Important Information About Keeping Goldfish
Keeping goldfish might seem like a no-brainer but, like any pet, they require some special care. The type of goldfish that is most commonly kept as a pet is the aptly named Common Goldfish. It comes in shades of orange, red, and yellow. This type of goldfish is the easiest to care for and is often purchased as a “first pet” to introduce young children to the responsibility of caring for an animal.
The natural habitat of the goldfish is in cool lakes and ponds throughout Asia and parts of Europe. Nearly all of the goldfish we see today are captive bred for the pet industry.
Basic Care Tips
A goldfish that is well taken care of can live for decades – up to fifty years!
Rule number one for keeping goldfish is to provide lots of clean water. Your tank should be no smaller than ten gallons and you’ll need to replace 10-15 percent of the water in the tank weekly to keep it fresh. You should also have an aquarium filter. Contrary to the way goldfish are often portrayed artistically, they are not happy to be kept tiny filter-less bowls. Goldfish bowls simply aren’t big enough. Also, without filtration, your fish’s water can quickly become toxic - compromising its health a great deal. As far as the filter goes, don’t get one that creates a current.
Goldfish are scavengers that will eat anything they come across, so make sure to provide yours with a variety of food. You can purchase a good quality goldfish food at most pet stores that will supply all of the nutrients your fish needs.
Goldfish can eat a lot, too, and are generally always looking for more. Because of their scavenger nature, they instinctively peruse their surroundings looking for edible bits. Just because your goldfish seems to be foraging around doesn’t mean that it is necessarily hungry.
A good rule of thumb for feeding is to watch your fish after adding food to the tank. All of the food should be eaten within about two minutes. If it all gets gobbled up more quickly than that, go ahead and add a bit more. However, if there are still chunks floating around uneaten after the two-minute mark, scale back on the amount of food you’re giving your goldfish. Excess food left to sit in a tank quickly becomes toxic and harmful.
In their natural habitat, goldfish are preyed upon by all kinds of larger creatures. Because of this, pet goldfish instinctively seek out hiding places in their tanks. Make sure to provide your goldfish with plants and other features that allow them the secure feeling they get by having objects to duck behind if they feel threatened. This will greatly reduce stress and anxiety levels in your fish, and they’ll probably have a longer life as a result.
Basically, goldfish get along well with most other fish. Unfortunately, the specific requirements for a goldfish tank don’t often make a suitable environment for other types of fish. The great thing is that there is such a wide variety of goldfish species, you can mix and match several types that can cohabitate without conflict. Just watch to make sure certain fish aren’t crowding others out for food on a regular basis. If this is the case, you may have to move the offending fish into its own tank.
Goldfish are a great choice if you are looking for a friendly, beautiful, and fairly low-maintenance aquatic pet. Keeping goldfish is easy and fun. Given proper care and feeding, a goldfish can be a member of your family for many happy years.