How Expensive Are Goldfish? {A Complete Comparison & Budget}

I always thought of goldfish being the cheapest possible fish to buy or even win at a carnival. I was so wrong when I realized the cost comparison of different goldfish breeds and sizes.

How expensive are goldfish in relation to their availability or rarity?

Let’s dive into these details and leave nothing out when it comes to learning the costs of acquiring and owning a goldfish.

How Expensive Are Goldfish?

Goldfish, as popular and widely available pets, come in a range of prices depending on various factors. Here is some information to give you an idea of the expenses associated with goldfish:

  1. Common Goldfish: Common goldfish, often found in pet stores, are generally more affordable, with prices ranging from $1 to $10 per fish, depending on their size and coloration.
  2. Fancy Goldfish: Fancy goldfish, which encompass a wide range of breeds like Orandas, Ryukins, and Fantails, are typically more expensive due to their unique features and characteristics. Prices can vary greatly, starting from $10 and going up to several hundred dollars per fish, particularly for high-quality specimens with desirable traits.
  3. Rare and Exotic Varieties: Certain rare or exotic goldfish varieties, such as Bubble Eye, Celestial Eye, or Tosakin, can be significantly more expensive. These unique breeds can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars per fish, depending on their rarity and demand.
  4. Quality and Size: The price of goldfish can also depend on factors like the overall quality, size, and age of the fish. Larger, more mature specimens or those with exceptional colors and patterns tend to command higher prices.

Remember that in addition to the initial cost of acquiring goldfish, there are ongoing expenses for their care, including a suitable tank or pond setup, quality fish food, water treatment products, filtration systems, and regular veterinary care if necessary.

How Much Do Common Goldfish Cost?

Common goldfish, known for their classic and simple beauty, are generally more affordable compared to fancy or rare varieties.

The price of common goldfish can vary based on factors such as size, coloration, and where you purchase them. Here’s what you can expect:

  1. Pet Store Prices: In most pet stores, common goldfish are available at relatively low prices, typically ranging from $1 to $10 per fish, depending on their size and color variations.
  2. Online Retailers: Online fish retailers may offer a wider selection of common goldfish, including different sizes and color varieties. Prices can vary, but they generally fall within a similar range as pet stores.
  3. Bulk Purchases: Some retailers or breeders may offer discounts for bulk purchases, making it more economical if you plan to set up a larger goldfish tank or pond.

While common goldfish are budget-friendly, it’s important to allocate resources for their proper care, including an appropriate tank or pond setup, quality fish food, and regular maintenance.

How Much Do Fancy Goldfish Cost?

Fancy goldfish, characterized by their unique shapes, colors, and finnage, often come with a higher price tag compared to common goldfish. The cost of fancy goldfish can vary depending on several factors. Here’s what you should know:

  • Breed and Rarity: The price of fancy goldfish varies based on the breed and its rarity. Some popular fancy goldfish breeds, such as Orandas, Ryukins, and Fantails, can range from $10 to $100 per fish, depending on size, color, and quality.
  • Quality and Characteristics: High-quality specimens with desirable traits, such as vibrant colors, well-formed body shapes, and flowing fins, can command higher prices within their respective breed.
  • Special Varieties: Certain fancy goldfish varieties, such as Bubble Eye, Celestial Eye, or Tosakin, are considered rare and exotic. These unique breeds can be significantly more expensive, ranging from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars per fish.

Consider your budget and research reputable sources when purchasing fancy goldfish. Additionally, investing in proper care, including a suitable tank setup, quality food, and regular maintenance, is crucial to ensure their well-being.

Are Rare Goldfish Expensive?

Rare goldfish varieties, known for their distinctive and uncommon characteristics, can indeed be expensive due to their limited availability and high demand among collectors and enthusiasts. Here’s what you should know:

  • Rarity and Exclusivity: Rare goldfish are often bred in smaller quantities, making them harder to find. The combination of their unique traits, limited supply, and high demand contributes to their higher prices.
  • Specialty Breeders and Auctions: Rare goldfish are commonly acquired through specialty breeders or specialized auctions, where collectors and enthusiasts can bid on exceptional specimens. Prices for rare goldfish can range from several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on their rarity and desirability.
  • Investment Value: Some rare goldfish are considered investment-grade, with the potential for their value to increase over time. This factor can contribute to their higher price tags.

