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HomeFreshwater FishRyukin Goldfish: Size, Lifespan, Care & Tank Mates

Ryukin Goldfish: Size, Lifespan, Care & Tank Mates

The Ryukin Goldfish (Carassius auratus) is one of many varieties of fancy goldfish that have become popular in recent decades. As owning goldfish as common pets has become a growing trend, it has become relatively easy to purchase Ryukin Goldfish, which are commonly available in pet stores across North America and Europe.

This article, will give you enough knowledge and confidence to bring home one of these beautiful fish and ensure their happiness and well-being.

General Introduction

Species Name: Carassius auratus
Family: Cyprinidae
Care Level: Easy
Temperature: 65-75°F
Temperament: Docile
Color Form: Red, white, calico, tri-color, chocolate
Lifespan: 10-15 years
Size: 6- 10 inches
Diet: Omnivorous
Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons
Tank Set-Up: Freshwater aquariums or ponds
Compatibility: Pairs best with other dual-fin fish species

Origin of Ryukin Goldfish

All modern goldfish can trace their ancestry back to carp that were initially kept in Chinese ponds. Over time, these carp were selectively bred and domesticated to establish specific traits.

Origin of Ryukin Goldfish
Origin of Ryukin Goldfish

In the case of Ryukin goldfish, their more recent origins can be traced to the Fantail goldfish variety, which was introduced to Japan in the mid-1700s. The name “Ryukin” is derived from the Ryukyu Islands, although the breed is believed to have originated in China. The Japanese have invested considerable effort in refining the characteristics of the Ryukin, particularly its distinctive dorsal hump and tall body shape. This breed has a rich history of cultivation spanning over 1,000 years.

Size of ryukin goldfish

The ryukin goldfish size typically reach a length between 6 to 8 inches when in optimum health. Yet, in spacious environments, they often surpass this size.

Particularly, those dwelling in expansive outdoor ponds might grow up to a whopping 10 inches! Their rapid growth demands foresight from their caretakers – ensuring ample space for their adult versions is essential.

Size of ryukin goldfish
Size of ryukin goldfish

Lifespan of ryukin goldfish

The longevity of the Ryukin Goldfish is an interplay of various factors. While inherently robust, they aren’t exempt from the vulnerabilities of stress and disease. Subpar living conditions can trim down their years significantly.

Conversely, with meticulous care, these fishes enjoy a lifespan ranging between 10 to 15 years. There are even instances, though rare, of these beauties gracing the earth for over 20 years!

Appearance of Ryukin Goldfish

Ryukin Goldfish are renowned for their exceptional beauty and are considered one of the most captivating goldfish species. As previously mentioned, they belong to the category of “Fancy Goldfish,” which indicates that they have undergone extensive breeding in Asia to attain their current appearance.

These fish possess a highly distinctive profile, characterized by an egg-shaped body. The body is short and stout, with a round belly, further adding to their appeal. Additionally, Ryukins boast a prominent dorsal hump that connects the head to the rest of the body. The combination of the elevated dorsal hump and the rounded belly creates a visually intriguing look, resulting in a somewhat pointed shape of the head.

Appearance of Ryukin Goldfish
Appearance of Ryukin Goldfish

The tails of Ryukin Goldfish are also unique. They have a double-finned structure, setting them apart from other fish species. Instead of the typical caudal shape, these fish exhibit four tail lobes, contributing to a stunning appearance exclusive to the goldfish family.

Ryukin Goldfish come in both short-finned and long-finned varieties. The long-finned types are particularly sought after due to their graceful, flowing double caudal fins. These varieties also tend to display more vibrant colors.

Speaking of color, Ryukin Goldfish are available in a wide array of hues. They can be found in red, white, calico, and even chocolate-colored variations. Tri-colored specimens, featuring shades of orange, white, and black, are commonly seen as well.

Ryukin Goldfish Care

Caring for Ryukin Goldfish is generally regarded as relatively easy compared to other fancy goldfish species. They are known for their hardiness and ability to adapt well to aquariums that are fully cycled and properly maintained.

However, it is important to follow certain guidelines. Despite common misconceptions, goldfish are not tropical fish and should not be kept in warm water like many other freshwater species commonly found in the aquarium trade.

Ryukin Goldfish Care
Ryukin Goldfish Care

Tank Size

Embarking on the journey of Ryukin Goldfish care might seem daunting given their impressive appearance. However, the ryukin goldfish tank size requirement isn’t as massive as some might think.

For a single Ryukin Goldfish, a 10-gallon tank suffices. Yet, to truly let them flourish, opting for a larger habitat is always encouraged.

Water Parameters

When it comes to Ryukin Goldfish, the water conditions differ significantly from typical freshwater aquarium setups. Unlike many tropical species, Ryukins thrive in colder water.

  • The ideal temperature range for Ryukin Goldfish is between 65°F and 75°F, and it is important to regularly monitor and maintain this temperature, especially in colder climates. Additionally, several essential water parameters should be considered:
  • pH Levels: The ideal pH range for Ryukin Goldfish is neutral, ranging from 6.0 to 8.0.
  • Water Hardness: The recommended water hardness for Ryukins is between 5 and 19 dGH. It is beneficial to ensure that the water is oxygen-rich, which can be achieved through the use of air bladders or other appropriate methods.

