The Eggfish goldfish (also known as the Maruko goldfish in Japan) is a fascinating goldfish with an unusual body and vibrant coloration. This breed of goldfish is kept as a separate variety in Hong Kong and China which is why they are hardly seen in the West. The breed consists of several different varieties and has similar care requirements to most fancy goldfish. Due to the Eggfish’s unique appearance, they can be a delicate breed of goldfish and are better suited for life indoors.
Quick Facts about Eggfish Goldfish
|Species Name:||Carassius auratus|
|Temperament:||Social, curious, peaceful|
|Color Form:||Orange, white, red, black, metallic, calico|
|Minimum Tank Size:||20 gallons|
|Tank Set-Up:||Freshwater with filtration, substrate, and plants|
|Compatibility:||Other fancy goldfish|
Eggfish Goldfish Overview
This is a fancy breed of goldfish that is most commonly kept in China. They have a pronounced egg-shaped body (hence the name) and are not a common pet goldfish to keep. As with most fancy goldfish varieties, the Eggfish goldfish was first developed in mainland China, and they are quite ancient. Descriptions of this goldfish breed can be found in literature dated back 800 years ago.
Modern Eggfish goldfish came to be thanks to Japanese goldfish breeders who took pride in creating this unique-looking goldfish. From Japan, this goldfish breed was then popularized in other parts of the world, but this popularity seemed to die down after more visually appealing fancy goldfish were brought into the market.
A private aquarium in China in the mid-twentieth century began to make efforts to bring this breed of goldfish back into popularity. It is believed that this private aquarium sent metallic blue Eggfish goldfish to mainland China to try and bring attention to this breed, however, this shortly failed as at the time most goldfish keepers were looking for a more beautiful and ornamental goldfish rather than the slightly deformed Eggfish goldfish.
How Much Do Eggfish Goldfish Cost?
There are a few common varieties of Eggfish goldfish that can be found in local breeders and some pet stores (especially stores in Japan and China). The price will depend on the size and rarity of the Eggfish goldfish’s appearance, but breeders will usually sell Eggfish goldfish for $30 to $100. Pet stores will usually sell these goldfish for a cheaper price, whereas buying directly from a breeder will cost more because they typically have higher quality stock.
Typical Behavior & Temperament
The Eggfish goldfish is slow-moving, peaceful, and curious. They seem to keep to themselves and wiggle around the aquarium in search of food and to explore their environment. They have a similar temperament to their ancestors (Ranchu and Lionhead goldfish). They are delicate fish due to their lack of a dorsal fin, but they are less fragile than Ranchu and Lionhead goldfish, which they closely resemble.
They may not be the most beautiful goldfish to some enthusiasts, but there is no denying that the Eggfish goldfish is cute, both in appearance and in terms of their temperament. These friendly fish get along well with other fancy goldfish and enjoy socializing and swimming with their group of tank mates.
Appearance & Varieties
This goldfish has the bodily appearance of an egg, which is more pronounced than other fancy goldfish. They share a similar appearance to Orandas, Celestial eye, and Ranchu goldfish. Despite its resemblance to other fancy goldfish, the Eggfish goldfish stands out for its lack of a dorsal fin which would usually sit on the top of its body. This can give them a “humped” appearance, much like Ranchu goldfish. The most common colors for all varieties are black, orange, white, and red. The Eggfish goldfish can either come in one color or in a mixture of two or more colorations to form a striking pattern.
The long-tailed variety of the Eggfish goldfish is known as the Phoenix egg goldfish and it has a round and compacted body with a long, flowing, and forked tail.
The standard Eggfish goldfish look similar to the Pompom goldfish but with frilly nasal septa. The most common coloration for the standard variety of this goldfish breed is either metallic or calico.
Calico Eggfish goldfish have a slightly smaller and shorter head in comparison to their body and have a fanning tail which is similar to the Fantail goldfish’s tail. The body will consist of a mottled black, deep orange, and metallic white color.
How to Take Care of Eggfish Goldfish
Habitat, Tank Conditions & Setup
Since goldfish are heavy waste producers and the Eggfish goldfish are no exception, they should be kept in a reasonably sized aquarium. Most young and juvenile Eggfish goldfish can be kept in a large aquarium of 15 to 20 gallons, but most adults will require a slightly larger tank as they begin to grow to their full adult size. The bigger the tank, the better. A larger tank will allow you to provide this social goldfish with more tank mates so that they can be kept company.
