Goldfish Varieties

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Ranchu are arguably the king of goldfish. They have a distinctive lack of dorsal fin and curved back, dependant on origin and, they can have dramatically different wen development and body styles. Ranchu have very compacted bodies so they can be susceptible to swim bladder problems. The three main types of ranchu are: Thai, Chinese and Japanese, each one with distinguishable characteristics. You can learn more about ranchu body shapes and quality traits by clicking below. When selecting ranchu you want to look for a nice smooth curved back, split double caudal fin, double anal fin and a level fluid swimming pattern.

"The Ranchu originated in China many years ago. They are one of the oldest types of fancy goldfish to date. In the 1800's, these fancy goldfish were introduced to the Japanese in hopes of further developing the breed"

Oranda come in many different forms and style. Shogun fish, pictured right, generally get to huge sizes (12" plus) and require large open tanks. Smaller styles such as the Ingot Oranda and Yuan Bao can cope in smaller tanks. In recent years, the development and designs of the tails have been worked on with rare fish having rose or orchid tails and large caudal fins. Oranda are less susceptible to swim bladder issues but, should be fed a good mixed diet - goldfish nutrition is very important. To find out more about goldfish nutrition, click below. Swimming pattern is also very important with Oranda. When selecting a fish, ensure that the fins flow nicely and are even with no rips or tears. Your Oranda should have a nice smooth body and good back curve, as well as clear wen development forming even at a small size. 

"The oranda goldfish (Carassius gibelio forma auratus)  is an artificially cultivated breed from the widely known aquarium goldfish (Carassius auratus). They belong to the Cyprinidae family and are believed to have originated in China; there are even earlier mentions going back to the 15th century"


Ryukin can be some of the most boisterous goldfish to keep and have been involved in many incidents with slower-moving variety like Ranchu. Ryukin have been known to eat the eyes of other fish and can be quite aggressive when breeding, so be mindful as to what variety you are keeping together. As well as Oranda, Ryukin also have different tail types, typical larger tails are seen (broad tail Ryukin) but the more trendy short tail Ryukin has seen more popularity. High-quality Ryukin have a predominant hump behind the head and should exhibit a nice round back curve. In short tail varieties, the fins should be short and rounded.

"The Ryukin is Chinese in origin. It is unknown when the Ryukin was bred but, it is thought to come from the Wakin. It has been so named because it was said to have arrived in Japan through the Ryukyu Islands, now Okinawa Prefecture, which lies between Taiwan and Japan"

Black moors and telescope eyes tend to stay smaller than other varieties, such as Oranda; however, it's generally better to be more mindful of sharp objects in their aquarium that could damage their large eyes. Butterfly telescopes are normally best viewed from above and do well in large shallow bodies of water. Like the Black Moor, the Telescope Goldfish can live at colder temperatures, but unlike the Black Moor, the Telescope are not considered good beginner fish. This is not because they lack general hardiness, but because of their extremely telescopic eyes. Their eyes cause them to have poor vision, so they are not a good competitor for food. 

"Black moors are believed to originate from China in the 1400s. In the 1500s they were traded in Japan, and lastly, in the 1800s, they made their way to the US. It is widely accepted that they were a result of selective fish breeding by the Chinese who first called them Dragon Fish"


Bubble Eye goldfish are debated to be the marmite of the goldfish world, some love them while others hate them. Bubble Eyes are generally best kept with other bubble eye goldfish due to their slow speed and eating habits, as well as the large delicate bubbles around the eyes. Decoration should be considered within the aquarium with all sharp or pointed objects removed. The precursor to the Bubble Eye, known as the Toadhead or Hama-tou, had upturned eyes and very small, bladder-like sacs. Through selective breeding, the bubble eye is currently available with either a long or more rounded body and the choice between matte, metallic or nacreous scales. Desirable colours for these fish include red, calico, orange, red and white, and the rare black.

"The bubble-eye variety of aquarium goldfish is characterized as having a large sac filled with fluid (sac fluid) under each eye. These sacs are believed to contain lymph, which is similar in composition to serum or blood plasma"


Pearlscale or ping pong goldfish are distinctive as its body is round and similar to a golf ball. They can have long and short fins dependant on origin. Pearlscales can reach up to 8 inches long and can grow as large as an orange. Pearlscale goldfish are susceptible to swimbladder disorders which affect their ability to maintain a normal position in the water, so a good diet is a must. Pearlscale Goldfish are usually twin-tailed with a very compact body. It can be easily recognized by its nacreous scales that have raised centres and dark perimeters. Arranged in rows, these distinctive scales look like pale pearls. This is the only variety of goldfish with these types of scales. The Pearlscale Goldfish can be found in all kinds of colours, including red, blue, black, calico, chocolate, and red/white combinations.

"A variation of the common Pearlscale is the Crown Pearlscale or Hamanishiki Crown Pearlscale, which develops a hood or head growth similar to that seen on an Oranda"

The Wakin is the closest related to the crucian carp, with a very similar shape. They move very quickly and their vitality and strength is exceptionally strong compared to other fancy varieties. Their tail fins are categorized into three types: single tail, twin tail (double-tail) and triple tail. For viewing pleasure, Wakin which have the beautiful red-white body colour with a triple tail are the most valued goldfish. The common goldfish appeared through crucian carp mutation sometime between 265 and 419, and the carp is the progenitor of all goldfish. After that their tails have changed into fantails such as triple-tail or twin-tail. They are now known as the Wakin. The Wakin was brought to Japan (Sakai, Osaka) in the middle of the Muromachi Era (1502). All kinds of goldfish that exist now evolved from the Wakin, being the original species of all goldfish.

"Even though the wakin was brought in from china it was named by the Japanese between 1716 an 1829 to distinguish this traditional goldfish from the standard variety"