The fun and rewarding hobby of keeping goldfish as a pet
Have you ever been put off keeping goldfish as pets because of what previous goldfish owners have said about them, particularly the negatives? Well, you shouldn’t; Especially if you can’t answer for the truth as to why your goldfish originally died! Perhaps the owner tried to keep the fish in a fish tank, after participating in the TV show myth of the happy goldfish swimming in an adorable round fish tank. Or maybe the environment wasn’t a bowl, but it was still confined; depending on how many goldfish the owner had at one time (goldfish need to swim in schools, which applies to almost all types of fish known to man except “Siamese fighting fish” or Bettas). Or who knows, maybe this person was not getting better when it came to some of the important key points of maintenance. Goldfish care is certainly not rocket science, but neither are they a “set and forget” hobby. I’ve seen too many perfectly good used aquariums for sale at thrift stores and other places. It saddens me to see that; perhaps these owners “didn’t have time” for this hobby after a while. I can’t speak for everyone who eventually gives up fish farming, but it’s a shame to see some people turn their backs on such a rewarding hobby. I don’t want that to happen to you. Let’s look at some of the finer points of keeping goldfish as a pet …
The first is the beautiful colors and patterns. Many of the ones you will find are not completely “oranges”. They have mixed golden yellow, black and white patterns. The more sophisticated the goldfish (such as fantail and moorland), the more varied these patterns will be, but even common goldfish can also be eye-catching. One of mine is two-tone white and orange. You will also find that goldfish are friendly, intelligent, alert (you will never forget to feed them as they will be waving you in the glass as soon as the time is right!) And they subsist on a fairly varied diet. good, but they have been known to enjoy spinach and shelled peas, brine shrimp, and bloodworms. If you like live aquarium plants, I would refrain from keeping them around goldfish as they will nibble on them too.
You will also find that goldfish are hardy and long-lived (Japanese koi live even longer, some up to 20 years or more!). I’ve had the same orange and white goldfish as a pet for three years so I can tell you they are pretty tough. They are not completely immune, there are some goldfish diseases like ick and swim bladder that definitely require solitary attention and quarantine. The lifespan of a goldfish depends on a number of things, but don’t underestimate the “key points” that I’ll talk about in the next paragraph. The first point is its habitat.
Yes, absolutely, 100 percent. You NEED to keep them in a tank … NOT a bowl. I highly recommend that you don’t buy one of those “mini” or “nano” tank kits if you plan to keep goldfish, save them for your lonely Bettas in the future. The tank should be quite spacious, it doesn’t have to be gigantic (in such a case you’d be better off keeping it in a garden pond in the backyard, where they will thrive in large numbers). Many experts will tell you that you will need a 30 gallon tank minimum. If you have a 29 gallon capacity tank; not a big deal here since that’s just a gallon off. There are friendly “natural” tank cleaners like pleckos and Chinese algae eaters that can give your tank a little cleaning boost. The reason for this larger size is that a larger tank will keep the problem of water contamination to a minimum. Goldfish waste levels definitely exceed those of other freshwater varieties. The smaller the tank, the more frequently it will be necessary to change the water. You also need a good filtration system and an air pump. An aquarium heater will not be a necessity as goldfish are not as sensitive to temperature as other breeds of freshwater fish.
Bi-monthly water changes (every two weeks) are important; the first time you want to extract about 25% of the water, the next time and subsequent changes, about half the water should be good. Now if you are thinking of flushing dirty fish water down the drain, take some advice from my brother in law who has raised goldfish longer than I have. Bacteria present in fish waste laden water will make an excellent fertilizer for plants if you have a garden in progress. Even for some houseplants, the soil will get a much-needed boost. When replacing the drawn water with clean water (no chlorine; not instant tap water type), be sure to change the filter cartridge as well.
You should (and will enjoy) your pet for a long time if you remember all the important points mentioned above. Goldfish are attractive, easy to care for, and fairly inexpensive (depending on whether you are looking for common or fancy varieties). Four “common” goldfish from a pet store cost me just one dollar. The “fancy” goldfish start at a dollar each and work their way up depending on the type. They will pay you back in dividends when you see how big these little guys will get over time! I have a four-inch one that you would never guess was once two inches long, so I hope it doesn’t grow any longer. I consider this particular goldfish to be the “alpha male” or “queen bee” of my group.
If you ever want to take this hobby to the next level one day, you might want to look into garden fish ponds. It takes a lot of work to create your dream backyard goldfish pond, much more than tank maintenance, so keep that in mind. However, until then, I hope you get the most benefit from raising your goldfish to be happy and healthy in a cute aquarium at home.