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Shubunkin Goldfish: Complete Care Guide



Shubunkin Goldfish: Complete Care Guide

The Shubunkin Goldfish is one of the most unique-looking goldfish you can keep in your aquarium. With their graceful fins and vibrant colors, they give a whole different look to the aquarium.

It is all this that has made it popular among the aquarium keepers. Its scientific name is Carassius auratus. They, like ordinary goldfish, carp, and danios, are members of the Cyprinidae family.

They share several traits, including a lack of genuine teeth in favor of a few rows of pharyngeal teeth in the throat.

The Shubunkin Goldfish does not demand too much attention and are easy to keep and care for. They are hardy species of fish and can adapt to different situations.

What is the Appearance of Shubunkin Goldfish?

What is the Appearance of Shubunkin Goldfish?
Source: Coburg Aquarium

The Shubunkin Goldfish comes off as a stunning fish with its beautiful colors and fins.

These fishes come in various colors which are scattered through their body in different patterns.

Shubunkin goldfish are spotted and come in a variety of colors, including red, yellow, orange, white, black, and blue. The blue hue that some Shubunkin might have is the most distinguishing feature. 

They feature long, flowing fins that enhance their overall appeal. These fins will flow with their motions and look gorgeous with every movement as they swim.

The Shubunkin Goldfish has a long, flat body. The head is broad but not long, and the body tapers gently from the back and belly to the forked base of the tail fin. Its fins are normally fully erect, and the dorsal fin’s margin is somewhat curved.

There are three types of Shubunkin Goldfish:

There are three types of Shubunkin Goldfish:
  • The London Shubunkin
  • The American Shubunkin 
  • The Bristol Shubunkin 

The London Shubunkin is what you see in every Shubunkin aquarium. They are the most common ones. The London goldfish will have varying colorations. The fins will be more rounded and the body more slender. 

The American Shubunkin Goldfish has the oddest yet magnificent tail fin. The tail of the American Shubunkin Goldfish is longer and features a dramatic fork. Some say the American Shubunkin is the most similar to the original Japanese Shubunkin. 

The Bristol Goldfish has a slender body. This type of Shubunkin Goldfish has a massive tail fin with well-rounded lobes that is quite broad and are pointed.

What is the Size and Lifespan of Shubunkin Goldfish?

What is the Size and Lifespan of Shubunkin Goldfish?

Shubunkins, like other goldfish species, will grow in response to their surroundings.

The normal Shubunkin Goldfish will grow to 5 or 6 inches long when fully grown in a regular aquarium.

If you keep them in a large and not crowded tank, then they are known to grow to become even bigger. There are also reports of a Shubunkin Goldfish reaching 18 inches in length.

The lifespan of the Shubunkin Goldfish depends on the level of care and maintenance they are given. Their average lifespan is 10 to 15 years when kept in proper conditions. In a well-maintained pond, they can survive for about 20 years.

Care for Shubunkin Goldfish 

Taking care of Shubunkin Goldfish is not that hard. They are hardy fishes and can adapt to various conditions. Although, you must provide them with the right water conditions if you want them to grow and prosper without any difficulties. 

What is the Ideal Tank size for Shubunkin Goldfish?

What is the Ideal Tank size for Shubunkin Goldfish 
Source: Badmans Tropical Fish

There is no definite tank size for a Shubunkin Goldfish. They can do well in tanks size of 15 to 20 gallons, but it is not recommended that you keep them in such tank sizes.

They thrive and grow when they are provided with a lot of space. The recommended tank size for Shubunkin Goldfish would be 75 gallons. This tank size is enough to give them adequate space for swimming and living without any trouble. 

Although, it is best to keep the Shubunkin Goldfish in a pond.

What are the Best Tank mates for Shubunkin Goldfish?

What are the Best Tank mates for Shubunkin Goldfish 

While choosing tank mates for Shubunkin Goldfish, you must consider its behavior. These fish are amiable and will blend in well with other fast-swimming fish in community tanks.

This is since these goldfish are incredibly fast swimmers that will consume as much food as possible as quickly as possible. So keeping them with slow swimming fish is not ideal. Also, don’t pair them up with aggressive fishes.

You can keep your Shubunkin Goldfish with Tetras, Killifish, Cherry Barbs, Koi, Comet Goldfish, Guppies, Amano Shrimp, Fancy Goldfish, and Glass Catfish, and Northern Redbelly Dace.

All these fish species have similar temperaments and can keep up with the speed of the Shubunkin Goldfish. Meaning they won’t starve in the presence of a Shubunkin Goldfish.

