get ugly pretty fast despite the 40 Large Trap Door Snails, the Water Lettuce and the other plants I have added. The $100 dollar filter in the bottom of the pond doesn't seem to help that much either.
<There are a few things one might do here... Read:
and the linked files above>
I don't know if I feed to much or what (twice a day) at any rate I have started culling and have pulled these out and put them in a 20 gallon tank till I can find them a home. My question is, what are they?
<Goldfish... akin to domestic dogs, all goldfish are the same species (actually dihybrid cross)... and mix genetically... these are comet X Shubunkins>
1 of them looks like it might be a common but I'm not sure about anything, Do Comets have tails this big and a couple of them have little bumps on their faces, what's that?
<Yes and likely prenuptial tubercles... see WWM re>
Any info would be gratefully appreciated.
<Enjoy the learning. Bob Fenner>

Veggie Clip Use, GF fdg. (also, mixing Fancy Goldfish varieties) 5/4/2009
I have a fairly new, 26 gal. system (5 weeks)and a large Chocolate Oranda about 2x4 in., I had a smaller one and lost him, I think due to diet from all I have read as I was only feeding flake food, by the time I knew about feeding peas and such it was too late for him. I started feeding my remaining Oranda one pea a day and pellet or flake food for the second feeding.
<Sounds great.>
Yesterday I purchased a veggie clip, put a small piece of peeled zucchini in this and he loved it....anyway, The little glutton has just about eat that small piece as I left it in there. How long can I leave this in and can I
give him this on a reg. basis?
<You can leave plant food in the tank as long as you want. It won't harm water quality. By all means pipette out (turkey basters are ideal) any bits that are messing up the tank visually, but otherwise, don't worry about it.
It's a good idea to have some thing green for these fish to nibble on 365 days of the year. If you can't manage that, don't worry. Just so long as your Goldies get some greens two or three times a week, they're fine.>
I guess My main question would be what would you consider a well balance diet for a large choc. Oranda?
<Difficult to say, because they're total omnivores, like humans, and adapt to most anything within moderation. It's when we give them *just* dried foods things go wrong. I'd say 2-3 days of flake/pellets, and the rest green foods would be about right. But feel free to mix it up a little. If you're away on vacation, dump some Elodea (pondweed) in the tank, and leave your Goldfish to graze on that for 2 weeks. He'd be just fine on that.>
I want to get him a friend when the local shop get some more. I didn't realize they would be so hard to come by.
<Some of Fancy Goldfish can be hard to track down! But good pet shops should be able to order in specific fish for you. By all means mix varieties, provided you keep varieties that are similar in boisterousness and swimming ability. I'd consider single-tail Goldfish best kept together (Standards, Comets, Shubunkins) and apart from Fancy Goldfish. Within the Fancy Goldfish, the "hardy" Fancy varieties like Moors and Fantails work well together, but the more "delicate" varieties such as Orandas, Ryukins and the like are better mixed-and-matched amongst their own kind. The really delicate Fancies, such as Celestials, Bubble-eyes and Ranchu are difficult to mix, and do best in single variety tanks.>
He is a beautiful orange and black named "smooch" as he will eat from my fingers!
<How sweet!>
Thanks for any advice!
<Cheers, Neale.>

Telescopic goldfish, var., sys.  -- 04/12/09
i just bought 3 telescopic goldfish and after i put them in my tank i noticed that one of them have a lot smaller dorsal fin is this normal ? is it bad ? and this is a stupid question will it grow back ?
<Assuming that these were store-bought rather than pedigree Goldfish, yes, this is probably nothing other than variation. Won't grow back, but not a problem either. I hope you have a nice big tank, and that it's already cycled and adequately filtered. Telescope-eye Goldfish get to about 20 cm in length and three specimens will need at least 125 litres/30 gallons.
Funnily enough, I've just answered a couple of queries today from people with sick Goldfish in too-small tanks. In the meantime, do see here:
Cheers, Neale.>
Re: telescopic goldfish -- 04/12/09

have two more question. i only have a 10 gallon tank right now plan on getting bigger is this ok for now ?
and my water wont stay clear why tank to small?
<Precisely so. Goldfish need at least 20 gallons when small, and 30 gallons or more as adults. They are schooling, messy fish -- so don't skimp on filtration!>
when should i get another tank ?
<As/when the pet stores open in your area. It's Easter Monday tomorrow here in the UK at least, and that's a bank holiday. But Tuesday the shops should be open. Buy a big aquarium with a heavy-duty filter. Don't get mislead by using small, weak filters just to save a few bucks; trust me, you'll regret it. Cheers, Neale.>

Goldfish Questions, sys, sel. of varieties...  -- 04/12/09
I was recently thinking of purchasing goldfish,
<Make sure you read first, and are prepared to buy a big aquarium; at least 125 l/30 gallons, and ideally more, and with a serious filter to boot, not some poky hang-on-the-back unit.
Most folks get small tanks, often kidding themselves they'll upgrade later;
the end result is invariably a sick or dead Goldfish.>
but I didn't know which type of goldfish that I should get. I was wondering what type of goldfish would live long and fits a beginner like me.
<Most any, provided the tank is sufficiently large. Comets and Shubunkins for example are fast and active fish and need plenty of space, while Black Moors don't get so big or swim so much.>
I was actually thinking of choosing an orange Oranda, but when I searched it online, I saw really big Orandas with large things on their heads. The one I saw at the pet shop (and the one that I was hoping to buy) was way smaller and cuter, and the lump on the head was smaller. Does that mean that the ones that i saw were babies?
<Likely; all Orandas will get fairly large, 20 cm/8 inches upwards.>
Or were they a different kind of Orandas?
Also, what kind of tank size would 2-3 Orandas need?
<See above.>
Thank you for reviewing this e-mail and I hope to hear from you again soon.
<Cheers, Neale.>
Re: Goldfish Questions -- 04/12/09

