What Are The Smallest Goldfish Species? Types Of Goldfish That Stay Small

Do you have a smaller aquarium (think 30 or 40 gallons) or pond? You might be wondering what the smallest goldfish species are.

Many of the smaller goldfish species were designed for their smaller size. But, they carry a lot of personality in their little bodies.

If you’re thinking about getting a smaller goldfish, take a look at this list to see which one might be best for you.

What Are The Smallest Goldfish Species?

Although the goldfish on this list stay on the smaller side, they’re not tiny fish. You still need to have adequate space for them, and that includes at least 30 gallons per fish.

Are you ready for that? Great! Let’s dive in and find out about the world’s smallest goldfish species.

[#1] The Tosakin (Twisted-Tailed) Goldfish — The Smallest Goldfish

To top off our list is the Tosakin goldfish, the smallest goldfish in the world. The largest of their kind maxes out at 6in (15.24cm) in length.

Tosakin goldfish have an egg-shaped body with a fan-shaped tail. They come in a variety of different colors. Colors usually include red and white, orange and white, solid orange, and solid red.

Their most noticeable feature is their flowy tail. This is why they are sometimes called the “twisted-tailed” goldfish. The tails are beautiful to view from the top down because of how they fan out. They spread out in a horizontal, fixed formation.

They are gentle, slow swimmers who prefer to live in shallow waters. Because they are gentle fish, they don’t do well with faster, more aggressive tank mates. They’re going to do better with tankmates of their own kind.

Tosakin goldfish have a lifespan of about 10-15 years.

[#2] The Butterfly Telescope Goldfish

The butterfly telescope goldfish is the second smallest goldfish species. It has a body length that can reach 8in (20.32cm).

These goldfish got their name from their caudal fins which resemble butterfly wings. We also refer to them as “telescope” goldfish because they have large, bulging eyes.

The butterfly telescope goldfish is also a gentle and graceful swimmer. They can even use their large tails to help them glide across the surface of the water.

Butterfly telescope goldfish can live for 10-15 years. In some cases, these goldfish may live for over 20 years.

[#3] The Ryukin

The Ryukin goldfish comes next with a body length of up to 9in (22.86cm). Ryukins have a pointed head peaked by a large hump.

Ryukins have short, but deep bodies. They generally come in solid colors of red, white, silver, black, orange, and gray.

Some Ryukins have short fins, while others have long fins. Those with long fins may have three or four fins in total. Their dorsal fin rises high off their body. Their caudal fin is incredibly long, often spanning twice the length of their body length.

Ryukins are some of the hardiest species of goldfish, so they’re a popular pick for ponds as well as aquariums.

Ryukin goldfish can live for up to 10-15 years under normal conditions. When given exceptionally good conditions, they may live for over 20 years.

[#4] Double-Tailed Goldfish

The double-tailed goldfish are some of the bigger goldfish which can reach up to 8-10in (20.32-25.4cm).

Their body is dense and shaped like an egg. They have a very long dorsal fin in addition to their long, flowy tail. They come in a variety of colors from black, orange, yellow, and even calico.

Double-tailed goldfish are a type of fancy goldfish that may come in a variety of small sizes. Their tail spreads out behind them horizontally. Their name comes from its divided tail fin which curls at the end.

Another popular choice for ponds, the double-tailed goldfish is a hardy species.

Double-tailed goldfish can live up to 10-15 years. When given exceptional care, they may live for over 20 years.

The Oranda

Oranda goldfish are one of the most popular species in the goldfish-keeping hobby.

These fish have unique bodies starting from their shape to their coloration. Unlike many goldfish species, their bodies look like an egg. Their bellies are large and can be twice as wide as the fish’s body length.

Even the fins are unique. They have extremely long tail fins. The tails often make up two-thirds of their entire body length.

What really makes these fish stand out is the large cap on their heads. Orandas aren’t born with their large caps, they don’t begin appearing at about three to four months of age. At that point, they grow a large hump on the top of their head that somewhat resembles a brain.

The cap is thick and rough in texture. For some goldfish, the cap will truly resemble a hat, stopping at the top of the head. For other fish, it may continue growing until it covers their entire face and head.

[#5] Single-Tailed Goldfish

The biggest goldfish on this list include the single-tailed goldfish. This includes both the Shubunkin and Orandas. They can reach up to 14in (33.56cm) in length.

Single-tailed goldfish look very similar to double-tailed goldfish. The difference, of course, lies within their name. They have a single tail rather than a double one. Their bodies are also longer and less dense than those of double-tailed goldfish.

Like double-tailed goldfish, single-tailed goldfish make good pond fish. They are hardy fish that is able to handle a wide variety of changing water conditions.

Single-tailed goldfish can live for about 20 years.


Shubunkins in particular are beautiful goldfish. They are strewn with metallic and clear scales across their bodies.

The thing that people love most about Shubunkins is their beautiful coloring. They can take on shades of white, gray, red, orange, yellow, and blue. Blue is incredibly rare for goldfish, so if you find a Shubunkin with this coloration, it’s even more special.

We also call them calico goldfish because of their bold coloring and flowing fins.

There are three different kinds of Shubunkin goldfish: America, Bristol, and London.

The London Shubunkin are the most common and they have a slim body with a short tail. The rest of their fins are usually rounder as well, like their tail.

The American Shubunkin has a longer tail with a fork down the center. The fork forms a deep “V” like that of the Comet goldfish.

Last is the Bristol Shubunkin who has a fuller tail that forms the shape of a letter “B”. These types of Shubunkins are quite rare and are usually quite expensive.


These are six of the most popular goldish that we consider a “small” goldfish species. Although they’re small, they are bold in their coloration and personality.

Did you enjoy learning about these different, unique goldfish? If you did, consider sharing it with your friends. They may also love a goldfish but don’t have room for a massive aquarium.

You simply can’t go wrong with any of these goldfish.

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