Shubunkin Goldfish make for a gorgeous and interesting addition to just about any aquarium. 

It won’t take very long for you to fall in love with these fish once they are in your tank. They are not particularly hard to care for, but you’ll need to learn some important facts about them.

Types of Shubunkin Goldfish

There are actually a variety of these fish, each of which has its own unique color pattern. It is important that you take the time to learn about some of your options before deciding on one in particular.

These goldfish can grow up to 14 inches long when they are provided with plenty of fresh water. If this is not the case, they tend to be four or five inches long at the most.

1. Ghost Bristol Shubunkin

This variety of fish is white with pink gills. They also have hard-shaped tails, which makes for a very interesting and unique overall look.

2. Midnight Shubunkin

The Midnight Shubunkin is mostly black (hence the name), with splashes of white here and there.

3. Sanke Gold Shubunkin

These fish have a white base with almost blue tinge to it. They also have areas of red and black on the base of their body.

4. Imperial Shubunkin

The all-red coloration of these goldfish is particularly beautiful when you notice the shiny look of their scales.

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5. Sky Blue Shubunkin

As the name of this fish suggests, it is a light blue color. These fish also have a little metallic tinge to their scales, and even pink in some cases.

6. Calico Shubunkin

The Calico Shubunkin is by far the most colorful variety, sporting areas of white, black, and even red. The shiny scales of these fish make them absolutely gorgeous to say the least.


You’ll quickly discover that Shubunkin goldfish are social creates, as well as very active overall. They can swim quickly and smoothly through the water, gobbling up their food in the blink of an eye. It is fairly common to see these fish swimming along the bottom part of the tank in search of food.

Natural Habitat

These fish can be naturally found in slow-moving bodies of water that include ponds, rivers, smaller lakes, and even ditches. They come from a type of carp that is native to Asia.

Shubunkin Goldfish Care Guide

1. Tank Setup

These goldfish need to be kept in a tank that is at least 75 gallons. You should use medium size gravel for the substrate. This material will let your fish poke through the individual pieces to find food that sinks to the bottom. It is also important that you invest in a high quality filter that will keep the tank clean.

Plant life is definitely a must when it comes to keeping Shubunkin goldfish. While there’s always a chance that they will get eaten, it is something that these fish need in their environment. hornwort and Anacharis are both good plant choices for this sort of tank setup.

These fish can dirty up a tank fairly quickly, so you need to make a point of using a decently powerful filter. Dirty water quickly breeds bacteria, which can lead to your fish getting a serious infection.

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2. Water Conditions

Keep the temperature of your goldfish’s water within a range of 65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. It should have an acidity of 6.0 to 8.0, and a hardness level of 5 to 19 Dgh.

3. Shubunkin Goldfish Tank mates

It is best to avoid keeping these goldfish with any fish that are timid or easily taken advantage of. Some of the best choices for tank mates include Cherry Barbs, the Glass Catfish, and Killifish. Unless you have lots of experience with keeping fish, you shouldn’t throw any shy ones into the mix. This can create all sorts of problems that you probably aren’t prepared to deal with yet.

4. Shubunkin Goldfish Food

These fish are always skimming the bottom of the tank in search of food, specifically plant matter. The one drawback of this is that your fish may end up eating the plants you put in to give them shelter.

You can give these goldfish a variety of things to eat, including pellets or flakes, which will make up a majority of their diet. Give them this food two times every single day.

It is also a good idea to give your fish vegetables, but only as a treat. Blanched greens and cucumbers are perfect for these fish. They will also gladly eat blood worms and brine shrimp. A nicely-varied diet is an important key to keeping them healthy over time.

Common Health Problems

fin rot can become a very serious problem with Shubunkin goldfish. This is caused by a bacterial infection, which is why it is so important that you maintain the tank. The cleaner your aquarium is, the less likely your fish are to develop fin rot.

Shubunkin Goldfish Breeding

You can breed these fish in groups of up to five at a time. It is important that you gradually lower the temperature of the water to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. This will encourage spawning in a big way. It is also important that you give your fish lots of protein on a daily basis.


  • Shubunkin goldfish come in a variety of color patterns, so it is important that you review your options carefully.
  • These fish can grow up to 14 inches long, with females being a bit shorter than males.
  • You will need a minimum 75-gallon tank for keeping these fish, as they can get fairly large and need ample space.
  • Use medium size gravel for the substrate in your fish’s tank.
  • A water temperature range of 65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for these fish.
  • Killifish and Cherry Barbs are two great tank mates for these goldfish.
  • You should avoid putting in any fish that are very timid or shy, as they could get taken advantage of.
  • Feed your goldfish a combination of dry food, vegetables, and live or frozen foods. These fish need a good amount of protein in their daily diet.
  • Fin rot can quickly become a serious issue with these fish, especially if their tank is not kept clean.
  • Gradually lowering the temperature of your fish’s water is an effective way to encourage spawning if you wish to breed them.
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Hi! I'm Anna and I´m a certified cynologist (KAU, ACW). Expert, blue cross volunteer, owner of Chinese crested kennel "Salvador Dali" and breedless friend called Fenya. "I can't imagine my life without dogs and I totally support the idea #AdoptDontShop".