View Full Version : Wakin

03-05-2010, 10:10 PM
Steve at Rain Garden (with permission)

03-08-2010, 10:06 PM
Pond Fish Care: About Wakins, The Japanese Goldfish

The Japanese wakin (Carassius auratus), pronounced (WAH-KEEN), although you will hear it pronounced as Wah-Kin often in the US, is the most common, least expensive goldfish found in Japan. Calling this fish a "Japanese wakin goldfish" is actually redundant, since "wakin" in Japanese literally means "Japanese Goldfish". It is basically Japan's equivalent to our common comet here in the US in prevalence.

Even though this breed is the same species as the common goldfish, it is quite different in appearance. The double caudal (tail) fin is just one characteristic that makes the wakin so unique and especially beautiful when viewed from above in a pond setting.

The wakin, with its fantail, is a true mutation originally discovered in China. The wakin ancestor is thought to be the first type of goldfish brought into Japan around 1500AD. A precious luxury of the Nippon elite, after two centuries of selection in Japan this fantailed fish became the namesake goldfish of Japan becoming known generally as the "wakin", or the Japanese goldfish. It is thought most of the fancy fantailed goldfish have arisen from the original wakin ancestral mutation.

Best for Ponds

The wakin is ideally suited for fish ponds. It is a very hardy. An importer, mentioned that wakin are the healthiest fish he deals with after a shipment arrives from Japan or China. They arrive in great condition looking no worse for wear after the long trip compared to the less hardy fancy goldfish. Any size pond can successfully accommodate wakin, unlike koi which do best in larger deep ponds.

It's a rather odd looking fish when viewed from the side, having a deep rounded body, but from above these fish are gorgeous with their long body and fantail. This makes them perfect for ponds where fish are predominantly viewed from above. Like a koi, the wakin looks it's best when viewed from above.

These fish are fast swimmers, unlike their fancy fantailed cousins, such as; Orandas, Moors, Vail Tails, Pearl Scales, etc.. This makes them less vulnerable to predators and they are very capable of obtaining food when competing with other single tailed fish in the pond.

Winter Hardiness

Wakin are great for northern climes. Winter hardy, they remain active under the ice as long as the pond does not freeze totally solid. No ornamental pond fish can survive in a pond that freezes solid, so it is very important to be sure to keep your pond thawed by some means, like a water de-icer, or remove your fish for from the pond for the winter.


Wakin typically come in vermilion red and white. The patterns can develop to look much like a Kohaku koi with the added beauty of the patterned fantail. Patterns range from nearly all red to mostly white with red patterning. Each wakin is different and individuals can be easily identified.

Wakins have been documented to grow as large as 18 inches. Sizes can vary from 8"-18" depending on the size of the pond.

Peduncle Flash?

Most Wakin display what we call "peduncle flash". The peduncle is the fleshy area of the tail where the caudal fin attaches to the body. Wakin have a broad peduncle at the end. As they swim, the scales on this broad area will catch the light and "flash", or reflect the light. This adds another element to the beauty of a Wakin in a pond setting. There is a point where the peduncle and tail can be too flat and broad, resulting in the fish having difficulty swimming. You can see peduncle flash in the fish pictured here (look for the red arrows).


Friendly and intelligent, the wakin can be quickly tamed making them wonderful inhabitants for ponders who love to spend time with their fish, very much like Koi. They learn very quickly to come when called at feeding time.

Text Courtesy of Wakin Works