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How to Care for Your Shubunkin Goldfish

Varieties, Lifespan & More

By Amir HossainPublished 3 months ago 9 min read
Photo by Antoine Peltier on Unsplash

Shubunkin Goldfish are some of the most popular aquarium fish, with their bright colors and exciting patterns. But caring for these gorgeous creatures can be challenging if you need to know what you're doing.

This blog post will look in-depth at Shubunkin Goldfish care: from varieties to lifespan and beyond. We'll also cover creating the right environment, feeding habits, common health issues, and steps for successful breeding. By the end of this post, you'll have all the information you need to provide your Shubunkin Goldfish with a happy and healthy home.

Basics of Shubunkin Goldfish

These fish are believed to have originated in Japan in the early 1900s, where they were created by selectively breeding various types of goldfish together. The goal was to create a new kind of goldfish with a unique and striking appearance, and the result was the Shubunkin. The name "Shubunkin" comes from the Japanese word "shubun," which means "autumnal equinox," and refers to the fish's colorful and diverse appearance, which is said to resemble the changing colors of the autumn leaves. Today, Shubunkin goldfish are famous worldwide and can be found in many backyard ponds and aquariums.

Shubunkin goldfish are a popular and colorful freshwater fish species that can be a great addition to your aquarium. They are similar in appearance to the common goldfish but have a distinct calico-like coloring that sets them apart. Shubunkin goldfish have a blue-gray base color with orange, yellow, and white patches, creating a beautiful and unique pattern. They are known for their hardiness and can adapt well to various water conditions, making them an excellent choice for beginner fish keepers. Shubunkin goldfish can grow up to 12 inches in length, so it is crucial to provide them with adequate space and a suitable environment to thrive. Overall, Shubunkin goldfish are a delightful and rewarding addition to any aquarium.

Lifespan of Shubunkin Goldfish

The average lifespan for a shubunkin is around 10-15 years if given proper care and nutrition. However, some may live up to 20 years or longer depending on the environment they're kept in and any potential health issues they may develop along the way.

Shubunkin Goldfish Care

Shubunkins need plenty of room to swim freely in an aquarium or pond setting with sound filtration systems to keep their water clean, oxygenated, and stable temperatures between 65-75°F (18-24°C). They also require a varied diet of high-quality flakes, pellets, frozen foods like bloodworms or brine shrimp, and occasional fresh vegetables like lettuce or cucumber slices.


Creating the right environment for your Shubunkin Goldfish is essential to their health and well-being. First and foremost, it is crucial to maintain high water quality to keep them healthy and happy. The specific parameters will depend on the type of tank you are using, but a temperature range between 68-72°F with a pH level of 6.5 - 7.5 should always be maintained. It is also essential to regularly test the water for ammonia levels and other pollutants that may have accumulated over time from food or fish waste. These can quickly lead to diseases if not addressed promptly.

Tank Size

The size of your tank depends on how many fish you plan on having in it. Still, generally speaking, most experts recommend that each fish have at least 20 gallons of space available to promote proper growth and development as they age and become more prominent. Make sure to keep the tank clean, too; this will increase the risk of disease spreading amongst your fish population due to poor water quality conditions caused by too much waste accumulating too quickly in the tank's ecosystem.

Filtration System

A filtration system is an absolute must when caring for any freshwater aquarium fish, especially goldfish like shubunkins which tend to produce more waste than other smaller species due to their size and eating habits (they're very active feeders!). An effective filtration system is crucial in maintaining a healthy aquatic environment for your fish. It helps to prevent the accumulation of harmful toxins, such as ammonia, which could cause significant harm or even death to your fish population if left unattended for extended periods. Regular cleaning and maintenance of the filter and the aquarium, including gravel vacuuming, are necessary to ensure the filtration system functions optimally. By regularly performing these tasks, you can help to prevent the buildup of dangerous toxins and promote the well-being of your aquatic pets.


Shubunkin goldfish are omnivores and should receive a balanced diet to maintain proper health. A good rule of thumb is to feed various foods that contain animal- and plant-based proteins. The primary source of nutrition for your Shubunkin goldfish should be commercial fish food, which can come in the form of flakes or pellets. Occasional treats such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, tubifex worms, or other frozen foods can supplement their diets. Vegetables, like zucchini slices or blanched spinach, can also provide your fish with essential nutrients and fiber. Maintaining a balanced diet for your Shubunkin goldfish is important by incorporating various food sources to promote optimal health and well-being.

Food Amount

When feeding your Shubunkin goldfish, it's important not to overfeed them. This can cause water quality issues in their tank due to excess waste produced by uneaten food particles left in the water. You should only feed your fish what they can eat in two minutes or less per mealtime; any more than this will result in uneaten food, which can cloud the water and lead to health issues among your fish population if left unchecked over time.

