Fancy Goldfish Care Guide: Tank Setup and much more – 2021

Fancy Goldfish

Fancy Goldfish are selectively bred ornamental goldfish ideal for aquariums. Their unique physical traits make them highly attractive and, at times, quite expensive. You can get them in various shapes, sizes, patterns and colors, making them visually appealing and fascinating.


Goldfish are the classic ornamental fish favoured by people worldwide. But few know the wide variety these colorful fish come in. 

This Fancy Goldfish guide is meant to acquaint you with what you need to know before getting a Fancy in your home. 



Fancy Goldfish Natural Habitat


There is no natural habitat for your Fancy Goldfish. They have been bred in captivity and their form and structure result from years of genetic mutations and breeding. Hence, these varieties are not found in the wild.



Fancy Goldfish Appearance


Fancy Goldfish are available in various colors, shapes, and sizes, but they have quite a few basic features in common despite their differences. They have rounded and fuller bodies with double flowy tails that are long and beautiful.

Fancy Goldfish also comes with unique features such as upward gazing eyes, head growths, bubble sacs under the eyes, unique textures or scales, or a combination of these features. 



Fancy Goldfish Types


Size, shape and fins are the main differentiating factors between a Common and a Fancy Goldfish. There are several Fancy Goldfish varieties, and here is a list of some of the most popular varieties.


Blackmoor Goldfish


The main distinguishing feature of the Blackmoors is their eyes and color. They are entirely black with a nice rounded body and double tails that are flowy. They have round protruding eyes on each side of their body. 

These are a peaceful variety and make great additions to your home aquarium. Their average lifespan is about 10 to 15 years. 

Fantail Goldfish

The beautiful Fantail Goldfish is the perfect starter fancy Goldfish. It has the classic egg-shaped body of a Fancy with a long double tail that is nice and flowy. These are cold water goldfish, and they grow up to 6 to 8 inches in length. 

The Fantails are not found in the wild. They are selectively bred, and they are the most straightforward kind of Fancy Goldfish.

The scales of the Fantail are either metallic or nacreous, and they come in a wide range of colors. The commonly found colors are red, yellow and orange. You can also find rarer ones like calico, white, black or metallic blue.

Bubble Eye Goldfish


The Bubble Eye Goldfish is one of the unique looking Fancy Goldfish. The most distinct and intriguing feature is its bubbles. These bubbles begin to develop when the Goldfish is about 6 to 8 months. The bubbles grow large and bulbous by the time the fish is two years old. 

Another unique feature of the Bubble Eye is it is dorsal-less, i.e. it does not have fins on the top of its back. It has a double tail and an egg-shaped body that grows to about 6 inches at maturity.

Bubble Eyes are available in red, blue, calico, and a combination of red and black and white and black, as well as a unique chocolate color.

Lionhead Goldfish


The Lionhead is a dorsal-less and egg-shaped Fancy Goldfish with a flat back and the classic double tail. Its most unique feature is the head growth that looks like the mane of the Chinese lion-dog. 

It is a selectively bred fish, and the size of the head growth differs for each fish. These are primarily available in orange, red, black, chocolate, calico or combinations of these colors. 

The Lionhead Goldfish can grow up to 8 inches at maturity. They are categorized under the delicate group, and they make ideal companions for other delicate Fancy Goldfish such as the Celestial or the Bubble Eye Goldfish.

Pearlscale Goldfish


The Pearlscale Goldfish is like the other Goldfish in the Fancy category that has been developed in captivity. This particular Goldfish has a deep round body with bead-like scales on the belly.

The rounded body has a single dorsal fin and double tail fins with split lobes that give a forked appearance. Pearlscales come in solid colors such as red, white, black, blue, or orange. They also come in a combination of two or more of these colors. 

The average lifespan of these Goldfish is 5 to 10 years when kept in conducive environments. They can grow up to 8 inches in length at maturity. 

If the weather is right, Pearlscales can be kept outdoors in ponds as well as home aquariums. 

Oranda Goldfish


The Fancy Goldfish Oranda’s unique appearance makes it one of the most sought Goldfish amongst avid aquarists worldwide. Orandas have a distinctive head growth known as a wen. The wen covers the head leaving out the eyes and the mouth.

They have single dorsal fins and large double caudal fins that almost cover two-thirds of their body length.

Orandas come in various colors, including Fancy Goldfish black, red, blue, black with white dots, red with orange or yellow spots, etc.

