Home » Fish Guides » Ghost Carp Vs. Common Carp: What’s The Difference?

Ghost Carp Vs. Common Carp: What’s The Difference?

Ghost carp VS common carp are both carp fish. The two species have many similarities but also a few differences that can help you identify them.

ghost carp and common carp have some differences

  • Ghost carp and common carp do not have much difference. The two species are basically the same in appearance, habitat, and behavior. Ghost carp can be distinguished by their white belly and a black spot on each scale. Common carp have a grayish color with dark spots on their scales.
  • Ghosts are smaller than common carp, which are typically more than three feet long and weigh over 50 pounds. The largest recorded ghost was only around 1’6″ long when fully grown, whereas the largest known common measured 6’4″ from nose to tail!

Ghosts are also much more aggressive than commons. This is why you should never try to catch one with your bare hands.

ghost carp vs common carp

ghost carp vs common carp identify

With their long, pointed snouts and bodies, ghost carp (aka silver carp) look quite different from common carp. In fact, it’s hard to tell them apart at first glance. If you’re not sure which fish you’ve got in your pond or lake—or if another fisherman has mistaken one for the other—here’s how to tell the difference:

  • Look at the shape of a fish’s body. A common carp will have a longer body than its tail, while a ghost carp will have similar lengths between head and tail.
  • Examine your catch closely for any distinguishing features like spots or stripes on its skin or fins (common carps don’t show these). Also, body color is a good indicator. If the fish is silver, it’s likely to be a ghost carp. Look at the size of your catch. A common carp can grow up to 2 meters (6 feet) long, whereas ghost carp rarely reach 50 cm (20 inches).

Ghost carp.

Ghost carp are a species of carp native to Asia. Their name comes from their transparent skin and appearance, which makes them appear translucent when light passes through them. Ghost carp have a genetic makeup that makes them more aggressive than common carp.

Common carp.

You’ve probably heard of the common carp. It’s a species of freshwater fish, a member of the family Cyprinidae. Common carp were first domesticated in China more than 2,000 years ago and are now raised for food globally. They’re also popular as ornamental fish, in aquariums and zoos worldwide due to their hardiness and low maintenance requirements

These hardy fish require little care or space to thrive; they can even survive out of water for short periods (we’re talking minutes here). They can tolerate temperatures as low as 57°F and as high as 86°F; however, these extremes should be avoided if possible because they’ll stress your carp and make them more susceptible to disease or parasites. In most cases, you don’t need anything other than an open container of water with enough room to swim around comfortably (a 10-gallon tank will usually suffice).


In sum, this guide will help you to distinguish between ghost carp vs common carp and how to tell the difference between a ghost carp and a common carp. While they may look similar, there are some key differences that set them apart. The most obvious is their coloration; ghost carp are white or silver while common carp are brown or black.

Sharing is caring!

About Dr.Chamika

Hello, I'm Dr. Chamika. I am a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. I am a passionate fish keeper, with10 years of experience. My mission is to help other aquarists experience the joy of fish keeping.