Wakin Goldfish: Care Guide, Lifespan and More

Wakin Goldfish: Care Guide, Lifespan and More

Wakin goldfish are a rare, seldom-seen variety of flat-bodied goldfish, which is a shame because these fish are simple to care for, beautiful to look at and ideal for beginners.

Read this guide to learn more about the gorgeous Wakin goldfish and how to care for and breed these rare, unusual and beautiful coldwater fish.

Origins Of The Wakin Goldfish

Like all goldfish, the Wakin originates from ancient China. Back in the early 1700s, people raised fish in ponds as a food source. These Prussian Carp sometimes produced brightly colored fish that were saved from the table and kept as ornamental pets. 

Over the next few centuries, the fish were interbred and hybridized to produce different forms and color morphs. By the 1800s and early 1900s, goldfish, as they became known, were being extensively traded across Asia, Europe, and, latterly, the US.

Today, there are over 200 different varieties of goldfish, some of which are very rare. Of course, you’ll never see a group of goldfish swimming around in your local lake since these fish are exclusively captive-bred. 

If you do spot a rogue goldfish in the wild, it’s probably a pet that’s grown too large for its tank and been released by its owner.

What is a Wakin Goldfish?

The Wakin goldfish is one of those rare fancy goldfish breeds that can be kept in both large aquariums and ponds.

Wakins resemble a hybrid version of the Common or Comet goldfish and a Fancy Fantail. 

Unlike most fancies with rotund bodies, the Wakin has a leaner, more streamlined shape. The dorsal fin is upright, extending right down the fish’s back to a beautiful double tail that’s slightly shorter than that of a Fantail Goldfish.

Unlike their round-bodied cousins, the Wakin is a strong, agile swimmer, easily keeping up with flashy swimmers, such as Comets and Koi Carp.

Wakin Goldfish Lifespan

Like their Prussian carp ancestors, most goldfish are relatively long-lived, sometimes surviving for an incredible 30 years or even more.

However, Wakin Fancy goldfish typically live for between ten and 15 years, perhaps longer if provided with a high-quality diet and perfect living conditions.

What Size Are Wakin Goldfish?

In an aquarium setting, Wakin goldfish grow to an average of 10 inches in length. However, fish that are kept in large garden ponds commonly grow to reach 19 inches or even more!

It’s essential to know that the Wakins you buy from your local fish store or online are juveniles, just a few months old. 

Those tiddlers get bigger remarkably quickly, growing most in their first two years. So, bear that in mind when choosing a fish tank for your Wakins.

Colors And Patterns of Wakin Goldfish

The Wakin goldfish is found in a range of patterns and colors, including:

  • Red
  • Red and white
  • Calico
  • Milky-white
  • Chocolate
  • Orange/yellow

Wakin goldfish generally have metallic scales, although you might see some with nacreous scales.

Price And Availability of Wakin Goldfish

Wakin Goldfish are more expensive to buy than more common types. For a good quality specimen, you can expect to pay between £5 – £25 ($5 – $30), although more unusual colors and patterns will be more expensive.

You don’t usually find Wakins for sale in pet stores, but they are typically available through online sellers.

Do you keep Wakin goldfish? Tell us all about your fish in the comments box!

Is The Wakin Goldfish Suitable For Beginners?

Although the Wakin goldfish is expensive to buy and seldom seen, these fish are relatively easy to care for, making them suitable for beginners. 

Goldfish are generally hardy creatures that can withstand a few rookie mistakes, provided that you keep their water clean and feed them a correct, balanced diet.

However, in general, goldfish do take a fair bit of maintenance. Goldfish don’t have stomachs, so what they eat passes straight through the fish’s gut, effectively making the fish a swimming garbage disposal system. 

That means a lot of waste is produced by each fish every day. If that waste isn’t removed from the tank, it will gradually decompose and produce ammonia, which is extremely toxic to your fish.

To keep the water safe and healthy for your Wakins, you’ll need to run a powerful biological and mechanical filtration system and carry out partial water changes each week to remove nitrates from the water. 

Wakin Goldfish Care Guide

This part of our guide shows you how to care for the Wakin goldfish.

Tank Size

Wakin goldfish can reach quite a large size, sometimes growing to 10 inches long in a tank and often reaching up to 19 inches long in a pond. 

We recommend starting with the largest tank you have space for, ideally not less than 30 gallons. For every new adult fish you add to your setup, you’ll need to allow an extra 15 to 20 gallons of water.

