Goldfish aquarium fish originally came from China. Goldfish differ from Koi in that goldfish aquarium fish grow to a maximum of about 12 inches whereas Koi will grow to more than 2 feet long. Also, goldfish aquarium fish don’t have barbs at their mouth.
Main Categories of Goldfish
The main categories of goldfish are pond comments, fantails and fancy goldfish.
Goldfish Pond Comets
Pond comments are one of the main categories of goldfish aquarium fish. Pond comets include Common Goldfish, Comets, Sarasas and Shubunkins. They have a single tail fin and a dorsal fin. Single tailed goldfish are generally hardier but require more space than fancy varieties, so they are often better suited to ponds.
Commons and comets are very similar with the exception of the tail shape, with comets having long scissor-shaped tail fins. Both are most commonly seen in orange, bronze, white, orange and white, or red and white (also known as sarasa). Shubunkins have calico colors.
Another main category of goldfish aquarium fish is Fantails. Fantails include Common Fantails, Black Moors, Ryukins and Orandas. They have forked tails and a dorsal fin. Orandas have a red cap on their forehead. Ryukins have a pointed nose and tall hump on their back, which gives a notched appearance to their profile.
Fancy goldfish like Orandas, Black Moors, and Ryukins are all the same species of fish as common goldfish, Carassius auratus.
All of these varieties are the result of centuries of careful selective breeding to emphasize certain traits.
Fancy goldfish are more delicate than common goldfish and require greater care to keep them successfully. To achieve this, they are best kept in indoor aquaria only. As with all fish, maintaining good water quality is essential for their health, but also make sure their habitat, diet, and companions are compatible with their needs.
There are three main color pigments of goldfish but some are just a reflection that reflects a color other than these three color pigments.
- Erythrophores – has a red pigment which resulting in red goldfish.
- Melanophores – has a black pigment which resulting in black goldfish.
- Xanthophores – has a yellow pigment which resulting in yellow goldfish.
And this is the color combinations and appearance of the three main color pigments above.
- Red – in red goldfish, many erythrophores are present while xanthophores and melanophores are absent. Brightly colored red goldfish are often higher priced than orange ones.
- Yellow – in yellow goldfish, many xanthophores are present while erythrophores and melanophores are absent.
- Orange – in orange goldfish, a balanced number (not exactly the same number but nearly) of erythrophores and xanthophores are present while melanophores are absent. This is the standard color of goldfish.
- Gray – in gray goldfish, the top of the goldfish has some melanophores but the number of melanophores decreases as it goes down.
- Brown – in brown goldfish, all three pigments are present and in balance.
- Black – in black goldfish, many melanophores are present while erythrophores and xanthophores absent.
- White – in white goldfish, white goldfish has no pigments are present, all are absent.
- “Blue” – in “blue” goldfish, melanophores are located deep within the skin while erythrophores and xanthophores are absent.