Hibuna (western common goldfish)


The colored common goldfish is documented in China in the Tsing Dynasty about 265 AD. For the next several centuries the basic fundamentals of colored goldfish and the evolution of numerous mutations were initially discovered and reproduced. Most of the Hibuna market is now in the world of feeder fish, but many people use these, as carefree pond fish and most people remember these from their childhood as prizes at festivals. The fish are extremely hardy and exist in many colors. The Common continues to dazzle people with its’ vibrant color and hardiness.

The illustration(s) above is from the Merlin Cunliffe collection, Merlin Cunliffe2016.

Breed Development

The fish are robust and always have erect fins. Body can be as long as 12”, in small back yard back yard ponds 6-9” total length is common. Fins are short and compact. Since most of these fish come to us as feeders or festival prizes, the fish are sometimes misshapen because of their early captivity. In order to compete in a show, the fish must be brightly colored and vigorous.


Every large show has some of these historical specimens. While respected for their heritage, they are often not in the top tier of the fish finalist because of their simplicity.

Maximum points awards are as follows;

Body Shape 20
Fin Shape 20
Fin Color 15
Overall Condition 10
Deportment 10

Typical point ratings based on variation or imperfections, below.

Body Color

Brightly colored metallic, and not faded 25
Uncolored fish (wild type) 15

Body Shape

Body height 3-3.5 times the length to base of peduncle 20
Fish too long or thin 10-15
Fish too short 10-15
Fish has a hump <10

Fin Shape

Smooth edges not pointed 15
Stand-alone fin rays 5
Anal and pectoral fins are approximately matched 15

Fin Color

Fins are call colored 15
Fins are transparent 10-12
Fins are a mixture of solid colored and transparent 9-11

Overall Condition

Fins are perfectly matched and are clear. 10
Fins are split, torn or have eroded edges. 5
Eyes are cloudy 5
Damaged or missing scales 3


Fish is swimming, active and fins do not collapse 10
Bottom sitting 0-5
Head Standing 0-5

1In some cases the exhibition tank size may artificially interrupt the deportment, judge may ignore the table above in some instances.