Goldfish prices are driven by the type of goldfish you’re looking for, with the state of the market and the current economy more of a secondary factor. For the most part, goldfish are relatively inexpensive, but much of that depends on your tank setup before purchasing a pet goldfish, along with the type of goldfish.
Goldish prices in 2023 run from anywhere between $50 (for the whole setup) and $400, for a more exotic goldfish (or two) and a more complicated setup. When it comes to pet fish, the fish itself is often only a fraction of the price of all the gear and accessories.
Rare goldfish can get pretty pricey, however, so we’ll cover the topic of rare goldfish and give you a price breakdown for some of the various goldfish breeds out there. It’s easy to forget that today’s goldfish are products of over a millennium of selective breeding!
Fortunately, even if you go for some of the more exotic goldfish (or two), the price isn’t offensive. It can get expensive, depending on the gear and accessories you want to purchase with them. Plus, keep in mind that there are close to 30 species of goldfish on the market.
- Watonai: $20 to $25
- Sabao: $15
- Telescope Eye: $10
- Shubunkin: $5
- Ranchu: $30 to $50
- Lionchu: $15
- Pompom: $25 to $30
- Pearlscale: $10
- Blackmoor: $5 to $7
- Oranda: $7
- Tosakin: $100 to $150
- Wakin: $10 to $15
- Sabao: $15 to $20
- Ryukin: $5
- Pompom: $20 to $30
- Comet: $.10 to $1.00
- Fantail: $1 to $5
- Fancy: $10 to $15
This list is larger but it’s enough to give you a general idea in terms of costs. There is no set price for goldfish but more of a generalization. The prices above may even look wildly different if you purchase a goldfish in San Diego, California versus Fayetteville, Arkansas.
The Tosakin Goldfish price point jumps off the page and they are the most expensive breed of goldfish on the market. Drop down to feeders and you’re looking at pocket change. So there’s a pretty wide disparity among the available goldfish. You should always do your homework and learn about the habits, needs, and best environment for the goldfish before you leap.
Of course, a goldfish has to have a tank. The good news is, there are a variety of sizes to choose from. While some goldfish owners will suggest a fish bowl, it’s important to sort of put yourself in the goldfish’s position. What would you prefer? An area where a single flip of a tail fin will take you from one side to the other, or a large environment in which to explore?
Goldfish prices are not just about the goldfish but everything that comes with it as well. Even if you purchase an expensive Tosakin, the tank can easily be the most expensive part of the entire process. A tank for a goldfish will run anywhere between $20 and well over $1,000, depending on what you want.
If you’re on a budget, the best thing you can do is purchase a decent-size tank and allow your goldfish room to explore.
Goldfish prices should also include the cost of tank setup. Filtration is much like the tank, with a cost that’s all over the place, depending on what you go with and the size of the tank. You’re looking at a price range that’s roughly $10 per 10 gallons.
Your filter should be more than capable of keeping up with the size of the tank so your goldfish’s environment is clean and crystal clear. Minimal maintenance is a good goal to have as well. The fewer times you have to be disruptive to the goldfish’s environment, the better.
Another key element in overall goldfish prices is the food, which will be an ongoing, recurring price for the life of your goldfish, along with succeeding goldfish. For the most part, you’re looking at just the cost of commercial goldfish food, but you should also include the occasional treats as well.
Under normal circumstances, you should feed your goldfish once per day. The commercial goldfish food, Aqueon Goldfish Fish Food Flakes will cost you between $7 and $10 per 7-ounce bottle. However, there are some other factors to consider as well.
- Number of goldfish in your tank
- The age of your goldfish
- Water temperature (colder water slows metabolism)
- Whether or not you’re breeding your goldfish
The above bullet points will affect the number of feedings per day, which is something you should keep in mind. Plus, when they are below a year of age, you should feed them a couple of times per day, rather than just one time.
Decorations in the Tank
This is the fourth category and, by now, you should be getting an idea of goldfish prices based on all of the stuff you need to purchase for it. Look on the bright side, many of the most expensive things are reusable, one-time purchases. So, you can think of it as an upfront cost of purchasing a goldfish.
Decoration choices are entirely up to you and the market for these is so broad and complex that it merits its article. But, for the sake of pricing, a basic aquarium setup with a few driftwood and structural decorations will cost between $25 and $50.
Your Tank Substrate
While some consider substrate an optional purchase and others consider it required, you should probably go with one. This is especially true if you want structural decor and plants to situate nicely and solidly at the bottom of your tank.
The good news is that you don’t have to go crazy with this purchase. A substrate is like many other things in the pet fish marketplace—extensive, with a price that’s all over the place. Since goldfish are known for getting the occasional pebble stuck in their mouth, you should either go with a sand substrate or rocks large enough that goldfish can’t pick them up.
You won’t need huge bags of the stuff, however, since it doesn’t take much to get the desired 1″ to 2″ layer on the bottom. If you have a huge tank, it may take a good deal more, however. The general price range for the substrate is a couple of dollars to $3 per pound.
There’s always an “other supplies” list when it comes to owning pets and goldfish prices should include some extra money for this category. “Other supplies” include a pretty wide range of items.
- Fish net: $5
- Goldfish medications: $8 to $40
- Aloe Remedy: $30 to $35 (highly advisable for protection during water treatments)
- Water treatment: $4 to $10
- Filter media: $10 to $20
That’s just some of the basics. Owning a goldfish is much like owning any other pet and it’s always a good idea to keep some “just in case” supplies on hand.
Final Thought on Goldfish Prices
As you can see, goldfish prices have a fairly decent range, once you include everything you need to get started. If you have a 20-gallon tank, with everything pretty much set up, you can get a goldfish and the immediate necessities for a fairly low price.
However, tosakins and pompoms are probably the most expensive goldfish on the market if you want to get exotic with them. Most of what’s left consists of one-time payments, such as tanks, filters, and decor. All-in-all, goldfish are pretty reasonable in terms of price in 2023.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © slowmotiongli/Shutterstock.com
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