Goldfish have no control over the environment they live in. Instead they are completely reliant on us to provide the proper care they need to live long and happy lives.
Unfortunately, the majority of people are unaware of even the basics of goldfish care and think they can live quite happily in a tiny and otherwise empty, unfiltered bowl. But this environment and lack of care inevitably leads to goldfish living very unhappy and sadly short lives.
This isn’t really the fault of the owner. It’s more to do with the cartoon images that bombard us since birth and the ill-informed advice of inexperienced pet shop staff who advise to use and then sell such small bowls.
And we all have a story of a child who hooked a duck at the fair and was soon skipping home happily, looking forward to starting a life with his new aquatic friend, Blinky. Only to tearfully discover him floating, lifeless in his bowl, just a few days later.
But it doesn’t have to be this way!
Did you know that with proper goldfish care they can live for more than 20 years? It takes little effort and just a bit of knowledge and planning to look after a goldfish properly and is something everybody can achieve.
So whether you’re researching how to care for a goldfish before making your purchase, or you’ve found yourself wondering what to do with a new pet after your child’s success at the fair, you’ve found yourself in the right place.
Welcome to Its A Fish Thing’s complete guide to goldfish care!
- 1 Goldfish FAQ: Quick Answers To Everything
- 2 Tank Size: What Size Tank do Goldfish Need?
- 3 Filters: Do Goldfish Need a Filter? YES! Here’s Why and How to Choose
- 4 Aquarium Filters 101: Filter Media, Maintenance and More
- 5 Air Pumps: Do Goldfish Need an Air Pump? Yes, Aeration Is Important
- 6 Lights: Do Goldfish Need Light? Why? How Much? What Type?
- 7 Substrate: Gravel, Sand or Bare Bottom? Which to Use?
- 8 Cycling: Why You Must Cycle Your Tank BEFORE Adding Fish
- 9 Food: What do Goldfish Eat? Learn What To Feed Your Goldfish
- 10 Partial Water Changes: How to Do Water Changes Safely
- 11 The History and Evolution of Goldfish
- 12 Video: How To Set Up A Goldfish Tank
- 13 External Resources on Goldfish Care
Goldfish FAQ: Quick Answers To Everything
How long do goldfish live? How big do they grow? Are they good for beginners? What do they eat?
We answer these questions and many more – Essential reading for the owner of any goldfish.
Tank Size: What Size Tank do Goldfish Need?
In a small bowl there’s nowhere for their waste to go, resulting in poor water quality and slow but steady poisoning. Not only this, but goldfish need a lot of room in which to swim and perform their natural behaviors.
So the single most important step to take toward caring for your goldfish is making sure they have a large enough tank in which to live.
But what size tank do you need for a goldfish? How about for 2? 3? More even? Discover this and more at the following link:
Filters: Do Goldfish Need a Filter? YES! Here’s Why and How to Choose
The need for clean water is exactly like the need for clean air to us. After all, fish do breathe water so if it’s full of their own waste, it’s like us breathing in toxic fumes.
This is where good water filtration can help. But with so many different types, styles and sizes of filter available, how do you know which is the right one to choose?
Aquarium Filters 101: Filter Media, Maintenance and More
Filters are capable of holding many different types of ‘filter media’, from sponge to ceramic tubes, and floss to activated carbon. There are so many different things you can put ‘inside’ your filter, it can be hard to know where to begin.
That’s where this next article comes in! To discuss all these options so you can make the best decision.
Air Pumps: Do Goldfish Need an Air Pump? Yes, Aeration Is Important
Yes, that decorative rock shelf or ornamental shipwreck may look nice with a curtain of bubbles rising from it, but there’s far more important reasons for installing an air pump with your tank.
Find out why we recommend an air pump, the benefits it brings, the difference between an air pump and a filter and more besides in our article here:
Lights: Do Goldfish Need Light? Why? How Much? What Type?
Overlooked by many goldfish keepers and perhaps not as important as a suitably sized tank, filtration and feeding, but lighting is still a very important aspect of caring for a goldfish and should not be ignored.
Learn here why lighting is so important to goldfish health, different lighting options and the intensity of light and hours per day you should consider.
The substrate in a goldfish tank is an important place for beneficial bacteria to grow, anchors your aquatic plants and due to so many different styles and colors available, gives you a chance to significantly affect the look of your tank.
But the substrate you choose can have a major impact on the overall health of your tank and your fish, so the one you choose should be a well-informed decision.
You could choose from gravel to sand, or crushed coral to marbles, with some people even choosing to leave their tank bottom bare.
In this article, we discuss the pros and cons of the most popular substrates, how they affect the look and health of your tank and ultimately which you should choose that will be right for your tank.
Cycling: Why You Must Cycle Your Tank BEFORE Adding Fish
But in a well established and healthy tank there are beneficial bacteria that break down the ammonia first into nitrates, which are still quite toxic, then eventually into far safer nitrates. You then remove these nitrates with each water change.
However, these bacteria take a good time to develop and until they are thriving, introducing a goldfish into the tank is very harmful to their health. So you want to ‘cycle’ the tank, develop these bacteria, before you ever introduce your fish.
In this article, we discuss the nitrogen cycle (or nitrification process), why it’s so important for you to understand, how to test your water for harmful chemicals and what to do when things get thrown out of balance.
Food: What do Goldfish Eat? Learn What To Feed Your Goldfish
Like most animals, goldfish need a varied diet to stay healthy and the average flakes just don’t cut it. In the wild they would eat insects, algae, vegetation and even other fish. Goldfish love and thrive on variety.
But you can’t only focus on what they eat, you also need to be mindful of how much and at what times because feeding the wrong foods, or the wrong quantities, can be just as harmful or worse as feeding them too little.
Read this article to discover the pros and cons of pellets vs flakes, other foods you can feed them and how to make sure they are getting just what they need…as well as not too much.
Partial Water Changes: How to Do Water Changes Safely
In this article, you will learn how often you need to change your goldfish tank’s water, how much water you should be changing each time and learn how not to do it, so you can be sure you’re doing the best for your fish.
The History and Evolution of Goldfish
But where did these beautiful golden fish come from? They are certainly one of the oldest fish ever to be kept in an aquarium.
Well, they’ve had a long and eventful trip to get from the wild waters to our tanks and you can learn a few facts and the timeline of that journey here:
Video: How To Set Up A Goldfish Tank
This video has a lot of good information on setting up your first goldfish tank and general goldfish care. It’s packed with information from tank size to recommended filters, from possible tank mates, to the best decorations and ornaments.
The video is very long, but it’s interesting and I believe consuming information presented in more than one way – the written words in the articles above and the video below – Will help you to absorb and retain more of the info.
External Resources on Goldfish Care
Recommended site no. 1: Is good for general aquarium set-up and on-going care, with lots of short yet information packed articles: ThatPetPlace.com: Aquatic Articles
Recommended site no. 2: We recommend for it’s short but information rich articles. Not great if looking for in-depth information, but good for beginners getting a handle on things. After reading an article, look at the links in the sidebars for a selection of related subjects: Pets.Thenest.com: Beginners Guide to Caring For Goldfish
Recommended site no. 3: We recommend because it has lots of fantastic information on goldfish types and their individual care requirements, common diseases and cures, tank set-up and more besides: Goldfish2Care4.com: Sitemap
Happy fish keeping!