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Fish Tank Forum • View topic - Goldfish Care and Maintenance
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Goldfish Care and Maintenance

Articles on general fish keeping

Goldfish Care and Maintenance

Postby Mick » Sun Mar 28, 2010 4:55 pm

Goldfish are very often misunderstood as to their special requirements and needs, in the past this has led to them being kept in tanks that are far too small for them and even the “goldfish bowl” that thankfully most people now realise are no use to anyone. These fish are just like any other species of fish, they require room in the tank to grow fully and have a healthy life as well as having their own dietary needs that must be met to supply them with the necessary vitamins and minerals for optimum lifestyles.
Goldfish require water that has a high oxygen content and this should be considered when purchasing a tank to house them. The depth is not as crucial as the surface area of the water, this is where the oxygen is absorbed and CO2 expelled by gaseous exchange. Goldfish are very successful in ponds as the surface area tends to be of a higher percentage compared to aquariums and they will often breed when kept in ponds at a higher rate than if kept in aquariums.
Each specimen of goldfish should be allowed at least 10 gallons of water space, a 40 gallon tank should only have 4 goldfish housed in it, cramping the fish can not only reduce the water quality as they are high waste producers but it can also cause undue stress on the fish which in turn will weaken their immune system leading to further complications from diseases and viruses.
If you cannot use a tank with the required surface area then all is not lost, adding an airline connected to an air pump will agitate the water surface to increase the amount of oxygen added to the tank, this can also create a pleasing effect in the tank if combined into the tank décor.
As mentioned above, these fish are high waste producers so the filtration system must be adequate to keep the water parameters high, detritus in the tank will decay and produce ammonia, regular gravel cleaning and water changes will aid the filtration system to cope with the high bio-load and keep your tank pristine.
Feeding your goldfish the correct food is paramount to their growth and health. If you are providing them with a quality flake always soak the flake in a small amount of water first, this will make it easier to digest for the fish and will also prevent a lot of swim bladder problems that are associated with this species, swim bladder problems 9 out of 10 times are caused by pressure from the gut on the bladder as the fish becomes constipated.
Nowadays commercial pellet food is more readily available and this tends to break down quicker when it comes into contact with the water yet again making it easier to digest. The occasional meal of blanched peas or spinach will help to cleanse out the digestive system as will fasting the fish every now and again for 24 hours.
There are a couple of simple rules that must always be observed when keeping goldfish:-
Never mix double tailed fancy goldfish with the single tailed species, they cannot compete for food and the single tailed varieties tend to be more active which can stress the fancy varieties.
Never mix goldfish with tropical fish, they may look fine short term but the higher temperatures will speed up their metabolism and shorten their lifespan.
Goldfish are often looked upon as being able to cope with any kind of conditions, this is not true. They require the same high water quality and care as any other species of fish.

Gone are the days when you could win a goldfish at the fair and put it in a bowl only to find it had died after a couple of weeks, nowadays fish keepers are showing a lot more responsibility and thankfully fairs etc. are no longer allowed to give goldfish away as prizes to anyone who won them.

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Re: Goldfish Care and Maintenance

Postby Big Den » Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:17 am

Good article Mick, well worth bringing to peoples attention. I totally agree with banning fairgrounds in giving away goldfish as prizes, but funny enough, that's how I started out in this hobby. :-):
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Re: Goldfish Care and Maintenance

Postby malakye » Sun Apr 04, 2010 1:23 pm

Have to admit that was how I started out with fish too.............
Great article Mick.
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