Shubunkin Goldfish - Tips and Characteristics

Quick Statistics - Shubunkin
Country of Origin: Japan
Family: Cyprinidae
Scientific Name: Carassius auratus
Environment: Freshwater fish
Temperature: 55° - 78°F
Type: Single Tail
Diet: Omnivore
Food: Pellets, flakes, live food, veggies and fruit
Adult Size: 10-12" or more (inches)
Lifespan: 10-15 years or more
Care Level: Easy for beginners
Temperament: Friendly and social

Looking for a multi colored fish? Welcome to the world of Shubunkin goldfish. Surprisingly beautiful and hardy fish, the Shubunkins are a single-tailed goldfish with nacreous scales, which is a mixture of transparent and metallic scales giving a pearly appearance. Aquarists call this fish the calico colored goldfish. This is also a perfect goldfish to start with.

If you're like everyone else, you will love the Shubunkins mixed coloration of grey, white, blue, red, chocolate, yellow and orange. The species with blue colors are considered the most rare and therefor the most valuable.

These wonderful goldfish come from Japan and can grow up to 10-15 inches in adulthood. Similar to the Common and Comet, the Shubunkin can eat almost everything from fish flakes, veggies, fruit and live food. They also can live more than a decade in optimum conditions. They will thrive in large aquariums.

You also need to know...

Today, there are three different types of Shubunkin goldfish:

  • Japanese/American Shubunkin - has a shape similar to the Comet. Slender body, long fins, tail fin is pointed with a deeper fork and grows to the same length as the body
  • London Shubunkin - stout bodies with short, rounded fins similar to the Common
  • Bristol Shubunkins - slim bodied with a well developed fins, possessing a large tail, forked and rounded at the end it's similar to the capitalized letter "B"


Remember that Shubunkins are single-tailed goldfish varieties. Do not mix with slower twin-tails like the Bubble Eye, Oranda, Black Moor, Fantail or Lionhead goldfish. Best tank mates for Shubunkins are Comets and Commons.

Love to you,

Image credits to: floccinaucinihilipilification @