How Often Should You Feed a Shubunkin Goldfish? And What To Feed?

Shubunkin Goldfish are omnivores. They are not picky in terms of food. They’ll consume almost anything you give them. Pellets and flakes that are high in nutrients are good.

Live and frozen meals can also be included in their diet regularly.

As for treats, you may provide bloodworms, brine shrimp, Daphnia, and tubifex worms. 

How Often Should You Feed a Shubunkin Goldfish? And What To Feed?

You must keep in mind that, due to their voracious appetites, these fish are susceptible to overfeeding. No matter how much food you offer them, they manage to eat it all. To avoid overfeeding them, you must feed them the amount of food they can eat within 4 minutes, no more than that.

What is the Ideal Water Temperature and Water Parameters of Shubunkin Goldfish?

The Shubunkin Goldfish prefers swimming in cool waters. They favor the water temperature ranging from around 65℉ to 70℉.

The pH levels must be between 6.0 to 8.0, and the water hardness must be 5 to 19 dGH. Maintain all the water parameters, and the Shubunkin Goldfish will have a hassle-free life.

Tank Setup for Shubunkin Goldfish 

First of all, the tank must be large enough. The Shubunkin Goldfish requires adequate space to swim around.

They thrive if they have plenty of space around them. The water movement must be low to moderate.

The lighting condition must be from normal to moderate. The substrate of the tank can be medium-sized fine gravel. Plants are not the best with goldfish. Although if you want, you can add Java fern, hornwort, and anacharis. 

A good filtration is needed with these fish. As the Shubunkin Goldfish is a fast swimmer and go around the tank in search of food, it can make the tank messy and dirty.

So a good filtration system helps to counter that. Water changes are also needed if you have Shubunkin Goldfish. You must perform water changes frequently.

Common Diseases that can affect the Shubunkin Goldfish 


Your Shubunkin Goldfish can be affected by ich or White Spot disease. With this disease, your fish will have white spots all over the body which is a parasite. There are treatments available for this disease. 

Fin Rot

Fin rot is also something to look out for in Shubunkin Goldfish. As they have big and beautiful fins, a degradation in the water conditions will lead to fin rot. This is a bacterial disease and you can find treatments for it. 

Swim Bladder

As these fishes swim around quickly, they can injure their swim bladder by colliding against some things. If they are having trouble staying afloat and are swimming oddly, then they have swim bladder disease. The best thing is to move them to a separate tank and feed them peeled boiled peas. There is no treatment for this disease. 

Breeding of Shubunkin Goldfish 

Breeding of Shubunkin Goldfish 

It is easy to breed Shubunkin Goldfish. All they require is the right water conditions. Shubunkin will spawn in the right conditions, which means that if you ensure that the tank conditions are ideal, the fish will reproduce naturally

To breed them you will have to set up a breeding tank. The tank must be of a 20-gallon size and add plants where the females will spawn. You can add artificial plants as well. You can also separate the males and females for some days before breeding.

Temperatures can be gradually decreased to roughly 60° F (11° C) to stimulate spawning, then gradually warmed at a rate of 3° F every day until they spawn.

When the temperature is between 68° and 74° F, spawning begins. High-protein meals, such as brine shrimp or bloodworms, should be fed to them in large quantities.

For a few days, males may begin to chase females in a non-aggressive manner, and their colors may darken. Males will then force females against plants, causing the females to release eggs, which the males will fertilize.

Spawning can take as little as a few hours and generate as many as 10,000 eggs. As the spawning ends, immediately remove the parent fishes from the tank. Otherwise, they will begin to eat the eggs. 

Depending on the temperature, the fertilized eggs will hatch in 4 to 7 days. Until the newly hatched goldfish are big enough to consume flake or brine shrimp, you can give them fry meals, or you can feed them the same food as the parents as long as it is crushed extremely fine.

The fry is initially a dark brown or black hue to help them hide and avoid being eaten by larger fish. After a few months, they develop their adult color and can be introduced to larger fish until they reach approximately 1 inch in length.

Cost of Shubunkin Goldfish

A Shubunkin Goldfish can cost you around $7 to $10. A group of them will cost you around $70. These are the average price of the Shubunkin Goldfish. Some of them might cost you a bit higher than the average price. 


A Shubunkin Goldfish is one of the best fish to add to your aquarium. Beginners can keep them as well. They are easy to care for and are hardy species of fish.

They get along well in a community tank and are voracious eaters. They will eat anything you give them. The only thing you have to maintain is the water parameters regarding the Shubunkin Goldfish. Not only on tanks, but you can keep them on ponds as well.

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