Pearlscale Goldfish: Ultimate Guide (Care, Diet, Breeding & More)

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Written By Matt Stevens

Hi, I'm Matt! I've been obsessed with fishkeeping for over 15 years now and created this site to share my knowledge with others.

Pearlscale Goldfish is a strange-looking Fancy Goldfish breed recognized by its iconic, perfectly rounded body and prominent scales. They are one of the best species to have in a modern aquarium, with their fascinating appearance sure to capture anyone’s attention.

Whether you are just getting started with Pearlscale Goldfish variety or looking for a unique way to transform your aquarium, it’s important to understand all the basics from the onset.

This guide will keep you updated on the dos and don’ts of Pearlscale Goldfish care. It will cover all the essential elements, including the fish’s size, appearance, tank size, diet, tank mates, behavior, breeding, and much more.

Species Overview

Pearlscale Goldfish, Ping Pong Goldfish, or Golfball Goldfish is just as unique as it can get. It is a strange-looking Goldfish variety with a signature spherical body shape that’s not quite common with many freshwater species.

As with most Fancy Goldfish varieties, Pearlscale Fish were first developed in Japan and China as a captive-bred freshwater species. They are a relatively newer species in the fishkeeping community, only recently reaching the ranks of the most popular Goldfish varieties.

With beautiful color variations and luminescent scales, the little Pearlscale Goldfish of the Cyprinidae family is all you need to add a unique element of flair to your home aquarium regardless of your experience level.

Lifespan5-10 Years
Care LevelModerate
Behavior & TemperamentPeaceful
CompatibilityPeaceful community fish
Food and DietOmnivores
Size6-8 Inches
Tank SetupFreshwater with some plants
Tank Size (Minimum)20 Gallons


The average lifespan of Pearlscale Goldfish is 5-10 years. But these fish can live for up to 15 years in captivity.

While this is quite rare in confined settings, it’s still possible if you maintain stable conditions inside the fish’s habitat. Pearlscale Goldfish’s worst enemies are endless health issues that can shorten their lifespan even when the tank size is the right type.


They say if you don’t see a perfectly rounded belly, it’s probably not a Pearlscale Goldfish. And we couldn’t agree more.

Usually, the well-rounded belly is the first thing aquarists notice in Pearlscale Goldfish, together with the raised, luminescent scales.

The nacreous scales are beautifully arranged in neat rows, with calcium carbonate playing a key role in creating the spotless appearance many aquarists can’t seem to get enough of. The name itself originates from the reflective appearance that has been compared to the actual pearls.

Another characteristic feature of Pearlscale Goldfish is their neat, free-flowing fins. Usually, Pearlscale Goldfish have a single dorsal fin and paired tail, pectoral, and anal fins.

The tailfin alone exemplifies natural beauty and is perfectly split into four lobes that give the fish a fascinating appearance inside the tank.

Pearlscale varieties are classified by appearance, with Crowned Pearlscale as the most popular group. These fish have an elongated head growth, called the wen, similar to a few Goldfish varieties such as the Orandas.

Regarding the color variations, Pearlscale Fish are available in several forms. Depending on your taste and personal choice, you can go with the orange variety, white Pearlscales, blue, red, or black types.

Also, chocolate brown Pearlscales and other unique varieties such as bi-colored and calico Pearlscales are available in the aquarium community.


A full-grown Pearlscale Goldfish will measure around 6-8 inches in captivity. Under rare circumstances, your Pearlscale Goldfish will reach up to 10 inches in the home aquarium. The lesser-known secret about keeping healthy freshwater fish in captivity lies with the actual stank conditions.

And for Pearlscale Goldfish, it’s all about maintaining the right temperature, a balanced diet, and ample swimming space. Then, it won’t be surprising to see these fish exceed the standard size in a home aquarium.

Pearlscale Goldfish Care

Caring for your Pearlscale Goldfish should be a memorable experience.

Even as a beginner, you should be ready for a thrilling adventure once you’ve mastered what’s involved in Pearlscale Goldfish care.

Generally, these are cold-water species that do well in different conditions. When it comes to caring for these fish at home, you should keep an open mind to ensure you gather as much information as you can to help you create the picture-perfect habitat they so badly need.

For a start, here’s what Pearlscale Goldfish care is all about;

Tank Size

As expected, Pearlscale Goldfish are not among the active swimmers in the freshwater fish community. Usually, this is attributed to their unique body configuration. But, it doesn’t mean your fish will need a small tank for optimal growth.

For a start, the minimum tank size for Pearlscale Goldfish should have a 20-gallon capacity. But just like any other fish, a larger space often gives the best results. And there’s no harm in going with a 30-gallon capacity or even more if you have enough resources.

Remember, we are talking about the ideal tank size for just a single fish. If you want to include a new tank mate, be sure to add a further 10 gallons to give every fish enough room for optimal growth.

In some cases, aquarists will want to keep Pearlscale Goldfish in backyard ponds, where they easily thrive with the right community and ample swimming space.

Water Parameters

You can’t be flexible with the tank water conditions if you keep Pearlscale Fish at home. And this is because these fish no longer exist in their natural habitats.

To have the best chance of satisfying their tank water requirements, you can tailor everything to suit popular Fancy Goldfish varieties like the Orandas.

By this, we mean cold, slow-moving waters and enough vegetation for security. Also, Pearlscale Goldfish do not tolerate sudden changes in tank water conditions, even though they thrive in neutral pH.

