Looking After Goldfish

November 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Looking After Goldfish

Our kids get them all the time as prices, gifts, or they just fall in love with them at the pet store, or maybe you decide to start keeping Goldfish because it's the most common fish to have, but there are many things about looking after Goldfish that you should know.

So, let's talk about the top 10 myths about Goldfish:

Myth #1: Goldfish can live in a bowl. FALSE, FALSE, FALSE. The tiniest Goldfish needs at the very least a 10 gallon tank to survive, but it should really be a 20 gallon for one Fancy Goldfish. After the first one, each fish needs at least 10 gallons of water to thrive. Comets and Common Goldfish actually need a lot more (over 50 gallons for the first fish). Choose tanks that have a large surface area to increase the oxygen that comes in contact with the surface of the water, and wider is always better than taller.

Myth #2: Goldfish have a very short lifespan. FALSE. Some Goldfish can live more than 25 years if given good care.

Looking After GoldfishMyth #3: All Goldfish are tiny red fish. FALSE. There are many types of Goldfish:
Color: various combinations of white, yellow, orange, red, brown, and black. You can also find silver, gold, blue, although many of them change color as they grow older.
Types: Common, Black Moor, Bubble Eye, Celestial Eye, Comet, Fantail, Pompom, Pearlscale, Ryukin, Shubunkin, Telescope Eye, Ranchu, Panda Moor, Veil Tail, And Butterfly Tail, among others.

Myth #4: Goldfish stay small. FALSE. Different types of Goldfish can grow to different sizes. Some can grow to over 15 inches length and weight over 5 pounds. A Fancy Goldfish in a tank can easily grow to 10 inches.

Myth #5: Goldfish are low maintenance. FALSE. These fish require a lot of care since they are prone to diseases. It's not complicated care, though. You just have to be watchful of how often you do water changes and keep the perimeters of the water at acceptable levels by testing the water often for ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, and PH levels. Ideally, you should do at least a 70% water change every week, and never forget to condition the water.

Myth #6: Filtration and heat are not important for Goldfish. FALSE. Goldfish poop a lot, they are not clean fish, so in order to maintain clean and safe water for your pet, a Goldfish tank needs triple the filtration for its size. So, if you have a 20 gallon tank, you should get a filter for a 60 gallon tank.
Although Goldfish can handle a range of temperatures, they will not do well at temperatures under 60°F and over 80°F, so, if you live in a very cold place, you will need a heater, and to keep the tank cool in a hot place, do not place the tank near a window or direct sunlight, and if necessary, run a fan to cool the surface of the water or get a chiller.

Myth #7: Goldfish are content just floating in the tank. FALSE. Goldfish need physical and mental stimulation, so decorate your tank with bridges, plants, etc. Whatever substrate you use, don't make it too deep because harmful bacteria can build up in there. A thin layer of gravel or thick sand across the bottom of the tank is sufficient. Make sure none of the decorations you choose are hollow (the bacteria and poisoned gas build up again) and avoid sharp edges that can tear your fish's fins. Rearrange your decorations every month to offer your pets new areas to explore.

Myth #8: Goldfish (fish) don't need oxygen to breathe. FALSE. All fish need oxygen to live, only the oxygen is dissolved in the water, that's why fish need to have a large area of the water in contact with the oxygen outside (that's why bowls are so bad for fish) and they also need extra oxygen that can be provided by adding air bubbles to the tanks. They are not only decorative. They "break" the surface of the water allowing more oxygen to be absorbed.

Myth #9: You need to feed your Goldfish whatever they can eat in two minutes. FALSE. This is the first thing they tell you at pet stores and it's not quite accurate. Goldfish can eat very fast, which means that they can really pack a lot of food in two minutes. The more you overfeed your Goldfish the more health problems they will have and the dirtier your water is going to get. You can feed your Goldfish once, twice or even three times a day, but never more than a portion the size of their eye. If you'll be feeding once, you can feed them a couple of portions each. Try to avoid flakes, or soak them for a little while so they will sink, thus helping the Goldfish not to swallow air at the surface.

Myth #10: Goldfish are disposable. FALSE, FALSE, FALSE. No living being is disposable. Fish can make great pets if you really take care of them. They are not animals you can buy, have for a month, have it die and get another one. Goldfish can live many years and get really big. They do have personalities, you can even train them to eat from your hand and come when called! If you are going to keep Goldfish, please make sure you know how to care for it and the commitment you are making.

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