Owning a ... goldfish
Before buying any goldfish, remember that it is your responsibility to care for them for the rest of their lives, which can be for many years!
Before buying any fish, you must have your aquarium set up and ready - see the food and housing section.
The Comet: The most common variety, the Comet is a beautiful fish which comes in many colours - red, red and white, black, red and black, white and calico. The Comet has a single-forked tail and is a fast swimmer and aggressive feeder, so shouldn't be kept with slower goldfish since they will deprive them of food.
Ryukins: Also known as the Japanese Fantail or Veiltail. The Ryukin has long, flowing fins and tail, giving it a majestic appearance. Colours include red, red and white, red and black, calico and sometimes bronze.
The Telescope-Eye: These fish have bulging eye-tubes on the side of their heads, which can grow up to half an inch long. There are three main types of telescope-eyed fish - The Spheroid Eye, Oval Eye and Cone Shape Eye.
The Black Moor: This fish also has telescopic eyes. They begin as olive-coloured fish and darken with age to a deep black. There are two varieties of black moor - the broadtail (with more flowing, veil-like fins and no fork in the tail) and the fantail (with shorter fins).
Celestial-Eyes: These fish have a long, tapered body and no dorsal fin. Their protuding eyes are positioned so that they always appear to be looking towards the sky, hence the name. They can reach a length of up to nine inches, and in colour they range from red and orange tinges, to an orange and white combination.
From left to right: Black Moor, Ryukin, Comet and Telescope-Eye goldfish
Choosing a fish
Make sure that the fish is lively, not huddled at the bottom or floating at the top (!). It should be displaying its fins correctly (erect and straight, not flopped over) and it should have a well-shaped body. Diseased fish are often hiding in the corner with their fins drooped, and will make little attempt to avoid the net. Always choose the liveliest fish you can see. It is a good idea to put any new fish in a quarantine tank before introducing them to the main aquarium, to make sure that they are free from disease.
Where should I get my fish from?
Always always go to a specialist. They know what they are doing and can give you expert advice, not only at the time of purchase but throughout the fishes' lives. You can also be sure that the fish are healthy and kept in good conditions.