Ryukin Goldfish Care: Complete Guide for Beginners

Learn how to care for Ryukin Goldfish, a distinctive and attractive goldfish breed. From understanding its distinct profile to its tank requirements and potential health issues, this guide has you covered. It’s everything you need to know about Ryukin Goldfish care, neatly packaged and explained for beginners.

red ryukin goldfish

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Ryukin Goldfish Species Profile and Identification

The Ryukin Goldfish (琉金, Ryūkin) is a beautiful, hardy variety hailing from China. Appealing with a deep-bodied shape, it sports an unusual hump on the back just behind the head. This trait makes them easily identifiable.

  • Look: A pointed head, and a high dorsal fin is characteristic of Ryukin. Their caudal fin, often double the length of their bodies, ranges from being long-finned or short-finned and may have a triple or quadruple configuration.
  • Size: Adult Ryukins can range up to 8 inches (21 centimeters) with some growing as big as 10 inches in suitable environments.
  • Color: They come in a variety of colors including deep-red, red-and-white, white, silver, blue, black, orange, lavender grey, dusty iron, and a multicolor calico.
  • Names: Also known as the onaga (longtail), the nagasaki goldfish, they’re referred to as the Japanese ribbontail, the fringetail, the fantail or the veiltail in English literature.

You’ll find Ryukin Goldfish a striking addition to your aquarium. They bring along not only enchanting beauty but also an engaging history rooted deep in Asian cultures. Recognizing them by their distinguishing features helps you appreciate their uniqueness.

Ryukin Goldfish Supplies

To ensure the well-being of your Ryukin Goldfish, you’ll need to gather specific supplies. Select supplies are fundamental in creating an optimal habitat for them.

Firstly, an aquarium tank is a must-have. Remember that this variety grows up to 8 inches (21 centimeters), thus, ideally a 20 to 30-gallon (75-115 litres) tank would keep them comfortable. A 10-gallon (37.85 litres) tank could also work but may limit their growth and movement.

Secondly, a filter is key in maintaining clean water conditions. A filter aids in removing toxins, uneaten food, and fish waste, ensuring a healthier environment for your goldfish. Look for one that can handle the capacity of your tank.

Next, you will need a heater. Ryukin Goldfish thrive in temperatures ranging from 64°F to 72°F (17.8°C to 22.2°C). A reliable aquarium heater will maintain these temperature conditions consistently.

Additionally, an aquarium light is a beneficial accessory. Not only does it enhance the aesthetic view, but it also helps to regulate the fish’s sleep cycle and promote their natural behavior.

Here is a quick list of additional items you might need:

  • Substrate: Preferably a soft, dark-colored substrate. Ryukin Goldfish are bottom dwellers and like to root around in it.
  • Decorations: Hiding places such as plant pots, caves, or artificial plants.
  • Food: Ryukin Goldfish need a balanced diet of pellets, flakes, and occasionally live or frozen foods.

Water testing kits, a siphon for water changes, and a net for necessary fish handling should also be considered when shopping for your Ryukin Goldfish supplies. Each tool plays an important role in sustaining a comfortable and safe environment for these elegant creatures.

By preparing these supplies ahead of time, you’ll set the stage for a happy and healthy Ryukin Goldfish habitat. Their wellbeing greatly depends on the choices you make, so pick the best quality products you can afford.

Ryukin Goldfish Tank Setup

When setting up a tank for a Ryukin goldfish, size matters. A single Ryukin goldfish need a tank that can hold at least 10 gallons (38 liters). However, as Ryukins are active fish that enjoy swimming around, it’s recommended to provide a larger tank if possible.

  • A 20 to 30-gallon (76 to 114 liters) tank is ideal for these fish. This allows for a small group of Ryukins to cohabitate comfortably and explore their environment.

The type of substrate in your tank can also influence your fish’s health. Avoid sharp substrates that could harm your Ryukin. Soft sand or smooth pebbles are ideal as they allow the fish to forage without injury.

Ryukin goldfish are freshwater fish and are accustomed to slow-moving water. The tank should include a filter to keep the water clean but avoid overly strong currents that could stress your Ryukin.

