Souravgg8, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Fantail Goldfish whose scientific name is Carassius auratus is a small freshwater fish that is not found in the wild. Just like the Fancies, they are a product of selective breeding from a hundred if not thousands of years ago. Known for its gorgeous appearance and elegant fins, it is one of the most popular species of fish in the pet business. They are an ideal choice for beginners because they are hardy and can do good in the right conditions. They are gorgeous, and their long flowing fins are a sight you need to see. Despite the fact that these fish are low maintenance, there are a few aspects of their care that can be a bit tricky.

The closest living relative of the fantail goldfish are the carp, but the fantails are unique in their own right. They are readily available in pet stores, and they are worth buying since they will add tons of beauty to your tank. However, you need a well-maintained environment for them to thrive. This guide seeks to guide you on everything you need to know about the care of fantails.


Scientific NameCarassius auratus
ColorRed, Orange, orange/white, red/white
TemperamentPeaceful and social
Size8 inches
Tank size30 gallons
Temperature65 to 75 degrees F
Lifespan10 to 15 years
Freshwater or SaltwaterFreshwater
Care LevelEasy
Compatibility Peaceful community fish


Fantails are very peaceful and social fish, and you can put them in the same tank with the species that share similar temperaments. You should avoid keeping them with aggressive fish since they will be stressed out and will find it hard to fight for food. They can also be bullied due to their slow speed by fast swimmers. They are poor swimmers, and they cannot be able to escape rowdy species or fin nippers. However, you can keep them in a community tank with similar fish that are peaceful. Since they prefer low water temperatures, it limits the number of options to choose from as the tank mates. Most of the tikes the Fantails will be swimming in the middle section of the tank, but sometimes they will move to the top or bottom section in search of food.

Some of the compatible tank mats you should consider include;

  • Angel fish
  • Rosy Barbs
  • Neon Tetras
  • Zebra Danios
  • Mollies
  • Small shoaling fish
  • White cloud mountain Minnows
  • Dwarf Gourami
  • Northern Red berry Dace
  • Chinese Blue Bittering

These fish do not shoal but will often swim all over the tank when they are alone or in groups. That is the reason why you do not need bottom dwellers for their fish tanks. These fish usually clean up any leftover food when they swim towards the bottom of the tank. However, if you are in need of a bottom feeder option, you can consider some of the species such as;

  • Corydaras Catfish
  • Kuhli Loaches
  • Otocinclus

Other small invertebrates that you can add to the tank include;

  • Ghost shrimps
  • Cherry shrimp
  • Mystery snails
  • Amano shrimp
  • Nerite snails


Soumya Bhattacharjee, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Fantail stands out in their tank due to their vibrant colors and body structure. They have an egg-shaped body and a long quadruple caudal fin, a high dorsal fin with no shoulders. This species does not have a slender body. The outer appearance is golden fish-like, but when you look closely, you can easily differentiate it from the basic golden fish. They are very pleasant and attractive due to their vibrant colors, however, the characteristic that uniquely identifies them from the other fish is their double caudal and anal fins. They have nancreas and metallic scales. The eyes of this species are either normal or telescopic. They come in a variety of colors, from red, yellow, orange, and other uncommon colors like pure white, metallic blue, and pure black. As they are swimming, they look incredible since it spreads like a fan, and that is where the name fantail goldfish is derived from.


Normally the lifespan of fantails is between 10 to 15 years under optimal conditions. If they are brought up under proper care where every parameter is maintained, and the diet is right, they can outlive the limit up to over 15 years. However, most of them lie up to the optimum lifespan due to suboptimal conditions. Lifespan can also be affected by the diseases that they might get as they grow, and this weakens their body immune system.


Typically, a fantail grows to a maximum length of 6 inches. One advantage of keeping this species as a pet is the fact that it is small and it does not take a large space. This is the ideal fish you should consider keeping if you have a small aquarium. The average size of the tank that you need for the Fantail is 20 gallons. This implies that it is possible to keep this fish in the corner of your house. If you intend to keep more than one fish in the tank, you can choose a 30-gallon tank so that they will have ample space. A small tank will be a challenge to clan and change the water, and this means it will affect the general cleanliness of the tank. So, the ideal size should be between 0 to 30 for a fantail, and it will give your peat conducive space to live happily.


