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Pearlscale Goldfish Full Care Guide: Fancy Goldfish information

Pearlscale goldfish introduction

Pearlscale goldfish is one of the beautiful fish in the fish-keeping hobby. Even a beginner fish keeper can easily rear. Therefore it is newbie-friendly.

But you need to give all the required conditions at the optimum level because Pearlscale fish is also a goldfish variety. It is a recent addition to the fancy goldfish family.

Except for unique characteristics features, this fish can even survive on low-temperature waters as well.

If you are a beginner, sometimes you may get confused by Pearlscale with Oranda goldfish due to the presence of a similar hood on the head. When we talk about fancy goldfish,

It is first found in the early 20th century. At present, there are 125 fancy goldfish varieties. This article will help you to get all the Pearlscale goldfish keeping facts; keep reading!

Pearlscale goldfish

Pearlscale Goldfish species classification

As I told you earlier, this fish belongs to the fancy goldfish category. Earlier aquarists believed that this fish evolved from the wild carp species called the Prussian carp and Silver Prussian carp.

Recent research has shown that this fish has close genetic relation to the Gibel carp (Carassius gibelio), not to the Prussian carp.

So Peralscale goldfish’s scientific name is Carassius auratus auratus. This fancy goldfish even not included/listed in the IUCN red data book as well.( Source Wikipedia)

Also, this fish has several other names as Chinshurin (it is a Japanese word), Pingpong goldfish, or Golfball goldfish.

  • Scientific name – Carassius auratus auratus
  • Ancestor – Gibel carp
  • Lifespan – 10-15 years 
  • Diet – Omnivore
  • Optimum temperature – 65-72Deg F
  • pH – 6-8
  • Water hardness – 5-19 dGH
  • Origin – China and Japan


This Pearlscale fish has originated from China. Later it was introduced to other countries around the world.

It was introduced to Japan in 15005, Introduced to Europe in 16005, and to America in 18005.

Note: Ancestor Gibel carp originates in Central Asia and Asia. Currently, this fancy goldfish available all over the world and popular in the aquarium trade as well.

Pearlscale goldfish appearance

This fish has a compact body with an enlarged stomach. It looks externally rounded compared to a golfball. That is why called Golfball Pearlscale fish.

And also, the body is characterized by uniquely shape scales( scales are nacreous in nature).

These scales are formed as rows are formed by calcium carbonated (CaCO3) deposits. Except for the dorsal fin, all other fins are paired. This beautiful fish has a wide variety of colors.

It includes red, white, blue, black, chocolate and chalio. In addition to that, Harnanishiki, a slightly variated species of Pearlscale it has a hood on the forehead, which is similar to an Orange goldfish.

Note: If you directly look at the fish body, scales appear like pearls that may be the reason to call as “pearlscale”

Pearlscale goldfish lifespan

Someone can ask how long do a Pearlscale goldfish live? It can live up to about 10 to 15 years in captivity. But there are few cases where the fish lives up to about 20 years.

So if you well manage your tank giving required water conditions, your fish will live longer because the potential to get diseases is very high careful about tank conditions!

Average lifespan= 10-15 years 

Pearlscale goldfish average size

The average size of this fish is about 4 inches(10cm) in length. These fish can even grow larger, rounder.

But aquarists all over the world have identified that Pearlscales can even grow more than 4 inches; they can get the length of 8 inches in a tank with good water quality parameters.

Aquarium care and tank setup

Giving good aquarium care increases the comfortability of your fish. Even a beginner fish keeper can handle it with a good basic prior knowledge.

The only thing you need to maintain quality of water should give a quality diet and aquascape.

This fish has a compact body so pay much attention to that.

When selecting the tank substrate, select smooth gravel (better if you use pebbles or rock gravels) because it avoids the chances of accidentally ingestion (are good diggers).

You also can use various decors in aquascaping, such as aquarium plants, driftwood, rock caves, etc. When selecting aquarium plants, either live or plastic plants can use.

It is advisable to use silk plants instead of live or plastic plants. Plastic plants are not safe, and as the diggers live, plants can uproot. Be aware of that!

You can use cold water live aquarium plants such as java moss, Anubias, Hornwort.

