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11 Best Fancy Goldfish Types (with Image) & Care Guide

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.

They are the classic ornamental fish favored 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 one in your home.

11 Most Popular Types of Fancy Goldfish

Apart from other types of goldfish, below are the most in-demand fancy goldfish breeds.

1. Black Moor Goldfish

The Black Moor goldfish is a fancy goldfish that falls in the category of the Telescopes. They are one of the most distinctive ones, and are the perfect examples of aquarium goldfish.

As their name suggests, these are predominantly black, but some may have orange patches on their body. The younger ones are pale, but they get darker as they grow and mature.

The most attractive features of these are their beautiful fins and unique bulging eyes.

If you are a beginner aquarist, then these beautiful varieties are ideal for you as they are easy to keep if you maintain a clean tank. The Black Moor also makes great tank mates with similar slow-moving goldfish.

Common NameBlack Moor Goldfish
Scientific NameCarassius auratus
FamilyCyprinidae
Average Size6 to 8 inches at maturity. May get larger when kept in healthy conditions.
Average LifespanCan live up to 14 years of age in ideal conditions
BehaviorFast Swimmers
HabitatColdwater aquariums/ ponds
Minimum Tank Capacity50 gallons
Feeding HabitsOmnivorous
Tank MatesOther similar-sized goldfish
Ideal Water Temperature50 °F to 75 °F
pH level6.5 to 7.5

2. Fantail Goldfish

If you are a beginner aquarist and looking out for a fancy goldfish, then the beautiful Fantail goldfish is one of the best breeds for you.

The Fantails have a classic egg-shaped body with distinctive long double tails from which its name is derived. The Fantail comes in red, orange, and yellow hues. Rare varieties in black, calico, and white with patchy designs are also available.

The Fantail has a delicate digestive system, which means you will need to give them high-quality food, including live and frozen food, green vegetables, and fruits.

Although Fantails like company, they cannot be kept together with aggressive goldfish or fin-nippers. The ideal companions for these peaceful and social fish are their own species.

Common NameFantail Goldfish
Scientific NameCarassius Auratus
FamilyCyprinidae
Average Size6 to 8 inches at maturity
Average Lifespan10 to 12 years in ideal conditions
BehaviorPeaceful, friendly and like to be with their own kind
HabitatColdwater setup
Minimum Tank CapacityMinimum 20 gallons for adults
Feeding HabitsLive and frozen food
Tank MatesTheir own kind or different varieties of shoal fish
Ideal Water Temperature60 °F to 75 °F
pH Level6.0 to 8.0

3. Bubble Eye Goldfish

The Bubble Eye goldfish is one of the most fascinating goldfish. They have several distinctive features, including its unique upturned bulging eyes and missing dorsal fins.

The Bubble Eyes are slow swimmers and have very poor eyesight. For this reason, you will need to choose your tank accessories very carefully. The bubble eyes may get injured or burst if they get trapped in any accessories or the water filter.

An important thing to remember is that these have a very low tolerance for pollution; hence you will need to keep a good quality biological filter system.

The Bubble Eyes are omnivorous fish and will feed on anything. You can feed them pellets, flakes, fresh or frozen foods, both plant-based and meat products.

Common NameBubble Eye Goldfish
Scientific NameCarassius Auratus
FamilyCyprinidae
Average SizeUp to 5 inches at maturity
Average Lifespan15 to 20 years when fed correctly and well maintained.
BehaviorSlow swimmers with poor vision, these need a lot of space to avoid any kind of injury to their eyes
HabitatThe Bubble Eyes need plenty of oxygen and they need a large surface area. A long tank is recommended.
Minimum Tank Capacity20 to 30 gallons capacity
Feeding HabitsPlant-based food, meaty foods, algae, frozen and fresh food
Tank MatesSimilar slow swimmers like Black Moors, Lionheads, Telescopes

4. Lionhead Goldfish

Lionhead goldfish is quite a popular type of goldfish amongst avid aquarists around the world. The fleshy growth around its head, which resembles a mane, is known as a wen. The wen is its most distinctive feature and attributes to its popularity.

