Ryukin 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.

Ryukin Goldfish are one of the countless Fancy Goldfish varieties with a likable personality and unique appearance.

They’ve become a popular species among fish lovers, with their straightforward care requirements, making their presence in modern aquariums to be more than just a way to complete the fish population.

But when you think about their specific needs in captivity, you will want detailed information about Ryukin Goldfish care, covering all the critical aspects of healthy living.

This guide covers crucial details about Ryukin Goldfish care. We discuss what you should know to maintain a healthy community, starting with Ryuksin’s brief history, average lifespan, size, tank size, tank mates, behavior, breeding, and much more.

Species Overview

Ryukin Goldfish is a Fancy Goldfish type believed to have originated from China and Japan. These fish have a long-standing history in the ancient Asian culture, with their presence in early literary works effectively confirming that they’ve been captive-bred for the longest time.

But it turns out Ryukin Goldfish is not just a popular figure in the Asian heritage. This species has slowly but steadily risen to the ranks of the highly sought-after Goldfish varieties in the aquarium community.

The little Ryukin species of the Cyprinidae family can be a joy to watch in home aquariums. Its hardiness and adaptability make it a popular choice among freshwater fish lovers.

ColorRed, white, tri-color, calico, chocolate
Lifespan10-15 Years
Care LevelEasy
Behavior & TemperamentPeaceful
CompatibilityPeaceful community, dual finfish species
Food and DietOmnivores
Size6-10 Inches
Tank SetupFreshwater aquariums or ponds
Tank Size (Minimum)10 Gallons


Ryukin Goldfish are resilient species that can withstand different conditions inside the aquarium.

But as you would expect with any freshwater fish species, Ryukin’s average lifespan in a confined setup will depend on the actual environmental conditions.

If you maintain impeccable conditions within their habitat, these fish will be at the highest end of the growth spectrum, living up to 20 years in captivity. But on average, you can expect a solid lifespan of 10-15 years in a standard environment.


Ryukin Goldfish have a whimsical look if that’s what you choose to call them. They are part of the ever captivating Fancy Goldfish species and will amaze you with an ever glowing appearance.

Their distinct profile starts with an egg-shaped body and well-rounded bellies. Furthermore, they have a captivating dorsal hump that gives them a special appearance when swimming.

The fish’s pointed shape is easily noticeable during swimming, thanks to the well-connected body parts.

What’s more, Ryukin’s double finned configuration provides an aesthetically appealing look all day long. So, instead of the ordinary caudal fin, you will notice a well-split tail fin with up to four lobes.

Be keen on the fin configuration if you want to keep Ryukin Goldfish at home. Some fish are long-finned species, popular for their free-flowing paired caudal fins, while the rest are short-finned varieties with unique color patterns.

And in terms of color variations, you will have a wide array of options to choose from, including the red Ryukins, white varieties, and calico species. You can also find the chocolate-colored species and the beautiful tri-colored varieties that will exhibit distinct white, black, or orange shades.


A typical Ryukin Goldfish will grow up to 6-8 inches in maturity. Of course, other species can be longer than this, but the general belief is that the average size will depend on the diet, tank water conditions, and the nature of the habitat.

If you keep them in a backyard pond, your Ryukin Goldfish will easily stretch to up to 10 inches in full maturity.

Before you purchase them from the local stores, it’s important to have everything in place because Ryukin Goldfish enjoy a relatively faster growth rate. So, it won’t be long before they outgrow their habitat if you keep them in a small tank.

Ryukin Goldfish Care

Ryukin Goldfish are an outstanding Goldfish variety with simple care requirements. While everything will be tied to the aquarium status, these fish can withstand slight variations in tank conditions, albeit in the short term.

They need fully cycled water and properly maintained tank conditions, as we will explain in the forthcoming paragraphs;

Tank Size

The standard tank size should suit the fish’s average length in captivity. The most befitting habitat should have at least a 10-gallon capacity.

But for a fish that enjoys a steady growth rate within a peaceful community, restricting Ryukin Goldfish to such a small tank will be detrimental to them in the long run.

That’s why we recommend an average tank size of 20-30 gallons to keep a healthy Ryukin Goldfish community. Having enough swimming space will help you keep multiple species in the same space without worrying about overcrowding or common freshwater diseases. 

Water Parameters

You may assume that just like most freshwater fish, Ryukin Goldfish will thrive in warm waters with the standard tropical environments. But that’s never the case with these little buddies.

Ryukin Goldfish love cold waters with slightly lower temperatures. And there could be no better time to invest in an aquarium thermometer.

In summary, here’s what’s involved in setting up an ideal habitat for Ryukin Goldfish;

  • Water Temperature: 64-72 degrees
  • Water Hardness: 5-19 dGH
  • pH Levels: 6.0-8.0

You can remain flexible with the water temperature but be sure it doesn’t drop below 64°F.

Plus, Ryukin Goldfish require proper aeration, so this could be the right time to purchase a high-quality air bladder to be sure your fish gets enough oxygen at all times.

What to Put in Their Tank?

Ryukin Goldfish will be happy in any environment if they have enough decorations and suitable tank water conditions.

You can flex your creative muscles when setting up the habitat, but don’t go overboard. For a start, you can use moderately-sized gravel at the bottom of the tank as the right substrate. Choosing the right texture will be important to prevent physical injuries, but you can remain flexible with color variations.

