Animal Stories - Shubunkin Goldfish


Animal-World Information about: Shubunkin Goldfish

The Shubunkin Goldfish have a wild calico patterning set on a blue background... a color which is quite rare in goldfish!
Latest Animal Stories
Lizzie Buxton - 2007-04-24
Hello from England. I have had my beautiful London shubunkin - 'Dotty' for the last four years. He happily lives with a gorgeous Wakin, two other comet goldfish and an albino xenopus toad. Fantastic website, keep up the good work.

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Jason Hamblett - 2011-01-10
Hi can anyone help me? I bought four shubunkins 2 weeks ago and they are in a four foot tank. Recently 1 died, I don't know why so I have treated the water for any diseases. The 1 out of the three is always on its own and doesn't interact with the other two. Please some 1 help me.

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  • bob - 2013-04-01
    I have three danios and at first one would not interact at all but after a few feedings together he started to interact so don't worry
  • angie - 2013-04-04
    Hi I have 2 shubunkins they require at least a 20 to 29 gallon tank because they get very big. I have had mine about 4 months and they are now 8 inches long, started with 4 and 2 died. They need an extra air stone for extra oxygen and they put off a lot of ammonia in the water so I put ammonia tablet mixed with chlorine free water once a week. They cannot be in a small fish tank need a larger one. They like to dart back and forth in the tank and some can get as big as 12 inches. Hope this helps.
  • Terry - 2013-05-06
    I have 2 beautiful Shubunkins. They are now about 8 months old and about 5' long they are in with 3 Gold Gouramis and 6 Austrailian Rainbows,an 8' Plecostomus and a Pictus Cat. All in a 38 gal. tank. They all get along great.
  • Jeremy Roche - 2013-05-06
    Check all your water levels.  Sometimes it is a simple adjustment.  Goldfish make a lot of amonia.
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Leo - 2013-03-25
Hi, it’s me again, back to the shubunkin scenario of appearing to be sleeping lots lately. On my last discussion I fail to mention about the minnows. I had about a 15 white clouds and 12 rosy red minnows for a while and removed the remaining 6 two weeks later because the shubunkin was eating them. A few days later the two oldest shubunkins seem to be sleeping a lot lately and they’re not eating all their food. Occasionally they would sleep with their heads in the back corner not moving. They appeared to be ill and I did several water changes to possibly help to the situation. One of the water changes was 80% but I made certain the water temperature was the same and kept the filters unchanged to maintain the bacterial. Sadly to say but my 7' shunbunkin died yesterday along with 1 comet and 3 cories. The remaining one 6' shubunkin, 2 at 3' and 4 cory cats were transferred to a 20-gallon quarantine tank and will be staying there until I know they get better. What can I put in the 20-gal. to help recover their illness? I’ll be cleaning the 80-gal. tank and all its components before reactivating. Is it possible one or two of the minnows were deceased when the 7 incher ate it? Is it possible one of the other fish were ill and infested others? Is it possible the cories became ill and infected others? Go ahead give heck, I can take it and if ya don’t have an answer that’s ok too.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-03-25
    Gosh Leo, sorry to hear about your larger Shubunkin. Other than 'sleeping' and a low appetite, your challenge is that you haven't identified disease or infection, so its hard to say what to treat for. Checking the water temperature, and parameters (ammonia, nitite, nitrate) are usually the first things to look at. And then a water change (with a water conditioner to remove chlorine and chloramine) is usually the first place to start. From your description, it doesn't sound like your water changes were a problem. Still there are a number of illnesses that can affect goldfish, I'm kind of wondering if maybe they a swim bladder disorder. Also, watch for any changes in their behavior/eating since you moved them into the quarantine tank, as that could indicate a problem with the main tank. I think you may have to do more indepth research on goldfish diseases...  fortunately there's lot of info available.
  • Leo - 2013-03-25
    I can’t thank you enough for a response. Yes, I suspected a swim bladder issue, constipation, Itch, stress or even a lodged piece of gravel. However, I’ll let you know what I find out later and how the others are doing in the quarantine tank.
  • Leo - 2013-03-30
    A follow up on the shubunkin appearing to be sleeping lots. I hope the following information will be useful to others. The result of the seven incher shubunkin that died is considered as an unknown factor. Two of the 3 ½' shunbunkin also followed the death of their tank mate and hopefully we’ll revive the others. The swim bladder disorder was a possibility and the suspicion of ichthyophthirius and/or lymphocystis being introduced by feeder comets and minnows is probably the cause. I just didn’t notice the spots on the beautiful all white comets early enough and I didn’t follow my own proceeder of quarantining the feeder fish. I was being unnecessarily cocky. A lesson well learnt to quarantine all fish prior to being introduced to the main tank. My twelve-year-old granddaughter with better eyes noticed the spots on their fins. The 20-gal. quarantined candidates are having a none raised temperature salt bath to hopefully remedy their long term issue, and it will. I’ve done this many years ago and was successful with explicit and careful instructions that are time consuming. The 6 incher that appeared to be sleeping lots the same as the 7 incher that died is now giving me the impression of getting better by being a little more active and the cories are also appearing to be doing well. I’ve stripped the 80-gal. tank and washed everything including filtration components with a bit of bleach to disinfect the unknown possibilities and of course thoroughly rinsed, washed again and rinsed, and rinsed again. Startup, decorated, water de-chlorinated and a biological cycle conducted that evening. All other feeder fish from five other tanks were transferred to the 80-gal. and we’re in the process of doing a raised temperature salt bath for 17 small comets, 6 commons and 36 rosy reds. All the other tanks will eventually be thoroughly cleaned and again, “a lesson well learnt” that created lost of unnecessary work by being foolish and/or cocky.
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Leo - 2013-03-21
I recently did an 80% water change and the last few days I noticed the two oldest shubunkins seem to be sleeping a lot lately and they’re not eating all their food as usual. One occasionally sleeps vertical or I think he’s sleeping with his head downward for approx. three to five minutes at one time and not moving. The same one on occasion has sticked his head in the back corner not moving and appearing to be punished. I’ve never seen this type of behaviour. The other appears to be sleeping horizontal on the gravel underneath a stone bridge and one or two smaller shubunkins appear to be laying down beside him. It’s charming to observe but is there any cause for concern?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-03-22
    That was a pretty big water change. Goldfish can be sensitive to big changes in their environment, and it may be why they are laying down. Hopefully they will pull out of it.
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Leo - 2013-03-19
For about four months eight rosy barbs were housed with four shubunkins and recently three of the shubunkin’s tails were nipped by rosy barbs. I’ve removed the barbs to another tank temporally. When the shubunkins tails are grown back in should I return the barbs?

