One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Goldfish


The ryukin is a round, oval-shaped goldfish with a noticeable camel-like hump on its back. It is the Japanese version of the fantail goldfish, which also has a tall back. However, the ryukin is also similar to the tamasaba –– another Japanese species –– which has a single tail while the ryukin can have a triple or quadruple tail.

The veiltail also shares a body resembling the ryukin. The difference once again –– as its name suggests –– is its tail. The end of its tail is straight and its dorsal fin enormous, almost as big as the body itself.

Another Japanese fancy goldfish called the tosakin shares resemblance to the ryukin’s body. Unlike the previous two fish, the tosakin is extremely hard to find in the U.S., and is limited to expensive collections. The reason behind this fish’s rarity lies within its tail, which is spread horizontally along a great distance.

Even with all of its copycats, the ryukin is easily recognizable, especially if you are looking to buy one from a fish store, as it is more common.

Dissimilar to the previously mentioned species, the ryukin’s fins can be long or short while its body is always deep. Its head appears triangular because the hump on its back makes it look as if it were sticking out of its body.

ryukin vs fantail
The ryukin (left) clearly has a more distinguishable hump than the fantail (right)

Despite this goldfish’s funny look, it is strong and believed to be one of the best goldfish for beginners to have because it is a fancy, beautiful, and hearty variety –– growing up to eight inches.

If you still don’t have a fish collection, now is the time to start one seeing as how you have just been introduced to the perfect goldfish hobby kick-starter. Already a budding fish-enthusiast? Well now you’ve been introduced to a different, glorious species.

As with my previous post, I will gladly answer any questions left in the comments box.

Words and images by Eugene Liu.

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