Aquarium Polls

First Poll

What is your favorite brand of goldfish food?

TetraFin / Tetra
Other Brand

Current Results

Second Poll

What is your favorite type of goldfish?

Bubble Eye
Black Moor

Current Results

Home arrow Articles arrow Goldfish Types arrow Shubunkin Goldfish

Shubunkin Goldfish

shubunkin goldfish

Quick Statistics - Shubunkin Goldfish
Temperament: Community
Family: Cyprinidae
Native To: Asia and Japan
Diet: live food and commerical food such as flakes and pellets
Adult Size: Up to 10" long
Temperature: 65° - 78°F
Care Level: Easy to care for
Scientific Name: Carassius auratus
Lifespan: usually more than 15 years
Environment: Freshwater

The country of origin for this variety of goldfish is Japan. The shubunkin has a physical appearance that is very similar to that of the common goldfish. They have bodies that are streamlined with well-developed even fins.The shubunkin was developed from variants of the telescope goldfish or Demekins.

Shunkins are sometimes called calico goldfish, because they have nacreous scales, which is a mixture of transparent and metallic scales that have a somewhat pearly appearance. The overlapping patches of black, grey, blue, brown, purple, red, and white, including dark speckles, are seen throughout the shubunkin's body extending also to finnage as well. Shubunkins that have blue colors are considered more valuable.

Different variants of the shubunkins are the American shubunkins, London shubunkins, and Bristol shubunkins. The London shubunkin was developed around the 1920s, almost the same period the American shubunkin was developed. The Bristol shubunkin came about as a result of crossbreeding the American and London shubunkin.



a cute shubunkin goldfish




a shubunkin goldfish


Comet Goldfish < Prev Next > Fantail Goldfish

There are 24 comments
Posted by sharon jones – wales united kingdom

Hi I'm doing a pond first time lining it or putting the plastic mould in ? I have a shubumkin inside in tank...can I put it out in pond when done and would 2" be deep enough ...thank you

Posted by Laura – Maryland

I have a large pond with about 10 goldfish and many mosquito fish. 3 of them are Shubunkins and I just love them. The colors are so pretty on them. My largest fish is a Shubunkin actually. It's probably 7 inches. Maybe more because of the tail. My pond freezes solid in the winter but my fish have always all survived. I have a 3 ft section for them and I leave the pump running all winter and float basketballs in it to keep some air openings for gases to escape. They really are wonderful fish. :-)

Posted by Crystal – IL

I have a common goldfish and was wondering if I could add a Shubunkin, Comet, Fantail, Veiltail, and Ryunkin Goldfish. Is this a bad mix?

Reply to Crystal
Posted by fantailer

Its fine if you make sure the fantails, veiltails and ryunkins get some food.

Posted by spadge – Glasgow, Scotland

i have an eight year old goldfish, i think possible shubunkin, but not sure as he has the body and shape but , an orange /gold colourwith black stripes in his tail. problem is , a bumpy tumouris growth on the side of his head@ approx 1 inch, he does slice bits of , using the glass supports on his 150ltr tank, causin a slight bleeding , apart from that he's okay.. eats , defecates, swims etc..any ideas??

Reply to spadge
Posted by debra burton – bideford

my goldfish had the same thing i bought finrot controll from pet shop and added that it was gone in two days

Posted by renuka

i was gift by two fishes on my birthday but not sure which is it..i am guessing its shubunkin calico cos itz small orange colour with black spots on it, the tail also has spots. kindly help!..i looked up on net and the most close it was to a picture of calico, but then smwhere it says that calico are any breed that has such spots on it..i am a littli confused is it calico or shubunkin or shubunkin calico..i need to knw the breed for me take gud care of my fishes.

Reply to renuka
Posted by nik – SC

"calico" is a COLORING, referring to a mottling of red, white and black... any fish can be "calico" just like there are "red and white" Orandas, Ryukins, Comets, hiburins, whatever...

shabunkins are pretty easy to care for-- really there's not a whole lot of difference in the care for different breeds of goldfish at all-- do know, though, that shabunkins are among the most aggressive of the flat-bodied goldfish ("fancy" goldfish, like ryukins, fantails, and orandas, are even more mild-mannered) so if you mix shabunkins with other goldfish, it's important to be sure that the other fish get enough food. :) Shabunkins, by the way, are DELIGHTFUL pets! Enjoy!