By maintaining these specific water conditions, Ryukin Goldfish can thrive and enjoy a healthy environment.

Plants and Substrate

Goldfish’s fondness for digging might pose a challenge if you’re keen on a plant-rich tank. They constantly disturb and uproot plants, in search of aquatic snacks.

If set on incorporating plants, opt for epiphytes like Java Fern, Java Moss, and Anubias which attach to surfaces instead of relying on substrate roots.

As for the tank’s floor, gravel proves to be a more appropriate choice over sand due to goldfish’s digging nature. Sand can lead to unwanted debris, whereas gravel remains largely undisturbed.

Plants and Substrate
Plants and Substrate

Disease Potential

Despite their robust nature, Ryukin Goldfish are not exempt from ailments. They are particularly prone to swim bladder disorders and dropsy due to their unique physiology.

Food blockages in their intestine can escalate into more severe problems affecting their swimming capabilities. Thankfully, natural remedies like peeled green peas work wonders.

However, being vigilant about other common fish diseases, such as Ich and fungal infections, remains crucial. Observing any discoloration or behavioral changes can be indicative of underlying health issues.

Food & Diet

Ryukin Goldfish are not picky eaters. As omnivores, they happily consume most foods offered. A consistent diet of high-quality flakes or pellets ensures they receive essential nutrients.

To add variety, occasional treats like bloodworms, Daphnia, or brine shrimp can be introduced. Yet, exercise caution in portion sizes, as overfeeding might upset their delicate digestive systems. Understanding their feeding patterns and needs will ensure they remain vibrant and healthy.

Behavior & Temperament

Despite their egg-shaped body, Ryukin Goldfish are known to be active and lively. They exhibit more vigor compared to other fancy goldfish varieties and can provide great enjoyment when observed.

However, their active nature can pose challenges when it comes to tank mates. Ryukin Goldfish are considered semi-aggressive and may display behaviors such as picking on weaker fish or chasing those they perceive as potential prey.

Therefore, it is crucial to exercise caution and carefully select tank mates for Ryukin Goldfish to ensure compatibility and minimize any potential conflicts.

Behavior & Temperament
Behavior & Temperament

Tank Mates

Ryukin Goldfish are lively and sociable creatures that thrive when kept in groups. While they can be housed individually without issues, they tend to exhibit more confidence and sociability when in the company of their own species.

When considering tank mates for Ryukin Goldfish, it is advisable to choose other dual-fin fish. Ryukins have been known to display signs of aggression towards faster single-fin varieties. It is important to select similarly-sized fish that are non-aggressive but capable of defending themselves if necessary. Weaker fish, such as Celestial Goldfish and Bubble Eyes, should be avoided.

Tank Mates
Tank Mates

Here are some suitable tank mates to consider:

These fish species are compatible with Ryukin Goldfish and provide a good balance of similar characteristics and non-aggressive behavior.


Breeding Ryukin goldfish can be a relatively straightforward process when the appropriate conditions are provided. Follow these steps for a successful breeding outcome:

  • Set up a separate breeding tank specifically for the purpose of breeding Ryukin goldfish.
  • Ensure that the breeding tank is equipped with an ample amount of plants or spawning mops, which serve as suitable surfaces for the fish to lay their eggs.
  • Introduce a few adult fish of both sexes into the breeding tank.
  • Lower the water temperature in the breeding tank to around 60–62°F (15–16°C).
  • Begin feeding the adult fish high-protein, meat-based foods to enhance their readiness for spawning.
  • The male Ryukin goldfish will initiate the breeding process by chasing the female and pushing her into the plants or spawning mops. The female will then release thousands of eggs, which will be fertilized by the male.
  • Once spawning has occurred, promptly remove both adult fish from the breeding tank to prevent them from consuming the eggs.
  • The eggs will hatch after a few days

Should You Get a Ryukin Goldfish for Your Aquarium?

The Ryukin goldfish is a distinctive and exotic-looking fish that is known for being easy to care for. These captivating fish are readily available in pet stores and can serve as a fascinating topic of conversation among fellow fish enthusiasts.

If you have a tank that can accommodate at least 10 gallons of water and you are committed to regular cleaning and maintenance, there is no reason why you shouldn’t consider keeping a Ryukin goldfish in your home aquarium.

With its vibrant colors and unique dorsal hump, this fish will undoubtedly add an extra dimension of visual appeal to your tank.

Should I buy a ryukin goldfish?
Should I buy a ryukin goldfish?


In wrapping up, the Ryukin Goldfish stands out as a captivating and rewarding choice for aquarium enthusiasts. Its unique silhouette and vibrant colors make it an exceptional addition to any freshwater setup.

With the proper care, these fish can thrive, bringing joy and a touch of exotic elegance to your aquarium for years. We hope this guide has shed light on the enchanting world of Ryukin Goldfish.

For more insightful guides and fishy tales, don’t forget to explore other blogs at DryWash Aquarium. Dive deep into the aquatic realm with us!

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Mark Senske
Mark Senske
Mark Senske is a highly regarded expert in freshwater and marine aquascaping, specializing in creating captivating and visually striking aquariums. With his extensive knowledge and experience, he excels in designing and maintaining beautiful aquatic environments that showcase the natural beauty of fish and plants.


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