The Lionhead Goldfish is one of the many goldfish variants that is currently gaining increasing popularity. It’s understandable since most variants of goldfish are excellent pets for children who never had pets before and are enthusiastic at exploring the fascinating fishkeeping world.
These Lionheads are native to Central Asia, and they commonly graze on crustaceans, debris, insects, and plants in stagnant and slow-moving waterways, such as rivers, ponds, lakes, and ditches. China was the first country to develop the first fancy goldfish variants.
While it’s considered the earliest type of fancy carp, this goldfish does not exist any longer in the wild. Also, all of the specimens sold in pet stores are basically captive-bred. That’s just an overview of this fish, so read on to know more about this bizarre-looking goldfish.
Characteristics of the Lionhead Goldfish
In comparison to common variants of goldfish, the Lionheads has a relatively distinctive appearance with egg-like bodies, as well as the non-existent of a dorsal fin. As briefly mentioned above, they are elegant crap that was developed particularly to make their heads have a sort of hood.
Ancient Chinese bred the Lionheads to have a hood in order to mimic the appearance of Chinese guardian lions, which are a popular architectural element in China. The hood is known as a wen. It may grow to be so enormous that it conceals the face of the fish itself.
The average length of a Lionhead Goldfish is approximately 13 cm or 5 inches. However, some enthusiasts claim this fish is able to reach around 25 cm or 10 inches. The average life span of this goldfish is anywhere from 10 to 15 years. However, they can live for 20 years or could be more if they live in well-maintained ponds or aquariums.
This carp is available in a wide array of colors, including the ones in solid metallic which usually comes in orange, blue, black, chocolate, and red. The nacreous ones come in two-color mixes of white and red or black and red, or three-color mixes of black, white, and red.
This Lionhead Goldfish is often mistaken for another variant, namely Oranda Goldfish. Although these two variants appear to be identical, they are easily distinguished because the Orandas have a dorsal fin, whereas the Lionheads don’t have any.
The Care Guide of the Lionhead Goldfish
Among all the goldfish variants available today, the Lionhead is considered one of the most sensitive variants as they can’t live in a contaminated environment. This implies that you will need an aquarium equipped with proper lighting and filtration.
- Tank Size
As already mentioned, the Lionhead may be capable of reaching a length of 10 inches, although typically can only grow to 5 inches. However, to accommodate the growth of the fish, you will need a huge tank of approximately 10 gallons in size. Of course, the larger is better.
A nano tank is not recommended for all species of goldfish since it doesn’t have sufficient filtration. For the first Lionhead Goldfish, it’s advised that you opt for a tank with a capacity of 20 or 30 gallons then increase its size whenever you add a new specimen.
The Lionhead is not a type of goldfish with a good swimming capability. Therefore, a long-sized tank is preferable to the tall one. A long aquarium also gives the fish a larger surface area, which means there is more oxygen.
- Water Parameters
All types of goldfish are considered filthy as they produce a lot of waste. Therefore, you must install a system of biological filtration to keep the water clean. You will also need to change the water once a week.
The Lionhead Goldfish is one of the coldwater fish species that prefer water temperatures of 65° to 75° F. Compared to other flat-bodied carp that can live well in ponds, the fancy variants like the Lionheads don’t tolerate water temperatures below 60° F. That is why they can do better in an indoor aquarium.
The Lionhead, like other goldfish, has a specific range of pH in which they can thrive. A pH range of anywhere at 6.0 to 8.0 is the most recommended for this fancy fish. To keep them healthy, make sure to not let the pH of the water tank drop below 6.0 or even increase over 8.0.
- Diet and Nutrition
Carp are omnivore species, meaning they will devour almost everything. Pellet, flaked, frozen, and fresh foods can be fed to the Lionhead Goldfish, and they will still forage on a specific type of algae in the water tank.
However, the Lionheads are prone to constipation, much like other types of round-body goldfish. If the fish floats to the top of the aquarium and seems incapable of descending, your fancy fish is most likely constipated.
To prevent the digestive condition, you can feed your goldfish with flakes or pellets that are specifically formulated for species with a round body. It’s also advisable to include live or frozen bloodworms into the fish’s daily diet to prevent and relieve digestive blockage.
- Tank Setup and Decoration
In terms of aquarium setup, smooth pebbles and gravel base should be included before you start decorating it. It’s also recommended to decorate the tank with fresh plants rather than various ornaments because the Lionhead Goldfish is a short-sighted species.
Unfortunately, all types of carp have a proclivity for digging that you may discover some of the plants are uprooted by them. Thus, you will need to add plant weights to secure those ornamental plants until they take root.
Also, if you have live plants with algae growing on them, your Lionhead may eat them, shredding the leaves during the process. Silk plants are the most recommended substitute for ornament. However, plastic plants should be avoided since their edges could harm your fish.
From all the characteristics and the care guide above, it can be concluded that Lionhead Goldfish is unquestionably unique and fascinating. However, will they strive in your aquarium? Everything is dependent on what kind of fish you have in your tank now.