16 Types of Goldfish

  • Goldfish (Carassius auratus) come from Asia (China, then Japan), where they have been bred and selected for over a 1000 years. Goldfish arrived in Europe in the 17th and 18th centuries.
  • The Asian carp, which has a dull color, is the common ancestor of all goldfish varieties. It is through human action, and through a long evolution, that goldfish have become what they are now.
  • There is an impressive number of goldfish varieties, with may different colors, some of them looking quite bizarre : lionhead (protuberances on the top of the head), telescope (protuding eyes), shubunkin (very elongated dorsal and caudal fins), etc.
  • The criteria that distinguish the numerous varieties of goldfish are: head characteristics (e. g. normal, lion head, pompom, etc.); eye shape (normal, telescope, celestial, etc.), body shape, fin type (caudal and dorsal) and absence or presence of dorsal fin, scaly characteristics (pearl, metallic effect…) and adult size.
  • Generally, goldfish breeds are classified into 2 main types: slim-bodied (elongated shape, e.g. common, comet, shubukin…) or fancy (lionhead, ranchu, oranda, ryukin, pompom, pearlscale, blackmoor, celestial eye…). Slim-bodied are sturdier, faster and grow very large, so are better suited to ponds or very large tanks. ‘Egg-shaped’ fancy goldfish are more delicate and slower and usually prefer temperatures ranging from 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F)