Lion Goldfish: The Best 10 Care Tips

Lion Goldfish is the first-ever goldfish bred in the shape of a lion, and it is utterly adorable. With its big ears, sharp teeth, and pointy nose, this fish looks like it was ripped straight out of a cartoon.

This lion-shaped fish has been dubbed “the world’s most expensive animal,” with an approximate cost of $100K USD per goldfish.

This fish has already won over 1 million hearts on Instagram and is causing quite the stir across all social media platforms.

This goldfish is bred by a breeder known as Zhang Genbao, working in fish breeding for almost 20 years. He started selling normal-shaped goldfish and gradually grew to be the first to breed this lionfish.

Lion Goldfish Characteristics

Lion Goldfish has a lower lateral line, a tell-tale sign of its lion-like appearance. The goldfish is also commonly known to possess ferocious-looking teeth, a pointed nose, and huge ears.

It is said that these features are what make the goldfish look like a lion. Even though it has all these features, this fish doesn’t get any bigger than 15cm.

Zhang Genbao created such a beautiful fish to attract more customers to his store and ultimately make more money. He started by sketching his vision and then developing the breed.

Species Name: Lionhead Goldfish
Family: Asian Carp
Care Level:         Moderate
Temperature:   65-75ºF
Color Form:       many variations
Lifespan:             1-15 years
Size:      5-8 inches
Diet:     Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size:       20 gallons
Tank Set-Up:     6.5-7.5 pH and 4-20 KH
Compatibility:   Other peaceful fish

Lion Goldfish Overview

Lion is a very popular ornamental fish and one of aquarium enthusiasts’ most sought-after species. Also known as “lion-head,” “lionfish,” “dragon goldfish,” or “shishi-Koh” (literally, “lion dog”) depending on the region, it is native to China.

Lionhead Goldfish is fully grown at about six inches in length and weigh just an ounce or two. They are also far more colorful than their common goldfish cousins.

Their fins are also more extended in length and have a more compact body shape. Another interesting fact is that these fish can live up to 20 years or longer,

Which is much longer than the average lifespan of a standard goldfish. These fish are generally kept as pets in aquariums, although they can also be kept in ponds.

Appearance of the Lion Goldfish

The lion-shaped goldfish is a miniature goldfish that has been bred to resemble a lion. It has everything in place to look like a real lion: the mane, tuft of hair on its head, and the eyes shaped like a feline. It looks so real that it doesn’t look shabby from behind either!

It is said to be quite difficult to breed this fish since it was only bred once before and only for one time, which explains why it is so exclusive.

Lion Goldfish Size

The goldfish is one inch long, the smallest among other lion-shaped goldfishes. The size makes it look cute as it is easier to carry around. It can also be used for less than two feet aquariums, perfect for tiny apartments and dorms!

Breeding of the Lion Goldfish

Since the breeding is so intensive and the goldfish is highly popular, it can take years to raise them. The female fish lays around 1,500 eggs that are of a golden color.

However, this is only the first generation of these fish, and they will not be making a comeback in the future.

Its rarity makes it costlier than ordinary goldfish, meaning that its price will increase as time progresses. It costs an estimated amount of $100K per goldfish.

Even though it is highly priced, it is still worth the money to own this amazing fish as you can show off your good taste and make sure that you’re a trendsetter!

Origin of the Lion Goldfish

The lionfish was originally bred in China, but the breeder didn’t exactly make it as a gimmick. It is said that the breeding was part of Zhang’s efforts to make new and better goldfish, which will improve its quality by providing it with new looks and patterns. The idea of making this fish came from his dream of having a pet lion.

Are Lion Goldfish Suitable for Your Aquarium?

The lion-shaped goldfish is a sight to behold. It is one of the more recognized ornamental goldfish, especially from this breed.

However, it isn’t recommended to keep it if you already have other fish in your aquarium. This would only cause tension, and one fish might end up getting hurt and even killed by the lion’s sharp bite.

The average size of your tank should also be at least 15 gallons, as well as being at least 6.5 pH and 4-20 KH (KH stands for hardness).

Keeping Your Lion Goldfish Healthy

The lion is indeed a healthier goldfish, unlike the traditional variety. This is because it is less susceptible to disease, and it will most likely live longer than the common goldfish. It is also less sensitive to water quality because of its resistant nature.

