One big challenge facing any pond or aquarium owner is keeping their fish alive. They want their fish to last for a long time, going from season to season. The Shubunkin is one of the toughest, most resilient pond or aquarium fish you can buy, only matched by the more boring common goldfish.
The Shubunkin looks very similar to the common goldfish in body style. The size, shape, tail, and fins all look very much alike. The startling difference is in body color. The Shubunkin has perhaps the widest array of color choices and mixed you will find in any fish for your home.
The Shubunkin’s coloration is in a calico coloration, with a wide variety of colors intermixed with their pearly looking, translucent scales. Colors will include red, white, blue, black, and grey. The blue coloration has become the most prized color, and once you see a blue Shubunkin you will quickly understand why. Since the colors are intermixed, it is possible to get an All-American fish with scales of red, white, and blue.
Since you are looking for a variety of goldfish which mixes great looks with longevity from season to season, you should know a little about the Shubunkin’s lifespan. These beautiful fish can easily live 6 to 10 years, with many fish living to reach 10 to 15 years of age.
The Shubunkin will grow to similar sizes as the traditional goldfish, with common lengths approaching ten inches to sixteen inches long. With these large sizes they are ideally adapted for outdoor water displays. If you choose to keep them inside in an aquarium plan on 15 gallons of water for younger fish, and up to 30 or more gallons of water for a mature fish. This requires very large indoor tanks which can be beautiful if you have adequate room.
This fish is equally hardy in weather to the common goldfish. If your pond is deep enough where it does not freeze completely in the winter the fish can survive successfully. If your pond does freeze deeply, you may need to add heaters, or move the fish to aquariums during the winter months. This can be a bit restrictive due to the high amounts of water required for the fish. You will probably prefer adding heaters to maintain some water in a thawed state, allowing your fish to stay in the pond.
As with any other variety of goldfish you need to keep out a careful eye for goldfish disease. The Shubunkin is very hardy and resistant to disease, as long as you maintain high-quality water. When the water conditions drop, they are susceptible to dropsy, fungus infections, parasites, and bacterial infections.
Most times you can avoid all of these conditions by taking great care of your water, making sure it stays clean, oxygenated, and maintains a good PH balance. Your efforts in water care and proper feeding are the two most critical elements in maintaining healthy fish, which can live out their full lifespan. Given an opportunity to thrive, the Shubunkin will. It is the toughest of the tough goldfish.