Ryukin Goldfish: Useful Facts & Care Tips

Last Updated on May 15, 2019

The Ryukin Goldfish is a very beautiful fancy goldfish variety with a characteristic hump in the shoulder region. Average size is 6″ (15 cm) but can reach up to 10″ (25 cm) in a truly well-maintained tank or pond. The average lifespan of goldfish is between 10–15 years, but can live up to more than 20 years with proper care.

The Ryukin goldfish are ornamental fish species. They are raised for the ornamental purpose, and also very good to raise as pets. Their use as aquaponics fish species have become widely popular over the past few years.

Ryukin Goldfish Overview

Country of OriginChina/Japan
Scientific NameCarassius auratus
EnvironmentFreshwater fish
Temperature65° - 78°F
TypeTwin Tail
FoodPellets, flakes, live food, veggies and fruit
Adult Size7-9" (inches)
Lifespan10-15 years or more
Care LevelBeginner
TemperamentFriendly and social

Check this video out for a live view about Ryukin Fish.

History and Origin of Ryukin Goldfish

Currently, the Ryukin goldfish is very popular in both Japan and the United States because of its appearance and activeness.

Calico Ryukin Goldfish
Calico Ryukin Goldfish

The historical references of the Ryukin goldfish date back in 1833. Actually originated from China, variety is known to arrive in Japan in the 1770s. It arrived in Japan through the Ryukyu islands lying between Japan and Taiwan that named it ‘Ryukin’.

This fish is mentioned in early Japanese literature as the Nagasaki or Onaga goldfish. In English, they are also known as the Fantail, Veiltail, Japanese Ribbontail, or Fringetail.

Difference between Ryuki & Fantail

The Ryukin resembles a Fantail except for its massive dorsal hump as it was bred from the common Fantail Goldfish.

You can easily distinguish Ryukin from the Fantail Goldfish by their extremely high back, which is often called as a dorsal hump. The hump begins from the neck region and appears to be more pointed to the Ryukin’s head. Their caudal fin is wider than the Fantail too.

The double or split caudal (tail) fin is a distinguishing common feature found in both the Fantail and the Ryukin Goldfish.

In recent years, breeders have made some Ryukins outrageously tall by trying to enhance this hump.

Ryukin Goldfish Food

Just like many other goldfish varieties, the Ryukin Goldfish are omnivorous and eat almost all types of live and dried foods. You can feed all types of flake, fresh, and frozen foods to ryukin.

Keeping a good balance by giving Ryukin goldfish a high-quality flake food daily is crucial for their proper care. You can also give blood worms, frozen or live brine shrimp, tubifex worms or Daphnia as a treat.

The freeze-dried foods are better as compared to live foods to prevent bacterial infections and parasites residing in live foods.

Feeding Frequency: Several feedings (2-4) per day


Available in many colors, you can find Ryukin in red, green, calico, blue, chocolate, as well as in orange-white white-red and white-orange variants.

The depth of the Ryukin body is almost same as the body length making it extraordinarily deep. The high dorsal fin gives them a more pointed appearance to the head and makes it appear even taller. They also have wider tail fins than the Fantail.

Being one of the twin-tails, Ryukin has a pair of anal, tail fins, pectoral and ventral fins each.

Ryukin Goldfish Care

Black Ryukin Goldfish
Black Ryukin Goldfish

Being one of the hardiest species of goldfish, Ryukin Goldfish will stay happy and healthy as long as you keep the water clean and feed it high-quality food.

Since ryukin are very undemanding of temperature and water quality, these are popular and recommended for the beginner. They do well in both goldfish aquariums and ponds.

However, you should provide them with a heater and the same filtration, especially biological, that other aquarium companions enjoy.

Check this post about the best water heater for Fish Aquarium

The number of fish: A general rule of thumb for Fish to Water ratio is 1 inch of fish (2.54 cm) per 1 gallon of water.

Tank Mates

Ryukins are fairly vigorous and will outcompete weaker breeds (like Celestials and Bubble Eyes) for food. They may become aggressive to weaker breeds as well.

Other twin-tails, such as Fantail, Oranda, Ranchu, Black Moor, or Lionhead are the best tankmates for the Ryukin.

Bubble Eye or Telescope Eye are not recommended to keep with Ryukins.

Never keep them with single-tailed varieties like Shubunkin or Comet.

Disease & Challenges

They are prone to Swim Bladder disorder because of their egg-shaped body twin-tails. Their intestinal tracts may have “dead zones” where food gets caught, resulting in constipation.

Normally, when goldfish float upside down it is a symptom of swim bladder disorder. But with Ryukins, it is a common sign of constipation.

Precaution: Don’t overfeed. A rule of thumb to avoid the Ryukin like all goldfish from being constipated and flipping over is feeding them a diverse diet.

Cure: Peeled green peas as food will act as a laxative for them. But another solution is to simply stop feeding the fish for several days until it’s digestive tract clears out.

Red and White Ryukin Goldfish
Red and White Ryukin Goldfish


Ryukin generally spawns readily like many other types of goldfish. You can induce them in both aquarium and pond environments for spawning. During the breeding season, they can be more aggressive, although they are not generally aggressive towards each other.

Ryukin goldfish Aquarium

They can be kept in ponds but were bred to be viewed from the side, so they are intended for aquariums. Because of their tall profile, they need more vertical space than other breeds of goldfish.

If kept in ponds, care needs to be taken that the water is deep enough for them to swim in since they have a much more vertical profile than other goldfish. Ryukins do not tolerate the cold water like Common Goldfish.

Tank Size & Care

Minimum tank size is 10 gallons. It is highly recommended to make 1/4 – 1/3 water changes on a regular weekly basis for better health of the fish. You can add snails to reduce the algae in the tank and keep it clean.

Small tanks need more frequent water changes, as they produce more waste than other freshwater fish.

Ryukin Goldfish Price

You can find Ryukin Goldfish in fish stores and online, but they cost more than other fancy goldfish. They come in red, red/white, calico, tri-color, white, and chocolate. The red and white variety is the least expensive. The long-tail variety is rarer.

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There are 6 comments

  1. I bought 5 oranda and 5 ryukin, but i don’t know why all the oranda is dead while ryukin can survive and become bigger nowadays, can i know why my oranda dead cause i read article that oranda and ryukin need same care, so i curious why my oranda dead?

    1. This happened with me as well. I had one ryukin in tank. Got two beautiful oranda last week which were bigger in size than the ryukin…. I was not at home for a day. On coming back saw both orandas dead while the ryukin still rocks in the tank…. Three moors were dead earlier with the same ryukin 🙁

    2. Oranda’s and Ryukin’s are not really good tank mates. Oranda’s are not the best swimmers and can not compete well for food. Ryukins are also a little more aggressive than other Goldfish. So I would recommend not keeping those two species together.


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