Fantail Goldfish

Fantails come in several different variations depending on where you live.

Fantail Goldfish

Fantail goldfish do have a few characteristics that remain the same for all:

  • Two caudal fins are always present
  • Better specimens have two anal fins
  • All fins are present.

From this point, things become a little trickier.

Japan has two versions of Fantail.  The first is the Wakin or common goldfish of Japan.

It has short fins, and the body is quite slim compared to other fantail varieties. It is the most popular goldfish in Japan, but is seldom seen in other countries.

Because they don’t have showy finnage, they are bred for intensity of color which should be deep orange/red.

The second version of Fantail in Japan is the Ryukin, or Japanese Fantail, and it conforms more closely to the accepted characteristics of Fantails.

It has a short rounded body with long flowing fins and forked caudal.

In America the Fantail follows the characteristics of the Japanese Ryukin, but a humpbacked variety is also bred.  In this handsome variety the body line rises sharply from behind the head.

In Great Britain, the Fantail is similar to the Ryukin in body shape, but to conform to the national United Kingdom Goldfish standards, the fins must be short with the caudal lobes slightly rounded.

American Humpback Ryukin.American humpbacked Ryukin

Fantails are suitable for ponds as long as they don’t have single caudal fin varieties in the same pond, or you are prepared to hand feed your fantails.

The scale group most desired is deep red metallic, but they can be found in all three scale groups. Wakins are normally metallic.

These goldfish will suffer digestive problems if fed low quality food and not enough live food. This typically shows up as balance problems.

Fantail Goldfish Characteristics

Country of Origin: China

Maximum size (body length): 6 inches (150mm)

Caudal Fin: Double, short with rounded lobes or long and flowing depending on country

Dorsal Fin: Present

Anal Fin: double

Scale Group: All three scale groups

Eyes: Normal

Distinguishing traits: Nil

Breeding:  One of the easier varieties to breed because they lack features that hinder breeding in the more exotic varieties such as telescopic eyes.

Male/female differences are less obvious outside the breeding season because of the short round body shape.  Often the female will have a slimmer body shape than the male giving the impression she is a he.  The white tubercles that appear on the male’s operculum (gill plates) and leading edges of the pectoral fins in the breeding season sort any confusion out.

Special requirements: Nil


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