Fancy Goldfish


Fancy Goldfish are varieties of uniquely shaped goldfish that are almost a complete contrast to the common goldfish we are used to. The fancy types are more round, plump and are shorter in length than common goldfish, they also have longer fins specially the tail and anal fins, some varieties have other unique physical attributes, such as the Black Moor Goldfish which is black in colour and has big eyes that sit above it’s head. The Black Moor actually has a poor eyesight and is not suitable for keeping outdoors. Another example of this is Oranada Goldfish, they have a bump/growth on the top of the head which in some varieties is a red in colour on a white/silvery body. As well as their shape these fish are popular because of the colour variations too.

Like the common goldfish, fancy goldfish are hardy and will adapt to a wide range of water parameters and temperatures and like the common goldfish they produce a great amount of waste so proper filtration and space must be provided for the long term health of these fish. A good strong filter is essential and regular water changes must be carried out to keep water quality high. Due to their messy nature and large size a tank size of 60Liters should be the minimum considered for housing 1 of these fish, with an additional 60Litters per fish being added if planning on keep them long term. A smaller aquarium will result in stunted growth for the fish and eventual health problems.

Popular varieties:

– Fantail Goldfish – round and plump with a long forked tail, they have been used as show fish before due to their striking appearance.

– Black Moor Goldfish – A striking black colour with large eyes on the top of the head, this fish is round and plump in shape but has poor eyesight and thus not suitable for ponds.

– Oranda Goldfish – Similar in shape to the Fantail but has shorter tail fins and a growth/bump on the head. different colour variations of this fish are available such as a red head and white/silvery body.

– Ranchu Goldfish – This species is extremely round and broad in shape specially the head which is larger than the rest of the body. This variety has also been used as show fish.

– Telescope Goldfish – So called because of the huge eyes on top of the head of these fish which are even bigger than those on the Black Moor. This fish has poor eyesight and is not recommended to keep with Goldfish that have an advantage over it. It is best kept with other disadvantaged Goldfish like the Lionhead.

– Lionhead Goldfish – This fish has a red fleshy growth around it’s head and was bred to look like a Chinese mythical creature the lion-dog. This growth can result in reduced eyesight sometimes. The other striking physical appearance of this fish is the lack of a dorsal fin.


Other varieties also exist but are rare and harder to find in LFS. The majority of fancy goldfish were bred to be used as show fish in competitions, although very striking in appearance and highly sought after some of their physical attributes lead them to be negatively influenced in life, such as poor eyesight or slower movement. These side effects often mean they can’t compete for food as good as faster moving goldfish  and so fancy types are better kept together.