May 27

Sarah Robertson

Butterfly Goldfish Diet, Care, Characteristics, and More

It's a Chinese goldfish that was introduced to Japan in the early 1980s. It is uncertain how this species arose.

They are a stunning variation of the popular Moor fantail goldfish. These fish may give an exotic look to a cold-water aquarium, but they can be difficult for a novice to care for.

The Butterfly Tail goldfish is characterized by its elongated body, large eyes, and a modified tail fin that is serrated along the upper edge. The dorsal fin may also be slightly elongated in this species. The Butterfly Tail goldfish can come in a variety of colors. When viewed from above, the distinguishing feature is the butterfly-shaped caudal fins.

The name "Butterfly Tail" is simply short for the numerous names this type has, including Butterfly Tail Telescope, Butterfly Tail Demekin, Butterfly Tail Moor, and Top view Telescope. It is a high-end variety that has been bred specifically to enhance certain colors, patterns, and body characteristics.

This post has all of the information and advice you'll need to keep these beautiful and unusual fish in your home tank or pond for an extended period of time. So, keep reading to learn more about Butterfly goldfish.

Origin of the Butterfly Telescope Goldfish 

Goldfish, scientific name Carassius auratus, are assumed to have originated in China and were developed from a wild Prussian carp species there in the early 1700s.

The butterfly goldfish is a type of Moor or Telescope fantail goldfish that was formerly known as Dragonfish or Dragon Eye goldfish. Today, all Telescope Eye goldfish are known as Demekins throughout Asia.

Fancy goldfish, including the Butterfly Telescope goldfish, are all captive bred, so you won't find them in wild. The Butterfly Telescope goldfish was first recognized in 1994 by Teichfischer.

Quick Facts about Butterfly Goldfish

  • Species Names : Butterfly Tail Goldfish, Butterfly Telescope goldfish
  • Breed Purpose : Ornamental, pet
  • Body Color : Many
  • Rarity : Common
  • Care Level : Easy to care, care is similar to that of other fancy goldfish varieties, not too hardy, actually has mid-level hardiness, and can thrive in slightly colder temperatures.
  • Butterfly Goldfish Behavior/ Temperament : Laidback and peaceful
  • Climate Tolerance : Almost all climates
  • Size : Generally 5 inches with a maximum of 8 inches
  • Lifespan : 10 and 15 years
  • Breeding Method : Artificial
  • Availability : Asia

Butterfly Goldfish Appearance

Colors And Patterns of Butterfly Goldfish

The Butterfly goldfish comes in a huge range of colors and patterns. The patterns on the fish can be bi-colored, calico or tri-colored. The most prevalent colors are:

  • Red
  • Blue
  • Chocolate
  • Black Moor
  • Black-and-white (Panda)

There's also a beautiful and rarely seen example of this fish that has a chocolate hue with bright orange pom-poms. The majority of the time, fish scales are metallic or nacreous, although you occasionally come across a matte variety.

Butterfly Goldfish Appearance

Butterfly Goldfish - Characteristics

The Butterfly Tail goldfish is most attractive when seen from above. It's a unique breed of Telescopic Goldfish with protruding eyes.

This is a popular one to pair with the Telescope eye. Although other goldfish standard varieties, such as Ryukins or Orandas, may have 'butterfly-shaped tails,' it is not always the case.

The tail spread is preferable to 180 degrees, but it's possible for certain fish to droop down at an angle as a result of the length and density of their long tail fins. The average Butterfly goldfish size is 5 inches; however, they may grow up to 8 inches in length.

Butterfly Goldfish - Nutrition and Feeding 

Goldfish are voracious omnivores that will eat anything you put in front of them!

A good diet for your pets may include high-quality fish flakes and pellets, as well as frozen meaty protein and blanched fresh veggies like zucchini, peas, and lettuce. The fish will also consume algae and plant debris that accumulates naturally in your aquarium or pond. Fish that live in ponds will also consume insect larvae, tiny crustaceans, and other detritus that they acquire within their habitat.

Butterfly goldfish are susceptible to constipation and bloating, which is typical of all fancy goldfish varieties. The most common reason for these problems is a build-up of dried food in the fish's intestines.