Tank Shape

Wakins are strong swimmers that prefer a long tank that offers plenty of space for swimming. Goldfish need a lot of oxygen to remain healthy, and a long tank provides plenty of surface area for efficient gaseous exchange.

Never keep goldfish in a bowl! Traditional goldfish bowls do not offer enough space for swimming or sufficient dissolved oxygen to satisfy these fish.

Flat-bodied goldfish are surprisingly athletic creatures that are easily capable of leaping out of the water. So, you should always choose a tank with a tightly fitting lid or cover slide to prevent accidents. 

A lid also helps to prevent evaporation and keeps dust and debris from falling into the water. 

How Many Wakin Goldfish Can You Keep?

Wakins, like all goldfish species, are sociable, peaceful fish that do best when kept in the company of other goldfish. 

However, these fish are very strong swimmers, and they need plenty of space to swim and explore their environment. 

If your tank is overcrowded, the fish will become stressed and vulnerable to disease. There’s also more risk that your fish will be injured, especially during feeding times when a boisterous melee often develops.

As a basic rule of thumb, you should allow 1 gallon of water per 1 inch of fish in your aquarium.

Water Parameters

Wakin goldfish can live in cool water within the range of 65o and 78o Fahrenheit. The pH level should be between 6.0 to 8.0, with a water hardness of between 5 and 19 dGH.

The ammonia and nitrite levels in the water must always be zero, and nitrate levels should ideally be less than 20ppm. 

However, clean tap water often contains nitrates of around 20ppm, so your goldfish should be fine as long as the nitrate levels are no higher than 30ppm.


Wakins are dirty fish that produce a huge amount of waste every day. For that reason, you’ll need to run a powerful filtration unit that passes the water through your aquarium at least four times per hour.

Unlike their round-bodied fancy relatives, Wakins are excellent swimmers that won’t have a problem with a relatively strong water flow.

Tank Maintenance

Regular maintenance is essential to keep the water and general aquarium environment safe and healthy for your Wakins.

Carry out 30% partial water changes every week to dilute nitrates, and vacuum away all organic waste, including uneaten food, solid fish waste and plant debris. 

Pay particular attention to danger zones, such as around plant bases, under internal filter boxes, and beneath decorations.

Remove algae from the viewing panes so that you can see your fish, and trim broken stems and dead leaves from living plants.

Tank Decoration

Since goldfish do not occur in nature, you can choose whatever decoration and aquascaping schemes you fancy for your tank.

What are your thoughts on tank decoration for goldfish? Let us know in the comments!

Tank Safety

You can prevent accidental injuries to your Wakins by avoiding using anything sharp or rough in your tank. Stick to smooth driftwood, glass pebbles and flat rocks rather than twisted roots and rough resin that could rip off a scale or tear a caudal fin.

Large, smooth gravel is an ideal substrate for a Wakin tank.

What About Aquatic Plants?

Living plants are an excellent addition to any fish tank. Not only do they look beautiful, but live plants extract nitrates and CO2 from the water and produce oxygen.

However, goldfish do tend to uproot and eat plants! Try using tough plant species that are unappetizing to the fish, such as Java fern, Marimo Moss Balls and Anubias. 

Alternatively, you might prefer to use silk plants. Silk plants look just as beautiful as real ones, and you can easily replant them if the fish dig them up. 

We don’t recommend using plastic plants in a goldfish tank. Plastic plants can be sharp and pointed, potentially injuring your fish.


If you have living plants in your setup, you’ll need to provide them with light for at least eight hours per day for photosynthesis.

Tank-kept fish will also appreciate a clear night and daylight cycle that tells them when to sleep, become active and feed. 

It’s thought that depriving fish of that day/night cycle stresses them, ultimately compromising the creatures’ auto-immune system and leaving them vulnerable to disease.

You can either use a lighting unit with an automatic timing function or buy a timer plug from a DIY store as a cheaper alternative.

Nutrition and Feeding

Wakins are omnivorous fish that do best on a varied diet of plant matter, algae and meaty protein.

The ideal basic diet for your fish should comprise of:

  • High-quality goldfish flakes or pellets;
  • Some fresh vegetables, such as peas, spinach, and zucchini;
  • and some frozen meaty foods. 

The fish also enjoy grazing on green algae, so you can leave a small patch or two growing in the tank for the Wakins to munch on.

What About Live Foods?

If your Wakins live in a garden pond, they will eat worms, insects, larvae and tiny crustaceans that they find living in their immediate environment.

Although you can buy live foods from pet stores, we don’t recommend that you feed them to your fish.

Often, those live foods contain bacteria and parasites that could present a danger to your fish. So, you should feed your Wakins frozen meaty protein instead or invest in a home brine shrimp hatchery.

