Different Colors Of Goldfish: Fun Facts For Kids

Oluniyi Akande
May 20, 2024 By Oluniyi Akande
Originally Published on Nov 15, 2021
Edited by Anusuya Mukherjee
Fact-checked by Joan Agie
Saras comet goldfish in a fish tank.

The goldfish is far from being an ordinary pet fish. It holds great significance in different cultures as a symbol of luck and prosperity. Originating from East Asia, these aquatic creatures have evolved from their common goldfish ancestors into an amazing collection of varieties, each with unique colors, shapes, and sizes.

Different breeds of goldfish have been selectively bred for centuries, resulting in the wide variety of goldfish that exist today. Through careful breeding, goldfish now have diverse colors, body shapes, and fin styles, captivating the interest of children and hobbyists alike.

Goldfish are a great way to introduce children to the natural world. They teach kids about different types of living things and the importance of taking care of them. From the elegance of a fantail goldfish to the peculiar beauty of a bubble eye goldfish, these creatures have the power to ignite a lifelong interest in aquatic life.

Common Breeds Of Goldfish And Their Different Color Combinations

Black goldfish in a freshwater aquarium. Shutterstock

Every little goldfish has a unique style and look, evident in their vibrant color combinations. With their bright orange and white patterns, common breeds display a classic pattern and can add a touch of elegance to any aquarium.

Some goldfish also live in outdoor ponds, where they display their colors among the lily pads. Meet these fascinating underwater stars and discover how their vibrant colors set them apart.

  • Shubunkin goldfish are a multicolored variety that can grow up to 12-14 in (30-36 cm) long, with shades of blue, brown, black, red, and yellow.
  • Comet goldfish, one of the most popular breeds, are known for their long, flowing tails and can reach up to 12 in (30 cm) in length, available in colors like red, white, orange, and multicolored.
  • Ryukin goldfish have a special hump on their heads and can grow up to 8 in (20 cm) long, coming in different colors, including red, white, black, and multicolor.
  • Oranda goldfish have bubble-like growths on their heads. They can grow up to 12 in (30 cm) in length, with common color varieties like red, black, orange, blue, white, silver, metallic, yellow, and even bronze.
  • Fantail goldfish have unique egg-shaped bodies and deeply forked tails that look like fans. They can reach 8 in (20 cm) in length and come in white, red, and mixed.
  • Black moor goldfish are a unique breed known for their black coloration and telescope-like protruding eyes, growing up to 6-8 in (15-20 cm) long.
  • Telescope goldfish also have unique bulging, telescope-like eyes. This goldfish can grow up to 8 in (20 cm), with colors ranging from black, white, and red to multicolor.
  • Ranchu goldfish are a unique breed with a curved egg-shaped body and no dorsal fin. They can grow up to 6-8 in (15-20 cm) and are commonly found in colors like white, red, and mixed.
  • Lionhead goldfish have a unique head shape resembling a lion's mane and can grow up to 5-6 in (13-15 cm) in size. Their colors vary from red, white, and black to mixed.
  • Pearlscale goldfish have a spherical body shape and raised scales, giving them a unique appearance, and can grow up to 5-6 in (13-20 cm) long, having red, white, and black colors.
  • Pompon goldfish have some fleshy growths, called narial bouquets, on their nostrils and can grow up to 6 in (20 cm) in length, commonly found in colors like white, red, and mixed colors.
  • Butterfly goldfish are a unique variety with long, flowing tail fins that spread out sideways, resembling butterfly wings when viewed from above. They can reach 6-8 in (15-20 cm) in length and are available in various colors like red, white, and black.
  • Celestial eye goldfish are a fancy breed with unique upturned eyes and can grow up to 5 in (13 cm) long. They are commonly found in red, white, black, and mixed colors.
  • Wakin goldfish are one of the oldest varieties of Japanese goldfish, with long bodies and double tails. They can reach up to 12 in (30 cm), having colors like red, white, black, and mixed.

