Goldfish Cost

The Cost of Goldfish

Last Updated on July 28, 2021
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

One of the cheapest pets to own, Carassius auratus in his Latin name, is a type of carp domesticated nearly 2,000 years ago for use as ornamental fish in ponds and tanks. The goldfish is intelligent and they were thought to bring luck and fortune.

How much does a goldfish cost?


You will find on the market a variety of goldfish with costs that range from as little as a few cents (Comet Goldfish $0.32) to as much as $30 (Jumbo Ryukin Goldfish), but most of the time, you will only pay between $5 and $10. The price will vary depending on the type of goldfish you’re looking to buy and of course where you purchase it from.

Below you can find a price range from the official pet marketplaces and independent dealers:


Type of Goldfish Average Price
Black Moor $5
Black Butterfly $10
Calico Ryukin $11
Bubble Eye $10
Celestial Eye $60
Calico Telescope $10
Fancy $15
Comet $0.05
Feeder $0.10
Fantail $3
Lionchu $15
Izumo Nankin $8 – $60
Oranda $5
Pearlscale $10
Lionhead $8
Ranchu $30
Pompom $25
Red Cap $8
Red and White $8
Sabao $16
Ryukin $5
Telescope Eye $10
Shubunkin $5
Veiltail $12
Tosakin $120
Watonai $20
Wakin $12

How long do goldfish live?

The goldfish can reach various ages depending on the surrounding environment, but the average life span for a goldfish kept in an aquarium is 10 years while in a pound the average life span is 30 years.

You might also like our articles about the cost of lionfish, seahorses, and axolotls.

Anyway, to enjoy the luck and fortune it can bring, you must feed it properly and not make the common „overfeeding” mistake. Cycle the aquarium and make sure it’s not too small.

How big do goldfish get?

When the fish are kept in small aquariums, they tend to stay at about 1-2 inches in size, but they can grow larger, up to 6 inches, if moved inside bigger aquariums. In outdoor ponds or the wild, goldfish can grow to about 14 inches.

They weigh between 0.2 – 0.6 pounds and can reach about five pounds in the wild.

Are the additional costs high?


A mixture of specialized goldfish flake ($2 to $4) and granules ($3 to$ 7) is a good staple diet. Ideally, you should supplement this with brine shrimp and a mixture of frozen brine shrimp ($25 to $35), daphnia, and veggie mix ($5 to $10). The diet can also be supplemented with scalded peas, small invertebrates, and duckweed.

This type of diet is recommended because it’s designed specifically for goldfish and contains less protein and more carbohydrates, unlike other fish food.

Since goldfish do not have stomachs it is also important to feeding them a few small meals a day and not 1 time in the day. The goldfish will stop eating only when they no longer see any food.


Three Goldfish in BowlDepending on the available budget and space, you can buy a fishbowl that can cost as little as $5 or you can spend as much as $300+ for a 50-gallon aquarium, but the bigger the home the better. Considering the goldfish needs more space to swim as some can grow larger and the life span will be influenced by the available space, an aquarium is highly recommended.

Also, if you plan to buy an aquarium larger than 10 gallons, you have to keep in mind that additional accessories will also be needed for maintenance and the environment:

  • Thermometer ($5-$11)
  • Filter ($15-$40)
  • Water conditioner ($5-$12)
  • Artificial or live plants ($5-$15 each)
  • Decorations ($5-$15 each)
  • PH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate test kit ($5-$9 for 25 strips)
  • Gravel or pebble substrate ($15-$25)
  • A net ($5)
  • Lighting ($20-$60)

Tips and tricks

Besides changing weekly one-third of the water, not the entire tank at once, in order to avoid increased levels of ammonia and/or nitrite, there are a few other tips to know about when you get a goldfish. For example, goldfish can be trained to do tricks. You can actually interact with your goldfish by teaching them to swim through hoops and push balls around. You can also feed them with your fingers.

Types of goldfish

The fish are divided into single tail goldfish that has one single caudal and back fin, and the double-tailed goldfish, which have been specially bred to have all sorts of unusual traits, like shorter, stockier bodies and moving slower than single-tailed varieties.

Butterfly Tail – The butterfly tail goldfish will have a butterflylike look because the fins are splashed out from the sides.

Calico – This type of fish is known for having at least three overlapping colors and multiple scales. The fish from this breed are all unique, with no two of them having the same color.

Common – This is the usual fish that you will probably find in most pet stores. It is also called a feeder fish. It has a shape that makes it very similar to carps and it will usually look exactly how you would imagine a goldfish to look like— a slightly forked tail and a bright metallic orange in color.

Comet – This type of fish will look like a comet in the sky due to its tail that can be as long as its entire body. It isn’t very different from the common goldfish, aside from its tail.

Fantail – You can find this type of fish in most pet shops and it comes in a lot of shapes, colors, and types. It will usually come to your mind when someone mentions the terms “fancy goldfish”.

Jikin – This fish usually has a short double tail, coupled with a longer body, and will be easily recognized due to its white and red pattern that colors the dorsal fins, the lips, and both gill plates. The jikin, is also known as the peacock tail goldfish.

Moor – You will see it having a black color that will be present for most of its life.

Lionhead – This fish will have large wens that will cover most of its face as it reaches adulthood. It will have a fat face and a round body.

Oranda – This type of fish can easily grow larger than 10 inches, making it one of the largest types of fancy goldfish. It is usually recognized by the large, fleshy–like growth on its head, which will start to pop up sometime after three to four months of age.

Pearlscale – This type of fish will have a bulging, hard center right on the top of the head. This is why it is called a goofball fish. It also has some very interesting scales.

Pompom – This fish has received its name due to the overgrown outer portion of the nose that looks very similar to a small pom pom. It also lacks the dorsal.

Ranchu – The Ranchu will look like a lionhead but will have slightly more of an arched back. Its tail also tends to go beneath the body, giving it a more rounded look.

Ryukin – This is also a very well-known fancy goldfish. It features a larger size and will usually come with a large hump on the back.

Sabao – This fish is actually a cross between a ryukin and a syounai. It is also called tamasaba and is usually slender with a less distinguishable hump.

Shubunkin – This type of fish will have an unusual color when compared to the rest of the goldfish. You will usually find it in a calico color pattern with metallic but clear scales. The skin will actually be the one to show the color pattern and not the scales.

Veiltail – This is one of the rarer types of goldfish and will be found in either bi or tri-color patterns.

Alec Pow
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