Shubunkins or ‘Shubs’ are a particular variety of the common goldfish. Out of the dozens of goldfish varieties that exist and are farmed around the world shubs are the most common as they are regarded as ‘hardy’. A hardy variety of goldfish means it can survive in a garden pond outside in a European winter unlike the more fancy varieties such as moors, lionheads, etc. which need to be kept inside in aquaria.
Shubs originated in Japan where they were selectively bred over 100 years ago. They have a range of colours which are described as’ calico’, but what makes them of particular interest is their scales. They possess several scale types including ‘plain’,’ metallic’ and ‘transparent’. These scales are known as ‘nacreous’. The gill cover often is covered by the transparent scales which ensure that the actual gill filaments are visible beneath. The overall effect is a unique multi-coloured fish frequently with long flowing fins, truly a beautiful ornamental fish.
Within this array of uniquely coloured fish there are some distinct varieties. The most common is the ‘Bristol’ shubunkin which tends to be predominantly blue. Another common variety is the ‘American’ which is more calico with lots some patches of deep red.
The image demonstrates here clearly demonstrates the colour patterns we traditionally produce on our farm. They tend to be more the ‘American’ colour type with deep blues and reds and long flowing fins. Our shubs are really popular as we select fish that inevitably tend to become more spectacular the older it gets.
Shubunkins tend to be more expensive than goldfish as they are more difficult to produce. Like the standard goldfish, shubs are born brown and then when the fish reaches approximately 1 inch in length it starts to lay down colour. This does not occur in all specimens as some are genetically disposed to remain brown, and others loose much of their colour pigment and stay completely pink. We only select the calicos to ongrow.
The shubunkins we sell are generally from 2 to 6 inch inches in length. After a year their fins will really start to grow and develop, the colours will intensify and you will have acquired a truely spectacular fish for both an aquarium or a pond.