Are you interested in veil tails in the garden pond, which immediately catch the eye due to their characteristic tail fin? The keeping proves to be more difficult in comparison to other representatives of the species, since they are much more sensitive. However, there is nothing to oppose your own breeding of the fish, whereby the preparation of the garden pond is very important. You must also pay attention to the school size of the fish.

Suitable cultivated forms

Before you can start keeping it, you should first find out about veiltail cultivars that are suitable for garden ponds. Since many of the forms available today are overgrown and weakened as a result, they are not very suitable for this project, even with good care. Therefore, you should rely on the original variants, because only these can also be kept in the pond. The following cultivation forms are recommended here:

  1. Fan tails: The fan tails are often referred to as the “West Ryukin” because this breed is very popular in Europe and especially in the USA. The caudal fin looks less like a veil and is more pointed, which is responsible for the name. Fan tails easily reach over 20 centimeters and enable problem-free reproduction. Although it needs a minimum temperature of 13 ° C, it can be just as easily overwintered.
  2. Ryukin: The Ryukin is ideal for the pond, as it is one of the oldest cultivated forms of the veil tail. These can be recognized by their high back shield and double fins, which also make them appear even wider. They swim a little faster than other cultivated forms and can also be easily overwintered.
  3. Calico: The calico is an original veil tail shape and recognizable by its elongated body, which is more reminiscent of a classic goldfish. The pattern also catches the eye, connecting white, black and red-orange spots. Calico are among the best veil tail cultivars that you can put in the garden pond.

These three varieties give you an overview of which shape of veil tail is particularly suitable for the garden pond. Rely on those that have not been overbred and resemble the original “Veiltail”. The more the veil tails resemble typical goldfish, the more robust they are and therefore suitable for keeping in a pond. You can also buy veil tails from the pet store. These are usually not purebred cultivated forms, but a colorful mix of veil tails. This has the advantage that they are much more robust than the purebred relatives of the breeder. Of course, when choosing, the fish should look healthy.

Tip: Avoid purchasing overbred forms of the veil tails, as these often suffer from health problems that exist especially with “bad” breeders. The problematic cultivated forms include the pompom, ranchu, oranda, sky-gazer and bladder-eye, which can even go completely blind.


In the aquarium it is normal that goldfish are usually not kept together with other fish because they need significantly cooler water. But that’s a different story in the garden pond, as garden ponds are much cooler than aquariums, especially in the local areas. For this reason, those interested in veil tail ask whether it is possible to keep other fish species. It would be possible with small fish, which also fit perfectly in a mini pond, as they do not pose a threat to the slower swimming veil tails:

  • Moderlieschen (Leucaspius delineatus)
  • Bitterlinge (Rhodeus bitterus)
  • Elritzen (Phoxinus phoxinus)

Here it is important to keep sturdy veiltail types, especially fan tails, as these are not that sensitive. Keeping them together with koi is possible, but then of course you need a lot more space so that goldfish and Cyprinus carpio do not get sick. But if you want to be on the safe side, you should generally keep veil tails as a single shoal in the garden pond. Other goldfish are not recommended because they are faster than the veil tails and steal their food. The group size should be at least four animals, although more is always better. From five veil tails the animals feel very comfortable in the pond.

Prepare the pond

Since veil tails are a bit more sensitive than normal goldfish and injure themselves more quickly, a well-designed pond is necessary for a healthy school. The veil tails are fish that prefer cold water, but which must not get too cold. This is very important because the temperature contributes a lot to the health of the fish. The ideal temperature is between 4 ° C and 22 ° C over the warm months of the year. Furthermore, the following properties must be observed:

  • Light requirement: 70% sunny, 30% shady
  • Minimum depth: 100 – 150 cm
  • Minimum water volume: 1,000 l
  • Substrate: loose, made of sand and gravel (fine)
  • pH value: 6.5 – 8.3
  • Nitratgehalt: max. 25 mg pro l
  • Degree of hardness: 10 – 12 dH

You also need an oxygen pump and a high-quality filter system so that sufficient fresh air and clean water are available. When designing, make sure that the pond has shallow bank areas, as the fish do not only want to be in deep water. Pay attention to the size of the swarm when determining the amount of water. According to a rule of thumb, a fish needs around 100 liters of pond water to remain vital. In addition, the veil tails are dependent on sufficient water plants. The following plants are typical for goldfish:

  • Tube flasks ( bot. Typha )
  • Wassermimos ( bot.Aeschynomene floating )
  • Wasserhyazinthe (bot. Eichhornia crassipes)
  • Quellmoos (bot.Fontinalis antipyretica)
  • Water lilies ( Nymphaea )

These are best planted in pots. If you want to breed the veil tails, you should plant part of the garden pond with more plants. These are required for spawning.

