Fancy Goldfish- A Complete Care and Species Guide

A Fancy Goldfish Swimming.

Fancy Goldfish is a unique lot of exquisite beauty, that has a lot to offer to your aquarium. They are cold-freshwater fishes from the Cyprinidae family. These omnivores are peaceful when it comes to their temperament, naturally making their compatibility pretty good with similar natured; cold water species. Available in a wide range of colours, this species is extravagant, be it its beauty or uniqueness. They are ideally just like common goldfishes but they are aesthetically enhanced at the time of breeding, for marketing purposes.

With no special needs as such, fancy goldfishes are a must-add to your tank’s aesthetic, and we make it a little easy for you to decide by bringing in this all-inclusive care guide of Fancy Goldfish. In this complete care guide, we explain in detail everything that might come up, if you wish to own a few of these beauties.

Key Specifications

Here goes a few key elements you need to check before you get started:

Scientific NameCarassius auratus 
OriginChina, Japan and Europe.
Lifespan5-15 yearsSome varieties can live up to 30 years.
Size6 inches
CompatibilityCompatible with similar cold-water species that are peaceful in nature.
Tank size20 gallons
Care levelEasy to Medium.
Water preferenceFreshwater, planted, cold.


Scientifically known as Carassius auratus, these species have a varied history when it comes to their origin. First found in China a long time ago, these species have evolved and multiplied all over the globe, becoming the sensation as it is today. They are available in a huge range of colour compositions, and is an aquarist favourite, for their serenity in the tank. 

They may not have too many special needs, they can live for as long as 10 years; these beautiful species are really something when it comes to commitment. This is just an outline, so let us give you more reasons why you must add them to your tank right now.

Origin and Habitat of Fancy Goldfish

They have a rich history when it comes to their origin, found over 1000 years ago in China, and then in Japan in the late 16th Century. They were believed to originate about 2000 years ago kept in tanks as ornamental. In 1711, the first-ever painting of a goldfish was drawn by a botanist of the time named James Petiver. In no time, this fancy group was all around the world, from Europe to Asia.

Besides their history, they are quite ubiquitous in nature and are found in places like streams, ponds, rivers, lakes and every possible freshwater body. They are compatible in both tropical, and temperate environments.

Appearance of Different Fancy Goldfishes

When it comes to the vibrancy, size or types of Fancy Goldfish as a whole, the information goes on and on. Let us have a closer look on the group of Fancy Goldfish as a whole, and simplify all the visible details in one place:

Based on the different types of colours, sizes and slight differences between the goldfishes, under the group of Fancy Goldfish as a whole, let us state some types:

Bubble Eye Goldfish

This unique variant of Goldfish has eyes pointing upwards with delicate fluid-filled sacs, known as the “bubbles”. They have a colour combination of orange and white, growing about 4 inches.

Lionhead Goldfish

This Goldfish has a distinctive “hood”, which is technically a growth on the head region, covering the gill plates and cheeks. They have a colour combination varying between white, gold and orange, growing just about 5 inches.

Blackmoor Goldfish

They are also known as black telescopes, the name Black moor goldfish happens to come from their completely black colour with sets of double fins. Growing up to 4 inches, their telescope-like round eyes protruding on both the sides of their body, is their signature feature.

Wakin Goldfish

They have a slender body with double fins at the end base, Wakin Goldfishes are well-known for their hardy nature. Growing about 10-18 inches, they display a colour range of white and classic orange.

Fantail Goldfish

Fantail Goldfish are significant for their quadruple caudal fin, with an egg-like body and four sets of fins. Mostly orange and white, this fish grows up to 6 inches.

Pearlscale Goldfish

They almost have a spherical body laden in dome scales. Having a similar colour combination of orange and white, Pearlscale Goldfish grows up to 8 inches.

Behaviour of Fancy Goldfish

The Fancy Goldfish are middle-dwelling species that are generally calm, and peaceful by nature, making it clean to the community fish list, if there is one. Their slow-swimming nature makes them opposite to the nature of chasing, or fishes of aggression. Swimming around on their own in the middle layers of the tank is what they enjoy the most and they prefer to exist in peace and harmony. 

The two important things, that is breeding and feeding, is the only time period they are seen getting active. The male goldfish would try their level best, to court their female around the time of breeding. At the time of feeding, they prefer to be better than their competition, and be the fastest at getting the feedable. This pretty much concludes their least complex nature and behavioural patterns.

Lifespan of Fancy Goldfish

Not only are they majestic and aesthetically pleasing, but they also live for quite a long time. Fancy Goldfishes have an average lifespan of about 15 years. These fishes have a decent care level, making them a very suitable choice for your tank.

Diet of Fancy Goldfish

As an ornamental variation of Carp, Fancy Goldfish are omnivorous species. The diet of these Goldfishes has a huge variety, making the process extremely easy. Basically, there is a pretty big menu to choose from.

To simplify things, let us present you with some food choices:

  • Brine Shrimp
  • Daphnia
  • Bloodworms
  • Tadpoles
  • Plant matter

Tank Requirements for Fancy Goldfish

A Fancy Goldfish, fortunately, does not have a fancy tank requirement; it is quite doable. Tank requirements play a major role when it comes to their maintenance. However, you can bring different types of tanks for your delicate Fancy Goldfish. Some of them are discussed right below:

Tank Lid

There is no specific need for a tank lid, other than their usual key function of protecting the tank from dust and pollution in the water. The Fancy Goldfish is a middle-dwelling fish that are very slow swimmers, putting themselves at a lower risk of falling out. So, a tank lid does not make any significant difference but, at the same time, protects the tank from many negative possibilities.

