May 18

50 Fun Facts About Goldfish That’ll Astound the Living Daylights Out of You!


You’re probably wondering – why goldfish? Why is there an entire post on fun facts about goldfish and not any other fish? Apparently, the goldfish is quite a fascinating little creature with intriguing stories and characteristics associated with it.

So, we thought, why not goldfish?

Moreover, suppose you’re looking for an ideal pet (read: goldfish) and want to learn a thing or two before you officially introduce it into your family. In that case, we are the pit stop you need to make. 

Because in this article, we’ll be walking you through a series of highly intriguing and fun facts about goldfish that’ll dazzle you for sure.

Therefore, without wasting another moment, let’s get swimming!

A Goldfish Will Eat Any Fish That Fits in Its Mouth

As alarming and weird as it sounds [especially for other fish], this is one of the fun facts. Pretty fun. 

If any small fish fits in the goldfish’s mouth, it’ll probably go like – oh yeah, we are in for a feast tonight. So, before you put your small fish with it, know that the goldfish will eat them all.

It’ll be ferocious.

A President Kept a Pet Goldfish

All hail the President of all the fishes – goldfish!

We are crowning it as the President because Grover Cleveland (former President of the United States) owned hundreds of goldfish! Collecting and tending to goldfish was one of his hobbies – and he really adored his collection too. 

Goldfish See More Colors Than Humans

Another incredible fact, in our chronicles of fun facts about goldfish, is how goldfish have the ability to see more colors than humans. Shocking, right? 

Humans see a combination of three primary colors. But goldfish, apart from them, can see another extra color – ultraviolet. It’s more like a whitish violet or blue color and is the reason why goldfish enjoy a more colorful and brighter world.  

A black oranda goldfish
Photo by Đồng Phục Hải Triều on Unsplash

Goldfish Can Understand Music

If you think you saw your goldfish jamming to BTS, and not Billie Eilish – like, it’s an absurd idea – but if you still think you did – be assured that it’s true. 

One of the many fun facts about goldfish is that they can recognize musical notes. Not only are they talented enough to distinguish between Stravinsky and Bach, but they can also be trained to identify different composers. 

Goldfish Can Recognize Faces

According to research conducted by experts from the UK and Australia, goldfish are probably the only fish to have exhibited such behavior. Therefore, it wouldn’t be wrong to agree that Tropical fish have the ability to identify and distinguish between faces.

Therefore, the next time your goldfish swims away as you level down to see if – don’t take it to your heart, but it doesn’t like you. 

    Don’t worry – give your relationship some time. Your goldfish will come around. 

    Blinking Is Not a Goldfish’s Thing

    Unlike you, goldfish don’t have eyelids. And, because they don’t have eyelids – goldfish don’t close their eyes while sleeping. You will never be able to tell if your goldfish is fast asleep or just having a relaxing day in the aquarium. 

    Wouldn’t you do anything to acquire this superpower? How cool would it be to sleep through class and never get caught? Yeah, goldfish are living THE life. 

    An Authentic Sixth Sense

    You know, how we all are claiming to have this sixth sense? It’s probably just a gut feeling for all we know. 

    However unlike human beings, goldfish have an outstanding sixth sense, and they got proof for that. There’s a row of cells called lateral cells present on the goldfish’s skin. This lateral line specializes in detecting changes in water flow and movement around the goldfish. 

    So, the next time you claim to possess this ability – know that you’re up against goldfish without a lateral line to authenticate your claim. 

    Goldfish Can Turn White

    In our list of fun facts about goldfish – this has to be one of our favorites. How fantastic is the idea of color-changing? Pretty awesome, we know. 

    Like iguanas, goldfish can change their color as well. However, instead of any color, goldfish usually turn milky white. This color-changing phenomenon is only possible when goldfish are kept in the darkroom and then later brought into the light. 

    Since sunlight is responsible for “activating” the pigmentation on the fish’s scales – without it (like in a dark room), you can expect your goldfish to turn as white as a ghost. 

    A school of goldfish
    Photo by pouria oskuie on Unsplash

    3-Second Memory Myth

    To make things more interesting – allow us to throw in a myth. 

