Butterfly Goldfish Care: Tank Setup, Diet, Tank Mates, Diseases & More!

If you’re looking for a unique and captivating fish to add to your aquarium, butterfly goldfish might be the perfect choice for you. These fish are known for their distinctive appearance, with long, flowing fins that resemble butterfly wings. However, caring for butterfly goldfish requires some specific knowledge and attention to detail. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know to keep your butterfly goldfish healthy and happy.

Butterfly Goldfish is a fancy variety of goldfish that requires a minimum tank size of 30 gallons. They prefer a pH range of 7.0-7.8 and moderate water flow. They are omnivorous and should be fed a varied diet of flakes, pellets, and live/frozen foods. Regular water changes and proper filtration are necessary for their well-being.

First off, it’s important to understand that butterfly goldfish are not your typical fish. They require a bit more care and attention than other species, but the effort is well worth it. These fish are incredibly beautiful and fascinating to watch, and with proper care, they can live for many years.

One thing to keep in mind when caring for butterfly goldfish is that they need plenty of space to swim and explore. These fish can grow quite large, so a small tank simply won’t cut it. You’ll need to invest in a larger aquarium, with plenty of room for your fish to move around. Additionally, butterfly goldfish are social creatures, so you’ll want to keep at least two or three together in the same tank.

butterfly goldfish Pet people blog 3

Species Summary

Butterfly goldfish are a popular and beautiful variety of goldfish that require proper care to thrive.

In this section, we will provide an overview of the species, including its origin, lifespan, appearance, size, growth rate, behavior, and temperament, as well as the differences between males and females.


Butterfly goldfish are a type of fancy goldfish that originated in China over 1,000 years ago.

They were selectively bred from the common goldfish to produce unique patterns and colors.


With proper care, butterfly goldfish can live up to 10-15 years.

However, their lifespan can be shortened if they are not kept in a suitable environment or if they are not fed a balanced diet.


Butterfly goldfish have a distinctive appearance, with long fins and a slender body.

They come in a variety of colors, including red, white, black, and orange, with a unique butterfly pattern on their fins.


Butterfly goldfish can grow up to 6-8 inches in length, depending on their environment and diet.

It is important to provide them with a spacious tank to accommodate their growth.

Growth Rate

The growth rate of butterfly goldfish can vary depending on their environment and diet.

They typically grow faster when kept in a suitable environment with a balanced diet.

Behavior & Temperament

Butterfly goldfish are generally peaceful and sociable fish that can be kept with other goldfish species. They are active swimmers and enjoy exploring their environment.

However, they can become aggressive if they are overcrowded or if their environment is not suitable.

Male vs Female

Male butterfly goldfish tend to have longer and more pointed fins than females.

They also have small white bumps on their gill covers called breeding tubercles, which are used to stimulate the female during breeding.

Overall, butterfly goldfish are a beautiful and unique species that require proper care to thrive. With the right environment, diet, and attention, they can live a long and healthy life.

Personally, I have always been fascinated by the beauty of butterfly goldfish. Their unique patterns and colors are truly captivating. I remember when I first got my butterfly goldfish, I spent hours watching it swim around its tank, mesmerized by its graceful movements.

It was a wonderful addition to my aquarium, and I enjoyed taking care of it and watching it grow over the years.

Tank Setup

Setting up a tank for your butterfly goldfish can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Here are some key factors to consider when setting up your tank:

Tank Size

The size of your tank is important when it comes to butterfly goldfish care. These fish can grow up to 8 inches in length, so it is recommended to have a minimum tank size of 20 gallons for one fish.

If you plan on having more than one fish, add an extra 10 gallons per additional fish. A larger tank will not only provide more swimming space for your fish, but it will also help maintain water quality.


Butterfly goldfish do not require any special lighting. However, if you plan on having live plants in your tank, you will need to provide adequate lighting for them to grow.

A good rule of thumb is to have 2-3 watts of light per gallon of water. Be sure to also provide a regular day and night cycle to mimic their natural environment.

Filtration & Aeration

A good filtration system is essential for maintaining water quality in your tank. A canister filter or power filter is recommended for a 20-gallon tank or larger.

In addition to filtration, aeration is also important for oxygenating the water. An air pump and air stone can be added to provide the necessary oxygen for your fish.