A constipated fish will usually be unable to swim on an even keel, frequently rising to the surface or swimming on one side. However, by providing your fish with frozen bloodworms, brine shrimp, or other similar foods every day, you can prevent these problems.

Butterfly Goldfish Diseases 

Butterfly goldfish are relatively hardy fish, but they are still susceptible to a number of health problems. To keep them healthy and happy, you must do frequent water changes and keep the tank clean, as well as house them with other peaceful tankmates. Some of the most common health problems that affect this fish include:

Ich or Ick (White Spot Disease)

The infection is caused by an aquatic parasite that affects mostly sick or stressed fish in freshwater aquariums. In an effort to get rid of the irritating parasites on their skin, fish with Ich flick or rub against the substrate and other solid surfaces. After a few days, the fish's body, gills, fins, and tail show a rash of tiny white spots.

The easiest way to get rid of White Spot Disease is with an over-the-counter pill that you can buy at your local fish store.

Eye Injuries

Collisions with tank decorations or other fish during feeding times are the most common causes of eye problems in Telescopic goldfish. Although this is not a problem that many goldfish owners experience, it's still something to be aware of. Goldfish are susceptible to bacterial infections if they get injured. Fish can even lose its eye if left untreated. 

The greatest way to avoid eye injuries is to keep the tank clean and free from pointed objects. You should also be cautious about overfeeding your fish, as this can lead to aggressive behavior amongst them.

When you need to net your fish, be cautious since the protruding eyes may get caught in the net and cause additional damage. If you must net your fish, opt for a mesh that is extremely tiny.

Swim Bladder Disease

This is a common health problem that affects Butterfly goldfish. It's caused by an inflammation of the swim bladder, which is a small, sac-like organ that helps fish to maintain their buoyancy. When the swim bladder is inflamed, it can cause the fish to float to the surface or sink to the bottom of the tank. In severe cases, fish may even become stuck upside down.

There are many potential causes of swim bladder disease, including constipation, bacterial infections, and physical injuries. The best way to prevent this disease is to keep the tank clean and free from debris. You should also feed your fish a high-quality diet that contains plenty of frozen or live foods.

Bacterial Infections

Bacterial infections are common among fish that have been injured or debilitated as a result of stress. Symptoms vary depending on the type of bacteria involved, but they may include:

  • Lethargy
  • Ulcers
  • Loss of appetite
  • Reddened areas on the skin 
  • Missing scales
  • Labored breathing
  • Torn or ragged fins

Most bacterial infections may be cleared up with a fish-specific medication that you can purchase at the store.

Cloudy Eye

A cloudy eye is a problem that affects Telescope goldfish frequently. The cloudy eye is an eye disease that causes abnormally cloudy eyes. It can affect one or both eyes and occasionally result in blindness. The cloudy eye is typically caused by poor water quality, which makes it highly preventable through proper aquarium care.


Fluke is a term that encompasses numerous external parasites that can affect goldfish, including:

  • Fish lice
  • Anchor worms
  • Skin flukes

Flukes can enter the aquarium in a variety of ways, including as hitchhikers on plants, live food, or new fish. By keeping anything new in a quarantine tank for at least two weeks before adding the newcomers to your aquarium, you can prevent these undesirable intruders from attacking your livestock.

Butterfly Goldfish Care Guide

Butterfly Goldfish Care Guide 

If you're looking for an active, colorful fish that is perfect for a community tank, the Butterfly goldfish may be just what you need. These beautiful and hardy fish are easy to care for and will add some color and fun to your aquarium setup.

In this section of our guide, you'll discover how to keep these stunning fish healthy.

Tank Size

Butterfly goldfish lifespan is up to ten years, making them ideal for families with children. They can reach lengths of 6 inches or more in some cases. Butterfly Goldfish tank setup is very important for keeping them happy and healthy.

We recommend that you buy a huge tank since fancy goldfish varieties develop rapidly during the first two or three years of their life. It's a popular misconception that fish change size to suit the container they're in. However, if the aquarium is too small, your goldfish will not grow properly and their development will be limited.