    It’s believed that goldfish have a three-second memory. However, according to some experts, it’s said that goldfish can remember things for around three months.

    So, you better not get shocked when your goldfish gets excited when it sees you after a long vacation. Because not only does it recognize you, but remembers you as well.

    Male Goldfish Breeding Stars to Impress Female Goldfish

    When the breeding season is around the corner, male goldfish try their best to scout some female goldfish. To achieve this, they show off their breeding stars, typically seen as white dots that are believed to score female goldfish precisely. 

    Therefore, if you come across a relatively thin goldfish going around a slightly fatter goldfish – know that there’s probably some intimate business going on. 

    The Goldfish Is the Most Popular Aquarium Fish in The World

    Continuing our listicle of fun facts about goldfish, you’d probably know that goldfish is the most popular aquarium fish globally. Here are a couple of reasons to support this. 

    Firstly, there are probably 0 chances of developing a goldfish allergy; so kids with asthma or fur allergy can easily own a goldfish. Secondly, they are one of the hardiest and most accommodating fish in the world. Hence, if there’s one pet that wouldn’t disappoint you in a lot of areas – that’s goldfish for you. 

    Goldfish Can Taste with Their Lips

    Did you know the goldfish could taste with their lips? Probably not.

    Unlike the usual, where the tongue is responsible for picking up taste, goldfish taste with their lips. That’s why you see them putting their lips against the glass surface of the aquarium too often. 

    We don’t know what flavor glass comes in, but it sure feels like one of the hobbies goldfish has.

    Count the Fish Scales & Guess the Age

    As goldfish age, they like to flaunt their seniority by adding a ring to their scale. This process is quite similar to what the trees do as they turn older. Besides, you don’t need a microscope to view these scales – they are quite visible to the naked eye.

    So, the next time you go hunting for some pet goldfish, remember you can also determine its age.

    Goldfish Can Eat Their Own Poop

    We think any earthly creature that can challenge Bear Grylls when it comes to eating almost everything – is goldfish. And do you know why? Well, let us give you a hint. It’s got something to do with their poop. 

    Yes, you guessed it right. Goldfish can eat their own poop to make up for the nutrients they didn’t consume. 

    Talk about survival.

    A goldfish in a fishbowl
    Photo by Ahmed Hasan on Unsplash

    Goldfish is Incredible with Tricks

    Another one of the many amazing fun facts about goldfish is that you can train them to do all sorts of tricks, just like a dog. 

    Except goldfish have fins and prefer water. 

    Because of their brilliant memory, they can learn the tricks you teach them with time. So, whether it is swimming through hoops or hand-feeding – a goldfish can keep you occupied and entertained at the same time.  

    They Have a Longer Attention Span Than People

    If someone asks about the bonding and attachment you have with your goldfish – let them know that goldfish are better listeners than humans could ever be. Having a greater attention span than humans is truly one of the interesting, fun facts about goldfish. 

    They’re Friendly Creatures

    Getting along is not an issue among goldfish. They usually tend to get along with each other, hang out in the aquarium and make small talk every now and then. 

    However, this is only possible if the goldfish are more or less the same size. They tend to eat smaller fish, so it’s not a good idea to keep such fishes together. 

    Moreover, goldfish supposedly get a bit cranky during the breeding season. That’s probably one of the few times they wouldn’t be getting along with each other like they always do.  

    The Largest Goldfish Is the Size of a Cat

    Don’t be so surprised – this is a really fun fact for sure. According to the Guinness World Records, the largest goldfish to exist equals the size of a cat, i.e., 18 inches.

    The current measurement, i.e., 18 inches, is without including the tail. How amazing is that? 

    Goldfish Live Longer Than Other Domestic Fishes

    As we swim deeper into the ocean of fun facts about goldfish – here’s one that you’d find a little hard to believe. 

    As compared to other fishes, goldfish can live a longer life. On record, one goldfish was found to live for about 40 years. However, it’s important to provide proper care in order to ensure their prolonged life. 

    If you don’t (as many people take goldfish to be low-maintenance), don’t expect your goldfish to not die on you. 

    Albino Goldfish Are a Thing

    Well, we all probably think of the color white whenever we hear about albinism. However, when it comes to albino goldfish, it’s not their bodies – but their eyes. 

