Look at the pectoral fins. Females have a smaller version of this ridge, or may have no ridge at all. Once spawning starts, the mystery is over. They usually stay just behind and below the female while chasing. It's difficult to tell the sex of a goldfish, because the fish do not have visible external sex organs. The abdomen of a male goldfish usually is noticeably firmer than that of a female goldfish. Body Shape This is probably the most unreliable method for fancy goldfish since they have such a modified body shape. Keep in mind that goldfish of any variety can and do interbreed. And of course, the most reliable way is to actually witness your fish spawning.
They usually stay just behind and below the female while chasing. Physical Characteristics There are several subtle physical differences between male and female goldfish. Having only two fish, wanting to breed them and not knowing if you have a male and a female can make things difficult. If you want more detailed information on goldfish breeding and want to share the experiences of other hobbyists, I suggest you join the Goldfish Society of America P. In some rare cases, breeding stars appear on female goldfish too, but mostly they appear on males. Is there some way to distinguish a male from a female goldfish? Vent Shape Typically males have a more elongated and narrow vent, while females have a rounder vent. At breeding time, female goldfish get plump, especially along the bottom and sides of the abdomen. The anal opening of a female goldfish also usually projects slightly from the body. When viewed from above, males tend to be smaller and thinner than females of the same age. The pet store employees cannot tell either. During breeding season, male goldfish tend to be active and persistent in chasing and nudging female fish. As breeding time approaches these differences are more pronounced. However, male goldfish often chase one another, so you must be completely certain the test fish is female before using this method. If you are able to get a look at the vents of the fishes, those fish with a convex, round vent most likely are female. Usually, goldfish reach breeding age when they are about 12 months old. But in general, females have a wider and deeper body when compared to males of the same type. I am sorry, but no one I know can reliably sex young goldfish. So if you want to maintain a pure strain of goldfish, do not mix varieties in the same pond or aquarium. Sometimes they also tend to have an asymmetric belly when viewed from above. Sometimes the swelling is asymmetrical, bulging more on one side. Instead, you must read more subtle cues from fishes' behavior and appearance to ascertain whether they are more likely male or female. First, it helps greatly if the fish are already mature, or at least more than one year old. Here is my video all about breeding stars with lots of examples and good information. Comets and shubunkins do not know they are not supposed to breed with bubble eyes and lionheads. With some practice, however, you should be able to separate males and females fairly reliably. Male goldfish have a relatively concave, slit-shaped vent.
Video about goldfish sex:
Sexing my Goldfish
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