Goldfish in the tropical house at Wingham Wildlife Park

Goldfish Natural History


The largest recorded goldfish was 16 inches long (41 cm) and weighed 5 lbs.

Habitat and Distribution

This species is a domesticated version of an east Asian carp and does not have a natural range.  However, its ability to adapt to many fresh water habitats as meant that discarded pets have successfully settled in ponds, lakes and streams around the world.


Gold fish can live for up to 25 years, but the oldest one to be recorded was 43 years old.


These fish can feed on a variety of aquatic plants and pond insects however due to their domesticated nature they are mainly fed on a variety of commercial fish foods.

Groups and Breeding

These fish are able to live solitary lives in ponds but alternatively can also live in huge groups without any issues. During breeding the females spawn, laying thousands of eggs which the males will then fertilise in the water.


This breed does not have any threats as it is constantly being bred more in captivity due to its huge popularity as a pet species, especially since selective breeding has meant that there now over 300 different varieties, with variances in colour, size and even shape.

Interesting Facts

Whilst some humans can detect and convey colour information between the eye and brain from 4 colour channels, the norm for us is 3 channels. Goldfish however all see in 4 colour channels which means that they have more colour sensitive vision than we do.

The Goldfish During Your Day Out in Kent

The goldfish at Wingham Wildlife Park can be seen in our tropical house and in the pond in our dinosaur zoo. We sell food in the tropical house to feed our fish with; this often brings them to the surface, making them easier to see.