Veiltail Goldfish (Carassius auratus)

Veiltail Goldfish (Carassius auratus) by Bechstein GNU Free Documentation License 26/02/2008
photo by Bechstein


The veiltail is a fancy goldfish, known for its extra-long, flowing double tail. It has a modified deep-and-round ryukin-shaped body, though without the dorsal 'hump' characteristic of ryukins. The hallmark of the breed is its lengthy and graceful double tail which is square-edged and without any forking or indentation between the lobes.

It also has a high, prominent and well-developed dorsal fin. The anal fins are paired and are quite well-developed as well. The term 'veiltail' is commonly and erroneously applied to any goldfish displaying a long caudal, but true veiltails must have all the charactersitics described above. Veiltails are available in many colors and may have either metallic or nacreous scales. They can grow from 8 to 12 inches (20 to 31 centimeters). They are not good swimmers but can be kept with other fancy goldfish. Veiltails will not accept temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

History and origins

The veiltail, a name coined by William T. Innes, originated in the United States in the 1890s when Franklin Barrett of Philadelphia bred a Japanese-bred ryukin to a telescope eye goldfish that exhibited a short, square-edged caudal. This resulted in a strain of fish soon to be known throughout the world as Philadelphia veiltails.


Apart from those bred and developed in the United States, there are now also Chinese and European strains. They may have normal or telescope-eyes.

Special care

The long and trailing tail of the veiltail is delicate and can be easily damaged. Veiltails are also susceptible to low water temperatures. Telescope-eyed veiltails have difficulty competing for food with more active goldfish.