How Often Should You Feed Wakin Goldfish?

Wakin goldfish should be fed two or three small meals daily.

Give your fish only what they will eat in a few minutes to avoid overfeeding.

What Are Good Tank Mates For Wakin Goldfish?

Wakin goldfish are sociable, peaceful fish that appreciate the company of their own kind. You can mix different goldfish varieties in a pond or tank, and other flat-bodied types make good companions for Wakins.

We don’t recommend including round-bodied Fancies in the setup with Wakins. The round-bodied fish are poor swimmers, and the faster swimming varieties will outcompete the Fancies at feeding times.

You might also want to add some snails and large shrimps to the tank. However, whatever livestock you include in your aquarium must be large enough not to fit into the Wakins’ mouths!

Health and Diseases of Wakin Goldfish

Wakin goldfish are pretty hardy creatures that don’t tend to suffer from too many health problems. However, there are a few diseases that you need to know about that could affect your Wakins.

White Spot Disease

White Spot Disease is also known as Ich or Ick.

Ich is caused by a parasite that lives in all fish tanks, no matter how well-maintained. However, only weak, stressed or diseased fish are generally attacked by the parasite.

Fish infected by ich usually start by flicking against ornaments and plants in the aquarium. The fish develop a scattering of white spots across their gills, fins and body as the infection progresses.

White Spot Disease can be treated with an over-the-counter drug that you can get in good fish stores or buy online.

Bacterial Infections

Bacterial infections come in many different forms and present with different symptoms, including:

  • Ulceration of the skin
  • Lethargy
  • Torn fins
  • Missing scales
  • Poor appetite
  • Breathing difficulties

You can treat most minor bacterial infections with a broad-spectrum antibacterial medication.


The term “fluke” is used to describe several species of external parasites that can affect goldfish, including:

  • Anchor worms
  • Fish lice
  • Skin flukes

Flukes usually get into your aquarium with live food, on plants, or attached to new fish. 

You can prevent flukes from entering your tank by putting any new additions into a quarantine tank for a fortnight and treating the water with an antiparasitic medication.

Breeding Wakin Goldfish

Wakins are relatively easy to breed when given the right living conditions and a high-quality diet. 

However, sexing the fish is not easy, as males and females tend to look the same when juveniles. Generally, female goldfish are plumper and rounder than males, and males develop white tubercles on their gill covers and head when in breeding condition.

Spawning Tank

Unless you keep your Wakins in a garden pond where they will most likely just do what comes naturally, you’ll need to set up a spawning tank for your breeding project.

  1. Ideally, you want a tank of 30-gallons or larger so that the fish have plenty of space. If conditions are cramped, the fish will be stressed, preventing them from breeding.
  1. You can encourage your fish to breed by feeding them a protein-rich diet before spawning for three weeks or so. Some people find it effective to keep the sexes apart during that period, as separation can make the fish more receptive to spawning when they are put together.

Fish generally start breeding when the water temperature rises in the early springtime. 

  1. Gradually increase the temperature by 3 degrees in your spawning tank every day until the water is between 68o and 74o Fahrenheit, you can often trigger breeding. Include plenty of plants in the tank and some flat stones and spawning mops where the fish can deposit their eggs.
  1. The spawning tank must be kept scrupulously clean, so you’ll need to change around 20% of the water every day until spawning begins.


During breeding, the male Wakin pursues the female around the habitat, vibrating his body against her until she deposits her eggs. The whole process can take several hours, and up to 10,000 eggs can be deposited in one spawn. 

Once the eggs are dropped onto the bottom of the tank, the male fertilizes them.

As soon as the eggs are fertilized, you need to remove the parents to prevent them from eating their offspring.

After a week or so, free-swimming fry emerge. Feed the fry on fry food until they can cope with finely crushed flaked foods, live baby brine shrimp and spirulina.

When the juvenile Wakins are an inch long, transfer them to your main tank. At first, the baby goldfish will show their wild carp colors of brown or drab silvery gray. However, after a couple of months, you’ll begin to see the fishes’ true colors.

Final Thoughts

Wakin goldfish are rare and beautiful slim-bodied goldfish that make a good choice for beginners, as they are very straightforward to care for.

Keep your Wakins in a group of similar goldfish varieties in a large tank or outdoor pond. Feed the fish a varied diet of meaty protein and plant matter and keep their environment clean and free from harmful nitrates.

Do you keep Wakin goldfish? Do your fish live in a garden pond or an aquarium? Tell us about your fish in the comments box below.

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