Goldfish Care



Why you should not get a goldfish

You should probably not get a goldfish. The reality is, unless you have a 1000 gallon pond with a strong filter and you do frequent water changes, you should not get a goldfish. This setup is the only way to freely raise goldfish and not have major problems. Goldfish are big, dirty, incompatible fish. They require a lot of care, and are definitely not a good starter fish. Please consider the reasons below, before seriously considering buying a goldfish. If you have already bought a goldfish on impulse, please find it a good home, if you cannot care for it correctly.

Don't even think about it...

Don't even think about it...

Why goldfish are not beginner fish

  • Goldfish are very large fish. Common and comet goldfish can become a foot (12inches) or longer. Fancy goldfish can gain a length of 5 to 7 inches. So they need a large tank (preferably pond). Approximately 20 gallons per common goldfish and 15 gallons per fancy goldfish. Keep in mind the amount of of money this will cost.
  • Goldfish have an abnormally long lifespan. They can live to be several decades old. This should always be kept in mind when a goldfish is bought.
  • Goldfish are very dirty fish and produce an excess of waste, so they require numerous water changes. They also require very strong filtration, which will raise the price tag even furthur.
  • Goldfish will eat just about anything so, when they become bigger, they can become aggressive to other fish. Common goldfish have been know to eat smaller fish, and are therefore not compatible.
    Goldfish tanks are unusally goldfish only aquariums, which is very unappealing to many fish keepers.
  • Because of the above reasons goldfish tanks come with a hefty price tag that most people cannot, or willnot, pay for. This results in inadequte goldfish care,and dead goldfish.
  • Goldfish are not very expensive. Common goldfish (feeder goldfish) only cost 20 to 30 cents. Comet goldfish cost 2 to 4 dollars. Fancy goldfish (depending on size) can cost up to 10 dollars. Because they are very cheap, compared to many other fish, people feel the need to buy excessive numbers of them and replace dead ones qucikly (instead of spending more money on making the aquarium better).
  • Common myths are also a problem. Goldfish do not adjust to a small tank, their growth is stunted. These cramped conditions will result in a shorter lifespan, and is not healthy.
  • Goldfish are hardy fish and many people use them to cycle a tank before adding more attractive fish. This results in unwanted goldfsih after the cycling processes that are treated (or disposed) of cruely. Getting goldfish to cycle a tank is unneccessary and cruel. Refer to the cycling tab to see alternate cycling options.

Goldfish Changing Colors

As the age, goldfish have been known to begin changing colors. This includes turning white, or having one color come to dominate another color. Some bubbly eyed black goldfish have also been known to turn black. This is not abnormal and can result for genetics in an aging goldfish. If this is an unwanted change, you can enhance the goldfish's diet to try to stop or subdue this change. Foods high in spirulina, beta glucan, vitamin E and vitamin C are thought to reduce this color change. Like always, poor water quality can lead to bad goldfish health and lead to down-sides, such as changing color.

Just varying the goldfish's diet can really help. Fresh vegetables, and fruits can help do this. Just always remember, veggies and fruits ADD to your goldfish's diet, they are not the base of their die. Flakes or pellets specified for goldfish should always be fed because they have a "roughly" balanced diet. With a flake or pellet food, you cannot ensure your goldfish is getting all the nutrients they need.
The flake or pellet food should be the main food that is fed every day, or every other day.

Fading, dulling or subduing colors, however, can hint to a greater problem. Some color fading/dullness can mean a parasite, chemical water imbalance or a digestive problem. A low activity level and change in eating habits (eating less) are other indicators that there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Also, a high pH could "burn" goldfish and cause colors to change. The pH should be from 6.5 to 7.2 to keep a goldfish healthy. Also, if it is a brand new fish, the flake/pellet food you are feeding them could be different then what they are used to, and could change their color. Basically, fading/dulling is only one indicator that your goldfish are not doing well. If there is really something wrong, you will see other factors that will confirm this.