Next, work on the possible hiding spots. Artificial plants will be useful at this point to help you spice up the fish’s habitat while creating enough hiding spots.

How about live plants? You could be wondering. Well, maybe yes. Maybe no. But in general, natural plants are never a good fit for Ryukin Goldfish because of the fish’s playful nature in front of vegetation.

Ryukin Goldfish tend to dig up natural plants quite often and may damage the tank decorations in the process. Not to mention the high chances of suffering from self-inflicted injuries from such games. That’s why artificial and silk plants are the best options as part of the fish’s habitat.

And by the way, Ryukin Goldfish are a delicate species, which should guide you in selecting the right decorative elements. When setting up the aquarium, an important rule will be to avoid sharp objects or rough surfaces that could physically harm your little Goldfish.

So, even when going with the artificial plants, it’s important to evaluate the tank components to remove any dangerous elements that could hurt your Ryukin Goldfish.

For additional tank equipment, you can invest in an air pump or water heater, depending on the actual climatic conditions within your location.

In some cases, investing in additional aeration equipment is unnecessary once you’ve installed a suitable air pump or bladder.

But all in all, the selected filter should be effective enough to clean the entire tank without leaving any traces of harmful waste and other contaminants such as ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites.

Also, it’s important to have a standard routine for cycling and changing at least 25% of the tank water every week because Ryukin Goldfish can easily sour the tank water with enormous waste production.

Common Diseases

Dropsy and the swim bladder disease are common in the Ryukin Goldfish community. And this is usually attributed to the fish’s unique anatomy.

Unlike many hardy species, Ryukin Goldfish have a compromised digestive system, and constipation will be a common trend within the community.

If these fish acquire the swim bladder disease, buoyancy will be one of the initial symptoms, making it extremely difficult for Ryukin to swim comfortably or even balance their bodies in the water.

Eventually, they can die without timely intervention. The good news is, just like many conditions, you can manage the swim bladder disease using the right medications and natural remedies. But when in doubt, seek an expert’s advice right away.

What’s more, Ryukin Goldfish will be susceptible to other common ailments such as Ich and a range of bacterial and fungal infections within the aquarium community.

However, almost all the conditions are associated with poor water quality and tank water conditions. Often, the best strategy to combat such diseases is to improve the water quality and ensure your fish have a pristine environment for healthy living.

Also, keep an eye on the shifting water parameters and the fish’s diet, which could negatively affect the entire community in the long run.

And before we forget, ensure you isolate the already infected fish before turning to over-the-counter medications for complete healing.

What Do Ryukin Goldfish Eat?

Ryukin Goldfish are omnivores. So, their standard diet will comprise dry flakes and pellets.

Still, you can maintain a balanced diet by introducing your fish to live or frozen foods like brine shrimps, tubifex worms, daphnia, and bloodworms.

Be wary of overfeeding in the Ryukin Goldfish community. Usually, your aim should be to provide the right amount of food within the standard time limit to prevent the possibility of overfeeding.

You can feed them 2-3 times a day while only giving them the right amount of food every time.

Behavior & Temperament

Ryukin Goldfish are active species, and even their unique body anatomy won’t stop them from making the most of their time in captivity.

With that in mind, you should be cautious when introducing new fish to the same tank. The semi-aggressive Ryukin Goldfish themselves can be a problem to smaller or weaker, fish if they stay in the same aquarium.

Ryukin Goldfish Tank Mates

Ryukin Goldfish will feel more comfortable in small groups or in the company of other species with similar traits.

The ideal tank mate for Ryukin Goldfish will be peaceful and at least the same size.

As for the worst tank mates, Ryukin Goldfish should never be kept with single finned species or fast-moving fish because it almost certainly leads to aggression inside the tank.

Speaking of Ryukin’s tank mates, here are a few options worth considering at home;


If you thought Ryukin Goldfish were easy to care for at home, now we have even better news for you. And yes! It’s all about breeding these fish in captivity.

Ryukin Goldfish are easy to breed in captivity if you have the right conditions. As social fish with a peaceful temperament, breeding Ryukin Goldfish is simplified by their ability to live in small groups.

As such, you won’t have trouble identifying the fish’s gender during the spawning period. But be sure to create a separate breeding tank for a start.

The new tank must have the right breeding elements such as plants and spawning mops. To create the best breeding conditions, be sure to provide enough protein to the adult fish just before the spawning period.

Also, you should adjust the water temperature to about 60°F for a start before raising it steadily by around 3 degrees per day. The female Ryukin will always lay a whopping 10 000 eggs during breeding that the male then fertilizes.

But you should remove the adult fish from the breeding tank straightaway to prevent them from eating the fry.

Under the right conditions, the eggs will hatch in about 4-7 days. The baby fish will crave powdered food and infusoria, which can act as their standard meal until they are ready to consume baby brine shrimp or the regular fish food.

Final Thoughts

Keeping Ryukin Goldfish is more than just a way to fill up the fish’s population in your home aquarium. It is one of the easiest ways to add an extra flair to your tank, even if you are just getting started with the Goldfish varieties.

So, are you ready to own a gorgeous Ryukin at home?

Here’s hoping you will confidently choose the right species now that you understand what’s involved in Ryukin Goldfish care in captivity.