Another important thing when choosing decors for aquascaping, avoid using decors with sharp edges. Why I am saying this, it can damage the scales on the body. ( I earlier said it has a compact body with especial anatomy.

Once damage, fish will lose the scales and will never grow back like earlier. Be very careful about this!

Tank Shape

The shape is important because Pearlscale fish needs a huge amount of oxygen. Tank with a larger surface area has higher oxygen content dissolved in water.

Therefore when purchasing, select a tank with a higher length than the height (avoid taller tanks, less oxygen content gets dissolve due to lower surface area).

Pearlscale minimum tank size

These fish require a minimum tank size of 10 gallons. But it is recommended 20-30 gallons of the tank due to producing a huge amount of waste and are not fast swimmers.

Therefore darting is minimum. If you want to add more of them, each additional Pearlscale fish need 10 gallons of extra water.

Note: If you are keeping in a community tank, consider the tank size needed by other tank mates as well because most of the fish get stress when they haven’t sufficient swimming space.

Another advantage over a large tank is it doesn’t need to frequently change the water as the presence of a large amount of water can dilute the toxic products produced within the tank.

Water quality parameters

These fancy goldfish are not found in wild habitat, so all the optimum conditions have recognized by keeping over centuries in the aquariums.

Pearlscale prefers cold water never to keep below the 50-55Deg F( approximately below 13Deg C). Their optimum water temperature is around 65-72F (18-22 Deg C), and the optimum pH level is between 6-8.

Water hardness should be between 5-19 dGH.

Until you maintain the above conditions, there will be no issues arise. If you are unable to give required conditions, it creates a high chance of getting diseases due to suppressing immunity. (sudden changes in pH, temperature are intolerant).


  • Water temperature = 65-72 Deg F
  • pH = 6-8
  • Hardness = 5-19dGH

Since Pearlscales are messy eaters, it produces a huge amount of waste. So the possibility of ammonia, nitrate spikes increases. To avoid that, a regular water change is essential.

You can change the water weekly as well. Another thing that can use a good filtration system can help remove all food waste collect at the tank and other toxic substances. Be aware!

Can Pearlscale goldfish live in ponds?

Yes possible to keep in both captivity as well in the outdoor ponds. But need to maintain the water temperature pH and other conditions at an optimum level.

Even during the winter season, you can’t keep the fish outdoor because environmental temperature drop below the room temperature can stress the fish.

Sometimes water gets to freeze, so be sure to take the fish inside and use a proper heater and a thermometer to give the required heat. I hope you get the point.

NOTE: Experts in this hobby say that adding some amount of calcium helps increase the growth of scales and prevent losing.

Pearlsacle goldfish tank mates

As a slow-moving cold freshwater fish, you need to select the tankmates that can thrive in Pearlscale tank environment.

Yes, you can keep this fish in a community tank, but never keep it with aggressive fish species like cichlids. Also, do not keep with fast swimmers like Shubunkin, comet goldfish; they can even tend to fin nipping.

Therefore best tankmates for this fancy goldfish are,

  •  Bubble eye goldfish
  • Black moors
  • Lionhead goldfish
  • Fantail goldfish
  • Ryukin Goldfish
  • And Veiltails.

Even snails such as the Japanese trapdoor snail, Mystery snail can add to the tank. The advantage of having snails is they eat the algae and help to clean the tank.

Gender difference

It is difficult to identify the gender of juveniles. But easily can identify during the mating period. Their tubercles can be seen on gill covers and the head of male fish.

And it has a slender body, whereas the female has an enlarged belly when bearing the eggs.

Also, the female Pearlscale looks much bigger than the respective male fish. So you have to wait till the breeding period to see male and female fish separately.


Breeding is not difficult if you know the basics. First, you should need to condition the fish by giving a quality diet.

Next need to provide a breeding tank with a minimum size of 20 gallons. As the Pearlscales are egg caters presence of dense aquarium plants is an added advantage.

You can use Ancharis and other silky plants here.

Most of the time, females will lay eggs on those plants. To induce the spawning, you can do two things. One can increase the water temperature slightly than the normal level.

It is good to increase temperature gradually daily at least 2Deg F rather than increasing directly. ( it trigger spawning without stressing).

