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Types of Goldfish – The Amazing Varieties

Goldfish are one of the most popular aquarium fish, but did you know that there are many different types of goldfish? Goldfish are native to China and were first bred in the Jin Dynasty.

It was thought that they were bred based on the carp, another type of freshwater fish. However, it is now believed that they were bred through selective breeding.

Over time, many types of goldfish evolved. In this article, we will discuss a few popular types of goldfish and their distinctive traits.

Goldfish are a type of freshwater fish belonging to the family Cyprinidae. The species originate from East Asia but are now found across the world in various colors and sizes.

They are commonly kept as pets or ornamental fish in aquariums or ponds, water gardens and even paludariums.

Goldfish are a popular aquarium fish, and they’re easy to care for. They can live for many years, making them excellent pets for children or adults. They are intelligent and interactive too.

Goldfish don’t require any special care; all they need is routine care, clean water, good oxygen and a tank with enough space to swim in comfortably.

Just remember not to torture poor goldfish in small bowls and containers. You are jailing them in a toxic environment which can kill them.

The Goldfish’s Closest Relative Is The Prussian Carp

The goldfish’s closest relative is the Prussian carp (Carassius gibelio), another freshwater fish. The wild Prussian carp is silver-colored. They are also known as wild goldfish. This is because Prussian Carp can be orange in color too.

Prussian Carps do not have any special features that make them attractive to humans (like fancy colors or markings), this species of fish has remained relatively obscure compared to its domesticated counterpart, the Goldfish.

The Carp family is known for their barbels (whiskers). They are also known for their forked tail with only one dorsal fin which runs the length of almost half the body size.

Per contra, the prussian carp do not have barbels which is why it is stated to be the closest relative of the goldfish.

There Are Many Different Types Of Goldfish

There are many different types/ classifications of goldfish. There are more than two hundred types! Some well-known types include the common goldfish and comet goldfish.

The most common is the common goldfish whose name is self-explanatory.

Other well-known breeds include: Oranda, Shubunkin, Fantail (named after their widely shaped tail fins), and Lionhead (because they look like little lions!)

This article will discuss each popular type of goldfish, giving you a fair overview of the types of goldfish.

Goldfish Varieties Were Created By Selective Breeding

Goldfish varieties were created by selective breeding and do not survive well in the wild. They are popular as pets because they are easy to care for and have a wide range of colors, body shapes, fin types, and eye shapes.

They are attractive and live long. Interestingly, irrespective of the type of goldfish, they all share the common characteristic of friendly behaviour, intelligence and interactive behavior with human owners.

Goldfish Classification

Goldfish are a very diverse species, and their classification is based on many different factors.

The first thing to know about goldfish classification is that they are typically classified by the shape of their eyes, which can be round, almond-shaped or oval. You can also classify them by the shape of their bodies, which can be long and slender or short and round.

The fins on a goldfish are another factor used in its classification. For example, some goldfish have no fins at all while others have one or two pairs of pectoral fins (these are located near the gills).

The head shape is also an important factor in classifying goldfish because it is thought to be indicative of their personalities. For example, some goldfish have longer heads than others do, which means that they are believed to be more intelligent than other types of goldfish with shorter heads.

Finally, you should know that there is a separate classification for tails since there are many different kinds of tails in this species (such as fan-tails and comet tails).

Let us now look at the different types of goldfish.

Common Goldfish 

If you asked me to draw a fish, or anyone for that matter, the first thing that I would do is join two curved lines together, and draw an eye and a tail. Well! That’s the common goldfish. No frills, no extras.

Just that it has the lovely reddish orange. This is the simplest of all types of goldfish and the original type of goldfish had a similar body structure as that of the Prussian Carp.

Comet Goldfish 

Comet Goldfish are torpedo-shaped, with a long body and tail. They have a high arch, which gives them their name. Comets have a long flowing caudal fin (tail fin), which is used to propel them through the water.

The tail can grow to be up to 3 inches in length and is deeply forked. The dorsal fin of this type of goldfish is long and tall like an arrow pointing from the head towards its tail.

Their backs are usually arched upward near the gills and sloped down towards the tail.

The eyes are black with a circle around them. The color of the encircling bit varies depending on age or genetic variations.

Oranda Goldfish 

Oranda Goldfish is one of the cutest. It has a fleshy cap on its round head which is crumply skinned. The fish has a distinct head and distinct body.

The total length of a fully grown oranda goldfish can reach up to 9 inches. It is one of the most popular aquarium fish in the world.