Butterfly goldfish are coldwater fish and do not require a heater unless the room temperature drops below 65°F. If you do need a heater, a 50-watt heater is recommended for a 20-gallon tank.


The substrate you choose for your tank can have a big impact on the overall look and feel of your setup.

Gravel or sand are popular choices, but be sure to rinse them thoroughly before adding them to your tank. Avoid sharp or jagged substrates that could harm your fish.


butterfly goldfish Pet people blog 4

Adding decorations to your tank can provide hiding places for your fish and make the tank more visually appealing.

Be sure to choose decorations that are safe for your fish and won’t harm them. Avoid decorations with sharp edges or small parts that could be swallowed.


Live plants not only provide a natural look to your tank, but they also help maintain water quality by absorbing nitrates and producing oxygen.

Some easy-to-care-for plants for beginners include java fern, anubias, and hornwort. Be sure to choose plants that are compatible with your tank size and lighting.

When setting up your tank, it’s important to take your time and do it right.

A well-planned and executed tank setup will provide a healthy and happy environment for your butterfly goldfish for years to come.

Personally, I found that adding live plants to my butterfly goldfish tank not only improved the water quality but also provided a beautiful natural look. Watching my fish swim through the plants and interact with their environment has been a truly rewarding experience.

Water Quality

One of the most important aspects of butterfly goldfish care is maintaining good water quality. Proper water quality is essential for the health and well-being of your fish.

In this section, we will discuss the key factors that affect water quality and how to maintain them.

Water Temperature

The ideal water temperature for butterfly goldfish is between 68-74°F (20-23°C).

It is important to keep the temperature stable and avoid sudden fluctuations, as this can stress the fish and make them more susceptible to disease.

You can use a thermometer to monitor the temperature and adjust it as needed.

Water pH

The optimal pH range for butterfly goldfish is between 7.0-8.4. It is important to regularly test the pH level of your water and make adjustments as needed.

If the pH level is too low, you can add a pH increaser. If the pH level is too high, you can add a pH decreaser. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully and avoid over-treating the water.

Water Hardness

Butterfly goldfish prefer moderately hard water with a GH (general hardness) of 100-200 ppm (parts per million) and a KH (carbonate hardness) of 80-120 ppm.

You can test the water hardness with a test kit and make adjustments as needed. If the water is too soft, you can add a water hardener. If the water is too hard, you can dilute it with distilled water.

Water Changes

Regular water changes are essential for maintaining good water quality. You should aim to change 20-30% of the water in your tank every 1-2 weeks.

This will help remove toxins and waste products that can build up in the water.

When performing a water change, be sure to use a water conditioner to remove chlorine and other harmful chemicals from tap water.

Personally, I’ve found that maintaining good water quality is the most important factor in keeping my butterfly goldfish healthy and happy.

I make sure to test the water regularly and perform water changes as needed. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your fish have a clean and healthy environment to thrive in.

Tank Maintenance

Keeping the tank clean and healthy is essential for the well-being of your butterfly goldfish. Here are some tips to help you maintain your tank:

First, you should perform regular water changes to ensure that the water is clean and free of harmful chemicals.

You can use a siphon to remove debris from the bottom of the tank and replace the water with fresh, dechlorinated water. You should aim to change about 25% of the water every two weeks.

Second, you should clean the filter at least once a month. The filter is responsible for removing waste and debris from the water, so it’s important to keep it functioning properly.

You can rinse the filter media in a bucket of tank water to remove any buildup of debris.

Third, you should test the water regularly to ensure that the levels of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are within safe levels.

You can use a test kit to check the water parameters and make adjustments as needed. If you notice any significant changes in the water quality, you should take action immediately to prevent any harm to your fish.

Finally, you should monitor the temperature of the water and make adjustments as needed. Butterfly goldfish prefer water temperatures between 68-74°F.

You can use a thermometer to check the water temperature and adjust the heater accordingly.

butterfly goldfish Pet people blog 2

Personally, I find that maintaining my tank is a relaxing and enjoyable activity. I like to put on some music and take my time cleaning and testing the water. It’s important to remember that taking care of your butterfly goldfish is a responsibility, but it can also be a rewarding experience.

