Fantail Goldfish Care Guide: Tips for a Happy, Healthy Pet

Fantail goldfish are known for their graceful, flowing fins and captivating beauty, making them a popular choice among aquarium enthusiasts. As a fish owner, you might find their mesmerizing movements relaxing and visually appealing. These freshwater wonders are not only gorgeous but also low-maintenance, which makes them suitable for both beginners and experienced fish keepers.

The key to ensuring a healthy and vibrant fantail goldfish is providing proper care. In this article, we’ll be discussing essential aspects of their care including diet, tank setup, and tank mates. With the right information at your disposal, your fantail goldfish can thrive, and you can enjoy their company for years to come.

So, let’s dive into this comprehensive care guide to ensure your fantastical finned friends are happy and healthy in their aquatic home. Together, we’ll learn how to create a fantastic underwater paradise for your fantail goldfish.

Species Overview

The Fantail Goldfish is a widely loved freshwater fish, known for its beautiful long flowing fins and low-maintenance care requirements, making it a great addition to your aquarium. In this species overview, you’ll get acquainted with the essential information about the Fantail Goldfish for better understanding and caring for your aquatic pet.

Fantail Goldfish belongs to the fancy goldfish group recognized for their round, short, and deep bodies in comparison to slim-bodied varieties. They enjoy a peaceful and calm environment, and they prefer the company of other goldfish varieties over being alone or sharing a tank with other species, such as tropical or betta fish.

Below is a table showcasing the key aspects of Fantail Goldfish to help you provide the best possible environment and care for your pet goldfish:

Property Fantail Goldfish
Scientific Name Carassius auratus
Common Names Fantail goldfish, double tail goldfish
Distribution Originated in China, domesticated worldwide
Size Up to 7 inches
Lifespan 10 to 15 years
Diet Omnivorous, pellet/flakes, live/frozen foods
Temperament Peaceful and calm
Minimum Tank Size 20 to 30 gallons (per goldfish)
Temperature 65°F to 75°F (18°C to 24°C)
pH 7.0 to 7.5
Water Hardness 6 to 8 °H (moderately soft to moderately hard)
Care Level Low to moderate
Filtration/Water Flow Moderate to high
Water Type Freshwater
Breeding Egg scatterer
Breeding Difficulty Medium
Compatibility Best with other goldfish varieties

Remember, creating a suitable environment with proper care can significantly improve the quality of life and ensure the well-being of your Fantail Goldfish. Happy fishkeeping!

Origins and Natural Habitat

Fantail Goldfish have an interesting history. They originated in China and Japan but are now easily found almost anywhere in the world today. These elegant fish aren’t naturally found in the wild, as they have been specifically bred by humans for their unique features.

Caring for your Fantail Goldfish starts with understanding their roots. Goldfish are direct descendants of wild carp, specifically the Prussian, Silver Prussian, and Gibel Carp (Carassius gibelio). Thanks to selective breeding, the Fantail Goldfish has emerged as a popular species in the pet trade.

Remember that Fantail Goldfish thrive in specific conditions, so it’s essential to be aware of their natural habitat requirements. Since they are not found in the wild, it’s crucial to adapt their artificial environment to mimic what they would experience if they were in their natural habitat. When setting up your tank, you’ll want to closely replicate the conditions of the wild carp ancestors that Fantail Goldfish are descendants of.

By understanding your Fantail Goldfish’s origins and natural habitat, you can create a comfortable and safe home for them, ensuring your pet’s well-being and promoting a long, healthy life.

Physical Characteristics

Size and Shape

Fantail Goldfish have a distinct egg-shaped body, setting them apart from more streamlined goldfish varieties. As an adult, your Fantail Goldfish can reach an average length of 6 inches (15 cm). Their body shape affects their swimming abilities, so make sure to provide enough space in the tank for them to comfortably move around.

Color and Markings

This beautiful fish comes in a wide range of colors, including red, orange, black, white, and calico. Their fins can be either single, double, or triple fans, adding to their unique appearance. The fantail’s broad, fan-shaped tail is held high and erect above its body, making it a visually stunning addition to your aquarium.

Lifespan and Growth Rate

Fantail goldfish are wonderful pets that can live quite a long time if cared for properly. Typically, their lifespan ranges from 10 to 15 years. With the right care and attention, some may even live longer. In this section, we will discuss the factors that influence their growth rate and lifespan.