The Fantail Goldfish is a member of the carp family, and it is mostly found in captivity since it is genetically bred and therefore does not have a natural habitat. They are descendants of Carassius gibelio, which also includes a Prussian wild card. They are natives of East Asia. They were first bred in China 100 years ago. It was seen during the Ming dynasty, which takes back around 1400, and it has since been distributed to the rest of the world or the years. The habitat of the fantails resembles that of the carps. However, you will not find them swimming freely like carp, however, they like living in pond, cold-water rivers and lakes.


The process of taking care of this fish is easy in general, and this makes it the ideal fish to keep indoors for beginners and the experienced aquarist. Before bringing the Fantail Goldfish home, you should ensure that you have set up the tank and adhered to all the required conditions. The setup process is quite easy, and this will ensure your Fantail lives are happy and will thrive. First, this species loves swimming in ample space, and therefore you should go for a large tank that will be able to give enough room. They are different from the goldfish, and therefore, you cannot keep them in tropical water conditions.


The ideal size of the tank is 22 gallons. As stated earlier, these fish love swimming, but the ideal tank size is not so big due to their small size. A small to medium tank will work best for this fish. The Fantails love swimming in the middle level to the upper level of the tank, and even if you do not keep the lid, it will have no big impact on the fish. If you are keeping multiple fantails in our tank and you want them to thrive, you should consider a bigger tank of at least 30 gallons. A bigger tank is advantageous since it helps the water to remain more stable and will require less cleaning. Small tanks get dirty more often compared to large ones. According to the experts, you should add 10 gallons for every fish that you add into the tank. The optimum tank size for the fish to have free-swimming are should be between 20 to 30 gallons.


The ideal tank of the Fantail fish should have a maximum surface area. When you keep your fantail fish in a big tank with a large surface area, you reduce the likelihood of the fish dying due to lack of oxygen. It is the shape of the tank that determines the surface area of the tank. For instance, a tall tank has less surface area compared to that of the elongated tank. Therefore, if you have an oval or wider in the middle shape of the tank, then fill it with water; it will enhance the surface area of the tank.


Regardless of the size of your tank, you should always ensure that you provide a good filtration system. This ensures that your pet does not die as a result of a lack of oxygen. The standard filter is not up to the mark of fantails. Due to their waste, they need a suitable filtration, and therefore some of the ideal filters include; Canister filters, hold filters, dry filters, sump/wet filters, and sponge filters. The filter your o for should be five times the volume of the water tank; for instance, in a 20-gallon tank, you should go for a filtration system of between 100-to-200-gallon range.


It is important to provide a serene and ample decoration in the tank for the fish to grow happily. The ideal substrate for the tank should be soft sand. These fish are lovers of swimming, and this implies that they swim to every corner of the tank, and they might sometimes be interested in digging o the surface of the tank. If you want to give them a natural look, you need to provide the substrate. It makes the environment friendly and comfortable for them. To make it more attractive and appealing to the Fantails, you should include some decorations and ornaments, and this will also give the space for their playfulness.

To achieve this, you can add some driftwoods, pebbles, or rocks. The decoration should be kept simple. These fish sometimes need hiding spots whenever they feel threatened, and therefore, they should make enough hiding areas for them. As you add the decorations and ornaments, you should ensure that you do put a sharp and pointy object in the tank. These fish are very delicate, and they can unknowingly get injured.


 You can keep 2 to 3 fantails in one tank of 20 gallons. The general rule of keeping these fish together states that every one inch of the fish needs a gallon, and therefore because they are 5 to 6 inches, you can keep up to 3 of them. However, you should keep in mind that they grow so fast, and they will need ample space to swim. You should therefore avoid putting too many fish in the tank to avoid overcrowding which makes them prone to diseases.


It is very important to maintain the water parameters in the tank water. This includes temperatures, PH levels, and water hardness. The basic principle states that the ammonia concentration and that of nitrites should always be zero.


The ideal temperatures of water should always be between 65 to 80 degrees F. However, you should aim to maintain it at a range of 72 to 75 degrees, and it will thrive. The fantails are cold-water fish. Therefore, you should note that when they are put in water, they do not need a heater, and the average water temperature should always be below the room temperature.


The water flow rate should be moderate since the fantails are not big in size. Fast water with a strong current will make it difficult for these fish to swim.


The average water hardness should range from 5 to 19 dGH, while the Ph should range from 6.0 to 7.5. You do not need to aim for the exact number in the tank water, but you should strive to be as close as possible to the arrange and your pet will thrive.


