Goldfish are very popular pets. They’re cheap, small, and are a great choice for a ‘first fish’ since they are not as sensitive to ‘aquarium mistakes’ as other varieties.
With the right care and ‘environment, goldfish can grow up to 60 cm long (about 2 feet) and live for 20 years. Here is a beginner’s guide to goldfish that will help you understand your pet’s needs and how you can help it thrive
Goldfish can be found in streams, ponds and lakes in Asia and eastern Europe. They like a temperate climate, and in you need to maintain a similar temperature in you aquarium. The water temperature should be from 65° and 68° F (18° and 20° C) and never go beyond 72° Fahrenheit (about 23.5° Celsius) for long periods of time. The high temperature will cause our fish to develop nerve and heart damage and weaken their immune system.
Many countries ban the stereotype goldfish bowl. It is too small for the fish and is considered cruel. You need at least a 10 gallon (38 liter) talk for a single fish. If you want to keep more than one goldfish in a tank, the ratio should be 6 gallons per fish.
Even if you have an aquarium filter you should still change the water regularly. Make sure the filter does not create a very powerful current. Some goldfish varieties are used to staying in calm bodies of water such as lakes, and they will have a hard time swimming.
Goldfish need a diet that is high in carbohydrates. Many pet stores carry food made precisely for goldfish.
Don’t overfeed your goldfish. Give them food once a day, so they finish the food within a few minutes of feeding. Any leftover food will make the aquarium dirty and affect the quality of the water. This will eventually make your goldfish sick.
Fish like to have places where they can hide. Ideally about half of your aquarium is made of places where they can go for cover. It will make your fish feel safer, and we all know the effect of stress on lifespan!
There are many aquarium decorations to choose from. However, veer away from any that have sharp or rough edges that can injure your fish. This is very important for goldfish varieties that are known to have weak eyesight.
Photo from 3d-screensaver-jam.com
Can you mix goldfish with other fish?
My very first pet was a goldfish.
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Christina @ Complete Goldfish Care says
What a great guide (and a beautiful image, I must say).
One thing that I’ll add is to test the water at least weekly (preferably more often) with a freshwater testing kit, so that you can always ensure appropriate conditions for your aquarium inhabitants.
I also personally like to feed my goldfish small frequent feedings throughout the day (about two to four 1-minute meals), so that the food isn’t as taxing on their sensitive digestive systems as one larger meal per day.