Approach the purchase of rare goldfish with thorough research, ensuring the reputation and credibility of the breeder or seller.

How Much Should I Budget for Goldfish Care?

Beyond the initial cost of acquiring goldfish, it’s important to budget for their ongoing care to ensure their well-being. Here are key factors to consider:

1. Tank or Pond Setup

The size and type of habitat you provide for your goldfish will impact the associated costs. Larger tanks or ponds require more equipment, such as filters, heaters, lighting, and appropriate decorations. Budget for these essentials based on your specific setup.

2. Fish Food

Quality nutrition is vital for goldfish health. Allocate funds for a nutritious and balanced diet, including high-quality fish pellets or flakes, as well as occasional treats like frozen or live foods.

3. Water Treatments

Water conditioners, beneficial bacteria supplements, and regular water testing kits are necessary for maintaining optimal water quality. Budget for these products to ensure a healthy aquatic environment.

4. Maintenance and Veterinary Care

Plan for regular maintenance tasks, such as water changes, filter cleaning, and tank or pond upkeep. Additionally, consider potential veterinary expenses if your goldfish requires specialized care or treatment for any health issues.

By budgeting for these aspects of goldfish care, you can provide a comfortable and healthy environment for your fish, promoting their well-being and longevity.

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Are Goldfish Expensive to Feed?

When it comes to feeding goldfish, the cost can vary depending on factors such as the type of food, quantity, and frequency of feeding. Here’s what you should know:

  • Fish Food Options: Goldfish can be fed a combination of commercial fish pellets or flakes, which are readily available at pet stores. The cost of these food options varies depending on the brand, quality, and package size. Consider purchasing in larger quantities to save money in the long run.
  • Live and Frozen Foods: Some goldfish owners choose to supplement their fish’s diet with live or frozen foods, such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, or daphnia. These options may incur additional costs but can provide nutritional variety and enrichment for your goldfish.
  • Feeding Frequency: Goldfish typically require feeding once or twice a day. Be mindful of portion sizes to avoid overfeeding, as excess food can lead to water quality issues. Proper portion control helps manage feeding costs effectively.

Overall, while goldfish feeding costs can vary, they are generally manageable and can be tailored to fit different budgets. Remember to prioritize a balanced and nutritious diet to support your goldfish’s health and well-being.

How Can I Save Money on Goldfish Expenses?

Goldfish ownership can be enjoyable without breaking the bank. Here are some tips to save money on goldfish expenses:

  • Research and Compare Prices: Before purchasing goldfish or any supplies, research different sources, pet stores, and online retailers to compare prices. Look for sales, discounts, or promotions to get the best value for your money.
  • Proper Tank or Pond Maintenance: Regular maintenance helps prevent costly issues down the line. Performing water changes, cleaning filters, and monitoring water parameters will promote a healthy environment, reducing the need for expensive treatments.
  • DIY Decorations and Tank Accessories: Get creative and make your own tank decorations or utilize affordable alternatives instead of purchasing expensive ornaments. Simple items like PVC pipes, rocks, or live plants can provide enrichment for your goldfish at a lower cost.
  • Optimize Efficiency: Invest in energy-efficient equipment, such as LED lights and low-wattage filters, to reduce electricity costs over time.

By implementing these cost-saving strategies and prioritizing smart spending, you can enjoy the company of your goldfish while keeping your expenses within budget.

Do Goldfish Require Expensive Tanks or Ponds?

