|Synonyms||Carassius carassius auratus, Cyprinus auratus, Carassius auratus, Cyprinus mauritianus, Cyprinus thoracatus, Carassius chinensis, Cyprinus maillardi, Carassius auratus cantonensis|
|Distribution||This is an aquarium cultivated strain. Ancestors (goldfish) were native to China, Hong Kong, Japan, Laos, Macau and Myanmar.|
|Sexual Dimorphism||Mature females likely to be fuller bodied. Males will show spawning tubercles on gill covers and pectoral fin rays when in spawning condition.|
|Maximum Size||46cm (18")|
|Water Parameters||Neutral to alkaline conditions preferred. pH: 7.0-8.0, dH: up to 25 degrees.|
|Temperature||Coldwater: 4-30 deg C (39-86 deg F)|
|Compatibility||Large fish community|
|Special Requirements||Avoid unfiltered bowls and small aquaria.|
Like all hardy goldfish breeds, these are a great choice for the garden pond. Hardy and long-lived, they’ll happily live amongst pond plants and don’t place too much of a burden on filtration, even as mature fish. Not only do their colours complement other varieties but they’ll freely interbreed, with fry showing the typical goldfish dark colouration that protects them from predators until they grow large enough to look after themselves.
In their long history as pets, it’s become common practice to keep goldfish indoors in containers that are much too small for them. As you can imagine, housing a 30cm pond fish in a bowl is not ideal and a suitable indoor aquarium should be at least 100 litres in capacity and well-filtered for young specimens. Far better alternatives are available for indoor keeping and tropical fish are far easier and a good deal less work. If your heart is set on goldfish as a pet, consider starting with small fish in a large aquarium which can then be upgraded to a spacious pond as they grow – obviously, this is only an option with pond-hardy varieties.
Goldfish are hardy and adaptable fishes, but they prefer hard water and whether indoors or out and soft, acidic conditions are to be avoided. To minimise the stresses of cold winter weather and hot summer days, a fishpond should be at least 60cm (2’) deep in places. During the coldest weather, this area should remain undisturbed by vigorous water circulation and will be used as a refuge from extreme cold.
At temperatures of 15c and above, male goldfish will start to pursue females in a spawning chase, driving them into suitable egg laying sites. Mature goldfish will breed on a regular basis in established ponds so do make occasional checks to ensure that the pond is not becoming overstocked. In larger ponds, keeping fish that will consume the goldfish eggs - such as orfe - is a natural way of keeping the population in check. Goldfish lay their eggs amongst aquatic vegetation (or on artificial spawning mops) and these usually hatch within 48-72 hours depending on water temperature. Young goldfish are brown in colour (like their ancestors) and it can take up to a year before brighter colouration becomes apparent.