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Goldfish: classification, care and breeding in an aquarium

Goldfish are famous for their exceptional appearance, combinations of odds and color. These criteria made goldfish very popular.

They belong to the Karpov family, which has more than 1000 species of fish living in temperate tropical climates. The fish from which all sorts of goldfish went to develop was a chromist and was a subspecies of the crucian carp, which was widely distributed throughout China.

Due to its unique plasticity, aquarists and began their breeding research.

If you believe the historical fact, the goldfish in China successfully divorced and kept more than a thousand years ago. And it’s impossible not to admire the mastery of Chinese colleagues, since they were able to consolidate natural mutations by drastically changing the shape of the body, fins, color and structure of the skin integument.

In the process of selection, it was possible to obtain color variations and ornamental species, which became the backbone of modern and very popular species.

If we analyze the color variations and body shapes of fish that Chinese aquarists love, they fully correspond to their tastes and artistic inclinations. In breeding, these features manifested themselves in the creation of bizarre and frightening breeds (without dorsal fins and with “dragon eyes”).

In 1500, the first types of goldfish were introduced into Japan, which gave birth to many species. Japanese breeders have always sought to create new species in accordance with national art.

As a result, we managed to get interesting and very harmonious views, as a result of which the Japanese became leaders in their work.

A little later, several specimens of goldfish were brought to Europe. English breeders became pioneers in the European space, then the Portuguese and French joined them.

But time did not stand still, and Japanese gold fish began to be actively imported into many countries on different continents. The most successful breeders of goldfish in Europe are German colleagues, who are more successful in this field.

Many species of the carp family are characterized by a tendency to albinism, and goldfish are no exception. Due to the lack of green pigment in the skin of the wild form of a goldfish, yellow and golden colors began to predominate in color.

Due to the uneven distribution or thickening of these pigments, fish have such a variegated and interesting color.

According to one biologist, the species of goldfish can – these are deep modifications of numerous breeds of domestic animals. This statement especially concerns the shapes and sizes of the fins.

Some breeds have the shape of fins, which are generally not characteristic of fish, and their size is generally a miracle.

As a result of selection, varieties with transparent and thin scales were obtained, which became almost invisible. The definition of “uncrossed” is firmly attached to such individuals, although a more accurate definition in this case is “transparent”.

Such fish are considered less hardy and more susceptible to the negative effects of low temperatures. In addition, the color of these fish is devoid of a specific metallic luster, but they are dominated by red tones.

Only in scaleless forms can individuals occur in which lilac, purple and blue tides predominate. From birth, the fry of such fish have the outfit of adult individuals.

However, the Chinese colleagues did not stop at changes in the color and shape of the body. The anomalous structure of the eyeballs fell under the distribution, as a result of which varieties were obtained, known in China as the “eye of the dragon,” the Japanese have demekin, and we know this fish as the telescope. Although the latter definition is not accurate, because the structure of the eyeball of these fish is not telescopic, but rather myopic.

All breeds of goldfish are conditionally divided into several groups. The first group includes species without dorsal fins: the lionhead, red cap, water eyes, celestial eye, velvet ball. All these species have a large variety of color variations, especially valuable individuals whose body color contrasts strongly with the color of growth on the head.

The group with dorsal fins includes the well-known voiletails, telescopes and oranda. But, in some species of goldfish, signs characteristic of several groups may be present.

In fish with transparent scales, together with a monochromatic color, there can also be a motley outfit in which there are combinations of red, blue, black, yellow and white tones. These fish are called calico.

Since the names of gold breeds were given by aquarists from different countries, the same fish in the aquarium literature can be called several names, for example, a pompon, a velvet ball and a wool ball.

The most common goldfish is goldfish, orange or red carp. The Japanese called this fish Veikin.

In some cases, the same name is assigned to the species with forked tails. These fish combine white and red colors, and black spots complete the overall picture.

Variations with silver, pearl, bronze and brown shades are also possible.

