How to Identify Goldfish Types

Six different breeds of goldfish shown in the ...
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Identify Goldfish Types

If you want to know how to identify what type of goldfish you have, you need to look at its features. Here are some unique features that make identifying your goldfish simple. There are hundreds of types of goldfish, many that have been cross bred which take on a mix of different features.

Hardy Goldfish Types

A body shape that has an elongated flattened football shape include: the common, the Comet Goldfish, the Shubunkin Goldfish. (good breeds for an outdoor goldfish pond).


— The common, comet and shubunkin look very similar in shape and colors.

  • The comet has longer fins and most notably its tail fin is much longer.
  • The common doesn’t come in calico but the comet and shubunkin do.
  • The shubunkin is only calico so if it’s calico with short fins, it can’t be a common.


Fancy Goldfish Types

An egg shape body shape are considered the fancy breeds and can include: Fantail Goldfish, Ryukin Goldfish, Veiltail Goldfish, Oranda Goldfish, Telescope Goldfish,Black Moor Goldfish, panda butterfly, Ranchu Goldfish, lionhead, Pompon Goldfish, Pearlscale Goldfish, hama nishki, celestial and bubble-eye.




— The mature oranda, ranchu and lionhead has a wart like wen hood cover over its face and head.

  • The oranda has a dorsal fin and the lionhead and most ranchu don’t.
  • The ranchu has a prominent arch in its back and downward pointed tail fins.
  • The lionhead and oranda have a straighter back line.
  • A goldfish with a hood cover with a straight back and no dorsal fin is a lionhead.



— The fantail, ryukin and veiltail have similar egg shaped bodies with no distinct features like a hood cover or globe eyes.

  • The fantail and ryukin have sturdy upright fins and tails.
  • The ryukin has a more prominent hump that the dorsal fin sits on than the fantail.
  • The veiltail has long flowing fins and tail.



— The telescope, black moor and panda butterfly have their eyes on the sides of ball like protuberances.

  • A black moor is a telescope/globe-eye but is only black or faded black in color.
  • The panda butterfly resembles the colors of a panda bear, clear sections of black and white.



— The pearlscale and hama nishiki have a golf ball body shape with scales that stand out like little white domes.

  • the hama nishiki has a slight hood cover on top of its head while the pearlscale does not.



— The celestial has bulging eyes that point upward and no dorsal fin.


— The bubble eye has two bubble shaped check pouches.




Learn more about goldfish care in a goldfish aquarium

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