If you’re looking for an attractive, fun new fish to raise in your freshwater aquarium, look no further than the Fancy Goldfish. The name of this friendly species says it all – there is nothing bland about the Fancy Goldfish!
This group of fish is one of many unique varieties of goldfish that offer a unique appearance to your fish tank. These fish have many selling points, from their ease of care to their attractive appearance.
Regardless of whether you are just starting out in the fishkeeping hobby or have been doing it for a while, the Fancy Goldfish is a species that is sure to charm and provide you with plenty of years of enjoyment in your fish tank.
Fancy Goldfish Background
Fancy Goldfish, known scientifically as Carassius auratus, are freshwater fish that are part of the family of fish known as Cyprinidae. These fish were originally found in East Asia, where they were originally bred selectively to produce tons of different varieties. They are close relatives of carp, but there are key differences. Carp are much larger than Fancy Goldfish.
Instead, you can identify Fancy Goldfish by the existence of two individual fins as well as elongated, somewhat egg-like bodies. Besides that, Fancy Goldfish can be difficult to differentiate. Although they are all technically the same species, there are dozens of varieties of Fancy Goldfish, all of which come in different sizes, shapes, colors, and behavior patterns. This range of options is part of the reason why Fancy Goldfish are so popular. People like that you they can select their own personal favorites, and that there are dozens of types to choose from.
Because Fancy Goldfish are relatively large and are not at all territorial, there is not much you need to do in order to ensure their happiness and success in your freshwater tank. Mostly, you just need to be prepared to clean the tank on a regular basis (at least biweekly) in order to prevent the illnesses to which the Fancy Goldfish is particularly prone.
Fancy Goldfish are inexpensive options for people who are just starting out in their fishkeeping endeavors. One fish will cost you around $5, but this price does increase if you are looking for a more exotic fish or one with vibrant colors or patterns. This cleaning regimen may be a bit daunting to a beginner, but keep in mind that it is well worth it. If properly taken care of, Fancy Goldfish can live for up to ten years in captivity!
Closely related to the carp, the Fancy Goldfish is an entirely domesticated and selectively bred fish. Therefore, you won’t find them in the wild. However, you will find their close relative, the carp, living in a natural environment.
Carp tend to live in murky waters that are filled with free-floating plants. Hey prefer river beds with dirt bottoms and are prone to living in still or slow-moving bodies of waters. Lakes, canals, rivers, and reservoirs are all popular environments for carp. They can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, from as cold as 42 degrees Fahrenheit all the way up to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fancy Goldfish Appearance And Behavior
Fancy Goldfish are peaceful, slow-moving fish. You won’t need to worry about other fish species bothering the Fancy Goldfish, or vice versa. Although there are some other species of fish that can be more aggressive and are known to attack Fancy Goldfish, in most cases this peace-loving creature is large enough to hold its own against most attacks.
Fancy Goldfish are calm and swim slowly. They won’t chase your other fish, but they will also have a harder time swimming away from more territorial individuals. Try not to keep Fancy Goldfish with large, aggressive species, as they’ll have a harder time getting away.
The only time you will see more activity in your Fancy Goldfish tank is during times of feeding and breeding. When your Fancy Goldfish are ready to breed, the ale will put on an elegant, ostentatious show of colors and activity to attract other females. Similarly, when you are feeding your fish, you may notice a frenzy in your tank, as they are greedy and want to eat the remainder of the food before the other fish have a chance to get to it.
The appearance of your Fancy Goldfish will vary substantially depending on the type you have selected. This type determines the shape, size, and color of your fish. In general, most Fancy Goldfish will grow to about five or six inches in length, although there are some smaller and some larger variants as well.
Fancy Goldfish can be distinguished from the other varieties of goldfish based on their egg-shaped bodies and their two tail and anal fins. They are also usually shorter than other types of goldfish. Although there are many varieties of Fancy Goldfish, we will mention the most popular: these are the Lionhead Goldfish, the Fantail Goldfish, the Bubble Eye Goldfish, the Wakin Goldfish, the Pearlscale Goldfish, and the Blackmoor Goldfish.
The Blackmoor Goldfish is one of the most famous varieties of Fancy Goldfish. These fish are completely black, hence the name, and have two sets of double fins. They also have a telltale set of telescope eyes, which are rounded eyeballs that stick out on either side of their four-inch bodies. Despite their large, attractive eyes, these fish have poor eyesight.