The length of an ordinary goldfish ranges from 15 to 25 centimeters, but in some cases, with good conditions and balanced feeding, some individuals can grow up to 40 centimeters. Due to its exceptional stamina and coloring, goldfish are often kept in decorative ponds, where under good conditions it can please the eye for up to 20 years. It was observed that the highest percentage of mortality was observed in the brightly colored fry, and if not to engage in selection, then after a couple of generations all subsequent offspring will have a dull color.

In short, the closer the breed is to its main ancestor, the silver carp, the more stable it is.


The most common small-sized goldfish with a ribbon-like large tail fin, in some cases exceeding the length of the body. The longer the tail of the individual, the more valuable it is in terms of selection. If a comet has a swollen body, such as a veil tail, then such a fish is considered to be a marriage.

Fishes with more developed dorsal and the other fins are slightly longer are more spectacular. The color of the comet may be different, but the most attractive are individuals whose body and fin colors are different.

In China, fish with a silver color and a yellow or red tail were considered valuable, the length of which was several times the length of the body. The comet is very hardy in terms of conditions of detention and is growing rapidly, but its fertility is rather weak and behave extremely restlessly.


A species of goldfish with transparent scales and elongated fins. Calico individuals are considered to be the most valuable, with black, red, white, yellow and blue shades.

The most valuable are individuals with blue and purple flowers. Full color appears only in yearlings, and blue and purple to the third year of life. Unlike comets, Shubunkin is more calm and prolific.

In terms of simplicity, this fish is not inferior to comets.


The fish is the owner of a single caudal fin, and the body shape and structure of the fins is very similar to the veil tail. The main feature of this goldfish is a single tail fin and bright color. The females of the nymphs are famous for their high fecundity, and the species itself is in great demand among aquarists for shortness.

Fish very well adapted to life in indoor ponds.

Telescope or water dragon

The telescope has an ovate, swollen body with long veil fins. Forked tail fin. The eyes of the fish have a convex shape, which should be the same size and shape.

Telescopes can be divided into subspecies that differ in shape, structure and size of the eye. Among all the variations, the following subspecies are distinguished: with pointed, spherical, cylindrical, spherical and cone-shaped eyeballs.

The longer the tail and the more varied color the fish has, the more beautiful it is. The tail fins of telescopes are tape and skirt.

Among aquarists telescopes of black and velvet color are more popular. The fish is very pampered and thermophilic.

During the spawning periods, telescope males are extremely active and are very often used for “commercial” crossing. The first generation of offspring will be deprived of bulging eyes, but over time they will appear, because it is impossible to get rid of a specific gene that causes glazing.

Oranda and red cap

On the head of the fish there is a specific fatty growth, and the shape of the body and fins is almost identical to telescopes. These varieties have in their arsenal a rich variety of color variations: red, white, black and variegated. Especially prized among aquarists is a white oranda with a red fatty growth on its head.

Even very high-quality manufacturers are able to bring no more than 15% of such copies. The difference between the red cap and orande is that the first one is devoid of fat and dorsal fin.

Lionhead or Ranch

The hydrobiont has a short body, the back is semicircular on which there is no dorsal fin. All other fins are short, and the tail has three blades. On the head is a large fat growth, similar to raspberry berry.

Greater beauty ranch reach to 4 years of age and body length of 18 centimeters.


The fish also has bulging eyes looking up at a right angle. Particularly beautiful are individuals in which the iris of the eye is golden brown.

The tail is forked, the fins are short and the dorsal is completely absent. The body of the fish is round.

A flock of stargazers looks great in a low and wide aquarium that allows you to view its inhabitants from above.

If the astrologer has an elongated body shape and veil fins, then this deviation from the norm and some breeders in such individuals see a new form. If you want to get as a result of breeding perfect fish, then it is almost impossible, at least you will have only a few fish from two or three hundred.

