Keeping goldfish is great as a hobby, and also good for entertainment purpose. But knowing about how to care for goldfish will help you keeping your loved fish healthy and live for decades. Goldfish are the most popular of all ornamental fish species, and they are known for their attractive bright coloration. Today goldfish are available throughout the world. But they originated from temperate climates and in the wild they live in cool streams, lakes and ponds throughout Asia and parts of Eastern Europe.
Currently there are a wide variety of goldfish available throughout the world. But most of the varieties are not perfect for beginners, because they require as much care and equipment as most aquarium fish require.
How to Care for Goldfish
Goldfish are social animals and they are very intelligent also. They are regularly seen interacting with each other and their human caregivers whom they can learn to recognize. Generally most of the goldfish have an average lifespan of about 10-15 years, with some varieties can live up to 30 years when provided with proper care. However, here we are describing more about how to care for goldfish.
Purchase an aquarium depending on your need, and also depending on the numbers of fish you want to keep. Minimum recommended tank volume is about 50 liters. The size can also vary depending on the varieties, because some goldfish varieties are larger in size and some are smaller. The filter capacity has also an equally important role to play when setting up. Today there are some new and modern designs that incorporate filtration and lighting which can be good alternatives.
Aeration and Filtration
Goldfish require efficient filtration as they are heavy feeders and high waste producers. They require filtration of suitable size for maintaining water quality and also for aeration. Installing good filtration system will ensure all water is regularly filtered mechanically and biologically via the nitrifying bacteria in the filter media.
Ensure the current is adjustable when selecting a filter. The current should not be too strong if fancy or unusual goldfish types are to be kept as fast currents can make swimming difficult for some of these fish.
Purchase Healthy Goldfish
After setting up aquarium with good filtration system, it’s time to purchase quality goldfish. Always purchase fish after after setting everything perfectly. When purchasing, first check that the seller is responsible, the fish are healthy and their aquariums are not overcrowded. Most often healthy fish display clear and bright body coloration and they hold their fins erect. And the healthy fish are generally also alert and swim without undue effort.
For any aquarium, good water quality is essential. Test your water for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels regularly to ensure the biological filtration is working. Correct water parameters are;
Nitrate <50ppm (<110ppm tolerance)
pH 6.5-7.5 (tolerate range: 5.0-9.0)
Temperature Can tolerate a wide range of temperature
Regular water maintenance is also mandatory for keeping your fish healthy. Partial water changes of 10-25 percent weekly is recommended in conjunction with a gravel clean for removing waste and also for helping the fish to keep healthy.
Goldfish are omnivores. They are prey animals and they require adequate plant cover for preventing stress and facilitate activity. So healthy plant growth is the key for keeping the fish healthy, as they absorb waste products from the water. Plants are also good for providing environmental enrichment. Plant cover may be provided ideally by real plants and with some imitation plants if required. Just ensure all the plants are safe for the fish.
Goldfish are omnivorous fish species. They will eat almost everything they find in their environment. You can feed your fish with ready-made commercial goldfish feeds. Feeding your fish twice a day with high quality flakes or pellets (formulated specifically for goldfish) will be good for their health.
Look for Diseases
Check your fish regularly. Check their coloration and movement also. And if you find any infected fish, remove it immediately from the healthy fish.
Goldfish are social animals and they can be kept with other fish species which require similar care. Aquarium light is essential, but turn it off for sometime so that the fish can sleep. Don’t overfeed your fish, and remove any leftover food in the tank.
However, you will learn many things about goldfish if you spend many times caring them. Caring them can be a problem initially as a beginner, but you will learn more about how to care for goldfish if you spend more time caring for them.