Some people believe that orandas are very fragile but this is not true as they are quite hardy. Oranda Goldfish are also called red cap goldfish, bullhead oranda goldfish.

They come in various other colors. They have a long lifespan. They have been kept as pets for centuries now and they can be found in almost every corner of the world today.

Pearl Scale Goldfish 

Pearlscale goldfish, also known as blister scale or marble body, is a fancy goldfish variety. They have an unusual and distinctive appearance with pearl-like spots covering their bodies.

These spots have bulged, pearl like appearance and hence the name pearlscale.

Pearlscale Goldfish are one of the most popular varieties of goldfish. They’re very colorful, and come in various colors.

Pearlscale Goldfish can come with a capped head like the oranda or a head like a ryukin. When looked at from the top, they look like bloated balloons with pearls on them.

Ranchu Goldfish 

Ranchu Goldfish is a breed of fancy goldfish.

They have a distinct feature. They do not have a dorsal fin. The face of the Ranchu is round and has crumpled skin.

The tail is short and so are the other fins. The eyes are small black dots. The body begins right after the head and arches as a deep curve.

The Ranchu Goldfish is very sought-after variety and is called the king of goldfish by the Japanese. They can grow up to 8 inches only.

Lionhead Goldfish 

The lionhead goldfish has a mildly arched body. The head is round and crumpled skin, but it is not so distinctly round as the oranda. The body is also rounded and very mildly bloated.

The tail is short (a supermini and short fantail) and does not have a dorsal fin. The other fins are also very short. The eye looks like a small black bead.

They grow up to 8 inches. And can live up to 20 years. This fish can be differentiated from the oranda based on the dorsal fin which the oranda has.

The Difference Between The Ranchu And The Lionhead

The lion head and the ranchu are two breeds of fancy goldfish that can be difficult to tell apart at first glance. Here’s what you should look for to tell them apart:

Lionheads have a prominent, distinct head, while the ranchu has a more mild head.

The pectoral fin of the lionhead grows very close to their pelvic fin, while in ranchus it is further apart from its pelvic fin.

When compared, lion heads have lesser arched backs than ranchus do.

Lionheads have cheeks near their heads, but ranchus do not have cheeks.

Lionhead tails are deeply forked, but ranchu tails are less forked.

Lionchu Goldfish 

The lionchu goldfish is a cross-breed between the lionhead and ranchu. The head is from the lionhead and the arched body of the ranchu. They grow up to about six inches.

They are sensitive to fluctuations in water parameters and hence not a great option for beginners.

The lionchu goldfish has an entirely different look from its parent breeds. The head is shaped like a lion and its body has an arched shape like that of a ranchu.

The size of these fish ranges from five to six inches. Their color can vary depending on their environment but they are generally orange, red or yellow with black stripes running down their back.

However, they do require some regular maintenance which needs to be done regularly if you want them to live long healthy lives without any health problems.

Shukin Goldfish 

The shukin goldfish is a crossbreed of ranchu and oranda. It is easy to recognize by its head, which resembles that of an oranda, its arched back, which is similar to that of a ranchu, and its fins, which resemble those of an oranda.

The shukin goldfish was already extinct once but has been reintroduced into the world through selective breeding. It is not readily available for purchase because it is so difficult to breed.

Ryukin Goldfish

The Ryukin Goldfish seems to be a mixture of the parrot fish and the goldfish. In the Ryukin variety, the mouth and the body are distinct from each other.

It virtually looks like a parrot fish face pushed into a plump orange. If the face and body are not so distinct, then the quality of the ryukin is not so good. More specifically if the body does not arch out from the face.

The face resembles the parrot fish. The body of the Ryukin begins by arching over the face and the curve of the body is deep.

The tail is normally forked. The dorsal fin and the tail have a very small gap between them. The Ryukins are available in various color combinations including red, black, yellow, white and orange.

Veil Tail Goldfish 

Veil tail Goldfish are quite rare and one of the fanciest fish. They grow up to 12 inches, and their distinctive feature is their long flowy tails. These tails are almost as long as the body or even longer.

The minimum tail size of the veil tail is 3/4th the body size of the fish. The dorsal fin is also equally large and sail-like. The veil tail has larger fins than the fantail.

They have a long bodies and the fins are well separated. The pectoral fins are also equally flowy though not as long as the tail.

Fantail Goldfish 

Fantail goldfish is one of the most popular and hardy varieties of goldfish. The fantail gets its name from the tail which is well spread and fan-like.

