Tamasaba goldfish are unusual, egg-shaped Fancy goldfish that are rarely seen outside of the Yamagata prefecture in Japan from where the fish originate.
So, how many of these stunning fish can live together? Are Tamasaba goldfish aggressive? And can you keep these rare fish in a garden pond?
Read this guide to find out what fish species and other critters can make the best Tamasaba goldfish tank mates.
What size tank do Tamasaba goldfish need?
Like all goldfish, Tamasabas can grow to a pretty large size, reaching up to 10 inches long, excluding their flowing tail.
Unlike many other Fancy goldfish varieties, these large goldfish are pretty good swimmers, thanks to the Syounai or single-tailed goldfish in their bloodlines. So, these active fish need plenty of space to move around.
That means you’ll need to allow at least 15 gallons of water for each adult Tamasaba. So, if you want to keep a small group of five fish, you’ll need a tank of at least 75 gallons or larger.
Goldfish of all varieties need plenty of dissolved oxygen in the water to stay healthy and happy. A long, rectangular tank provides a large surface area for efficient gaseous exchange, whereas a tall, narrow tank does not.
Tamasabas are not known to be jumpers. However, juvenile fish can be easily alarmed when you’re carrying out routine tank cleaning tasks, and it’s not unheard of for a baby goldfish to leap right out of the tank!
For that reason, your tank should have a lid or cover slide to prevent accidents. A lid also helps keep dust from settling on the water and evaporation to a minimum.
Is a goldfish bowl suitable for Tamasaba goldfish?
For many years, goldfish bowls were the go-to container for goldfish of all varieties. However, even a large bowl is too small for a goldfish for the following reasons:
- Bowls do not provide sufficient space for these large fish when fully grown.
- The tiny surface area of a fishbowl doesn’t facilitate good gaseous exchange.
- It’s not practical to run a powerful enough filtration system in a fishbowl to cope with the amount of waste these fish produce.
In addition, goldfish are highly social and need other fish’s company to thrive. A goldfish bowl is simply too small to allow for that.
Can Tamasaba goldfish live in an outdoor pond?
Tamasabas enjoy warm and cooler water temperatures, and although they look fragile, these Fancy goldfish are happiest when kept in groups in a large outdoor pond with lots of swimming space.
Are Tamasaba goldfish aggressive toward other fish?
In common with all goldfish varieties, Tamasabas are generally peaceful creatures that do best when kept in company with other fish.
Occasionally, male goldfish can get a tad frisky during spawning, chasing female fish around the pond, sometimes causing minor injuries and often exhausting the poor females. However, once the male’s courtship has finished, the female fish usually recovers fairly quickly.
Can Tamasaba goldfish live with tropical fish?
Tamasaba goldfish are coldwater fish that can live in cool water of between 60° and 70°F.
Although tropical fish and invertebrates must have warm water to survive, many temperate species can cope with similar conditions to goldfish.
Tamasaba goldfish are typical of all goldfish varieties in that they have huge appetites and will try to eat pretty much anything they can fit inside their mouths!
Although many tropical species can tolerate temperate water conditions, many of these fish are so tiny they are at risk of becoming lunch for the Tamasabas.
So, what tropical creatures can live in an outdoor pond or very large aquarium with Tamasaba goldfish?
The Weather loach is also called the Dojo loach.
Dojo loaches are bottom-dwelling fish that you’ll only see becoming active after dark. These strange little fish do best in a large tank of at least 55 gallons or in an outside pond setting. That said, if you live in an area where the winters are brutal and the temperature regularly drops below zero, we suggest that you bring the Dojos inside until the weather warms again in the spring.
If you ever notice your Weather loaches frenziedly darting around the pond, that’s a sign that bad weather is on its way. How so? Well, Dojos react to changes in barometric pressure. Amazing!
Dojo loaches generally reach around 3 inches long in the aquarium. However, these creatures often grow to around 8 inches long or even more when kept in a pond.
If you live in Australia or New Zealand and you want to keep Weather loaches, that could be a problem for you.
Dojo loaches readily escape from overflowing ponds during heavy rains and flooding, getting into streams and other water bodies. Here, the fish quickly become invasive, pushing out native species.
Fishkeepers living in the UK must have the correct paperwork to sell Weather loaches. However, it is legal for private owners to keep these fascinating fish in a tank or pond.
Corydoras catfish are another bottom-dweller that can do well when kept with Tamasaba goldfish.