    Goldfish are classified as one when they have pink pupils instead of black ones. 

    A big orange goldfish
    Photo by Andrew Haimerl on Unsplash

    Goldfish Equals to Royalty

    As if 20 fun facts about goldfish weren’t enough, here’s another one to knock your shoes off of your feet. 

    Did you know that back in the late 1100s, goldfish were considered royalty? During the Song Dynasty, it was forbidden for ordinary people to keep yellow-colored goldfish, as only royals could own one. Since the commoners weren’t allowed, they started to breed orange-goldfish, which is why we now see the latter goldfish more. 

    So, if you decide to gift it to a friend – you’re practically giving them something incredibly royal. 

    Stomachs? Nope, Goldfish Do Fine without One

    That’s because they don’t need one. 

    Goldfish only have intestines that help in the breakdown and absorption of all the necessary nutrients required by them. So, honestly – stomach or no stomach, goldfish are pretty fine being the way they are. 

    Gifting a Goldfish Is a Sign of Friendship

    If you’re into symbolism, even a tad bit, you’re going to love this fun fact for sure! 

    Goldfish symbolize royalty, calmness, prosperity, and friendship. So, if you have just become friends with someone and want your friendship to last forever – we’d suggest you go for a goldfish. Besides, when does going old-school, thoughtful, and being simple backfire? 

    Nighttime Sleep is Important for Goldfish

    Well, no one would want to miss out on their beauty, goodnight sleep. Not even if it’s a goldfish. 

    So yes, goldfish do sleep at night in order to rejuvenate themselves for the following day. It’s just a living-thing kind of thing, nothing else. 

    Just Keep Swimming

    Apart from Dory, goldfish have the same motto in life – along with 20,000 other fishes. 

    They always keep swimming despite anyone leaving or joining the school of goldfish. However, sometimes when one goldfish starts swimming in another direction, the rest of the fish may follow. And if they don’t, the rebel eventually rejoins the group. 

    A black & orange goldfish
    Photo by Brian Wangenheim on Unsplash

    A Goldfish Can Keep Eating Until It Dies

    Here’s one of the fun facts about goldfish that isn’t too fun – eating themselves to death.   

    Among many ways of taking care of a goldfish, this one is quite important. As soon as you get a goldfish, establish an eating schedule. Or else, goldfish can keep on eating and eating – until they literally die. 

    Death by overfeeding on themselves – what a tragedy. 

    Goldfish Come with Unique Scales

    Goldfish have three types of scales; metallic, matte, and nacreous (mixture of both metallic and matte). The presence of guanine, its amount and depth, is what determines different types of scales. 

    So, let’s say if a goldfish’s scales appear to be very shiny – it means that they have metallic scales that have increased amounts of guanine. For matte scales that appear translucent have lesser quantities of guanine comparatively. 

    Koi & Goldfish Babies are Similar to Mules

    Let’s talk about some serious birth control in goldfish, shall we? 

    Just like mules can’t breed more mules, if you breed koi with a goldfish – their babies are the last ones to ever exist. Since they are hybrids like mules, no matter how much you try, they will never produce offspring of their own. 

    A black comet is a popular example of a hybrid goldfish. 

    Laying 1000 Eggs Isn’t a Big Deal for Female Goldfish

    It wouldn’t be wrong to say that female goldfish tend to go a little overboard when it comes to laying eggs. 

    However, they must aim for such big numbers because many of the eggs can’t survive, and many won’t hatch. So, it’s safer for them to go for around a thousand eggs to ensure that some of the eggs most certainly hatch and live their lives! 

    Goldfish Can Live Up To 3 Weeks without Food

    When it comes to survival – goldfish surely is one of the hardiest fishes for sure. According to numerous researches and expert opinions, it is known that goldfish can survive for at least 2 weeks without consuming any food. 

    Either they’ll eat themselves to death or survive two weeks without any food – truly, goldfish can be a little extreme. Don’t you think so? 

    A school of orange & white goldfish
    Photo by DEAR on Unsplash

    Goldfish Got Brains

    Point number 31, in our list of fun facts about goldfish, is about them having a brain. 

