Lionhead Goldfish - Tips and Characteristics

Quick Statistics - Lionhead
Country of Origin: China
Family: Cyprinidae
Scientific Name: Carassius auratus
Environment: Freshwater fish
Temperature: 65째 - 78째F
Type: Twin Tail
Diet: Omnivore
Food: Pellets, flakes, live food, veggies and fruit
Adult Size: 5-6" (inches)
Lifespan: 10-15 years or more
Care Level: Medium
Temperament: Friendly and social

Did you know that the Lionhead is one of the most frequently kept goldfish variants? Not only that, but it's also by far the most popular of the dorsal less goldfish. Lionhead is one of the oldest types of goldfish and very cute, making it one of the favorites amongst aquarists.

The Lionhead goldfish can be recognized by its well developed head growth(wen). The distinctive raspberry or lion's mane appearance of the Chinese Lionhead have led to its commonly used name today.

Just like most fancy goldfish, it has an egg-shaped body and a slightly curved back. It possesses twin-tail fins and has a double anal fin. The most distinctive feature of the Lionhead is of course its head, which grows different from any other goldfish.

As beautiful as it is, the flesh(wen) covering its head can sometimes become very uncomfortable for the fish. Some of the Lionheads can experience a wen growth over the average and can cause poor vision and breathing problems. Others will develop hardly any head growth at all.

Cute Lionhead goldfish are available in many colors. These include orange, red, chocolate, black, blue, yellow and very rare white. The nacreous types can be bi-colored combination of red-and-white, red-and-orange, tri-colored with red-white-and-black coloration as well as calico.

When kept in well maintained goldfish aquariums they can grow up to 5-6 inches in length and can live up to 10-15 years.

You also need to know...

You must know that because of its potentially poor vision, the Lionhead is not recommended to the absolute beginner aquarists. It's one of the delicate species of goldfish and a poor swimmer. It may have problems finding the food.

Some Lionhead varieties do have a dorsal fin, which gives it more stability when moving around.


The Lionhead won't win you any races when competing for food. That's why you need to keep it with other slow swimming goldfish and do no ever mix with single-tails like the Comet, Common or Shubunkin.

Best tank mates for the Lionhead are: Oranda, Black Moor, Pearlscale, Fantail, Telescope Eye, Bubble Eye, Ryukin.

Love to you,

Image credits to: sschoenick @