When kept in healthy conditions, the average lifespan of an Oranda Goldfish is 15 years. They can grow up to 7 inches in length at maturity. 



The Ranchu is a highly sought after Fancy Goldfish, especially in Japan. It is famous as the King of Goldfish in Japan. Ranchus resembles the Lionheads, but they differ when it comes to the hood and the dorsal fin. 

The Ranchu has no dorsal fin, and their head growth is not as prominent as the Lionhead’s. They have around and compact body with beautiful double tails. 

Ranchus come in white, red or gold, but many prefer the white variety. 

They can reach a length of 8 inches at maturity and live up to 10 to 15 years in healthy tank conditions.



The Veiltails is one of the most beautiful breeds of Fancy Goldfish and equally rare. They have a nice rounded body with excessively long and delicate double tails that looks like a veil, hence the name Veiltails.

The dorsal fin is long and erect and can grow up to 6 cm. The Veiltails come in red and orange or red and white combinations. They can grow up to 8 inches at maturity and live up to 10 to 15 years.

These delicate Goldfish require a certain level of commitment to their care and upkeep; hence they are not the ideal variety for beginners.

Wakin Goldfish


The Wakin Goldfish is the second oldest variety of Fancy Goldfish and the rarest too. They do well both in ponds as well as indoor tanks. 

The Wakins have a leaner body compared to the other fancies with a straight and upright dorsal fin that goes all the way down its back. They have beautiful double tails, which are slightly shorter than a Fantail. 

The Wakins are strong swimmers and can reach up to 15 inches in length when they are kept in spacious tanks or ponds. Their average lifespan is 12 to 15 years in optimum conditions. They come in red, calico or red and white combinations. 



The Ryukin Goldfish is widely bred worldwide, and they can survive in almost any kind of climate. They have an egg-shaped body with a prominent dorsal hump. They have a short and stubby body with a very rounded belly.

The Ryukin have unique tails as well. They have a four-lobed tail creating a flowy and stunning effect. 

They are available in white, calico, red, and even in chocolate color. You can find tri-colour combinations too. 

Ryukins can live a long and healthy life spanning 10 to 15 years when kept in favourable conditions. They can grow up to 8 inches at maturity. 

Fancy Goldfish Tank Requirements


Fancy Goldfish tank requirements may come as a surprise for quite a few as it is a general belief that these beautiful fish do not require a spacious living space and can make do with a fishbowl. 

It couldn’t be further from the truth!

Fancy Goldfish require about 20 gallons of water per fish with a sound filtration system in place. Frequent water changes are another essential requirement for the Fancy Goldfish healthy upkeep. 

It is essential to keep the size and capacity of the tank in mind as Fancy Goldfish do grow to a good size, and they also produce a lot of waste. 

In smaller tanks or aquariums, the ammonia levels can get out of control and result in various infections and other health issues.

The shape of the tank is also an essential factor to keep in mind. Rectangular shallow tanks are preferable as they help in the proper circulation of oxygen in the tank. 

For your filtration system, use an external filter that also has a biological filter. Change 50 to 60 % of the water weekly. 

The ideal range of water temperature for your Fancy Goldfish is between 50 to 75°F and should maintain the pH level at 6.5 to 7.5. 

Accessories for your Fancy Goldfish Tank


Once you have your tank, you will need to fill it with substrate and other tank accessories. Sand or fine gravel is ideal for lining your fish tank. 

Plants are an excellent addition to your tank as they help in keeping the water clean and oxygenated. They are also good hiding spots for your Goldfish if they feel threatened or harassed by their tank mates. 

Some Fancies also nibble at these plants, which can also be an excellent alternative food source.

Ideal plant types for your Fancy goldfish tank are java fern, hornwort and anacharis. 

Tank Mates for your Fancy Goldfish


Goldfish are cold-water fish, and this limits the choice of tank mates for your Fancy Goldfish. You will need to keep in mind quite a few things when you are choosing tank mates for your Goldfish. 

First of all, you will need to ensure that they are not too small, or the Fancy Goldfish may eat them. Secondly, they should thrive under the same water conditions and temperatures. 

Another point that you need to keep in mind is that the tank mates should not be aggressive or nippy. 

Keeping all these essential points in mind, the ideal tank mates for your Fancy Goldfish are Zebra Danios, Giant Danios, Platies, Rosy Barbs, White Cloud Mountain Minnows and Bristlenose Plecos.

You can also add other aquatic animals such as ghost shrimps, nerite snails or the hillstream loach. 