A 10-gallon tank is required for Butterfly Telescope goldfish, with each fish requiring an additional ten gallons of water. The ideal goldfish tank is one with a rectangular shape. While fancy goldfish are capable swimmers, they are not very nimble, and a deep tank may not be suitable when it comes to surface feeding.

A rectangular tank will offer a greater surface area for gas exchange, allowing for better oxygenation of the water for these creatures.


Although Butterfly Telescope goldfish are undoubtedly stunning, they are filthy fish that create a lot of waste. As a result, you'll need to install an efficient filtration system in your aquarium or pond.

Ideally, you should have a filter that circulates the water around your tank at least four times each hour. To keep the water clean and safe for your fish, the filter must have both mechanical and biological filtering media.

The goldfish varieties that are available as pets are severely poor swimmers and dislike strong currents in their aquarium. This is an issue because you want enough flow to pass the water through the filter media. Use a filter system with an adjustable outflow valve, or block the flow with plants or decorations.

Water Parameters 

While these fish can tolerate low levels of salinity, they are not true saltwater fish and cannot be kept in brackish water. Water parameters are typically not a concern for goldfish, as they are quite hardy and resilient. However, you should aim to maintain the following parameters to ensure a healthy goldfish tank:


65-72 degrees Fahrenheit

pH level:


Water hardness:

Medium to Hard (5 to 19 dGH)

Ammonia and Nitrite levels:

0 ppm

Nitrate levels:

<20 ppm

Tank Maintenance 

The health of your Butterfly Telescope goldfish will also be determined by how frequently and appropriately you clean the tank, as well as how carefully you maintain it. 

So, every week you need to carry out a partial water change of up to 30% to keep nitrate levels down and relieve the burden on the biological filter system. To remove organic waste and uneaten food from around the base of plants, beneath decorations, corners of tanks, and under internal filter boxes, use an aquarium vacuum cleaner.

Remove dead leaves from living plants and use an algae scraper to clean the viewing windows of any algae. Leave some algae on the rear pane so that the fish may eat it throughout the day.

Tank Decoration 

Goldfish are not indigenous to the wild, so the aquarium décor theme you pick is entirely up to your preference. However, there are a few things to consider when designing an aquarium for Butterfly goldfish.

The goldfish's fins are lush and floating, with protruding eyes. So make sure you don't add any decorations or ornaments that might snag the fish's fins or harm their eyes.

Because goldfish have such poor eyesight, they are not good swimmers. It's a good idea to provide an ample, clear swimming area in the center of the tank and surround it with your hardscape pieces.

Because goldfish are such beautiful fish, try using driftwood, tangled roots, smooth stones, and pebbles to decorate the tank. Goldfish spend a significant amount of their time scrounging for food on the tank floor, so large gauge gravel is an excellent substrate for them to forage in. Always make sure that all gravel has been washed and plant leaves have been trimmed small enough to fit between the rocks and plants without spinning around.


Plants are quite useful in maintaining the cleanliness and freshness of your aquarium. They help to oxygenate the water and remove nitrates, which may be used as fertilizers. Plants, on the other hand, are vulnerable to assault from your Goldfish Butterfly Telescope.

Goldfish are diggers who root through the substrate for food scraps and uproot plants during their search. Goldfish are omnivorous fish that enjoy eating fresh leaves and shoots. However, there are several hardy aquatic plants that can thrive in a Butterfly goldfish tank. Some of the best plants suitable for their tank are:

  • Marimo Moss Balls
  • Anubias
  • Java Fern

Plastic plants are an excellent alternative to live plants if you're worried about your fish destroying them. You can find high-quality, realistic-looking fake plants at your local pet store. But before adding fake plants make sure that they are clean and free of sharp edges or points. 


You don't need light to keep your goldfish alive. Live plants, on the other hand, will require at least eight hours of exposure each day for photosynthesis if you have them in your aquarium. Furthermore, utilizing lighting in your aquarium may provide a realistic day/night setting that tells the fish when they should be active and eating and when it's time to sleep.

Without distinct day and night boundaries, the fish may become stressed, resulting in a variety of health issues. If you can't be there to manually turn on and off the lights, it's worth investing in an automated timer or selecting a light unit that includes one.

