The earliest fish to be domesticated and a distant descendant of carp, goldfish are perhaps one of the most surprising of fish in the marine kingdom. Constantly underestimated for their intelligence, and with incredible eyesight the goldfish is our Wildlife of the Week:

Species: Carassius auratus

Status: Actinopterygii

Diet: Crustaceans, insects, and various plant matter

Size: Up to 48 centimetres

Weight: Up to 2.3 kilogrammes

Life span: Up to 25 years

Behaviour: Goldfish are gregarious, displaying schooling behaviour, as well as displaying the same types of feeding behaviours

Distribution: Goldfish do not really live in the wild. They were bred to be pets and are now in aquariums all over the world. The Prussian carp, the goldfish, were bred from Asia

Ecosystem: Quiet backwaters of streams and pools, especially those with submerged aquatic vegetation

5 fast facts: 

  • It is widely thought that goldfish have a memory of just a few seconds, but this has been proven to be only a myth. Goldfish have a memory span of at least three months – you can even train them

  • Goldfish have been kept as pets for over 2000 years, records of domesticated goldfish date back to ancient China

  • A school of goldfish is known as a “troubling”

  • Once the female reaches sexual maturity, she begins to release pheromones. This triggers the male to begin his pursuit by chasing the female around and poking at her stomach. This behaviour is can be confused with fighting
  • Goldfish can see more colours than humans can, they are able to see ultra-violet and infra-red light