Frequency of Feeding

The feeding frequency of Shubunkin goldfish should vary according to their age. Younger fish require multiple feedings throughout the day, while adults can be fed once or twice a day, depending on their size and activity level. Typically, one feeding in the morning and one in the evening is adequate for adult Shubunkin goldfish. It's essential to monitor the amount of food given to avoid overfeeding, which can lead to health and water quality problems. By feeding your Shubunkin goldfish the appropriate amount and frequency, you can ensure they receive the proper nutrition without compromising their health. During the breeding season, you may increase the amount given but limit it according to how much they consume during each mealtime to not create excess waste buildup from uneaten food particles left behind in the tank environment between feedings.

Common Health Issues

Shubunkin goldfish are generally hardy fish, but they can still be affected by common diseases and illnesses, such as Ich, bacterial infections, constipation, swim bladder disease, and more. Recognizing the signs of common health problems that can impact your Shubunkin goldfish is crucial in maintaining their well-being and happiness. Awareness of these signs is essential in identifying potential health issues early, allowing for prompt and appropriate treatment. By staying vigilant and familiarizing yourself with common health concerns, you can take proactive measures to keep your fish healthy and thriving.

Common symptoms include:

  • Lethargy or a lack of activity.
  • Cloudy eyes.
  • Raised scales or lumps on the body.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Red streaks near fins or mouth.
  • White spots on gills or skin.
  • Bulging eyes.

If you notice any of these symptoms in your Shubunkin goldfish, contact a qualified veterinarian immediately for treatment options.

Treatment of Common Health Issues

Suppose you have identified any signs of illness in your Shubunkin goldfish. In that case, there are several treatments you can use to help them recover quickly and get back to their normal activities again. Treatments vary depending on the particular health issue, so it is important to consult a qualified vet who can recommend an appropriate course of action for your fish's specific needs.

In general terms, however, some essential treatments may include raising water temperature (if dealing with parasites), performing partial water changes (for bacteria-related issues), or adding aquarium salt baths (to combat Swim Bladder Disease). Ensure that the water quality remains stable throughout treatment, as this will significantly reduce your fish's stress levels, which can exacerbate many illnesses further down the line.

Breeding Your Shubunkin Goldfish

Breeding Shubunkin Goldfish is relatively straightforward and can be an enjoyable experience for novice and experienced aquarists alike. To ensure the successful breeding of your fish, you must provide the correct environment and adhere to the following requirements:

- A healthy, mature male and female pair of Shubunkin goldfish at least one year old.

- A tank or container with a capacity of 10 gallons or more equipped with a filter to maintain clean water conditions. The water should have a temperature between 68°F (20°C) and 75°F (24°C).

- An adequate supply of high-quality live food such as brine shrimp or daphnia to encourage mating behavior. You may also feed supplementary foods such as spirulina flakes or freeze-dried bloodworms during the spawning season.

Steps for Breeding Shubunkin Goldfish

Once you have provided the necessary requirements for successful breeding, you can follow these steps to help ensure success:

1) Begin by conditioning your pair of fish by providing them with high-quality live foods before initiating spawning activities; this will help increase their chances of producing viable eggs.

2) During the spawning season, lower the water level in your tank to about 4 inches deep; this mimics their natural habitat and helps stimulate mating behavior.

3) Place some floating plants in the tank to cover the female when she lays her eggs; Java moss works well for this purpose.

4) After spawning, it is crucial to promptly remove both parent fish from the tank to prevent them from consuming the eggs. Once the egg-laying process is completed, it is recommended to return the parents to the main aquarium to avoid any possible aggression towards each other. At the same time, they recover from their spawning experience.

5) After a waiting period of about five days, monitor the eggs daily until they hatch. Once the baby fry emerge, it is recommended to feed them small quantities of crushed flake food or freshly hatched brine shrimp nauplii twice a day until they grow large enough to consume standard-sized pellets or flakes with ease, which usually takes approximately four weeks.


In conclusion, caring for your Shubunkin goldfish is a rewarding experience requiring effort and attention to detail. These beautiful fish come in various colors and patterns and can live up to 20 years with proper care. To ensure a long and healthy life for your Shubunkin goldfish, providing them with a spacious tank, a balanced diet, and a clean and well-maintained environment is essential. Regular water changes, proper filtration, and monitoring of water parameters are also necessary to keep your fish happy and healthy. By following these tips and providing your Shubunkin goldfish with the care they need, you can enjoy their beauty and companionship for many years. Now that you know more about caring for your Shubunkin Goldfish, why not try them?

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About the Creator

Amir Hossain

I blog on everything and anything— hoping my blogs will make your days a bit happier!

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