Posted by Kevin Robinson – Glens Falls,N.Y.

I've had Shubunkins in my water-lily pond for about 7 or 8 years now,they come inside in the Winter to a 25 gallon aquarium and I've never had any problems raising them.In fact,for the last 3 or 4 years when I drain the pond in the Fall I find baby Shubunkins that quickly grow and join the adults in the Spring when they go back to the pond.Many local garden centers that carry water-garden items will have Shubunkins for sale,they are very common here in upstate N.Y.

Posted by Jane Young

We have some really lovely shubunkins in the pond that grew as youngsters in the tank. It was put outside into the pond and has gone pearly white when it had been blue, black, white. It eats very well and has grown a lot too. It shares the pond with koi and goldfish. Any thoughts or has anyone else experienced the same thing?

Reply to Jane Young
Posted by Zoe

They shed their scales and grow new ones every so often, so thats probably what it is, growing new coloured scales every time to adapt to its environment. I could be wrong though!!

Reply to Jane Young
Posted by chad – miami

thats great sounds prety

Posted by cabe – kansas

Where can i most likely get a Shubumkin goldfish in Overland Park, Kansas???

Posted by cabe – Kansas

I love goldfish and is going to get this kind. I've already got the tank!

Posted by Sally – Ohio

I found all of my Blue"s at pet stores --after seeing the first one with black & orange & white markings and a Yellow face It turned a Beautiful deep blue calico as it got older .
Bought two more calico with yellow faces and they turned almost black & white & blue with very little orange ! What an amazing fish this on is --the other is Powder blue very little orange - white
I bought 4 more !! Same thing They turned BLUE --could it be the yellow face ??? they were white /Black /Orange when small and the white turned blue

Posted by Mustafa – Turkiye

I love this kind of gold fish because the shubunkins have very attractive colors and they are gregarious and also reflect to the music sounds. I ve two of them and they re like my friend in my room and if you have one, you could feed it with your hands like me ;)

Posted by Michael – Englewood,Florida

Believe it or not, I bought a beautiful Shubunkin at our local Wal-Mart yesterday!

Reply to Michael
Posted by Jim – Gibsonia Pa

My daughter purchased our shubunkin at wal-mart also three ago. 3 of them, we have i think 1 male and 2 female. Beautiful colores and the B shape tail fin. This summer they had around 20 babies. U should see the corlores in them. We leave them in the pond all year keeping the pump on all year also. They have grown to about 6" with another 3" of tail fin

Posted by kathy d – new york


Posted by Omar Rodriguez – Venezuela.

Hello everybody,
The shubunkin fish is so beautiful. My 2400 gallon pond leaks after being constructed. I plan on getting shubunkins for it one day. One inch of fish per Cubic Foot of water. Wish me good luck!
Bye bye.

Posted by asorvia – Russia

answer to the pH question- goldfish like wather pH to be around a perfect 7. they can tolerate a fairly wide range, but they won't do well if you replace their water with bleach, obviously. the four tanks i have (all goldfish of the fantail variety) are mostly averaging around 7.6 to 7.8, and when one of the fish got attacked by scale shedding bacteria, i had to use an acidic medication that lowered the pH into the acid range. the tank never got below 6.2, but the afflicted fish and his tank mates were unaffected by the shift.
When in doubt-keep the pH at 7.0

Posted by Fresh Water Fishes

The shubunkin goldfish is awesome. I have been looking for one for quite some time. They seem to be rare, because none of the stores around my place have any. I'd be tempted to order online...but that's cruel IMO.

Posted by niteowl – Alaska

What is the typical PH level required for shubunkins?

Reply to niteowl
Posted by Ron – North Carolina, Usa

I'd say 7.6 - 7.8 . Goldfish can tolerate a wide range of pH . What you don't want is for the pH level to bounce up and down like a yo-yo, which will severely stress your goldfish. A fish that is stressed will have a compromised immune system , and this can cause the fish to become vulnerable to bacterial infections and a lot of other problems. The most important thing is to maintain a stable pH.