Calico goldfish stats infographicThe Calico Goldfish is a type of goldfish that has been specifically bred for its appearance and coloration. In this article, you will learn all about the Calico Goldfish’s history, as well as how to care for it properly in modern aquarium setups.

You will read about this fish’s dietary needs, environmental preferences, and so much more.

What Is a Calico Goldfish?

The Calico Goldfish is a type of Goldfish that is prized for its tri-colored body and energetic behavior. The Calico Goldfish, like other types of Goldfish, is descended from wild carp. It must be noted that the Calico Goldfish isn’t an independent species of Goldfish.

Calico Goldfish Stats

Now that you are more familiar with the Calico Goldfish, here are some of its facts and figures that you might be interested to learn about. The information detailed below will give you an overview of what the Calico Goldfish needs to thrive as the newest member of your aquascape.

Common Name Calico Goldfish
Scientific Name Carassius Auratus
Care Level Easy
Average Lifespan 5 to 10 years
Maximum Size 4 to 10 inches, depending on Goldfish species
Diet Omnivorous
Breeding Type Egg-layer
Minimum Tank Size 20 to 30 gallons

You can also take a look at the Calico Goldfish’s taxonomy in the information table below.

Order: Cypriniformes
Superfamily Cyprinioidea
Family Cyprinidae
Genera Carassius
Species Carassius Auratus

In addition to its scientific classification, you need to be aware that the term “Calico Goldfish” is used to refer to the type of coloration that is shared by multiple species of Goldfish such as the Ryukin Goldfish, Telescope Goldfish, Shubunkin Goldfish, and Calico Oranda Goldfish.

Calico Goldfish Care

The Calico Goldfish is a joy to raise in a freshwater aquarium setup as long as you practice due diligence in researching what this fish likes to eat and what environment suits it the most.

– Diet

The Calico Goldfish is an omnivorous fish, meaning that it will thrive on a diet composed of commercial pellets or flakes, meaty protein-rich food, and fish-safe vegetables or plants.

Calico goldfish the colorful clown of freshwater aquarium setupsIf you want to add a few Calico Goldfish to your aquarium, be sure to have a lot of different kinds of food on hand. You should offer high-quality pellets or flakes that were specifically made for Goldfish. You can find this type of food in your local fish store. Feed this type of food at once or twice daily, or more if your new fish is settling down into its tank or is in its spawning phase.

You can also offer meaty food to your Calico Goldfish. Frozen insects and small crustaceans are among the best kinds of protein-rich food to feed your Calico Goldfish. They are quite easy to source and store, and they will be unlikely to introduce parasites or diseases in your aquarium as live or fresh food would. You can feed your Calico Goldfish with meaty food three to four times a week.

Finally, you should always have a stock of plants or vegetables that your Calico Goldfish can munch on. In the wild, Goldfish do not have a fixed feeding schedule during the day; instead, they graze and forage almost all the time. As such, you should have leafy spinach, kale, or lettuce on hand for your Calico Goldfish’s fiber requirement.

– Water Parameters

The Calico Goldfish is, in general, a hardy fish that can live in most freshwater aquarium setups. However, if you are looking to build an ideal home for your Calico Goldfish, then you should start with reaching and maintaining the different water parameters identified below.

Temperature 65 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit
pH Level 7.0 to 8.4
Water Hardness 5 to 19 dGH
Light Level Moderate
Substrate Medium or large gravel

– Tank Setup

When it comes to setting up a homey environment for your Calico Goldfish, there are a few guidelines you need to keep in mind: they can withstand colder water temperatures than other freshwater fish, they love having live plants around, and they do best in large aquariums.

The Calico Goldfish is a highly active and inquisitive fish that needs ample space to grow properly. If you plan to own several Calico Goldfish, a good rule of thumb to follow for space requirements is to provide 10 gallons per individual fish.

Aside from providing a wide enclosure, you should also consider including live plants for your Calico Goldfish. Recall that this type of fish is descended from aquatic creatures that love to forage and graze for food.

Your Calico Goldfish would definitely benefit from having hardy plants that they can tolerate being snacked on from time to time. You can decorate your Calico Goldfish tank with common resilient flora like the Anubias and Java Fern; you can also include plants such as the Marimo Moss Ball, Pothos, and the Water Sprite.

– Lifespan

The Calico Goldfish has an average lifespan of five to ten years. However, as with other types of Goldfish, the Calico Goldfish can easily live past 10 years if it is given excellent and consistent care.

In addition to having reports of fishkeepers who have successfully raised their Calico Goldfish to live past fifteen and twenty years!

– Common Diseases

The Calico Goldfish may suffer from common freshwater fish diseases such as Ich, Fin rot, and parasitic infections. These are all mainly caused by poor or fluctuating water parameters combined with a mediocre diet. That said, you can keep your Calico Goldfish disease-free for as long as possible if you clean its aquarium on a regular basis.

For instance, if you suspect that your Calico Goldfish is suffering from Ich or White Spot Disease, then you should perform a few minor changes to address any water parameters that might have become too high or too low.

You can continue combatting the disease by giving your Calico Goldfish a salt bath. This will not only treat the fish, but it will also discourage the proliferation of Ich in other areas of your aquarium.