Unique Goldfish Breeds And Their Color Patterns

Goldfish in an aquarium with water plant on the background. Shutterstock

Goldfish breeds bring a whole new level of vibrancy to the aquarium with their unique colors and shapes. These colors go beyond mere aesthetics; they point to genetics, adaptation to the environment, and the choices made by breeders.

Each goldfish is a beautiful work of art, from the metallic gloss of the fins to the delicate patterns on the body. Discover the unique quality of these aquatic creatures and what makes them a wonder in the water world.

  • Jikin goldfish are a rare Japanese variety. They have a unique X-shaped, four-lobed tail and a silvery-white color with red points on the fins and lips. They can grow up to 9 in (22 cm) long.
  • Tosakin goldfish have undivided tail fins that spread out horizontally. They can grow up to 8 in (20 cm) and are commonly found in red, orange, white, black, brown, and blue.
  • Egg-fish goldfish, as the name suggests, have an egg-like body shape and lack dorsal fins. They can reach a size of 4-7 in (10-18 cm) and are available in various colors, including red, white, and mixed.
  • Bubble eye goldfish are a unique variety with fluid-filled sacs under their eyes, giving them a special appearance, and can grow up to 6-8 in (15-20 cm) long. They usually have red, white, black, and mixed colors.
  • Panda moor goldfish are a rare breed with striking black and white coloration, resembling a panda bear, and can reach up to 6-8 in (15-20 cm) in length.
  • Tamasaba goldfish are a rare breed from Japan with a distinctive orange or red and white coloration and can reach up to 8 in (20 cm) in length, with a long, flowing tail.
  • Shukin goldfish are a Japanese variety developed towards the end of the 19th century with long tail fins and colors such as blue, white, silver, and red.
  • Demekin goldfish are a unique breed with distinctive protruding eyes and come in a mix of colors, including black.
  • Thai oranda goldfish are a rare variety from Thailand with more prominent head growth. Oranda goldfish can grow up to 10 in (25 cm) in length and have red, white, black, and mixed colors.

Fun Facts About Goldfish For Kids

Did you know that goldfish can learn tricks just like your fluffy pets on land? These little guys are more than just pretty; all in their gold, orange, and even chocolate suits. From their ability to recognize people to their ever-changing color pattern as they grow, goldfish are sure to surprise and captivate curious young minds.

  • The first golden-colored goldfish were developed in China over a thousand years ago.
  • Goldfish get their color from pigments in their cells and scales, which can be influenced by their diet and environment.
  • Some goldfish breeds have metallic scales that give them a shiny appearance.
  • While orange is the most common goldfish color, some goldfish varieties are white.
  • Black goldfish breeds get their deep color from a high concentration of melanin pigments in their scales.
  • The rarest color for a goldfish is blue, which is achieved through selective breeding.
  • The color of goldfish can slightly change as they grow older, often caused by changes in their pigmentation.
  • Not only do goldfish have different body colors, but their eye color can also vary from black to blue, and even red in some breeds.
  • The colors of goldfish can fade or become pale if kept in poor water conditions or if they lack proper nutrition.
  • Goldfish with multicolored scales are often referred to as 'calico'. These colors may include white, red, yellow, and even black.
  • A pigment known as carotenoid is responsible for the vibrant red color of some breeds of goldfish.
  • Some goldfish varieties, like the Sarasa, have complex patterns and color combinations that resemble marbling.
  • Fancy goldfish with bulging eyes, such as black moors, are more prone to developing eye problems or vision issues, mostly due to their eye anatomy.
  • Goldfish raised in dim environments tend to develop pale colors, while those in bright environments develop more bright colors.

Goldfish Care Facts That Every Goldfish Lover Should Know

Orange goldfish in an aquarium with some water plant.

Even though goldfish don't need walks like dogs, they still need lots of care to keep them happy and healthy. Taking care of these adorable creatures is an aquatic experience that goes beyond just feeding them.

Ensuring optimal health involves maintaining high water quality and providing a spacious environment, like a well-kept outdoor pond or a filtered aquarium. The color, health, and fin movement of these aquatic creatures are directly influenced by the care they receive from their human companions.

