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Home > Goldfish > Sabao Goldfish: Pictures, Facts, Lifespan & Care Guide

Sabao Goldfish: Pictures, Facts, Lifespan & Care Guide

calico sabao goldfish

The Sabao Goldfish is a rare species developed by breeding a Ryukin Goldfish with a Syounai. The result was a stunning goldfish variety with a peaceful demeanor. Although these fish are loved around the world, they are rare everywhere, especially outside of Japan.

If you get your hands on a Sabao Goldfish, you are a lucky person indeed. These goldfish are beautiful, friendly, and peaceful. They aren’t difficult to care for either. Read on to learn everything you need to know about caring for a Sabao Goldfish.


Quick Facts About Sabao Goldfish

white orange sabao goldfish
Image Credit: Pavaphon Supanantananont, Shutterstock
Species Name: Carassius auratus auratus
Family: Cyprinidae
Care Level: Beginner
Temperature: 65–74˚F
Temperament: Playful, peaceful
Color Form: Red/white bicolor
Lifespan: 15 years
Size: 10+ inches
Diet: Omnivorous
Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons
Tank Set-Up: Freshwater with filtration; substrate and heater optional
Compatibility: Safe with other goldfish

Sabao Goldfish Overview

Sabao Goldfish are incredibly rare. Because Syounai Goldfish, one of the fish required to produce the Sabao Goldfish, is not commercially bred, it’s difficult to breed these fish. This goldfish was initially bred in Japan. However, they are still rare today, even in Japan.

Sabao Goldfish are highly sought-after fish, which is a shame due to their rarity. This breed is known for being friendly and beautiful.

If it wasn’t for their rarity, Sabao Goldfish would be one of the best fish for beginners. Since they aren’t picky about their environment.

How Much Do Sabao Goldfish Cost?

Goldfish are some of the most affordable fish around, but this is not the case for the Sabao Goldfish. Due to their rarity, these fish are tough to find. As a result, expect to pay at least $150 for one fish.

Even so, many places sell Sabao Goldfish for over $300. This does not even include the tank or other materials required to keep fish happy and healthy. Most people who are willing to spend this amount on a fish choose top-tier tank products as well, further upping the cost of the fish.

Typical Behavior & Temperament

Sabao Goldfish are considered some of the most docile and gentle fish. They are even playful and social, making them a great addition to community tanks.

To make these fish even more unique, they can actually recognize people and patterns.

gold and copper sabao goldfish
Image Credit: Pavaphon Supanantananont, Shutterstock

Appearance & Varieties

Sabao Goldfish only come in one color variety: red and white, with edges between the colors. Their bodies are rounded, and their tails are long and elegant. The other fins are elongated too, but not as long as their tails. The Sabao Goldfish looks a lot like the Comet Goldfish when viewed from the side.

Sabao Goldfish look a lot like Tamasaba Goldfish too. You can tell them apart by paying attention to the hump on the Tamasaba. If there is no hump, then it is a Sabao Goldfish. If there is a hump, then it’s a Tamasaba.

With that said, many stores sell individuals that they claim are Sabao Goldfish. However, you’ll find that many of these fish do not belong to the species by looking at their appearance. If the fish does not have the appearance described above, it is not a Sabao Goldfish.


How to Take Care of Sabao Goldfish

Because Sabao Goldfish are so hardy, they aren’t difficult to take care of. Here’s everything you need to know in order to properly care for this rare fish:

Habitat, Tank Conditions & Setup

Sabao Goldfish are very hardy, which means they don’t require a lot of care. Even with that being the case, their rarity means that you don’t want to slack on the upkeep. If you set up the tank conditions correctly, you can expect them to be happy and healthy.

Tank Size

Keep your Sabao Goldfish in a tank no smaller than 20 gallons. If you can handle it, certainly get as large of a tank as possible. The larger the tank is, the better off the goldfish will be.

Water Quality & Conditions

Because goldfish are hardy, they can thrive in waters of many parameters. Most prefer temperatures between 65–74˚F. If temperatures drop below 60˚F, their metabolism will drop and cause them to go into a semi-dormant state, so stay above 60˚F.

As for the pH level, these fish prefer neutral waters. Sabaos prefer a pH level between 6.0 and 8.0.


Sabao Goldfish don’t require substrate like other fish. They will occasionally scavenge, but they aren’t frequent scavengers. Selecting smooth gravel and aquarium sand will be the best substrate choice since it will allow them to scavenge when they feel like it.

If you want an aesthetically-pleasing tank, you can opt for river rocks instead. The downside of river rocks is that they will not provide your fish the opportunity or option to scavenge, but they are prettier than other options.


Sabao Goldfish love environments with plants. Plants like duckweed, water lettuce, and java fern are the best. If you decide to put plants inside the aquarium, make sure there are still a lot of open areas for the fish to swim.


Unlike many fish, Sabao Goldfish do not have any specific lighting needs. As long as they have access to a regular day-night cycle, these fish will be happy. With this in mind, natural light is always preferable.


Even though Sabao Goldfish are hardy, they need quite a bit of filtration. Just like other goldfish, this species is a heavy producer of waste. Getting a great filtration system ensures that there is no heavy buildup of waste or chemicals that can harm the fish.


Are Sabao Goldfish Good Tank Mates?

Sabao Goldfish are some of the best tank mates. They are incredibly peaceful and social. If you pair them with other social, medium-sized fish, your tank will be a joyous place for all.

Keep in mind that Sabao Goldfish are opportunistic feeders. As omnivores, they will eat just about anything that can fit into their mouths. For this reason, do not pair the Sabao Goldfish with smaller fish that can fit inside its mouth. This includes small fish, shrimp, or snails.

Additionally, don’t pair the Sabao Goldfish with other fish that will nip at their tails. For example, Mollies are often bad pairs with the Sabao Goldfish because they will damage the fish’s fins.

What to Feed Your Sabao Goldfish

Because Sabao Goldfish are a big investment, you definitely want to select high-quality goldfish food. Most Sabao Goldfish breeders recommend the Hikari brand with some treats thrown in. Bloodworms and brine shrimp make excellent treats for this fish. Green vegetables should be available for grazing as well.

Many goldfish die as a result of improper feeding, diet, and/or portion sizes – which can be easily prevented by proper education.

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Keeping Your Sabao Goldfish Healthy

Sabao Goldfish are a relatively hardy and healthy fish species. If you provide the fish with a well-balanced diet and great filtration, you can largely expect them to remain healthy and happy.

To ensure that your Sabao Goldfish is in good health, do not overfeed them and keep the environment clean. Doing these things will primarily help prevent certain health conditions, such as swim bladder disease.


Like other goldfish, Sabao Goldfish reproduce through eggs and spawning. If you intend to breed these fish, you need an ideal breeding environment so that the eggs can incubate without being eaten. The tank also needs plenty of hides so that the female can stay hidden if needed.

When eggs are laid, it’s best to remove them and put them in a separate tank. Other tankmates may eat the eggs. Keep the fry in the separate tank after hatching until they’re large enough to be placed with full-sized fish.


Are Sabao Goldfish Suitable for Your Aquarium?

Sabao Goldfish are an excellent choice for many aquariums. They will add brightness and playfulness to the tank, assuming you have tankmates that are peaceful.

The main thing to think about when selecting a Sabao Goldfish is its price and rarity. If you just want a pretty goldfish to add to your tank, the Sabao Goldfish might not be the best choice simply because of how difficult they are to find. Instead, the Sabao Goldfish is best for fish enthusiasts who specifically enjoy rare breeds.

Other goldfish varieties: 

Featured Image Credit: Pavaphon Supanantananont, Shutterstock

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