    You wouldn’t believe it, but goldfish are very smart creatures. The previous points cover how goldfish can learn tricks and recognize faces that tell us that goldfish are intelligent. 

    Their brain is located on top of their eyes and in front of the spine. 

    No Tongues for Taste

    A bit of a shocking fun fact, but it’s incredibly true. 

    Goldfish don’t use their tongues for tasting food. Because the taste buds are located on their lips. They use their lips to comprehend different types of taste. 

    That’s a bummer for the tongue – replaced by the lips, and that too so easily. Heartbreaking.   

    Goldfish Have an Incredible Sense of Smell

    Sense of smell is the key to a goldfish’s survival. 

    Upon looking closely, you’ll come across two pits. These holes are the nares of the goldfish, which they use to detect the smell. Since goldfish use their nares and sense of smell to search for food in the depths of the ocean, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that they really depend on it. 

    Goldfish Have Teeth in Their Throats

    One of the very what-seriously fun facts about goldfish, but it is what it is. Goldfish don’t have teeth in their mouth but in the back of their throats. Therefore, all the crushing and grinding of the food bolus occurs in their throats. 

    Goldfish Are Somewhat Noisy

    Well, they are living things – what else do you expect? 

    Goldfish make sounds to interpret their emotions – like when they are fighting or celebrating. They also squeak, squeal, or grunt during eating. 

    So, the next time you see goldfish up-close, they’re probably fighting or just hanging out with each other during lunch. 

    Carp is Goldfish’s Grandparents

    Remember the story about Song Dynasty from before? Well, if you don’t – allow us to give you a small recap. 

    Goldfish actually come from China, where they were considered royalty. No one except the royals could own the yellow goldfish – so their subjects decided to rebel. 

    As they commenced the process of selective breeding, orange goldfish came into existence. But which fish did they use for this purpose? That’s right – the greenish-brown fish known as carp. Therefore, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that goldfish comes from the family of Prussian carp. 

    Four orange goldfish facing front
    Photo by kabita Darlami on Unsplash

    The Goldfish is a Tough Son-of-a-Gun

    Apparently, goldfish can be very tough and possess the ability to quickly adapt to different scenarios quite quickly. 

    Whether it is surviving without food for weeks, constantly changing temperatures, lack of oxygen, or fluctuating levels of pH – an ordinary goldfish can withstand it all. And you thought you were a tough big boy. 

    These are all the reasons why goldfish make a good choice as pets for beginners. 

    Goldfish Yawns Backwards

    Just when we thought that there was a stop to these mind-blowing fun facts about goldfish – we’re yet again thrown off our chairs. 

    Goldfish can yawn backward – yes, like a boss. But it doesn’t do it to show off, instead, it does it for its own good.  

    For goldfish, yawning isn’t a sign that they’re sleepy – nope. It’s when they suck water in the opposite direction to clean their gills. 

    What an advanced way of staying clean and fresh! 

    Pregnancy is a No-No for Goldfish

    Goldfish understand the hassle of a pregnancy – therefore, they decide not to do things the old way. 

    So, how do they breed then? It’s spawning.   

    In this process, the female goldfish lays thousands of unfertilized eggs in the water, and the male goldfish releases their sperm. 

    And boom – you got baby goldfish. Plural. 

    King/Queen of Color Combinations

    Goldfish like to act upon what they see. Just like they can see more colors than humans, they also come in vibrant and oh-so attractive color combinations! 

    It’s understood that selective breeding has allowed these color combinations to spring up and dazzle everyone with the variety. Not that we are complaining. 

    Goldfish come in black, red, orange, yellow, blueish grey, or brown – imagine what a colorful aquarium would it be! 

    An aquarium full of goldfish
    Photo by kazuend on Unsplash

    Regenerative Powers like A Superhero

    We think it’s about time we replace the fun facts about goldfish with blow-our-minds-off facts about goldfish. Yes, that’d be great. 

    Who knew goldfish had regenerative powers!? Well, apparently, they do. Specifically, it’s their scales and fins that can grow back. A goldfish can lose its scales due to infection or injury – but that’s not a problem for goldfish. 