Water eyes

The difference between water eyes and astrologers is the presence of a pair of symmetrical bubbles on both sides of the head. Water eyes grow much slower when compared with other goldfish.

They are treated very carefully, especially when caught from an aquarium, because their eyes are vulnerable.


The body of the fish is round with a diameter of up to 8 centimeters, the fins are short. The most common color is orange-red or golden.

All scales have a dark border and externally have a lot in common with pearls. In general, for the content of the fish is very interesting, the main thing is to find someone to buy it from.


The body at the ovalextail is egg-shaped and the head has expressive eyes. Anal and tail fins are elongated with two lobes.

All other fins are transparent and very thin. The most important adornment of the tail fin is the caudal fin, which may consist of several fins close to the base.

In ideal cases, the height of the dorsal fins at the veiltails should be equal to the height of the body. According to N.F.

Zolotnitsky optimal ratio of the length of the caudal fin and the body should be 5: 1, and the length of the pelvic fins should be equal to 3/5 of the tail, and the anal and pectoral fins should be ½ shorter than the tail.

The curvature of the back should smoothly pass into the tail fin, which should look like a plume falling down. In addition to the desired length, the dorsal fin must be very elastic so that the fish can keep it flattened.

Coloring options

The most common colors in all types of goldfish are orange, red, yellow, black, brown, cherry, pearl and rare turquoise. Especially prized marble selectors, brindle and spotted color.

The color of these fish consisted of several colors. Then the fashion was replaced by a calico goldfish, which combined yellow, red, white, black and blue.

A little later, the trend of pearl color, which had several varieties, replaced the calico coloring.

For the maintenance of goldfish requires a large aquarium, powerful filtration and aeration of aquarium water. With an aquarium volume of 50–60 liters, it is possible to hold up to 6 specimens while providing powerful filtration and aeration. Not the volume of the reservoir, but its area is very important for the fish.

Short-bodied fish need a smaller area. The optimum water temperature should be between 17 and 20 degrees.

Hydrochemical parameters of aquarium water do not play a key role, the main thing is that the hardness indicator is not less than 8. The ground should be large enough, because fish like to swarm in it. If there is fine sand, then it is likely that a global redevelopment will be organized in the aquarium.

Since the fish love to eat plentifully, and as a result, it is good to poke, the water in the aquarium needs to be changed every week with an obligatory siphon of the substrate.

If your aquarium does not have aeration, then the bottom area should be several times larger, and the water in the aquarium will have to be replaced every day in the amount of 1/3 of the total. When keeping telescopes and other relatives, there should be no objects with sharp and rough edges in the aquarium, as fish can damage their eyes about them.

It is better to keep veil forms of goldfish in a separate aquarium without neighbors, even if they are peaceful. Even the most peaceful barb or minor can pinch a piece of fin from your slow-moving pet. As a result, all the decorativeness of a goldfish will disappear until it regains its shape.

When buying fish for keeping in a home aquarium, pay close attention to the condition and appearance. It is very important that the dorsal fin is in a straightened state.

However, this is not a 100 percent guarantee of marriage, it is better to buy a group of fish in the amount of 10 individuals, only this way you can protect yourself from a large number of substandard specimens.

It is better to transport the purchased goldfish in a dense plastic bag, half filled with water from an aquarium that contained pets. Keep in mind that adult fish are much more difficult to transfer to new housing conditions, therefore, young animals should have a body length of no more than 6 centimeters.

In the transportation tank should not be fish excrement, and if any, they need to be removed from the aquarium, and only then plant fish there.

In order not to damage the eyes, fins and fatty growths, the fish must be caught with a shallow and large net of non-coarse tissue. In order not to damage the fish with a net rim, it should be wound with a soft cloth, preferably knitted.

Goldfish begin to spawn at the age of 1 year when the body length is 15 centimeters and weight is 50 grams. As a rule, spawning of a seasonal nature: begins in mid-April and lasts until September. During these months, pets can spawn several times at intervals between spawning months.

