There is a lot of ignorance when it comes to goldfish keeping, and this leads to the reduced life of these wonderful fish. Most of the time, people get goldfish because they do not want to commit to keeping a ‘real pet’. We generally assume that they are going to die soon anyway and therefore don’t think twice about getting one or two from the pet store. Before you can go and buy a goldfish, stop and first read these care guidelines and spare the poor creature its life.
When it comes to goldfish care, three areas need to be considered and these are the tank, the water and the fish itself.
First of all, fish cannot survive in a bowl. Not only are they tiny, but they also have poor air quality and needless to say the fish really has nothing to do except swim around in circles. Bowls provide terrible homes for fish and if you must keep a goldfish, invest in a large tank or aquarium. One of the most important things you can do for your fish is to ensure that its home has a gravel floor. Gravel does not affect the water’s pH and is great for hosting good bacteria.
Goldfish are not weaklings, and contrary to what most people think they do not require heating. The main problem comes in with changing temperatures and as a general rule do not let the waters go under 54 degrees F (12 degrees C). Large water changes are always more suitable than small water changes. Goldfish tend to produce a lot of waste which then combines with the decaying plants and uneaten foods, consequently increasing the levels of ammonia and nitrates in the water. Ammonia is especially toxic to the fish and you need to encourage the growth of good bacteria by changing water weekly and having a good filtration system in place.
How you care for the fish matters. These fish get stressed easily and factors such as overcrowding, insufficient space, low water levels and sudden changes to light and temperature are just some of the things that lead them into shock. It should come as no surprise that the fish love to feed but as you may have noticed they don’t stop feeding, so be careful not to over feed them.
Keeping goldfish is not rocket science, caring for them is rather easy. If you are thinking of getting a goldfish because it’s pretty and cool then by all means do so but give the fish the care it deserves.