Tank Mates

If you’re considering adding butterfly goldfish to your aquarium, it’s essential to choose the right tank mates.

Here are some factors to consider when selecting compatible fish species:

Compatible Fish Species

When it comes to tank mates for butterfly goldfish, there are several species that can coexist peacefully. Some of the best options include:

  • White Cloud Mountain Minnows
  • Zebra Danios
  • Otocinclus Catfish
  • Bristlenose Plecos

These fish are all relatively small, peaceful, and won’t compete with butterfly goldfish for food or territory.

Incompatible Fish Species

It’s essential to avoid adding any fish species that could be aggressive or territorial towards your butterfly goldfish. Some of the most incompatible species include:

  • Cichlids
  • Tetras
  • Guppies
  • Gouramis

These fish are generally too small, too aggressive, or too territorial to coexist peacefully with butterfly goldfish.

Adding these species to your aquarium could lead to stress, injury, or even death for your butterfly goldfish.

How Many Butterfly Goldfish Can Live Together

When it comes to keeping butterfly goldfish together, it’s important to consider their size and the size of your aquarium.

As a general rule, you should have at least 20 gallons of water per adult butterfly goldfish.

If you want to keep multiple butterfly goldfish in the same tank, you should plan on having at least 40 gallons of water for two fish, 60 gallons for three fish, and so on.

This will give your fish plenty of space to swim and establish their territories without feeling cramped or overcrowded.

Personally, I’ve found that my butterfly goldfish are happiest when they have plenty of space to swim and explore. I keep mine in a 60-gallon tank with a few compatible tank mates, and they seem to thrive in this environment.


What To Feed

When it comes to feeding your butterfly goldfish, you have several options.

Pellets and flakes are the most common types of food available in pet stores, and they provide a balanced diet for your fish.

You can also feed them frozen or live foods, such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, and daphnia. These foods are high in protein and can be a tasty treat for your fish.


It’s important to feed your butterfly goldfish the right amount of food, but not too much.

Overfeeding can lead to health problems and poor water quality.

A good rule of thumb is to feed your fish twice a day, only giving them what they can eat within two minutes.

If there is any leftover food, remove it from the tank to prevent it from polluting the water.


When feeding your butterfly goldfish, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure the food you’re giving them is appropriate for their size.

Small pellets or flakes are better for smaller fish, while larger pellets are better for larger fish. Second, vary their diet to keep them healthy and happy.

Finally, be sure to clean up any uneaten food to maintain good water quality.

Personally, I’ve found that my butterfly goldfish love brine shrimp and bloodworms as a treat. Whenever I give them these foods, they become more active and playful. It’s always fun to watch them chase after their food!

Common Diseases


Butterfly goldfish are generally healthy fish, but they can still get sick. There are a few common diseases that you should be aware of, such as fin rot, dropsy, and ich.

Fin rot is a bacterial infection that can cause the fins to become ragged and discolored. Dropsy is a condition where the fish’s body swells and the scales stick out.

Ich is a parasitic infection that causes white spots to appear on the fish’s body.


If your butterfly goldfish is sick, there are a few symptoms to look out for. If you notice that your fish is lethargic, not eating, or hiding, it may be a sign that something is wrong.

Other symptoms to look out for include a loss of color, frayed fins, and abnormal swimming behavior.


If you suspect that your butterfly goldfish is sick, it’s important to act quickly.

The first step is to isolate the sick fish from the others to prevent the disease from spreading.

Depending on the disease, you may need to treat your fish with medication.

For example, fin rot can be treated with antibiotics, while ich can be treated with medication that contains copper.


Prevention is the best way to keep your butterfly goldfish healthy.

Make sure that you are providing a clean and healthy environment for your fish. This includes regular water changes, maintaining proper water temperature and pH levels, and feeding your fish a balanced diet.

It’s also a good idea to quarantine new fish before introducing them to your tank to prevent the spread of disease. I have personally dealt with ich in my butterfly goldfish tank.

It was a stressful experience, but with quick action and treatment, I was able to save my fish. Remember to always keep a close eye on your fish and take action if you suspect that something is wrong.

