Fantail Goldfish: Ultimate Guide (Care, Diet, Breeding & More)

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Written By Matt Stevens

Hi, I'm Matt! I've been obsessed with fishkeeping for over 15 years now and created this site to share my knowledge with others.

Whether a seasoned hobbyist or a beginner-level aquarist, there is something about the Fantail Goldfish that will tempt you into keeping them at home.

This guide provides step-by-step coverage of Fantail Goldfish care. After reading it, you will learn everything about the fish’s general appearance, size, diet, best tank mates, breeding, and more!

Species Overview

Fantail Goldfish is a variant of the popular Fancy Goldfish species and belongs to the Cyprinidae family.

Like most types of Fancy Goldfish, you won’t find the Fantail Goldfish in natural environments like lakes and rivers. Instead, they are commercially bred in specific locations across Asia, such as Japan and China.

LifespanUp to 10 Years
Care LevelBeginner
Behavior & TemperamentPeaceful
CompatibilityPeaceful community
Food and DietOmnivores
Size6-8 inches
Tank SetupCold freshwater planted aquarium
Tank Size (Minimum)20 Gallons

Despite its close similarities to the Carp Fish, the Fantail Goldfish’s distinctive appearance with splendid fins should help you identify them easily in the aquatic scene.

Their ability to thrive in cold water setups and outdoor ponds only emphasizes their manageable care requirements at home.


How about introducing a beautiful freshwater fish with a lengthy lifespan at home? The gorgeous Fantail Goldfish has a lifespan of 5-10 years. And the easiest way to prolong their lives is to provide sustainable water conditions and a spotless environment for their survival.


The Fancy Tail Fish don’t seem to get enough attention in the fishkeeping community. But they are truly beautiful fish. If you were to spot them in a home aquarium, you would be instantly attracted by their gorgeous fins.

You will notice a beautiful egg-like body with magnificently paired anal and tail fins from the topmost view. These fins split into two from the top and are among the first features you will see in a Fantail Goldfish.

On the other hand, the dorsal fin remains distinct, only ever stretching towards the tail. The “fantail” given name itself originates from the triangular-shaped tail, adding to the fish’s exquisite appeal.

What’s more, Fantail Goldfish have beautiful scales with unique red, orange, or yellow shades. However, some aquarists have reported rarer patterns like black, white, and metallic blue.


So, you may be wondering, how big do Fantail Goldfish get?

A typical Fantail Goldfish will grow to a maximum size of 6 to 8 inches. However, their stretched fins will greatly contribute to the fish’s average size. That’s why you may find a relatively longer Fantail Goldfish even when the actual body appears smaller.

If you plan to keep the Fantail Goldfish at home, you will always want them to be at the higher end of the growth cycle. And this means you should provide the best tank water conditions, besides maintaining the right diet and following the recommended care guidelines.

Fantail Fish Care

Fantail Goldfish care should be pretty straightforward if you master the basics. These fish thrive in cold environments with the correct tank setup and food choices.

With that in mind, the next section will shed more light on the actual care guidelines when in captivity.

Tank Size

Twisty Tailed Goldfish are not active swimmers, so you will have flexible options when setting up the ideal tank.

Anything within the range of 10 to 20 gallons will be enough for the beautiful Goldfish, provided you give them enough space for swimming and exploration. Still, there’s no harm in giving your fish freedom with a 30-gallon tank if you can.

An outdoor pond with a minimum capacity of 180 gallons is the most reasonable option if you want to keep an entire school at home. But be sure to adjust all the water parameters accordingly.

Water Parameters

Fantail Goldfish are never found in the wild, so you will have limited options when regulating the water parameters in captivity.   

In many cases, aquarists rely on the Carp Fish, Fantail’s popular cousins, to create the best environment for their favorite Goldfish variety.

Carps have been discovered in slow-flowing lakes and rivers in Europe and Asia, where they thrive under the following conditions:

  • Water hardness: 4-20 dKH
  • Water temperature: 65°F-80°F
  • pH levels: 6.0-8.0

With Fantails’ delicate tank requirements, you should regularly monitor the tank water status to avoid slight changes that could greatly affect the fish’s health.

And there’s no better way to do so than investing in a high-quality aquarium testing kit from a reliable seller.

What to Put in Their Tank?

We’ve already mentioned that the Twisty Tailed Goldfish thrive under cooler environments in captivity.

And in terms of the tank elements, you should use the finest layer of soft sand as the most suitable substrate in place of large pebbles to prevent injuries.

The next step will be to introduce the perfect tank décor. Here, you will have a few options, including driftwood, plastic decorations, and rocks.

As a rule of thumb, never overcrowd a Fantail Goldfish’s habitat. They love simple environments with just enough decorative elements for shelter.

What’s more, anchored and floating plants are an important aspect of Fantail Goldfish’s survival. And here, you should consider the java fern, anubias, and hornwort.

Don’t underestimate the Fantail Goldfish’s small bodies when you keep them in small groups. They can produce enough waste to sour the water when least expected.

So, you will need a powerful filtration system to remove the waste and regulate the ammonia and nitrate levels inside the tank.

Pumps and air stones are not essential must-haves for a Fantail Goldfish’s ideal habitat. But they would still make an important addition to the general tank setup. 

Common Diseases

Like the other varieties of the Fancy Goldfish, Fantail Goldfish won’t be immune to Ich disease and other conditions affecting freshwater fish species. Also, you will want to monitor your fish closely for any signs of bacterial and fungal infections.