Hi again.
About the goldfish question...
After I read your reply, I was thinking of buying a more smaller type of fish. I can purchase a big tank for the Oranda goldfish, and provide it a lot of care, but i was thinking of a smaller fish, that doesn't grow too
big. And when i mean my smaller fish, I do not mean the little 1-inch fish, but fish that are at least 10 cm. Also, a fish that lives more than 2-3 years is fine. I searched on your website, but none of them caught my
interest. What do you recommend? /> --
<Have written about stocking relatively small tanks here:
Unless you're an expert fishkeeper, don't waste your time or money (or fish lives) buying a system less than 15-20 gallons in size; 10 gallon and smaller tanks are [a] difficult to stock properly; and [b] difficult to
maintain. We get dozens of messages each week from people who have made this common mistake, and it's very depressing for me to read them all! Bite the bullet, get a 20 gallon tank (which takes up little more space than a 10 gallon system, and doesn't cost much more either) and start keeping fish the sensible way. If you're thinking about an aquarium smaller than even 10 gallons, then think about getting a vase, filling it with water, and sticking in some cut flowers. Seriously. This will be better for everyone!
Very small tanks rarely work unless you're an expert fishkeeper and know precisely what you're doing. Cheers, Neale.>

Goldfish, var.s, sel., sys.    02/06/09 Hello all, hope things are going well for you there. I have a question about goldfish please. I have a 75 gallon f/w tank that is just about finished cycling (fishless) and keep going back and forth in my choices about which fish to keep. I went into a local pet store today to buy dogfood and strolled over to the fish area. I saw some goldfish and went over to investigate. I never realized there were so many types, some very beautiful. Please tell me the main differences I would have to acclimate to if I decided to go with goldfish, as well as which types you would recommend and which ones might mix with regular tropical fish, if any. Also, if you feel it is not a good idea to fool with goldfish please let me know that as well. Thank you, James <Goldfish are indeed lovely fish. I've often said that if they cost hundreds of dollars, people would fall over themselves to keep them. But because they're cheap, we tend to ignore them. The reality is that Goldfish are colourful fish well worth keeping. The problem is that they need space, but if you 75 gallons to play with, you're fine. The main issues to deal with are these: Firstly, it's not a good idea to mix Standard and Fancy Goldfish. Standard Goldfish are any with a single tail, not just "Common Goldfish", but also things like Shubunkins and Comets. All the Standard Goldfish are fast-moving fish, and they tend to be boisterous and sometimes bullies. They mix great with one another, so if you like them, by all means mix them. I have a great fondness for the Koi-like Shubunkins, and I know Bob F. is a fan of the Comet, one of the few truly American varieties of Goldfish. Either way, these are spectacular fish. In recent years a lemon yellow version of the Common Goldfish has appeared in the UK trade, and it's a lovely animal as well. Now, on to the Fancies. There are two classes here, the "hardy" ones and the "delicate" ones. The hardy ones are things like Fantails and Black Moors; while they have forked-tails and crooked backs, they are otherwise fairly robust, and with care can even be combined with Standards, provided you make sure everyone gets fed. The "delicate" ones are the varieties with odd deformities (for want of a better term) to the head or abdomen, missing dorsal fins, and so on. Examples include Celestials, Ranchus, Bubble-eyes and so on. All these varieties are best kept in groups of a single variety per aquarium. Otherwise they are prone to being damaged, bullied or otherwise losing out at feeding time. I'm not wild about mixing Goldfish with tropical fish, but you certainly can mix some varieties (Standards and hardy Fancies) with *subtropical* fish when maintained around 20 C (68 F). Things like Corydoras paleatus and Florida Flagfish work quite well. Paradise fish are another option, though some Macropodus species are more aggressive than others, so take care here. The main thing is to avoid keeping nippy species (e.g., Rosy Barbs, Mosquitofish) with Fancy varieties, and obviously don't keep anything "bite size" with big Goldfish (e.g., White Cloud Mountain Minnows, small Danio species). Hope this helps, Neale.>
Re: Goldfish  02/06/09
Thank you Neale. From what you say it seems that if I wanted a more slower moving group in the tank the fancies would be the way to go? <If you want Fancy goldfish, then yes, an aquarium just for them is best.> Also do most varieties of the fancies get along together? <As stated, it depends. Ones that "merely" have the round body and double fins, like Black Moors, Ryukins and Fantails, can be mixed. But the more delicate forms, like Orandas, Pom-poms, Celestials, Bubble-eyes, Lionheads, Ranchus and Pearlscales are all best kept in single-variety tanks. At the very least, the aquarist has to evaluate each fish on a case-by-case basis. Oranda and Ranchus might be kept together, but Celestials shouldn't be mixed with anything. Essentially, ask yourself this: is the deformity of variety X such that it couldn't compete for food with, or be likely to bossed about by, variety Y.> What would be the maximum number to put in a 75 gallon tank? <A safe approach is to allow 20 gallons for the first Goldfish, and then 10 gallons for each additional fish, assuming commensurate filtration and water changes. Fancies do tend to be smaller than Standards, but that bit more sensitive to water quality issues. So let's say 6-7 specimens.> I have a sand bottom and some artificial plants along with some java fern. Will these fish root up the artificial plants or eat java fern? <Yes, they dig up sand. But Java fern attached to bogwood should be fine.> One of the main things I wanted to ask I forgot to. I have read that these are extremely messy fish, putting off more waste than tropicals and also putting off a lot of ammonia. I guess this will mean more tank maintenance than usual? <"More maintenance" depends on filtration. Beefy filtration, i.e., water turnover 6-8 times the volume of the tank per hour, should keep water changes and tank cleaning down to normal levels.> And if I did not keep any tropicals with these would I even need a heater at all? <Goldfish are fine at comfortable room temperatures. Slightly cooling in winter is no problem, though Fancy varieties cannot handle frosty conditions and get Finrot easily if allowed to get cooler than, say, 15 degrees C (59 F).> Thank you again for your help. James <Cheers, Neale.>