The second thing you can give a balanced protein-rich diet( it is discussed more in detail under the feeding & diet part).

After that, male Pearlscale start to chase the females, and Typically females produce about 1000-10000 eggs per clutch.

Now the male fish get into eggs and fertilizers. These eggs will hatch around 4-6 days. It is highly advisable to remove the parent couple after laying eggs. The reason is there is a possibility of eating eggs by adults.

You can feed these babies with infusoria or fry feed until they grow big enough to eat brine shrimp.

Note: You can not see enlarged round belly or Pearlscales until the fish is eight months old. Even little fry doesn’t show any coloration except black or brown color in the body.

You can add little babies to the larger tank once they are 1 inch in length. I hope you get the guide.


Due to the compact body, fish can not swim fast. Most of the time, fish spend digging or foraging. They are sometimes swimming around the tank.

So we can say one of the great freshwater community fish. Fishkepers all over the world loves this fish due to its beauty when moving around the tank.

Typically go well with 5-7 groups of Pearlscale goldfish.

Feeding Pearlscale goldfish

As an omnivore fish, consume whatever you feed. So you can feed tubifex worms, brine shrimp, Bloodworms, Daphnia, and other pelleted and quality flake foods as well.

When feeding, pelleted food needs to soak before feeding to prevent swimbladder-related problems and constipation.

Even never overfeed your fish, why? Pearlscale goldfish has a compact body as vigorous eaters’ internal organs get compressed due to its compact anatomy.

Overfeeding can damage these organs, often led to swimbladder problems.

Even you can supplement the diet with blanched vegetables such as cucumber, lettuce, etc. This will help to improve body coloration.

If you observe fish suffering from swimbladder disease, you can treat that by giving soaked dietary pea and keep fasting for 2-3 days.

Thereafter better if you can give this once a week with other food. Aquarists say feeding too many proteins not good for fish health as well.

Possible diseases

Generally, goldfish are at high risk of getting various diseases. Your fish can get infected with various bacterial, protozoan, fungal and viral parasites.

If you do not check your water quality regularly or do not do partial water changes, getting diseases is also high due to dirty water.

Goldfish are very sensitive to sudden changes in the water. Dirty water contains a lot of ammonia and nitrates.

Another thing if you do not feed well overall immunity of fish can get suppressed. The most common diseases associates with Pearlscale goldfish are,

  • Ich disease
  • Swimbladder disease
  • Dropsy
  • External parasitic diseases

Ich disease

It is a common disease among most freshwater fish species. A protozoan parasite causes it. Here spots start to appears similar to sprinkled with salt that is why called white spot disease.

Another protozoan disease is called Costia; there bluish cloudiness appears on the skin.

Swimbladder disease

Most common disease among goldfish. Also called flip over. Here gas containing organs within the fish body(gas bladder) get compressed with other internal organs.

Then buoyancy problems arise fish can’t swim properly and swim sideways or stay at one place for a longer time.

Other reasons for this disease are overfeeding or feeding dried food; once it enters the gastrointestinal tract, it gets soaked and enlarged. It creates pressure on the swimbladder.

Even parasitic infections can cause this. To treat this, you need to keep your fish without feeding for 2-3 days.

Therefore need to increase the temperature slightly than the normal level. Then feed cooked dietary pea until the disease gets away.


It is caused by a bacterial parasite called Aeromonas bacteria. Here fluid gets collected inside the fish body. Especially liver and kidney get affected.

Once you identified better to quarantine fish. Symptoms are,

  • Gills become pale color
  • Develop of bulging eyes
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Lethargic behavior
  • Refuse to eat

To treat, you can give antibiotics, a good diet, and can treat the tank with salt. I hope you get the point.

Note: when using drugs(sometimes you may add/inject into the tank), remove the carbon within the filters. Active carbon can absorb and remove those medications and become inefficient.


In the present-day, not only fishkeepers other fish lovers also tend to keep goldfish in their home aquaria. Because people believe goldfish are a sign of wealth and prosperity.

But unware of aquarium care. This guide is for those who know nothing about it.

I hope this article will help you to get a clear understanding of Pearlscale goldfish keeping.


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