Another distinctive feature of the Lionheads is its lack of dorsal fins, but they have double caudal and anal fins.

These come in various hues such as orange, red, blue, black, calico, or tri-colored.

They are freshwater fish and thrive well in a primary tank setup with minimal accessories. You can use smooth pebbles and sand as aquascaping options.

Horizontally spaced tanks are most suitable for them as their eyes can navigate more expansive spaces far more quickly than taller areas. They thrive in individual setups or when kept with members of their species.

Although the Lionheads will eat almost any time of the day, you should ideally feed them twice a day. You can pick a healthy mix of plant-based food, vegetables, pellets, flakes, and meaty foods to feed them.

Common NameLionhead Goldfish
Scientific NameCarassius Auratus
FamilyCyprinidae
Average Size5 to 8 inches at maturity
Average Lifespan15 to 20 years in well-maintained conditions
BehaviorPeaceful temperament, fairly slow-moving
HabitatBasic tank setup with no abrasive or rough décor
Minimum Tank Capacity15 to 20 gallons for adults
Feeding HabitsOmnivorous
Tank MatesBubble Eyes, Celestials, Telescopes
Ideal Water Temperature65 °F  – 72 °F
pH Level6.0 to 8.0

5. Pearlscale Goldfish

The Pearlscale goldfish is a popular breed falling in the fancy goldfish category. It has a unique body shape with nacreous scales.

Its most distinctive feature is its deep round belly, which gets rounder with maturity.
The Pearlscales have beautiful flowy fins with tail fins that split to create a forked look to match their vibrant color.

These are hardy and quickly adapt to any environment. These fish thrive in cooler water and are ideal for both home aquariums and ponds.

Although these are not fast swimmers, they still need ample space. Ideally, a tank with 20 gallons capacity is perfect for a Pearlscale.

As far as diet goes, they are omnivorous and enjoy pellets and dry food that are a healthy mix of vegetarian and meaty based. Live food or freeze-dried food can be given as snacks occasionally.

Although these are slow-moving, they are still quite active and love to spend their day swimming in the tank.

Common NamePearlscale Goldfish
Scientific NameCarassius Auratus
FamilyCyprinidae
Average Size6 to 8 inches at maturity. In some rare cases, it may go up to 10 inches.
Average Lifespan5 to 10 years
BehaviorSlow swimmers
HabitatSlow-moving cool water filled with a wide range of live plants
Minimum Tank Capacity20 to 30 gallons
Feeding HabitsOmnivorous
Tank MatesSimilar slow-moving goldfish such as Bubble Eyes, Lionheads, etc.
Ideal Water Temperature65 °F to 80 °F
pH Level6.5 to 7.5

6. Oranda Goldfish

The Oranda goldfish are one of the most popular goldfish amongst aquarists around the world. They come in a wide range of vibrant colors: black, red, blue, red with orange spots, black with white dots, and lots more.

Orandas have a distinctive feature known as ‘wen,’ which is a cap-like outgrowth on their head. They are available in different variations, and some of the most popular ones include the Black Oranda, Red Cap Oranda, and Blue Oranda.

They very sensitive to water changes, and you will need to keep the water temperature between 68 °F to 71.5 °F and the pH levels between 5.0 and 8.0.

These are omnivorous and would eat almost anything that they can find. The best diet includes dry and live feeds along with fresh vegetables such as spinach or salads.

Common NameOranda Goldfish
Scientific NameCarassius Auratus
FamilyCyprinidae
Average Size7 to 9 inches at maturity
Average Lifespan15 years on average
BehaviorPeaceful
HabitatFreshwater set up with a few plants and rounded gravel
Minimum Tank Capacity20 gallons for each adult Oranda
Feeding HabitsOmnivorous. Dry or live food including vegetables.
Tank MatesGroup or Orandas or similar-sized goldfish.
Ideal Water Temperature68 °F to 71.5 °F
pH Level5.0 to 8.0
Water ChangesThey need a 25% weekly water changes

7. Ranchu Goldfish

The Ranchu goldfish is one of the most senior fancy goldfish created and is highly prized by the Japanese. These exquisite species lack dorsal fins, have metallic scales, and come in various colors.

