Ryukin Goldfish: Useful Facts & Care Tips

Last Updated on February 16, 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 goldfish lifespan is 10 – 15 years, but can live up to 20 years or more when well maintained.

The Ryukin goldfish are ornamental fish species. They are raised for the ornamental purpose, and also very good for raising 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The existence of the Ryukin goldfish dates back in 1833 through historical references. It is actually Chinese in origin. But the variety is said to have arrived in Japan in the 1770s. It is named ‘Ryukin’ because it was said to have arrived in Japan through the Ryukyu islands which lie between Taiwan and Japan.

Early Japanese literature refers to these fish as the Onaga or the Nagasaki goldfish. In English, they are also sometimes called as the Veiltail, Fantail, Fringetail or the Japanese Ribbontail.

Difference between Ryuki & Fantail

The Ryukin were bred from the common Fantail Goldfish and appears very similar to a Fantail except for its massive dorsal hump.

Ryukin Goldfish are easily differentiated from the Fantail by their extremely high back, which is often described as a dorsal hump. The hump starts in the neck region and gives a more pointed appearance to the Ryukin’s head, They also have a wider caudal fin than the Fantail.

A distinguishing feature common to both the Fantail and the Ryukin Goldfish is their split or double caudal (tail) fin.

In recent years, breeders have tried to enhance this hump, making some Ryukins outrageously tall.

Ryukin Goldfish Food

The Ryukin Goldfish are omnivorous, just like many other goldfish varieties. They will eat almost all types of dried and live foods. You can feed them all kinds of fresh, frozen, and flake foods.

To care for your Ryukin goldfish, keep a good balance by giving them high-quality flake food every day. Feed brine shrimp (either live or frozen), blood worms, Daphnia, or tubifex worms as a treat.

It is usually better to feed freeze-dried foods as opposed to live foods to avoid parasites and bacterial infections that could be present in live foods

Feeding Frequency: Several feedings per day


The Ryukin is available in many colors: orange-and-white, red, chocolate, green, blue, calico and other white-and-red or white-and-orange variants.

The body of the Ryukin is extraordinarily deep, almost as deep as the body is long, and its high dorsal fin makes it look even higher. This gives them a more pointed appearance to the head, but they also have wider tail fins than the Fantail.

Ryukin is one of the twin-tails so it has a pair of tail fins, anal fins, pectoral fins and ventral fins.

Ryukin Goldfish Care

Black Ryukin Goldfish
Black Ryukin Goldfish

Ryukin Goldfish is one of the hardier species of goldfish. As long as you keep the water clean and feed it high-quality food, it will be happy and healthy.

They are recommended for the beginner because they are very undemanding of water quality and temperature. They can do well in both ponds and goldfish aquariums.

Many people keep goldfish in an aquarium with no heater or filtration. But for the best success in keeping these goldfish, provide them with the same filtration, especially biological filtration, that other aquarium residents enjoy.

Check this post about the best water heater for Fish Aquarium

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.

Best tank mates for the Ryukin are other twin-tails like the Oranda, Fantail, Black Moor, Ranchu or Lionhead.

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

Do not mix with single-tailed varieties like Common, Shubunkin or Comet.

Disease & Challenges

Being one of the egg-shaped body twin-tails, it’s prone to the Swim Bladder disorder. 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. Feeding a varied diet, keep the Ryukin from being constipated and flipping over. A rule of thumb for all goldfish.

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


Like many other goldfish varieties, the Ryukin goldfish generally spawn readily. And they can be induced in both pond and aquarium 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 swim in since they have a much more vertical profile than other goldfish. Ryukins also do not tolerate cold water as well as Common Goldfish.

Tank Size & Care

Minimum tank size is 10 gallons. Regular weekly water changes of 1/4 to 1/3 are strongly recommended to keep these fish healthy. Snails can be added as they reduce the algae in the tank, helping to keep it clean.

Small tanks need more frequent water changes. They produce more waste than most other freshwater fish and benefit greatly from more frequent water changes.

Ryukin Goldfish Price

The Ryukin Goldfish is readily available in fish stores and online, but cost more than other fancy goldfish. They come in red, red and 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 4 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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