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Goldfish
(Carassius auratus)


goldfish, Carassius auratus

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Goldfish or Carassius auratus are members of the family Cyprinidae more commonly known throughout the world as carp. What we now call goldfish are a selectively bred hybridized mutation of the Prussian Carp. These carp were originally a drab olive color.

Goldfish were the first historically documented species of fish to be domesticated and selectively bred. The earliest documentation of Prussian carp dates back to the Jin Dynasty (265-420) of ancient China where they were kept in outdoor ponds and water gardens. Prussian carp began being bred for color variation over a thousand years ago. By the end of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) selective breeding had resulted in yellow, orange, white, red, and multi-colored or koi variations of the species. The first fancy tailed mutation was recorded in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). These were the forerunners of modern goldfish. Goldfish (Carassius auratus) and the Prussian carp (Carassius gibelio) have since been classified as two distinct species.

The precursors to modern goldfish began to be exported to Japan and Korea around 1500 A.D. and made their way to Europe in the early 1600s. They were first introduced to the United States in 1876 and achieved notoriety at the World’s Fair in Chicago in 1893. The goldfish is one of the most commonly kept fish among freshwater aquarium enthusiast and pond owners around the world.

Depending on its specific variety, goldfish can reach an adult length of up to thirteen inches. They are extremely adaptable fish. They can tolerate temperatures anywhere from 50-86 °F. It is their ability to survive in such a wide temperature range that led to them being raised in fishbowls.


Fishbowls are not suitable environments for goldfish. They need properly aerated, adequately filtered water in order to thrive, just like any other fish.

Think of their potential adult size before deciding to add goldfish to your community tank. They need plenty of room to swim and grow or their growth can be stunted. They are acceptable community dwellers. They do have a tendency to pick on smaller fish.

Goldfish will eat absolutely anything you feed them. Although, I have never tried peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.

Breeding Goldfish

Male and female goldfish have identical coloration. The Females are generally wider and have fuller bodies than males. Males have small bumps on their gills called tubercles. The tubercles turn white when the male is ready to breed.

Gold fish can be conditioned to spawn. Start by feeding them a high protein diet such as brine shrimp, tubifex or bloodworms. Keep the breeding tank between 65-75 °F. This temperature range will help to induce the spawning cycle

Goldfish scatter their eggs. All egg scatterers will eat their un-hatched eggs. Placing a layer of marbles on the aquarium floor will prevent this from happening. You still want to remove the adults from the breeding tank after spawning has taken place.

The eggs will normally turn a shade of yellow. Goldfish eggs are prone to fungus growth. Remove any infested eggs from the tank to prevent spreading. The eggs will hatch in about a week. You can expedite the process by raising the water temperature.

Goldfish fry hatch with their yoke sac still attached. This is normal. No need to be concerned. Newly hatched fry can be fed liquid fry food or powdered eggs. In a few days they can graduate to newly hatched brine shrimp and then finely crushed tropical fish flakes.

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