How’d you like to see my collection of incredible types of goldfish including those rare exotic breeds most people haven’t even heard of?
Well, this is your lucky day…
… because today I’m going to share with you the world’s amazing collage of common (and some not so common) goldfish species.
Warning: you may be blown away by how beautiful, cute, or just plain weird some of these will be.
The farther down you go, the more unusual they will get!
Table of contents
- Slim-bodied Goldfish
- Egg-Shaped Fancy Goldfish Breeds
- Dorsalless Varieties
- What Do You Think?
The goldfish in this group are…
They also get big. REAL big.
Most of them grow to be around 12 inches long or even bigger. Hard to believe when they start out the size of your pinky, right?
That’s why people usually keep them in ponds where they have lots of room to grow and compete.
And they aren’t phased by the more extreme outdoor temperatures!
1. The Common Goldfish
As the name implies, this goldfish is probably the easiest to find.
They’re often given away as prizes at fairs…
… or sold for cheap as “feeder fish” for reptiles or other fish.
Yes, the Common is probably the most underrated type of goldfish.
For being so lowly, they come from tough stock.
Extremes in temperature or even water quality don’t phase them NEARLY as much as they would a fancy variety.
Want to know why?
They’re closest in body shape to their carp granddaddies.
Commons are most commonly found in bright metallic orange, though they can come in any color.
(If it has black though, it’s a Shubunkin.)
They have stiff fins that don’t drape and a long, flat body. The single tail is slightly forked and the lobes are short and round.
Few people know that these little guys can grow to a length of 12 inches long!
2. Comet Goldfish
The body shape of the Comet is pretty much the same as the common.
Their fins get much longer, though.
The Comet’s tail can grow to be almost as long as the body!
Whoever named it was reminded of the trailing a comet shooting across the sky.
Well, they are pretty fast and athletic fish too.
Another fun fact:
This goldfish breed is the only one to have originated in the United States.
You can find Comets all over the place like the Common.
As far as coloration goes…
You can find this fish in metallic red, but it comes in a wide variety of other patterns and colors too.
Comets might be the longest of all goldfish and can get up to 14 inches (if you include the tail).
What makes the Shubunkin goldfish different from the Common and the Comet?
One thing: coloration.
It almost always comes in calico color pattern with metallic and clear scales. A good specimen has a lot of blue mixed in with its red, white and black tones.
Much of what you see in a calico goldfish is actually on their skin underneath the clear scales.
There are three main types of Shubunkins:
- The American, (also called ribbon-tail Shubunkin) which has a long, deeply indented tail
- The Bristol, known for its very large, slightly forked tail with round lobes shaped like the letter “B”
- and the London, which has a shorter, rounder tail like the Common.
Shubunkin goldfish are sturdy fish and reach up to 14 inches long.
4. Wakin Goldfish
This breed is finally making a comeback.
(Hint: you say it “wa-keen.”)
Their bodies are a little deeper than a Comet or a Shubunkin.
But instead of having one tail fin, they actually have two fan-shaped ones. They also have two anal fins instead of one.
Technically it’s a fancy goldfish.
But in every other way it’s most like a single-tail.
Wakins have helped to create many of the fancies we have today.
They usually have red or red and white coloring like a koi.
Usually they get around a foot long.
5. Jikin Goldfish
The shape of the Jikin goldfish is pretty much the same as the Wakin’s.
Long body, short double tail.
What makes them special is their color pattern.
It’s called “12 Reds.”
The Jikin is white with red lips, both gill plates, dorsal fin, and all 4 paired fins.
Sometimes any extra red scales on the body of the fish are plucked off by hand to keep the pattern!
They will grow to be a little under a foot in length.
It’s a Comet…
… it’s a Wakin…
The Watonai is an uncommon goldfish that has been around for a long time.
It looks sort of like the Comet but has a double tail like a Wakin. You could almost think of it like a long-bodied Fantail.
Crossing a Ryukin with a Wakin gives you this fish.
These fish are very strong and do great in ponds. You can find them in quite a variety of colors
They get pretty large too – 12 inches long, in fact.
Egg-Shaped Fancy Goldfish Breeds
Think about it:
We all love the animals that stands out above the rest.
Egg-shaped goldfish (aka fancy or double-tailed goldfish) are admired because they are eye-catching.
Sometimes even bizarre.
Their bodies aren’t long and slender like the Slim-Bodies.
They’re shaped like eggs. (Hence the name.)
A more modified body makes them a bit more delicate. Most of them prefer to be kept indoors where temperatures are steady.
I’ll warn you ahead of time…
Some of these are REALLY unusual.
Are you ready?
7. Fantail Goldfish
Fantails are a super popular goldfish type.
They’re also the hardiest of the fancies. They can even live in ponds!
The Fantail’s tail has 3 or 4 lobes shaped like a fan (that’s why it’s called a fantail!).
This tail is split down the middle in better specimens.
They come in a variety of colors and patterns, the most common being a metallic orange or nacreous calico.
Fantails can reach 8 inches or more.
8. Ryukin Goldfish
Ryukins have a VERY deep body and a hump behind their head.
Generally a bigger hump = better fish.
Their noses are also pointier (the better to bite other goldfish with).
You can find both short-tail and long-tail Ryukins.
Their pointier heads make them more prone to being aggressive.
They are most often found in solid red or red and white coloration.
Most get around a total of 9 inches in length.
These are basically a single-tailed Ryukin:
They have the same deep body and arched back.
But they lack the double tail.
Now hang on!
They’re still considered a fancy. Sorry.
The tail it does have is long and flowing.
The Tamasaba is surprisingly fast for its deep body.
Red and white are common color patterns, but they can come in others.
They get to be about 8 inches long.
