The goldfish (Carassius auratus) and its many forms were bred originally from the wild gibel carp, a species that closely resembles the crucian carp.

Goldfish were originally introduced from Asia through the ornamental trade and have been selectively bred to produce the bright orange colouration. Goldfish found in the wild or outside of ponds and aquaria have probably been released by their owners. This is dangerous and illegal, as it could cause the introduction of disease. Once in a natural environment, goldfish often revert back to the gibel carp colouration, being more of a dark yellow to bronze.

Appearance: unlike common carp the goldfish has no barbels and a slightly up-turned mouth. They can come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colourations.

British record: 5lb 11oz 8dms (British Record Fish Committee January 2015)

Lateral line scale count: 28-31 (this is the dark row of scales along the central length of the fish's body)

Lifespan: up to 45 years

Last date edited: 24 December 2020