Two young goldfish

Goldfish (Carassius auratus) are freshwater fish of the Cyprinidae family (Cypriniform order). A relatively small member of the carp family, goldfish are native to East Asia. Originally, people bred and reared the Asian carp for food.

Goldfish were first selectively bred in ancient China more than a 1000 years ago. Since then, many distinct varieties have been developed. They were particularly revered during the Song Dynasty (960-1279). In the 17th century, they were introduced to Portugal and subsequently to the rest of Europe.

They are one of the most commonly kept aquarium fish and vary considerably in size, body shape, fin shape and colors: common types of goldfish.

They are relatively hardy but fish bowls can be detrimental to their health. Fish bowls are now prohibited by animal welfare legislation in several countries. They need a filtered aquarium of good size as:

  • Goldfish need a good area to swim in as they are active fish.
  • They create large quantities of organic waste through their feces and their gills. Build-up of this waste to toxic levels can occur in a relatively short period of time and can easily cause a fish’s death.
  • They are gregarious so should ideally be kept in a minimum group of 2 individuals.

Slim-bodied varieties (for example commons, comet or shubukin) grow very large so are suited to ponds or very large tanks.

‘Egg-shaped’ or fancy goldfish prefer warmer temperatures, so your aquarium should ideally have a temperature ranging from 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F). Temperatures under about 10 °C (50 °F) are dangerous to fancy varieties, though commons and comets can withstand lower temperatures.

In this section, you will find all the useful info on goldfish