butterfly tail goldfish

Butterfly Tail Goldfish

The Butterfly Tail Goldfish is one of the most unique of the fancy goldfish. Known of course for the tail that resembles an actual butterfly.

While the fish is at rest, the tail will fan out into the butterfly shape. Though these are gaining popularity as a side viewed fish, they are best viewed from above to get the full effect of this beautifully created tail.

The tail should be of a length that when held upright, does not lose the fullness effect of the butterfly.

The dorsal of this breed should stand straight up with the rays following to be slightly down-curved. The eyes of the butterfly tail goldfish will vary from bubble-eyed to flat and everything in between.


The Butterfly Tail goldfish originated in China, but was brought to Japan in the early 1980’s where it was further developed.

It has not been determined when they first came to be. It has been known by many other names and at times its thought to just be a variation on the Telescope Goldfish.

The only big difference being that Telescopes are known for their bulging eyes and the Butterfly fish is known for its spectacular tail.

The Butterfly Tail goldfish should be egg-shaped, with a short, stubby body and a wider head. 

The tail fin of course will be long, flowy and resemble a butterfly, both in shape and color variation.

The can reach a size up to 5 inches although with great care and proper size tank, can grow and flourish up to 8 inches and will live 10-15 years.

Butterfly Tail Goldfish Care

Care of the Butterfly Tail Fish is similar to that of other fancy goldfish. They are of mid-level hardiness, can stand slightly colder temperatures and do well for the intermediate fish keeper. 

They require at least a 20 gallon tank. If you wish to keep more fish in one tank, a rule of thumb to follow is to have fish that are of the same laid back nature.

That way fins and tails are not torn off in play or aggression. You will need to up the size of your tank as well.

Generally, you will want one gallon of water per one inch of fish. This works well when they are babies or juveniles, however, because adults use up more oxygen that is in the water, its best to go with one gallon to half-inch of fish.

Any decorations or rocks that you choose to put into your tank, should be washed thoroughly before hand and then checked for rough edges.

It’s better to have smooth rocks and decorations so that your fish do not end up with scratches. 

You will want to change the water in your Butterfly Tail fish tank weekly because they are a dirty fish to keep. They have no stomachs so any food they eat tends to go through pretty quickly.

Breeding Butterfly Tail Goldfish

If you would like to breed and raise the Butterfly Goldfish, you’ll want to know a few things. They are a community fish, so they like to hang out with others of their kind.

To breed it is ideal to start with 3 females and 2 males. Place them in a prepared 20-gallon fish tank. You’ll need to already have any gravel (choose a commonly found in nature color), your heater, and plants in place.

butterfly tail goldfish

The plants can be silk just so long as they have enough leaves and such for the eggs to attach to. The temperature should be the same as the tank the fish have been residing in so as not to shock them. 

Once you place the fish in the tank, reduce the temperature down to about 60 degrees and then raise it back up to 68. Do this gradually over a few days. 

Dropping the temperature will inspire your fish to want to spawn. Once spawning begins, you will see the males chase the females around the tank and gently push them in the stomachs into the sides of the tank and the plants. 

This encourages the females to drop eggs so that the males can fertilize them.

Once the eggs are fertilized, they will attach themselves to the different plants around the tank.

Spawning generally only takes two or three hours, so it’s best to keep a close watch once you put all the fish together.

After the males have fertilized the eggs (and there could be up to 10,000 per fish) take the adults out of the tank and place them back in their original homes. Now you will be waiting for the eggs to hatch. This can take from four to seven days. 

Enter your text here…Once they have hatched, they can live for 24 hours or so on the sac that is attached to them. After they have absorbed the sac, you will need to feed them.

Start off with a freeze-dried meal that is specially made for fish fry. As they get older, you can add in other freeze dried favorites such as brine shrimp, bloodworms and tubifex worms.

Feeding Butterfly Tail Goldfish

Because the Butterfly Tail goldfish is an omnivore it will also enjoy having treats of fresh veggies, like kale, spinach and peas. Just make sure that you dice anything you do feed them really small so that they don’t choke on the treats.

Butterfly Tail Goldfish Health

As with anything, fish too, can become ill. Because these fish live in a closed tank and have no access to leave it and go elsewhere, it’s imperative that you keep a close watch for any illnesses and treat them right away. 

The more common illness is called Ich. It’s very noticeable if your fish gets it because they will look like they were sprinkled with salt.

They will have little white specks all over their bodies. You will want to treat the entire tank at once after doing a half tank water change and replacing filters. 

Leave out the charcoal filter for the treatment time as charcoal tends to reduce the potency of the Ich treatment.

Keeping fish is an enjoyable pastime that can give people great pleasure.