The Fantail Goldfish are very sensitive to bright lighting, and therefore the tank should rather have a soft orange glow of colored light. The ideal light should be due and green light since they will be straining their eyes in a harsh white Led light. The lighting should always come from the above and never on the sides as it risks your fish looking into it.


Having the right decorations, you can create a tank landscape that resembles their natural habitat. For instance, you can create a miniature version of mountains, caves, and lakes, and such landscape will not only be enjoyable and interesting to the fish but also the visitors. You can add some plastics and live plants. Some of the plants are known to enrich the aesthetic appeal of the aquarium. You should be aware that this species loves digging and uprooting the plants, and therefore you should consider the substrate that keeps them intact. To mitigate the issue, you can put some driftwoods or pebbles.


The plants are important since they offer the Fantails a hiding place whenever they feel threatened. Some of the ideal plants that you can put in your tanks include;

  • Anubis
  • Java moss
  • Amazon Sword
  • Crypts
  • Java Fern

There are also plants that do not need to be planted in the substrate, but they are floating plants, and they include the following;

  • Flog bit
  • Water hyacinth
  • Duckweed
  • Water lettuce

It is not every aquarium plant that can be put in the same tank with the Fantails, and they include the following;

  • Morning Glory
  • Tiger Lily


The process of maintaining the fantails is easy, and that is the great thing about them. They, however, produce a lot of waste ten times more than the other fish of their size. Also, the leftover food can contribute to water pollution. The water will therefore be high on nitrites and other wastes in a short time. It is easy to use a solution like a python cleaner to make the water changes. Larger tanks tend to remain clean for a longer period, but they also need to be cleaned on a regular basis. If you fail to clean the environment in your tank, the tank will be unhealthy and harmful to your fish. You should also ensure your filtration system is working perfectly all the time, check the water parameters, and take all the necessary steps to keep the aquarium clean.

An unhealthy tank will shorten the lifespan of your fish. The size of the tank determines how often you need to clean your tank, and the smaller the tank, the more often you need to clean it. Also, the number of fish in the tank determines. Mostly the Fantails tanks need to be cleaned after every two weeks, and you should ensure all the food leftovers and debris are removed. Also, the algae should be cleaned from the tank.


The Fantail Goldfish are omnivores in nature, and this means they will feed on anything, whether they are plant-based or fresh-based. However, this species does not have a strong digestive system, and this means they will eat anything, but they will not be able to digest everything. This means that they are prone to developing some digestive problems, which can be fatal if they are not taken care of in time. For this reason, you need to be careful with the food that you are feeding your fantails. Feeding them some meat-based foods such as tubifex worms, blood worms, daphnia, brine shrimp, and others will ensure that they get enough energy and nutrition to remain healthy and active.

Your diet should also include some fiber, including some plant-based foods such as lettuce, blanched peas, zucchini, and many more.


These are the best option to feed your fantails since they give them a generous amount of fat, minerals, proteins, and vitamins. To keep them safe and healthy for a long, you can keep them inside a freezer.


This is another way of adding variety to the diet of your fish. They are pretty easy to store and feed. They usually have fewer nutrients compared to frozen foods because they do not conserve any moisture. Thye can, however, supplement vitamins such as vita-chem.


You should also consider including dry foods such as pellets and flakes in your diet. As the pellets sink into the bottom of the tank, the Fantails can nibble at them without having to swim up to the surface. On the other hand, the flakes usually float on the water surface, and this means they do not pollute the bottom section of the tank. However, your fish may gulp air as they pick up flakes from the surface, which can lead to a dreaded swim bladder disease. It is advisable to reduce feeding the dry foods to your Fantails since they have lower nutrition content. Always remember that a healthy and balanced diet plan of fantails should contain a mixture of freeze-dried, frozen, dry, and live foods.


Live foods are good for the fantails since they are fresh, but they may contain dangerous parasites. These parasites can find their way to the fish and cause some problems. Dried and frozen foods are much safer options since they go through a special treatment that removes the dangerous elements. That said, you can still feed live food to your fish as long as you take the necessary steps to make them safe enough. One of the easiest live foods you can cultivate on your own is the brine shrimp. It only takes around 2 hours for the eggs of the brine shrimp to hatch, and they grow so fast. Some of the aquarists grow the blood worms and blackworm in their homes as they feed for their fantails. If you are not able to cultivate them at home, you always have the option of buying them from a pet store.


