Goldfish Care Guide For Beginners – Get The Best Of A Fascinating Aquatic Pet

Goldfish, without any doubt, classify among the variety of fish that are kept as a pet by people for decades now.

To this day, the relationship of man with this nature’s beautiful water animal remains unbroken.

Carassius auratus is the scientific name given to Goldfish. Even though genetically bred verities of Goldfish are common these days, the Prime-Goldfish back in the day still remains instantly recognizable by the people who don’t even own an aquarium.

Goldfish As A Pet- A Few Facts

Despite the love and affection shared by people to have this fish as their new pet and for many beginner-level aquarists, Goldfish is the first thing they get; the perception of its care remains misunderstood. 

People confuse this fish with something that is extremely low maintenance, while in reality, it is exactly the opposite. 

And years of practicing and having this fish by people couldn’t change it. 

But with this guide on How to take care of a goldfish- that will not remain a big problem, I hope.

Goldfish require an understanding of basic fishkeeping and their specific needs, which should be met if this fish is to thrive. 

How To Make Goldfish Happy

Goldfish care can be divided into four consecutive sections: 

  1. Providing it with good clean water. 
  2. Perfect shelter.
  3. Nutritious food. 
  4. Enough space for it to move around. 

This is what this Goldfish Care Guide is all about.

If you are willing to stretch your legs around fulfilling these basic needs, then your Goldfish will remain healthy and stick with you for years to come.  

Goldfish Lifespan

The average lifespan of Goldfish is about 10-15 years, provided it receives proper care and tending by the person who is keeping it as their pet.

In events of disease or unavailability of clean filtered water, the lifespan gets shortened to a few years only.

And if you want your Goldfish to live longer, watch the video:

Goldfish Tank Setup

Many people think that stuffing their Goldfish into a simple fishbowl would be enough, but this is where they are wrong.

Goldfish produce large volumes of waste and can grow up to 12 inches in size; that is why you must find your Goldfish a suitable tank when you bring it home.

1. Choosing A Goldfish Tank

According to the available guides, the standard size of the Goldfish can range from 8-12 inches, and in some cases, it can outgrow itself to an even larger dimension.

That is why to accumulate this fish; you need at least a 20-gallon tank, in my opinion.

You can also choose to go with a small 5 to 10-gallon-sized aquarium, but it will not suffice at the end of the day if your Goldfish increases in size. That is why going with a 20-gallon or even more is the right choice to make.

Mentioning the behavior of the Goldfish, they are always happier and satisfied when provided with enough space to roam around; thus, having a large tank is perfect.

2. Water And Filtration Requirements

Goldfish can generate a large amount of waste; for that very reason, you need powerful enough water filters to back your play. 

You need something powerful and subtle, and the filters with large canisters might serve you well. 

In this case, HOB(hang-on-the-back) type filters might also work beautifully, but these need to be efficient and quite large to suit the task. 

Since the Goldfish is not all that athletic, going with something that won’t create such strong water currents should be your ultimate choice. 

Throwing in an air diffuser along with the water filter might be a great fit. 

Make sure that the water pH in your Goldfish tank remains between 7.0 and 7.4.

3. Adding The Right Water Conditioners

When it comes to water conditioners, you can’t turn a blind eye as these provide the fish with the right minerals that will help it grow, maintain a healthy metabolism, and exchange the waste and detoxification of nitrite and nitrates.

Water conditioners also help remove ammonia and other heavy waste that is not suitable for optimum growth of the Goldfish, but along with all that, it helps heal cuts and scrapes and strengthens the bacterial bed that is beneficial for Goldfish’s growth.

Choose something that provides an outstanding balance with all these things listed here.

4. Substrate, Plants, And Decoration

To provide your Goldfish with a habitat like their natural home, you need to provide them with decoration, plants, and substrate in the tank. 

The plants suitable for the species can be short aquatic ones the fish can swim across or into. Though there is no such particular choice of aquarium plants for Goldfish, some ideal plants are Java Fern, Anubias, Java Moss, Amazon Sword, etc.  

As for the substrate, I will recommend using sand rather than any other option. 

Small rounded-shaped gravels are ideal because Goldfish are scavengers and love to search for foods from the substrate. 

Goldfish pick gravel up in their mouth and then spit it back out again. This Goldfish behavior makes other options ( soil, sand, etc.) unsuitable for Goldfish tank substrate.

Adding Goldfish To Your Aquarium

This part right here will deal with the process of buying new Goldfish, quarantining them before adding them into the tank, and letting them acclimate to their new living conditions.

Choosing Your New Goldfish

Choosing Your New Goldfish

The simplest thing to keep in mind when choosing new Goldfish is that you select fish that look bright, lively and are healthy.

And above all, I suggest buying adults because the smaller ones need more attention. If you haven’t kept fish before, then moving on with the adult fish is the right option.

Quarantining To Rest & Treat Your Fish

Quarantining Your Goldfish

It doesn’t matter where you have bought your fish, as you need to quarantine them before adding them into the new tank. 

Quarantining is the process of keeping your new fish isolated from the others before subjecting them to a permanent living environment. 