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2013-03-19
    The barbs will more then likely go back at it.  Barbs can be a challenge to house with others.
  • Leo - 2013-03-19
    Thank you for your answer. They’re not going back in, I activated another 20-gallon tank just for the Barbs and a few Rosy Reds and I’ll eventually add a few Cory cats.
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Leo - 2013-03-19
At what length do the larger shubunkin stop growing in my 80-gallon tank? In order to get an accurate answer I’m assuming a history is needed. I’m presently housing 12 small corydoras at 1'and 2', two large shubunkins at 7' which are about two years old, two others at 3 ½' and one comet at 4' in a well maintained tank. The fish is measured including the tails. I’ve just removed eight rosy barbs due to tail nipping issues and I also removed six remaining rosy red minnows. The larger fish were devouring on minnows. However, I’m presently housing a total of 43 fish inches in my 80-gallon tank. I hope there’s enough history to get an answer. By the way, I tend to believe this site is the most informative website for my needs that I’ve come across and I appreciate all those involved with questions and answers, thank you to all.

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2013-03-19
    You will probably see 12 or so but they are known to grow larger.  These fish with the others could eventually out grow the 80 Gallon tank.
  • Leo - 2013-03-19
    Thank you for your prompt answer, it's well appreciated. I’m presently operating a combination filter system pushing 960 gallons per hour and doing large water changes averaging 14 to 20 days apart. I’m on the lookout for a 120-gallon tank for the near future for the big guys so they’ll have more surface area. Again, thanks.
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chris - 2009-11-25
I have read of another type of shubunkin goldfish, named the american shubunkin. Couldn't tell you what the difference is from other shubunkins, but I do know they were bred around the same time as the London shubunkins (1920's).

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  • Leo - 2013-03-14
    I'm not sure if this answer would be what you're looking for but I'll give it a shot. Many hours of research, I came across a few sites showing the different types of shubunkins. Most sites relate to the Bristol, London and the American. A few others did specified on the Fantail shub., Blue shub., including the shubunkin calico Comet and the final and most interesting was the cross breed that looks like a Fantail and/or an American. I love all the shubunkins. I have three Fantails and one London and I had a Sarasa Comet that resently died. I only dream to have a Bristol which is not available in my area. Leo
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Hesh - 2013-02-25
What's all those prices on shubunkins, i just bought 5 at wall mart, @ $1. 88 ea. And they are fine in a 25 gal. Tank. Here in n. E. Pa.

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  • Anonymous - 2013-02-25
    The prices are current prices for stores that sell online, except PetsMart, which is included for reader information. Prices vary widely depending mostly on the size of the fish. Its good to know you got a great deal from Walmart! No?
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Roland Tan Sabañico - 2013-01-05
Is it okay to put 9 shubunkin and 4 danio in a 30 gal tank??

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2013-01-05
    Tank is way to small. Shubunkins will get large.  Also not a good mix with danios.
  • Roland Tan Sabañico - 2013-01-12
    Ok. What will happen if I mix Shubunkin with Danio? Actually I have 2 aquariums, the other one is full of guppies. Sorry for the late reply :)
  • Jeremy Roche - 2013-01-12
    The Shubunkin will more then likely start attacking the danios.  They also produce a large amount of ammonia make the condition hard for the danios to handle.  Goldfish are best to keep with goldfish.
  • Roland Tan Sabañico - 2013-01-12
    ok. Thanks :)
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melissa sartin - 2012-12-23
I just purchased 2 calico goldfish to put in my 50 gal tank. I have 2 black moores in there also,but they keep picking on the calicos, easpecially the littler one. They chase it by its tail. Is there a reason or are they playing?

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  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2012-12-24
    Keep an eye on them and see if it gets worse or if their fins start looking torn up. You may want to put some floating plants and some ground decorations to help give them places to hide. If it gets worse you may want to separate the fish.
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