These cute little fish can live in cool water conditions, spending much of their time foraging around the substrate and between plants for long periods when the fish rest motionless on the tank bottom.
Corys need to live in groups of six or more and can reach up to 3 inches long, depending on which of the 100 species you choose!
Best tank mates for Tamasaba goldfish
The good news for Tamasaba fans is that there are plenty of other options to consider when it comes to choosing tank or pond mates for your fish.
Koi are beautiful fish that can make suitable pond mates for Tamasaba goldfish.
Koi are fast swimmers that can grow up to 3 feet long, so they must live in a pond, not a tank. These fish share the same basic dietary requirements and enjoy the same water and environmental conditions as Tamasabas.
Goldfish and Koi are so closely related that they can actually breed to produce a hybrid offspring. However, where Tamasabas can live for up to 10 years, Koi can live for over 35 years!
Comets are elongated goldfish that are extremely hardy and perfectly suited to life in an outdoor garden pond.
These fish can grow up to 14 inches long, so they need to live in an outdoor pond unless you have a huge aquarium! Comets need to live in groups of other similar fish, and they eat a similar diet to Tamasabas.
Shubunkins are similar in appearance to Comets except for their calico colors and longer fins.
These fish can reach 14 inches long and are pretty easy to care for, preferring to live in groups in a large pond setting.
Orfe are a popular pond fish that you often see living with Koi and goldfish. Orfe like the same water conditions as goldfish and share the same basic diet.
These fish are related to carp, growing to measure up to 2 feet long and preferring to be part of a large school.
Sterlets are similar fish to the much larger sturgeon.
The fish look like common catfish, spending much of their time foraging through the substrate on the hunt for worms and crustaceans. These peaceful fish can do well with Tamasabas, Koi, Shubunkins, and Comets.
Sterlets can survive in very cold winter climates, too.
Common carp and Grass carp
Common carp and Grass carp are related to goldfish, sharing the same diet and conditions. Both species can reach over 3 feet long and can tolerate harsh winter weather.
Frogs make great pond mates for goldfish and bring a new dimension to your setup. Frogs are peaceful creatures, although they might eat any goldfish eggs they find.
Large snails are an excellent addition to a pond containing goldfish.
The mollusks generate hardly any waste and help to keep the environment clean and tidy, thanks to their habit of grazing on decaying plants, algae, detritus, and fish waste.
Although most snails don’t live long, they do reproduce readily. But don’t worry! Your goldfish and other pond residents will feed on the snails’ eggs and young, helping to keep the population down.
Unsuitable tank mates for Tamasaba goldfish
Although they are technically Fancy goldfish, Tamasabas do best when kept with similar, faster-swimming fish. Slower round-bodied goldfish can be outcompeted at feeding times and are easily barged aside in a busy pond setting.
Sometimes, injuries can occur during the melee, and the stress that causes can result in a compromised immune system. That leaves the fish open to attack by parasites and common fish diseases.
Tamasabas and other large pond mates view tiny fish and shrimp as food sources, so we recommend that you avoid these creatures as tank mates.
How many fish should Tamasaba goldfish live with?
Tamasaba goldfish are highly social fish that must be kept in large groups of their own kind, other goldfish, or similar species of pond fish.
In theory, you can keep as many Tamasaba goldfish as your pond or aquarium will allow.
That being said, you must never overcrowd your fish. Overcrowding leads to stress, a damaged immune system, disease outbreaks, a shorter lifespan, and even mortality.
When feeding your fish, watch closely to be sure that everyone receives an equal share of the food on offer. It might be necessary to figure out a way of feeding your fish in two groups.
Try using a feeding ring at each end of your pond. You’ll probably find that the fish naturally form two groups, with the larger ones gravitating together. Smaller, weaker fish will move to the other feeding station, ensuring that everyone gets an equal share of the spoils.
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Tamasaba goldfish are peaceful creatures that are happiest when they are kept with other similar fish types. Two tropical species, Weather loaches, and Corydoras catfish, can do well in similar water temperatures as that preferred by Tamasabas.
We suggest you keep your Tamasaba goldfish in a large garden pond with similar types of fish unless you have a huge aquarium. Slow-swimming Fancy goldfish should be avoided, as there’s a risk that they could become injured at feeding times when bumping and barging can occur.
Don’t keep shrimp and very small fish with goldfish of any variety, as the larger goldfish will almost certainly try to eat them.
What pond or tank mates do you have for your Tamasaba goldfish? Tell us in the comments box below.