At a glance...
  • Grow to max sizes of ~20cm
  • Hardy, personable fish – perfect for beginners
  • Suitable for garden ponds and large aquariums
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Everything you need to know about Shubunkin Goldfish, at a glance:

  • Common Names: Speckled Goldfish, Calico Goldfish, Harlequin Goldfish
  • Scientific Name: Carassius auratus
  • Max Size: ~20cm, but some individuals have been known to exceed 30cm
  • Temperature Range: 10-23°C
  • pH Range: 6.0-8.0, though 7.5 is ideal
  • Compatibility: Peaceful, suitable for garden ponds and large aquariums
  • Area Of Origin: China
  • Suitable Foods: Variety of flakes, sticks and pellets
  • Special Requirements: If kept in an aquarium, at least 115 litres needed per goldfish

What is a Shubunkin Goldfish?

There are few fish more recognisable than goldfish. Shubunkin Goldfish are a variety of goldfish, characterised by their calico colouration and speckled patterns. These fish were first domesticated in China over 1000 years ago and have been selectively bred ever since, generating a range of different sizes, shapes, fin configurations, and colours.

Shubunkin Goldfish, and others within the catch-all Carassius auratus species, are very personable fish. Some are even able to recognise their owners, associating them with food rather than danger. These fish can also live a very long time, with a few individuals known to have lived for over 40 years!

Shubunkin Goldfish are commonly kept in bowls and small aquariums, but considering how large they can grow – sometimes over 20cm-long – they’re best suited to garden ponds that can hold at least a few hundred litres of water. If goldfish are to be kept in an aquarium, then they need at least 115 litres of water volume per individual.

In the hobby, goldfish are typically split into two broad categories – Common Goldfish and Fancy Goldfish. Shubunkin Goldfish fall into the Common Goldfish category. These fish are incredibly hardy and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, from 26°C all the way down to 4°C. That’s not to say that they thrive at these temperature extremes, however; always try to keep the temperature of your goldfish’s environment stable and somewhere between 10-23°C.

How do I care for Shubunkin Goldfish?

Shubunkin Goldfish are hardy fish and don’t require a lot of specialist care, making them a great choice of fish for first-time fish keepers. That said, to ensure that they live long and healthy lives, they need to be given regular care and attention – just like any other fish.

The most important thing to consider when keeping goldfish is space. A single goldfish kept in an aquarium requires at least 115 litres of water, though more is always better. For this reason, a lot of goldfish keepers choose to house their beloved pets in garden ponds, as these can typically hold a lot more water than a home aquarium.

Another important thing to consider is filtration. Like other species of carp, goldfish eat a lot of food and produce a lot of waste. To deal with such a large amount of waste, you’ll need a powerful filter that can both mechanically and biologically filter your water. If you’re keeping your goldfish in an aquarium, then an external canister filter will match all your needs, and then some. For a pond, we stock a wide range of suitable pond filters.

While they’re hardy fish, goldfish can encounter health problems if they’re not given proper care. The most common problems goldfish encounter are digestive problems, and these usually result from an improper diet. To help ease digestive problems, feed your goldfish some blanched green vegetables, e.g. peas. These are high in fibre and will help your goldfish pass any blockages.

In the wild, goldfish survive on a diet of plants, bugs, and other little critters. In a captive setting, they can be fed specialist flakes/pellets. These are packed with all of the essential nutrients and vitamins that goldfish need. You can also supplement their diets with some protein-rich live foods, though be careful not to feed treats like these too regularly.

How is this Shubunkin Goldfish delivered?

All of our aquatic animals are dispatched from our livestock distributor and delivered directly to your doorstep. Our distributor dispatches and delivers livestock packages Tuesday through Friday to avoid animals being in transit over the weekend. To further minimise time spent travelling, all livestock deliveries are made before 1pm on the day of delivery.

After placing your livestock order, you’ll receive all the information needed to track your livestock order via email. If you have any problems regarding delivery, or concerns about the health/wellbeing of your animal(s) upon arrival, please contact us, Swell UK Ltd, immediately, or at least within 48 hours of receiving your livestock order.

Any other, non-livestock items that you purchase alongside livestock will be sent via standard or express delivery and arrive at your delivery address in a different package. This means that, depending on when you place your order, you may receive your non-livestock items before or after your livestock package.

For a detailed breakdown of when you can expect to receive your livestock package depending on the day you placed your order, be sure to check the delivery details in the specifications below.

How do you acclimate a Shubunkin Goldfish to a pond/aquarium?

It’s very important that you acclimatise new fish to your pond/aquarium. This is the process of gradually adjusting an animal to its new environment and it’s especially important in an aquatic setting where sudden changes in water temperature, pH, and nitrates can cause stress, illness and, in some cases, even death.

To acclimate your new goldfish, place the bag into an empty bucket and open it. Then, add a small amount of pond/aquarium water to your bucket every few minutes until the water temperature in the bucket matches the water temperature in your pond/aquarium. Do this for at least 20 minutes.

If you don’t have a bucket to hand, then you can simply float the bag containing your new goldfish in your pond/aquarium. If you’re adding your goldfish to an aquarium, always turn off your lights to reduce stress. Also, avoid adding dirty water from the bag into your pond/aquarium by netting your goldfish.

You should always set up your pond/aquarium and make sure it’s ready for fish prior to purchasing any. It’s also a good idea to let your filter mature for a week or two before adding a goldfish. A single goldfish can produce a lot of mess; your filter needs to be able to handle this if it’s to maintain a healthy environment. For more information about keeping goldfish, check out our help guide here.

Above photos are for illustration purposes only; livestock received may not exactly match those photographed.


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