March 19th 2009 14:42
Goldfish are probably one of the more popular freshwater fish besides Bettas. They are usually one of the first beginner fish that people add to their tank. I always thought that there was just one type of goldfish, but after working at a pet store, I found out otherwise, as there are so many different types of goldfish that a tank of goldfish can actually be pretty varied with between single tailed goldfish, double tailed, double tailed with dorsal fin, and double tailed with no dorsal fin goldfish.
The more common goldfish that you'll find in pet stores include, comets and shubunkins which are both single tailed goldfish, as well as fantail, pearlscale, moors, and veiltail (double tail with dorsal fin goldfish); and bubble eye goldfish, which are double tail with no dorsal fin.
When setting up an enclosure for goldfish, you want to have at least a 10 gallon aquarium with at least 8 gallons of water in it. Just remember that a 10 gallon tank is only suitable for one goldfish; even though it may seem like plenty of room for multiple goldfish please note that goldfish release a lot of waste, which can quickly turn bad if you have an aquarium that is packed. You'll be performing more water changes than you'd like, even with the 10 gallon tank with one fish, you should perform a 10-15% partial water change once a week, so imagine if you had multiple goldfish in the same tank...
Your filter will remove a bulk of the waste, but the water changes is the only sure fire way to ensure that your aquarium is clean and non-toxic for your fish.
When setting the proper enclosure, you want to have the water temperature no higher than 73F. The ideal temperature should range between 65F to 68F. In order to ensure that your aquarium is set at the proper temperature, you should make sure to include a good thermometer, as you do not want to freeze or fry your goldfish.
If you want to keep Bubble Eye Goldfish in your aquarium, you want to make sure that you can keep the temperatures below 72F, as this can cause oxygen deprivation, which can in turn case nerve damage, heart damage, and seriously lower the immune system, making the fish more susceptible to diseases.
As for aquarium decor, you want to avoid sharp objects and rough decorations that your goldfish can get hurt on. You want to provide about 50-75% cover, meaning make sure to have at least half of the tank decorated for hiding. By providing sufficient cover area, you will be able to reduce the stress on your goldfish, and in turn improve your the immune system.
Once your tank is set up, and you know how to properly care for it, it's important that you understand how and what to feed your goldfish. Generally, goldfish are scavengers and will eat anything, so you want to provide goldfish with a varied diet that is high in carbohydrates.
You can purchase a commercial goldfish diet that is typically going to be a flake diet, or you can purchase frozen diets, both are going to be healthy. I would actually recommend that you mix up the diet with flakes and frozen brine or bloodworms.
Goldfish do have large appetites, but they will also graze, so what is left uneaten when initially fed, will be picked up later. Just don't let the grazing fool you into overfeeding, as goldfish will produce more waste the more you feed them. Just make sure that they eat up what food you offer within about a two minute span, as after the time has elapsed, what food you add to the tank will just further poor water conditions, making the fish more susceptible to disease.
Make sure to only feed your goldfish ONCE a day.
Now, as for grouping your goldfish, you keep multiple goldfish in the same enclosure. You just want to make sure that you can provide at least 8-10 gallons of water per fish. Generally, you want to stick with keeping ONLY goldfish in the same enclosure, as they do tend to produce a lot of waste, which can cause water quality concerns and in turn health problems for other fish. Plus, with the lowered temperatures, it can be hard to find fish that can live healthily with goldfish.
When looking for companion goldfish for your current goldfish, make sure that you look for goldfish with similar traits and handicaps so that you do not have one goldfish starving while the other fish gets fat. You can mix different species of goldfish, just remember that it can be best to stick with similarly sized fish.
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