Insert veil tails

As soon as you have prepared the pond, you can get your veiltail swarm and settle them. However, there are a few points you have to pay attention to so that the fish do not feel worse afterwards. At the beginning, the time of settlement is to be mentioned here. Spring is best for this purpose, as the water temperature must be above 15 ° C. Since the fish cannot survive winter without a period of acclimatization of six months, spring should also be chosen. If the time is right, follow these steps to settle:

  1. Place the closed transport bag in the pond water at the edge.
  2. The bag is left there for a period of 45 to 60 minutes. This allows the fish to get used to the temperature of the water.
  3. After this time, fill the bag with some pond water and leave it in the water for about 30 minutes.
  4. Then carefully open the bag and the veil tails can move in.


In terms of nutrition, it is an advantage that the veil tail is omnivorous and at the same time wolverine. For this reason, a simple nutrition plan has been established for the animals, which relies on dry, frozen and live food in a ratio of 1: 1: 1. When choosing dry food, make sure to buy small pack sizes, as this will retain more nutrients after opening. With live and frozen food, you should rely on the following insects:

  • Mosquitoes or red mosquito larvae (Chironomidae): frozen food
  • Bush flies or white mosquito larvae (Chaoboridae): frozen food
  • Mosquitoes or black mosquito larvae (Culex): frozen food
  • Common water flea ( Daphnia pulex ): live food

Make sure to feed the fish in small portions two to three times a day. This means that there is no food left over to pollute the pond. Never feed below 10 ° C, because from this time the animals prepare for winter. In order not to let the animals gain weight too much, you should refrain from feeding once a week.

Idea: It doesn’t hurt to feed lamb’s lettuce and dandelion leaves, as well as corn, potatoes without salt and peas in between. These ensure a varied diet.


Breeding is just as easy as feeding the veil tails. If your shoal is doing well, they will be busy spawning from spring onwards. As long as there are enough aquatic plants available, you hardly have to do anything by yourself. Since veil tails have a strong instinct for cannibalism towards the young, you have to keep them separate from the adult specimens after hatching. There are two ways to do this:

  1. Separate pond area: Build a small pond section next to the large one, which is equipped with numerous aquatic plants as a natural barrier. The fry can survive in this for the first time.
  2. Aquarium: After hatching, put the young fish in a suitable aquarium and keep them in this for as long. This is often the safest option.

The juvenile fish can be put back into the pond from a size of at least four centimeters.


Wintering is not a problem with goldfish if the above-mentioned depth of the garden pond is correct. A goldfish like the veil tail does quite well at these depths. If you get it used to the water over a period of six months, it can survive the winter in the garden pond. The following points will help you:

  1. Stop feeding completely below 10 ° C. From this point on, remove the pump in the pond or switch it off. Replace this with an ozonizer and at the same time drop an ice preventer into the water. As a result, the goldfish has sufficient oxygen available and digestion gases can escape, as no closed ice cover is formed.
  2. In autumn, remove as much leaves and plant debris from the water surface as possible. Alternatively, you can use a network for this. In this way you counteract the formation of fermentation gases, to which veil-tail swarms are sensitive. Do not forget to cut or tie up pond plants in good time so that they do not reach into the water and rot.
  3. If an ice sheet forms, do not use the hammer, as veil tails are jumpy. Melt a hole in the ice sheet using heated water.

Veil tails in the garden pond prove to be more in need of care than other goldfish cultivated forms. On the other hand, if they are kept well, they inspire with their appearance and are suitable for further breeding, through which the “swarm” can even gain in size over time. Hibernating is particularly important in order to be able to keep veil tails.

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