It does not require much attention as long as you keep its environment clean and provide it with all the nutrients it needs.

What to Feed Your Lion Goldfish?

The lion goldfish is an omnivorous fish that eats both meat and plants. This should not be a problem since they love to eat plants, algae, and insects.

Ensure that you feed them a balanced diet, including plant matter, animal protein, and vegetable matter. The fish usually feed on grains, which are good for the digestive system.

Besides this, you can also feed them small crustaceans such as daphnia for other vitamins and minerals essential for their growth.

How to Take Care of Lion Goldfish

Here are The Best 10 Care Tips

1. The best place to keep your lion head goldfish in water with a 65-75 degrees temperature. This is because they are sensitive to changes in temperature.

2. Feed them well and don’t overfeed them, as it can cause digestive disorders.

3. Keep their tank clean and make sure not to overstock it by adding too many fish in one tank; this can also cause health disorders like ich or velvet belly diseases that can be dangerous for your fish.

4. Provide oxygen in their tank by adding an air stone.

5. Lionhead goldfish can be a little aggressive, so keeping them in their tank and not with other types of fish is recommended.

6. They also tend to jump out of the tank, so make sure to cover the whole tank if possible.

7. As mentioned before, these goldfish are very sensitive to temperature changes and pH levels, which is why you must test your water parameters regularly.

8. To increase their lifespan, make sure to feed them flakes and pellet food.

9. You should know that these goldfish are mouth breathers, so there is a lot of air in their tanks and the need for frequent water changes.

10. To keep these fish healthy, it’s best to use a filter that can control the nitrate levels in their water and remove wastes from the tank through their waste products.

Habitat, Tank Conditions & Setup

The lion head goldfish is a hardy fish. As long as you keep up with the tank conditions, it should survive for a long time. It has a bigger appetite, so it is essential that you feed them well and don’t skimp on their diet.

Tank Size

The ideal tank size for a lion goldfish is 15 gallons. However, smaller ones can be kept as long as you make them perform well in the small tank.

There should also be enough live plants or algae in their tank to have something to eat.

This fish loves to dig and burrow, which is why you need to provide them with caves, rock walls, or thick plants to keep them from digging too much. This will also create their natural habitat, making it look more natural.

Water Temperature

The temperature of the water is also very important. The ideal temperature should be around 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Water Changes

You must perform a 25-30% water change every week, as this will make sure that their tank will stay clean and free from harmful substances. It’s also good to provide them with fresh, clean water at all times.

Some goldfish also do not like warm nights and prefer to stay cool to sleep more comfortably during the day.

pH Range

The pH level of the water should be between 6.5 to 7.0 for their bodies to function properly.

Soil or Sand Bedding

The best type of substrate for the lion goldfish is either sand or soil, as long as it doesn’t contain toxins that will harm them. There must be enough space for the fish to burrow and hide out of sight while sleeping.


When selecting a substrate, you should always look for something natural and free of chemicals; it will also be of better quality.

Lion Goldfish Colors

As with any fish, they come in many different colors, making them look different in your tank. This is especially true for the lion goldfish since there are many variations.

The most common color is black and white; however, they can also come in red, orange, or yellow shades.


Many Lionshead goldfish owners also plant live plants or algae in their tanks. This will provide them with a source of food, which will make the tank look beautiful and serve as a snack for your fish if you decide to allow them to browse through it.


If you are planning to keep the plant or algae, which is highly recommended, by the way, then make sure that you have an ideal lighting system for them.


If you want your water to be clean, it is essential that you invest in a filter for your tank, even if it is a small one. This way, you will control algae and other toxins forming in the tank.


It’s very important to remember that lion head goldfish are very aggressive and should always be kept in their tanks.

Special Notes

You should also have a hammer or some open container to scoop out the waste produced by your fish. These goldfish also tend to jump out of the water, which is why you should always cover up the whole tank.

As you can see, there are many ways to take care of a lion goldfish. You must take good care of these fish since they have lived for more than 15 years, making them one of the best pets for children and adults.


Among the great variety of Lion goldfish, the lion’s head is one of the most aggressive and violent. He is a very active fish that likes to jump from the water surface. It is easy to care for every beginner, growing very large.

They can even survive in cold temperatures, but you should keep them at a temperature level of 65 degrees Fahrenheit or higher to give them a comfortable environment. Thank you for reading this article.

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