With each subsequent spawning, the performance of the females and the activity of the producers decrease. An aquarium with the following dimensions is suitable for breeding: 100 × 40×30 centimeters, although there have been cases when goldfish spawned in smaller-sized aquariums.

It is extremely problematic to choose a pair for spawning, because it is very difficult to distinguish the female from the male. Only during spawning, males on gill covers and pectoral fins appear small white horn formations. The second sign by which the female can be distinguished from the male is a small cavity near the anus of the male and a thickening of the first ray on the pectoral fin.

One male is able to fertilize a sufficiently large number of eggs, but, as experienced breeders recommend, it is better to plant several males to spawn.

To prevent producers from jumping out of the aquarium during spawning, it is better to cover the jar from above with glass or a lid. Due to the fact that the veil males are not able to fully pursue the female during spawning, some breeders specifically shorten their fins.

If you had to process the fish in this way, then before spawning, you need to keep them for a week in a separate aquarium with the addition of trypaflavin into the water, and only then transplant them into the spawning aquarium. For beginners, this method is not suitable, therefore, the problem can be solved much easier: a male with a normal length of fins is spawned to the female veil.

To stimulate spawning, it is necessary to raise the water temperature in the aquarium to 22 degrees. Marital courtship begin in the morning: the male begins to actively pursue the female, expelling her to the surface with the help of strikes on the anal fin.

The field of which the fish are pressed briefly to each other and a half dozen whitish eggs fall out into the water, which immediately adhere to aquatic plants.

In an aquarium with goldfish, it is advisable to plant small-leaved plants such as Brazilian peristvillus, cabomba, ambulia limnophila, ceratopteris, and also piste. The fecundity of the female can vary between 300 and 5000 eggs.

Since cannibalism is widespread among goldfish, after spawning and fertilization, the eggs of the producers are removed from the aquarium, or they transfer the substrate with the eggs to another aquarium. However, it is easier to transfer manufacturers than with caviar.

After spawning, the water level in the aquarium should be lowered to 15 – 20 centimeters.

Dead calf becomes white, and fungal formations in the form of cotton wool appear on it. Embryos develop within 5 days at a water temperature of 20 degrees. When the temperature changes in any of the parties can lead to deformations of the body of the fish and other deformities.

If the eggs lay on the substrate evenly, then its withdrawal will be small. Adding dyes to the aquarium with caviar, which hinder the development of saprolegnia, is welcomed.

As a rule, the most effective dye is methylene blue because of its soft and gentle effect on caviar.

The newly born larvae immediately stick to the leaves of aquatic plants, or to the walls of the aquarium, and during a day they hang in such a position completely motionless. But after a day they go to the surface of the water to fill the air with a swim bladder.

After that, the fish take a stable horizontal position.

When the larvae begin to swim independently, they need to start feeding. The best starter foods are nauplii brine shrimp and live dust. Thank God, now on sale a large number of feed for fry.

In addition, dried moth and daphnia should be added to the diet of fry. The temperature of the water in the aquarium should be increased to 25 degrees, as the higher temperature contributes to the accelerated digestion of food in the stomachs of the fry.

After a few weeks, the youngsters are able to eat live daphnia, which is an ideal food for fry of all kinds of fish.

Under good conditions, goldfish grow and stain very quickly. Very often, a black and golden cover lies on the normal color. Every year the growth of the fish slows down, but never stops completely.

The lifespan of goldfish ranges from 8 to 20 years, in some cases, and more.

Goldfish feed on almost any feed and in large quantities. Young animals are better to feed on feed of animal origin, and adults should be fed on plant foods.

Grown-up fish perfectly eat the strawsmith, larvae of ants and earthworm. The most useful and indispensable type of food for goldfish is the good old bloodworm. If the diet of fish will consist solely of live food, it is fraught with the development of obesity, therefore, vegetable food must be present in the necessary order.

Lemna, leaves of Riccia and scalded lettuce leaves go very well.

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