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The Ultimate Guide To Goldfish As Pets – Everything You Need To Know About Goldfish Care

The Ultimate Guide To Goldfish As Pets – Everything You Need To Know About Goldfish Care

With their shimmery scales, big eyes and pouting mouth, the goldfish is arguable the cutest fish ever.

Though they’re easy to love, most die prematurely because they do not typically get the care they need to see out their maximum lifespan of 15 years.

Goldfish are still a great beginner’s pet, as long as the responsibility is taken seriously. Though you may acquire your goldfish for cheap or even for free, you should still be prepared to invest a bit of time and money into their care.

Fortunately, the biggest costs are upfront, meaning if you get fish tank setup right the first time, you’ll only have to spend a few bucks per month to keep your goldfish happy.

What Exactly Is A Pet Goldfish?

A goldfish is in the carp family, originating from East Asia.

However, they have been selectively bred and domesticated, so they are no longer found in the wild, and it would not be humane to release your fish into a body of water.

The common goldfish is the average carnival prize or pet store fish.
The bubble eye goldfish looks like it’s holding its breath. The delicate, fluid-filled sacs regenerate if they burst, but this can lead to infection. Keep away from sharp decorations.
The celestial eye goldfish has upward-facing eyes, which means limited vision and trouble competing for food when placed with other species. However, they can be safely housed with bubble eyes.
The oranda goldfish develops a mass, called a wen, on its head that resembles a brain or a strawberry. It can grow over the eyes and cause limited vision. The oranda is sensitive to cold temperatures.
The ranchu is known as “king of the goldfish” by the Japanese. Similar to the oranda, they develop a puffy growth around their face, and they have an egg-shaped body, which looks charming in traditional vessels that allow viewing from above.
Black moor, also known as the demekin or telescope goldfish has protruding eyes that can cause limited vision. They may have matte scales. They hold up well in cold temperatures.

The above are just a few of the many varieties of goldfish available. They can come in orange, yellow, white, black, and more colors, with any combination of markings.

Where’s The Best Place To Buy A Goldfish?

You’ve probably seen goldfish available for very cheap at fairs or offered as prizes at county fairs. While these are not the most well-bred fish, they are hardy and can make perfect starter fish if you’re not ready to make a larger investment. In fact, the longest-living pet goldfish was a funfair prize goldfish named Tish, who lived to be 43 years old.

Your local pet store likely carries a few varieties of fancy goldfish. Though the average pet store does not have the resources to give each fish sufficient tank space, the average goldfish will be able to live in crowded conditions for a short period of time, and will perk up once you bring them home.

An aquatic breeder may sell exotic, hard-to-find varieties. Since raising and breeding fish is more than a hobby to them, they’ll be able to give you ongoing guidance for keeping your fish healthy.

Online fish breeders can ship goldfish worldwide using expedited shipping. They may have live-on-arrival guarantees, as it’s not uncommon for some fish to die in transit.

Even so, goldfish are hardy, and when properly packed, should arrive safely. Look for reviews for the seller before you purchase, and only pay with PayPal or a credit card that offer fraud protection, do not pay via wire transfer.

What Kind Of Tank Does A Goldfish Need?

The biggest reason goldfish die by the time they’re three years old, rather than their expected lifespan of 10-15 years, is because their tank is too small.

Like all living beings, goldfish produce wastes. Their wastes cause harmful ammonia and nitrates to build up in the water. Over time, if the tank is not kept clean, the fish will literally be poisoned by its own wastes.

In a large tank, it takes a long time for wastes to build up. Add a filter and regular water changes, and your goldfish can live happily for years.

For a small goldfish, you’ll need a tank that holds at least 10 gallons. It will need to be upgraded as your fish grows.

For a larger goldfish, expect to get a tank of at least 30 gallons for one fish.

Use a filter that is large enough for your tank. Change the filter cartridge every three months or as indicated on the package.

If your tank is on the small side, use a filter and change the water more frequently.

Cycling Your Tank

Your goldfish tank needs to have beneficial bacteria to help balance the ammonia levels in the water.

Straight tap water contains chlorine that kills off beneficial bacteria. De-chlorinator, found in any pet supply store, should be used at least 24 hours in advance of tank setup or water changes.

Before adding your fish, you will need to build up the beneficial bacteria to create a balanced environment that keeps ammonia overgrowth under control. A product like Dr. Tim’s One And Only Nitrifying Bacteria for Freshwater can be added to the water right before you introduce your fish.

Depending on the size of your tank, you will need to do partial water changes (removing and replacing 25% of the water) between 1-3 times per week, and complete water changes every 1-2 months.

Never use soap to clean your tank – plain water is fine.

A bucket, a siphon hose, a gravel vacuum and a tank brush will help make these tasks much, much easier.

What’s The Best Diet For A Goldfish?

Goldfish are opportunistic feeders. This means they do not get “full,” and will eat any food that is in front of them.

If overfed, it will wreak havoc on their digestive system. They may become constipated, or they may produce so much waste that it over-pollutes the tank. Goldfish can also become overweight and may have trouble swimming.

Use a high quality goldfish food as a complete diet. You can supplement their diet with skinned, blanched peas and freeze-dried bloodworms.