Fantail Goldfish are named for their four caudal fins that sit at the back of their bodies, which are shaped like eggs. They are usually orange and white and can grow up to six inches in captivity. Lionhead Goldfish are more plain in their coloration, but they have unique features that make up for their bland coloring. They have a hood, which is a structure atop the head, that covers their gill plates and cheeks. These are usually white, orange, or gold, and the fish will grow to about twelve inches in length.
Bubble Eye goldfish also have large eyes, but these point toward the sky and are accompanied by two bubbles. These bubbles are actually fluid-filled sacs that are extremely sensitive and can easily become infected. These goldfish tend to have the characteristic orange-golden color that goldfish are famous for, and they can also grow up to four inches in length.
Pearlscale Goldfish have round bodies covered in dome-like scales. These scales are usually white and stick out sharply against an orange body. These are one of the largest species of Fancy Goldfish, as they can grow up to eight inches.
The Wakin Goldfish is by far the largest species of Fancy Goldfish, growing up to eighteen inches in length. In most cases, they will only grow up to ten inches, but you should be prepared for massive growth just in case. These fish have double fins at the end of slender bodies. They are typically either white, orange, or a combination of these two colors, but this can vary slightly. Because these fish are so large, you will usually find them housed in ponds instead of in aquariums.
Fancy Goldfish Tank And Water Requirements
Because Fancy Goldfish aren’t found naturally in the wild, it may be tough for you to figure out the kinds of conditions in which you should house them in your freshwater tank. However, you should generally follow the natural living conditions of carp, a close relative of the Fancy Goldfish, when setting up your indoor tank.
You will need a large tank for your Fancy Goldfish, particularly if you plan on keeping more than one individual. Aim for about a tank that accommodate about 20 gallons of water for every fish that you have, but remember that varieties of Fancy Goldfish that grow to over eight inches in length will need much more space.
Make sure your Fancy Goldfish has enough room so that it can spend its time swimming in the center of the tank’s water column. If your tank is too small, you may find that the growth of your goldfish becomes stunted. The absolute minimum tank size you can get by with is 20 gallons, but remember that this is the minimum and a larger tank will always be preferred.
You’ll often hear of people raising goldfish in glass bowls. This is a terrible idea, even if you see people doing it at the pet store where you pick up your Fancy Goldfish. Remember that Fancy Goldfish will quickly grow too large for the bowl, and that you will need a large tank filled with decorations, substrate, and plants.
You can keep your Fancy Goldfish in a pond or an aquarium. If you have a large variety of Fancy Goldfish, a pond may be your best bet, but remember that pond water is harder to keep clean and this can lead to problems, as goldfish are prone to many disease that are found in unclean water.
You will need to include a substrate that is made out of fine material, such as sand or gravel, to line the bottom of your tank. You should also include plants. You do not need a heater, as the water temperature should stay within the range of 50 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. In general, your home should provide enough heat to keep the Fancy Goldfish plenty warm enough. Try to keep the tank away from additional sources of heat like radiators or windows.
You will need to invest in a high quality filter, however, as this will maintain good water quality and keep oxygen flowing your tank. You can add an air pump for extra movement and oxygenation, but this is not mandatory. Keep the pH of the aquarium’s water between 6.5 and 7.5. Fancy Goldfish can tolerate any pH within this range, but remember that keeping conditions stable is more important than trying to stay at one end of the spectrum. Consistency is key.
Decorating A Fancy Goldfish Tank
Including plants in your Fancy Goldfish tank is a great idea. This will help keep the water clean and oxygenated, and will also give your Fancy Goldfish places in which to hide. This is an absolute must for Fancy Goldfish – since they tend to be more shy, they will need plenty of places to hide if they are being harassed by your other fish.
Plants also give your Fancy Goldfish something to nibble on. Plants serve as an alternative food source, and your goldfish usually won’t be able to cause too much harm to your plants. There are many plants you can use in your tank, but some good options include java fern, hornwort, and anacharis, all of which are incredibly easy to take care of.
What Do Fancy Goldfish Eat?
Fancy Goldfish are voracious eaters, and will consume anything and everything they can get their hands on. They share similar diets to ornamental carp, so there are a lot of choices you can turn to when deciding what to feed your Fancy Goldfish.
As omnivores, Fancy Goldfish should be fed diets that are both varied and nutritious. In the wild, carp will eat foods like tadpoles, small pieces of vegetation, and insects. You should try to replicate this by feeding them store-bought pellet and flake foods, but also supplement with moist foods, frozen foods, and live foods.
