UMT MOOC: Ornamental Fish Culture - Topic 2: Biology of Ornamental Fish - Goldfish

Continue from previous post and the last series of topic 2 installment.

The Goldfish is one of the most common fishes kept as pet. There are so many species and varieties, which one should you pick? Personal recommendation is go for Shubunkins.

Goldfish Species
Ryukin. Key characteristic is a hump in the shoulder area (top).


Liaohead. Key characteristic is large hood or "wen" but without dorsal fins as compare to Oranda.


Oranda. Key characteristic is bubble-like hood called "wen" that needs trimming if needed.


Celestial Eye. Key characteristic is telescope eyes that turned upwards. I'm not sure we've seen this in any aquarium stores. I'm not sure why this deformation and popularized.



Shubunkin. Key characteristic is single-tailed and pattern known as "calico". Due to its similarity to Koi fish, people may mistaken it for Koi. If you like to keep Goldfish as pet, this species would be a better choice. At least, the species looks like a normal fish instead of mutated bloated fish.


Pompon. Key characteristic is it has nascal outgrowth, similar to Lionhead or Oranda. Unfortunately, we never see one before in any aquarium shops. Perhaps we miss it.


Bubble eye. Key characteristic is two large fluid-filled sacs. Similar eyes to Celestial Eye but with large sacs. We're wondering why this Goldfish ever been popular in the first place. For us, this is a worst deformation and such species shouldn't been breed in the first place.


UMT MOOC: Ornamental Fish Culture - Topic 2: Biology of Ornamental Fish - Primitive/Jurassic Fishes

Continue from previous post.

Below are the list of ornamental fish which have primitive or jurassic looks.

Arowana. These sought after species which are found in local aquarium shops are typical from the species of Asian Arowana. Arowana in general are surface feeder, aggressive, mouth breeders, and excellent jumper.



Arapaima. Considered the largest tropical fish in Amazon river. Similar to Arowana but much bigger and uglier. Definitely have the primitive or jurassic looks and aggressiveness. We have been to quite a few aquarium shops but can't recall we've seen any of this species.



Peter’s Elephantnose. One of the weirdest looking fish, looking like an angry penguin. We only saw this once in the aquarium shop, can't recall which shop. Some hobbyist put this together with Arowana just to "spice up" the tank.


Butterflyfish. This is referring to African Butterflyfish, Pantodon buchholzi. As the name implies, the fish have a pair of butterfly-like fins even though it's quite ugly. Never seen this in any local fish stores.


Knife fish. Body shaped like knife and I remembered I even caught one when I was young. The local aquarium shops carry a few species like Black and Clown. If you like fish with odd shape, then this should be your choice.


Gar. Like a thinner version of Araipaima and the fish version of aligator. Not sure we have seen this here locally.


Bichir. Looks like a dragon or reptile in the water. We're not sure why this fish was ever considered as pet? Saw quite a few before but not really appealing as the boring brownish colour and less majestic compare to other fishes.


Sturgeon. The species we're discussing here is Acipenser. This is probably the most mean looking predator fish of the list. Is like the fish is wearing an armor. Never see this in any aquarium shops here.


Paddlefish. Another fish that should be in pond instead of aquarium. Looks like a paddle stuck to the front of the fish. Definitely looks like a primitive fish.


Lungfish. A fish that can hibernate for a few years. Not sure this is a suitable aquarium fish.