Originally the interest in fish, particularly goldfish, in Hong Kong was related to the needs of Fung Shui, the ancient Chinese system to bring harmony to a house. Under this system Goldfish are particularly important so therefore there has always been a demand for goldfish in Hong Kong more than typical in other countries.
Breeders of fish in the New Territories originally sold ornamental fish for this purpose in a night market on Boundary Street, next to what is now the Mongkok Stadium. This market started in the 1960s and still exists but operates from about 4am until sunrise, and consists of buckets, bags and boxes of fish laid on the pavement.
These vendors are mostly interested in wholesale sales having traveled in from the New Territories via train, originally to outside the Mongkok Railway station was near this place. Goldfish shop owners would come from all over Hong Kong to purchase their stock here.
When the railway station was rebuilt they moved to their current location outside Mongkok stadium.
Many vendors decided that shops, rather than street stalls, would be better ways to sell their fish and hence started shops nearby.
In the 1970s more and more started to open up in Tung Choi Street which was then as it is now a major thoroughfare of Kowloon.
As the interest in fish spread beyond Fung Shui for house and businesses, and into keeping of fish as a hobby the Goldfish Market boomed.
During the 1970s and 1980s the keeping of goldfish alongside other types of tropical fish such as butterfly fish became a very suitable hobby for the majority of Hong Kong's population who lived in flats in high rise apartments. Without the space to keep pet cats or dogs the keeping of tropical fish, both freshwater and less commonly sea fish, became very popular.
During the last 1980s and early 1990s Hong Kong was in the top 5 world exporters of live tropical fish for aquarists globally, and much of the commerce was organized by the shops in Goldfish Market in Tong Choi Street North.
Today the market continues as busy as a every supporting an ever growing interest in keeping of fish as a hobby in Hong Kong.
Many of the shopkeepers are serious competitive aquarists themselves and enter into international and regional competitions. For example the owner of Aqua Art , David Chow, was the Grand Champion of International Aquatic Plants Layout Contest 2007. While along the road the champion from the 2008 competition also has a shop.
The Hong Kong distributor for ADA products is also on Goldfish Market, located in the "Aqua World" shop.