You can feed meat, too, either in frozen or live form. Good choices include brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia. You can also feed green vegetables like broccoli, lettuce, and spinach. These can be added to the tank raw, and they’ll slowly be eaten by your goldfish. Providing plenty of vegetables to your Fancy Goldfish is a good ideas as they tend to be prone to constipation. While you can purchase commercial remedies, feeding plenty of fiber is the easiest way to prevent blockages in your fish.
Feed your goldfish twice a day. Remember, don’t feed your fish nay more than he can eat in a couple of minutes, as this can lead to your tank becoming dirty much sooner than normal.
Fancy Goldfish Tank Mates
Fancy Goldfish are peaceful, company-loving fish that can thrive in the presence of a number of other species. Cold water species are best, and so you may be limited only by that factor when selecting other mates for your Fancy Goldfish.
Tank mates must be large enough not to be eaten by the Fancy Goldfish, and they should also not be fin-nippers. Most importantly, as already mentioned, they need to be able to thrive in the same temperature as your Fancy Goldfish.
Some tank mates to consider include pleasant, even-tempered fish species like White Cloud Mountain Minnows, Bristlenose Plecos, Platies, Zebra Danios, Barbs, or Platies. You could also house your Fancy Goldfish with non-fish species like ghost shrimp or nerite snails.
When in doubt, remember that Fancy Goldfish are best housed with their own species. You can choose the same variety of Fancy Goldfish or choose different goldfish altogether. Because Fancy Goldfish tend to have elegant, trailing fins, they can easily become targets for other species of fish that like to nip fins. Therefore, choosing only goldfish for your tank is a good way to reduce the likelihood of this happening.
Remember that Fancy Goldfish can be messy, producing a large amount of bioload in a short amount of time. Therefore, if you choose to house multiple goldfish together, you will need to clean your tank more often.
Common Fancy Goldfish Diseases
As long as you are able to keep your Fancy Goldfish tank clean, you shouldn’t have to worry about too many diseases. There are several issues to which this species is prone, particularly those that are related to tank cleanliness and to this species’ general anatomy.
Fancy Goldfish have organs that are exactly the same size as those of much skinnier goldfish, which becomes problematic because the Fancy Goldfish is not as elongated as a regular goldfish. Therefore, their organs become squished tightly together. This increases the risk of diseases such as swim bladder disease and liver disease.
Liver diseases are particularly ominous in that they don’t show many symptoms. This leads to a higher mortality rate as there is a good chance that you won’t even realize something is wrong with your Fancy Goldfish until it is too late to intervene. You can prevent the likelihood of liver disease by adding plenty of nutritious, high-quality foods to the tank and avoiding feeding only one type of food.
Swim bladder diseases are, luckily, easier to spot. These usually result in a fish floating near the top of the tank or sitting at the bottom. You can prevent and treat swim bladder disease in the same way. Avoid feeding your fish for 24 hours, and then give him foods that are higher in fiber, such as vegetables and frozen foods.
Skin problems are also common in Fancy Goldfish. They can be caused by both parasites or bacteria, and result in a number of symptoms. These symptoms will vary depending on the exact disease that your Fancy Goldfish has, but usually look like blotchy spots or overall changes in color or hues on the fish’s body.
Providing clean water is especially important when you are caring for a Fancy Goldfish. Since they are so prone to illnesses related to water quality, you should do your best to provide regular, weekly water changes. This will help keep the amount of pollutants in your tank low.
You can also provide high-quality foods to prevent constipation. Constipation is a health concern in itself, but it can lead to a number of other diseases as well. Moisture will make it easy for food to pass through the body, allowing the fish to spend less energy trying to digest their food.
Breeding And Life Spans Of Fancy Goldfish
Breeding Fancy Goldfish is not impossible, but it can be challenging. Knowing their mating patterns and courting rituals can help if you are interested in learning how to breed this colorful species.
Fancy Goldfish usually mate in the spring months, but you can encourage breeding at any time throughout the year by slowly increasing the temperature of the water to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. As egg layers, Fancy Goldfish will begin to produce eggs before attaching them to a surface. Then, the male will fertilize them.
If you are interested in breeding Fancy Goldfish, you should invest in a specialist breeding tank. This is because adult goldfish will eat the freshly laid eggs immediately after spawning. Therefore, you need to separate them as soon as possible. Using a specialist breeding tank (ideally one that has a spawning mop) can save you a lot of hassle and heartache in trying to breed your Fancy Goldfish.
When your eggs hatch, you will need to feed the fry small foods. You can purchase foods that are formulated especially for fry in order to make your life a little easier. Once the fry have reached an inch or two in length, they can be added to the main tank with the adults.