Signs of a Healthy Butterfly Goldfish

butterfly goldfish Pet people blog

When it comes to keeping a butterfly goldfish, it is essential to know the signs of a healthy fish. Here are some of the things to look out for:

  1. Active Behavior: A healthy butterfly goldfish will be active and swim around the tank. It will not spend all of its time hiding or lying at the bottom of the tank.
  2. Clear Eyes: The eyes of a healthy butterfly goldfish should be clear and bright. Cloudy or dull eyes can be a sign of illness.
  3. Smooth Scales: The scales of a healthy butterfly goldfish should be smooth, with no signs of damage or discoloration.
  4. Good Appetite: A healthy butterfly goldfish will have a good appetite and will eagerly eat its food. If your fish is not eating or seems uninterested in food, it may be a sign of illness.
  5. Balanced Swimming: A healthy butterfly goldfish will swim upright and balanced. If your fish is swimming sideways or upside down, it may be a sign of a swim bladder problem.
  6. Clean Fins: The fins of a healthy butterfly goldfish should be clean and free of any tears or fraying.

Personal Anecdote: When I first started keeping butterfly goldfish, I wasn’t sure what to look for in terms of a healthy fish. I quickly learned that active behavior and clear eyes were important indicators. One of my fish had cloudy eyes, and I was able to catch it early and treat it before it became a more serious issue. By keeping an eye out for these signs, you can ensure that your butterfly goldfish stays healthy and happy in its tank.

Signs Your Butterfly Goldfish is Sick

If you are a new butterfly goldfish owner, it can be challenging to tell when your fish is sick. Here are some signs to look out for:

  1. Lethargy: If your fish is inactive and spends most of its time at the bottom of the tank, it could be a sign of illness.
  2. Loss of Appetite: If your fish is not eating or showing interest in food, it could be a sign of illness.
  3. Abnormal Swimming: If your fish is swimming erratically or having trouble swimming, it could be a sign of illness.
  4. Discolored or Cloudy Eyes: If your fish’s eyes are cloudy or discolored, it could be a sign of an infection or disease.
  5. Abnormal Gills: If your fish’s gills are red or swollen, it could be a sign of a bacterial infection or gill disease.

It’s important to note that these symptoms could be caused by a variety of illnesses and diseases. If you notice any of these signs, it’s crucial to take action immediately.

Personal Anecdote: I once had a butterfly goldfish that stopped eating and became lethargic. I immediately took action and started treating it for an infection.

Thankfully, my fish made a full recovery, and I learned the importance of being vigilant and proactive when it comes to fish health.


Breeding butterfly goldfish can be a rewarding experience, but it requires a lot of preparation and care. Here are the key steps to successfully breed butterfly goldfish.

Breeding Setup

To start breeding butterfly goldfish, you will need a breeding setup. This includes a separate tank with a filter, heater, and breeding mops.

The tank should be at least 20 gallons and have a stable water temperature of around 72-75°F.

You should also add a spawning mat to the bottom of the tank to provide a surface for the goldfish to lay their eggs.

How To Breed

When your butterfly goldfish are ready to breed, you will notice that the males will start chasing the females around the tank.

The males will also develop small white bumps on their gill covers, called breeding tubercles. This is a sign that they are ready to mate.

To breed butterfly goldfish, you will need to introduce the males and females into the breeding tank. Make sure there are plenty of hiding places and plants for the females to lay their eggs.

The males will then chase the females around the tank until they lay their eggs on the spawning mat.

After the eggs are laid, you should remove the adults from the tank to prevent them from eating the eggs.

The eggs will hatch in about 4-7 days, depending on the water temperature.


Once the eggs hatch, you will need to care for the fry. You should feed them small amounts of baby brine shrimp or a high-quality fry food several times a day.

You should also perform frequent water changes to keep the water clean and healthy for the fry.

Breeding butterfly goldfish requires patience and attention to detail, but it can be a rewarding experience.

Take the time to set up a proper breeding tank and care for the fry, and you will have a successful breeding experience.

I remember the first time I successfully bred my butterfly goldfish. It was such an exciting experience to watch the eggs hatch and see the tiny fry swimming around the tank.

With the right setup and care, you can also experience the joy of breeding butterfly goldfish.