Providing suitable housing for goldfish doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. Consider the following options:

  1. Tank Size: While goldfish require space to swim and grow, they don’t necessarily need excessively large tanks. Aim for a tank that accommodates their size and allows for adequate swimming room. Research tank size recommendations based on the number and type of goldfish you plan to keep.
  2. Secondhand Tanks: Look for used tanks through online marketplaces or local classifieds. Often, people are willing to sell tanks at more affordable prices. Just ensure the tank is in good condition and appropriate for goldfish.
  3. Outdoor Ponds: If you have space and suitable outdoor conditions, consider building an outdoor pond for your goldfish. Ponds can provide a natural and spacious environment for goldfish to thrive. You can opt for preformed ponds, which tend to be more cost-effective than custom-built ones.
  4. DIY Projects: Consider building your own tank or pond using inexpensive materials. Research DIY guides and tutorials for cost-effective alternatives.

Remember to prioritize the well-being of your goldfish by providing adequate filtration, suitable water conditions, and proper maintenance, regardless of the type of housing you choose.

How Much Do Goldfish Cost at PetSmart?

Goldfish prices at PetSmart can vary based on the specific breed, size, and coloration of the fish. While prices may differ between locations and promotions, here are some general ranges you can expect:

  • Common Goldfish: Common goldfish, which include varieties like Comet and Shubunkin, are typically more affordable. Prices can range from $0.99 to $9.99 per fish, depending on their size and color variations.
  • Fancy Goldfish: Fancy goldfish, such as Orandas, Ryukins, and Fantails, are known for their unique features and patterns. Prices for fancy goldfish at PetSmart can range from $5.99 to $49.99, depending on the breed, size, and quality of the fish.
  • Specialty Varieties: PetSmart may also carry rarer or more exotic goldfish breeds, such as Bubble Eye or Celestial Eye, which can be priced higher due to their uniqueness. Prices for these specialty varieties can range from $19.99 to $79.99 or more, depending on availability and demand.

It’s important to note that prices may vary over time and across different PetSmart locations, so it’s best to check with your local store or their website for the most up-to-date pricing information.

How Much Is Goldfish Food?

The cost of goldfish food can vary depending on the brand, type of food, and package size. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Commercial Fish Pellets or Flakes: The most common type of goldfish food, commercial fish pellets or flakes, can range in price depending on the brand and quality. Prices typically start around $4 to $10 for a small container and can go up to $20 or more for larger sizes.
  • Live or Frozen Foods: Some goldfish owners choose to supplement their fish’s diet with live or frozen foods like brine shrimp, bloodworms, or daphnia. These options may incur additional costs, with prices varying based on availability and type of food.
  • Bulk Purchases: Buying goldfish food in bulk can be cost-effective in the long run. Look for larger-sized containers or economy packs to save money over individual purchases.

Choose high-quality, nutritionally balanced goldfish food to support their health and well-being. Feed them appropriately sized portions and avoid overfeeding, which can lead to water quality issues.

How Much Do Large Goldfish Cost?

The price of large goldfish can vary depending on various factors, including the specific breed, size, and quality of the fish. Here are some considerations:

  • Breed and Rarity: Certain large goldfish breeds, such as Orandas, Ranchus, and Lionheads, are known for their impressive size and features. Prices for large specimens of these breeds can range from $30 to $100 or more, depending on their coloration and overall quality.
  • Age and Growth: Large goldfish typically require more time and care to reach their size. Older or more mature goldfish that have achieved substantial growth may have higher price tags due to their size and age.
  • High-Quality Specimens: Large goldfish with desirable traits, such as vibrant colors, well-formed bodies, and flowing fins, can command higher prices within their respective breed.

It’s worth noting that prices can vary between different sellers, breeders, and locations. Research reputable sources and consult with experienced goldfish enthusiasts to find the best options within your desired price range.


The expense associated with goldfish ownership can vary depending on several factors, including the type of goldfish, their size, required equipment, ongoing care, and additional supplies.

While goldfish themselves can be relatively affordable, it’s important to budget for their long-term care, including proper housing, nutrition, and maintenance.

By considering these factors and planning accordingly, you can ensure a rewarding and financially manageable goldfish ownership experience.


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Brian Arial

Brian Arial has kept fish for leisure and worked with fish stores for most of his life. He enjoys writing and caring for aquariums and ponds.