Likewise, Fin Rot and parasitic infections are both health conditions caused by a poor environment. If you spot these diseases in their early stage, then you can easily treat them by way of cleaning your aquarium and providing your Calico Goldfish with basic medication that may be purchased from your local fish store. Keeping a clean and well-cycled tank is arguably the key to having healthy, happy, and long-lasting Calico Goldfish.

Tank Mates

The Calico Goldfish is quite easy to house with a number of other freshwater fish. Just be sure to keep them with fish that are non-aggressive and that can tolerate mostly the same water parameters. You can, of course, house your Calico Goldfish with fish of the same species.

– Ideal Tank Mates

The best tank mates for Calico Goldfish include loaches, catfish, Plecostomus, and the Platy. These fish are all small to medium-sized fish and within the same range as your Calico Goldfish’s size. A full grown Calico Goldfish will be unable to pick on or annoy any of the aforementioned fish.

Furthermore, loaches and catfish, as well as Plecos and Platies, are all particularly peaceful and friendly fish; they should not find it difficult to share the same space with your active Calico Goldfish.

However, exercise caution when raising Platies or other livebearer fish in the same tank as your Calico Goldfish. Livebearers become aggressive towards energetic fish that may appear as threats to their young.

– Tank Mates To Avoid

Now, you will want to steer your Calico Goldfish far away from the following types of freshwater fish: Barbs, Oscars, Cichlids, and small fish that are too docile or delicate.

Your Calico Goldfish will only look like a tasty challenge for carnivorous and predatory freshwater fish.

Keep your Calico Goldfish away from large and territorial fish such as the Cichlids and Oscars; failure to do so will only result in aquarium fights and potential fish fatalities. Do not house your Calico Goldfish with tiny, defenseless fish as well.

Refrain from adding small Tetras into a tank with adult Calico Goldfish that are larger than four or five inches in length. While your Calico Goldfish might not necessarily kill smaller fish, it can easily harass tiny aquarium members or else outcompete them easily for food.


It is possible to breed Calico Goldfish in a home aquarium. Note that you should only breed the same species of Calico Goldfish with each other to ensure that their coloration and features are passed down to their fry.

The first batch of Calico Goldfish was bred and developed to have a small or medium-sized body only, as well as low-maintenance requirements. Depending on the species of Calico Goldfish you want, your fish may or may not have delicate and long fins. For instance, the Calico Veiltail Goldfish is known for having thin, graceful fins that are almost transparent, whereas the Calico Oranda Goldfish has rounder-looking fins.

The Calico Goldfish takes its name from the calico cat that sports the same white, orange, and black coloration on its body. In the scientific community, the Calico Goldfish shares the same name as the Common Goldfish, Carassius Auratus. However, in the fishkeeping community, the Calico Goldfish may be called different names such as Tri-colored Goldfish, Speckled Goldfish, or Fancy Goldfish.

– Pre Breeding Care

You can determine the gender of your Calico Goldfish by looking at their fins and body structure. Male Calico Goldfish have longer, pointier, and sharper-looking fins. On the other hand, female Calico Goldfish have rounder, shorter fins that give their body an overall stout appearance.

Before you breed your Calico Goldfish, it is important to prepare their breeding tank at least one month before they spawn. You will need to have a 30 to 40-gallon tank that has a heater and gentle filter attached. Cycle the water in the breeding tank continuously before adding in your selected breeding pair of Calico Goldfish.

Introduce the breeding pair to their temporary home. Allow them to settle down into the breeding tank before dropping the temperature to slightly lower than what they are accustomed to in the main tank. Then, after a few hours, raise the temperature to about 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This is an effective way to simulate the spawning season for your Calico Goldfish.

The male and female Calico Goldfish can be further encouraged to spawn if you provide them with a protein-rich diet. The female Calico Goldfish should then lay her first batch of eggs 72 hours after a successful mating session.

Expect your Calico Goldfish to lay more eggs in the following days as batch egg-layers are wont to do. The male Calico Goldfish should fertilize the eggs shortly after they have been laid. Remove the parent Calico Goldfish from the breeding tank once fertilization is completed.

– Post Breeding Care

Calico goldfishYour Calico Goldfish eggs should hatch around four to seven days after they have been fertilized. Feed the newly hatched Calico Goldfish fry with infusoria, and be sure to keep their tank water clean and free from fluctuations or spikes.

You can then gradually feed the Calico Goldfish with other types of food such as mosquito wrigglers and egg yolk until they are large enough to transfer back to the main aquarium or a tank of their own.


The Calico Goldfish is one of the best fish to have if you are just getting started in the world of fishkeeping. Here are the key points we discussed regarding the Calico Goldfish in this article.

  • The Calico Goldfish is not an independent species, but a coloration that is shared across the various species of Goldfish we know today.
  • This fish was specifically bred to showcase a tri-colored body composed of white, orange, and black markings.
  • The Calico Goldfish is known to be an energetic and voracious omnivore; it needs ample space to move in and a balanced diet to thrive.
  • You can house this fish with most types of aquarium creatures except aggressive fish or tiny, delicate fish.
  • It is possible to breed Calico Goldfish at home if you can apply the right timing and techniques necessary.

With all that we have discussed, you should now have a comprehensive understanding of how to care for your own Calico Goldfish!

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