Fancy goldfish show in Singapore   9/28/08
 Pics from a local goldfish show. Attached is the champion for the Metallic Ranchu category. More pics to follow once I sort them out and sorry for the amateurish shots. I took these photos with a cheap digital camera. Perry
<Very nice. Thank you for sending along. BobF>
More from Perry Chong at the Sing. Goldfish Show   9/29/08
This one is the champion of the Ryukin short tail category
& This beauty won the Grand champion
<Very nice>

I don't think what I got was what it was labeled...  2/4/08 My mother and I bought two of these fish that were labeled as Fancy Tail Goldfish... However I do not think that they are.... In the tank at Wal-mart all of the similar fish were in the same tank and the girl that was scooping them up did not know much about them... she said there was a koi fish in the tank with the gold fish but wasn't sure which one. <These all appear to be Goldfish, Carassius auratus. Koi, Cyprinus carpio, can be distinguished most easily by looking at the mouth: Koi have a pair of barbels, Goldfish do not.> My question is about the large gold colored fish that we bought... It does not act like any fish I have ever seen. It does not swim... It sits on the bottom of the tank right on the gravel. It also from time to time will suck up the rocks and spit them out... It also seems to suck at the fake plants we have in the 10 gallon tank. When I was trying to get a picture of it.. it did start moving around the tank.. I'm not sure I would call it swimming...it went sideways for a bit and then did all manner of flip-like movements and was trying to hide like... <Likely constipated and desperate for some proper food. Don't use "goldfish food" as a staple -- it's very bad for them when used all the time. Most days, give them green foods. Read this article: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/gldfshmalnut.htm And change the feeding accordingly.> Also it's mouth opens up huge...! I mean it almost looked like it two mouths... which couldn't possibly be, but still. I have never seen any supposed gold fish do that. It has a flat head, a fat bulbous body and the fancy fins and tail are up from the body... I looked at all manner of fancy goldfish and the one that looks closest to it is the Ryukin. However ours does not have the bump on it's head that the ones in the pictures had. The ones in the pictures also were al of mixed white and gold scales, ours is solid gold. It seems to be getting along with the little gouramis and the other supposed spotted fancy tail goldfish: (which has a completely different body shape.. It is more oval in shape and slender with the fancy fins and tail, the body is longer and it's spots are orange, and black with a mostly white body) we also have a tiny little cat-fish like thing (algae eater) in the tank that doesn't really swim. It stays in the barrel decoration we bought. <Hmm... bit worried here. The "algae-eating catfish" is like Pterygoplichthys spp, a TROPICAL species that will die in a coldwater aquarium. It gets to about 45 cm in length and cannot possibly be kept in a 10 gallon aquarium. If the "catfish" is actually the Chinese Algae Eater Gyrinocheilus aymonieri, then that's even worse -- this fish eats little algae, and as it grows to a maximum size of 30 cm becomes incredibly territorial and aggressive. It can, will suck at the sides of slow-moving fish, rasping away at the mucous, and causing much damage in the process. There are coldwater catfish, such as Ictalurus spp., but these are rarely in the trade. Most become huge (50 cm+) and are highly predatory.> I'm just concerned about what kind of fish this is... if it starts to get very large I am afraid it might eat the other fish and I don't think I could handle that...Besides... We live in a small apartment and I'm not sure what we would do with a very large fish... <Which is why your identify the fish BEFORE you buy it, not afterwards.> Any help is greatly appreciated. I have attached pictures of the gold fish and one of the spotted fish. Hopefully you can tell what it is... they are the best I could do. <Sorry, couldn't make out much from all of those pictures, though they do seem to be standard issue Goldfish. Cheers, Neale.>

Odd asymmetrical Ryukin tail?   12/11/07 How common is it to have extra tail 'lobes' on a goldfish? "Fancy" has three on the left side of her tail, and only 2 on the right, and has been like that since I got her; it doesn't seem to affect her swimming (nor appetite!). The top paired lobes are essentially symmetrical, though the right bottom lobe is slightly larger than the left bottom. Doesn't look like there's anything "missing" from the right side of the tail, but I've never seen this tail anatomy before. Have you guys? <Greetings. What you describe is quite common. The difference between fancy Goldfish sold in pet stores and the "deluxe" sort kept by aficionados largely comes down to this: conformity with the ideals of the breed. That's why enthusiasts will spend tens if not hundreds of times more on pedigree, show-quality fish compared with the buck or two the average aquarist spends on a fish that needs to be nothing more than a nice pet. There's nothing wrong with your fish, and indeed this odd mutation will likely add to its charm in your eyes. So enjoy your fish! Cheers, Neale.>

