Can the scales of Pearlscale goldfish be damaged?

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Pearlscale goldfish have a distinctive appearance. Paul Green explains what to look for.

The Pearlscale has been bred so that each individual scale on the fish has a thickened centre, giving it a raised/domed appearance. In good examples these are all the same size and neatly arranged over the body, making the fish look very attractive. Getting a good colouration and pattern is a difficult combination to achieve and add to this the rounded body shape and small head and the Pearlscale is a challenging fish for the breeder. Having said this, really good examples often appear on the show bench here!

In more recent years, variations have appeared in the shops, like the lovely Haminishiki which sports a hood/wen on the top of its head (Goose head).

When keeping Pearlscales it’s important to remember that although damaged scales are grown back, they will be flatter and lack the thickened centre which can spoil the appearance, so it’s a good idea to remove rocks or anything else the fish may rub up against, just to be on the safe side.

This article was first published in the November 2009 issue of Practical Fishkeeping magazine. It may not be reproduced without written permission.