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Nymph Goldfish: Care Guide, Varieties, Lifespan & More (with Pictures)

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By Lindsey Stanton

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The Nymph Goldfish is a breed of goldfish closely related to the Fantail and Veintail breeds. However, unlike those breeds, it has a single tail with single anal and caudal fins. It’s rarely bred on purpose and is the product of a recessive gene. It’s a fast swimmer that’s very hardy and can live in a pond for many years through harsh winters.tropical fish 1 divider

Quick Facts About Nymph Goldfish

Species Name: Nymph Goldfish
Family: Cyprinidae
Care Level: Minimal
Temperature: 60–80 degrees Fahrenheit
Temperament: Peaceful, social, schooling
Color Form: Red to white, calico to black
Lifespan: 10 to 14 years
Size: Varies up to 12 inches
Diet: Omnivore
Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
Tank Set-Up: Short, wide, and shallow with filter
Compatibility: Very
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Nymph Goldfish Overview

The Nymph Goldfish is one of the most popular pets in the world despite never being purposely bred. They are the result of a recessive gene that occurs when breeding the parent Fantail and Vaintail breeds. It can grow up to one foot long if housed in a proper aquarium and live up to 15 years or longer. It’s a fast-moving fish available in a wide range of colors and enjoys the company of other fish.

How Much Do Nymph Goldfish Cost?

Nymph Goldfish are one of the most inexpensive pets you can purchase. Our first experience with these fish is often from winning them at a carnival or fair, and they are usually the least expensive breed in the pet store.

However, the cost of the fish isn’t the only consideration. It will also need a large tank and strong filter, which will be much more expensive than the fish. Rocks, nets, and other aquarium items will also add to the cost, as will food, lighting, and electricity.aquarium plant divider

Typical Behavior & Temperament

The Nymph Goldfish is a friendly breed that is part of a school in the wild and will enjoy the company of other fish. It never becomes aggressive, and you can keep many other types of fish in the same aquarium.

Appearance & Varieties

The Nymph Goldfish is available in a wide range of colors and can grow up to one foot long. The dorsal fin is held high on its back with large pectoral and pelvic fins that help the fish achieve a graceful appearance. Some Nymph Goldfish can have telescoping eyes while others will not. It’s a strong swimmer and is quite hardy.aquarium plant divider

How to Take Care of Nymph Goldfish

Contrary to popular opinion, you should not place a Nymph Goldfish in a bowl and forget about it. They do not simply grow to fit the tank, nor do they have short memories.

Aquarium Size

The minimum recommended tank size for a single Nymph Goldfish is 30 gallons, and an additional 10 gallons for every additional Nymph you place in the tank. Since these goldfish are schooling fish, it’s best to have at least two. The tank should not be tall and thin but short and wide. A shorter, wider tank will allow more area for your fish to explore, and it also provides more surface area where oxygen can enter the water.

Water Temperature

The Nymph Goldfish is an extremely hardy breed that can last through the winter in a frozen pond, but it’s best to keep the water between 60 and 80 degrees in a home aquarium. Since room temperature falls within this range, you are unlikely to need a heater for your tank.

If you're a new or experienced goldfish keeper who’s struggling to figure out the best temperature for your goldfish family, check out our best-selling book on Amazon, The Truth About Goldfish,  which covers everything about tank maintenance practices, maintaining optimum fish health, and more!

The Truth About Goldfish New Edition

This crucial aspect of the tank setup could be affecting your pet’s health more than you suspect.  which 


It’s best to keep the tank at a pH between 7 and 8. Many spring water types have too low a pH, while most of our drinking water is too high. You can expect to be required to adjust the pH of your water to suit your fish using a pH increaser or a pH decreaser for best results.


Sand is the recommended substrate for Nymph Goldfish. It will allow them to forage for food, and it encourages the growth of healthy bacteria. We recommend coarse sand, but the color doesn’t matter.


Your Nymph Goldfish will eat several types of plants, so you may opt to use other things to decorate the tank with, like castles and caves, that will enrich your pet’s life without much extra care. If you do get plants, Annubus varieties are the best.


Your Nymph Goldfish does not require any special lighting and will survive just fine without it. However, you may want to purchase a small light for the lid so you can see them better, especially during feeding time.


Nymph Goldfish do not have stomachs, so they produce a lot of waste. A sand substrate can help grow helpful bacteria that will help take care of this waste, but a good strong filter is also important. Make sure the filter matches your tank size.aquarium plant divider

Are Nymph Goldfish Good Tank Mates?

Yes, the Nymph Goldfish is a peaceful and social fish that will not only avoid confrontation; they enjoy the company and will live a happier life if they are not alone. You can also include snails, shrimp, crabs, and yabbies without danger.

The only type of fish you need to worry about is the Fantail and Veintail parent breeds. It’s not that these breeds are aggressive; they are much slower due to having more than one tail. The Nymph Goldfish is much faster and will get to the food quicker, leading to malnutrition in the Fantail or Veintail breeds.

What to Feed Your Nymph Goldfish

Your Nymph Goldfish is an omnivore, which means you can feed it flakes, pellets, and vegetables to keep it healthy. There are many brands available, and we recommend choosing one brand and sticking with it to minimize any sudden reactions.

Keeping Your Nymph Goldfish Healthy

The Nymph Goldfish has a long lifespan and can easily live more than ten years in the proper size tank, with some company and a steady diet. Many live to 15 or even 20 years under ideal conditions.


Breeders do not breed the Nymph Goldfish. Instead, they breed the Fantail and Veintail breeds, of which the Nymph Goldfish is a byproduct due to a recessive gene. Because the breeders do not want them, they sell them at a heavily discounted rate, which is why you see them so often as prizes at fairs and carnivals and why they are so cheap in the store.

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Are Nymph Goldfish Suitable for Your Aquarium?

Nymph Goldfish are inexpensive and live a long time. It is available in various colors and patterns and is peaceful enough to cohabitate with most other fish. It doesn’t require any special lighting or heating but does require a much larger tank than many people realize. Since they don’t have a stomach, you will need to clean the tank frequently to keep it clean, but little other care is required. Overall, it makes a fantastic pet that will provide you with entertainment for many years.

We hope you have enjoyed this look into one of the most inexpensive pets available and have decided to get one for your home. If we have helped answer your questions and you learned something new, please share this guide to the Nymph Goldfish on Facebook and Twitter.

Featured Image Credit: Kateryna Mostova, Shutterstock

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