Goldfish, type...   11/16/07 hello, nice to ask questions again! <Nice for whom? Please pay attention to capital letters, grammar, abbreviation and so on to make questions nicer for us to read and share with other Wet Web Media visitors.> i bought two Ryukin goldfish 2 weeks ago, but now am frustrate if both of them are Ryukins or not, here are the pics... tnx! <They both look like some sort of Ryukin to me. Do bear in mind that quite what people mean by 'Ryukin' tends to vary. But yours do have the right basic shape and fins. Either way, no reason to be frustrated. Enjoy your new pets. Cheers, Neale.>

Fancy goldfish identification - help!  5/29/07 Hello to everyone at WWM, <Howdy Oliver> I have a little bit of a problem I would like your advice on. Your site has been excellent in giving me advice so far - I have been a long-time lurker but this is the first time I've needed to get in touch (as it's the first time I haven't found the answer to my problem archived somewhere). <Good> I have had my fancy goldfish for a few months now, in a 50 litre tank (11 UK gallons) and he is a good four inches long now. Obviously this is far too small <Yes> and I'm looking to get a much bigger tank. I think 30 gallons would be okay for him, but I'm thinking about getting a larger tank, about 50 gallons (is that about 240 litres?), so I can get another fish to keep him company. Is this size good for him, or is it even too big? <No such thing... I have four goldfish in a ninety...> I also don't know what kind of fish he is. I was told he's a Pearlscale, but he doesn't have the traditional domed scales, neither is he the right sort of golf-ball shape. <Yes... but not high-bodied like a Ryukin... I make this out to be a Calico (due to the mixed color of the body) Fantail...> My local store suggested he might be a cross-breed, <All goldfish varieties are the same species, actually di-hybrid crosses> but I thought I might as well try and find out. I was wondering if you could look at the attached picture and identify him for me? Apologies for the picture quality, he won't co-operate to be photographed! <Heee!> There was one other small point. He has always had sort of red staining under his buccal cavity (I think), or what I would less technically describe as "under his chin"! Is this normal? <Mmm, maybe not... likely so-called petecchia... called septicaemia at times... due to changeable, slipping water quality... Again, the larger volume...> You can kind of see it in one of the pictures I sent. His water quality is perfect (zero nitrites and ammonia, nitrates around 5mg/l, pH stable at around 7.5) and his tank is clean, but I'm a bit concerned that it might be a bacterial infection nonetheless as a small patch has appeared near his right eye too - however, that's only been there a couple of days and could just be a scrape. Once my fish has been identified (or not?) could you please let me know what kind of fish would be compatible with him? <Is posted on WWM: http://wetwebmedia.com/FWSubWebIndex/fwlivestkindex.htm Scroll down to the gold line...> My reading is conflicting. I'm told that all goldfish can live together, <Usually yes... though the less fancy varieties (Comets, Shubunkins...) can too-easily out-compete, out-grow the more fancy (rounder) types...> but also that some fish, e.g.. Celestials, have to be kept separately. <Ah, yes> I'd quite like a Black Moor (about the same size as my current fish would be a good idea, I think), but do you think that's a good idea? <I do think this is an excellent choice (I have two myself)> Thank you very much for your help and for the site, which has been of great help to me in the past and I'm sure will be in the future! Oliver <A pleasure to share eh? Bob Fenner>

Re: Fancy goldfish identification - help! And tank weight  5/30/07 Hello Bob- <Oliver> Thank you very much for your quick response, it was tremendously helpful and it's nice to finally be able to put a name to my fish! <Ah yes> I do have one further question to ask - based on your response, around fifty (UK) gallons would be appropriate for my current fish and a similarly-sized Black Moor. However, I do live on the first floor of a block of flats (less than 10 years old) and so I'm a little worried about the load-bearing ability of the floor, as such an arrangement would weigh around 600 pounds (I estimate). I was planning on getting a Rio 240 aquarium from Juwel, which comes with a stand and that would hopefully distribute the weight quite well, but I don't know what you think of putting this on the first floor; would it be too heavy? I have checked the relevant material on WWM but there's nothing about a 50G tank (the lowest was 75G). Am I worrying about nothing? I am going to cycle the tank for a month or so before putting my fish in anyway, so it's not the fact that my fish would be at risk (as wouldn't the floor show signs of stress almost immediately?), more the worry that the people downstairs will wake up to a rather large tank crashing through the ceiling one morning! <Mmm, not likely a problem... as your flat is new... likely well built... And the Juwel products are well made... and have the mass of the stand spread out quite a bit. If this were an older building, and you had present issues with furniture leaning toward the centre of floors, I would suggest applying a piece of plywood (cut to fit the stand bottom/legs) and shimming this up in turn... to spread the weight out, make the tank level and planar)> I'd really appreciate any advice you have about this. Obviously calling in a structural engineer would be fairly expensive (I'm a student) so I'd like to avoid that if possible - still, on the other hand, nothing's too much to keep my fish happy and he does need that new tank; my girlfriend and I have already agreed to move flats if that's what it takes! <Wow!> Once again, thank you very much for your help; hopefully with your answer to this I can return to lurking around the Freshwater pages (and where the Jumbo Parrot Cichlid is at the pet shop, I saw him the other day and now I want one!) and not trouble you again for a while. <Heeee! Be chatting! BobF>

