Fantail Goldfish Care: Complete Guide for Beginners

Learn everything you need to care for Fantail Goldfish, from setting up their tank to their specific dietary needs. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned goldfish owner, this resource will help you offer your pet the best care possible. Let’s dive right in and discover the fascinating world of Fantail Goldfish care.

fantail goldfish

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Fantail Goldfish Species Profile and Identification

Welcome to the world of Fantail Goldfish! These fascinating creatures stand out with their egg-shaped bodies and long, quadruple caudal fins. Unlike other goldfish species, they don’t have a shoulder hump. Thus making identification simpler.

  • Body Shape: Fantails have a distinctive egg-like shape, contrasting well with their high dorsal fin. Each fish has its unique curvature, adding more personalization to its swimming paths.
  • Fins: The fantail goldfish features a quadruple caudal fin, absent in most goldfish species. It’s akin to having an elegant, flowing cape, adding to their graceful swimming style.
  • Eyes: These goldfish may possess either normal or telescope eyes. However, note that telescope eyes develop only after the fish turns six months old.

Fantails are comparatively hardier than their counterparts, but not entirely impermeable. Bracing lower water temperatures for prolonged periods can make them sensitive. Keep the aquarium around 73 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit (or about 23 degrees Celsius)–the ideal temperature for Fantail goldfish.

Their scales can be either metallic or nacreous, spinning a different sheen under aquarium lights. It’s important to note that they have double anal and tail fins, well-divided into two matching halves.

Interestingly, they have a close resemblance with the Ryukin species. However, one significant difference lies in the development of their fins; Fantails have less developed fins compared to the Ryukin.

Remember, taking care of a Fantail goldfish calls not just for a knowledge of their physical identification, but also their living conditions. Therefore, it becomes essential to understand their nature and habits.

Recognizing these traits will enable you to make your Fantail’s aquarium life enjoyable and healthy. In turn, ensuring a vibrant and lively companion for you.

Fantail Goldfish Supplies

Before bringing a Fantail goldfish home, you’ll need to procure certain essential supplies to create a healthy living environment for your fish.

  • Aquarium: The first thing on your list should be a spacious tank. For Fantail goldfish, the size of the aquarium should be between 10 and 20 gallons (37.8 to 75.7 liters) per fish, although a 30-gallon (113.6 liters) tank offers even more space and is preferred.
  • Filtration System: Fantail goldfish produce a significant amount of waste, and it’s crucial to keep their surroundings clean. Hence, a powerful and efficient filtration system is a must.
  • Heater: Although these goldfish are tolerant of a range of water temperatures, maintaining an optimal water temperature of about 73 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit (22.7 – 23.3 degrees Celsius) ensures the goldfish’s well-being.
  • Lighting: Adequate lighting enriches the color of your Fantail goldfish. Maintain a regular light and dark cycle, mimicking the cycle of daylight and nightfall.
  • Substrate and Decorations: To recreate the natural habitat, including a substrate, live plants or plastic ones, and some rocks or ornaments for the fish to hide or play.
  • Test Kits: Water parameter test kits are vital to monitor parameters such as pH, water hardness, etc. Ensure the pH levels remain between 6.0 to 8.0 and water hardness between 4 to 20 dKH.
  • Net and Cleaning Supplies: A net for handling your fish and tools for cleaning the tank are basic necessities.

By ticking off these necessary supplies, you are already halfway through providing a comfortable home for your Fantail Goldfish.

Fantail Goldfish Tank Setup

Setting up a proper tank for your Fantail goldfish is crucial. There’re some key considerations you need to look at:

Tank Size: Start with at least a 10 to 20-gallon (38 to 76 liters) tank for each fish. Remember, Fantails grow large so the bigger the tank, the better. If possible, aim for 30 gallons (114 liters) per fish.

Tank Shape: Choose a tank that is wide. An oblong or rectangular tank is ideal as it allows for better swimming space and aids in oxygen flow.

Substrate: Opt for a sandy substrate or small smooth pebbles. Unlike coarse gravel, these will not pose a risk of choking or damaging the fish’s mouth.

Decorations: Safe and fish-friendly decorations help in creating a natural environment. Avoid sharp or rough-edged decor that could harm your fish.

Lighting: Moderate lighting is sufficient, but never place the tank in direct sunlight.