  • Goldfish are freshwater fish and are not adapted to live in saltwater environments.
  • Goldfish require a well-filtered aquarium or pond with good aeration.
  • Overcrowding and poor water quality can lead to goldfish becoming stressed and more likely to get sick.
  • Goldfish are messy eaters, so regular, partial water changes and gravel vacuuming are necessary to keep their water clean.
  • Goldfish are social creatures and don't like to live alone. They enjoy it when kept in groups of at least two or more.
  • Goldfish have a diverse diet, enjoying both plant-based and protein-based foods.
  • Adding live plants to their aquariums can add oxygen to their water and provide hiding spots for goldfish, but you must carefully choose a safe water plant for them.
  • Goldfish are intelligent and can be taught to do tricks.
  • Sharp objects in the aquarium can potentially harm goldfish. So, choose smooth decorations and hiding props that are free of rough edges to prevent potential injuries.
  • Goldfish love cool water and are sensitive to sudden changes in temperature or excessive heat.


What is the natural color of goldfish?

In their natural river habitat, goldfish in the wild naturally have a dull, olive-green color that helps them blend in and stay hidden from predators. Yet, the goldfish that are kept as pets have been bred to display an amazing variety of colors, including gold, orange, red, white, and sometimes black. Scientists have managed to create fun varieties of goldfish through the art of selective breeding.

What is the rarest goldfish breed?

The rarest breed of goldfish is often considered to be the blue goldfish, especially those with a deep, vibrant blue color. These rare and captivating goldfish owe their color to a recessive gene that is not easy to breed.

The blue goldfish is highly valuable to collectors and goldfish lovers due to its unique and eye-catching color.

Why do goldfish change colors?

The colors of goldfish can change due to different reasons. Various factors, like genetics, age, diet, or changes in the environment, can cause color changes. As a goldfish grows, you may notice its color changing from black to orange naturally.

A change in their diet can also make their colors bright or dull. Ensuring the well-being and colorful appearance of your goldfish requires maintaining stable water conditions and providing a proper diet.

What is the prettiest type of goldfish?

Picking the prettiest goldfish is subjective and depends on individuals. However, the oranda goldfish is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful breeds, thanks to its fancy head growth, egg-shaped body, and variety of colors. They have hat-like growth on their heads and come in calico, chocolate, red, blue, and black.

Are white goldfish rare?

White goldfish are quite common and are just one of the many color variations of goldfish. Goldfish can come in several vibrant colors, including red, white, black, and orange.

Sometimes, they even have a beautiful blend of different colors. The color of a goldfish can be influenced by factors like genetics, age, and the environment they live in.

Keeping goldfish is like taking care of living gems. When you think about bringing one of these dazzling beauties into your home, keep in mind that each type of goldfish has its own unique personality, specific care requirements, and, of course, distinctive colors.

Caring for these magnificent beings goes beyond simply appreciating their beauty; it's about creating a healthy and enriching environment that allows their true colors to shine. From the elegant fantail and speedy comet to the celestial-eyed stargazers, goldfish offer an endless well of beauty and joy for fish lovers at every level.

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Written by Oluniyi Akande

Doctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

Oluniyi Akande picture

Oluniyi AkandeDoctorate specializing in Veterinary Medicine

With an accomplished background as a Veterinarian, SEO content writer, and public speaker, Oluniyi brings a wealth of skills and experience to his work. Holding a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan, he provides exceptional consulting services to pet owners, animal farms, and agricultural establishments. Oluniyi's impressive writing career spans over five years, during which he has produced over 5000 high-quality short- and long-form pieces of content. His versatility shines through as he tackles a diverse array of topics, including pets, real estate, sports, games, technology, landscaping, healthcare, cosmetics, personal loans, debt management, construction, and agriculture.

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Fact-checked by Joan Agie

Bachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

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Joan AgieBachelor of Science specializing in Human Anatomy

With 3+ years of research and content writing experience across several niches, especially on education, technology, and business topics. Joan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Anatomy from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria, and has worked as a researcher and writer for organizations across Nigeria, the US, the UK, and Germany. Joan enjoys meditation, watching movies, and learning new languages in her free time.

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