The pompom goldfish is actually correctly named the “pompon”. However, due to its appearance, it is much more commonly known by the name pompom.
The pompom goldfish is distinctive due to the two bubble-like growths, also known as narial bouquets, that develop on the nose of the fish from the time that they are around 18 weeks old, making the fish instantly recognizable to the goldfish enthusiast. These narial bouquets should be at least the size of the eye.
It can take several months for the pompoms themselves to fully develop. Once mature, they can become so large that they get sucked into the mouth of the fish when they take in water!
In terms of body shape, the pompom is very similar to the lionhead goldfish, with a double anal fin and twin tail fins. The pompom can be seen in a wide range of colors including silver, orange, yellow, black and white. These goldfish in the Western countries should have no dorsal fin. There is a Japanese version that can have a dorsal fin and is called the Hanafusa.
Fully grown, the pompom can reach 4-6” in length, and like all goldfish, can live for many years.
Pompom goldfish temperament and care
Due to the twin nasal growths present on the pompom goldfish, care should be taken with the aquarium décor to ensure that there are no sharp corners or pinch points that might damage or scratch the fish’s nose. These fish are best suited for aquarium life and not to be kept in ponds.
The pompom is usually discouraged as a fish for first-time keepers, as they require a relatively experienced fish keeper to provide them with adequate care.
Breeding pompom goldfish
The pompom is considered to be one of the easiest exotic goldfish varieties to breed, as they do not have any features that are apt to make breeding more challenging, such as upturned or telescoping eyes.
The male and female pompom goldfish are very similar in appearance, and can be difficult to tell apart. Generally, the female fish will have a slightly slimmer body shape than the male, and during the breeding season, the male pompom will gain white tubercles on the edges of their pectoral fins and on the gill plates. This makes telling the sexes apart much easier!
Choosing pompom goldfish
The pompom comes in various different color varieties, and no color is considered particularly desirable above all others.
Look out for healthy, active fish, but bear in mind that the pompom is rather slow moving, and a fish that appears sluggish is not necessarily unhealthy.
Remember that the nasal pompoms will not fully develop until the fish is mature, so do not be discouraged by small or absent pompoms in younger fish.