Butterfly Goldfish Breeding

Butterfly Goldfish Breeding 

In a pond or tank, goldfish of all kinds will breed readily if they are fed a varied diet and the appropriate water parameters.

Of course, if your breeding endeavor is to be a success, you'll need both male and female fish. Female goldfish are generally rounder in form than males, and male fish develop white prickles on the gill covers and head known as tubercles.

Spawning Conditions

Butterfly Telescope goldfish are egg layers that lay eggs in the spring when the water warms up, just like their wild carp ancestors.

If your fish aren't well-fed and healthy, you'll need a huge tank of at least 20 gallons to stimulate spawning. The tank should be densely planted with flat stones or spawning mops on which the fish may lay their eggs.

To induce spawning, raise the temperature in the spawning tank by 3° each day until it reaches a range of 68° to 74° Fahrenheit. Increase the amount of water changing to 20% each day until breeding begins, and give the fish healthy meals rich in protein, such as brine shrimp and bloodworms.


During the spawning process, the male Butterfly Telescope goldfish follows around the female fish, pushing against her to encourage her to lay eggs. The male fertilizes the eggs after they have been laid. For several hours, spawning might continue, resulting in the production of up to 10,000 or more eggs.

The goldfish should be removed as soon as the eggs are fertilized to prevent the parents from eating them.

After a week or so, the eggs should hatch. The Butterfly

Goldfish fry is able to swim immediately after hatching and may be fed commercially prepared fry food until they are old enough to eat crushed fish flakes and live baby brine shrimp.

Your Butterfly Telescope goldfish will be drab brown or black in color. This will help them to hide from predators. The fish will, however, begin to exhibit its mature color within a few months. When the youngsters are about an inch or two, they can be safely added to your main tank with the adults.

Overall, breeding Butterfly Telescope goldfish requires careful monitoring of water conditions and regular feeding with a nutritious diet in order to encourage healthy egg production and hatching. However, once the fry has hatched, they are relatively easy to care for and will soon grow into beautiful adult fish.

Butterfly Goldfish - Lifespan

Goldfish are long-lived, with some individuals living up to 30 years when given the best care.

The average lifespan of a Butterfly Telescope fancy goldfish is between 10 and 15 years. However, when properly maintained and fed with high-quality food, they can live for more than 20 years.

Butterfly Goldfish - Price and Availability

The cost of a Butterfly goldfish varies somewhat depending on the color and variety of fish, but they are generally available to buy for around $10 at decent pet stores.

It's also possible to find unusual hues and designs in these fish, although they will be more costly.

Butterfly Goldfish - FAQs

What Do Butterfly Goldfish Eat? 

The Goldfish is an omnivorous fish that may eat a wide range of foods, including both plant and animal matter. A good quality goldfish pellet or flake food should be the primary component of their diet, although it may be supplemented with live, frozen, or freeze-dried foods such as brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms.

What Is the Difference Between a Butterfly Goldfish and a Regular Goldfish?

A goldfish with a unique double tail is known as Butterfly Goldfish. They are comparable to regular goldfish, and both types need the same care. Butterfly Goldfish have slightly larger fins than standard goldfish, making them a popular choice for aquariums and fishbowls.

When looked at from above, a Butterfly Goldfish's tailfin appears deeply forked, while a regular goldfish does not. However, both types require adequate space and a regular feeding schedule to stay healthy.

What Are Good Tank Mates for Butterfly Telescope Goldfish? 

Goldfish are sociable fish that do best when maintained in groups. Other types of fancy goldfish, such as Lionhead goldfish, Celestial goldfish, Black Moors, and Bubble Eye goldfish, are the ideal Butterfly goldfish tank mates. Goldfish with a thin build is to be avoided since they are much swifter swimmers that may overpower the slower fancies for food.

Shrimp and snails can cohabit happily with goldfish, and they may serve as a handy cleanup crew. However, when selecting shrimp for your goldfish, be sure to choose huge varieties that will not become lunch for him, and snails that won't turn your plants into a meal.

Avoid housing fish who are known to be fin nippers, as well as tiny species that might be mistaken for a food source by the goldfish.

How Many Fish Can You Keep in a Tank? 