Product recommendations for Butterfly Goldfish:

  1. Hikari Goldfish Gold – This is a high-quality fish food that is perfect for Butterfly Goldfish. It contains all the essential nutrients that your fish need to stay healthy and vibrant.
  2. Aqueon Aquarium Kit – This is a great aquarium kit that is perfect for 1 Butterfly Goldfish. It comes with everything you need to get started, including a filter, heater, and LED lighting.
  3. API Aquarium Water Test Kit– It is important to keep an eye on the water quality in your aquarium, and this test kit makes it easy to do so. It includes tests for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH.
  4. Seachem Prime – This is a water conditioner that helps to detoxify ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate in your aquarium. It is safe for use with Butterfly Goldfish and other fish.
  5. CaribSea Eco-Complete Planted Aquarium Substrate  – This substrate is perfect for creating a natural environment for your Butterfly Goldfish. It contains live bacteria and is easy to maintain.
  6. AquaClear Power Filter– This filter is highly effective at removing debris and maintaining water quality in your aquarium. It is also very quiet and easy to maintain.
  7. Aqueon Aquarium Water Changer – This device makes it easy to perform regular water changes in your aquarium. It is designed to be safe and easy to use, and can help to keep your Butterfly Goldfish healthy.
  8. Fluval Sea Protein Skimmer – This protein skimmer is perfect for removing organic waste from your aquarium. It is easy to install and maintain, and will keep the water in your aquarium clean and healthy.
  9. NICREW ClassicLED Aquarium Light – This LED light is perfect for illuminating your aquarium and showcasing your Butterfly Goldfish. It is energy-efficient and easy to install.
  10. Tetra Whisper Air Pump – This air pump is perfect for providing your Butterfly Goldfish with the oxygen they need to thrive. It is quiet and energy-efficient, and easy to install.


Congratulations, you are now equipped with all the information you need to care for your butterfly goldfish! Remember to keep their tank clean and well-maintained, and to provide them with a varied and nutritious diet.

It’s important to monitor your goldfish’s behavior and health regularly, and to seek professional help if you notice any concerning symptoms.

Don’t forget to give your goldfish plenty of space to swim and explore, and to decorate their tank with plenty of plants and hiding spots.

Overall, caring for butterfly goldfish can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. I personally love watching my goldfish swim around their tank, and seeing them thrive under my care.

Remember, your goldfish relies on you for their health and happiness, so take the time to provide them with the best possible care. Happy fish keeping!


As a new butterfly goldfish owner, you may have a lot of questions about how to properly care for your fish. Here are a few frequently asked questions and their answers:

Q: How often should I feed my butterfly goldfish?

A: You should feed your butterfly goldfish small amounts multiple times a day. Overfeeding can lead to health problems, so it’s important to only feed them what they can eat in a few minutes. I recommend feeding them a high-quality pellet or flake food, supplemented with live or frozen foods like brine shrimp or bloodworms.

Q: What temperature should the water be?

A: Butterfly goldfish are coldwater fish and prefer temperatures between 65-75°F. It’s important to keep the water temperature consistent and avoid sudden changes that can stress your fish.

Q: How often should I change the water in my tank?

A: You should aim to change 20-30% of the water in your tank every week. This will help maintain good water quality and prevent the buildup of harmful toxins like ammonia and nitrite.

Q: Can butterfly goldfish live with other fish?

A: Yes, butterfly goldfish can live with other peaceful fish that are similar in size and temperament. However, you should avoid keeping them with fish that are known to nip at fins or are aggressive.

Q: How can I tell if my butterfly goldfish is healthy?

A: A healthy butterfly goldfish will have clear eyes, smooth scales, and a good appetite. They should be active and swim around the tank without any difficulty. If you notice any changes in their behavior or appearance, it’s important to investigate and address the issue promptly.

Remember, caring for butterfly goldfish requires patience, dedication, and attention to detail. By providing them with a suitable environment and meeting their basic needs, you can enjoy the beauty and companionship of these fascinating fish for years to come.

Reference: Wikipedia.


Hi there! My name is Jacob, and I'm the founder of this Pet people blog that talks all about aquarium and fishkeeping. I've been passionate about fish and aquatic life since I was a kid, and I've spent countless hours learning about different species, their habitats, and how to create the perfect environment for them to thrive in.

Leave a Reply

Recent Posts