Goldfish (Carassius auratus)

By Robert McCormack

Goldfish are colourful fish that are used as aquarium species, not as food for human consumption. They are aquacultured by large numbers of people and are easy to look after and breed. The ancestors of this species originated in China and naturally the majority dull brown colouration with just the odd one being a bright colour. But if you take the bright coloured ones and breed them together the majority of offspring will be bright colours and some will be the dull brown colours.

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Colours are important as if someone is going to keep a goldfish as a pet then they usually want a pretty coloured one. Shape is also important and all sorts of varieties like fantails are available and aquacultured in NSW.

The ornamental aquarium fish trade in Australia has been estimated to be worth approximately $350million annually. In NSW we aquaculture approximately $500,000 worth of traditional ornamental species as well as the native perch, bass and yabbies that also enter the aquarium trade. Most ornamental fish are considered dangerous to the natural environment and NSW Fisheries has strict regulations for the aquaculture of ornamental fish to ensure they do not escape from fish farms. Natural waterways in NSW are seriously impacted by goldfish and carp and we are seeing a growing number of infestations from other species like swordtails, gubbies, redfin, etc.

Further information on ornamental fish is available in the members data base.