 Many aquarists make the mistake of overfeeding their Fantails just because they look hungry even after feeding them. This can put a lot of loads in their digestive system, and as mentioned earlier, it is weak. The fantails will keep eating as long as there is food available, thanks to their big appetite, and this means you cannot decide how often you can feed them based on how much they have eaten.

 You should only feed them twice a day irrespective of how hungry they look. The amount of food should be small for them to finish in two minutes. If you want them to remain healthy and live for long, you should avoid feeding them more than that. Ensure that you remove any uneaten food from the tank.


Fantails Aare easy to breed, and breeder usually conducts a fry selection so as to produce good quality fantails. In captivity, they can be mated easily, but the environment should be hygienic. The breeding fantails need a separate breeding tank. The temperature of water in the tank during the breeding season should be replicated to the temperatures during the spring. This creates a seasonal breeding activation for the fish. Change the water temperature gradually so that it does not shock the fish. The average increases each day should be 3 degrees, and they should not be raised above 75 degrees F. During the mating period, the male starts to circle the female in an attempt to impress her.

It is difficult to tell the differences between a male and female Fantails, but the male is generally slender than the female. Fantails can lay as many as 10000 eggs that spread out on the surface of the tank. The breeding tank must provide a lush environment to the fish. The surface should be solid for the spawning process and the eggs to stick. You can also add some oxygenating plants such as Anachalis to the tank. To help the eggs get somewhere to cling by adding some spawning mops or fine leaf plants.

 Once the fish has laid the eggs, they should be moved to a separate tank so as to prevent the parents from feeding on them. It takes 5 to 6 days for the eggs to hatch. The tiny fry should be fed small foods that can fit in their mouth. One of the best options is the Infusoria which is high in protein and gives them a boost in growth. You can also feed them on dried crushed food along with fresh food.


The illness and diseases are preventable, but the Fantail Goldfish are prone to sickness just like the rest of freshwater fish. The most common issues are parasites, bacterial infection, fungal infections, swim bladder disease, and protozoa. The fantails are hardy fish, and therefore they can easily recover given the right treatment. In the absence of treatment, the diseases can be fatal. The first step after noticing some sickness signs in your fish is to move them to a separate tank.


A healthy fish behaves naturally. They are active and cheerful and are always swimming with elegance. Their eating habits are normal, and there are no signs of lethargy. The scales are colorful and bright, and they attract the attention of everyone. Thye have clean and shiny eyes. The fins are also erect.


The fish will be lethargic.

 The fish will also be inactive and will not swim. It will appear to be floating or sinking. The feeding habits will change, and the appetite will drop, or they will stop eating at all. The sick Fantail may also have pale skin, cloudy eyes, or rotting fin. In most cases, it is easy to notice the difference from the other healthy fish. You should separate them and take special care of them as they undergo treatment.


One of the main issues that affect the Fantails is the swim bladder disease and dropsy. They affect their swimming ability. They are usually caused by constipation, and they can be prevented by following a proper diet plan. Dropsy is a difficult disease, and they need special treatment from a vet.

 Another common disease is the ich. When it affects your fish, it will look whitish, and it must be treated in time else it will be fatal. You can treat it using non-iodized salt or methylene blue.

Fantail Goldfish are also affected by external parasites such as fish-like flukes and worms. It is easy to protect them from these parasites by the use of some anti-parasitic medications like Prazipro and Para cleanse.

You can also avoid these diseases by keeping your tank clean and feeding the fish the right diet.


Are Fantail Goldfish freshwater fish?

Yes, they are freshwater fish that prefer living in cold water.

Do Fantails need a heater?

These fish are known as cold-water fish because they can survive at temperatures of 50 to70 degrees F.  This means that there is no need to have a heater since this is already below the room temperature. All you need is a thermometer to keep monitoring the temperatures.

Why does my tank have cloudy water?

It is caused by a number of things. If the tank is new and you have added a number of goldfish in recent times, the cloudiness could have been caused by a bloom in bacteria as the beneficial bacteria is rapidly reproducing in response to an increase in fish waste.

 It could also mean there are too many things floating in the water, and you should do a water change.


The Fantail Goldfish is one of the beautiful and fancy versions of goldfish. They enhance the aesthetic appeal of the house. They are peaceful and easy to take care of, and this is one of the ideal choices that every beginner or experienced aquarist should consider keeping in their tank. In this guide, we have given wide information regarding their care. We have given you all the details you need and how to do it. We hope this guide has been of great help, and you will consider getting the Fantail as your next pet.

Leave a Reply