Caring for your goldfish properly can help him live a long and healthy life.
In fact, a goldfish that is kept in a clean tank and fed the proper foods can have a lifespan as long as any other household pet!
Many people have the misconception that a goldfish can live happily on one of those round goldfish bowls but an environment like this will not be able to provide your fish with the proper care and he will not live very long. If you house your goldfish in a regular tank with lights and filtration, feed them the proper food and provide the necessary water changes and care, they will reward you with a beautiful and peaceful focal point for any room.
There are many species of goldfish which are actually quite easy to care for. Here’s some goldfish information and tips below that will help even the newest aquarist in tank setup, feeding, maintenance and care.
Goldfish are one of the few freshwater fish who need colder water. Keep your tank’s water temperature around 68 degrees Fahrenheit – never below 65 or above 72. A warm water temperature can seriously impair his immune system and make him susceptible to disease. You will need to be careful about which fish you mix with your goldfish because most other tropical fish need their water to be a bit warmer. It’s not a bad idea to have 1 tank with just goldfish – there’s many different breeds and color variations so you won’t get bored!
The size of your tank depends on how many goldfish you want to have in your care. Each fish should have about 7 gallons of water, so if you want 5 goldfish a 35 gallon tank is recommended. The tank should have the proper lighting and a filter but take care that the filter does not create too much current if you are caring for the fancy goldfish with the long flowy tails (it will make it hard for them to swim!). Goldfish also need more oxygen than most fish so it is best to house them in a long rectangular shaped tank – a round or hexagon probably won’t work out too well for them.
Just like other fish, goldfish like to have some structures in the tank to swim around and to hide in if they feel threatened. You can decorate your aquarium with anything you care to use as long as it is safe for the fish.
Care and Maintenance
Routine care of your goldfish tank is the same as with any other fish tank. Periodic water changes of 10% to 15% along with proper water conditioning are a must. You should inspect your goldfish periodically (after all, you do have the tank so you can enjoy them by looking at them, right?) to make sure they do not show any signs of disease. If you see any white fluffy stuff or other abnormalities, treat it right away. Of course, regular tank care and maintenance such as changing the filter, cleaning the outside tank and hood and replacing lights as needed is necessary for a good looking and functional goldfish tank.
Give your goldfish the best of care by feeding him special goldfish food which is nutritionally balanced and mix in some fresh food every so often. They’ll eat almost anything, but there are special foods made for these fish that will keep them looking and feeling their best. The key to healthy cared for goldfish (or any fish for that matter) is to not overfeed them. Gold fish are constantly picking around the bottom of the tank for food scraps which might lead you to think that they are hungry but don’t let them fool you. The worst thing you can do is to feed your goldfish too much! Excess food in the tank will create excess waste and both will result in poor water quality which will lead to disease and death. Feed your goldfish once a day with an amount that they can consume in a couple of minutes. Some recommend to refrain from feeding 1 day per week.
There are plenty of goldfish breeds to keep any aquarist happy. They’ve been bred for over 2000 years and there are some strange looking fish in the mix. I prefer the fancy kinds with the long tails, but some folks like the ones with huge bubbles on their eyes or those with a large bumpy head. When it comes to fish care, they are typically divided into 2 categories – shallow bodied which are the more common kinds and deep bodied which are the fancier fuller looking fish like moors and veiltails.
Read more about goldfish breeds.
Properly cared for goldfish are quite hardy, but like any other living creature can be stricken with disease. The deep bodied fancier looking ones are susceptible to digestive disorders but most other disease is caused by poor water conditions so treatment should include periodic water changes.
Read more about goldfish disease.
Buying goldfish is easy as most pet stores keep plenty of them in stock. Always buy from a fish shop that you trust. Inspect the fish and make sure it is not acting sluggish or showing any signs of disease. Make sure you get a guarantee. Be aware that not all goldfish are compatible in the same tank so ask your fish supplier if you are unsure.