Water Quality & Conditions
Good water conditions in the aquarium will help to minimize your Eggfish goldfish from being poisoned from high ammonia levels or from the dirt and debris that can be a breeding ground for bad bacteria. They seem to tolerate warmer water more than other varieties of goldfish, but a heater is not a necessity. You want to provide your Eggfish goldfish with the following water parameters:
The Eggfish goldfish enjoys foraging in the substrate, so it is best to either keep them in a bare bottom aquarium or one with a substrate that contains small particles like soil, sand, or quartz. Large gravel pieces pose a choking hazard for these goldfish so it is best to avoid keeping them on large substrate particles that can get lodged in their throat, or on a sharp substrate that can damage their mouth and gills.
Live plants are great for this breed of fancy goldfish. Live plants will help improve the water quality while sheltering your Eggfish goldfish. These goldfish do not seem to uproot plants like other fancy goldfish, but they will try to see if any of the plants are edible, especially if they are hungry.
Low to moderate natural or artificial lighting is ideal for these goldfish, but they should have a period of darkness to rest. You can keep artificial lights on for 6 to 11 hours or if the tank is near a window, then the lighting will fade and rise naturally in your Eggfish goldfish aquarium.
Having a filter in your Eggfish goldfish aquarium will help to keep the aquarium water clean and fresh which is important for the health of this goldfish breed. It is important to choose a filter that still provides aeration for the aquarium but does not have a strong current as these goldfish have a difficult time swimming in strong currents due to having no dorsal fin.
Understanding the intricacies of water filtration can be tricky, so if you're a new or even experienced goldfish owner who wants a bit more detailed information on it, we recommend that you check out Amazon for the best-selling book, The Truth About Goldfish.
It covers all you need to know about creating the most ideal tank setup, goldfish care, and more!
Are Eggfish Goldfish Good Tank Mates?
Eggfish goldfish should ideally be paired with other slow-moving fancy goldfish of a similar size. It is best to not keep them with streamlined goldfish like Commons or Comets because these fish are fast and will get to the food first. Since Eggfish goldfish are social, they should be kept in pairs or large groups depending on the size of the aquarium they are kept in.
You can also keep them with invertebrates like large snails, but not shrimp or crayfish as shrimp are small enough to be eaten by goldfish, and crayfish may be too aggressive for these slow-moving and delicate fish.
Fantails, Ranchu, Lionheads, and Pompom goldfish are good tank mates for Eggfish goldfish. They all have a similar body type and care requirements which allow them to be kept with this breed of goldfish.
What to Feed Your Eggfish Goldfish
The dietary requirements of an Eggfish goldfish are fairly simple. They require a diet with a balanced amount of protein, fat, fiber, and vitamins and minerals. It is recommended to feed them sinking pellet food which encourages them to forage in the substrate for their food. Their diet should be supplemented with veggies and plant-based matter which is good for their digestive system. You can also feed them freeze-dried worms and other invertebrates to increase their protein intake for higher energy levels and more vibrant coloration. Avoid feeding these goldfish floating foods as there is a worry amongst goldfish keepers that excess air that they gulp from the surface when they eat can cause issues with their buoyancy.
Keeping Your Eggfish Goldfish Healthy
The Eggfish goldfish is undemanding, and their care is easy. All you need to do to keep these goldfish healthy is to ensure that they have a large aquarium with good filtration to keep the water quality within optimal conditions. They should be kept with other goldfish but not in overcrowded conditions, so there should be enough space for each goldfish to swim comfortably, but not too many that affect the water quality in the aquarium.
Their diet also plays a role in their health, so feeding them high-quality foods and supplements can provide them with the proper nutrition they need.
The Eggfish goldfish can easily be bred if they are kept in the right conditions and their environment undergoes the right changes to mimic the same conditions goldfish would experience in the wild. The male Eggfish goldfish will chase the female around the aquarium to encourage her to spawn and lay eggs which he will then fertilize. The eggs will need to be removed and placed in a nursery tank as goldfish will eat the eggs if they come across them. The eggs should be kept in the right conditions until they hatch the fry.
Are Eggfish Goldfish Suitable For Your Aquarium?
If you have a medium-sized aquarium with a good filtration system and compatible tank mates, then the Eggfish goldfish might be right for your aquarium. Keep in mind that these goldfish are slightly compromised when it comes to their swimming abilities due to not having a dorsal fin, so you will need to keep them in an aquarium that does not have a strong current so that they do not have to exert too much energy to swim around. These cute egg-shaped goldfish make good pets and can live for a long time if cared for properly.
Featured Image Credit: Csaba Nagy, Pixabay