Tank Size

A minimum 20-gallon tank can be home to two fancies. A bigger sized tank is better if you wish to keep more. As all fishes appreciate their room to swim about, fancy goldfishes love to swim to and fro in the middle layer of water.


Gravels of small and medium-size, with a round shape, are good for a substrate in a Fancy Goldfish tank. They may not have a specific demand for substrate, but it certainly provides an ample amount of surface area for the good bacteria to grow, and benefit the overall health of the fish.


A canister filter could be beneficial for a fancy goldfish tank, as their waste production is high. A strong filter like that could surely benefit the tank, still, it is our recommendation to provide additional aeration.


Fancy goldfishes are good with decorations, so going all-in with decor goods like plants, bridges, rocks, driftwood and more, works just fine.


Like most things, fancy goldfishes may not specifically require UV lighting systems or heat light as they mostly survive in cold waters. Light, however, plays a significant role when it comes to their health, making a consistent light exposure cycle necessary.

Presence of Flora

The presence of flora is always beneficial to any fish, be it most other species or fancies. Live plants like Crinum Calamistratum, Java Fern, Anubias and others not only look beautiful, but serve their purpose by providing oxygen.

Cleaning Method

Since the production of waste is high, cleaning should be regular. More the waste, the quicker the tank gets polluted, making it a necessity to be prevented from happening. 

Water Type for Fancy Goldfish

Water Type or the water parameters are really important when it comes to the health and overall well-being of the fish. The profile is something that is better well-maintained first, if you are planning to work on a tank.

Cutting to the chase, we know the importance of a proper water profile. Here are a few things you may need to know:

Hardness7.4-7.9 dGH (Carbonate Hardness 120ppm)
Temperature20-23 Degrees Celsius


A bottom line hardness of 7.4 dGH is necessary, ranging up to 7.9 max. A carbonate hardness of 120 ppm is suggested, in order to concentrate on the basic side of requirements, for this particular parameter.


A temperature of 20-23 Degrees Celsius is good there is no special need for warm waters as they are cold-water species, so this range works just fine.


pH maintenance is necessary for the health of the fish, so maintaining a comfortable range of 7.0-8.4 is good.

Compatibility of Fancy Goldfish

They are mostly compatible with slow-swimmers, if they fail to match their ponderous swimming technique, the result might end up unlikely. Fast swimmers are fast at everything, even getting at food, which is not good for the fancies. Belonging to the community tank, they are compatible with the most peaceful fishes.

Suitable Tank mates

Any peaceful species with no territorial instinct is a good match, still to put it all in one place let us put them in a list:

and more.

Unsuitable Tank mates

Any aggressive or semi-aggressive fish with territorial instinct, and overwhelming overall behaviour, is not fit for a tank of fancy goldfish. Fancies are peaceful community fishes who prefer to swim about in their own layer of comfort. They do not require competitors, when it comes to food so even fast swimmers are out of the question. Large predatory fishes too could be added to the same list of unsuitable tank mates, as the fancies in contact with them would end up becoming prey.

Breeding of Fancy Goldfish

In the wildlife scenario, a female goldfish is usually pursued by the male. The process takes place in a thick layer of vegetation like live plants, where the female lays eggs and the male fertilizes them. 

Similarly in a tank, the process as a whole could be decently tricky, and complex when it comes to consistency. The female lays its eggs on live plants or a spawning mop, where a similar process follows. The goldfish eggs have some sort of adhesive nature, which allows it to stick to the mop or preferred vegetation.

Diseases of Fancy Goldfish

Some commonly seen diseases are:

Polycystic Kidney Disease- It causes the fish to swell and almost appear like a balloon. Not contagious, this disease causes a kidney malfunction which makes the swelling happen.

Buoyancy Disorders- Goldfishes being physostomous in nature, their unique anatomy causes them a handful of problems. Surface feeding in extremities can cause positive buoyancy, commonly seen in starving or overly hungry goldfishes. Swim bladder disorders have been linked with the same.

Neurofibromas- They are basically lumps on the goldfish, but that is not all. It is not just about what is visible on the outside, it does not affect the fish’s overall health.

Parasite or ich- Parasites are capable of affecting the overall health of the fish by inflicting bruises, missing scales, lethargy, trouble breathing. Parasites like anchor worms and lice can seriously affect the fish’s health, and is a very serious matter.


A few of the classic ways of prevention and treatment are as follows:

  • Quarantining the affected and safe removal of the parasite in case of any parasitic disease is necessary.
  • Maintaining the quality of tank water by keeping an all-time closer look at the parameters and proper maintenance of the same.


All in all, Fancy Goldfish is an exquisite and extravagant breed, which are specially bred to be an enhanced version of an already well-established branch of wild parent breed known as the plain goldfish. They have achieved their fancy status from not only their visual appeal, but their aura in the aquarium as a whole. Maintaining them is not very complicated, as not only they are hardy but their requirements are easily meetable. All these golden factors make them an absolute choice for your tank, and this article helps you in every way you need.

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