How to Care for Fancy Goldfish

Awww! You see a goldfish at the pet store, but the people are calling it a...Lionhead? And the tank over has something called a bubble eyed Goldfish. There are actually about 21 types of goldfish! Before you buy and care for some of the fancier goldfish, there are some matters you need to tend to first.

If kept in a suitable environment, Fancy goldfish normally grow to 8 to 12 inches (20.3 to 30.5 cm) or more! and the normal life expectancy of Fancy goldfish is about 12 years.


  1. Image titled Care for Fancy Goldfish Step 1
    Buy an appropriate aquarium. A single adult fancy goldfish needs a 30 gallon tank, with another ten gallons per additional fancy goldfish. This equates to 140 litres for the first fish, and 45 liters per additional fish. The "goldfish bowl" is much too small and doesn't let enough oxygen get to the goldfish. Plus, it will absolutely stunt the growth of your fish. Leave bowls for flowers at weddings!
  2. Image titled Care for Fancy Goldfish Step 2
    Obtain a good filter. Whatever the total amount of gallons is, you multiply it by ten and get the answer for the gallons pumped per hour (GPH).
    • Lets say you have a 30 gal. Just do this simple equation: 30x10=300. You can either get a filter that says "made for 30 gallon tank" on the box or get a filter that pumps 300 gallons of water per hour. For more fragile fish, such as the Bubble Eye, get an under gravel filter (the Bubble Eyed goldfish's eye sack can get sucked into a regular filter and tear). Heaters aren't a huge issue, but the temperature needs to be between 65-75 degrees. It is important to have a thermometer handy.
  3. Image titled Care for Fancy Goldfish Step 3
    When you clean the filter, don't throw the inserts and filter media away as this is where the beneficial bacteria live. Instead, rinse them in a bucket of old tank water (not tap water). Media only needs to replaced when it falls apart and should last for years. Without a filter, tanks will foul and become deadly in just a day. Keep in mind that having a filter doesn't mean you can avoid cleaning the tank. Even with a filter, change 25% of the water every 2-3 months.
  4. Image titled Care for Fancy Goldfish Step 4
    Get some gravel and décor. Goldfish generally like to scan the bottom of the tank and move things around with their mouths. Make sure the gravel is small enough that it won't get stuck in their throats. Your gravel should be big enough, however, that the fish also would be able to grab it. Some hiding places would be great, shop bought wood and lots of plants offer intrigue, but nothing sharp or it could injure the fish (especially the bubble eyed goldfish). Rearrange the wood and plants on a monthly basis to offer the goldfish "new" areas to explore. Lots of live plants are great. They add some interest but are often readily eaten. Cheap bunches of Elodea should be seen as a sacrificial plant and can be replaced every 1 to 2 weeks. Try to mass plant or these can just be left floating. Anubias or Java Fern tied onto wood seem to be quite gold proof. They like moss balls too. Real planted tanks aren't needed, silk plants can be used with great affect but it's nice for the fish to have some 'greens' to hand if they fancy a munch.
  5. Image titled Care for Fancy Goldfish Step 5
    Get the right food. They shouldn't have flake food, because they can gulp down air and that can cause problems. Slow sinking goldfish pellets are best and if you buy the right brand, it can enhance the color of the goldfish and make them more active and brighter in color.
  6. Image titled Care for Fancy Goldfish Step 6
    Try to vary food on a daily basis i.e. pellets am, frozen food (Blood worm etc)pm. Chopped up blanched veggies go down well as do unshelled chopped peas (a great natural unblock used as a laxative.
  7. Image titled Care for Fancy Goldfish Step 7
    Make sure that you have bought everything you need for your fish. If you need help, try Do a Fishless Cycle for further reading.
  8. Image titled Care for Fancy Goldfish Step 8
    After cycling, you are ready to add your fancy goldfish! Remember to add only 1-2 fish at a time, depending on the size of the tank.
  9. Image titled Care for Fancy Goldfish Step 9
    When adding the goldfish, let their bag float in the aquarium water for 15-20 minutes.
  10. Image titled Care for Fancy Goldfish Step 10
    Turn the bag inside the water and let the fish swim in the tank. Never pour the water and fish in from above the fish or else it could harm your fish.
    • Alternatively, you can put a net over a bucket and pour your goldfish into the net, and proceed to lower them into the tank.


  • Frequent water changes stress out your fish. Do a 25% water change every week, making sure to clean the gravel.
  • Change a small portion of the water weekly to help regulate ammonia in your tank.
  • Fancy goldfish should be held with other fancies. Pair them with snails, cloud mountain minnows, or zebra danios.
  • They need water temperatures of 65-75 degrees.
  • You should gradually add water from the aquarium to the bag of your new goldfish to let it get used to the water composition. Also don't pour the bag into the aquarium, as you may carry over diseases and harmful bacteria from other tanks.


  • Goldfish can and might eat anything that is able to fit in their mouths. Be careful of what you have in the tank.
  • Bettas should not be paired with the goldfish, as bettas are solitary and can harm the goldfish.

Things You'll Need

  • Your fancy goldfish
  • Strong filter
  • Heater (if house is freezing)
  • Thermometer
  • Sinking pellets
  • A tank that is at least 20 gallons
  • Gravel and décor
  • Gravel vacuum
  • Net
  • Aquarium salt
  • Water conditioner

Article Info

Categories: Goldfish