One of the most important factors affecting your Fantail goldfish’s growth rate and lifespan is their living environment. A clean and well-maintained tank goes a long way in ensuring optimal growth and a healthy life. Make sure you provide adequate space for them to swim and explore, as well as keep the water parameters in check by conducting regular water changes.

Another essential aspect of their care is diet. Feeding your Fantail goldfish a balanced and varied diet will contribute to a steady growth rate and a healthier life. Offer them a mix of high-quality goldfish pellets or flakes, occasionally supplemented with freeze-dried foods and vegetables such as peas, lettuce, or zucchini. Don’t forget that overfeeding can negatively impact their health, so stick to a consistent feeding schedule.

Lastly, Fantail goldfish grow to an adult size of 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm). Keep in mind that their growth rate and eventual size may vary depending on factors such as age, diet, and living conditions. It’s crucial to accommodate as they grow by providing a suitable tank size and maintaining proper water parameters.

By attentively attending to their needs and creating a comfortable environment, you’ll be setting the stage for your Fantail goldfish to thrive and live a long, happy life.

Diet and Feeding

Feeding your Fantail Goldfish a proper diet is essential for their health and well-being. You’ll want to provide a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods, such as high-quality pellets, flakes, and occasional live or frozen treats.

It’s important to choose sinking pellets rather than floating ones, as Fantail Goldfish have a tendency to gulp air while eating from the surface, which can lead to swim bladder issues. Make sure the pellets are small enough for your goldfish to eat comfortably.

When it comes to flakes, opt for those designed specifically for goldfish, as these will have the right balance of nutrients for your fish. Remember that flakes can lose their nutritional value over time, so purchase smaller containers and replace them frequently to ensure your fish receive the essential nutrients they need.

In addition to pellets and flakes, you can occasionally offer live or frozen treats like brine shrimp, daphnia, or bloodworms. These provide extra protein and variety in your goldfish’s diet, helping to keep them healthy and vibrant.

Here are some general feeding guidelines for your Fantail Goldfish:

  • Feed them 2-3 times per day
  • Offer only the amount they can consume within 1-2 minutes

Overfeeding can lead to water quality issues and obesity, so it’s crucial to avoid giving your fish too much food. Keep an eye on their appearance and adjust the amount of food if needed to maintain their optimal health. With the right diet and feeding routine, your Fantail Goldfish will thrive in their aquatic environment.

Behavior and Temperament

Fantail goldfish are known for their peaceful and calm demeanor. As a pet owner, you will appreciate their easy-going nature, which makes them an excellent choice for your aquarium. Since they are social creatures, Fantail goldfish should be kept in a tank with other goldfish varieties. However, avoid housing them with aggressive species like tropical or betta fish, as this might cause your Fantails to become boisterous and stressed.

Your Fantail goldfish will spend most of their time swimming around the tank, showcasing their elegant fins and regal appearance. They are quite active, so make sure to give them ample space to move and explore. A larger tank will not only keep them happier and healthier but will also allow their beautiful fins to develop properly. Remember to always maintain proper water parameters to ensure their well-being.

Due to their serene nature, Fantail goldfish can be easily startled or stressed by sudden movements or loud noises. So, when approaching your tank or interacting with your fish, always be gentle. It’s important to create a calm and peaceful environment for them to thrive in.

Feeding time is another moment when their unique behavior shines. Fantail goldfish are known to graze on various types of food, such as flakes, pellets, and live or freeze-dried foods like brine shrimp, daphnia, or bloodworms. You can also offer them nutritious treats like blanched peas, duckweed, or zucchini. Remember to feed them a balanced and varied diet to ensure their overall health.

In summary, fostering a peaceful environment, providing a properly sized tank, and offering a balanced diet are essential factors to keep your Fantail goldfish content and healthy. By understanding their behavior and temperament, you can create a home for your fish that will enable them to showcase their true beauty.

Care and Tank Requirements

Caring for your Fantail Goldfish is an important part of ensuring their health and happiness. In this section, we’ll cover the essentials of care and tank requirements, including tank size, water parameters, tank setup and decorations, as well as filtration and aeration.

Tank Size

Your Fantail Goldfish will need a spacious environment to grow and thrive. For a single goldfish, choose a 20-30 US gallon (76-114 L) tank. If you plan to add more fish, increase the tank size by 10 US gallons (38 L) for each additional goldfish.

Water Parameters

Temperature: Maintaining proper water temperature is essential for the health of your Fantail Goldfish. Keep the water temperature between 65-72°F (18-22°C) year-round.

pH: Goldfish prefer a slightly alkaline water environment. Aim for a pH level between 7.0 and 8.0.

