The Lionhead Goldfish Breed Info & Tips

If you want to find the most amazing information on the Lionhead goldfish all in one article, then you’ll LOVE this page.

I guarantee you’ll be blown away by what you’re about to learn.

Check it out!

I want to learn about:

Facts
Breeding
Identification
Care
Tank Size
Temperature
Diet
Tank Mates

So, What Exactly is a Lionhead Goldfish?

Lionheads are rapidly gaining ground in popularity.

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Even chain pet stores are picking up on the trend and offering them for sale to their customers.

To be perfectly frank, the young ones aren’t that impressive.

With stubby fins, missing dorsal and pointy head, they don’t look much different than a torpedo.

But once they get bigger…

… And their wen starts to develop…

… And they put on some weight around the middle…

These fish start to look a lot more like what they were named after.

It can be argued that the wen is their most prominent feature. While the Oranda sports “wennage” mostly on the top of the head, the Lionhead’s wen covers the whole head – cheeks, gill plates and crown.

This puffy “mane” is what gave them their name!

Check out what they look like as adults:

As far as coloration goes, they come in a wide variety – from deep rich blacks to striking sakura.

Their most common color pattern is red and white.

In Asia, a popular coloration is Tancho, or white with a red cap on top! (Sometimes referred to as “red crane.”)

Quick Facts

  • Temperature: 75 – 80 degrees F
  • Species name: Carassius auratus auratus
  • Hardiness: Somewhat hardy
  • Lifespan: 5 – 10 years on average
  • Size: 6 to 8 inches on average
  • Tank Size: 10 gallons
  • Temperament: Sweet, gentle, wiggly

Lionheads are a kind of dorsalless goldfish with short fins and (in good specimens) a full wen. Many of them are sold as Ranchus in pet stores.

A lot of people get confused when it comes to telling the difference between a Ranchu or a Lionhead.

Since the Ranchu came from the Lionhead and they look incredibly similar, that doesn’t really come as a surprise.

What’s the secret?

It’s actually in the shape of the back and the tuck of the tail, when the fish is viewed from the side.

Ranchus have a much tighter tail tuck and curved/arched back, whereas Lionheads have a flatter back.

Ranchus also have a shorter body and don’t develop quite as much wen growth, though more recently bred ones seem to have fuller growth.

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There are actually “Lionchus” – fish that are half and half!

Fun fact:

A long-finned “Lionhead” is a Shukin!

Breeding Lionheads

Trying to find the breeding tubercles (or “breeding stars”) on a Lionhead goldfish’s gills is pretty much impossible.

But there’s hope:

During breeding season, check the front rays of the pectoral fins.

Breeding can be induced by exposing the fish to a period of cold weather followed by a period of warmer weather.

Once they finally decide to breed..

They can lay over a thousand eggs!

mama-goldfish

How to Take Care of a Lionhead

Lionheads can be surprisingly hardy and active fish, despite their modified body types…

In fact, some people have success leaving theirs outside to winter without any more trouble than other hardier breeds.

But they do have one weakness, which can happen to more mature fish.

If the wen growth becomes so large that it encloses their eyes, they can have difficulty seeing.

Some variants like the Catlion have CRAZY HUGE wens.

This can lead to trouble finding food and competing with the faster fish in the aquarium.

It is possible to trim the wen (like an Oranda) but this might not be easy for the average hobbyist.

Lionheads also face another difficulty:

Their short bodies.

The Lionhead has been bred to have a more compact body. In fact, the more recent ones have a much shorter body than the ones bred in times past.

They can have trouble with their swim bladders unless their feeding schedule and water conditions are on point.

But like other fancies, they can also live up to 10 years (on average)!

Now:

1. Choose the Right Aquarium Size

fancy-goldfish-tank copy

As we’ve already covered:

Lionheads with excessive wen growth can have trouble navigating their environment.

That’s why it’s really important to make sure there is nothing in the goldfish’s tank that could potentially lead to injury, such as pointy objects on tank decorations or areas they could get stuck in.

Make sure yours has a proper home to live in, and don’t fall for the misconception of the ever-popular but dangerous goldfish bowl.

It won’t be able to reach its full potential or have a happy life.

 

goldfish-in-bowl

Aim for 10-20 gallons of water when choosing your tank size.

That way your fish will be able to grow big and strong and not get poisoned by the bad water conditions and stress.

2.Providing the Right Water Temperature

It just so happens that, (unlike lots of other species) goldfish adapt to their environment pretty well.

However…

Chilly water is more likely to cause health problems as the fish’s immune system is weaker.

Of course, too hot is stressful also.

So:

What is the best temperature for goldfish to make your finned friend comfortable?

For nearly all types of goldfish, including Lionheads, it’s actually in the 75-80 degrees F range.

goldfish-temperature

3. Learn About the Proper Feeding Regimen

Diet plays a critical role in the well-being of your lionhead goldfish – and also its growth.

Goldies are omnivores, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter for their food.

greensmix

A balanced diet is really important to them, because with their rounder body shape they are prone to swim bladder trouble.

That’s why it’s really important to have a solid feeding plan.

Choosing a quality staple food is the biggest step to take when you are figuring out how to feed a balanced meal to your aquatic pets.

You can read more about goldfish diet requirements in our feeding article.

4. Selecting the Best Tank Mates

Could it be that your pet is longing for a fishy friend?

If so, you’ll want to find out what other fish you can safely keep with your lionhead goldfish.

Because of their friendly personalities, they tend to do great with most other fancy types of goldfish, with maybe the best being other moors or fish that are vision impaired, such as other telescopes or celestial eye goldfish.

But here’s an important tip:

Only keep other goldfish in with goldfish.

They do best that way… TRUST ME.

Interesting to look at doesn’t matter nearly as much as having a peaceful tank.

The bottom line?

Please don’t make the mistake of putting other kinds of fish in there too, like tropical fish, as they don’t mix well and can hurt your goldfish.

mixinggoldfishtropical

Everything Else You Need to Know

Now:

We’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to caring for your Lionhead.

There just isn’t enough time to go into all the detail!

But don’t worry – I wrote a complete care guide called “The Truth About Goldfish.”

It contains ALL the information you will ever need to make sure your fish doesn’t just survive, but THRIVES.

I’m sure you want yours to reach its full potential, right? ?

You can take a peek at it here:

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What do You Think?

Have you ever owned a lovely Lionhead goldfish?

What was your experience with this breed of fish?

I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below!

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2018-10-08T22:37:14+00:00

2 Comments

  1. Mrs Jane April 6, 2018 at 4:54 am - Reply

    I have two very small-ish lovly little goldies (not over an inch long, still in fry stages i beilve ) and until i have the proper set up i have them in my with my Guppies and up-side-down catfish whom dosn’t bother none of them (i don’t have a heater just yet as the one i had broke and where not able to aford a good one yet) Will it hurt them being in with my guppies and gp fry?

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    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 8, 2018 at 10:08 pm - Reply

      It isn’t recommended to mix different species of fish with goldfish. Catfish are known for getting aggressive as they age. Goldfish don’t have to have a heater, but those tropical fish probably should. 🙂 Hope this helps!

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