Your new fish will be stressed with all the shipping and such; that is why quarantining provides it with an excellent measure to rest up and shed off the stress. 

Quarantining is also a great help while preventing your existing fish from catching any disease carried by your new fish. 

It is an essential aspect of goldfish care.

Acclimate Your Goldfish To Their Aquarium

Acclimate Your Goldfish To Their Aquarium

Now that you have bought yourself a new Goldfish, quarantined it, and such. Now it is time to add it to the tank, and for that, you must prepare it properly. (Explore resources and tips on how to start a fish tank.)

I am summarizing the tank preparation task in this Section. Fill it with clean tap water. Add de-chlorinator and measure the current levels of nitrites, ammonia, and heavy metal and wait until the water filters have done their job of reducing these elements for you. 

Once you are done with all that, float your Goldfish bag into the aquarium, this is a float acclimation method. It will equalize the temperature of the Goldfish bag with the aquarium water.

All you have to do is open the top of the bag containing the new Goldfish and add ¼ cup of aquarium water to it. 

You need to carry on this practice for a reasonable length of 30 minutes, and when the time is up, you can now dump your Goldfish into the aquarium.

Goldfish Care Basics

Feeding Your Goldfish Properly

Feeding Your Goldfish Properly

Goldfish are not a picky eaters at all, but you need to be consistent, and round the clock with it, you need to bring them food at dedicated times, and all will be fine.

Feeding your Goldfish once a day is absolutely enough. Goldfish can survive two weeks without eating. But would you love to watch your pets starving? Definitely not, and it is not good for their health either.

Do not overfeed your Goldfish, as food leftovers pollute the aquarium water.

Tips: Feed your Goldfish as much as they can finish within 2-5 minutes.

What will you feed them? Some of the live foods that these fish eat without any doubt include:

  • Bloodworms
  • Tubifex Worms
  • Ghost Shrimp
  • Daphnia
  • Crickets

But even if you are not comfortable bringing live foods, you can still choose to go with the prepared, packed items or canned food.  

Some of the types of prepared foods are:

Flake: Flakes are floating foods and usually float on the water surface for a few minutes. It slowly gets wet, breaks down, and sinks to the bottom.

Goldfish like flake foods and eat vigorously. But you should remain careful about overfeeding as usual. 

Pellet: Pellets are usually sinking foods that sink straight to the bottom. Most aquarists do not prefer such food as it is not easily visible, and hard to estimate the proper amount for feeding.  

Sick and weak Goldfish (and other fish also) prefer eating food from the bottom. So you can keep pellet foods as a reserve. 

Gel: Gel foods are special types of food with gelatin and are very suitable for Goldfish. Many Goldfish keepers prefer gel foods for their pets as it has some great benefits.

Gelatins bind different ingredients together and made them soft and wet. Goldfish become accustomed to gel food quickly as they take wet foods in the wild. Gel foods are easy to digest for them.

Another benefit of providing gel foods to your Goldfish is, that they do not pollute the water if left uneaten for a long time. 

Frozen Dried Foods: Live foods like bloodworms or daphnia are a great source of protein but not easier to bring. Alternatively, you can provide dried, frozen foods that are readily available in bottles and cans. 

Perform Regular Water Changes

Water Changes for Goldfish Tank

You need to perform regular water changes as the water filtration can only help you remove a fraction of the pollutants present. 

In an established Goldfish tank, the nitrogen cycle converts ammonia & nitrites into less toxic nitrates. But you have to eliminate nitrates from the tank at some point.

However, complete elimination of nitrates is impossible, but you can control it in your tank by a partial water change regularly. Read this article to perform water changes safely. 

For refilling, use bottled water or treated water. Perform water changes every other week or so.  

Provide Ideal Goldfish Tank Temperature

Goldfish Tank Temperature Guide

The optimum temperature for the Goldfish is about 68°-74°F. It needs to be appropriately regulated, so the temperature remains in the given range. 

If you live in a cold area, installing your aquarium near a heat source is an optimum point, but you would have to provide proper cooling if you live in a warm environment. 

Therefore specified equipment such as an aquarium heater or cooler can be used accordingly.   

Identifying And Treating Goldfish Disease

Goldfish Disease and cure

Like any other living thing out there, Goldfish can get sick from time to time; this might be due to the environmental conditions or can be optimal as well. 

If you think that your fish is not feeling well or kind of behaving a little odd for some time now, then it is recommended to identify this pattern and then subject these to a separate quarantined tank to be given great care.

After treatment & care, when your Goldfish become healthy again, return them back to the main tank.

I have found this article on Goldfish disease & cure very resourceful.

Some Useful Tips

  • Keep Goldfish with the same species and refrain from subjecting these to other types of fish.
  • Buy a fishbowl- it will serve to quarantine your Goldfish from the others if any gets sick.
  • Provide them with diverse diet types for proper nutrition.
  • Despite the addition of a water filter, doing water changes is a must.
  • Don’t rub your Goldfish as it removes the protective or slimy covering from their body, leaving them prone to diseases.
  • Avoid using flash while taking their pictures as these can be easily scared.

Fascinating Goldfish Facts

Sujit Modak

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