Your goldfish will eat any edible plants in their tank. It’s better to use silk or plastic plants to ensure their hiding spots do not disappear.

Fun Facts About Goldfish

  • A goldfish’s memory span is about 3 months
  • Goldfish produce pigment in response to sunlight, similar to how we tan.
  • Goldfish never stop growing. They can grow to be up to three pounds by the time they’re 15 years old.

Do You Keep Goldfish As Pets? Share Your Experience Here So It Can Help Other Goldfish Enthusiasts.

Evolve, Sportsman’s Pride And Triumph Dry Dog Foods Recalled Due To Elevated Levels Of Vitamin D

Evolve, Sportsman’s Pride And Triumph Dry Dog Foods Recalled Due To Elevated Levels Of Vitamin D

Sunshine Mills, Inc. is voluntarily recalling select products of Evolve® Puppy, Sportsman’s Pride® Large Breed Puppy and Triumph® Chicken and Rice Dog Food due to potentially elevated levels of Vitamin D. When consumed at very high levels, Vitamin D can lead to serious health issues in dogs. [View All Recalls In Reverse Chronological Order] Company: Sunshine… Continue Reading

Which Small Pets Need To Be Kept In Pairs, And Which Are Best Housed Alone?

Which Small Pets Need To Be Kept In Pairs, And Which Are Best Housed Alone?

Ready to adopt a new pocket pet… or two?  Owning more than one small pet means extra care costs, but they’ll keep each other from getting lonely when you’re not around. Some small animals are social creatures that live together in the wild, while some are strictly solitary, prone to fighting when housed together. Here… Continue Reading

How To Choose Between Grain-Free And Grain-Inclusive Pet Food

How To Choose Between Grain-Free And Grain-Inclusive Pet Food

In recent years, pet foods have become complicated, to say the least.  With so many different formulas to choose from, dozens of new brands, and very little information on the label besides flashy marketing terms, you might feel like shopping for pet food has become extremely overwhelming. Here’s what you need to know when choosing… Continue Reading

Why You Should Adopt A Pet From A Shelter

Why You Should Adopt A Pet From A Shelter

Every so often, a shelter in any community gets ready for an adoption promotion. While shelters also raise funds throughout the calendar year, what is raised is rarely sufficient. Thus, adoption events. According to the Humane Society Of the United States, Each Year, 2.7 million adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized in the United States,… Continue Reading

Find The Right Pet Bird Species For You!

Find The Right Pet Bird Species For You!

Does your shoulder have a vacancy for a beautiful feathered companion? Birds can be intelligent, entertaining, highly sociable pets. Match with the right kind, and you’re sure to fall in love. There are dozens of domesticated bird species to choose from. They’re all stunning and wonderful to own. Your ideal bird will match your expectations,… Continue Reading

How To Dehydrate Your Own Healthy Pet Treats

How To Dehydrate Your Own Healthy Pet Treats

Cheap pet treats aren’t healthy, and healthy treats aren’t cheap. Ounce-for-ounce, biscuit-type treats are typically cheaper because they are made with fillers like flour or starch. Treats made with mostly meat tend to be healthier for cats and dogs, though some are made with artificial preservatives that can lead to chronic health issues when fed… Continue Reading

Voluntary Recall Of Dave’s Pet Food ‘Beef Canned Dog Food’ Due To Elevated Thyroid Hormone

Voluntary Recall Of Dave’s Pet Food ‘Beef Canned Dog Food’ Due To Elevated Thyroid Hormone

June 13, 2018 – Dave’s Pet Food of Agawam, MA is voluntarily recalling one lot of ‘Dave’s Dog Food’ 95% premium beef cans due to potentially elevated levels of beef thyroid hormones. When dogs have consumed high levels of beef thyroid hormone, they may show these symptoms: restlessness, increased heart rate, increased thirst, increased urination frequency… Continue Reading

10 Cool New AKC Recognized Dog Breeds

10 Cool New AKC Recognized Dog Breeds

The American Kennel Club recognizes over 200 breeds, which can participate in events like conformation shows, agility, earth-dog trials, and obedience trials. In the past decade, a handful of “new” dog breeds have been added to the registry. These are not necessarily brand-new dog breeds, but rare breeds that had to demonstrate enough interest before… Continue Reading

Merrick Pet Care Recalls Merrick Backcountry and Castor & Pollux Good Buddy Treats

Merrick Pet Care Recalls Merrick Backcountry and Castor & Pollux Good Buddy Treats

May 23, 2018 – Merrick Pet Care, of Amarillo, Texas, is voluntarily recalling some of their varieties of dog treats because they might have elevated levels of naturally occurring beef thyroid hormone. When dogs have consumed high levels of beef thyroid hormone, they may show these symptoms: restlessness, increased heart rate, increased thirst, increased urination frequency… Continue Reading

How To Tell If Your Pets Are At A Healthy Weight

How To Tell If Your Pets Are At A Healthy Weight

In 2017, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention found 56% of dogs and 60% of cats are clinically overweight. This epidemic is putting pets at greater risk for certain cancers, kidney failure, diabetes, and puts excessive strain on their bones and joints. We can only blame ourselves for these shocking statistics. Most of the time,… Continue Reading

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