Lionhead Goldfish Info
The Lionhead is another of the fancy goldfish with a hooded head. Bred in China, they developed it to resemble the mythical Chinese lion-dog. Its known for this distinctive red colored head gear. While some Lionheads will have an abundance of growth, some will have barely any at all. Lionhead goldfish don’t sport as curved a back as some of the species of fancy goldfish and they have no dorsal fin, so they tend to look a bit clumsy in the tank.
Lionhead goldfish are not recommended for the beginner as they need some special care and considerations for environment. For some Lionheads, the head gear grows so large it starts to impede the eyesight and the gills. You will want to make sure that the water is super-oxygenated and that there are no decorations or plants in the way of their clumsy maneuvering.
The body of the Lionhead should be equal to at least ½ the body length. It should be smooth and have a shallow arch the length of the body. The body itself should be clear and free of any blemishes like bumps and spikes. The hood on the Lionhead should be well developed, full and dense. Lionhead’s have fins that are all in pairs, small and rounded with a tail fin that is split. Smaller than some other varieties of fancy goldfish, the Lionhead will generally only grow to 5 inches, although some have been known to double that length. They will live somewhere between 10-15 years.
Lionheads are omnivores and should be fed a very healthy diet to keep them happy. They require at the very least a good quality flake food. Feeding small amounts 3 times a day will ensure that all the food is consumed and none drops to the bottom to rot. You can also feed freeze-dried brine shrimp, blood worms, tubifex worms and krill. People have also been known to buy fresh vegetables such as cucumber, kale, lettuce and cantaloupe. You will want to finely dice any fresh food you feed them so that they can consume it without choking.
For a tank set-up, you will want at least a 10 gallon one to start with. That will be sufficient room for one. The shape of the tank is important as well. Because Lionheads surface to grab a gulp of oxygen, you want a tank that has a lot of surface area. A tall tank is less useful than a flat tank. If you choose to have more than one fish in your tank, plan accordingly. For each inch of fish, add one gallon to the base tank size. Be careful as well what other species of fish you add in. Because the Lionhead is a gentle, non-aggressive fish, you’ll want to find others to add in that have the same characteristics.
If you choose to breed your Lionhead goldfish, take into consideration that a lot more of your time will be needed. The set up should include a 20-gallon tank for spawning, a tank for the original breeding fish and a tank for use during water changes and cleaning. To start, fill the tank with water, place in plants (silk is the best bet for this procedure) some gravel on the bottom, a heater and a lid. Create a calm peaceful environment that as closely mimics nature as possible. Once you have done all the preparation, you are ready for your adult fish. Males ideally should be around one year and females around two. Depending on how many baby fry you want, will determine how many adults to use. Because one female can produce a large number of eggs. Generally, when breeding, most breeders will have three females and two males. After you have place your adults in the tank, lower the temperature of the water to 60, then over the next couple of days, raise it to 65-68. This is the perfect spawning temperature. If you watch closely, you will see the males gently chasing the females around the tank, pushing them against the sides. This encourages the females to let loose of her eggs so the males can then fertilize them. Once the eggs are fertilized, they will attach themselves to the plants. After all spawning is complete, usually within a few hours, remove the adult fish or they will eat all the eggs. After four to seven days, the fry will hatch and start moving around. They have a feed sac attached to their bellies that will feed them for about 24 to 36 hours. After that you will want to feed this ravenous little babies at least three times a day. A quality flake food made just for fry is recommended. As they grown you can add in food to their diets similar to that of the adults, but keep in mind, it will need to be way tinier for them to consume. About every 3-4 days, you will want to move the fry to the secondary tank so that you can clean out the original one. Because gold fish are messy eaters and food sometimes falls down, you will want to keep the tank as clean as possible. Lionheads don’t adjust well to polluted water. And this way you will also be reducing the risk of disease and bacteria growth in your tanks that can kill off all your fish.
Some simple ones are Ich, a type of fungus that is very easy to detect because your fish will have little white spots all over them. Ich is a protozoan disease and can be fatal if not caught quickly. Simply treating the water can eliminate these bacteria and your fish will be healthy again. There are all kinds of water treatments that you can purchase either on line or at the store. Talk with someone who is very knowledgeable to get the best brands. Keeping your tank clean by doing water changes of ¼ to 1/3 weekly can eliminate the need for water treatments, because your fish won’t be getting sick.
Native To: Asia
Adult Size: Can reach a length of 6″
Temperature: 65° – 78°F
Care Level: Medium
Scientific Name: Carassius auratus