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Fancy Goldfish - part 1

We have noticed that many people speak of fancy goldfish as if they were all one type of fish. While they do share some characteristics, there are actually many different species of fancy goldfish. Each species have some characteristics that make them stand out from the other fancy goldfish varieties. To help you distinguish between the species, this list offers a summary of some of the outstanding features of each.


Fantails come in a wide variety of colors and scale patterns.Goldfish Fantail Whether you prefer nacreous, matte, or metallic scales you should be able to find a fish that suits you. They also come in a wide range of colors such as; red, yellow, orange, calico, drab green or olive green, white, yellow-brown, or black. Everyone has their own favorite colors and scale patterns and this fish should offer something for most pet owners. Some characteristics that are particular to the fantail are:

  • Deep, egg shaped body
  • Paired ventral, anal, caudal or tail fin, and pectoral fins
  • Large, erect dorsal fin
  • Even, regular scales

The tail fin should be 1/3 to ½ the length of the fish’s body and should be split for at least 75% of its length.


Along with a variety of color and scale patterns the Ryukin also offers a variety of fin lengths. Ryukin can be found in red, red and white, white, orange, calico, and olive or drab green. Recently breeders in the Far East have also introduced metallic blue, solid black and “Goshiki” (silver or gray with orange markings). Ryukin goldfish can have short fins, medium fins, long fins, or broadtail fins. However, all the fins on a fish should be the same. Besides the variation in fin lengths, the most outstanding feature of the Ryukin is the bump which begins behind the head and runs back to the dorsal fin. Some other characteristics of the Ryukin goldfish are

  • Oval to almost round body
  • Large, erect dorsal fin (approximately 1/3 the depth of the body)
  • Paired dorsal, anal, pectoral, and caudal fins
  • Long finned Ryukin can have a dorsal fin that is ¾ to 1 ½ the length of the body.

Ryukin goldfish can have problems swimming due to the placement of the air bladder


The Veiltail goldfish is all about the fins. Goldfish VeiltailSpecial attention should be paid to the dorsal and caudal fins when choosing one of these fish for a pet. The dorsal fin can reach anywhere from ¾ of the depth of the body to twice the depth. The caudal fin can reach two to three times the length of the body of the fish. The long, flowing fins are the trademark of this breed of fancy goldfish. Be sure to look for as straight a caudal fin as possible in this type of fish. There should be little to no forking of the caudal fin. There is less color variation available in this breed. The common colors for the Veiltail are orange, red, and a silver blue. Most are a metallic color. Rarer is the calico Veiltail. Even with less color options, these fish are an amazing addition to your fish family simply because of the beauty of their fins.

Please click here to read more about Telescope, Pearlscale, Oranda and Phoenix

Please click here to read more about Lionhead, Ranchu, Bubble Eyes, Celestial, Wakin, Jikin and Tosakin

Goldfish Club

Goldfish Society of Great BritainAmerican Ranchu Society North American Veiltail Association Blue Egg Phoenix Preservation Society