Fantail Goldfish | A to Z Guide – Care, Tank Mates, Size and Diet


Of course, any typical fish keeper would always know that one of the most famous fishes to keep is the goldfish! The fantail-type of their species had magnificent frames due to selective breeding. The popular citrus-colored fish comes from the Cyprinidae family. 

They are first discovered in Asia’s bodies of water but are more prominent in China, Japan. They had spread to its neighboring countries for centuries. Today the goldfish are in trade at almost any pet shop worldwide. 

If you are looking for a carp to keep, then you will love the fact that fantail gold fishes also come from the same clan where the wild and exquisite Prussian carps came from! 

The fantail goldfish, (classified as Carassius , are used to live in environments where similar carps also thrive. The waters that they live in are in cool temperatures and are more likely in torpid rivers or ponds. These locations are rich in dense plants which the carps feed on.

Goldfish owners would try to replicate their natural habitats as these carps cannot be easily seen in the wild. With the right tank conditions, the fish will grow and remain healthy for all its lifetime. 


Unlike the average goldfish you see in the market, the fantail type has more compact, egg-shaped bodies. This pompous look makes them more unique in their physicality because other tropical fishes are more rounded. 

The fish is famous for their magnificent fins that flow long from their bodies. Their tail splits in half, particularly the caudal and anal fins.  When they swim, you can see that they are like leaving a trail of their tail around, which makes them undeniably gorgeous to look at. It also got a dorsal fin that outlines the base of its tail.

If you look at the body scales, they are solid and pearl-like. You will find the fish scales in different colors like ivory, metallic black, or even other slate colors, too. 

For you to buy the best fantail gold fishes out there, it is advisable to look for responsible breeders of carp fishes. Having your pet fish bought from established breeders can also assure you of getting the best-looking fantail gold fishes for your tank. That’s one way of getting beautiful and well-grown goldfishes in the future!

Behaviour & Temperament

You would love that fantail gold fishes are peaceful fishes! They can mingle well in any environment and tend to swim around plants and along with other species. Also, they may behave as if they don’t care much about others’ business and just do their own thing! 

All day, you’ll see them swim with other schools of fish that also have calm behaviors. Thus we could say they are a sociable type of goldfishes.

Remember that as they are larger-looking than any other tank fish, you should also be more cautious of the other small fishes around them.  It could be best that your goldfish stay too, with others that have the same size as them as they can still mistake eating the smaller ones! Although, this can still rarely happen if the goldfishes are well-fed.


How long does Fantail Goldfish live?

The fantail goldfish boasts a long lifespan of almost ten years in the wild or even in captivity. With proper nurture and care, they can even exceed more years. To date, the oldest goldfish that has been on record even reached 45 years! 

Most owners that take care of fantail gold fishes or any other goldfish maintain a pond for them. Many agree that having them in this type of abode is truly superb than on tanks. The fish will be needing a larger space for their growth, and so ponds or the like are great to have around.

Common Diseases

Like other aquarist’s worries, you must also secure your fantails from the common dreaded diseases. Sure, you can treat them using over-the-counter medication, but nothing’s more effective than preventing the ailment in the first place!

Being a fish keeper, you should know not only the early signs of fish diseases but on how to prevent any of these misfortunes from happening. What you can later on avoid are almost all the fungal and bacterial infections out there! 

For fantail fishes, you had to be wary of what professionals call the swim bladder disease. This illness has profound fatal effects on your fish if left untreated. Because fantails could use more body area for their organs (always looking bloated), constipation is painful. Such conditions affect their movement and can even tumble them down while swimming. 

The owner then must manage the amount of food eaten by the goldfishes to reduce the risk of this disease. Giving only the right amount of food also avoids spoiled food in the water, which can become conducive to bacteria or parasites.


How big do Fantail Goldfish get?

Fantail gold fishes have big sizes because of their flowy and stretched tails. You may see that they may look frightening to other small aquarium fishes because of their fins. A typical fantail goldfish can reach more than six to sixteen inches in length. 

That is why, if you are to take care of lots of goldfishes, a standard tank is not too recommendable. Also, keeping them along smaller tank fishes does not sound good at all. Tinier species will possibly get bitten or eaten by the goldfish all the time.

How many Fantail Goldfish can be kept together?

If you are trying to house as many gold fishes as you like, we advise that you go for a large tank or even improvise a mini pond! As long as the fish can swim with ease, or in other words, have ample space for themselves, sure they will be happy fishes under your care!

Fantail Goldfish Care

Tank Size

Get a tank that can handle twenty to thirty gallons of water. It is true that the larger the tank that you get for the fish, the better! Goldfishes are elegant swimmers and love moving around a lot. Even some fish owners for so long would construct a pond for them only to satiate the fish’s water activity.  

Go for a tank that can hold the fish even if they are adult-size. If you are thinking of breeding the goldfishes, think of the measure of space the fishes would need in the long run. 

Tank Setup

Fantails have almost similar environmental needs as other carp fishes. In the wild, they can be seen more in bodies of water that are less flowing. They could occur in rivers, ponds, or lakes. Rehoming the goldfishes needs to be done in the same ideal conditions. This can be done in tanks, too, by supplying them with materials that mimic their natural habitat. 

Fantail gold fishes thrive in cold waters, so always check the tank water heater at all times. Surround also plenty of plants of varying heights to establish a dense effect in the tank scenery. 

Sand can is perfect for the tank’s substrate. You can skip gravel for filling the tank bottom as the fantails may injure themselves on such a surface. 