The fins are forked whether looked at from the side or from the top.

The fantail has a single fin on the dorsal side, which is long and ends almost near the tail. The tail is the most distinctive feature of the fantail.

When compared to the Veil Tail, the fantail is not as long or detailed as the veil tail. The fantail is not as long as the veil tail and nor is as flowy as the veil tail. The veil tail almost looks like a dress.

The body of the fantail can vary based on its parents. It can either be egg-shaped or it can look like a balloon.

Fantails are known to be highly active swimmers so they require a spacious aquarium with plenty of swimming room.

Tamasaba Goldfish 

TamaSaba Goldfishes are a popular variety of fancy goldfish. They are similar to ryukin with a very long flowing tail and have another name called mackerel tail (sabao).

The origin of this variety is from Japan, which makes the name yamagata more appropriate. It also has a rounded body, usually seen in a combination of white and red colors.

A proper tamasaba has to have a white base with a strong or rich red pattern. They grow larger than ryukins and can grow up to 10 inches. They also have a pretty long life span.

Tamasaba has a longer body and longer tail than the ryukin. The ryukin body is more curved on the belly side than the tamasaba. The easiest way of differentiating the ryukin and the tamasaba is however the tail.

Butterfly Tail Goldfish 

The Butterfly Tail Goldfish is one of the most beautiful of all goldfish. When looked at from the top, the tail of the goldfish looks like a butterfly.

The tail is slightly divided in the middle and has telescope eyes. A wide dorsal fin adds a very elegant look to this fish. They have rounded bodies and metallic scales, and they are in size.

Butterfly tail goldfish are a delicate species of fish. These fish are very popular in the aquarium hobby, but they aren’t recommended for beginner aquarists because of their delicate nature.

The most desirable butterfly goldfish have proportionate features on both sides specifically the tail. Just like koi fish, the good quality butterfly goldfish must have rich coloration.

Tosakin Goldfish

The tosakin goldfish is known as the queen of goldfish. Although there are claims that it is a crossbreed of ryukin and ranchu, it looks like a crossbreed of ryukin and butterfly tail.

If you look at the tosakin from the top the tail looks like a butterfly tail. From the side, it looks like the ryukin.

The tosakin has an egg-shaped body with an arched back and a high dorsal fin that points upward from behind its head. Their eyes are large and bulging, and they have wide mouth with thick lips.

Sometimes, you may be able to see the features of a Ranchu, or even the common goldfish depending on its sub-type. However, the highly arched back with the butterfly tail is easily visible for you to differentiate it from other goldfish.

Egg-fish Goldfish 

Egg-fish goldfish are egg-shaped. virtually a slightly flattened egg. They are typically smaller than common goldfish and can be found in a variety of colors, including red, orange, black, yellow and white.

These fish do not have a dorsal and have very short tails. In fact, they look like they have been bitten off. In some cases depending on the parentage, they do have fan tails as well.

Egg-fish goldfish have a small body and short tail that makes them very easy to keep in relatively smaller aquariums.

Telescope Goldfish

Telescope Goldfish. This fish gets its name from its telescopic eyes. When viewed from the top it looks like a mini hammerhead fish.

These eyes are the distinctive feature of the telescope goldfish and the related categories. The eyes are protruding and pretty prominent. They bulge out of the head.

The telescope goldfish is a very popular fish because of its unique look, but it does not tolerate poor conditions well. The tail is well forked.

These fish are also called dragon-eyed fish, globe-eyed fish or Demekin.

They have a round body and a short, blunt snout. The fins can either be long and flowing or shorter with rounded lobes on each side.

Their coloration is usually bright orange with black stripes running down their backs from head to tail, though they may have red or white markings on their sides as well.

The Telescope Eye is another very popular type of goldfish that has an unusually large eye for its body size. This variety’s name comes from its characteristic bulging eyes which look like they are magnifying glasses!

However, the black telescope goldfish is purely black and the white telescope goldfish is purely white.

Telescope Veil Tail Goldfish

The Telescope Veil Tail Goldfish is a cross between the telescope eye and the veil tail goldfish. This fish has some unique characteristics that make it worth considering for your aquarium.

The telescope eye trait gives this fish a bulging look that can be quite beautiful in some situations.

The veil tail trait gives this fish its long flowing fins, which makes this type of fish quite popular among aquarists who like to show off their fish as well as those who simply like to have something different in their aquariums.

This fish has the dorsal fin of the veil tail.