    The regenerative process is not painful, but it’s certainly time-consuming. Therefore, if you notice your goldfish hiding behind the rocks in the aquariumjust let it be, please. 

    Goldfish Can Hibernate

    Like we mentioned before – goldfish is one tough son of a gun. 

    So, when the temperature falls down (usually below 60 degrees), and it gets incredibly cold for the goldfish – they make a decision. All goldfish (or one, if you’re just considering your goldfish) decide to hibernate. 

    During this period of dormancy, goldfish go into hiding or settle at the bottom of the tank. They slow down with their swimming and stop eating for a while. Goldfish can hibernate for 6-10 weeks and come out alive once winter ends. 

    Well, apparently the cold does bother the goldfish, anyway. 

    Laser Pen is Your Goldfish’s Best Friend

    You know goldfish love playing with their human friends? Well, they are seen enjoying their love laser friend even more than the finger hoops! 

    You’ve probably seen everyone do it and want to give it a try as well. Like, all the goldfish really seem to have fun. But, according to a research study by Shehaan, it isn’t really a fun thing. 

    He has concluded that goldfish chase laser pointers because they see them as a threat to their home. So, while you think it’s fun for the goldfish and you guys are really bonding – the reality is quite different. 

    Your pet goldfish probably hates you for eternity now. Therefore, how about skipping playing with laser pens? 

    Getting Bored is A Real Thing for Goldfish

    Probably the only thing goldfish and humans have in common is getting bored. Yes, it’s a thing for goldfish, and do they really get uninterested in everything that is happening for some reason. Let us tell you the reason. 

    For goldfish, getting bored is not equivalent to just having a lazy day. Goldfish get bored if things aren’t ideal for them. Let’s say that the tank’s water parameters are not up to the mark or there are not enough decorations in the tank – it’s going to bore the goldfish. 

    To make sure that it doesn’t die of boredom, just live up to their expectations. Keep the water clean, timely change aquarium decorations, or plan a food hunt for them. 

    After all, it’s all about the effort. Isn’t it? 

    Bowls Are Not HOME for Goldfish

    Number 45th in our list of fun facts about goldfish is how they dislike living in a bowl. Yes, it’s a fishbowl but not a goldfish bowl. 

    Therefore, if you’re thinking of buying a bowl for keeping your goldfish, drop the idea immediately. Goldfish love having a big space, where they can move around freely, swim through the hoops, and just chill in a spacious aquarium tank. 

    Cooping them up in a bowl would only be inviting their death. Because the water gets toxic real fast, and goldfish need a good amount of oxygen to survive. So, don’t do that to your goldfish and get them a big tank. 

    A pair of Oranda goldfish
    Photo by Hannah jones on Unsplash

    Goldfish Got Ears

    Well, not, really. They don’t have ears, but they can hear. 

    It’s their lateral line and internal ears that allow them to listen. Obviously, if they are fighting, they need each other to listen in order to fight. OK, that was a bad example, but you get the point. 

    Also, you might want to stop tapping on their tank. You don’t get their attention that way, probably just some foul fish language thrown your way. 

    Goldfish Have Dominated the Lakes

    And it wasn’t pretty, trust us. 

    Some people released (not numerous but few) goldfish in a lake. In about three years, thousands and thousands of goldfish populated that lake – like they owned it or something. 

    And here’s another one of the fun facts about goldfish – in the wild, they can grow more than 1 ft. 

    A Goldfish Can Eat from Your Hand

    Hand Feeding is something most pet owners prefer because it’s personal. With aquatic pets, it can get a bit challenging but fret not, my goldfish lovers slash owners. Goldfish will feed right out of your hand, just be patient.  

    Goldfish Can Get as Big as the Tank

    If goldfish are given favorable environmental conditions – they can grow to the size of the tank. Yes, it’s true – and don’t for one second believe that it’s untrue. 

    Goldfish usually grow in the first year of their life. Thus, if you take care of and feed them well – it’s when they are really going to surprise you with their growing capabilities. 

    Goldfish Are Incredibly Messy

    All fish are messy – after all, they swim in their own poop and waste products. But goldfish tend to be a bit messier than other fishes. It’s probably because they eat a lot and excrete high amounts of ammonia as well. 

