Veiltail Goldfish

Show Goldfish, Fancy Goldfish

Family: CyprinidaeVeiltail Goldfish, Show Goldfish, Fancy GoldfishCarassius auratus auratusPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy Bob
Latest Reader Comment - See More
Our family runs a catfish paylake. Today the oddest thing happened. Someone caught a beautiful veiltail goldfish. It weight approx 1 to 1 1/2 lbs. It is white and... (more)  Lori B

The graceful Veiltail Goldfish is one of the most beautiful goldfish, wispy long flowing fins make it look like an Angel!

The Veiltail Goldfish is one of the most gorgeous of the goldfish varieties, but it is also one of the more rare. It is delicate and rather difficult to breed and even more difficult to breed true. Rather than having the long slender body of the Common Goldfish or the Shubunkins, the Veiltail Goldfish is one of the more rounded or egg-shaped fancy gold fish.

These show goldfish were developed in Philadelphia in the late 1800's, derived from the Japanese Wakin, an elongated double-tailed goldfish. These became known as the Philadelphia Veiltail Goldfish in the early 1900's. Another name they are called in Asia is the Feather-dressed Long Finned Man-yu.

Veiltail Goldfish are similar to the Fantail Goldfish but have a rounder body and extremely long delicate looking fins. Their double caudal (tail) fin and anal fins are well separated. Like the Fantail their dorsal fin is held erect, but on the Veiltail Goldfish it is quite long and can grow to over 2 1/4 inches (6 cm), making it more subject to injury and infection. With their much rounder shape they have an extremely distorted swim bladder which is subject to chill. The distorted swim bladder along with their extremely long fins make them a rather delicate goldfish. They can have any of three scale types and so can be acquired in a solid red or orange, variegated colors, or calico.

To have a Veiltail Goldfish is to have an aquarium graced with one of the most beautiful and impressive fish, but it is important to understand what this fish needs to keep it well. This goldfish has the ability to live at colder temperatures, but it is a rather delicate fish and is not recommended for beginners. Its swimming ability is cumbersome because of its rounded body, and its distorted swim bladder is subject to chill. The delicate fins are also subject to injury and subsequent fungal and bacterial infections.

Many of the elongated goldfish varieties like the the Common Goldfish, Comet Goldfish, the Shubunkin, are not really good companions for the Celestial Eye Goldfish because they are fast swimmers and too competitive during feeding time. Better tank mates would be the less hardy Celestial Eye Goldfish, Water-Bubble Eye Goldfish, Telescope Goldfish, and Lionhead Goldfish. It won't win any races, but if kept with other slow-moving varieties the Veiltail Goldfish should get plenty to eat and do well.

For more goldfish information, see:
Goldfish Care: Fancy Goldfish and Goldfish Diseases


Geographic Distribution
Carassius auratus auratus
Data provided by FishBase.org
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Cypriniformes
  • Family: Cyprinidae
  • Genus: Carassius
  • Species: auratus auratus
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Veiltail Goldfish - Quick Aquarium Care
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Aquarium Hardiness: Moderately Difficult
  • Aquarist Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Diet Type: Omnivore
  • Minimum Tank Size: 10 gal (38 L)
  • Temperature: 65.0 to 72.0° F (18.3 to 22.2° C)
  • Range ph: 6.0-8.0
  • Hardness Range: 5 - 19 dGH
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Habitat: Distribution / Background

The goldfish of today are descendants of a wild carp fish, known as the Prussian Carp, Silver Prussian carp, or Gibel Carp Carassius gibelio (syn: Carassius auratus gibelio) which was described by Bloch in 1782. For many years it was believed that goldfish had originated from the Crucian Carp or Golden Carp Carassius auratus auratus described by Linnaeus in 1758, but more recent research is pointing toward the former. These wild carp originated in Asia; Central Asia (siberia). They inhabit the slow moving and stagnant waters of rivers, lakes, ponds, and ditches feeding on plants, detritus, small crustaceans, and insects.

In the early 1500's these fish were exported first to Japan and then to Europe and were developed into the wonderful colors and forms of gold fish we see today. The Veiltail Goldfish was developed in Philadelphia in the late 1800's, derived from the Japanese Wakin, an elongated double-tailed goldfish. It is one of the more than 125 captive bred fancy gold fish varieties.

  • Scientific Name: Carassius auratus auratus
  • Social Grouping: Groups
  • IUCN Red List: NE - Not Evaluated or not listed - There are no wild populations of this captive bred variety.

