The Complete Goldfish Care Guide
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~Identification And Breed History~
*Image courtesy of Josie*Paolillo*
*Image by Mark P*
~Plants and Decorations~
*Image courtesy of Shannon*
There aren’t many critters that can accompany a large goldfish. Fancy type goldfish will be bullied by the larger single-tailed goldfish, and can not compete for food. Any tropical fish will not be compatible with goldies due to their high temperature needs. Most tropical fish like their water between 76°F and 82°F, whereas goldfish are cold-water, and require temps below 72°F. Shrimp and snails are commonly housed with goldfish, but there is a very high chance of an adult goldie snacking on them.
Dojo/weather loaches have the same temperature requirements as goldfish. They make excellent tankmates because they cruise along the bottom of the tank, rarely bothering the goldfish. These loaches thrive in large, planted tanks. Some small cold-water fish such as white cloud mountain minnows and zebra danios can tolerate chilly water temps, making them a good tankmate. Usually they can out swim a hungry goldie, but its possible for an adult to swallow one from time to time. Goldfish also thrive in each other’s company. Just be sure you are able to provide a large enough tank for more than one goldie.
Goldfish are extremely hardy creatures. They can tolerate a huge range of pH, and are not affected as easily by toxins. However, this does not mean they do not require any less care than other fish. Not only do they grow big, but goldfish produce a ton of waste. A powerful filter is necessary not only to remove waste, but add oxygen to the water.
A heater is not necessary due to goldfish’s cold water requirements. Warmer water is unhealthy for goldfish, and lacks oxygen. It can also affect their growth rate.
Goldfish thrive in clean water. In an established aquarium, you can safely conduct a 90% partial water change without shocking a goldie. It is extremely important to be doing water changes weekly.
It’s very important to feed your goldfish the right foods, as they are very prone to bloat and swim bladder issues. High quality goldfish flakes and/or pellets should be a staple for your goldie. However, any dried foods should always be soaked in tank water prior to feeding. This allows the food to absorb water, and helps them sink. Flakes and pellets expand when in contact with water. Inside a fish’s stomach, it can lead to severe bloat. Goldfish also have a bad habit of gulping in air when trying to eat floating foods. This leads to a build up of air in the intestines, and is very difficult to remove. A build up of air can put pressure on a fish’s swim bladder. This makes it difficult for a fish to control swimming. Sinking foods discourage gulping in air, and the goldfish will spend time foraging through the substrate.
Vegetables should also be a high portion of a Goldie’s diet. You can feed veggies like leafy greens, broccoli, carrots, zucchini, cucumber and peas. Lettuce, spinach, and kale can be fed after just being rinsed. Crunchy broccoli, carrots, and peas much be blanched or steamed as well as chopped into small, bite-sized pieces. Goldfish love the soft center of peas, and its best to pop them out of their shell. Algae wafers and meats like bloodworms are also very nutritious for goldfish. Again, make sure you soak the wafers before feeding!
Personally, I think goldfish jello is the best choice of food. It combines all of the essential nutrients needed for your fish to be healthy and happy. It also stays solid for a while, so you can plop it in the tank without the risk of it rotting quickly. Here’s a great recipe on how to make it: http://www.myaquariumclub.com/goldfish-jello-4881.html#linkback_comments
*Buzz, one of my two beautiful, rescued comets*
For years, goldfish have been mistreated and misunderstood. They are kept in tiny tanks, lack filtration, and housed with inappropriate tank mates. Although they are extremely hardy fish, the lack of care makes it rare to see goldfish live past three years. With the proper care, common, comet, and shubunkin goldfish can live over 10 years! They have a great personality, and are full of character. My goldfish will eat from my hand, follow my finger, and will even splash water if they feel ignored! They are wonderful pets, and deserve to be treated with love and respect. If you follow these steps, your goldfish will bring you years of joy, laughter, and love.
Top Image by Alasse