Frozen shrimp, green peas, lettuce, spinach.
Pear, Apple, Grapefruit.

Varied Diet

Be careful when changing your goldfish's diet. Always feed a specified goldfish food so that the bases of your goldfish's needs are covered. These foods are to SUPPLEMENT your goldfish's diet, they are not the foundation of a good diet.

Sweet Peas, green beans, spinach, and cucumber are good vegetables that can be about every other day. They should be softened somehow. Just put them into a bowl, add some water and microwave them for 20-30 seconds. This will steam all the veggies and make then soft enough for the goldfish to eat. Make sure you also peal all the sweet peas and beans. There thin outer coating is hard for the goldfish to digest. Also be careful that the food has cooled down before feeding it. All the veggies should be broken into small pieces. I also smuch/grind the food between two fingers, to make sure it is soft enough. Also, feed sparingly. Every 10 minutes I'll feed my two goldfish a few bits and pieces for an hour.

Fruits are fed more sparingly than veggies in my tank. They should not be a staple part of a goldfish's diet, but they provide a lot of Vitamin C. Citrus fruit, grapes, and strawberries are favorites in my tank. They should be fed less often, maybe about 2 times a week. The grapes, should be pealed, just like the sweet peas, and green beans. These should also be cut into small pieces. Be careful for seeds however, they are not good for goldfish.

Above all remember that goldfish are omnivores; they eat both veggies and meat, like humans. So, when supplementing their diet remember to add some meat/protein as well. For this, there are many retail foods. Such as: krill, brine shrimp, bloodworms, or insect larvae. These can be attained in the freezer-dried containers, frozen, or live. Obviously, feeding live food is best because it is like their real environment. However, live, these foods can introduce diseases and parasites into your tank. So, this should only be an option if you can obtain live food from a reliable source. Also, if some worms are not eaten they can hide in the gravel of an aquarium and cause problems. Some people also have an issue with feeding live foods. Keep in mind that another tank is needed to contain this live food until they are going to be fed. I have found that my goldfish really like pond snails. Since I have an old 20 gallon pond in my garage, I simply use it as a breeding ground. Once a month I'll take a few out and throw them into my 55 gallon tank. My goldfish go crazy over them, and it helps keep the snail levels in half barrel pond down. Overall, I think it keeps them healthy and looking great. Frozen foods are popular and can last a long time in the freezer. Freezer-dried foods are more practical, but some say they do not provide as much nutrients as frozen foods. Also, freezer-dried food has an expiration date, so it limits the time it can be kept. I have used freezer-dried food before and found it did a pretty good job, my goldfish went crazy over it.

There is also a range of non-retail meaty foods you can give your goldfish, as a treat. These should only be fed very sparingly, like once a week, to bi-weekly. I personally feed shrimp to my goldfish. I get 3-4 pieces from the frozen food section for my local supermarket. I get whole, frozen shrimp that I can store for a long time. As long as they are just shrimp, with no additives the are safe for the goldfish. I just break off a piece of shrimp and put it in a small container, with some water, to be steamed in the microwave (just like the veggies). The important thing to remember is, not only to peal the shrimp, but to work the "meat" of the shrimp for a few seconds. This breaks the shrimp up a little and makes it a lot easier for the fish to eat. Also make sure it is in small pieces, and you feed sparingly. Some people have experimented with other foods. Feel free to try some other foods, just make sure they are natural and feed sparingly.

Ewpanding your goldfish's diet will really increase there health, if done correctly. Never feed goldfish processed human foods. Always feed them some sort of good quality manufactured goldfish food, so they have the bases of their nutrients covered. Feed sparingly, and in small amounts, until you know how your goldfish will react. All goldfish are different, don't be surprised if some of them prefer one food to another. Try to finger-feed your goldfish whenever possible, this will reduce the waste that rots in your tank. If you just drop food in, be sure to removed any excess after 20minutes max. Above all, be smart and don't give your goldfish chocolate.