What to feed your Fancy Goldfish


A healthy Fancy Goldfish is lovely looking. Health and well-being are mainly dependent on their diet. Hence it is essential to choose the proper diet for your Fancy Goldfish.

Fish food is available in pellet, flakes and gel form in the market. The nutritional value is the most critical factor to keep in mind when choosing food for your Goldfish. 



Learn how to read labels


Read the labels carefully when you are buying fish food. Carbohydrates are essential for your fish, as well as a good composition of protein. Nutritional fibre content will ensure a healthy gut and digestive system. 

Include whole proteins which are sourced from marine or freshwater environments in their diets.

Avoid ingredients like soy, grains such as rice, wheat or barley. Fish meals are also not an excellent choice for your Goldfish. 

A balanced diet is a key to a healthy Fancy Goldfish, whether homemade food or commercial fish food. 

Best Fancy Goldfish Food


Flakes –  Flakes are specially formulated fish food that comes in flakes form and floats on the surface for quite some time. Later they break up and sink to the bottom. Some even soak the flakes before feeding so that they will be easier to digest. 

Pellets – Most pellet food sinks to the bottom of the tank giving your fish ample time to eat their food. Pellets are also found in the floating form. 

Pellets expand when soaked; hence it is better to feed your fish with soaked pellets to avoid digestive problems.

Gel – Gel food is considered to be the best food for your Fancy Goldfish. Gel food is moist and hence more manageable for your fish to digest, making this variety the most favoured among avid aquarists. 

Another advantage of using gel food is that it does not make the water of your tank cloudy. 

Treats you can give your Fancy Goldfish

The occasional treat will add some variety to your Goldfish’s diet as well as extra nutrition. There are several options to choose from, right from live to frozen foods. You can feed them. 

● Freeze-dried bloodworms

● Frozen foods

● Fresh foods like vegetables or fruits such as blanched or boiled peas, potatoes, zucchini, etc.

How much should I feed my Fancy Goldfish?


Less is better when it comes to feeding your Fancy Goldfish. It should not take more than 2 to 3 minutes to feed your Goldfish. Ensure to remove any uneaten food, as this will help keep the tank clean and prevent your fish from overeating. 

Fancy Goldfish Behavior


Fancy Goldfish are fun to watch, and each will exhibit unique personality traits. They are curious and can be pretty silly sometimes. Once they get used to the people around them, they will come to the surface begging for food whenever they see their owners. 

Goldfish are friendly and social fish and enjoy the company. They thrive when they are with their kind and like to follow each to her around in the tank. 

From where to get your Fancy Goldfish?


Fancy Goldfish for sale are readily available online. You will need to find reliable stores to ensure you get a suitable breed and should verify the Fancy goldfish sale before purchase. 

The best places to purchase your Fancy Goldfish online are

● King Koi and Goldfish

● Kodama Koi Farm

● Live Aquaria

● The Irish Store

● Coast Gem USA

Breeding your Fancy Goldfish


Breeding your Fancy Goldfish is not an easy task. It takes time and patience to breed the Fancy Goldfish. Breeding will require you to make frequent water changes and cull or remove the deformed or sickly fry.

Immediately after spawning, the eggs should be removed and taken to a different tank, or else the Goldfish can eat them. The best place to keep the eggs in is a bare bottom tank with an air pump and shallow water.

You will also need a heater which is set at 76 to 78 °F to keep the fry. Check on the eggs regularly and remove any egg that has fungus on it. 

You do not need to feed the newly hatched fry as they have a yolk sac from which they can absorb food for the first 1 or 2 days. 

Once the yolk sacs are absorbed completely, then you can start feeding them. Specially prepared fry food such as ground brine shrimp is best at this stage.

At this stage, you will also need to weed out the fry that looks deformed or sick. Look out for fungus, missing parts or deformed bodies. 

After the first week, it is also essential to change the water to 100% daily. You will also need to increase the amount of food to grow well and fast. 

When the fry grows bigger, shift them to a bigger tank and continue the water changing procedure daily. It is also essential to clean the filter daily. 

Cull or remove those that exhibit unusual behaviour, such as floating for too long or sitting out at the bottom all the time. 



Fancy Goldfish are ideal for tanks, and they are beautiful looking. If you take the time to follow some fundamental guidelines, then keeping fancies is not a very difficult task. The bottom line is to give them a spacious home, keep the tank clean, invest in a sound filtration system and choose a healthy balanced diet for them. 

Under these conditions, your Fancy Goldfish will thrive and be a companion to you for a long time.