Brunei Darussalam



Lionhead Goldfish © Jan Shim Photography [more pics …]


I never thought I would one day develop a fascination for fish. Not just any fish or any gold fish for that matter but a variety that were originally bred in China called Lionheads. My daughter, Jewel, has long been fascinated with fish and previous attempts in keeping a tank full of fish alive just failed miserably.  Seeing how she likes to habitually stop by the fish shop whenever we’re out and about in town, my wife picked up a proper rectangular tank with an appropriate filter and pump to go with it.

img_9327.jpgAll images © Jan Shim Photography

Health Benefits
A week later, unknowingly, I found myself at out local fish shop and brought home one lone Lionhead thinking the tank could do with one more resident. Then came a second and yesterday, a third. In researching the origin of the Lionhead on the net, I came across several sites noting the health benefits and difference fish makes. Researchers have apparently found watching fish in an aquarium helps reduce high blood pressure, calm children who suffer from hyperactive disorder. They also found Alzheimer patients watching an aquarium to eat more, required supplements and also exhibited less physically aggressive behaviors.

Whether evidence of researcher’s findings is scientific or anecdotal, I must admit I enjoy looking at them swim. They have to be the quietest living creatures that don’t bitch about being walled in and a social need to meet different breeds! Not forgetting to mention they are also cute and do not hesitate to let you know they are hungry. Last night I decided to capture that precise moment blowing water just seconds before they surface. Take note that these pics were shot with a Canon EF100mm f2.8 Macro lens in manual mode. The fish move too fast for a macro AF to lock focus and flash used is none other than the Canon Macro Twin Lite MT-24EX.

Here’s a link to additional photos of the Lionhead in the tank. Interesting how the second photo above looks as through it’s got lipstick.


  1. Hi Jan,

    Haven been visiting for abit, but I do agree that looking at some fishes make me feel peaceful within. I guess goldfishes would fall into my category of “some fishes”.



  2. Sadly yesterday, one of the Lionheads went belly-up and it left me wondering what I might have done to prevent it. The others in the tank are still doing well. I have an in-tank thermometer that reads 27 Deg C, water is the home filtered variety and unsalted though I should actually check the pH level if the problem continues. Anyone care to comment what these cute creatures need to live? The tank they’re in measures 11x17x12 and I run two pumps that provide plenty of oxygen. Thing is, the Lionhead goldfish have grown on me and I finally understand the therapeutic effects you get from watching them.


    1. Hello Jan. I found your lionhead pics and LOVE the pictures NICE lens work. I myself have many goldfish and try to breed them. It is amazing a goldfish even survives in a bowl they ARE delicate. Anyway I am on an aquarium site that enjoys pictures of fish if you ever want to stop by or join. Also can help with fish health probs. The site is called {My Aquarium club} sorry can’t link it. Again I love the water pictures. They could all be paintings! I will be searching for that lens your using!


  3. Ms M,

    Hahahaha! That’s a good one. I have, or rather, had three Lionheads. Perhaps that’s the one I didn’t photograph and it succumbed to the misery of neglect and decided to take its own life.


  4. Hi,

    I love goldfish myself, and have more than a dozen myself. Many said goldfish are hard to take care. I have lost a few myself and it’s sad to have take their “empty” bodies away. (fishes have souls too u know… )

    They tends to get stress up easily. My tank was previously “empty”, thinking that I would “monitor every movements of my fancy goldfish”. It was a horrible mistake. My goldfish would hide in the corner of the tank. And within a few days died (of stress…) : (

    Place some plants or rocks in the aquarium as hiding places. Fake plants will do just well as they require less maintainence. Make sure your “features” do not have sharp edges, which might hurt them.

    Have some anti-bacteria or general aid at home, just in case your goldfish started to act weird. Make sure water condition is always good for the fishes. Remember they “breath” water just as we breath air. Ammonia is also another threat to goldfish survival. Ammonia removing agents are also required if not included in filtration media. Normally coral stones will do the trick.

    An health goldfish should be swimming around a lot, and ALWAYS hungry. Just remember not to over-feed them. They can die of “over-eating” too….

    I do hope my humble suggestions helps in anyway. I love goldfish very much. and hence hope that you enjoy keeping yours too.

    p.s: those goldfish with unusual big belly you mentioned… i suppose they have white scales on their bodies… They are called “pearl scale”, “zhu lin” in mandarine or “shinchurin” in japanese. some breed can have headgrowth just like the lionhead. i have 4 of them… ^_^


    1. Hi,

      I am a novice in rearing lionhead goldfish. Can I feed seawater prawn meat to goldfish? Would it cause any harm to the fish? What type of nutritional food can make them grow faster?




  5. I’ve finally found the time to re-do the tank with the appropriate stones, live plants, adequate aeration and charcoal inside the filter to ensure water pH remains neutral and so far it’s working rather well (confirmed by periodic pH tests). I’m grateful for the wisdom a fish shop owner shared with me regarding these highly sensitive and vulnerable breed.


  6. Hi Jan!

    Saw that you added more photos on your fish! Very cute. Frankly, i appreciate your photos more than the knowledge i have on gold fish. Thanks for providing nuggets of information regarding them! now! I know more about gold fish and fishes alike.


    cheers, jan @ singapore


  7. @ Janice,

    Thanks for visiting. Photography while a source of income has also become an ongoing learning experience and education for me. Some of my subjects such as these fish are fascinating to watch, challenging to photograph and most of all, a whole new learning curve just keeping them alive. Kid you not when I say they are like family to the entire household.


  8. That lionhead is saying “BACK OFF!” paparazzi! LOL

    Absolutely gorgeous pictures – the expressions on that lionhead is truly priceless


  9. Hi Jan,

    Excellent photos.

    Just curious after seeing the photos with live plant, i notice that your “lion head” had dorsal fin. If that is true, it is not called lion head but known as oranda. Lion head does not have dorsal fin, just like ranchu.

    I have a few of them and really glad to know some who love them and a good photographer himself.

    Hope to view more pictures.



  10. You need a large tank. Don’t overfeed_One healthy feeding each day in an artificial “tank” environment is good. Goldfish, like Koi (and all carp sp) will eat non-stop.

    Clean water filter every 2nd day.

    Check pH. Temperature is OK. Add some aquarium salt (see package specified dosage).

    Introduce good quality aquarium uv lighting

    Unless you have hardy aquatic plants, avoid all soft, leafy varieties. Goldfish and Koi will gobble up.

    These from experience of raising goldfish and Koi (same genus).


  11. This article tells you how to feed your goldfish. Nothing pedantic but common sense. You’ll enjoy the presence of goldfish in your home. As I did once, until pest control people sprayed the house and killed all my fish… over 200 died (kois, cichlids, goldfish, mostly).

    and recipe for DIY fish food, using (slurp, yummy) salmon:

    And, if you are into feng-shui, your aquarium should house 9 goldfish. Of which 1 should be black.



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