Goldfish are the domesticated version of the wild Crucian carp which is found in slow moving waters in South China.
References to the breeding of these fish in China date from around the 11th Century. Selective breeding led to a number of colour varieties by the 12th Century with interest increasing in the 14th and 15th Centuries. Around this time goldfish were first exported to Japan.
After the 17th Century goldfish became widespread in the Far East. Increasing trade links with Europe in the 18th Century and with America and Australia in the 19th Century led to the fish being kept worldwide.
In 1853 the world's first public aquarium opened in London. Many people started keeping different fish species with varying success.
Many studies and discoveries this century now mean we have an understanding of the requirements of fish and they can now be kept in a healthy environment.