Black moor; orange fantail(?)... goldfish var.s  3/1/07 This post is for my curiosity and basic knowledge.  You are acquainted with my fish Seigried,  who is definitely a Black Moor,  Fancy Goldfish.  I've looked at a lot of photos on the net,  and he is easy to distinguish. <Hi Debbie, Jorie again.  Yes, black moors are readily identifiable - very unique, neat looking fish in my opinion.> His brother,  Roy,  who died in January,  was solid orange in color,  had exactly the same body shape and size,  but he had "normal" eyes.  They did not sit outside of his face,  like Seigy's. I have looked everywhere to find Roy's "breed" and he fits none of the photos or descriptions.  Does anyone in The Crew have any idea what Roy's type was?  He looked like a huge orange potato! <LOL! A swimming orange potato - what a great mental image! Check here to see if you can match Roy to one of these - http://www.kokosgoldfish.com/ftypes.html Since you said Roy was like Seigy, with non-protruding eyes, am I correct that he (Roy) had a double tail and a dorsal fin? If so, my guess would be he was a fantail...> Thanks again for being there, <Anytime.> Debbie and Seigy from Baltimore <On another note, check out the celestial near the bottom of the link I gave you - that's my all-time favorite goldfish; I can't wait to have one, one day when I have room for yet another tank... Best regards, Jorie>

White fish ID needed  2/5/07 Dear crew, <Pansy> My mom came back with 2 fishes and I have no idea what they are! I have attached a photo of them - they are white with shiny scales, about 15 cm long, one of them having a distorted spine. I have no idea what to do with them and I do not have enough tanks at the moment! I currently have 1 guppy tank, 1 tetra tank and a goldfish tank. Will I be able to put them with the goldfishes?? Thanks, Pansy <Mmm, should be able to live with not-too fancy varieties (like Comets, Shubunkins) for a good long while. These appear to be Koi Carp/Nishikigoi... ornamental Cyprinus carpio... get quite large... Bob Fenner>

Re: white fish ID needed  2/5/07 Thank you Mr. Fenner for the prompt reply, will do the necessary ASAP! Yours sincerely, Pansy <Real good my young friend. BobF>

A goldfish by any other name... Thanks Bob, What is the difference between a Pond Comet, goldfish and Koi? Is Pond Comet a fancy name for gold fish? <All Goldfish are the same species (dithered actually, Carassium auratus X C. goeblio)... the "Comet" is a variety (sport mutation), the only one developed (thus far) in the United States... Koi (Nishikigoi) are of the same family (the Minnows, Cypinidae), different species, genus: Cyprinus carpio... though the same species as "common" carp found in lakes most anywhere humans are. There are crosses (sterile, like the book of y) called Golden Orfes. Bob Fenner>

Pop Eye or Late Blooming Telescope on Fantail - 8/10/2006 I have sent two of these in about two weeks time so I am attempting to use this e-mail I found in your FAQs on FAQs.    I DEEPLY apologize if you have gotten the previous two and just been very busy. <Mmm, have not seen. Thank you for sending this here> Shellie _________________________________________ I have three goldfish and one pleco in a 55 gallon long tank.   Two are fantails and one is a comet.    All of them act normal and get along for the most part.     There is some nipping and chasing but it never seems to be serious.    We have had them since Nov 1st, 2005.   My question is on the smallest fantail.    He is a beautiful fish but his eyes are starting to protrude. <I see this>        I first noticed about two weeks ago and I have been watching them very carefully daily if not several times a day.      We are very attached to these fish.   If it helps, they were babies when we bought them, only 1-2 inches including tails.   I belong to a pet forum and have posted about this issue before but I get conflicting answers.     Can you tell from this picture if Sara has pop eye or his Momma had an affair with a telescope eye? <Really believe it is the latter... Seem uniform, the fish looks like it's in good health>       Sorry about the name, my son named them and we didn't know he was male until he got the white dots on his gills.      I really hope you can help.    By the way, my water parameters are all within the normal ranges.   I know the tank is small so I change the water every third day, including cleaning the canister filter.         I can send a different picture if this one doesn't help. Shellie __________________________________________   I sent this once and waited about 48 hours before re-sending.         If you just have not had the time to get to my e-mail I deeply apologize.           At this point I am going to assume it was lost and re-send with a receipt so I know you get it.      Thank you. <I would not be concerned here. Bob Fenner>

Re: Your response to Re: Pop Eye or Late Blooming Telescope on Fantail   8/11/06       I wrote to you about my fantail, Sara.     He either had pop eye or was simply a late blooming telescope eye.     I just wanted to thank you for your reassurance and send you a couple of photos of my babies.      Despite being in an aquarium, they are very vibrant and I am proud of them.      Thank you once again. <Ahh, thank you for this> P.S. I was inordinately pleased that I was not asked to correct my mail.      Having been out of school for several years I figured I would have many errors. <Heeee! Make a few myself... daily. BobF>

Koi/goldfish ID   7/25/06 I was wondering how to tell a difference between a koi and goldfish? <<Koi are generally much more streamlined in appearance, grow more quickly, and have more noticeable barbels.  Koi and goldies also inter-breed, creating what are called 'Orfes'. Koi: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pondsubwebindex/koiselart.htm>> Thanks, Regina <<Glad to help. Lisa.>>