10. Telescope Eye
You can recognize a Telescope Eye by it’s huge amazing eyes.
They protrude outwards…
… but the fish can’t see any better because of them!
Telescopes are visually impaired. Their eyes are delicate and can even come off completely.
There are many names for the Telescope Eye goldfish, including:
- The Popeye
- The Demekin (Japanese name)
- The Dragon Eye (Chinese name)
Telescopes come in tons of different colors.
Some “varieties” of goldfish are actually special colors of the Telescope.
Black Moors are solid black Telescope Eyes.
Panda Moors are white one with black points.
Ever seen a goldfish with flowing square-shaped fins?
You might have come across a Veiltail (aka Broadtail).
They’re like fantails with really long fins.
Veils come complete with tall dorsal fins and long other fins. Their fins may even drag on the bottom of the tank!
This makes them VERY slow swimmers.
The Veiltail is also more delicate than most fancies.
Veils reach 8 inches long… but with the fins included they can get up to 12 inches long.
Whether or not this fish is actually a breed of goldfish or just has several features from other types is a subject of debate among goldfish keepers.
But the fact is – it’s so popular that it’s generally recognized as one.
As the name implies, the tail of this fish is spread horizontally and shaped like a beautiful butterfly in flight.
You’ll find it sporting telescope eyes most of the time.
These were bred to be a top-view fish (aka seen from above)…
… But can be greatly enjoyed from an aquarium too.
They will generally get to be 6 to 8 inches long.
Orandas are a favorite goldfish breed (and for good reason).
Some people jokingly call them the “brain fish.”
That’s because the Oranda has a tall headgrowth, called a wen.
The wen can cover the head, cheeks, and even the gill covers for a “puppy face” effect.
They can be found in just about any color.
Red Cap Orandas are all white with a bright red hood.
An Oranda goldfish holds the record for the largest goldfish ever recorded at 16 inches long!
But normally they get to be 12 inches.
They are surprisingly hardy too.
14. Pom Pom
A goldfish with flowers on its nose?!
Meet the Pom Pom.
They have two fluffy tufts for their nostrils that jiggle when they swim.
These tufts are also called “nasal boquets” or “velvety balls.”
Pom Pom goldfish may or may not have a dorsal fin.
Other goldfish types may have pompom noses.
As far as colors go:
Chocolate and orange are popular colors, but they come in many more.
The Pom Pom grows to be about 6 to 8 inches in length.
15. Tosakin Goldfish
Tosakins are a rare breed of goldfish.
From the side they aren’t much to look at…
… but when viewed from above…
They have a beautiful fanning tail that twists at the ends (sometimes even twice!).
The tail doesn’t fork and sits on the fish horizontally.
Tosakins are pretty fragile.
They don’t grow very large either – reaching only around 6 inches.
It isn’t hard to figure out why this fish is called the Pearlscale.
Their elevated scales are bead-shaped. Better quality Pearlscales have these “pearls” arranged in neat rows.
The body of the Pearlscale is fat and round like an orange!
Some have a wen.
Others have a “bubble” called a crown.
Still others have a double bubble crown!
They comes in all colors, the most common being red and white or calico.
They reach 6 to 8 inches in length.
Did you know this fish was bred to look like a Pekingese?
Its wen covers its entire head, giving it a puffy face (cute!).
The Lionhead has no dorsal fin – the slope of its back is flat and smooth. It has a short double tail and all of its fins are paired.
You can find Lionheads of almost every color and pattern variety.
They grow anywhere from 6 to 8 inches long.
“Ranchu” means king of fish.
Once it was the most expensive goldfish you could find. But now there are more available so the price has gone down.
It can be tricky to tell the difference between the Ranchu and the Lionhead – they look almost the same!
Ranchus have a rounder back and a tighter tail tuck (where the tail meets the body).
They get the same size as the Lionhead.
You can read more about Ranchu goldfish here.
19. Phoenix (or Egg Fish)
It’s hard to find a Phoenix goldfish in the United States.
Breeders are working to change that right now, though.
What do they look like?
They are round like an egg (that’s why they’re sometimes called egg fish).
No wen, no dorsal fin… just a long flowing tail.
They grow 6 to 8 inches long.
20. Bubble Eye
What catches your eye about this kind of goldfish?
It’s the sacks of fluid that bulge from underneath its eyes! They wobble like jelly as the fish moves through the water.
Definitely one of the more delicate varieties – their “bubbles” can pop on sharp objects!
Solid orange and calico are some patterns you might see
Black Bubble Eyes are getting pretty popular.
The Bubble Eye doesn’t get big. 6 inches is about it.
21. Celestial Eye
This wild-looking goldfish is called the “stargazer” by the Chinese – and for good reason!
Their eyes are like big shiny opals turned to the sky.
This gives them a curious, pleading expression.
It was actually the Japanese who worked to get their eyes pointed to the heavens.
As for colors…
You can commonly find the Celestial in metallic red or orange, though black is growing in popularity.
Like the Bubble Eye, it will reach a length of 6 inches.
Not a very appealing name for this fish, wouldn’t you agree?
(Even worse is it’s alias – “Toadhead!”)
The Froghead is similar to the Bubble Eye with a wider head.
It has less developed bubble sacks and more developed cheeks.
Most of the time they don’t have a dorsal fin.
Sometimes they might have a bit of wen growth too.
They get to be 6 inches long.
What Do You Think?
Some people don’t want a goldfish with all the bells and whistles.
Others say, “Bring it on! The fancier the better!”
Now I have a quick question for you:
Have you figured out which goldfish variety is your favorite from this post?
I’d love to hear which type of goldfish YOU like.
One last thing:
If you want to know the ins and outs of taking care of your goldfish, be sure to grab, The Truth About Goldfish!