Goldfish Care Facts
1. Water Volume & Tank Size
I bet you didn’t think a goldfish needed 20 gallons of water at a bare minimum. I mean… they call those bowls for fish “goldfish bowls” right?! Wrong. On average, goldfish grow to a full size of 8-12 inches. That’s a big fish to be putting in a small fishbowl. It’s not the actual tank size that usually kills the fish but instead the level of pollution the large fish puts out versus clean water. Think of it like a human living inside of a car for its entire life.
2. Need for Clean Water
Two variables lead to water pollution in a fish aquarium. Fish feces and uneaten fish food are the silent killers of clean water. “But I can see my fish eat all the food I feed him!” The common reply I hear from beginner fish owners. More likely than not, some of that food is dissolving into the water before the fish has time to eat it.
Whatever the fish can’t eat within 3 minutes or so.. will dilute into the water clarity. Food mixed with the average fish waste really hurts the clean water levels. Water changes should also be happening on an every-other-day schedule depending on your tank size.
3. Death Rate of Goldfish
It’s important to know that goldfish are the number one fish to die for fish owners within the first 2 months. The common saying is “goldfish only die.” What a sad thing to say or even think about. Truth be told, these fish die because their owners don’t take proper care of them. It’s that simple. It’s important to take into account these top 10 care facts so your fish can live a long fruitful life.
4. Aquarium Filter Setup
Either a beginner fish owner buys the wrong size filter or they just don’t buy a filter at all it seems. When choosing a filter setup, some of the labels are is convincing. If you were to go to Walmart to buy a filter for your aquarium, the filter labels would tell you that “this is a filter for a 20-gallon aquarium.” That is true but with some knowledge to know about fish filters, you always want to go larger capacity than what the tank is actually.
For instance, if your aquarium is 20 gallons you should buy a filter for a 40-gallon tank. Bigger is always better for filters. The more that filter cycles the entire tank, the cleaner your water will be.
5. Cleaning the Tank Gravel
I can honestly say I made this mistake. I had a beautiful aquarium newly set up with two fancy goldfish. I never would have thought of having to clean the gravel. Long story sad, the fish got sick and died. The lesson of the day, clean your gravel with a gravel vacuum. The gravel inside your tank is the breeding ground for 80% of the bacteria. Aquarium siphon vacuums cost around $10 and you need one if your tank has gravel.
6. Tank Water Changes
When I say the phrase “water changes in your fish tank.” A person tends to think to poor 90% of the tank water out and add new water. This is a huge misconception. The proper way to do a water change on a fish tank is to only remove a maximum of 50% of the water.
You need to remember that your fish are used to the water they are living in and need that water to stay “normal.” Fish acclimate to water and get used to the living parameters in it. If you remove too much of it and pour in new water they are not used to, their bodies go into shock. Change the water in your fish aquarium a couple of times a week by removing 20-40% of the water and pouring new water in. Don’t forget to use conditioner on the new water.
7. Goldfish Get Lonely Too
Any species of animal is bound to get lonely from time to time. Fish are used to seeing lots of other fish in the wild. Yes, goldfish are tank risen usually but they still grew up with hundreds of brothers and sisters. My point is, your fish could use a friend. The best roommate for a goldfish is another goldfish or a bottom-feeder catfish. Now, remember, for every goldfish living together they need to have 10 gallons per fish.
8. Fish Food Diversity
Mainly what an aquarium goldfish feeds on is basic flake food. All animals get a variety of foods in their natural habitat of living. In their natural habitats, goldfish eat worms, insects, weeds, and almost anything they can fit in their mouth. Flake food just doesn’t cut it all the time for fish. Change things up for the sake of the diversity and nutrition of your fish. You can cut up small pieces of fruits and vegetables for the fish. Pick worms from your garden or through insects you find in your house in the tank. There are so many ways to feed your goldfish and some diversity of food.
9. Becoming “Old News”
Everything new is always exciting and fun right away. That fish was your best friend and you two would hang out all the time. But after 3 years of cleaning the fish tank on a weekly basis… it’s becoming old news. We see this happen all the time and with kids especially. They would do almost anything to get their pet fish, but now just keeping up with a feeding schedule is like pulling teeth. Don’t let your poor fish become old news.
10. “My Goldfish Died”
Our last fact of the day is a tough one to swallow. It does in fact happen to a lot of beginner aquarists and it’s just important to know what went wrong in the situation. It’s sad to lose a fish but it’s also important to move on and think of the next fish you could give a beautiful living home to. Most beginner-level fish owners have fish die. Education is the key and realizing what went wrong is the first step to becoming an educated aquarist. Relate to this list to see what may have gone wrong with your fish.
See More: Goldfish Care Guide & Tank Mates