However, your biggest worry will be the swim bladder disease that can be devastating to a beautiful community.  

You see, the Fantail Goldfish are alluring with their beautiful, compact, well-rounded bodies. But that’s also the origin of all the problems affecting them. Usually, the body organs are almost packed together in a small, egg-like shape, complicating digestion.

For the same reason, constipation is a frequent problem in the Fantail Goldfish community. The worst part is that it predisposes your beautiful Goldfish to swim bladder disease that can be lethal without early intervention.

Naturally, you will want to use suitable over-the-counter medications if you spot early symptoms of the swim bladder disease, such as buoyancy. But that’s not the ultimate solution. 

As the adage goes, “prevention is better than cure,” so should be your strategy when handling the Fantails at home. The swim bladder disease will never be a problem if you manage the Fantail Goldfish’s food intake.

Aside from the swim bladder disease, Fantail Goldfish are susceptible to fin rot that can damage the gorgeous-looking fins within a few days of infection.

Luckily, you can manage it with simple, over-the-counter drugs.

With what we’ve covered above, you may be wondering if the Fantail Goldfish is still a viable option for home aquariums. But we don’t think this is the right time to give up on your dream of owning a fine-looking Goldfish at home.

Look, many freshwater fish species will always be affected by a range of conditions such as fin rot and Ich. And the Fantail Goldfish is no exception. Fortunately, the aquarists will always play the biggest role in keeping everyone safe by creating a pristine environment for the fish’s survival.

Increasing ammonia and nitrate levels inside the tank will automatically put your fish under stress, and that’s the origin of persistent diseases in the Goldfish community. To stay safe, you may need to change at least a quarter of the tank water volume every week in addition to practicing proper filtration. 

What Do Fantail Goldfish Eat?

Fantail Goldfish are omnivores and won’t be picky eaters in home aquariums. However, these fish may present unique dietary requirements depending on the tank status at home.

The trickiest part in feeding the Fantail Goldfish is not the food choice itself but the amount given and frequency. Ideally, you will want your fish to follow a strict meal plan to prevent constipation and other conditions such as swim bladder disease.

As such, you will want to feed the Fantail Goldfish on high-quality food from trusted sellers and adjust their diets appropriately.

Even though Fantail Goldfish will happily feed on dry pellets and flakes, nothing compares to live or frozen fish food. Bloodworms, daphnia, and brine shrimps are among the best food choices to start with.

You can go with zucchini, blanched peas, and lettuce in the plant-based category. Also, you may want to tailor the fish’s feeding plan to only two meals a day and in the right quantities.

Preferably, the Fantail Goldfish should spend a maximum of 2 minutes eating just the right amount of food at any given time. This helps satisfy the fish’s dietary needs throughout the day without worrying about constipation. 

Behavior & Temperament

Talk of a mellow fish species in the Fancy Goldfish community, and we will instantly think about the Fantails Goldfish.

Fantails Fish are a peaceful species that will swim calmly around the tank for the better part of the day.

If you don’t see them digging in the substrates searching for food, they will either be swimming casually through the natural plants or seamlessly interacting with fellow tank mates.

Fantail Goldfish are not a shoaling fish community. But that won’t stop them from exploring the tank in groups as they create a magnificent pattern inside the aquarium.

Fantail Goldfish Tank Mates

Given their peaceful demeanor, the Fantail Goldfish can be easy targets for more aggressive fish species and notorious bullies like Tiger Barbs and African Cichlids.

Remember that Fantail Goldfish are not among the most powerful swimmers and can be helpless when attacked by enemies. They can neither defend themselves from the bullies nor establish new territories for protection.

So, it will be your responsibility to create a peaceful environment for their survival and ultimate growth in a home aquarium. Aside from the aggressive fish species, fast-swimming fish are other inappropriate tank mates for the Fantail Goldfish.

Now that you have an idea of what a Fantail Goldfish’s tank mate doesn’t look like, here are some of the best options you may want to consider;


Now, this will excite Fantail lovers. These fish are easy to breed, and the female will lay lots of eggs to start the spawning process.

Successful breeding of the Goldfish Fantail may force you to set up a separate tank to meet the spawning conditions. Also, you may need to adjust the temperatures to slightly lower levels besides introducing spawning mops and soft plants in the same tank for a start.

As breeding continues, you will want to adjust the temperatures up to 75°F.

Aquarists can breed the Fantail Goldfish in small groups or pair them in separate tanks for effective spawning. However, you should remove the adult fish as soon as spawning ends.

The Fancy Tail Fish are not the most parental freshwater species and won’t care about the eggs soon after spawning. In fact, the adult fish will even want to eat the fry at the slightest opportunity.

But with proper care, the eggs will take about 5-6 days to hatch, after which you will want to give the little ones a few more days to learn how to swim.

You can feed the little fish on infusoria and powdered food as they adapt to the new environment before introducing high-quality protein to promote their growth.

Final Thoughts

Fantail Goldfish are loved in the fishkeeping community for many reasons. They are beautiful, easy to manage, and the center of attraction in home aquariums.

If you are interested in exploring the little world of Fancy Goldfish, you must not ignore the Fantail variety. These fish are a great option for seasoned hobbyists and beginner-level aquarists looking to spice up their aquariums.

Still, they have unique care requirements that start with a cold water setup. Fortunately, this guide has covered everything you need to know about Fantail Goldfish care and tank requirements. So, you are good to go!