As its name implies, the bubble eye goldfish’s eyes look like giant bubbles. Of course, its eyes are normal and they are able to see (although they are pointed upwards). The sacks under the eyes gives them this unique appearance. These fluid-filled bags actually give the fish a disadvantage when using its sense of sight, despite how big its eyes may look. Although entertaining to observe, these pouches can be a burden in several other ways, beyond the challenges to its vision.
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.
Unlike other fancy goldfish I have talked about, the ranchu can be easily mistaken for a different species. Although it looks similar to the lionhead goldfish, the ranchu does have its differences. First of all, the curve of a lionhead’s back is relatively smooth, while the ranchu’s lower body has a sharp archl. Also, ranchu tails are shorter and closer to its belly than the lionhead. Both are slow swimmers since neither has a dorsal fin.
The pearlscale is very unique and can be easily distinguished from any other fancy goldfish, as its scales are domed and pearl-like–hence its name. But in actuality, these raised white lumps aren’t literally pearls. Instead, they are masses of calcium carbonate which can be scraped off. The tiny mounds take a long time to grow back, but eventually –– like all fish scales –– they do regrow but actually become normal scales after regeneration.
This fancy goldfish can come in different forms. It can have nothing atop its head, have regular head growth (a lumpy wen) like an orandas, or be a Hama Nishiki with two globe-like bubbles resting on its forehead.
The black moor is velvety black. Its skin’s texture being similar to the “leather skinned” koi. Its eye traits are usually described as “dragon-eyes” or “telescopes,” but to distinguish this creature from any other black telescoped-eye fish (also called moors), just look at its bronze belly, which tends to slowly spread upwards as time passes. Although bacterial infections and diseases can cause a goldfish’s eyes to stick out (“pop eye”) don’t be so quick to mistake its odd eyes as a symptom of illness. Despite its poor vision, the black moor typically grows to be strong and healthy––like mine––and hobbyists believe that it should be put with fish that carry similar disadvantages, like the bubble or celestial eye goldfish.
My name is Eugene Liu and in my column I hope to share my knowledge of fancy goldfish species through personal experience. I aim to teach and inspire you through my column so that you may be able take on a goldfish collection yourself. I am passionate about the lineage of fancy goldfish, but taking care of them takes more than just that. I’ll even reveal how to raise various types of fancy goldfish and learn their special traits.