Tank Setup and Decorations

To create a comfortable environment for your Fantail Goldfish, consider the following when setting up their tank:

  • Substrate: Opt for a smooth and fine substrate, like sand or small, smooth gravel. Avoid sharp-edged materials that could harm your fish.
  • Plants: Include live aquatic plants to provide hiding spots and improve water quality. Some good options include Anubias, Java Fern, and Elodea.
  • Decorations: Add decorations, such as rocks, caves, or driftwood, to create a visually interesting environment for your fish. Ensure the materials are non-toxic and have no sharp edges.

Filtration and Aeration

A proper filtration system is vital for the health of your Fantail Goldfish. They produce a lot of waste, so you’ll need a filter capable of handling the bioload. Opt for a filter with a flow rate that can turn over the tank’s volume at least 4-5 times per hour.

Aeration is key to maintaining optimal oxygen levels in the water. An air pump, air stones, or sponge filters can help introduce oxygen into the tank. Ensure the water surface stays well agitated, as this also aids in oxygen exchange.

Suitable Tank Mates

Choosing suitable tank mates for your Fantail Goldfish is crucial to maintain a harmonious environment in your aquarium. Although Fantail Goldfish are generally peaceful and calm, they are best kept with other goldfish varieties, as they can become aggressive when housed with different species like tropical or betta fish.

Here are a few friendly tank mate options for your Fantail Goldfish:

  • Ryukin Goldfish: Similar in size and shape, these goldfish have a distinctive hump behind their head, making them an attractive addition to your aquarium.
  • Oranda Goldfish: Known for their ‘wen,’ or the fleshy growth on their head, these goldfish share similar care requirements with your Fantails and make excellent companions.
  • Black Moor Goldfish: Another variety that shares similar care needs with Fantails, Black Moor Goldfish have captivating telescope eyes, offering some diversity in appearance.

Keep in mind that goldfish are considered cold water fish and require specific temperature ranges to thrive. It’s essential to ensure that any tank mates you introduce can tolerate the same temperature conditions.

Additionally, avoid overcrowding your tank, as it can lead to stress, competition for food, and poor water quality. Aim to provide at least 10-15 gallons of water per Fantail Goldfish.

In conclusion, opt for other goldfish varieties when selecting tank mates for your Fantail Goldfish. This will ensure a peaceful atmosphere in your aquarium and allow all inhabitants to thrive.

Breeding Process

Breeding Fantail Goldfish can be a rewarding experience, and with a few essential steps, you can successfully breed your own Fantail Goldfish at home. In this section, we’ll guide you through the process in a friendly, step-by-step manner.

Step 1: Select healthy breeding stock

Start by choosing healthy, mature Fantail Goldfish as breeders. Look for fish that have vibrant colors, distinct double tails, and show no signs of illness. Ideally, select fish that are at least one year old to ensure they are mature enough for breeding.

Step 2: Set up a separate spawning tank

Prepare a dedicated spawning tank for your Fantail Goldfish, with a capacity of 20 to 30 gallons and a water temperature of 68°F – 74°F. Make sure to provide plenty of hiding spots, such as spawning mops or aquatic plants, to encourage egg-laying. Maintain clean water and optimal water parameters to support healthy breeding conditions.

Step 3: Introduce the breeding pair

Once the spawning tank is ready, introduce the selected breeding pair of Fantail Goldfish into the tank. Keep an eye on their behavior, as some goldfish may take a while to become accustomed to each other. You may also feed them a high-quality, protein-rich diet, to encourage breeding.

Step 4: Observe the courtship behavior

The male Fantail Goldfish will start pursuing the female around the tank, showing interest and nudging her sides. This behavior is a sign that spawning may soon occur. Be patient and allow the courtship process to continue, as it may take several days.

Step 5: Spawning and fertilization

When the female is ready, she will release her eggs near the provided hiding spots like spawning mops or aquatic plants. The male will then fertilize the eggs by releasing milt over them. This process may last for several hours, and you may notice a significant number of eggs scattered around the tank.

Step 6: Remove the breeders and care for the eggs

After spawning is complete, promptly remove the breeding pair from the tank to prevent them from eating the fertilized eggs. Keep the water parameters stable and maintain optimal conditions in the spawning tank. The eggs should hatch within 5-7 days, resulting in tiny, free-swimming Fantail Goldfish fry.

