butterfly goldfish

Butterfly Goldfish

The Butterfly Tail Fancy Goldfish

          a view from above

“Goldfish are flowers…flowers that move” -Han SuyinHave you ever peered into your goldfish aquarium from above and admired their graceful ways and their natural beauty?

black and brown butterfly goldfish


If you have not, then you must not own a Butterfly Tail Fancy Goldfish. 

There are some fancy goldfish that are simply more appealing if viewed from above and the Butterfly tail is one of them.

If you have never seen these fancy goldfish before, imagine a Fantail Fancy Goldfish with twin tails that are symmetrical and fan out horizontally rather than vertically.

As these tail fins are spread out, they form a butterfly shape hence the name, Butterfly Tail Fancy Goldfish.

However, this unique tail formation is best admired from above.

Where did the Butterfly Tail Goldfish originate?

These fancy goldfish are thought to have originated in China. 

side view silver gray butterfly fish


They were then brought to Japan in the late 1970’s to early 1980’s.

However, it is unclear as to how long this type of goldfish existed in China before being brought to Japan.

Specialists are also unsure about how exactly the Butterfly Tail Goldfish was originally bred.

Features of the Butterfly Tail Goldfish-How to identify them

The Butterfly Tail Fancy Goldfish can be found in a variety of colors and patterns. 

These include Panda (which is the most popular among collectors and enthusiasts), orange, red and black, calico, orange and white, black, and finally lilac.

Some of these fancy goldfish have standard or “flat” shaped eyes whereas others may have domed shaped eyes or even telescope shaped eyes.

close up black and orange goldfish


The reason behind these eye shape variations is also unknown to researchers. The most prominent feature of this goldfish type is, of course, its butterfly shaped tail fins.

As previously mentioned, these tail fins will resemble the form of a butterfly when fanned out horizontally and viewed from above the tank.

Can anyone own a Butterfly Tail Fancy Goldfish?

The Butterfly Tail Goldfish is a popular choice for goldfish collectors and enthusiasts. 

However, they are a very gentle and sweet goldfish type which can be enjoyable for anyone at any age.

These goldfish also have a playful and fiery side.

Overall, the Butterfly Tail are easy to care for (as long as you follow standard quality goldfish care), and they have been known to enjoy being hand-fed when trained to do so.

white and orange butterfly goldfish


Where can I find a Butterfly Tail Fancy Goldfish?

This type of fancy goldfish can be difficult to find.

It is very unusual to find them in a local pet store and may only be bought from breeders or online.

In fact, you may want to research or call The Suzuki Farm as they are known to produce quality fancy goldfish such as the Butterfly Tail Fancy Goldfish.

Take caution when purchasing live animals over the internet. This method could be precarious if you were to fall victim to a scam.

This is also a dangerous process for the animals involved. Many animals do not do well being shipped around the world; this is particularly the case for fish.

They can be harmed during the move and even die from the stress.

side view silver gray butterfly fish 2


You would have a much better experience if you were to research a breeder online, get in touch with them, and plan to meet in person.

Make the effort and go to their breeding location. Witness the environment and living conditions for yourself.

Then, when all the boxes seem to be checked, choose your goldfish and bring him home.

How to care for a Butterfly Tail Fancy Goldfish and their aquarium

Goldfish are omnivores. They enjoy a variety diet of insects, worms, larvae, algae and live plants. 

Now, when you enter a pet store, you are likely to find a variety of different fish flakes or pellets.

Tetra 77126 TetraFin Goldfish Flakes, 1-Ounce, 185 ml

These types of foods have been designed to provide your goldfish with certain nutrients that your goldfish does need to survive.

These foods may contain, vitamin C, fish oil, algae meal, and sorbitol.

Sorbitol is an additive to these fish foods that enhance the flavoring and make the flakes a little sweeter.

To best meet the needs of your goldfish, provide a variety of different foods. Mix things up every other day or so. Maybe even create a food schedule:


Fish Flakes




Fish Pellets




Fish Flakes





Choosing a filter

Yes, goldfish aquariums need a filtration system.

Your Butterfly Tail Fancy Goldfish is not necessarily a delicate fish (unlike the Bubble Eyed Goldfish). Therefore, she can use just about any filtration system.

One of the best options to choose from is an HOB power filter.

These filters hang on the back of the aquarium (hence HOB). They are also designed with biological, chemical and mechanical filtration types.

However, these filters can be expensive. You can also choose an Internal Filtration System. These filters are the perfect size for smaller aquariums.

Fluval C4 Power Filter

However, a goldfish tank should never be smaller than 20 gallons (even if you only have one goldfish).

Undergravel filtration systems are another great choice because they do not take up much room.

They sit right at the bottom of the aquarium and filter the tank water down through the gravel and then up a tube to release the clean water back into the aquarium.

Aquarium cleanings

You should be prepared to “clean” your goldfish aquarium at least once every one to two weeks.

black and white butterfly goldfish


This is not as in-depth of a process as you might imagine. You will need to purchase a gravel vacuum kit, towels or tarp, wipes, an algae brush and a net.

You may also need to buy a water conditioner is you are using tap water. You should remove about 30% of the tank water each time you perform these cleanings.

Record the current temperature of the tank water and attempt to replicate that temperature for the new water.

Follow the instructions on the packaging of water conditioner for best results.

Seachem Prime 500ml

  • Make sure everything is unplugged during cleanings.
  • Scrub the inner walls of the aquarium with the algae brush, use the net to remove any ill or dead fish from the tank, and vacuum the gravel and décor.
  • You do not need to remove the décor every time but when you do, use the 30% removed tank water to rinse them with.
  • Never use straight tap water! Rearrange the décor once in a while to keep your fish entertained.
  • Add the new water into the aquarium slowly and only when it has been treated and is the same temperature as the current tank water.
  • Clean up the area and any water spills that may have happened during the cleaning.
  • Return all lights and filters to their positions and plug everything back in.