Fish, Tanks and Ponds

Fish, Tanks and Ponds
A comprehensive guide to fish

Fantail goldfish

Fantail goldfish Fantail goldfish


The fantail is a very old variety of fancy goldfish, it was developed during the Ming Dynasty in China during the 1400's

Special features

Rounded body, all fins are twinned apart from the dorsal.


  • Temp - 40 to 70°F.
  • Ammonia/Nitrite - no trace.
  • Nitrate - less than 20ppm.
  • pH - 7.5
  • GH - avoid extremes.
  • KH - 5 to 12.

The fantail is one of the oldest fancy goldfish and most other fancy goldfish can trace their beginnings back to this variety. Although fantails are twin tailed their tail and fins remain a more normal size and so they don't have the same issues with cold that affect many fancy goldfish. Fantails are quite strong swimmers and although a little slower than the normal single tailed varieties of goldfish they do compete quite well and can be kept in a suitable pond all year round. This hardiness makes them ideal for a first fancy goldfish.

Goldfish are omnivores with a slight preference for vegetable matter. The main thing when it comes to feeding them is to ensure they have a balanced diet for healthy growth and resistance to disease. Their mouths are slightly down-turned and it isn't natural for them to feed at the surface and it can lead to swim bladder and other digestive problems if they are forced to, so ideally all dried food should be pre soaked prior to feeding so that it will sink. Suitable food

  • Pellets preferably sinking ones Algae wafers
  • Pre soaked flake food.
  • Lettuce, cooked Peas without their skin, Brown Bread
  • Live or frozen Bloodworms, Adult Brine Shrimp, Daphnia.
  • Freeze dried Tubifex.

If you go away on holiday rather than risk someone with no experience feeding them it is better if the fish are left without food.

For a healthy Goldfish to go two weeks with no food will do no harm at all. Being cold blooded their food requirements are far less than an equivalent sized mammal but the risk of over feeding poses a very real threat to their lives.

Ethical note

There are no ethical issues with the fantail variety of fancy goldfish.


  • Depth of body to be greater than 3/5ths of body length
  • Dorsal fin to be single, all other fins to be paired
  • Caudal fin to be divided and forked and held above the horizontal.
  • Extremities of fins to be slightly rounded.
  • Minimum length of body to be 5.5 cm (2¼ inches)

Other areas of judging include:

The fish should be bright and alert.
The body should be short (not elongated) with a smooth outline.
The caudal fin should be held high without drooping, should be well divided and should look fan-shaped when viewed from the rear.
Good quality fish will have high colour intensity extending into the fins.


The colour may be metallic (self-coloured or variegated in a pleasing pattern and similar on each side) or calico.

Metallic colours should appear as burnished metal, extending into the fins.
Calico fish should have a blue background with patches of violet, red, orange, yellow and brown, spotted with black.

Points system

  • Body 20
  • Colour 20
  • Finnage 20
  • Special characteristics 20
  • Condition and deportment 20
  • Total 100


Pearlscale goldfish
Pearlscale goldfish

Pearlscale goldfish are very similar to fantails and can be kept in exactly the same way.


Bristol Aquarist Society

The Goldfish Tank