    But if you take care of the cleanliness – it wouldn’t be much of a problem! 

    FAQs – Still Got Some Questions?

    If the fun facts about goldfish that we covered weren’t enough to answer your questions – here are some frequently asked questions. 

    How Many Types of Goldfish Are There?

    There are over hundreds of varieties of goldfish found in the sea. However, when it comes to goldfish pets, here are the following types you should know about:

    • BubbleEye
    • Celestial
    • Black Moor
    • Lionshead
    • Ryukin
    • Oranda
    • Fantail
    • Comet
    • Shubunkin
    • Telescope
    • Veiltail 

    Dive into their details, and figure out which one makes the ideal goldfish pet for you! 

    How Long Can Goldfish Live Without Food? 

    According to experts, goldfish can live at least 8 days to 2 weeks without food. Usually, during this time, goldfish survive by eating algae found in the aquarium. This is one of the reasons why goldfish make an amazing travel partner. However, just because they can doesn’t mean that they should be starved. 

    Moreover, the water temperature can also influence the number of days a goldfish can go without consuming food. Lowering the temperature means the metabolism of your goldfish slows down as well, allowing it to go without food for longer days and vice versa. 

    How Big Do Goldfish Get?

    You probably shouldn’t even think of keeping goldfish in a fishbowl. Because goldfish can grow more than 18 inches. Yes, 18 inches – rounding off to an average length of a cat. 

    Shocking – we know. 

    However, in the wild, 12-14 inches is the normal length achieved by goldfish. If you own them as a pet, they’ll probably be around 6 inches, maximum. 

    Do Goldfish Make Noises?

    Goldfish aren’t as quiet as we think them to be. While they prefer to stay quiet and enjoy their life in the tank, there are times when goldfish can be very noisy. Whether talking, eating, or just expressing their emotions – you’ll usually find them squeaking, squealing, or subtly grunting. 

    Do Goldfish Change Color? 

    Yes, goldfish can change color. But it depends on numerous factors – such as; water temperature, amount of sunlight available, and selective breeding being some of the commonest ones. 

    Goldfish start off as brown/black-colored fishes to protect themselves against predators. However, after 1-2 years of life, they start to achieve their characteristic yellowish-orangish color. 

    Can Goldfish Smell?

    Oh, they’ve got a great sense of smell like dogs. So, yes – goldfish can smell really good because this is how they mostly find their food.  

    Unlike the complexities of a human nose – goldfish have two pits with smell receptors embedded in them. As water flows through these receptors, they pick up the smell and relay it to the goldfish’s brain. 

    Do Goldfish Close Their Eyes When They Sleep? 

    No, goldfish don’t close their eyes when sleeping because they don’t have eyelids. Because of this, goldfish don’t feel the need to close their eyes and sleep with their eyes open. 

    Do Goldfish Have Stomachs?

    For a goldfish – it’s all intestines and no stomach. Yes, goldfish do not have a proper stomach the way most animals do. Instead, their intestines were entrusted with digesting and absorbing all the nutrients from the food. 

    This means that you should be incredibly careful when it comes to a goldfish’s diet. Go for soft foods that can be easily digested by your goldfish and are not too hard for their stomach. 

    Do Goldfish Have Teeth?

    Apparently, goldfish don’t have teeth, well, not in the mouth at least. 

    Goldfish have pharyngeal teeth in their throat to crush and grind the food and push it down. 

    Can Goldfish See Color? 

    Not only can goldfish see colors – they are found to see more colors than human beings.

    Humans can only see three colors (red, green, and blue), whereas goldfish can see four colors. Apart from the three primary colors, ultraviolet is the fourth color perceived by a goldfish. So, yes, goldfish can see colors and a much better version of the world we’re living in. 


    And there you go!

    Possibly everything you need to know about goldfish.

    We hope that this post helped you improve your understanding of goldfish and gave you a detailed insight into the legends of a goldfish.

    Speaking of legends, did you know that they are considered to be the symbol of luck? According to some Japanese and Chinese cultures, goldfish guard your home against bad luck.

    Whether you were looking them up for fun or just wanted to astound yourself with a bunch of fun facts about goldfish – we hope that you enjoyed going through our exclusive list on goldfish.


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