Animals

Goldfish: 21 Facts You Won't Believe!

Read these interesting goldfish facts to learn more about this famous household fish!
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Goldfish were first bred in East Asia, mainly in China, and were transported to Europe in the 1620s, where they became very popular. In North America, this fish was first introduced around 1850 and it took no time for them to become one of the most well-known household pets in the area. This gold finfish was mostly kept in fancy aquariums or tanks with the owners breeding them in captivity. Most goldfish breeding is done in captivity contributing to their being the ultimate pet fish found all around the world.

Their diet includes crustaceans, insects, and plant matter when they are in the wild. In captivity the goldfish eat fish food and blood worms. They also love eating brined shrimps. Where they can live in cold water temperatures it is normally recommended to keep them in warmer temperatures to room temperature.

If you liked reading these fun facts about goldfish, then you must also check out sole fish facts and leafy sea dragon facts.

Goldfish

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Crustaceans, insects, plant matter, fish food, bloodworms

What do they eat?

Carnivores

Average litter size?

100-1000

How much do they weigh?

0.5-9 lb (0.22-4 kg)

How long are they?

1-6 in (2.5-15.24 cm)

How tall are they?

N/A

What do they look like?

Gold, yellow, orange, red

Skin Type

Scales

What are their main threats?

Humans, bigger fish, fishing

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Freshwater, aquariums

Locations

East Asia

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Actinopterygii

Scientific Name

Carassius auratus

Family

Cyprininae

Genus

Carassius

Goldfish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a goldfish?

Carassius auratus or the common goldfish is a fish that was believed to be a relative and subspecies of the carp family, which includes both the crucian carp and the Prussian carp, but modern-day searches and studies indicate that the goldfish is native to southern China. They are mostly kept as pets and, due to the gaining of their household status, their breeding is mostly done in captivity. It is very necessary to take good care of them to ensure they have good health and can live a long life, this includes installing a filter and aquatic plants in the goldfish's aquarium.

What class of animal does a goldfish belong to?

The goldfish is a species of fish that belongs to the carp family. This fish has bright metallic golden scales on its body. They have the ability to regrow their fins, like most fish. Goldfish should be given good quality fish food and bloodworms and their tank should be regularly cleaned. The tank water should be at normal temperature. They are very sensitive and when they are trained well they can give a really good response by coming up to the surface to be fed by their owners and also they hide when they see a stranger, this is impressive as, unlike other fish, goldfish have an impressive memory, they can recall for up to three months in fact which is considered great for a fish!

How many goldfish are there in the world?

The exact number of goldfish is unknown but they have a large population and are under the conservative status of Least Concern. Goldfish are found all around the world though they originally originated in China, this fish is wildly popular among people and is a very common pet fish.

Where does a goldfish live?

The goldfish mainly originated in South Asia in China but are now found all over the world. They are more likely to survive in the ponds which are found in tropical areas, or,  if in an aquarium with cold water, a heater must be present. Since they are now predominantly domesticated fish and are very popular all over the world, pinpointing a singular their natural habitat is not easy, though we can deduce they may have originated in East Asia.

What is a goldfish habitat?

The goldfish is a cold-water fish and can survive in coldish water, although very low temperatures may result in their death. They have been a very popular pond fish since ancient times in China as well as now in other places. In its natural pond habitat, the goldfish requires aquatic plants for oxygen and a water temperature that is suitable for them. Since goldfish are mostly bred in captivity it is very essential to clean and change the water from time to time or install a filter in the tank when they are captive in aquariums, this is to clean their feces as well as toxins they release from their gills which, if not cleaned, may result in their death.

Who do goldfish live with?

They can live in schools or alone. As they are mostly kept in captivity, they are friendly fishes and can live with other fishes like rudd, tench, orfe, and koi, although orfes are known to eat their eggs!

How long does a goldfish live?

When in captivity in a fishbowl they might live up to 10 years or more. When they are in the wild their lifespan might be around five to eight years.

How do they reproduce?

Most goldfish breed in captivity, the breeding generally takes place in spring when the water temperature changes to a certain level. The males chase the females carrying eggs so that they can bump into them to release their eggs. The sticky eggs attach themselves to aquatic plants, and the egg then hatches within 48-72 hours. The growth occurs within two to three weeks. When breeding in captivity it is typically recommended to separate the young from the adult fish as they are known to eat their young! The goldfish can be cross-bred with other members of the genus Carassius, like koi and common carp, this produces sterile hybrids.

What is their conservation status?

The conservative status of the goldfish is of Least Concern as per the IUCN. They are present in large numbers all around the world and are very common.

Fun Facts about Goldfish

What do goldfish look like?

