One of the most common freshwater set ups for beginners are Goldfish Tanks. Goldfish are easy to care for, and are ideally suited in pairs, and make an impressive addition to any home.
Goldfish were originally brought from Asia and is a relative of the brown carp. Over the decades of selective breeding, today we can choose from numerous variations of them.
Under the right conditions they have a whopping lifespan of 10-15 years, although some of their species can live as long as forty years.
Goldfish are fairly easy to keep, but still needs suitable goldfish tanks with optimum water conditions.
Goldfish are very active fish and can grow quite large. It is best to purchase as large of a tank you can afford, as you are actually going to need every bit of the space.
Some Goldfish tanks need to be as large as 50 gallons depending on which species you choose. If you are only going to have 1-2 Goldfish, you can easily keep them happy in a 10 gallon tank.
Goldfish produce lots of waste, which is lots of nitrates, and when mixed with sunlight, creates algae growth.
Water Temperature & Quality
Goldfish can stand a pH range between 6 and 8, and temperatures between 59 - 75.2°F (15 - 24 °C).
Plants & Ornaments
You can usually find your Goldfish near or in the bottom levels of the Goldfish Aquarium. They are not into tall swaying plants as much as low growing Java Moss and smooth gravel in their surroundings. With the high levels of nitrates plants are also more difficult to keep clean and algae free. They like to use the smooth gravel to dig around in.
Feeding Gold Fish
Goldfish need a food low in protein and high in carbo-hydrates, therefore it is best to find a good quality Goldfish flakes or pellets for them. They are hearty eaters, so feed them only what they will eat in about two minutes, feeding them twice per day.
Goldfish can also benefit from bloodworms, and like shelled peas, blanched leafy vegetables. They always act hungry, so don’t be fooled into overfeeding them. This will lead to digestive problems in the future.
Goldfish are a very docile and peaceful fish. However, it is recommended not to keep Fancy goldfish with the common goldfish, as the common Goldfish turns into the tank bully around them.
Other tank companions must be in the species that can handle the high nitrate content, such as Danios or Minnows.
Goldfish are prone to many diseases.
Ich or Ick (Ichthyophthirius multifilis), is one of the most common diseases among most fish. It appears on the skin and gills as white spots that look like grains of salt.
The fungus is caused by a bacteria and looks like a small ball of cotton near the edge of a wound.
Swim bladder disorder is most common in fancy goldfish. Because they have a shorter, more rounded body, their organs are altered and compromised.
Surface Gasping is when your fish is gasping for air at the surface or has labored breathing, they can’t get oxygen.
Constipation is because Goldfish stomachs are small and cannot hold their food for digestion.
Fin and tail rot are stress borne illnesses and mainly due to poor water conditions, over crowding, or any injurious conditions it has suffered. The fins look like the are rotting and falling off.
Pop eye is a disease that is characterised by the eyeball popping out of the eye socket. It can be caused by poor water quality, bacteria, or injury.
Dropsy symptoms are swelling of the abdomen causing the scales to stick out from the body. They are caused by the build up of fluids in the stomach.
Hole in the head is thought to be caused by parasites, bacteria, lack of nutrients, or poor water quality. First, you will see small holes in the head, then mucus will begin to seep out of them.
Costia is caused by parasites. It will look like slime patches on the skin which turns a milky color.
Trichodina is another parasite that implants itself on the skin and in the gills causing it becomes irritated and itchy.
Velvet, another parasite infects the skin and has a gold, dust-like velvety texture and appearance. Your fish will scratch against the tank ornaments and surfaces. They experience laboured breathing, and become lethargic.
Body and gill flukes are parasites or small worms inside the body or the gills. The infected fish will scratch against surfaces, have an extra thick slime coat.
Anchor worm is a highly contagious parasite that burrow into the skin, gills, and eyes of the fish, eventually into the organs and killing the fish.
Fish lice are parasites are large enough to be seen without a microscope. As the fish scratches against the tank surfaces, sores erupt.
Is my Goldfish a male or female?
It is very difficult to tell the sex of a Goldfish until it is spawning. This is when the males have distinct white spots on their gill plates.
The female Goldfish lays her sticky eggs on plants, under rock ledges, and sometimes in the substrate. They hatch in 48-72 hours. The fry rapidly grow but they stay brown until they are about a year old, then turn gold.
Here are some great resources for raising and breeding Goldfish.
Here are some other fish that you could add to your new tank.
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