Fun & Serious Guide to Take Care of Goldfish
Table of Contents
The beautiful marine world shows us a variety of species from small like corals and even huge as the shark or the great blue whale. There are certain species of fish that have beautiful colors and unique designs on their body that reflect beauty and are often attractive to us. Most of these fish got this color to camouflage and protect themselves from large predators.
Goldfish are very easy to take care and also does not require much time money to maintain. The only important factor to consider is purchasing fish tank or bowl they can fit and a filter for the fish tank where they dwell. Also you must buy all required aquarium equipment to keep the gold fish healthy and happy.
12 Quick Tips to Take Care of Your Goldfish
Tank: The fish tank must be set up 1-2 weeks with water and filters running prior to adding fish. A heater is not needed as goldfish are cold fresh water species.
Decoration: Use only approved stones and decorations. Items found outside may leach harmful minerals into water and may alter the pH. Shells and coral should be avoided as they make the water alkaline.
PH Level : Keep pH between 6.8 to 7.4. However, goldfish can stand even a little higher.
Temperature: Temperature can range from 40-80 degree. May be kept in an outdoor pond as long as it does not freeze solid. (Know your frost line) If water gets near higher temperature range – add more aeration as warm water holds less oxygen and an overcrowded tank may lead to fish mortality.
How Many Fish? Start with only a couple of fish (hardy, inexpensive ones) as the beneficial bacteria in the tank still need to multiply in order to process the fishes waste. Examples – Common goldfish, feeder and generic fantails locally raised.
Feeding – Vary the diet. They will accept lettuce, zucchini, spinach in small qualities a couple of times a week. Flakes can be sprinkled as is for top feeders. Soak flakes for fancier eye type varieties such as moors, telescopes, and other with poor vision as they usually grope about in the gravel for food.
Water Changes – Siphon off 1/4 to 1/3 of the water every 1-2 weeks (depending on how many fish are in the tank, and the temperature of the water). Use a gravel vac if possible to clean out your gravel. Lots of disease problems can be avoided with simple water changes which will ensure good water quality. Remember to keep temperature the same as in the tank and check your pH. some localities pH can drop from 8.0 to 5.0 in 24 hours. Find out if your water company adds Chloramine or Chlorine – the former needs special chemicals to neutralize it prior to use.
Goldfish Varieties – They are numerous – try to keep similar ones together. Fast fish should not be mixed with the very fancy, slow types such as Celestials, Oranda and Telescope-eyed variates. The Fast ones will get all of the food.
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Tank Size – Goldfish prefer low and long tanks (regular shape) to deep skinny ones. They need lots of open surface area as their oxygen needs exceed tropical fish. A long 20 gallon or a long 30 gallon tank are ideal. Please don’t use bowls – most fish do not survive beyond a week in such conditions.
Filtration – Under Gravel Filters – recommended but not necessary. Outside power filters are ideal as long as the current created is not too powerful for the fish to navigate. Inside box filters are alright for only 1 or 2 fish.
Crowding – goldfish grow to quite a large size. Keep this in mind when purchasing the tank and deciding how many fish you will buy. Most will attain a 6-7″ length (nose to tip of tail).
Commonly Observed Problems and Possible Causes:
- Sunken or thin stomach – Internal parasites, other fish get all the food, diet deficiency.
- Droopy fins – Water quality.
- Frayed or split reddened fins – Water quality, improper pH, someone is a nipper.
- Sluggishness – Water quality, decreased oxygenation, internal disease.
- Small white spots – Ich. (a parasite of the skin and gills)
- Skin redness – Increased nitrates, water quality.
- Loss of color – Blacks do change to orange sometimes – considered normal. Lack of light – especially sun rays which enhance color in goldfish, dietary deficiency.
- Sores or lumps – Bacterial disease – probably caused by poor water quality.
- Anorexia – (loss of appetite – not eating) – Water quality, internal infection.
- Cloudy eyes – Bacterial infection, poor water quality.
Did You Know?
- Some activated filter carbons can alter pH and leach into the aquarium water.
- Dry activated carbon rapidly draws oxygen from water and should always be thoroughly wet before it is placed in the filter.
- Activated carbon works primarily by adsorption, not absorption and can only be regenerated by baking at extremely high temperatures.
- Fresh activated carbon can absorb pollutants so quickly that fish may be thrown into shock from the change in the water. Some manufacturers print a warning on the product label to change only half the carbon at any one time.
- Some ammonia neutralizing products are only temporary and can allow ammonia to be re-released into the water after a period of time.
- Use of products to lower the pH of tap water can cause a temporary high level of carbon dioxide to form. Water thus conditioned should be vigorously aerated for several hours or allowed to stand at least 24 hours to allow carbon dioxide to dissipate.
- Declining pH values (toward the acid end of the scale) may signal the presence of high levels of nitrates, phosphates, and dissolved organic carbons.
- The presence of hair algae in the aquarium usually means there are high levels of nitrates and phosphates in the water.
- Thick, yellow to brownish aquarium water with form forming at the surface can be a warning that dissolved organic carbon and other pollutants are accumulating at high level.
- Vitamins begin to oxidize as soon as fish food packages are opened and the food may become nutrient deficient in a few weeks’ time.
- Dry foods allowed to become damp can develop dangerous toxins.
- High protein foods can degrade rapidly in water and may cause sudden high levels of ammonia.
- Most of the bacteria, fungi, and protozoans which cause fish problems are normal inhabitants of the aquarium. They rarely cause problems unless the fish are stressed by poor environmental conditions, poor diet, or injury.