Fish Profile: Shubunkin Goldfish

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shubunkin goldfish profile

On the previous post, we have the most common goldfish. So, on this fish profile page, we will take a closer look at the Shubunkin Goldfish. This page will cover all you need to know about keeping the Red Brocade Goldfish.

The Shubunkin (red brocade), also known as the “Poor Mans Koi” or “Chu-wen-chin” in China is a type of single-tailed goldfish with calico colors which is a combination of orange, white, black, red, and blue markings. They have been developed from mutations in telescope eye goldfish (Demekins) back in 1900 in Japan.

They are good swimmers, relatively hardy and adaptable, so shubunkin goldfish is excellent for a novice fishkeeper.

They are a lot like the common and comet goldfish in appearance but distinguishes themselves by having orange, brown, red, and yellow colors combined with black spots. The colors usually extend to the finnage. This color pattern is what’s also called calico colors. Calico means there are at less three colors present.

The ideal shubunkins should have lots of blue with patches or yellow, gray, black, brown, red and orange. The more blue color it has, the more valuable it is.

A few variants of the shubunkins goldfish can be found:

  1. London shubunkins – is short (about 6 inches in length) and have a really short tail, usually around 25% of the body length.
  2. American shubunkins – are slimmer than the London Shubunkin and have a pointed and deeply forked tail with a longer finnage. Ideally, the tail should be at least as long as the body of the fish.
  3. Bristol shubunkins – are slim with a very large moderately forked tail and well-developed finnage. The tail is also rounded at the end and look like the letter B.

All three variants have the calico colors, but each has a different tail configuration.

The Shubunkin goldfish is a coldwater fish so the tank does not have to be heated. It will do well with a water temperature of 65° – 78°F, a pH between 6.0 and 8.0 and a dH of 5 -19.

Shubunkin Goldfish Profile

  • Origins: China and Japan
  • Water temperature: 65° – 78°F
  • Minimum tank size: 25 gallons
  • Hardiness: Easy
  • Food: Omnivore. In the wild, they feed on a wide range of food including plants, small crustaceans, insects, and detritus. In captivity, they will accept most aquarium food including pellets, flakes, and live prey such as worms.
Shubunkin Goldfish – Infographic

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shubunkin goldfish infographic

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