Shubunkin Goldfish: Wanted Poster, Species, Size and Age

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Shubunkin Goldfish: Wanted Poster, Species, Size and Age: pond

The Shubunkin enjoys great popularity, but is often not kept right. From the general profile, species, size and age to care, we reveal all important information about the care of the spotted goldfish species and give tips on the correct attitude of colorful and interesting fish in the pond and in the aquarium - at home and in the garden.


  • Species: belongs to the goldfish
  • Size: up to 30 cm, of which up to 50% may be accounted for by the fins
  • Color: two- to three-color with red to orange, mother-of-pearl to bluish and black spots
  • Life expectancy: Up to 20 years
  • Breeds: Breeding standards are London, Bristol, Japanese and American Shubunkin
  • Care: easier than koi carp, similar to ordinary goldfish
  • Attitude: aquarium or garden pond
  • Propagation: Sexual maturity in males from about two years, in females from about three years
  • Temperature: 3 to 28° C


As already mentioned in the profile, Shubunkin are differentiated into the following breeding forms:
  • London Shubunkin
  • Bristol Shubunkin
  • Japanese shubunkin
  • American Shubunkin
The differences are primarily in the color distribution but also in the body proportions. Where the American Shubunkin act somewhat stronger and stockier and more like veil tails remember than the remaining breeding forms.

Size and space requirements

Shubunkin goldfish

As with all other fish, the shubunkin is dependent on its environment for growth. But he is more frugal than the Koi carp. That's one of the reasons why the Shubunkin is so popular. It also manages in smaller ponds or aquariums with a volume of about 300 liters. If the water is filtered, up to five of the Shubunkin goldfish can be set to a volume of 1000 liters of water.
At first this seems little. It should be kept in mind, however, that each of the fish can reach a length of 30 centimeters and therefore needs a lot of space. However, the space required is still small compared to Kois. The Shubunkin also fits into smaller gardens and aquariums.


The Shubunkin can reach an age of up to 20 years. The size can be a clue in the age determination, but as mentioned also depends on the available space. As a guide, Shubunkin goldfish of up to seven centimeters in length are young fish less than two years old
Tip: It makes no sense to select the youngest possible fish. It is better to put strong specimens in your own pond. Although they may be older, they are generally more resilient.


Shubunkin in an aquarium? This is easy. However, the aquarium must be big enough for that. For a group of about five fish at least 300, better still 500 liters of water should be available. In addition, the following points are crucial:
  • Keep the water temperature within the acceptable range, ideally 15 to 25° C
  • Filter water
  • Create hiding places
  • Feed moderately
Tip: An aquarium of this size is indispensable if the garden pond is very shallow. Because then the Shubunkin have to be wintered outside the pond.


The mentioned 300 to 500 liters of water should Shubunkin have available, more is better. Because a larger and deeper pond offers the following advantages:
  • Water quality can be obtained more easily and with less effort
  • Due to the possible propagation, more space is needed anyway
  • Fish have more options for protection
The points sound logical and meaningful, but are often underestimated. So a small pond must be cleaned more often, incidental pollution rather disturb the balance and the fish are faster by enemies - such as cats or herons - in danger. Even overwintering in a small pond is more time consuming.


Shubunkin goldfish

As mentioned, male shubunkin are sexually mature from about two years of age. The females about a year later. So it is possible that the offspring will wait a bit longer. As a rule, however, the Shubunkin goldfish take over the propagation themselves and without further intervention from the outside.
But to make it that far, the conditions have to be right again. This includes:
  • Enough space
  • Filtered water
  • Feeding as needed
  • A large enough group of at least five shubunkin goldfish
  • Adapted protection


At a pond depth of at least 1.5 meters and a volume of at least 500 liters, the Shubunkin can easily overwinter in the garden pond. For safety, however, care should be taken that the water surface can not completely freeze.
To guarantee this is not difficult:

1. Use a polystyrene board. This can swim on the water

SecondPass a section of tubing or a piece of tubing through the Styrofoam plate

3. In case of imminent frost place plate on the water.

Gases can escape through pipes or hoses so that they do not accumulate in the water. If the pond is not sufficiently deep, Shubunkin goldfish should be moved to an aquarium and a frost-free location in the fall. The feeding can be reduced or completely omitted if they are below 8° C, because then they fall into a kind of winter starvation.


Herons, cats, invading foliage and algae - Shubunkin goldfish are threatened from multiple angles. But something can be done to protect them. It is possible:
  • To make the pond as large as possible, this offers more space for fast evasion
  • Use aquatic plants with large leaves to create hiding places
  • Do not lay pond directly under trees or deciduous shrubs
  • If necessary, stretch a net over the pond
The last point is controversial. In the net other animals can get caught and tangled, so that they eventually drown. An alternative is to make the pond edge impassable. This can be achieved, for example, with a shallow bank area and sharp stones.

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