Description

The Veiltail Goldfish is an egg-shaped variety of goldfish. The body is short and stubby, and the head is wide. Though it is similar to the Fantail Goldfish, its body is rounder making for an extremely distorted swim bladder. The main features of this fish are its long delicate looking fins. Their double caudal (tail) fin and anal fins are well separated. Like the Fantail their dorsal fin is held erect, but on the Veiltail Goldfish it is quite long and can grow to over 2 1/4 inches. They can have any of three scale types

On good show goldfish the tail fin is completely split with the two lobes being much closer together on top than on the bottom, making it look triangular when viewed from the back. Good show specimens will have a double anal fin with complete separation as well. The tail fin on poor show specimens is not completely split along the top.

   A Japanese version of the Fantail, the Ryukin Goldfish has a highly curved back and a wider caudal fin than the Fantail Goldfish.

  • Goldfish colors
    The Veiltail Goldfish can have any of three scale types: metallic, a solid reddish orange, nacreous which is speckled, and matt which is a whitish color. So these goldfish can be acquired in a solid red or orange, variegated colors, or calico.
  • Size - Weight
    The Veiltail Goldfish will generally reach about 6 - 7 inches (15 - 18 cm), though about 3 - 4 inches (7.5 - 10 cm) of that length is the tail.
  • Goldfish lifespan
    The average goldfish lifespan is 10 – 15 years, though living 20 years or more is not uncommon in well maintained goldfish aquariums and ponds.
  • Size of fish - inches: 7.0 inches (17.78 cm) - The ultimate size of this fish is determined by the volume and quality of the water it is kept in.
  • Lifespan: 20 years

Fish Keeping Difficulty

The Veiltail Goldfish are not considered a good beginner fish. Though they have the ability to live at colder temperatures, its distorted swim bladder is subject to chill. The delicate fins are also subject to injury and subsequent fungal and bacterial infections. When it comes to feeding they are slow swimmers, they will not thrive well with fast competitive tank mates.

Many people will keep goldfish in small one or two gallon goldfish bowls with no heater or filtration. But for the best success in keeping goldfish, provide them the same filtration, especially biological filtration, that other aquarium residents enjoy.

  • Aquarium Hardiness: Moderately Difficult - This fish is susceptible to infection of its delicate fins, is a poor swimmer, and is generally not very hardy.
  • Aquarist Experience Level: Intermediate

Foods and Feeding

Since they are omnivorous, the Veiltail Goldfish will generally eat all kinds of fresh, frozen, and flake foods. To keep a good balance give them a high quality flake food everyday. To care for your Veiltail Goldfish, feed brine shrimp (either live or frozen), blood worms, Daphnia, or tubifex worms as a treat. It is usually better to feed freeze-dried foods as opposed to live foods to avoid parasites and bacterial infections that could be present in live foods.

  • Diet Type: Omnivore
  • Flake Food: Yes
  • Tablet Pellet: Yes
  • Live foods (fishes, shrimps, worms): Some of Diet
  • Vegetable Food: Some of Diet
  • Meaty Food: Some of Diet
  • Feeding Frequency: Several feedings per day

Aquarium Care

Regular weekly water changes of 1/4 to 1/3 is strongly recommended to keep these fish healthy. Snails can be added as they reduce the algae in the tank, helping to keep it clean.

  • Water Changes: Weekly

Aquarium Setup

Setting up an aquarium in a manner that will keep your fish happy and healthy is the first step to successfully fish keeping. Here are aquarium parameters to consider in choosing goldfish aquariums, filtration, lighting, and decor as well as temperature and water movement.