Butterfly Telescope goldfish require a lot of space if they are to be kept with other fancy goldfish. The fish will become stressed if the tank is too crowded, resulting in disease and poor growth rates.

As a general guideline, allow 1 inch of fish per 1 gallon of water in the tank. Although your tiny juvenile fish may appear overwhelmed in a 20-gallon tank, they will quickly grow and require plenty of space.

Butterfly Goldfish Breeding

Is the Butterfly Telescope Goldfish Suitable for Beginners?

These gorgeous fish are not the ideal goldfish for a novice without prior expertise with goldfish.

A goldfish does not have a stomach, as we do. The fish, instead of digesting the meals as they pass through its intestines, extracts nutrients from them. As a result, a goldfish is really an efficient food processor that generates significant quantities of waste while swimming across your aquarium.

Because of this, you'll need a strong mechanical and biological filtration system to handle the amount of waste produced by goldfish. To avoid harmful toxins from accumulating in the water, it is necessary to carry out regular maintenance and water changes.

The protruding eyes of the Butterfly Telescope goldfish are vulnerable to injury and damage.

How Big Do Butterfly Goldfish Get? 

When you purchase a goldfish from your local fish store, it will most likely be a tiny juvenile of three to six months old.

It's not what it seems! If maintained in a healthy tank and fed a varied, balanced diet, that inch-long fish will develop rapidly, often growing by two times in only weeks. That is why many goldfish end up living in containers that are far too small.

It is important to provide adequate space, not only for the fish's size in adulthood but also when they're still small. Even in a 20-gallon aquarium, it is possible to overstock your tank and overcrowds your goldfish if you don't properly consider their growth rate.

Telescopes can reach up to 6 inches in length when fully grown. So, keep that in mind when selecting an aquarium for your new pet.

Do Butterfly Goldfish Get Lonely? 

Goldfish are social creatures and generally do better when maintained in groups. A single goldfish may become depressed and stressed, resulting in weakened immune systems and a higher risk of disease.

If you have decided to only keep one goldfish rather than a school, be sure to give him plenty of space and provide optimal care. Goldfish do well with other types of fancy goldfish (except those who are known fin nippers) or some shrimp and snails.

Do Butterfly Goldfish Need a Bubbler?

No, they do not need a bubbler or an aerator in their tank. Goldfish are capable of extracting oxygen from the water through their gills and do not require additional aeration.

In fact, too much surface agitation can result in stress and make it difficult for the fish to reach the surface to breathe. If you have a small aquarium and notice your fish gasping for air at the surface, simply add a glass cover to reduce surface agitation.

How Much to Feed Butterfly Goldfish? 

To keep them healthy, goldfish should be fed twice or three times a day. Only give your fish what they can eat in a few minutes to avoid overfeeding.

Are Butterfly Goldfish Good Pets?

Butterfly Telescope goldfish are stunning fish that make great pets. They are active and interesting to watch, and they are relatively easy to care for if you have the time and patience to provide them with optimal conditions.

While they are not the best choice for beginners, these fish can be a fun and rewarding addition to any goldfish enthusiast

How Often to Do Water Changes? 

Goldfish create a lot of waste; therefore, regular water changes are required to preserve water quality. If your water changes are done right, a 20-30% weekly water change should be sufficient in most situations. However, if you see your fish's color fading or they appear sluggish, increase the frequency of your water changes to improve water quality.

Final Thoughts

The Butterfly Telescope goldfish is a beautiful, unique fish that makes a stunning addition to any aquarium. Although they are not the easiest fish to care for, with a little patience and practice, you can successfully keep these amazing creatures.

When it comes to diet, Butterfly goldfish are not fussy eaters and will accept most types of food. However, it is important to give them a varied diet to ensure they get all the nutrients they need.

As goldfish produce a lot of waste, you will need to perform regular water changes and clean the tank regularly to maintain water quality.

Overall, the Butterfly Telescope goldfish is a great choice for an experienced fish keeper and makes a stunning purchase for any aquarium. 

Sarah Robertson

I am a passionate blogger who also happens to be a fish keeping enthusiast. Writing about my hobby is something that I absolutely love to do, and it's no secret that my chosen topic is always centered around fish keeping.

Sarah Robertson

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Subscribe to our newsletter