Goldfish varieties  - 05/10/2006 Hi Guys and Gals, <Lance> I can't seem to find the answer I'm looking for. I have a 500+ gallon outdoor pond with Koi and what was referred to as Comets or "Common Goldfish" at PetSmart. I've seen advertisements for Pond Comets and Red Comets etc on the net which are really attractive fish and I would like to have some. However, I'm curious if the fish I bought are the same variety and will develop the same physical appearance as the ones I've seen on the net. Please a little help in distinguishing between what I have and what is being advertised. Thanks Lance <Mmm, all comets are comets... this is a variety (the only one) developed in the United States... all goldfish are the same species... sort of like domestic dog varieties... some have more bold color, some have other color than "gold" (e.g. shubunkins)... there are subvarieties with longer unpaired finnage... Bob Fenner>

Goldfish in a bathroom, varieties   1/21/06 Hi, I am thinking about getting two goldfish and I was wondering about a couple of things! Firstly, is it ok to keep the tank in a bathroom, it's quite light but it gets very steamed up if I have a shower or something.   <No worries... the tank water itself will not change appreciably> Also, I was told that a 60cm tank would be ok for two goldfish and this is exactly the amount of room I have, do you need more room than that, do things attach to the outside of the tank etc? or is that size of tank not big enough? <Should be fine> and lastly (!) what's the smallest breed of goldfish? I've been doing research but there are varied answers! Thank you very much! <Mmm, likely Ryukins or Lionheads. Bob Fenner>

Mystery Goldfish - 11/10/2005 Hi <Hello.> I have contacted you in the past and you have been a great help.  I thought you wouldn't mind hearing about my weird fish: <Sure.> I have a small pond (100 gallons), and had a bit of trouble getting it established early this year, and having lost a few fish early on, my neighbour has kindly put a few of his babies into my pond.  Also recently my local source of pond stuff was selling off little fish, all claimed to be goldfish.  One of them was very dark, with shiny metallic edges to the fins.  I was assured they were all goldfish.  Recently I have noticed that the smallest orange goldfish has a weird tail.   (Weird fish 1)  Like it is on 90 degrees the wrong way round (horizontal), but with half a tail (top half) where it should be - vertically.  Looks like the tail of an airplane!    <Hmm, excellent description.> It is the smallest fish, and I wondered if this may be why?  It seems to swim ok but with a weird wriggling action.  My books all tell me that deformed fish should be culled.  I do not want to do this, and wondered if you thought it was an acceptable abnormality.   <This could just be injury-related....  I would prevent this fish from breeding, though, to be on the safe side.> <<Could this be some sort of koi/fancy goldfish cross?  MH>> Will it affect it long term, or should I just wait and see? <Probably is a permanent condition, but if you are partial to the animal, I see no reason to cull/kill it, as long as you can prevent it from breeding when it becomes mature.> The very dark fish with metallic bits (Weird fish 2) - can this really be a goldfish?   <Possibly.> I have been reading about Koi and am concerned it might be a ghost koi.  How can I tell the difference in a koi and a comet goldfish?   <Pretty simple, once you've seen many of both....  I urge you to go see some of both in person and compare them to your animal.  Pay especial attention to the small "whiskers" under the chin of koi.> The fish is about 2 1/2 inches long tail included, and now that it is colder outside I rarely see it, mostly perhaps because it is nearly black (other than shiny edges).  If it so happens to be a koi, how big do they grow, <Very.  Very, very very big.  If you're ever in San Jose, look up Tse Koi.  Wander your way through the maze of statuary in the back to the REALLY big pond (or just ask to see the BIG fish).  There are animals in that pond that could easily swallow my fist....> <<On the order of 3'+.  Good thing they don't have "teeth"! MH>> <<<Much, much larger, my friend....  -SCF>>> and should I be trying to find it a new home?     <Eventually.  They are slow growers, so you have plenty of time to determine what he is.> Your help and advice is much appreciated. <Glad to be of service.> Wendy <Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

Fancy Goldfish Sales Sites? - 10/21/2005 Hey, do you guys know any good sites that sales veiltails and tosakin goldfish? I'm really interested in have one of each for my own. <I'm sorry, I don't know of any.... nor do I know of anyone that does know. You might try asking your local fish stores what they can order for you; otherwise, your best bet would be to see if there are any local fish or goldfish clubs in your area, and ask other hobbyists that you meet there. Wishing you well, -Sabrina> <<Yes!  There are sites, though many (if not most) seem to originate in China.  A general Google should net you good results.  Marina>>

Is an Orfe Really an Orfe? Of Courfe! Or is it? 10/12/05 Orfes are not Cyprinus carpio: they are Leuciscus idus. Part of cyprinid family but not able to hybridize with koi/goldfish. FYI and thank you. Eric <Mmm, a bit of a mixed-use term... you can see that there are crosses: Goldfish/Koi cross and the use of the name... in crosses twixt goldfish and koi/carp. Thank you for this, and sorry for ( likely furthering) the confusion. BobF> 

Re: large-ish man-made pond - Or! An Orfe is an Orfe of Courfe, of Courfe 10/13/05 Bob, <Eric> Indeed, the fishes in question are not always aware of our rules of speciation/hybridization (or common names) and do as they please. Thanks for a speedy reply. Cheers, Eric <And you for your shared humour, intelligence and wit. BobF> 

