Of all of the species of fish available to the
new aquarium hobbyist, the goldfish is responsible for more
people taking part in this wonderful hobby than any other.
People have loved goldfish for hundreds of years.
It is absolutely a wrong belief that goldfish do okay in bowls
and other smaller aquariums. In fact, goldfish should never
be kept in bowls for several reasons. First, in such small
cramped quarters they will be stunted and develop deformities
such as a curved spine. Secondly, goldfish are cool water
fish. This means that they need much higher oxygen content
than tropical fish. The level of oxygen present in a bowl
is just not enough for them. Goldfish are also very messy
eaters. They require a filter system that can keep up with
their hearty appetites and the resulting waste products.
Goldfish need big Tank! The minimum size aquarium for an adult
goldfish is at least a fifty-five gallon tank. I know what
you are thinking, a fifty-five gallon tank for this little
fish? But trust me, if cared for properly, that little fish
will grow very large and live for twenty years or so. If you
want a couple of goldfish and you can get little ones, say
an inch or so, then by all means put them in a smaller aquarium,
such as a ten gallon tank. However, be prepared to move them
to a bigger tank in a couple of months. My best advice is
to buy the biggest tank you can for your new pet, this way
you don't have to keep buying bigger tanks as he grows. A
goldfish can reach well over a foot long and weigh as much
as six pounds!
Taking care of a goldfish is very easy, but does require a
little attention. Since they produce a lot of waste, something
must be done to keep the water clean. Always keep this in
mind; just because the water is clear doesn't mean that it
is clean. A goldfish tank should be equipped with a filter
of some sort.
The most important element to successful goldfish keeping
is doing partial water changes. That is you take out some
old water and replace it with new water on a regular basis.
The minimum amount you should change is 30 to 50 %. This should
be done weekly. If you follow this rule then you will reduce
to almost nothing any possibility of your fish becoming sick
or dying. Water changes are the key! When changing water other
routine maintenance should be performed. One of these is cleaning
Setting up and aquarium decoration is always a lot of fun.
For goldfish use fine gravel for the bottom. You want fine
gravel because a goldfish is constantly digging around in
it looking for food. He will actually take mouthfuls of it
and twirl it around in his mouth, hoping to find some hidden
morsels, before spitting the sand back out. If the gravel
is too big or made of sharp material then there is a distinct
possibility of the fish hurting his mouth, which could result
in some serious problems. I would leave out real plants in
your goldfish tank. This is because goldfish are primarily
vegetarians. They would consider a well planted home their
own private salad bar, and they just love a fresh salad! Your
beautiful planted aquarium will be reduced to a barren wasteland
in very short order. There are plastic plants on the market
that look so real you have to look twice to make sure that
they are plastic. These work perfectly for the goldfish tank
as they look real but the fish will not eat them.
You can also add rocks and wood, or even castles and skeletons,
if that is what you and your fish like. Just make sure that
you buy these objects in a pet store, because you never know
what chemicals or other toxins are hiding in wood, rocks,
gravel, etc. It is far safer to spend some money at a pet
shop for these items: this way you will be assured that they
will be safe for your fish.
Goldfish are rather pig-like when it comes to feeding time.
They will eat anything and everything. Bear in mind that these
animals need a low portion of protein in the diet; thus many
foods offered to them are not really suitable. Goldfish love
vegetables. Pop the pea from its skin and watch how Goldie
loves it! They also like green beans, pieces of apple, etc.
This is all very good for them. High protein foods such as
worms, beef heart, insects and other such foods will eventually
cause bloat. This disease is caused by protein rich foods.
This rotting material produces gases, which cause the animal
to swell. This will eventually kill your fish. Every couple
of weeks, offer them some high protein foods, such as worms,
as a treat.
GOLDFISH HEALTH PROBLEMS
Goldfish are very resistant to disease if kept properly. If
the water is changed often and they are fed a good quality
diet they will live a long healthy life. A common problem
among fancy goldfish (the ones with the short round bodies,)
is in their swim bladder. If this occurs, your fish will have
real problems keeping steady in the water since he will be
unable to swim. Sadly, most of the time this problem cannot
be helped as it is caused by a deformity in the fish. While
another problem that pops up, mostly in the spring, results
from the little white pimples that goldfish develop all over
their heads and gills. Many a goldfish lover has seen this
and rushed right out to buy medicine to kill the so-called
parasites. Unfortunately, the medications have killed far
more fish than any diseases would have. The spots are on the
males only; every spring when the water warms up, breeding
becomes their obsession and with this change the males develop
the pimples. This is completely natural. If you see this on
your fish, then be glad because it shows he is healthy!
Breeding is relatively simple in ponds, but can also be done
in aquariums if the tank is large enough. In the spring the
males will get very active, and the females will get very
plump. The female lays her eggs in no particular place and
are scatterers. The eggs usually fall into plants for safety.
The male fertilizes the eggs as they leave the female. The
eggs will hatch in five days and the little babies will be
up swimming around a week or so later, looking for a meal.
If they were born in a pond then they will be able to find
food on their own. If you bred them in a tank then you will
have to feed them. With excellent care your baby goldfish
should be around an inch long in a couple of months.