How Many Fancy Goldfish In a 55 Gallon Tank (200 liters) is Appropriate?
How Many Fancy Goldfish In a 55 Gallon Tank (200 liters) is Appropriate?


Aquarium enthusiasts often wonder, “How many fancy goldfish in a 55-gallon tank (200 liters) is appropriate?” This question is a common starting point for anyone looking to create a thriving underwater world for these captivating aquatic companions. Fancy goldfish, renowned for their striking appearance and playful behavior, are a favored choice for many hobbyists. However, ensuring their well-being in a 55-gallon tank (200 liters) involves careful planning and attention to various aspects of tank setup and maintenance.

Appearance and Behavior of Fancy Goldfish

Fancy goldfish, known for their striking appearance and often charming behavior, are a popular choice for aquarium enthusiasts. They come in a variety of beautiful colors and feature distinctive physical characteristics. Here’s an overview of their appearance and behavior in aquariums:


  • Variety of Colors: Fancy goldfish are available in a wide range of colors, including red, orange, yellow, white, black, and calico (multi-colored). Their scales can have a metallic, matte, or translucent sheen.
  • Distinctive Body Shapes: What sets fancy goldfish apart from their common goldfish counterparts is their unique body shape. They have short, rounded bodies with double tails and paired fins, and there are many varations.
  • Fancy Fins: Fancy goldfish are admired for their elaborate finnage. They often have long, flowing dorsal fins, paired pectoral fins, and a range of tail shapes, including single tails, double tails, and butterfly tails.
  • Facial Features: Many fancy goldfish have charming and expressive facial features, with large, protruding eyes. These eyes are a key part of their appeal and are especially prominent in breeds like the Bubble Eye or Telescope Goldfish.


  • Social Creatures: Fancy goldfish are generally social and enjoy the company of other goldfish. They can be kept in groups in a well-sized aquarium, and they often exhibit interesting interactions with each other.
  • Playful Swimmers: These fish are active swimmers, constantly exploring their environment. They may dart around the tank, chase one another, or simply glide gracefully through the water. The movement of their fancy fins adds to their elegance.
  • Bottom Dwellers: Fancy goldfish tend to spend more time near the bottom of the aquarium, and they often forage for food or search for interesting objects on the substrate. Their distinctive body shapes make them less agile swimmers compared to common goldfish, which are more streamlined.
  • Grazers: Goldfish are known for their voracious appetite, and fancies are no exception. They graze on aquatic plants and readily accept a variety of commercial and live foods. It’s important to monitor their diet to prevent overfeeding, which can lead to health issues.
  • Interaction with Humans: Fancy goldfish can recognize their owners and may even interact with them by coming to the front of the tank when someone approaches. This interaction adds a personal and endearing touch to their behavior.

Keep in mind that the care of fancy goldfish, including appropriate tank size, water quality, and diet, is essential to ensure their well-being. They can live for many years when provided with the right environment and care. Their captivating appearance and engaging behavior make them a favorite among aquarists, whether they are beginners or experienced hobbyists.

How Many Fancy Goldfish In a 55 Gallon Tank?

The number of fancy goldfish you can keep in a 55-gallon (200 liters) tank depends on several factors, including the size of the individual fish and the quality of filtration in your tank. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Rule of thumb: A common rule of thumb is to allow 20 gallons (80 liters) of water for the first fancy goldfish and an additional 10 gallons for each additional fish. So for a 55-gallon tank (200 liters), you could keep around 3 fancy goldfish, perhaps more if they are small.
  • Size and maturity: Consider the size of the goldfish you plan to keep. If they are small juveniles, you can initially keep more, but you’ll need to plan for their growth. Fancy goldfish can grow quite large over time, so make sure they have enough space.
  • Filtration and maintenance: Good filtration and regular water changes are crucial for keeping goldfish healthy. The more goldfish you have, the more waste they produce, so a robust filtration system is necessary. You may need to upgrade your filtration or consider a larger tank if you want to keep more goldfish.
  • Aquascape and decorations: Be mindful of the layout and decorations in your tank. Fancy goldfish need swimming space, but they also benefit from hiding places and obstacles to explore.
  • Monitor water parameters: Regularly check water parameters, such as ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH, to ensure the water quality remains stable and safe for your fish.