Goldfish are mostly orange-yellow or red in color.

Originally, when carp were first domesticated it was silver in color, due to time and mutations of the gene, this changed to the golden or yellow and orange carp we know today! They are related to koi which belong to the same species. Most of them have a golden body but there are cases where they are found to have yellow, orange, or red spots.

Ever seen a goldfish with bulging eyes? These are known as the bubble eye fish! Goldfish have two sets of paired fins and three sets of single fins. They have the ability to grow back fins when they rot. They don't have teeth so they crush their food in their throats. Goldfish babies are initially born Metallica brown and with growth, they attain their infamous golden fish color! The key difference between the goldfish and the carp to whom they are related is in their mouth burbles.

How cute are they?

They are very cute and are excellent pets. As tropical fish, they prefer outdoor ponds. Goldfish like fish food and also bloodworms. They like music and have a memory span of three months and also they can identify shapes, colors, and sounds!

How do they communicate?

Goldfish use their lateral lines to detect ripples and changes in motion, they even use them to flirt with each other! They have also been observed to coordinate with each other, they can detect other goldfish's presence, a sign that they are in tune and communicating with each other.

How big is a goldfish?

When goldfish are kept in small aquariums they might only grow up to 1-2 in (2.5-5 cm) long but when they are kept in a larger aquarium they tend to grow up to 6 in (15 cm). When kept in ponds they can grow up to 14 in (36 cm)!

How fast can a goldfish swim?

They are pretty slow swimmers whether in aquariums or in pond water.

How much does a goldfish weigh?

A regular pet goldfish might weigh around 8 oz (0.22 kg) if kept in an aquarium, but if they are kept in large tanks or ponds they might weigh around 5-9 lb (0.14-0.25 kg).

What is the name of the male and female of this species?

They have no sex-specific names and are just referred to as goldfish.

What would you call a baby goldfish?

A baby goldfish is sometimes referred to as fry. The baby fish grow up within two to three weeks. If in captivity, they should be kept separately from the adult as adult fish have a tendency to eat them.

What do they eat?

When goldfish are in the wild, their diet is just like the other species of common goldfish, they search for, and feed on, crustaceans, insects, and plant matter. In captivity in the aquarium, they typically feed on fish food, and can also digest peas without their shell, leafy green vegetables, and bloodworms. The goldfish will eat continuously and produce a lot of feces so one should take care of how much food they are feeding their goldfishes as overeating and toxins in their habitat may result in their death. Brine shrimp can also be an excellent addition to the diet of a goldfish.

Are they dangerous?

No, they are not dangerous, in fact, they are really cute and make great pets. They are very friendly and also can survive with other species of fishes like rudd, tench, orfe, and koi.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, a goldfish makes an excellent pet. They have extraordinary associative learning skills and are social. Pet goldfish can recognize their owners and if trained, they can be seen swimming up to the water's surface so that you can feed pellets straight from your hand! Goldfish have also been observed to react to different sounds and can be trained to recognize light signals. However, they should be taken good care of by changing the tank water regularly and not overfeeding them so that they have good health and long life. They swim, play, and explore all day.

Did you know...

The history of the goldfish dates back to AD 265. They are members of the carp family which were specially bred in East Asia.

They were first discovered in China and were a result of mutations of the common grey or silverfish.

The genetic mutation caused them to be golden or yellow-orange in color. They were commonly kept in ornamental ponds and water gardens during the Tang dynasty. Most people kept them in their ponds as they were regarded as signs of luck and fortune. As a show of greatness, some people even kept them indoors in elaborate and fancy aquariums! During the 17th century, goldfish became very popular in southern Europe because of their metallic scales and it was believed that they were a sign of good luck. There was a tradition where the married men had to give their newlywed wives goldfish as a symbol of a prosperous future.

Did your goldfish die after two days? Goldfish can die due to chloramines, heavy metals, or chlorine in the water. This is why they cannot survive in tap water. Also, do not touch your fish, it destroys the protective membrane on their skin.

Goldfish do not kill each other.

Do goldfish get lonely?

No, just like other fish, goldfish don't get lonely and may prefer to live alone. Though many goldfish live a long happy life alone, some goldfish might get lonely if they are kept alone for too long, but this is very rare.

Can goldfish live without eyes?

Yes, a goldfish can live without eyes. Even if a goldfish goes blind in the eyes, they can continue to live due to their ability to sense their surroundings using lateral lines, despite being unable to use their eyes. They can even sense their owners. If the fish has gone blind and has struggled with eating food, they should be fed with sinking pellets.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fishes from our chum salmon facts and molly fish facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable goldfish coloring pages.

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