Looking after Goldfish is normally trickier than people give them credit to be. Goldfish are dirty fish as they produce a lot of waste, making it important to look after them properly to stop them dying prematurely from a number of factors – including toxic water due to their waste.
It’s important to get a large tank for goldfish – not a bowl like many movies show goldfish to be in. Bowls aren’t big enough for a filter to keep the water clean for goldfish, causing it to turn toxic over time, highlighting the importance of having a big tank with a filter. A general rule of thumb is that each goldfish should have 6 gallons of water each, and as goldfish are sociable fish a large tank is needed to home multiple of them.
Filter and Cleaning
Once the cleaning of the water has been neglected the goldfish will start to die, which is why it’s important to have an appropriate filter for the tank purchased. Goldfish tanks also need a partial water change about once a week by removing about 20% of the water and replacing it water treated using formulas such as aquasafe. The walls of the tank should also be scrubbed clean of any algae and any gravel should be cleaned occasionally. This overall helps to keep the tank clean and to help the goldfish live long lives.
Gravel can be used just as an accessory to make the tank more attractive, but it also serves some purpose. It can also be a home for good bacteria which break down waste in the tank, making it beneficial to have gravel in the tank. Underground filters also need a layer of decent-sized gravel or pebbles to stop fish getting trapped in it.
It can be hard to estimate how much to feed goldfish as they are well known for eating themselves to death. You should feed goldfish no more food than what they eat in 5 or so minutes, removing any food left over after that time. They should also be fed twice a day with goldfish-specific food of a good quality. A good occasional treat for goldfish can come in the form of frozen and live food, such as daphnia, brine shrimp or bloodworm, to give them a varying diet and to make sure their nutritional needs are covered.
A lid will help prevent fish from escaping from the tank and stop anything from falling in. It’s also important to have a water-testing kit to test for any spikes in pH and toxins to help prevent it being away from the optimum levels for long where it could cause serious harm to the goldfish. A thermometer will also help keep the temperature remain at its optimum of around 19°c. In addition to this, plants and rocks are helpful to provide resting places and for nitrogen-fixing within the tank.