What Are the Smallest Goldfish Breeds? {How Big Do They Get?}

Are you thinking your Goldfish is not getting big enough? What are the smallest goldfish breeds?

Do you know there are different small breeds of goldfish? Is your goldfish having problems with growth, or is it also a small goldfish breed?

Let’s talk about the smallest goldfish breeds in this informative article.

What Are the Smallest Goldfish Breeds?

The smallest goldfish species are the fancy variants, which may reach lengths of five to six inches. These include the:

  • Butterfly Tail Goldfish
  • Pearlscale Goldfish
  • Pompon Goldfish
  • Bubble Eye Goldfish
  • Celestial Eye Goldfish

The Twisty Tailed (Tosakin) Goldfish, which may reach lengths of 6 inches, is the smallest kind of goldfish.

The twisted-tailed goldfish or Tosakin goldfish is the smallest breed of goldfish.

  • It grows to about 6 inches in its mature adult stage.
  • The body shape takes the shape of an egg, except the tail that takes the shape of a fantail.

The twisted-tailed goldfish swim gently and eat a wide variety of food. The fish love to stay in shallow waters and have a size range of about 4 to 6 inches. They have a lifespan between 10 to 15 years. Twisted-tailed goldfish are:

  • not fast swimmers
  • gentle
  • hardy
  • highly tolerable fish
  • come in different colors like red and white, orange and white

A uncommon and peculiar species of goldfish, Tosakin goldfish are seldom found at local fish shops.

How Big Do Butterfly Telescope Goldfish Get?

The butterfly telescope goldfish is another breed of small goldfish. The fish got their names from the butterfly shape of their caudal fins. This goldfish breed has bulging eyes that you can easily view from above.

The butterfly telescope goldfish have their caudal tail spread to about 180 degrees or less, depending on the fin’s weight.

  • Butterfly goldfish usually grow to a small size of about 5 inches.
  • They can also exceed this range when provided with adequate requirements and reach a maximum length of about 8 inches.

The butterfly telescope goldfish can live for 10 to 15 years under the right conditions. Then can also reach and exceed 20 years in some cases, depending on their health capacity.

Is Ryukin Goldfish Rare?

Yes. The Ryukin also comprises the list of small goldfish breeds that you can keep in your aquarium or pond.  This goldfish comes with a pointed head and pronounced hump at the back.

The Ryukin can either be short-finned or long-finned with a triple or quadruple tail. It has a high dorsal fin and a caudal fin that is often twice the body’s length.

The Ryukin usually grows to about 8 inches, while some grow to about 10 inches in commercial ponds and large aquariums. Ryukin goldfish can live for about 10 to 15 years under adequate conditions. It is also not uncommon for them to exceed 20 years of age.

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What Is the Difference Between Single and Double Tail Goldfish?

The double-tailed is a variety of fancy goldfish that comes in small size. The goldfish got its name from its undivided double fin tail that curls at the end. It is a distinctive breed of goldfish with its horizontally spread-out tails behind the fish.

This goldfish breed has an egg-shaped body with an elongated dorsal fin and flowing tail. They also come in varieties of colors, including black, calico, orange, yellow, etc. They are a hardy breed of goldfish and are suitable for goldfish ponds.

The double-tailed goldfish can live for about 10 to 15 years and even exceed 20 years if properly cared for. They can also grow to about 8 to 10 inches under the necessary conditions. The double-tailed goldfish can grace your tank with its colorful appearance.

How Big Do Single Tailed Goldfish Get?

In contrast to their showy counterparts, single-tailed goldfish often have an athletic frame and are far more hardy. They are also less expensive than the double-tailed varieties, and most breeders classify them as “feeder” fish.

The pair of caudal and anal fins on the double-tailed goldfish serve as a classification feature.

They are a hardy breed of goldfish and will tolerate a wide range of conditions. Single-tailed goldfish can grow to about 10 to 14 inches in size. They have a life expectancy of about 20 years.

What Are Small Goldfish Called?

There are different varieties of small goldfish, with each having its name. Small goldfish breeds include the Ryukin, butterfly goldfish, Tosakin, etc. Some people also call small goldfish nymph goldfish, although nymph goldfish are not small.

Small goldfish also get the name “dwarf goldfish” because of their small size. Most people refer to them by their exact name. Small goldfish breeds are some aquarists’ favorite as they are mostly colorful and graceful.

What Size is the Smallest Goldfish?

The smallest breed of goldfish is the twisted tail goldfish. It can grow to be about 6 inches in length. They rarely exceed this length but can fall below the range.

The twisted tail goldfish is a colorful fish with an egg-like shape. They are slow swimmers and have a bright, fancy tail. They provide a sight to watch and graces the tank with their features.

What Are Dwarf Goldfish?

There are two categories of every goldfish; the regular ones with the large size and the irregular ones with the small size. Dwarf goldfish include the types of goldfish of small size. They call them dwarf goldfish because they do not grow to the size of their related cousins.

  1. Most dwarf goldfish are fancy goldfish, as most fancy goldfish come in small sizes. They are mostly genetically mutated, causing them to have deprived growth.
  2. Unlike their other cousins with elongated bodies, they usually have thick bodies—different types of goldfish fall under the dwarf breed. Most dwarf goldfish live for about 10 to 15 years, with only a few exceeding the range.
  3. Most dwarf goldfish fall between the length of 6 to 12 inches. Only a few exceed the range, reaching about 15 inches in length.

Dwarf goldfish are mostly hardy and do not pose much stress to aquarists.

How Big Are Dwarf Goldfish?

Dwarf goldfish are smaller when compared to their larger cousins. The growth size ranges from 6 to 12 inches. Some can grow to about 15 inches, which is not very common.

The way you feed and provide them with adequate resources can also tell them about their growth. If you feed them well, they can exceed their growth range. They can also not reach their growth range if you do not feed them well.

The biggest fancy goldfish do not exceed 8 inches. Single-tailed goldfish can reach about 12 inches. Dwarf goldfish do not encounter any additional problems but will face the same issues as their larger cousins.

How Long Does It Take for a Goldfish to Grow to Full Size?

With every condition and requirement met, it will take about 6 to 10 months for a goldfish to reach full size.  You also have to know that all fish do not have the same growth rate

  • Under adequate conditions, goldfish will reach their maximum size within the range of 6 to 10 months.

Several factors deprive goldfish of growing. You have to understand these factors and make sure you avoid them. These factors include the tank’s size, quality of water, genetic makeup, number of fish in the tank, etc.

How to Help Optimal Growth for Goldfish

For optimal growth of your goldfish, you have to:

  • provide the best conditions for your fish.
  • feed it with the right proportion of food for optimal growth.
  • Make their dietary fat and protein to be about 35% of their food
  • make sure they get the needed amount of carbohydrates, vitamins, and other necessary nutrients.

If you can keep the water and tank conditions intact and feed the goldfish with the right food, you will surely notice their fast growth.


Several goldfish breeds come in small sizes. Their small size is not a result of health problems, but genetic mutation. There are different small goldfish breeds with several characteristics. You can take your pick and keep them healthy.

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John Brandon

John has kept fish all his life (since he was about 5). He started with keeping guppies and fell in love with fish keeping almost straight away. That was 40 odd years ago. These days John still keeps fish and currently has two large tanks where he keeps many different types of fish such as Angelfish, Neon Tetras, Goldfish, Guppies and many more.