Remember that these are general guidelines, and the specific needs of your goldfish may vary. It’s always a good idea to research the specific requirements of the fancy goldfish you plan to keep and monitor their well-being in the tank. Overcrowding can lead to stress, poor water quality, and health issues for the fish, so it’s essential to provide a suitable environment.

How Many Fancy Goldfish In a 55 Gallon Tank (200 liters) is Appropriate?
How Many Fancy Goldfish In a 55 Gallon Tank (200 liters) is Appropriate?

Aquarium Setup

Setting up an aquarium for fancy goldfish requires careful planning and attention to detail to provide a suitable environment for these beautiful fish. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to set up an aquarium for fancy goldfish:

  • Choose the Right Tank: Select a tank size that is appropriate for the number of fancy goldfish you plan to keep. A 55-gallon tank (200 liters) is a good starting point for a small group of fancy goldfish.
  • Provide Proper Filtration: Invest in a high-quality filtration system. Goldfish produce a lot of waste, so a filter with a strong biological and mechanical filtration capacity is essential.
  • Add Substrate and Decorations: Use a fine substrate like sand or smooth gravel, as rough gravel can injure the sensitive underside of fancy goldfish. Decorate the tank with plants (real or fake), rocks, driftwood, and other ornaments. These not only add visual appeal but also offer hiding spots and enrichment for the fish.
  • Maintain Water Conditions: Ensure proper water parameters, including a temperature between 68-72°F (20-22°C).
  • Install Proper Lighting: Provide appropriate lighting for the plants and the fish. Fancy goldfish don’t have strict lighting requirements, but moderate, consistent lighting can enhance their colors and activity.
  • Cycle the Aquarium: Before adding goldfish, perform a fishless cycle. This establishes a stable nitrogen cycle in the tank, ensuring a safe and healthy environment for your fish. 
  • Introduce the Fish: Once the tank is cycled, introduce your fancy goldfish gradually. Start with just a couple of fish if the tank is new. Monitor their behavior and water conditions closely.
  • Feed Properly: Feed your goldfish a balanced diet that includes high-quality pellet or flake food, along with occasional treats like frozen or live foods. Be mindful not to overfeed, as goldfish are prone to obesity.
  • Maintain the Tank: Perform regular water changes (20-30% of the tank volume) to maintain water quality and remove excess nutrients. Clean the substrate during water changes and vacuum out debris to prevent the buildup of waste.
  • Monitor Health: Keep a close eye on the health of your goldfish. Look for signs of illness, such as changes in behavior, loss of appetite, or abnormal growths.
  • Be Patient: Goldfish are long-lived and may take some time to grow and mature. Be patient and enjoy watching them develop their unique personalities.

Remember that proper maintenance and attentive care are key to keeping your fancy goldfish happy and healthy in the aquarium. Always research the specific needs of your goldfish variety and consult with experienced aquarists or professionals if you have any questions or concerns.


In conclusion, the answer to “How many fancy goldfish in a 55-gallon tank (200 liters) is appropriate?” is a guideline to begin your aquarist journey. While the rule of thumb suggests around 3 fancy goldfish for a 55-gallon tank (200 liters), it’s crucial to remember that this number depends on factors like individual fish size, water quality, and filtration capacity, so you may be able to have a few more if they are small. When planning your aquarium, always prioritize the comfort and health of your goldfish. Create a vibrant underwater world with appropriate tank size, robust filtration, proper decorations, and consistent maintenance, allowing your fancy goldfish to flourish and exhibit their mesmerizing appearance and charming behavior. With dedication and care, your aquarium can be a spectacular home for these captivating aquatic companions.