Filtration and Aeration: A powerful filter is necessary to maintain good water quality. Since Fantails do not need strong currents, low-flow filters are the best. Ensure your tank has sufficient aeration because Fantails are oxygen-loving creatures.

Temperature Control: Give importance to a reliable heater. This breed thrives in water temperatures between 65°F and 80°F (18°C to 27°C), but 73 to 74°F (23 to 24°C) is the most ideal.

A well-set tank will keep your Fantail goldfish healthy and happy. Next, let’s discuss their water requirements.

Fantail Goldfish Water Requirements

Understanding the water requirements of your Fantail goldfish is critical for their health and longevity. Here, we detail the guidelines to provide a safe and thriving environment for your goldfish.

Firstly, the temperature range should be kept at 65°F to 80°F (18°C to 27°C), with an ideal spot around 73 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit (23°C). This species is comfortable and thrives in remarkably stable water temperatures.

Secondly, maintain a pH level range of 6.0 to 8.0. This is considered neutral and is best for your goldfish’s health. Keeping the water consistent in its alkalinity prevents undue stress and potential scale or gill damage.

Lastly, water hardness is another critical element. The accepted hardness range is 4 to 20 dKH, which translates to somewhat soft to moderately hard water.

  • Temperature range: 65°F to 80°F (18°C to 27°C)
  • pH Levels: 6.0 to 8.0
  • Water Hardness: 4 to 20 dKH

Be vigilant for signs of discomfort in your fish, such as erratic swimming or listlessness. These could suggest the water conditions aren’t optimal. Remember, if the water parameters alter suddenly, it could lead to health problems.

As for tank size, we suggest at least 10 to 20 gallons (37.85 to 75.7 liters) per fish. If possible, aim for 30 gallons (113.56 liters) per fish as it allows for more optimal swimming and growth space.

Together, these conditions create a stable and comfortable environment for your Fantail goldfish not just to survive, but thrive.

Fantail Goldfish Diet and Feeding

Feeding your Fantail goldfish the right diet is integral to their health and vitality. Like most fish, they are omnivorous, meaning they require a balanced diet of both plant-based foods and proteins.

Key diet components for the Fantail include:

  • Flakes or Pellets: Good quality, specially formulated goldfish flakes or pellets should make up the primary part of your Fantail’s diet.
  • Green Vegetables: Supplement their diet with green vegetables such as peas, spinach, or lettuce. These help ensure they get the necessary vitamins and fiber they need.
  • Proteins: Proteins should take a smaller portion of their diet. Brine shrimp, daphnia, or bloodworms are perfect for this.

Remember that overfeeding can lead to several health problems, including poor water quality. Thus, it’s recommended to only feed them as much as they can consume in 2-3 minutes, once or twice a day. Also, ensure the food is small enough to fit in their mouth.

The use of a feeding ring can help keep the food in one area and prevent it from going into the filter. Finally, always remove any uneaten food to prevent it from spoiling the water quality, as this can lead to health issues.

Fantail Goldfish Care Schedule

Caring for your Fantail Goldfish isn’t a daunting task, but it does require commitment. Plan to follow a regular schedule to ensure the wellbeing of your pet fish.

Daily Check

  • Quick scan: Every day, observe your Fantail Goldfish for any physical or behavioral changes. This can aid in early health issue detection.
  • Feeding: Feed your Fantail 1-2 times a day. Don’t overfeed; a small portion that they can consume in 2 minutes is enough.

Weekly Tasks

  • Water Test: It’s essential to test the water conditions every week. Monitor the water’s pH level and ammonia content using a water test kit. Aim for a neutral pH between 6.0 to 8.0 and zero ammonia level.
  • Partial Water Change: Every week, replace about 20 percent (2 to 6 gallons or 7.5 to 22.7 liters, depending on tank size) of the aquarium water. This can help maintain the quality of the tank environment.

Monthly Duties

  • Filter Check: Examine the filter once a month and clean or replace it when necessary.
  • Full Health Check: Carry out a detailed health check. Check their scales, fins, gills, and eyes. If you notice any abnormalities, contact your vet.

Remember, each Fantail Goldfish is unique. Broadly following this schedule should aid in their care, but individual adjustments might be required depending on your Fantail’s specific needs.

Routine care not only ensures healthy growth but also helps develop a deep bond between you and your pet.