  • Minimum Tank Size / Length:
    The shape and size of the goldfish aquarium is important and depends upon the number of fish you are going to keep. Goldfish need a lot of oxygen and produce a lot of waste. Keep the tank size and shape in mind when you are buying your fish.
    • Tank Shape
      A large surface area of water will help minimize goldfish suffering from an oxygen shortage. Surface area is determined by the shape of the tank. For the same volume of water, an elongated tank offers more surface area (and oxygen) than a tall tank. In a goldfish bowl, filling the bowl to the middle offers more surface area than filling the bowl to the top. Always provide the maximum amount of surface area.
    • Tank size
      It's best to start with a 20 - 30 gallon tank for your first goldfish and then increase the size of the tank by 10 gallons for each additional goldfish. Providing a large amount of water per fish will help dilute the amount of waste and reduce the number of water changes needed
    • Formula: # of fish per gallon of water
      A general rule of thumb, but only for young fish, is 1 inch of fish (2.54 cm) per 1 gallon of water. This rule applies only to young fish and is not adequate as they grow. Larger gold fish consume much more oxygen than young fish so maintaining this formula for growing fish will stunt them, and can contribute to disease and even death.
    • Fish: size and growth
      To allow for growth, either buy fewer fish than the maximum number of fish (based on the formula above) or be prepared to get a larger tank. Larger gold fish consume much more oxygen than young fish so maintaining this formula for growing fish will stunt them, and can contribute to disease and even death
  • Aquarium Lighting
    Most aquariums come with a cover that includes lighting. A cover for the tank is desirable as it reduces evaporation and though they are not prone to jumping, on occasion some gold fish will jump out. Lighting is not essential for goldfish, but does make the aquarium a nice show piece and lighting will help if you have live plants.
  • Filtration
    Goldfish produce a lot of waste. Good filtration, especially biological filtration, is very helpful in maintaining the water quality of the aquarium. Filtration systems remove much of the detritus, excess foods and waste. This helps keep the tank clean and maintain the general health of the goldfish.
  • Substrate
    Provide a gravel substrate to help create a natural and comfortable environment for your fish. A medium sized gravel works best..
  • Aquarium Decor
    You can add some decor, but make sure that all ornamentation is smooth with no protruding points or sharp edges. Smooth rocks or driftwood, should be used sparingly if at all.
    Aquarium plants would be the best choice of aquarium decor for goldfish, but unfortunately these fish are diggers. Consequently live plants may be uprooted. Artificial plants make a good substitute and silk plants are safer than plastic ones.
  • Temperature: Goldfish are a cold water fish and will do best at temperatures between 65 - 72° F (18°- 22° C). The Veiltail Goldfish can tolerate temperatures a few degrees above freezing, as long as the cooling drops only a few degrees a day. Keep in mind that their swim bladder is sensitive to being chilled and a quick temperature drop can kill them, so if you live in a very cold climate a heater is advisable.
  • Water Hardness: 5 - 19° dGH
  • ph: 6.0 to 8.0
  • Water Movement: Moderate.
  • Water Region: These fish will swim in all areas of the aquarium
  • Minimum Tank Size: 10 gal (38 L) - Ten gallons is the absolute minimum required to house this fish. It has high oxygen requirements, produces a lot of waste, and will have very stunted growth if it is kept in a smaller aquarium or bowl.
  • Suitable for Nano Tank: Sometimes
  • Substrate Type: Any
  • Lighting Needs: Moderate - normal lighting
  • Temperature: 65.0 to 72.0° F (18.3 to 22.2° C)
  • Range ph: 6.0-8.0
  • Hardness Range: 5 - 19 dGH
  • Brackish: Sometimes - Goldfish are freshwater fish, but they have some tolerance for slightly brackish water. Yet any salinity for C. auratus must be kept below 10%, a specific gravity of less than 1.002.
  • Water Movement: Moderate
  • Water Region: All

Social Behaviors

Goldfish are very social animals and thrive in a community. Not only are they a great community fish but they are great scavengers as well. The Veiltail Goldfish, along with many other egg-shaped goldfish like the the Bubble Eye Goldfish, Telescope Goldfish, Celestial Goldfish, and Lionhead Goldfish are all slow swimmers. They cannot readily compete for food with other types of goldfish so should may not fare well if housed with them, but they will do well housed together.

Most fancy goldfish will thrive in both freshwater and tropical aquariums as long as there are no aggressive or territorial fish in the tank. Some good tank mates for fancy goldfish are the Chinese Blue Bitterling and the Northern Redbelly Dace. It is really not necessary to add other scavengers or other bottom feeders to the aquarium when you have goldfish.

  • Venomous: No
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Compatible with:
    • Same species - conspecifics: Yes
    • Peaceful fish (): Safe
    • Semi-Aggressive (): Threat
    • Aggressive (): Threat
    • Slow Swimmers & Eaters (): Monitor
    • Shrimps, Crabs, Snails: Safe - not aggressive
    • Plants: Threat - Goldfish will eat many kinds of aquatic plants, and their constant search for food can end up uprooting plants that they don't eat.

Sex: Sexual differences

Although is it impossible to sex Goldfish when they are young and not in breeding season, the male is usually smaller and more slender that the female. In the breeding season the male has white prickles, called breeding tubercles, on its gill covers and head. Seen from above the female will have a fatter appearance as she is carrying eggs.