They are ideal for your home tank but not for ponds, as temperature changes can put them in shock.

In Asia, Ranchus are bred for competitive shows and are known as the “King of the goldfish” in Japan.

The Ranchu will thrive in a spacious tank with well-regulated warm water. These have a low tolerance for pollution so you will need a sound filtration system.

A healthy diet is another essential part of having Ranchu as your pet. They should be given a healthy mix of flakes, frozen and fresh or live food.

Common NameRanchu Goldfish
Scientific NameCarassius Auratus
FamilyCyprinidae
Average Size5 to 8 inches at maturity
Average Lifespan10 to 15 years
BehaviorSlow-moving, friendly and social
HabitatWarm and spacious tank with a good filtration system
Minimum Tank Capacity20 to 30 gallons for adults
Feeding HabitsOmnivorous, flakes, pellets, frozen or fresh food
Tank MatesSimilarly sized and slow swimming ones such as Pearlscale, Lionhead, Telescope Eye, or Bubble Eye
Ideal Water Temperature65 °F to 72 °F
pH Level6.0 to 8.0
Water Change Frequency25% to 30% weekly

8. Veiltail Goldfish

The Veiltail goldfish is one of the rarest and most beautiful fancy goldfish in its category. It has a compact and well-rounded body with a deep belly and an arched back.

It is famous for its gracefully long trailing tail and fins. The tail of the Veiltail should be twice the length of its body at maturity. It is one of the most attractive aquarium goldfish ideal for indoor settings.

Veiltails are cold water fish, and they require special attention to their fins as they are prone to tearing or being nibbled by tank mates.

The best way to care for them is by maintaining the water quality, giving them a well-balanced diet, and choosing the decorations in the tank, keeping in mind the safety of your Veiltail.

The Veiltails are easy-going and relaxed breeds, and other goldfish that are equally docile and easy-going will make good tank mates.

Common NameVeiltail Goldfish
Scientific NameCarassius Auratus
FamilyCyprinidae
Average Size6 to 8 inches at maturity
Average Lifespan10 to 15 years
BehaviorDocile and easy-going. Slow swimmers
HabitatWell-maintained tanks and aquariums. Not ideal for ponds
Minimum Tank Capacity10 to 20 gallons for each adult Veiltail
Feeding HabitsGoldfish pellets, fresh food and a good mix of vegetables
Tank MatesSlow-moving and docile breeds like the Celestial or Bubble Eye
Ideal Water Temperature70 °F to 80 °F
pH Level6.0 to 8.0
Water Change25% weekly water changes

9. Wakin Goldfish

The Wakin goldfish is one of the most beautiful goldfish with its slender body and exquisite butterfly-like double tail. They are energetic, fast swimmers, sturdy, and come in bright red colors with a metallic sheen.

The most popular colors found are red and red, and white, but now calico, orange, yellow and chocolate colors are also available.

The Wakin is one of the best fancy goldfish that can be kept in a pond. They look fantastic swimming about in the ponds. They do not hibernate even in winters and can often be seen swimming in the water under the ice.

Do remember to make holes in the ice so that there is a proper circulation of oxygen.

The Wakin is a fast-swimming fish and enjoys the company of their kind or can be teamed up with similar fast-swimming but friendly goldfish breeds like the Comets, Shubunkins, or Koi.

Common NameWakin Goldfish
Scientific NameCarassius Auratus
FamilyCyprinidae
Average Size8 to 10 inches at maturity
Average Lifespan10 to 12 years in well-maintained conditions
BehaviorFast swimmers, peaceful and social
HabitatColdwater. Ideal for ponds
Minimum Tank Capacity30 gallons minimum for adults
Feeding HabitsPremium pellet food for adults with a mix of vegetables occasionally.
Tank MatesKoi, Shubunkin and Comet are ideal tank mates
Ideal Water Temperature68 °F to 7 °F
pH Level6.0 to 7.0
Water Changes25% to 30% weekly

10. Ryukin Goldfish

The Ryukin goldfish are quite similar to the Fantail goldfish but with a taller body and a significant shoulder hump that is behind its head. They have a pointed heads with long tails, which can sometimes be twice their bodies’ size.