Here are our guidelines for setting up the fish’s ideal habitat;

  • Water Temperature: 65-80
  • Water Hardness: 4-20 dKH
  • pH Levels: 6.5-7.5

Remember, slight changes in water conditions can spike stress levels inside the fish’s habitat. And even though Pearlscale Goldfish are a hardy species, it’s important to maintain stable conditions by testing the water status frequently. This is doubtless the perfect time to purchase a suitable aquarium testing kit.

What to Put in Their Tank?

Now, this is exciting. Pearlscales love a simple environment with enough decorations. And it won’t matter the kind of decorations you want to introduce to the habitat, as long as your fish are happy, active, and secure.

The general idea should be to recreate the exact conditions in a natural pond. And for a start, you should introduce driftwood, plants, and enough rocks as part of the tank décor. Hornwort, anubias, java moss, and anacharis are just enough to do the trick.

In terms of substrate selection, Pearlscale Goldfish will do well with smooth gravel, with no chance of inflicting wounds on the fish’s body.

With their poor vision, the easiest way to increase Pearlscales’ longevity in a home aquarium is to introduce the right tank elements. You will want to avoid sharp objects and other rough surfaces when setting up the tank.

Common Diseases

Pearlscale Goldfish won’t be safe from the common ailments within the aquarium community like Ich, fin rot, and swim bladder.

Fin rot, in particular, is a persistent infection in the Pearlscale Goldfish community and may have a fatal outcome without a clear solution. When fin rot strikes, the fish’s beautiful fins will begin to flake off and fall from the neat rows.

On the other hand, swim bladder disease results from a bacterial infection or constipation. In some cases, a physical deformity is its only cause.

This condition presents with buoyancy as the internal organs are adversely affected, and in the worst possible cases, Pearlscales will die from increased stress levels.

Finally, Ich will have a better prognosis with timely intervention. This parasitic infection will create obvious pots on the fish’s body and gills and may be fatal without proper treatment.

Of course, not all conditions affecting Pearlscale Goldfish must be catastrophic. In fact, you can play a crucial role in keeping a healthy community by adopting a few helpful strategies just in time.

These include changing 25% of the tank water volume every week, maintaining stable tank water conditions at all times, and monitoring the fish’s eating habits in captivity.

What Do Pearlscale Goldfish Eat?

Like most freshwater fish, Pearlscale Goldfish are omnivorous species and feed on meat, snacks, and high-quality plant matter. You can feed them on pellets and flakes, and they will be delighted with the dietary plan. Similarly, these fish will enjoy occasional treats of live or freeze-dried foods.

On the other hand, dry foods will expose your fish to digestive issues such as swim bladder disease. For that reason, be sure to soak such food to prevent possible complications within the community.

Also, when introducing your fish to a protein-rich diet, it’s important to stick to a 30% percent quantity at best. This will prevent the common conditions associated with excess protein.

In conclusion, vegetables are an integral part of a Pearlscale’s standard diet to prevent constipation and other digestive issues. Here, we recommend peas, lettuce, and cucumbers.

Behavior & Temperament

Pearlscale Goldfish are docile freshwater fish that only want to feel comfortable inside the aquarium.

They are more secure with natural plants, and even their low swimming efficiency won’t stop them from exploring the habitat when they can.

If you don’t judge them harshly, you will realize Pearlscale Goldfish are just as active as any other Fancy Goldfish variety, only that they are slower than most other species.

Pearlscale Goldfish Tank Mates

Pearlscale Goldfish are excellent companions in a community tank and can live peacefully with other docile species exhibiting the same characteristics.

With their peaceful demeanor, you should never keep Pearlscales together with aggressive or semi-aggressive fish that would trouble your little Goldfish.

Furthermore, it’s important to avoid fast-moving fish or larger species that may want to prey on your beautiful Pearlscales.

Here’s the list of some of the best tank mates to introduce to a Pearlscale Goldfish’s habitat;

So, can you keep Pearlscale Goldfish together with your snails? Of course, yes!

Not all invertebrates will be perfect companions for Pearlscale Goldfish. But, Mystery snails and nerites might just fit the list of the most compatible tank mates for the beautiful Pearlscale Goldfish.


Pearlscale Goldfish are easy to breed in captivity. And, the process usually begins with a new breeding tank to accommodate the adult fish. This tank should have enough breeding elements, with spawning mops and plants as the center of attention.

At the start, Pearlscale Goldfish will need a lower temperature of about 60°F. But, the actual breeding won’t occur until the temperature is at the standard levels.

The females will lay up to 1000 eggs that will hatch in as little as six days. You can feed the baby fish on infusoria and powdered food for the first couple of weeks before switching them to brine shrimps. Also, the juvenile fish won’t show the iconic round belly or the pearly scales until at least eight months.

Final Thoughts

Pearlscale Goldfish are an excellent species to have as pet buddies. But, they are even more exciting to have as part of a peaceful community. If it’s not their distinct appearance, their simple care requirements will leave you longing for their inclusion in your home aquarium.

Generally, these are low-maintenance species that will be part of a thriving community as long as you pay attention to the tank water conditions.

Always consider their distinct anatomy when setting up the aquarium because that’s where many problems begin. Aside from that, you should have an alluring aquarium with the beautiful Pearlscales as the center of attraction.