Goldfish Identity Crisis! Which Fish is which?

September 9, 2014 by  
Filed under All Posts, Aquariums, Freshwater fish

Fancy Goldfish TypesGoldfish of all kinds!

You may think you know what a goldfish is but hold on to your hat… knowing which fish is which is no simple task!

Everybody knows what a goldfish is, right? After all, we’ve all read “The Cat in the Hat” by Dr. Seuss, and watched the wild ride of that poor goldfish in a bowl, and just about everybody has kept a goldfish at one time or other!

Fish keepers and even people who aren’t fish keepers know what goldfish are; at least they think they do. So what’s all the fuss? A goldfish is simply a goldfish right?

Goldfish are such a common fish, and they are seen in every pet store. It may have been true that a goldfish was simply a goldfish if humans had not been thrown into the mix. But when a man sees a lump of clay or anything else in his surroundings, human nature takes over. Man simply has to mold that clay into a beautiful creation, and so it has been with the development of goldfish.

Step into your local pet store and tell them you want to get a goldfish. They will happily take you over to their coldwater system and show you their fine selection. You will see fish that look just like the common goldfish, but you may also see all sorts of different fish. And that’s where the goldfish identity crisis begins!

Set aside that cute Dr. Seuss book and step into the world of fancy goldfish. You’ll quickly see that there is nothing simple about the goldfish. There are over 125 different varieties, each with it’s identifying features.

Here’s a look at the complexities of the goldfish:

Body: Goldfish come in all sorts of shapes (and sizes).

 

There are skinny goldfish…

Shubunkin GoldfishShubunkin Goldfish

But also goldfish that are so fat they may even look like golf balls…

Pearlscale GoldfishPearlscale Goldfish

And some goldfish will have highly arched backs…

Ranchu GoldfishRanchu Goldfish

Head: Although goldfish can have normal heads, they can also be very abnormal.

 

Some goldfish have lumpy heads…

Redcap Oranda GoldfishOranda Goldfish

And then there are those with lumpy heads AND lumpy cheeks…

Lionhead GoldfishLionhead Goldfish

Or how about a goldfish with bushy eyebrows?

Pom Pom GoldfishPom Pom Goldfish

Eyes: Many have normal eyes, but some goldfish will have very funny eyes.

 

Some goldfish have bubble eyes..

Bubble Eye GoldfishBubble Eye Goldfish

Or telescope eyes…

Telescope GoldfishTelescope Goldfish

And even eyes that gaze at the stars…

Celestial Eye GoldfishCelestial Eye Goldfish

Fins: Goldfish may have normal fins, but there’s also some very interesting fins.

 

Goldfish elegance shows its stuff with beautiful long flowing fins…

Fantail GoldfishFantail Goldfish

Or full flowery fins…

Veiltail GoldfishVeiltail Goldfish

But sometimes they are missing a fin, those known as dorsal less goldfish…

Lionhead GoldfishLionhead Goldfish

Color: You would think the color of goldfish would be, well gold.

 

Now this is a typical goldfish!…

Common GoldfishCommon Goldfish

But some goldfish are all black…

Black Moor GoldfishBlack Moor Goldfish

Or they can have a multitude of colors…

Ryukin GoldfishRyukin Goldfish

And some will even look like a panda…

Panda Moor GoldfishPanda Moor Goldfish

So yes, there are those simple goldfish that we all know and love, but with an expanded idea of what a goldfish can be… we can bring the goldfish identity crisis to an end!

Clarice Brough is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.

Featured Pet of the Week: The Common Goldfish

The Common Goldfish

The Featured Pet of the Week is: The Common Goldfish!

Goldfish are well known fish that are great pets because they are very attractive, have great personalities with their keepers, and are “easy” to keep. This is definitely true, and for this reason the common goldfish, Carassius auratus auratus, is actually a great fish for beginners. Working in a pet store for a number of years, I have had my fair share of caring for goldfish as well as many other fish and animals.

When people would come into the pet store to get goldfish they generally wanted them for one of two purposes, as feeder fish or as pets. Goldfish are often a first pet for children. They are a fun, yet a fairly inexpensive introduction to the world of fish keeping, and pet keeping in general. I would then help them get all set up for their goldfish with an aquarium set-up, food and a care sheet.

Goldfish are quite colorful and can easily be found at almost any pet store. Common goldfish are inexpensive and make a great starter fish. They will eat almost any type of fish food offered to them and get along well with most other community fish. Though they are sometimes put in a goldfish bowl or a smaller aquarium when they are young, they do grow into large fish so will soon need a much larger aquarium. Goldfish can also do well in ponds. This is because they are naturally cold-water fish and don’t need to have strict temperature control like many tropical fish do. Common goldfish will also usually fare well with other pond fish, such as koi.

Goldfish are considered hardy and can survive in many conditions, but they must be provided with a good environment. The Common Goldfish can get quite large, over 12 inches when they are kept in large enough aquariums or ponds and in optimum conditions. Optimal conditions for goldfish are dependent on a lot of oxygen in the water, and good water quality. A habitat that is not optimal can not only stunt their growth, but will also decrease their lifespan. Small goldfish bowls or fish tanks that are too small will not provide optimum conditions and your pets won’t reach their potential full size.

Provide the best environment by keeping pet goldfish in a good-sized aquarium with a heater, proper filtration for good water quality, and other social fish as tank mates. This will keep them healthy for the duration of their lives. Of course, the more fish you plan to keep in your aquarium, the larger you will want it to be.

Goldfish need a lot of oxygen, so you will want to get a tank with a lot of surface area. Surface area helps to increase the amount of oxygen in the tank. Also, goldfish produce a lot of waste (in comparison to other fish), so you will want more water volume per fish to help keep it cleaner. It is recommended to start with at least a 20-gallon tank for your first goldfish, and then to increase it an additional 10 gallons for every additional goldfish. The general rule is that you should provide a minimum of 1 gallon of water for every 1 inch of fish length. But as the goldfish become larger, this rule doesn’t apply as well because larger fish consume more oxygen and produce even more waste.

Goldfish are very social creatures and thrive when living with other fish. Therefore, they do very well with other goldfish and a variety of community fish. They act as scavengers as well, and so if kept in a community tank, there is little need for other scavengers or bottom feeders. One thing to keep watch out for is to make sure they do not have any diseases – such as ich or parasites. Whenever adding new fish to an aquarium, watch for any signs of a problem and treat the aquarium accordingly.

In conclusion, if you would like to get a fish that is easy to care for and hardy, starting with goldfish may be the way to go! To learn more, visit the Common Goldfish page!