Are Goldfish Carp? – What’s The Difference

Goldfish and carp look alike, which often makes people think they are the same fish. The truth is that goldfish and carp are two different types of fish that belong to the same family. In this article, we will take a closer look at the similarities and differences between goldfish and carp and explain what makes each one unique.

What is Karp?

Carp is a type of freshwater fish belonging to Carp familywith over 2000 species. The carp is native to Europe and Asia, but has been introduced to other parts of the world, including North America. decorative carp like koi popular in aquaculture, but the common carp is the most widely distributed species of carp.

Most species of carp are distinguished by a large, slightly forked tail and barrel or whiskers on the chin. Common carp colors include gold, brown, orange, black, and silver. However, these physical characteristics may vary depending on the breed of carp. It’s always a good idea to determine what kind of carp you have before attempting to care for it.

Goldfish carp?

Although they may appear to be separate species, goldfish are actually a type of cyprinid fish. The main difference between them is that carp kind of fishand a goldfish kind of carp. Carp are freshwater fish in the cyprinid family, while goldfish are in a subfamily of the cyprinid family known as Karasius. The goldfish is actually a domesticated form of the wild carp.

Image Source:

So yes, goldfish are carp, but not all carp are goldfish. When talking about carp, people usually mean the common carp, which is a type of fish that can be found in ponds and lakes. Goldfish, on the other hand, are usually kept as pets.

See also  Goldfish and Betta Fish Together? There Are 6 Big Problems!

Difference between goldfish and carp

As we have established, goldfish are a type of carp. However, there are some key differences between goldfish and other carp species. Here are some of the more notable differences:

The goldfish has been domesticated

As we mentioned earlier, the goldfish is the domesticated form of the carp. This means that goldfish have been bred in captivity for centuries, providing more predictable and consistent quality. These qualities can be physical things like color and size, or behavioral things like tameness.

Physically, goldfish come in a greater variety of colors and shapes than carp. This is because goldfish have been selectively bred to exhibit certain traits, while carp have not. For example, goldfish come in red, orange, yellow, and white, while carp are usually brown, gold, or black.

goldfish eating

When it comes to behavior, goldfish are usually much more tame than carp. Goldfish have been bred to be comfortable around people, but carp have not. This means that goldfish are less likely to be afraid of humans and more likely to enjoy them.

Carp are usually larger than goldfish

One of the most noticeable differences between goldfish and carp is size. Carp are usually much larger than goldfish, and some types of carp grow up to four feet in length! Goldfish, on the other hand, usually only grow to be about a foot long. Thus, if it is quite possible to keep goldfish in aquariums, then it is not recommended to do this with carps. You will most likely need a pond to keep carp adequately.

This difference in size can be explained by the fact that goldfish were bred to be smaller than carp. In the wild, carp can grow to quite large sizes, but goldfish are bred to a lesser extent so that they can be kept in captivity.

See also  14 Aquarium Plants That Will Grow on Wood and Rocks

Goldfish have three types of scales

Another key difference between goldfish and carp is the type of scales. Carp have one type of scale known as cycloid scales. These scales are smooth and overlap each other, giving the carp a slimy appearance. On the other hand, goldfish have three types of scales: matte, metallic and pearlescent.

Matte scales are the most common type of goldfish scales. They have a matte surface and are usually relatively small. The metallic scales are larger than the matte ones and have a shiny metallic appearance. Mother-of-pearl scales are the largest type of goldfish scales and have a pearl finish. Mother-of-pearl scales are quite rare, and most goldfish have either matte or metallic scales.

Because goldfish have three types of scales, they are often more colorful than carp. This is because different types of scales reflect light differently, creating a greater variety of colors.

Carp live longer than goldfish

Another key difference between goldfish and carp is lifespan. Carp usually live around 20 years, while goldfish usually only live 10-15 years. So while goldfish make great pets, they are not as long-lived as carp.

This difference in life expectancy is likely due to the fact that goldfish are bred to be smaller than carp. Small animals tend to have shorter lifespans than larger ones, so it makes sense that goldfish have a shorter lifespan than carps. Also, generations of selective breeding may have robbed goldfish of some of the health benefits carp enjoy. They may be less resistant to disease and more prone to genetic disorders.

carp fish

Another factor leading to a shortened lifespan of goldfish is that they are often kept in captivity. Animals in captivity usually do not live as long as their wild counterparts because the environment in a closed aquarium is more sensitive to water quality and temperature fluctuations. These fluctuations can stress the goldfish and make them more susceptible to disease.

See also  List of 7 Best Ferns for a Paludarium With Pictures

Goldfish are more popular than carp

Last but not least, goldfish are more popular than carps. This is probably due to the fact that goldfish make better pets than carps. They are smaller, more colorful and less aggressive. They are also easier to care for than carps, as they can be kept in smaller aquariums.

Carp are still popular in some parts of the world, but they are not farmed as widely as goldfish. In most parts of the world, goldfish are the more popular pet fish. The huge number of online stores dedicated to breeding and selling goldfish is a testament to the popularity of this charming species. However, carp should not be completely discounted. They make great pets!


We hope you enjoyed learning about the differences between goldfish and carp. Both of these fish make great pets, but they are completely different. Goldfish are smaller, brighter and live shorter lives than carps. Carp are larger, less colorful and live longer than goldfish. Goldfish are more popular than carp, but both fish make great pets. Thanks for reading!

If you are interested in learning more about goldfish, check out our article on the different types of goldfish. We cover everything from common goldfish to fancy goldfish and more!

1 thought on “Are Goldfish Carp? – What’s The Difference”

Leave a Comment