Fantail Goldfish Health Problems

Fantail goldfish, like any other fish species, are prone to certain health problems. Some of these issues revolve around diet, habitat, and temperature.


The biggest worry for Fantail keepers is typically fish disease. The most common ones include Ich (White Spot Disease)Fin Rot, and Fungus Infection. Ich is caused by a parasite and can be identified by white spots on the fish’s body.

Fin Rot manifests as torn or fraying fins and can be caused by poor water quality. Fungus Infection is typically a secondary infection after another illness or injury.

Prevention Method:

  • Regular water changes to maintain water quality.
  • Monitor your fish regularly for any signs of disease and provide **prompt treatment.

Temperature Stress: 

Remember, Fantails can be sensitive to prolonged exposure to low water temperatures. They flourish in water temperatures between 65°F and 80°F (around 18 to 27°C), with an ideal temperature of 73 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit (23°C). If their water gets cooler than that for extended periods of time, it can lead to stress, suppressed immune system, and increased vulnerability to disease.

Prevention Method:

  • Maintain consistent and correct water temperature
  • Monitor your aquarium heater regularly

Poor Diet:

An inappropriate diet can lead to constipation or swim bladder disease. These fish are omnivores and require a varied diet.

Prevention Method:

  • Provide a balanced diet of specialized goldfish pellets, peas, and occasional protein like bloodworms.

These health issues are preventable with proper care and prompt intervention. With understanding of these problems, you are well-equipped to provide a healthy environment for your Fantail goldfish.

Fantail Goldfish Tank Mates

Choosing appropriate tank mates for your Fantail goldfish is a critical aspect of providing optimal care. Here are some suitable companions for your Fantail.

Fancy Goldfish: The first and safest choice is always other species of Fancy Goldfish. They share similar habits, diet, and grow to comparable sizes, reducing the potential for aggression.

  • Examples: Oranda, Black Moor, Ryukin.

White Cloud Mountain Minnows: If you seek variety, these vibrant fish fit the bill. They peacefully cohabit with Fantails, provided the tank is large enough to accommodate both.

  • Note: Minnows prefer cooler temperatures, so ensure your aquarium doesn’t exceed 72°F (22°C).

Weather Loaches: This bottom-dwelling species can share space with Fantails without intrusion. They are non-aggressive, and their long bodies add an interesting dynamic to the tank setting.

  • Restriction: Suitable for tanks 20 gallons (75 liters) and upwards.

Remember to avoid fast, aggressive fish like Tiger Barbs. They nip at the Fantails’ fins, causing them undue stress. Also, ensure your chosen tank mates match the necessary water conditions as closely as possible.

Regulating tank conditions, such as water temperature and pH levels, and ensuring adequate space, is indispensable in maintaining a harmonious environment. All fish need their own space to thrive and avoid unnecessary competition or conflict.

Compatibility extends beyond just temperament—it’s a matter of similar needs. Hence, research is a must to prevent incompatible tank mates, ensuring a true underwater utopia for your Fantails.

Fantail Goldfish Breeding

Breeding Fantail goldfish is an exciting part of owning these unique fish. Remember, the whole process should be well-thought-out, as it can be both complex and time-consuming.

Firstly, you need to make sure you have both male and female Fantails. Males typically possess a thinner, more streamlined body, while females appear rounder, especially during breeding season. When the time is right, usually during spring, males chase after the females to stimulate egg release.

Here are some crucial steps in the breeding process:

  • Create the right environment: The water temperature should be around 65°F to 80°F (18°C to 27°C), where ideally 73 to 74 degrees (23°C) is perfect.
  • Condition the fish: Feed the fish a high-protein diet to prepare them for breeding. Bloodworms, brine shrimp and daphnia are good choices.
  • Identify the breeding indications: The signs include chasing behavior of the males and a rounder shape of the females. Males will also develop tubercles, or small white spots on their gills and pectoral fins.

Remember, after the eggs are laid, they need to be separated from the adults. This is vital as adult Fantails can eat their own eggs. The eggs should hatch within 4 to 7 days, with baby Fantails (or fry) being fully formed within a span of a week.


Ensuring the proper care for your Fantail Goldfish can seem daunting at first, but with the right guidance and dedication, it’s definitely achievable.

By adhering to this guide, beginners can confidently venture into the spectacular world of Fantail Goldfish keeping. We’d love to hear about your experiences, so please feel free to leave a comment below.

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