So you want Goldfish. These critters are lots of fun and make wonderful pets. But they do need some specific care.
Let’s explore what it takes to have a pet Goldfish.
Even though Goldfish are small, they need lots of room to swim around. Bowls do not make good homes for Goldfish – imagine living in your closet – this is what a bowl is like for your new finned friend.
The best home for your Goldfish is an aquarium that is at least 10 gallons in size. You will also need some other items to make your Goldfish home great. These include;
- A filter – this helps take out all the harmful chemicals in our tap water and keeps the tank clean. It also adds oxygen to the water, which is vital to the fish.
- A lid with light – this gives your fish “daytime and nighttime.
- Decorative gravel – this makes the tank look pretty and also helps keep the water clean.
- Decorations like plastic or live plants, a castle, or a small statue – not too many as these take up the room and make the tank too crowded.
- Fish food
- Water condition – this is added to remove the chemicals found in tap water.
- Aquarium stand or a sturdy table to place the tank on
- Aquarium vacuum cleaner
- Brand new bucket (used only for fish tank maintenance)
How to Set Up an Aquarium
Before you bring home your Goldfish, you have to get their home ready. Here’s how to set up an aquarium.
Step #1 – Rinse the aquarium to rid it of any dust or residue.
Step #2 – Pour the gravel into a clean bowl and rinse it thoroughly. Pour it into the bottom of the aquarium.
Step #3 – Rinse your decorations and add to the aquarium.
Step #4 – Place the aquarium on the stand or table – be sure it is where you want it as it is very heavy and will be difficult to move after it is full of water.
Step #5 – Fill the aquarium with water. The ideal temperature for Goldfish is 68 degrees. Use an aquarium thermometer to get the temperature right.
Step #6 – Add the water condition.
Step #7 – Set up the filter (according to directions).
Step #8 – Place the cover on the aquarium and turn the light on.
You will notice lots of debris floating around, but this will clear up as the filter does its job.
You’re now ready to add your Goldfish!
Adding Goldfish to the Aquarium
After you have chosen your Goldfish, the person at the store will put them in a bag for you to bring them home in.
When you get home, remove the lid of the tank and let the bag float around on top of the water. This allows your Goldfish to get used to the water temperature of their new home. Do this for about 10 minutes.
Now, open the bag and allow some of your tank’s water to trickle into the bag. Do this every 5 minutes for about 20 minutes.
Note: You don’t want to just open the bag and pour your Goldfish into their new home – this is shocking to their bodies and can do them harm.
After 20 minutes you can allow your Goldfish to swim out of the bag into their new home.
Place the lid back on the tank. Enjoy your new pals!
Feeding Your Goldfish
Goldfish are only small pets, so they just need a small amount of food. A good rule to follow is only give your Goldfish how much food they can eat in two minutes. Too much food can actually kill your fish, so just give them a pinch.
Feed your Goldfish a small pinch of food twice a day (once in the morning and once in the evening.
Cleaning Your Fish Tank
You will need to clean your fish tank once a week. However, cleaning the aquarium doesn’t mean taking out all the water. You only have to do a partial water change (this is about 10%).
Using a new bucket (you don’t want any cleanser residue) and the aquarium vacuum, suction through the gravel – this pulls out all the fish waste and debris. Throw the dirty water away (or use it for the houseplants – they love it), then replace with clean water.
Be sure the tap water is the same temperature as the water in the aquarium and use your water conditioner to remove the chemicals.
Slowing pour the new water into the tank. Careful, not too fast or your fish might get scared.
Once a month you will have to change the carbon filter in the fish filter – rinse these well before you add them to the unit.
Fun Goldfish Facts
Did you know?
- Some species of Goldfish can grow up to 10 pounds!
- The average lifespan of a well-cared for Goldfish is 6 to 8 years.
- The oldest living Goldfish was 43!
- Some Goldfish can recognize their owners. You may notice that your new buddies get very excited when they see you.
- A school of Goldfish is called a “troubling.”
Do you think a Goldfish might be a good pet for you? Leave us a comment with your thoughts on these “fishy friends.”
Do you want to learn more about some cool pets? Check out our “Pets” section.