Types of Goldfish, Care in aquariums and fish ponds & Forum
This page is devoted to Goldfish in aquariums and ponds, proper care, and also contains forum where you're welcome to share your Goldfish stories with us! You should also visit the following pages, they're dedicated to Goldfish too: Goldfish and water quality, Before buying a Goldfish with FAQ and pictures, Profile of Goldfish with discussion forum, Goldfish diseases, Breeding goldfish and Goldfish care tips!
Carassius Auratus, widely known as “Goldfish”, is an ornamental ciprinidae, native from China, where it has been bred for long time. Being one of the first ornamental fish bred, goldfish has a great number of colour and shape mutations. Mutations can be divided in two categories: “long body” looking similar to the wild-type, and “short body” that usually have a egg shaped body much different from the common goldfish.
- “Long body” goldfish are the stronger ones and can live also in ponds; They usually reach 6-8 inches or more. Long finned are usually faster than short finned but can still live together without problems.
- Common goldfish: it has a stout body and short rounded fins, the most common colour is bright orange, but you can find also brown, silver, yellow and calico.
- Comet: it has thinner body and long caudal fin. Colours are the same of the common one.
- Shubunkin: its shape is the same of the common goldfish body, but has a heart shaped tail and is only calico coloured.
- “Short body” goldfish are delicate and can live only in aquarium, they usually reach 4-6 inches and the most of them have swimming difficulties, so it is better not to mix the mutations and set up the aquarium with only a kind of goldfish. Cohabitation with “long body” goldfish is not possible, because the second are too much faster, stronger and bigger, so think about them as another species, and not as the same fish.
- Veiltail: it has rounded body looking like a egg, high dorsal fin and long doubled tail.
- Oranda: it looks like Veiltail but has a hood on the head, that grows bigger when the fish reaches the adult size.
- Black moor: it has black, and sometimes golden, rounded body with telescopic eyes.
- Globe eye: it has the same characteristics of the Black moor but is red, orange, or calico coloured.
- Fantail: it has a egg shaped body and short fins.
- Lionhead: it has rounded body without dorsal fin, and like oranda it has a hood on the head.
- Celestial: it has a light rounded body without dorsal fin and upturned eyes.
- Bubble eyes: it is mostly like Celestial, but has a sack under the eye, like a bubble.
Goldfish kept in aquarium do not need water heater, but the filter must be really powerful; in case of slow swimming fish reduce the pump speed. There is no need of special chemical values, anyway it is better to provide a medium hard water, a PH range between 6 and 7, and a good oxygenation. Goldfish often dig the gravel so choose strong plants, moreover they use to eat plants too and only the anubias seem to be not tasty for them.
As for the decorations choose rounded woods and stones, especially for goldfish with long fins, hoods and delicate eyes (like telescopic or bubble).
It is easy to overpopulate the tank, remember goldfish grow fast and produce a lot of refuses, so plan from 15 to 30 litres of water per fish.
Goldfish in ponds
Only wild-type, comet and Shubunkin can live in ponds and there they easily grow really big. They can stand also low temperatures, anyway the pond has not to go under 32°F (0°C), and if the temperature goes under 50°F (10°C) is better to stop feeding the fish, because digestion gets really slow and make them sick.
Avoid the use of fountains with strong jets because goldfish swimming bladder is really delicate and can get damaged easily by fast water current or fountain jets.
Goldfish are omnivorous and extremely greedy, they try to eat everything present in the aquarium or in the pond. Choose a good dry food at the base of their diet, avoid flakes and prefer granules because they are richer in nutrients and usually cause less problems. Food is maybe the most common problem with goldfish, they easily eat too much, or have digestion problem that develop momentary or constant swimming troubles. Feed fish daily with few food and do a fasting day once a week; prefer foods easy to digest, you can also provide live fresh foods like meal worms and earth worms, or vegetables and fruits. Remember that fish in ponds, especially during spring and summer eat also a great quantity of insects and larvae. Moreover avoid to give bread, biscuits and other similar products because, even if goldfish eat them, they ferment during digestion and the generated gas develops in swimming problems connected to the swimming bladder right working.
Goldfish breed also in aquarium but in pond is more common and easy. They reach the sexual maturity at the age of one year, anyway they start breeding when they are at least two or three years old. Sexual differences between males and females are few and hard to see, adult males have tubercles on the pectoral fins and gill, but sometimes some females have tubercles as well, so the best way to try breeding is to have at least a small group of 5-6 fish at least.
A young and healthy adult female can spawn from 500 to 1000 eggs. In case you are breeding them inside the aquarium it is better to remove the eggs, otherwise adults would eat them; while if you are breeding them in the pond you can also leave there the eggs, the most would be eaten, anyway fry have a lot of hiding places, and small food already present in the pond water.
If you have to feed fry in the aquarium use liquid foods, infusoria and brine shrimps. From the age of three weeks they can eat adult food.
Goldfish are strong fish anyway they suffer specially of swimming bladder problems and water pollution.
As mentioned above, the swimming bladder of goldfish is really delicate and can get damaged by fermented food, infections and hits. If the fish swims slower than usual or in a strange position (a bit turned on a side) leave it without food for a day, because overfeeding is the first cause; if things do not go better maybe the problem is permanent, but is not a serious trouble if the fish can still eat and move.
Goldfish suffer water pollution because they need really oxygenated water, when oxygen level is low fish usually breath faster and look stressed; do some water changes, add an oxygenator for some days and solve the cause of water pollution (overfeeding, not working filter, overpopulation, poor oxygenation).
Copyright note: This article is originally written by Michela Ferretti. Aqua-fish.net owns the full copyright of this article. Photos are provided by Luca, who is a registered member at this web site.