  • When choosing a filter, opt for one that provides gentle water movement.

Lastly, don’t forget to decorate the tank! Ryukins enjoy various plants and hiding spots, but ensure that all ornaments are smooth to prevent any injuries. Include some aquatic plants and rocks for the goldfish to explore.

Setting up a tank for a Ryukin Goldfish might demand time and attention, but the reward is a happy, healthy fish. With this setup, your Ryukin goldfish will thrive and bring joy to your space.

Ryukin Goldfish Water Requirements

The Ryukin Goldfish’s water conditions are one of the aspects that contribute significantly to the well-being of your fish. These goldfish are hardy but do require certain water parameters to thrive. Understanding these conditions helps you create an environment that favors their growth and longevity.

calico ryukin goldfish

The water in the tank should ideally be between 64°F to 72°F (17.8°C to 22.2°C). Sustaining this temperature range gives your Ryukin Goldfish a comfortable habitat. Excessive heat or cold could impair the fish’s immune system and trigger health issues.

pH levels, signifying the acidity or alkalinity of the water, are pivotal for your fish’s health. The optimum range for Ryukin Goldfish is between 6.0 to 8.0, which is somewhat neutral. Using pH testing kits regularly will enable you to make necessary adjustments in time.

Finally, the hardness of the water is another crucial factor. Measured in dGH, a range of 5 to 19 dGH is considered ideal.

Ryukin Goldfish Diet and Feeding

Feeding your Ryukin goldfish properly is key to its overall health and longevity. These goldfish have a strong appetite and require a varied diet to thrive. They should be fed at least twice daily, but care must be taken to avoid overfeeding. Moreover, their meals should contain a mix of different nutrients to ensure balanced growth and development.

Here’s a basic outline of what a balanced Ryukin goldfish diet should look like:

  • Protein: Goldfish need protein for growth. Good protein sources include high-quality, specially-formulated goldfish flakes or pellets containing fishmeal and shrimp meal.
  • Vegetables: Ryukin goldfish are omnivores, so veggies should be part of their diet. Boiled and finely chopped peas, spinach, and zucchini are excellent choices.
  • Fruits: Small pieces of apple, pear, or orange can make for a delightful, vitamin-rich treat. Remember to remove any leftover fruit after a few hours to prevent it from fouling the tank water.
  • Live and Frozen Foods: Offering live or frozen foods like brine shrimp, daphnia, or bloodworms once or twice a week can help diversify their diet. This can also stimulate their natural hunting instincts.

Be aware that Ryukin goldfish have a tendency towards obesity due to their hearty appetite. Therefore, feed them moderate amounts, ensuring the food is consumed within two minutes of feeding time. If any uneaten food sinks to the bottom of the tank, consider it as a sign of overfeeding.

Remember that feeding practices can impact the water quality significantly. A clean tank is essential to the health of any fish, and overfeeding can quickly lead to water contamination. Therefore, responsible feeding is vital in maintaining the health and well-being of your Ryukin goldfish.

Ryukin Goldfish Care Schedule

Caring for your Ryukin goldfish should be structured around a daily, weekly, and monthly routine. Following this schedule can help ensure that your fish stays happy and healthy.

Daily routines:

  • Feeding: Feed your Ryukin goldfish high-quality fish pellets 2 times a day. Avoid overfeeding, a pinch of pellets is sufficient for one feeding session.
  • Water Quality Check: Ensure the water temperature is within the 64°F to 72°F range (around 18°C to 22°C). Check the tank for any irregularities like algae bloom or sudden water clarity changes.

Weekly routines:

  • Partial Water Change: Replace about 10-15% of the aquarium water, ideally once a week. This helps in maintaining balanced water chemistry.
  • Health Inspection: Observe your fish for any signs of stress, disease or injury. Look out for symptoms such as loss of color, reduced activity or strange swimming patterns.

Monthly routines:

  • Deep Cleaning: Once a month, a deeper cleaning of your aquarium is necessary. This includes scrubbing the tank walls, rinsing the filter, and vacuuming the substrate.
  • Review Equipment: Check if the aquarium heater, filter, light, and other equipment are functioning properly.