Shubunkin Goldfish 

The Shubunkin Goldfish is a relative breed of goldfish that is known for its unique coloring and pattern.

The Shubunkin Goldfish is somewhat like koi fish to look at—except that the patterns aren’t as large. They are mostly tricolored: orange, white and black in varying degrees of intensity. This pattern is also called the calico.

The shape of the Shubunkin is like that of the common goldfish: egg-shaped with a flat backside rather than rounded like other breeds such as Oranda or other varieties.

The distinguishing factor in the case of shubunkin is the pattern on its body. Its fins are neither too short nor too fan-like.

There are further sub-classifications under shubunkin but the key factors remain the same.

Bubble Eye Goldfish 

We have all blown a bubble from chewing gum and we know how it looks. The transparent colored bubble. Well! the bubble eye fish has two bubbles emanating right from under the eyes. This is a very rare breed.

The eyes are lifted upward due to these bubbles. These bubbles are fluid filled sacs. These bubbles are pretty large.

It has a rounded body tapering towards the tail, and it does not have a dorsal fin. [in some rare cases it can have a dorsal fin too]. The tail fin can be either short or flowy.

Bubble Eye Goldfish are usually found in orange and white, but they can also be found in red, orange, and black. They can grow to between 3 and 5 inches (8-13cm) in length.

Bubble Eye Goldfish are a type of fancy goldfish with a distinctive bulging eye that gives them their name. The bulging eye is a result of a genetic defect.

The bubble-eye goldfish is a very delicate variety and not everyone’s cup of tea. They need to be carefully handled since the bubbles are very sensitive and the fish are susceptible to infection if the bubble bursts.

Celestial Goldfish 

Celestial goldfish are very closely related to both telescope and bubble eye goldfish. In the telescope goldfish, the eyes protrude towards the sides, whereas in celestial it protrudes upwards.

The eyes are enlarged like the bubble eye, however, they don’t have fluid-filled sacs like the bubble eye.

The celestial goldfish is one of many variations of fancy goldfish species. They are small fish with a flat body shape that make them look like they’re swimming through the air rather than water!

They have a dorsal fin and the tail is also small but flowy.

Pom-Pom Goldfish 

Pom-Pom Goldfish are unique fish. The first thing you’ll notice about them is their characteristic pom-pom, which is a soft growth on the front of the face that looks like a small tuft of hair.

Their rounded bodies and flowing fins make them stand out from other fish, too.

As its name suggests, it has an unusually large amount of soft growth on its head, which gives it a fluffy appearance. The pom-pom goldfish comes in various shapes but the distinct growth remains in all cases. These fish grow up to 6 inches long.

Panda Goldfish 

The panda goldfish is more coloration than a type of goldfish. The presence of the black and white colors makes it a panda in comparison to the panda bear.

The panda goldfish can be found in various shapes like oranda, telescope, fantail etc.

The panda goldfish can be found in only black and white combinations. The patterns may however vary in each fish.

Curled-Gill Goldfish 

If you’ve ever seen a curled gill goldfish, you know it’s easy to identify. One look at the gill and you can see the gill flap curved outward.

It is said to be a crossbreed of the ryukin goldfish and has a fantail. The curled gill is a mutation.

It’s kind of shocking when you see it for the first time—like, what’s wrong with this fish? But really, it’s just a type of goldfish: they have red blood cells, so their gills look red when they’re open.

Meteor Goldfish 

The meteor goldfish is an amazing fish!

One of the most interesting things about this fish is that it does not have a tail. The pectoral and pelvic fins are long and it looks like a tail. But if you look closely and carefully you will see that it does not have a tail.

This amazing fish is not unique because of its lack of tail, but also because of its ability to adapt to any environment. The meteor goldfish is not something you’re likely to find at your local pet store. It’s extremely rare, and it’s not easy to find one either.

Caring For Goldfish

Goldfish are one of the most popular fish in the world. They’re also one of the easiest to care for, making them a good choice for beginners.

Although each variety has its own specific care requirements, there are some basic principles for all goldfish.

Please refer to this article for basics on goldfish: Goldfish – The Amazing Darling Fish!!! – PetsandFins

Conclusion

Goldfish are the most popular pet fish in the world. There are hundreds of different varieties of goldfish, distinguished by shape, color, and fin configuration. Hopefully, this blog post has been helpful both in your quest to choose the right type of goldfish for your home aquarium and to understand the different distinguishing factors based on which you can identify them.

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