The Ryukins have unique tails that are four-lobed, which creates a stunning appearance that attributes to their popularity in the fancy goldfish category. They come in various colors such as red, orange, white, chocolate brown, calico, and tri-colored specimens.

These thrive in cold water, and they need well-oxygenated water, which can be done using a good quality air bladder.

Diet-wise you can feed your Ryukin high-quality flakes and pellets as their primary source of nutrition. You can also add live or frozen food occasionally to their diet.

Ryukins are active and reasonably aggressive, but they do thrive in groups. They do well with their kind, or you can also add other dual-fin fish varieties.

Common NameRyukin Goldfish
Scientific NameCarassius Auratus
FamilyCyprinidae
Average Size6 to 8 inches at maturity
Average Lifespan10 to 15 years
BehaviorSemi-aggressive, active and vigorous
HabitatColdwater
Minimum Tank Capacity10 gallons for a single fish. 20 to 30 gallons for a sizeable group
Feeding HabitsOmnivorous. Good quality pellets or flakes as the main source.
Tank MatesSimilar sized but non-aggressive varieties such as Black Moor, Fantail,  Oranda, etc.
Ideal Water Temperature64 °F to 72 °F
pH Level6.0 to 8.0

11. Izumo Nankin Goldfish

The Izumo Nankin belong to the fancy goldfish category, and they are a rare breed native to Japan.

The Izumo Nankin has an incredible fan following in its native country, and there are several renowned clubs specially dedicated to this particular type.

Its distinct features include a small head, a triangle-like body, no dorsal fins, a twin tail, and narrow eyes. Keen aquarists favor the white and red-colored Izumo Nankin. They also come in red.

Their diet is omnivorous and similar to others.

Due to their constitution, the Izumo Nankin is currently available only in their native country, and they fall among the rarest types of goldfish in the world.

Common NameIzumo Nankin Goldfish
Scientific NameCarassius Auratus
FamilyCyprinidae
Average SizeSmall
Average Lifespan8 to 10 years in well maintain conditions
BehaviorFragile and slow swimmers
HabitatShallow tanks as these are best viewed from the top
Minimum Tank Capacity20 to 30 gallons for adults
Feeding HabitsPlant and meat-based, goldfish pellets
Tank MatesComfortable with their own kind
Ideal Water Temperature65 °F to 72 °F
pH Level6.0 to 8.0

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.

Behavior & Temperament

They 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.

Tank Requirements

Their 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!

They require about 20 gallons of water per fish with a sound filtration system in place. Frequent water changes are another essential requirement for 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 is between 50 to 75 °F and should maintain the pH level at 6.5 to 7.5.

Tank Accessories

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 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 plants for tank are java fern, hornwort and anacharis.

Tank Mates

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

First of all, you will need to ensure that they are not too small, or they 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.

Food & Diet

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.

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.

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 fiber 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, and grains such as rice, wheat or barley. Fish meals are also not an excellent choice.

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

Best 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 favored among avid aquarists.

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

Other Treats

The occasional treat will add some variety to the 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 You Feed?

Less is better when it comes to feeding your fish. 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.

Breeding & Reproduction

Breeding your fancy goldfish is not an easy task. It takes time and patience. 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 they 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 that is set at 76 to 78 °F to keep the fry. Check on the eggs regularly and remove any that have fungus on them.

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 behavior, such as floating for too long or sitting out at the bottom all the time.

Where to Buy?

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 sale before purchase.

The best places to purchase one online are:

  1. King Koi and Goldfish
  2. Kodama Koi Farm
  3. Live Aquaria
  4. The Irish Store
  5. Coast Gem USA

Conclusion

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, they will thrive and be a companion to you for a long time.