It would also be fun for the fish to roam around tank decorations but bear in mind that the fish would love more swimming spaces rather than hiding places. 

The tank water’s temperature must go between 60°F to 75°F. To have a more specific water setup, you can also buy a water test kit. You can buy the ones that can both check things such as water softness and pH level.

Lastly, consider what tank filter. A tank equipped with a filter not only cleans the biome but also makes the fish healthy. Buy the filter that is high-quality and recommended for goldfish environments. 

Water conditions

Fantail gold fishes, like other carps, thrive in colder waters with balanced pH levels. But their kind is rarely found in common places. The following is the guidelines for preparing the tank’s water:      

For the water’s temperature, take in between 65°F to 80°F. Levelling it in middle ranges is ideal. Acidity levels should go 6.0. to 8.0. pH only. Though the carp is quite hardy you also had to set the water hardness in between 4 to 20 dGH. Purchasing a water test kit would make adjustments easier for you.

Diet & Feeding

What do Fantail Goldfish eat?

As omnivores, fantails can eat almost any fish food you give them! But, you had to mind that because of their close-packed bodies, they still can get into trouble with the swim bladder disease. The condition is particular to their species, so owners still had to pay attention to feeding them.

It would suffice for the fish to have a daily intake of food of at least two times a day. The amount that you serve again must be taken in by the fish for only two minutes at the least. Keep ammonia build-up from harming your fish by taking away excess food that will be left afterward.

Maintain serving food that has high nutrition value. This way, the fish will not keep looking for food, even if they can gobble on anything all day if they want.

Always keep foods such as daphnia, bloodworms, and other live and frozen snacks for them every feeding time. But do not forget to blend in the schedules of their eating of veggies. Those that are rich in fiber are fantastic for combatting digestive problems.

How often should I feed my Fantail Goldfish?

Owners can feed their fantail gold fishes two to three times a day. Like any other tank fish, you must make sure to give enough food servings to the fantails. Feed them with food that they can devour fast.

As said above, this pet fish can be prone to constipation problems. So proper feeding them will have an impressive impact on their daily dietary needs.

How long can Fantail Goldfish go without food?

You can leave your goldfish for as long as two weeks at most. They can easily feed off any available algae culture that has build-up on the tank. If you have left them with edible plants, the fish are sure to munch on them too! 

If you have your fishes in a pond, then they get to access more sources of food! The fantail goldfish can eat mosquito larvae and other insects, so they will never go hungry on your leave. 

Tank Mates

What fish can live with Fantail Goldfish?

As friendly fishes to other species in the tank, you may say that looking for a suitable tank mate for them can be an easy task. But let us remind you that they can be seen as a threat by smaller tank fishes out there. Though this depends on the case, fantail gold fishes are still known to be remarkable community tank species.

You may opt for those other peaceful and adorable fishes or same-sized species that can thrive in the same water parameters as your goldfish. The list goes: 

-Cory catfish


-Kuhli Loaches

-Other Goldfishes (e.g., Bubble Eye Goldfish, Celestial Eye Goldfish)

-Otocinclus (commonly called Dwarf suckers)

-Shrimps (e.g., Cherry Shrimp, Ghost Shrimp, Amano Shrimp)

Still, you may try testing other small fishes around such as platys and zebra danios. But note that you have to monitor the tank regularly to see if these tank mates are getting any stressed behaviors. If so, you always had the choice to relocate them into a different tank.

What fish don’t do well with Fantail Goldfish?

While there are fishes that fit as a tank mate for the goldfish, of course, you should be able to avoid those that have aggressive or predatory instincts. Goldfishes are not only double-tailed but also have these tail ends long and flowy. All this means that they are not compatible at all around fin-nippers!

As a rule, single-tailed fishes are much faster, and most of the time are a lot more aggressive. Most of them come in small sizes, too! The following are the fish species you should avoid around the fantails:


-Tetra fishes


-Molly fishes

-Pleco fishes


These fishes either can attack or also eat on other fish’s scales and fins. Most of them also live in warmer tanks. So taking them to the same area where goldfishes thrive is a pure danger for the goldfish. 


A breeding tank must be prepared with the right tank conditions. It could be in a small or a different containment that has water taken from the main tank. Warmer temperatures are set, adjusting it gradually every day until it reaches (not more than) 75°F. 

To make the tank more ideal for the breeding process, the chosen adult mates must get used to dried and live foods available in the new abode. 

You will notice that the male would start to swim alongside the female fish most of the time. The changes in behavior will help you know that the pair are trying to mate already.

Once the female gives in to the male goldfish’s courting, it will allow the spawning to occur. The process is expected to occur within days. 

The eggs that will be born by the female may sometimes reach about 1,000 in the count. But know that not all eggs will be able to survive even after getting hatched. If the eggs are already released by the female, immediately remove the adult pair to prevent the offspring from being eaten. 

For less than a week (five days at least), you can expect the fry to swim around. Feed these newly hatched foods that they can gobble easily. Have a handful of infusoria to sustain the protein needs of the young fishes. This nutritive choice is commonly used for all growing fishes that are bred in captivity.


Are Fantail Goldfish easy to care for?

It is easy and fun to take care of the fantail goldfish. Not to mention, keeping a few of the species rewards the owners years of show and activity! 

The good thing is even if you are a novice to the fishkeeping scene, you can easily manage the fantails with your own hands!

With some basic knowledge and consistent tank maintenance, anyone can surely love this type of goldfish because of its nature, amiable behavior and beautiful array of fins!