Breeding / Reproduction

Veiltail Goldfish are egg layers that spawn in the right conditions. However they are difficult to breed, and especially difficult to breed true to type. They need to be kept in cold water during the winter, and then gradually increase the temperature in about March to 50° F (10° C) to bring them into breeding condition. At this point clean their environment and give them good quality goldfish flake food along with frozen brine shrimp and bloodworms. Some breeders suggest you treat them for parasites. Then further increase the temperature gradually to 65° F (18° C). For best fertilization, have a ratio of one female to two males. See Breeding Freshwater Fish - Goldfish for more information on breeding Goldfish.

  • Ease of Breeding: Easy

Fish Diseases

Goldfish are subject to the same diseases as tropical fish. A couple of the more common problems are Ich, Swim Bladder Disease, and external parasites including flukes, lice and anchor worms. For more in-depth information about goldfish diseases and illnesses, see: Goldfish Care; Fancy Goldfish and Goldfish Diseases.

Availability

The Veiltail Goldfish are fairly rare and they are usually a bit more costly than most fancy types of goldfish.

References

Author: Clarice Brough CFS
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Lastest Animal Stories on Veiltail Goldfish

Lori B - 2013-06-15
Our family runs a catfish paylake. Today the oddest thing happened. Someone caught a beautiful veiltail goldfish. It weight approx 1 to 1 1/2 lbs. It is white and orange. We have no clue how it got there unless someone may have tried to use it for catfish bait or someone may have had it and decided they didn't want it anymore and released it into our pond. We need to find it a good home. Does anyone have any idea how much this fish may be worth? We know nothing about it! Thanks for your time and any input will be greatly appreciated!

  • Clarice Brough - 2013-06-15
    What an interesting additon to your lake, but yeah, it probably was introduced. Goldfish are pretty adaptable in terms of temperature and water conditions, so can live in a wide range of environments. It will take someone with a large aquarium or a pond to house this fish, as they are dirty fish, putting a pretty heavy bio-load into a system. Still you can probably find someone to take it or buy it, or possibly a pet store.  Price is hard to say as these fish don't cost a lot. Usually they are small to medium in size  when sold, ranging from $3 - 10.
  • Anonymous - 2013-10-25
    Veiltail goldfish are very hard to come by. Most are sold at about 3' and range in price from $40 to $80 depending on specific type and the right buyer. If it happens to be an all white without the ryukin shape or telescope eyes please let me take it off your hands.
Reply
Jorge - 2013-01-21
Hello I have 2 young veiltails (about 6 cm) in a 18 L nano tank, it has an air pump and filtering by gravity (with activated carbon). Can I care for those fishes in that tank? Thanks!

  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2013-01-22
    Two of these fish should be fine in an 18 Liter Nano Tank. The general rule is for every inch of fish you should have 1 gallon of water. These guys usually only get to be a little over 2 inches when full grown and so that tank should be just large enough to accomodate their full grown size. I wouldn't add anymore fish though.
Reply
Thrillzz Pleaser - 2012-05-23
Where can I buy veiltails? I need them soo bad, I have two amazing veiltail albino red oscars. I'm a collector of rare red/bloddy/ super red oscars. I'm building a koi pond and I wanan breed them, but they eat the koi eggs so I'll have to add them later in the year, but I wanna add veiltails instead of just reg goldies, any help on where I can buy them?

  • Clarice Brough - 2013-01-15
    Try asking your local fish store to special order them for you, or you can try online... sometimes they are available. You could also contact goldfish breeder clubs. Good luck:)
Reply
Everett S. - 2008-10-13
What type of environment does the Calico Goldfish like? Does it mind to be with another fish, one that is a different kind?

  • FishFriend - 2010-06-15
    It likes to be in groups of it's own kind and other species of goldfish!
  • 4Goldfish - 2011-07-03
    It likes to be with another goldfish with similar tail type and eating habits. But I need more information. What is the other type of fish?
  • 4Goldfish - 2011-07-03
    Goldfish are social creatures. 2 is good, but 3 or 4 is even better.
Reply
Mark Grace - 2010-12-08
We have a veiltail gold fish, I'm sure we got it by accident as it cost the same as our blackmoore. It was from a tank of mixed varieties of goldfish. Both fish seem to get on well with each other, although the blackmoore can be a little aggressive at times.... Is it common for blackmoores to "sleep" in one corner of the tank for up to 24 hours... it was a little worrying at first but after 2 and a half years it happens about every 3 months or so. Just wondered if anyone else has any similar experience... Thanks

Reply

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