Generally there are two main types of shubunkins, the Bristol and the London. The Shubunkins are originally thought to have been bred in Japan around the turn of the century; these fish have become very popular in England. The term shubunkin is a Japanese term and translates to deep red with different colours.
The shubunkin is basically a common western goldfish that is nacreous or calico. They are fairly long, flat sided and sleek in their appearance. Some say that their most attractive features are the many varieties of hues they are available in. Mostly their colours are deep reds, whites, dark blues, violets, yellows or blacks. It is reported that the deeper darker hue a shubunkin comes in, the more valuable it is in the marketplace. The shubunkin is also named the Harlequin in some circles.
The difference between the London and Bristol type of shubunkin is that the Bristol shubunkin has a much larger tail than a London shubunkin. The Bristol shubunkin has a wide forked shaped tail that is not too long, while the more popular of the two, the London shubunkin has a smaller squared off tail.
The maximum size a shubunkin tends to grow to is around 6 inches in length, they are known for their excellent swimming ability, because of this they do require ample swimming room. When given the proper care the shubunkin can be one of the most long living domestic fish, sometimes living up to 10 – 20 years. They are a strong fish that are ideal for outdoor ponds and can survive through great temperature changes throughout the yearly cycle.
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