Panda Oranda's Wen 7/27/05 We have had a Panda Oranda for close to 8 months that we purchased from Petco.   <That might just be a record for a PetCo fish.:-) > Around two weeks ago we noticed that the cranium looking part of its head <Its "Wen"> was growing faster than it had in the past.   <Normal.> A week ago the growth covered one of its eyes.   <Normal. Grotesque but normal.> Over the weekend, the growth started to cover its other eye.   <Normal.> It is now sitting at the bottom of the tank.   <Abnormal.> The pet shop said this was normal <Eye coverage, yes. Bottom-laying, no.> and that they can see through the growth. <False, unless they have X-Ray vision, which would make for one cool fish.> I find this hard to believe.   <That's common sense talking.> I am concerned that it is not swimming <Ditto.> like it used to and its appetite has been effected.   <If it does not eat, I get worried. Re-test your parameters, make sure they all check out.> Can you give me some advice on how to proceed? <Test water, act accordingly.> Thank you <Welcome> Greg Dunbar <Mike G> Re:
Panda Oranda's Wen 7/27/05
Hello Mike, <Hello> Thank you for your advice.   <Any time, my friend.> Are you saying that this variety of fish then becomes blind once the Wen grows over its eyes?   <Quite possibly so.> How do they find food and how do they move about the tank?   <Lateral lines, "smell," other sensory processes.> Should I remove the rock in the middle of the tank that they like to swim through? <I wouldn't> Thanks, Greg <Mike G>

Black Moor Goldfish Hey Guys, <Ryan> I have a couple questions for you about my Black Moor, Ellen.  When she was purchased, she was completely black, as Black Moors are supposed to be.  Since then, she has lost all of her black color and appears to be just a regular Fantail Goldfish. <Does happen> I was wondering if they can change color over time due to diet or possible water temperature or something else? <Yes to these influences, and of course genetics... The last reigns supreme here. Some black moors are just destined to be not-so-black Moors> I was also worried about one of Ellen's eyes.  It appears to have formed a clear sac bulging from it.  I can tell that this is not part of the normal eye because the other eye is not bulging at all.  Do you have any ideas as to what might be happening with my fish? <Good observation... but likely, hopefully this is simply a swelling due to a physical trauma (again, very common with goldfishes), and will heal of its own accord> Thanx, Ryan peanuts for now and cashews for later Do you know anyone else with this address?? EXACTLY <Mmm, no> p.s. you could email me back, or you could, ya know, brush your teeth  and drink orange juice.   just a thought <Yes. Bob Fenner>

Effects of Light on Goldfish Pigment - A Paper Dear Mr. Fenner, I am doing a Biology assignment in my final year at school in Australia and I am doing the affect of light on goldfish pigment. I have placed 5 fish in a dark room and they have now been in there for about 10 days and I don't see any pigment changes. Is this likely to a long time for their pigment to change as my assignment is due in about three weeks. <Mmm, not likely for this species/cross to change in color over this period of time... much of color due to long-"lasting" reflective elements...> Do you have an suggestions on how I could quicken the process or is it unlikely to occur in this period of time? <Mmm, no... if I had chatted with you previous to the experiment I would have encouraged you to use another test species/model... likely zebra danios... Brachydanio rerio, as much has been done with these... they're readily available, cheap...> I have read that the colour change can take three years and I also have read that it can take five to ten days. Thank you for you time. Elspeth <Goldfish are of the previous group... likely not easy to discern any color change for months. Bob Fenner>   

We Finally get to Meet Albert & Teena (the Italian Goldfishes)! >Hi Marina. I hope you're doing well. >>Yes I am, thank you. >This is Marcellino. I've sent you pix of Albert and Teena. If you saw them, can you tell me what species they are? >>They are both (not so good) examples of the lionhead goldfish. All goldfishes are of the species Carassius auratus. >I thought of Albert a lionhead and Teena an Oranda but I am not sure. >>Neither fish has a dorsal fin, this is a defining trait of the lionhead. Orandas have dorsal fins, as well as the fleshy growth on the head. However, neither fish shows the typical fleshy growth about the head, which is also typical of good examples.  >The brown algae keep growing all over, should I wait or should I clean it? >>The algal growth I see in your photos is perfectly normal, you'll have to use an aquarium scraper or sponge to remove it - welcome to the wonderful world of aquarium-keeping! >For the rest I followed your advice about live food, daphnia, bloodworms and it seems Albert is doing better with his swim bladder. What do you think about their look? >>The shot of Teena's back end is priceless. However, I'm going to send you a link to http://www.kokosgoldfish.com - this site appears to have excellent information, as well as some of the BEST examples of each breed. The more I peruse (they even have a link called "goldfish poop"!), the more I believe you can find great/more specialized information. Honestly, as good if not better than what I can provide you here (but don't take that to mean that we don't like hearing from you).

>Do they look healthy to you? >>QUITE, although Teena's poop indicates a wee bit of constipation (it's long) - stop feeding her for a couple of days, go with green peas/greens to help alleviate. They are fat, shiny, clear eyes, skin and scales. >You can see [in some photos] his [Albert's] throat area to have this sparkles and redness. He always had that but what is it?  >>Perfectly normal coloration. The redness is his blood in the gills. Your fish are normal and healthy my friend. >How old could they be? >>I believe they're likely young, probably less than a year, but this is only an educated guess. Be prepared for at least ten years with them. >I thank you very much, Marcellino >>You're very welcome. Marina 

Goldfish name I have a question about the history of naming the goldfish. Why are they called goldfish when they are orange? Ismael Villafañe Jr. <Mmm, suspect it has something to do with the relative worth of an orange and gold. Bob Fenner> 

