Goldfish Body Types

GOLDFISH: BODY TYPE CLASSIFICATION

The Different Body Shapes in Goldfish

Different Shapes Require Different Care

Did you know that a certain body-shaped goldfish requires special care? 

Each variety of goldfish has specific shapes and body characteristics, which help define and identify them.

Varieties of goldfish may share the same body type, but it’s the other physical attributes that help to distinguish it from the rest.

There are TWO body-shapes in goldfish

  • Egg-Shaped
  • Streamline-Bodied

Let’s take a look at those bodies!

Egg-Shaped Goldfish

The name says it all! These fish have bodies that are shaped like tiny eggs. 

These are known as fancy goldfish. Fancy goldfish are the predominant type of goldfish. They are more commonly picked by fish hobbyists because of their overall beauty. 

Egg-shaped/Fancy goldfish are slow swimmers that lend to their elegant flowing appearance. They are fragile just like an egg!

Species of Egg-Shaped Goldfish

  • Fantail
  • Veiltail
  • Butterfly Tail
  • Telescope Eye
  • Celestial Eye
  • Bubble Eye
  • Lionhead
  • Oranda
  • Pompom
  • Ranchu
  • Ryukin
  • Tosakin
  • Pearlscale

Features of Egg-Shaped Goldfish

Body

These fish appear to be shaped like tiny eggs with a larger belly. In comparison to the streamline-bodied goldfish, the egg-shaped goldfish are pudgier in size.

Tail

Egg-shaped goldfish have twin tails. These tails appear as a pair.

Fin

All have a dorsal fin with the exception of the Celestial Eye, Bubble Eye, Lionhead, Ranchu, and Pompom. In which case, these five goldfish are missing a dorsal fin.

Eyes

All have normal eyes with the exception of the Celestial Eye, Bubble Eye, and Telescope Eye. These three fish have pronounced bulging eyes. 

  • Telescope Eye: eyes point outwards and are situated on stalks.
  • Celestial Eye: eyes point upwards.
  • Bubble Eye: eyes are surrounded by fluid-filled sacs.

Wen

There are three species of egg-shaped goldfish that have a wen. Wens are raspberry-like growths on the head. Orandas, Lionheads, and Ranchus are the only fancy goldfish with wens.

Egg-Shaped Goldfish Require Special Care

Diet

Egg-shaped goldfish require a more specialized diet. Their bodies are compact, causing their internal organs to crowd. This causes them to be at risk of digestive issues and swim bladder disorders.

Things to consider when feeding an egg-shaped (fancy) goldfish.

  • Never feed them from the top; they should eat in the middle to the bottom of the tank.
  • Normal feedings should be done 1-2 times per day at the same time.
  • DO NOT OVERFEED! Egg-shaped (fancy) goldfish suffer when eating too much.

Tank Environment

Egg-shaped (fancy) goldfish have delicate fins and tails. This, along with those that have a wen are susceptible to injury on sharp objects in the tank. Use caution when placing plants or decorations in your tank to avoid injury.

Filtration systems and air stones should be placed on the lowest flow setting. This is because egg-shaped (fancy) goldfish are slow swimmers. They have great difficulty in water that has a strong current.

Tank Mates

Avoid placing fast swimming goldfish (streamline-bodied) with egg-shaped (fancy) goldfish. Fast swimming goldfish are aggressive feeders and tend to pick on slow swimmers. It’s best to keep egg-shaped (fancy) goldfish together and leave the other species of goldfish out.

Streamline-Bodied Goldfish

These little goldfish are like torpedoes moving through the water. Unlike the slow movement of egg-shaped goldfish, the streamline-bodied goldfish is a fast swimmer. They tend to be more aggressive in feeding than compared to the egg-shaped goldfish.

goldfish body type

Species of Streamline-Bodied Goldfish

  • Common
  • Comet
  • Shubunkin
  • Wakin

Features of Streamline-Bodied Goldfish

Body

These goldfish are slender with a longer body. Their shape is similar to a torpedo. Assimilating this body characteristic to its fast-swimming behavior helps to remember which body-shape of fish is fast and which is slow.

Tail

All streamline-bodied goldfish are single-tail. Easy to remember!

Fin

All have a dorsal fin present.

Eyes

All have normal eyes.

Streamline-bodied Goldfish Care

Diet

Unlike egg-shaped goldfish, these goldfish do not require a special diet. They should, however, be provided a high-quality diet with variety.

Things to consider when feeding streamline-bodied goldfish.

  • Normal feedings should be done 1-2 times per day at the same time.
  • DO NOT OVERFEED! 

Tank Environment

Streamline-bodied goldfish are typically hardy. They, of course, will thrive in a tank that is healthy and clean. 

Tank Mates

Do not place these fish in the same tank as fancy goldfish. Streamline-bodied goldfish are aggressive feeders because of being fast swimmers. They will tend to pick on egg-shaped (fancy) goldfish. Never place fast swimmers with slow swimmers!

It All Comes Down To The Body

Whether you want a goldfish that shoots from the hip with its torpedo-like action or a mopey yet gorgeous one, remember:

  • Don’t mix fast swimmers with slow swimmers.
  • Pay attention to the special feeding and care for the gorgeous ones.

Lastly, remember “eggs are fragile” (egg-shaped) and “torpedoes are fast and hardy” (streamline-bodied.)

VarietyBody S​​​​​​hapeEyesTailDorsal FinWen
Common GoldfishStreamlinedNormalSingle TailedYesNo
Comet GoldfishStreamlinedNormalSingle TailedYesNo
ShubunkinStreamlinedNormalSingle TailedYesNo
WakinStreamlinedNormalSingle TailedYesNo
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