Remember, the key to maintaining a healthy Ryukin is consistent care and monitoring. Stick to the routines, stay vigilant and provide a loving environment for your fish pal. With a well-structured care regime, your Ryukin goldfish is sure to thrive.

Ryukin Goldfish Health Problems

Among the goldfish species, Ryukin goldfish are admired for their hardiness. But like all fish, they are prone to certain health problems.

Swim Bladder Disease is one main concern. The typical symptom is erratic swimming or flipping upside down due to a disorder in the buoyancy organ. Consider moderating the diet and avoid overfeeding to prevent this.

Fin Rot is another common problem. It’s characterized by the fraying or discoloration of the fins. Maintain clean tank conditions and consider antibiotics from qualified pet professionals if necessary.

Ryukins are also susceptible to Ich, a parasitic infection causing white spots on the body. Early treatment with suitable medications is essential.

Lastly, Dropsy is a deadly bacterial infection causing the fish’s body to bloat. Although not curable, maintaining optimal water conditions may prevent its occurrence.

  • Prevention is the best cure for these health problems.
  • Regular water changes, balanced diet, and stress mitigation can greatly enhance the health of your Ryukin goldfish.

Remember, early detection is key to your goldfish’s survival of health issues. Make a habit of observing your fish daily. If changes in behavior or physical appearance occur, consult with professionals promptly.

Ryukin Goldfish Tank Mates

When considering tank mates for your Ryukin Goldfish, it’s important to choose species that will coexist peacefully. Ryukins are docile and slow-moving, so avoid fast, aggressive species that may stress or harm your goldfish. Instead, consider the following well-suited tank mates:

  • Goldfish Varieties: Other goldfish breeds, like the Pearlscale or Fantail Goldfish, make great companions. They share similar temperaments, dietary needs, and water conditions.
  • Weather Loaches: These bottom-dwellers are non-aggressive and enjoy the same water temperature range as Ryukins. They can add some variety to your tank’s dynamics without posing a threat.
  • Bristlenose Plecos: While they are often kept alone, Plecos are generally peaceful and will coexist comfortably with Ryukins. Be sure to provide plenty of hiding spots and monitor their diet closely.

Remember to follow the rule of thumb for goldfish tanks: allow 20 gallons (75 liters) of water for the first Ryukin, and an additional 10 gallons (38 liters) for each additional fish. Overcrowding can lead to stress, disease, and poor water quality, so be mindful of the size of your tank versus the number of fish you plan to house.

While Ryukins are compatible with several species, the most optimal choice will always depend on individual factors such as the size of your tank, the temperament of your existing fish, and your capacity to maintain optimal water conditions.

Always observe your fish closely, particularly during the first few days of introducing new tank mates, to ensure a harmonious living environment for all.

Ryukin Goldfish Breeding

When it comes to breeding Ryukin goldfish, patience is key. You will need mature Ryukin fishes, approximately 1-2 years old. Look for signs of readiness, as males develop white spots on their gills, and females appear plumper.

  • Prepare a separate breeding tank with optimal water conditions. Aim for a pH level between 7.0 and 8.5. Keep water temperatures around 64°F to 72°F (17.8°C to 22.2°C).
  • Introduce the chosen pair to the breeding tank. Provide a rich diet to encourage spawning behavior. High-quality protein sources like brine shrimp are an excellent choice.
  • It’s important to note that these fishes are egg scatterers. Expect them to scatter their eggs on either live or artificial plants in the tank. Females may lay hundreds of eggs at once.
  • After the spawning process, remove the parent fish to prevent them from eating the eggs.
  • The eggs should hatch within about 4-6 days, depending on the temperature. Once the fry has consumed their yolk sac, start feeding them with infusoria or liquid fry food.

Breeding Ryukin goldfish requires careful observation and optimum conditions. With due diligence and patience, you may find yourself with a batch of sparkling new Ryukins to admire and care for. Remember, every fish has its own nature, patience is what brings out the breeder in you. Happy breeding!


Now that you have learnt how to care for Ryukin Goldfish, it’s time to put this knowledge into action. Remember, a healthy goldfish is a happy goldfish. We would love to hear about your experiences, so feel free to leave a comment below.

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