Step 7: Feed and grow the fry

Carefully feed the fry with high-quality, finely crushed flake food or special fry food, several times a day. As they grow, you can start to introduce live or frozen foods, such as brine shrimp or daphnia, to provide the necessary nutrients for healthy growth. Gradually increase the size of their food, ensuring that it remains suitable for the fry’s size and stage of development.

Common Diseases and Treatments

Caring for your Fantail Goldfish includes identifying common diseases and providing appropriate treatments. By recognizing the symptoms early, you can take action and help keep your fish healthy. Here are a few common diseases and their treatments:

Dropsy: When your goldfish has dropsy, its belly will become hugely swollen, resembling a “dropped down” appearance. Other signs include protruding scales, ulcers, and reddening at the base of fins or vents. Dropsy is caused by fluid accumulating inside the body cavity and tissues of your Fantail Goldfish. To treat dropsy, improve the water quality and maintain a clean tank. You may also consider consulting a veterinarian who specializes in fish for further guidance.

Hole-in-the-Head Disease: Also known as HITH, this disease affects the fish’s head and typically occurs in freshwater species. It begins as a small red dot or black spot that gradually deepens and enlarges. To treat HITH, maintain a clean tank and good water quality, as well as ensure a balanced diet for your fish. Be sure to remove any potential stressors or sources of injury in the fish tank.

Fungus: This common fish disease is often associated with poor water conditions and dirty tanks. If your Fantail Goldfish develops white, cottony patches on their head, gills, or around the mouth, it may be a fungal infection. Clean the tank, perform regular water changes, and treat the infected fish with an anti-fungal medication.

To help prevent diseases in your Fantail Goldfish:

  • Feed your fish high-quality food and supplement their diet with nutritious snacks such as frozen or freeze-dried brine shrimp, daphnia, or blood worms.
  • Provide a clean living environment by routinely changing their tank water and keeping it at the appropriate parameters.
  • Monitor your fish for signs of illness, and take action if you notice any symptoms.

By following these guidelines and understanding common diseases, you can ensure the health and happiness of your Fantail Goldfish.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ideal tank size for Fantail Goldfish?

For a single Fantail Goldfish, the minimum tank size should be 10 gallons, but ideally, you should opt for a 20-30 gallon tank. This provides ample space for swimming and helps maintain good water quality.

How long do Fantail Goldfish typically live?

Fantail Goldfish can live anywhere from 10 to 15 years, depending on their environment, genetics, and care provided. Proper tank maintenance, quality food, and good water conditions contribute to a longer, healthier life.

What is the optimal water temperature for Fantail Goldfish?

The ideal water temperature for Fantail Goldfish is between 65°F and 75°F (18°C to 24°C). Consistent, stable temperature is essential, so consider using a heater and thermometer to monitor and maintain the temperature.

What is the maximum size a Fantail Goldfish can grow?

A Fantail Goldfish can grow up to 6 to 8 inches in length, depending on its genetics and living conditions. Proper diet, tank size, and regular water changes can help promote healthy growth.

Can Fantail Goldfish cohabitate with other types of goldfish?

Yes, Fantail Goldfish can live with other types of goldfish, particularly the fancy varieties, as they share similar water parameters and swimming abilities. However, avoid mixing them with faster-swimming or more aggressive goldfish to prevent competition for food and stress.

Is it possible for Fantail Goldfish to live in a pond?

Fantail Goldfish can live in ponds, but it’s essential to consider their specific needs—like proper water depth, temperature, and protection from predators. If your pond can provide stable water conditions and a suitable environment, your Fantail Goldfish can thrive outdoors.


Caring for a Fantail Goldfish requires attention to their specific needs, but with proper care, they can be a delightful addition to your aquarium. One of the most important aspects of Fantail care is ensuring their environment is clean and well-maintained. A properly sized tank with adequate filtration, aeration, and temperature control will keep your goldfish healthy and thriving.

Remember that Fantail Goldfish are social creatures and require companionship, so consider introducing them to compatible tank mates. Keep an eye out for any potential health issues and act promptly to address them. With diligence and dedication, your Fantail Goldfish can be a charming and long-lived pet.


Fantail Goldfish care involves providing them with a suitable living environment, which includes having a properly sized tank, clean water with a reliable filter, and comfortable water conditions. Ensuring adequate aeration and temperature control is also essential to maintaining their overall health.

In addition to focusing on their environmental needs, it’s vital to provide your Fantail with social interaction. Introducing compatible tank mates can enhance their well-being and create a more engaging environment. Stay mindful of any health concerns, and be prepared to take action when needed to keep your goldfish healthy and happy.