The Biggest Goldfish: Know The Facts
How large was the biggest goldfish ever? Before we answer that let us go to where it all began in Eastern Asia about a thousand years ago. The Chinese started breeding wild fish, such as the Carp. Throughout the breeding process, they began to notice some of the Carp were developing golden scales instead of the standard silvery scales.
As the breeding continued, so did the color “mutation” until eventually the scales were much more of a bright orange than gold or silver. Thus, the goldfish was born! The goldfish (Carassius Auratus) were continually developed by the Chinese until the 16th Century when the Japanese took over and created what we know today as the Ryukin and the Tosakin (the only goldfish breed to have an undivided tail fin).
Goldfish would not be shared with Europe until the 17th Century and later introduced to the United States in the 1850’s. Now, since goldfish are direct descendants of the Carp, it makes sense that they would have some of their similarities. One of which being their potential size!
How large are Carp?
Carp can grow to be 16 to 30 inches in length and anywhere between 5 and 30 pounds in weight. What most people do not know is that Carp (like many other fish species) can grow indefinitely (or at least until they die). So it only makes sense that goldfish have the ability to grow long and heavy, as well.
Know the distinction between a Goldfish and a gold colored fish:
Most goldfish will grow to be 10+ inches in length if they are well taken care of and if they live in a well maintained aquarium or outdoor pond. However, some documents seem to prove that some goldfish caught in the wild have grown much larger than that! However, are they true?
There are many common misconceptions about the “Biggest Goldfish ever caught”. Many people believe that the giant “goldfish” that was captured by Raphael Biagini in the south of France was the largest goldfish ever recorded.
However, the “goldfish” Raphael caught was not a goldfish at all. In fact, it was an Orange Koi Carp. Goldfish and Koi are commonly thought to be the same fish because of their similar appearance. However, they are two entirely different species of fish that have completely different sets of living requirements.
Koi Carp are thought to be originally from Asia and Europe. They were then imported to New Zealand in the 1960’s with Goldfish. This, of course, was an accident.
However, they became part of outdoor ponds alongside the goldfish. That is until flooding resulted in the Koi Carp ending up in the Waikato River in 1983. Now, the Koi Carp have created a home for themselves there and are considered “wild” once again.
The Koi Carp may resemble a giant goldfish upon first glance, but these fish have two distinct pairs of feelers or barbels, located on the sides of their mouth. Goldfish do not develop these whisker-like feelers.
Regardless of what kind of fish it technically was, it was still a colossal fish (weighing in at about 30 pounds).
Any goldfish that are caught in the wild are assumed to be someone’s pet that simply outgrew their aquariums or outdoor ponds. In fact, the goldfish that are caught in lakes are said to weigh in at about 5 pounds.
It is understandable why their owners felt they could no longer care for such a big fish and that maybe they would be happier in a lake, but goldfish that have been in captivity shouldn’t be released into the wild.
The facts about goldfish, their size and their care:
Goldfish (and most species of fish) can actually grow indefinitely. Many people assume that their goldfish can only grow to a size that can still comfortably fit in their aquarium (as if goldfish can simply tell their bodies to stop growing), but this is untrue. Yes, your goldfish may stop growing at a certain point but this is due to lack of care on your part as a goldfish owner.
Poor quality water in their aquariums and improper care from their owners will in fact stunt their growth. Otherwise, your goldfish would continue to grow until he dies.
So, if you think bringing home a goldfish in a small bowl is innocent and “all it needs” think again! Your goldfish requires a large enough tank to not only grow in, but also room for swimming.
The more space you provide your goldfish the better the oxygen levels will be as well (as long as you do not overpopulate your aquarium). Many specialists will say that there is no such thing as a tank that is “too big”. Keep in mind that you can indeed start off with a smaller aquarium (20-gallons) while your goldfish is still young.
Frequent water changes and aquarium cleanings will help keep your goldfish healthy while in a smaller tank. However, be prepared to purchase a larger tank down the road.
You want to provide your goldfish with a good life and a large, clean tank with a filtration system is the way to do that! Yes, goldfish need a filtration system. Goldfish are sometimes thought to be toxic to other species of fish, this is completely untrue.
In fact, goldfish are not toxic in any way. They are just a messy fish species that doesn’t enjoy living in their own waste. Would you?
If a tank is too small or overcrowded, then your goldfish will not live nearly as long as they could if cared for properly. Goldfish are one of the longest-living fish species in the world. In fact, goldfish can potentially live for decades when given the best care and living conditions.
Goldfish that end up floating at the surface at a young age will only do so only when they are living in negligent conditions. A goldfish is not just a “beginner fish” they are a long-term commitment that many goldfish owners are not prepared to take on.
What should you take from this article?
Goldfish are some of the hardiest, longest living, and indefinitely growing fish species in the world. Treat them with respect, care and be prepared for the long haul. If you are looking into purchasing a goldfish with the intention of it being a “starter pet” for your child and you plan to flush it in a few months, then don’t bother.
You should get a fruit fly which naturally only lives a short lifespan. The largest goldfish ever recorded are only that large because someone cared for them and raised them properly. Also, be knowledgeable. Know the difference between different species of fish before grabbing your fishing pole and heading to your local pond in hopes of catching a giant goldfish.
So go ahead and care for your goldfish by giving it clean water, feeding it the proper diet and provide it with a big enough home and you just might grow the biggest goldfish ever..