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Goldfish are one of the most popular pets on the market today. Many new fish tank owners start with goldfish, as they tend to be hardy and inexpensive. How do you know which goldfish to choose?

The first thing you want to look for is the looks. There are many exotic looking goldfish on the market today, but if you are just starting out, you might want to consider the long, sleek fish. These fish have less digestive problems as the compact varieties. Also, the normal goldfish tend to live longer than their exotic counterparts.

The next thing to look at is the color of your fish. If the fish is two or three inches long, it is showing its full color. You want to have a brightly colored fish. The things that make color look dull are sickness and an unstable environment. This will indicate you do not want this fish!

GoldfishNext, select the healthiest looking fish. Goldfish who are in good health will appear active, nosey, and actually friendly. The fish that come to the glass to investigate are the healthy ones. Avoid the ones that sit in the corner with their fins clamped against their bodies. Chances are these are sick fish. Choose fish that have symmetrical eyes. Avoid bubble-eye fish, as this characteristic can cause health problems as the fish grows.

Goldfish have been specially bred to produce interesting varieties. The comets are long, slender fish with a single long tail. In the proper environment these fish will grow to over a foot in length. Commons are similar to the comets, except they have a short tail. They will also grow quite large. The final type of single tailed goldfish is the shubunkins, which are similar to the other two, but are multi colored, like a calico cat. All three of these types are extremely hardy and great for beginners.

Next we have the double tailed goldfish. The Watkins goldfish looks like a common goldfish, but the tail is split into two fins. The Jikins goldfish has a split tail that points outward.

The next group of goldfish is the fancy goldfish, starting with the fantail. A fantail’s body is somewhat egg shaped, with a double tail fin. The pearlscape goldfish looks a lot like a fantail, but the mid region of its body is larger, and the scales look like pearls. The oranda goldfish has a unique head growth, and is sometimes called a lion head goldfish. Moores are another common type of fancy goldfish. They are black in color and have long split tailfins. Their eyes are set outside their heads, a feature called telescope eyes. Telescope goldfish are any non-black fish with telescope eyes. Finally there is the veiltail goldfish. Veiltails have long, flowing fins that hang from an egg shaped body. These are very pretty goldfish.

All goldfish can be white, orange, red, violet, black, yellow, or a combination of these colors, with the exception of moores, which must be black. The hardiest are the non-fancy varieties. Beginners should start with these, then branch out into more fancy varieties as they gain experience.

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