Goldfish Business Dear sirs,     We are Fun Bubbles and Four Bubbles Goldfish Development Co, Ltd. Knowing that your company is large-scaled and also fully experienced in goldfish breeding and marketing, we take this opportunity to write to you with a view to strengthen the communication and cooperation between us in goldfish development. <Okay>    Our company has bred a brand-new goldfish breed exclusively, ¡°four bubbles goldfish¡± through thirty years¡¯ effort. To meet the demands of goldfish distributors, goldfish raisers and goldfish hobbyists, now we supply ¡°Red four bubbles goldfish¡± fries, one variety of ¡°four bubbles goldfish¡± in a large quantity for the first time in the market. <Neat>    For more information, go to our website, www.chinatz.cn. Hope that we keep in touch, and please reply at your earliest convenience. <Thank you for this notice. Will post on our site, www.WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner>

Photo Album from Linda: Moor than it seems? I realized the file size was very large on the pics I sent.  Hope these resized ones are better for your examination.  By the way the moor is getting blacker but he seems active and happy being separated from the cannibal.  Hope to hear from you soon. Tanks in advance... Linda & Heather < The moor getting blacker is not a surprise. Many of these fish carry a black genetic marker that carries over and can be expressed as the fish gets older.-Chuck> You're invited to view these photos online at Ofoto! Just click on View Photos to get started. http://www.ofoto.com/I.jsp?c=2y99e7up.4czpfjih&x=0&y=5c4yjc

Oranda Overgrown his Own Eyes My Oranda has reached about the size of a fist. Recently his wen has gone through a sudden growth spurt and eclipsed both eyes leaving him completely blind. Will his body catch up later? Can I do anything to slow the growth or move it from his eyes? He is eating OK (the tank is a 60 gallon octagon and food collects in the corners where he waits for it.) and seems happy otherwise. < Try reducing the food or at least change it. This may genetic or a response to a diet that is too rich in fats and proteins or just plain too much food. Try a vegetarian flake for awhile and see it there is any difference. Feed only enough food so all of it is consumed in a couple of minutes each day.-Chuck>

Oranda Cap Growth Hello! I have recently just gotten into this whole fish thing. I fell in love with Goldfish, especially Orandas. I have a 30 gallon tank, that currently has one Black Moor, as well as one Red Cap Oranda. I have been trying to find out any answer towards a typical amount of time that an Oranda grows his cap. My Oranda appears to be currently pretty small, I would say 2-3 inches in length. I was wondering if you could give me an answer for this, as my prior research has indicated anything from 3 months to 1 and 1/2 yrs. of age. My Oranda at time of purchase already had indications of cap growth, but I was hoping that you could give me a more specific, if possible, answer. Thank you so much!!!! Danielle <<Dear Danielle; Sorry, there are no specific answers :P First, congrats on falling in love with fish, and for NOT overstocking! Second, growth rates are determined by a few things. The first is water quality, the more often you change your water, the faster your fish (and his hair) will grow. Second is food, a well-balanced diet, high in fibre will help your goldfish grow fat 'n sassy. Third is genetics, which kind of incorporates the fishes' character as well as the physical. Stronger character means more a dominant fish which will generally out-grow the runts...they get all the food :P Either way, one thing we all learn is patience. Enjoy your fish as they grow, and don't worry, your Orandas will be sporting kewl headgear in no time! -Gwen>>

Goldfish Colors 2/29/04 <Hi, Pufferpunk here> I just got 6 goldfish today.  One is really big and the other 5 are medium size.  I've noticed ones like a white color and the other 2 have an interesting black stripe running down their back at the top.  Do I have to be concerned about this?  It's really freaking me out that they might be sick. Please answer my question and what I can do to help. <The black is a normal coloration of your goldfish.  It may fade as it gets older.  What freaks me out is that you have so many fish & bought them all at the same time.  Goldfish need at least 10 gallons each at under 3" & 20gal each when larger.  Either you have a very large tank or your fish are severely overcrowded.  Goldfish are very dirty/heavy waste producing fish.  Even at the stocking levels just mentioned, 80-90% weekly water changes are recommended to keep the ammonia levels down to non-toxic levels.  Adding that many fish to any sized tank at one time, will result in the death of most, if not all of your fish.  Please try to do something to remedy this, like get a much larger tank, or return some of these fish to save the others.  I apologize, if you really do have a huge tank.  ~PP>

Bubble Eye Goldfish My bubble eye got his sack stuck in a filer tube we had to put it out however the sack did not break a week goes by,  and the sack is not looking to good. It is white with blood inside and deflated. What should I do is the sack bad for the fish or should I remove it from the body. Will it grow back on its own. Thank You <Leave the bubble attached to the fish but isolate the fish into a quarantine tank and treat with Epsom salts. For more information go to http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/goldfish.htm and http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PondSubWebIndex/gldfshvars.htm and follow the related links. Ronni>

Black Moor (Not so black no more) Dear Bob, Can you explain why my black moor is now almost a goldfish colour. The fish is in a tank with a comet and a fantail who is so gold. David Copperfield eat your heart out. Nature is the winner. <Mmm, this just happens (where's my leggy model-wife?)... and can "simply" reverse itself... more common in overheated situations, poor nutrition... but even happens (along with "whiting out", mottling of sorts) to the "best of the breed". Bob Fenner> Jim Patterson

New Print and eBook on Amazon

Goldfish Success
What it takes to keep goldfish healthy long-term

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: