Goldfish is one of the most commonly kept aquarium fish by pet enthusiasts and the most popular first fish aquarists would like to own. Goldfish is also much cheaper among other fish for domestication and it could be easily raised and cared for with the minimum of effort.
First- time aquarium owners also prefer goldfish than any other fish primarily because it has several varieties that pet lovers can choose from. There is species like the Common Goldfish, Celestial Eye, Pompom, Lionhead, Ryukin, Fantail, Comet, Oranda and other goldfish varieties that are readily available from your favorite pet store. We could certainly provide you the basic knowledge on how to take care of goldfish even if you are a beginner. Read on.
I. What You Will Need To Follow This Tutorial
1. Right Size Fish Tank
Single goldfish needs about 10-15 US gal. of water to roam around inside a fish tank in the relaxed and enjoyable mood. This is the minimum size of the tank you can use for one goldfish. They grow at a tremendous size ranging from 10 to 12 inches and more and last for more than a decade if cared for properly. You will need another 10 gal. (roughly 37.8 liters) of water for each goldfish.
When you can decide on what number of goldfish you want to care of, you can then pick and set up the right aquarium size.
2. Ensure Ideal Equipment/Materials Are In Hand
Prepare for the right equipment and materials you will need in setting up an aquarium for goldfish. Here is the list of what you will need:
- Tank substrates: Pea-sized gravel.
- Lighting: Preferably fluorescent bulb.
- Ornaments: Live or plastic plants.
- Heater: For colder region (optional).
- Filter and water pump.
- Dechlorinator or use distilled water.
- Airstones (Bubble disks, bubble wands).
- Universal Test Strip.
- API Master Test Kit.
3. Prepare The Right Food For Your Goldfish
Typical food given to goldfish are pellet food, live foods, that include brine shrimp or dry food, such as blood worms, mosquito larvae and other freeze-dried foods. Consult your local pet store for other readily-available types of food for your convenience.
II. Step By Step Instructions
Now that you had prepared the necessary material, equipment and other pertinent tools to have a perfect fish tank for your awesome goldfish in mind, you are now ready to go with these simplified instructions in caring for your favorite pet. Here are the necessary steps:
1. Filling The Tank With Water
After satisfying activities of preparing your aquarium with the proper equipment, you are now ready to fill it with water. The most common and least expensive water to use is from the tap but treated with the right water conditioning solution or dechlorination or use distilled water (available at a nearby convenience store). Your pet store will certainly advise you the proper method in dechlorinating your tap water, as water hardness differs from every region.
2. PH, Ammonia, Nitrate And Nitrite Measurements
Before adding your fish, make some “dry run” test on the water, like testing its pH level, ammonia content, and nitrite and nitrate levels. Common goldfish thrive at 7.2-7.6 pH level (some species are adaptable to 6.5 to 8.5 pH level) which is usually the hardness of tap water. Ammonia and nitrite should be zero (0) while nitrate must be less than 20. Use a liquid test kit, such as the API Master Test Kit to get the value of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate in the water. A Universal Test strip will give you the true value of pH on the water.
3. Add Light, Filter And Ornaments
Install proper lighting (fluorescent bulb) for the tank as goldfish need good light to maintain better wake and sleep cycle. An attractive aquascape is also healthy for the fish, install your ornaments (could be live or plastic plants) and other visually enchanting decorations inside the tank. Add water heater if necessary, as goldfish prefer 20-22C (68-72F) water temperature. Finally, a suitable filtering medium (both biological and chemical) for removing excess food and fish feces, odor, unwanted chemicals and other debris.
4. Adding The Goldfish
When you satisfy all the requirements given above, you are now ready to add your goldfish. If you want more than one fish, be sure that they are of the same as goldfish are known to eat smaller fish. Male and female genders are a good combination (your supplier could certainly distinguish the fish sexes).
5. Feeding The Fish
The fish should be fed once to twice a day. Feed the fish only at their capacity and do not overfeed them as this is detrimental to the goldfish. Floating foods should be soaked in water for a few minutes so that it will sink, avoiding air that the fish could swallow. The fish should be fed once in the morning and once at night, preferably in the same spot in the aquarium.
6. Checking Oxygen Level
Always take a notice of it that the oxygen level in the fish tank is fine. Initially, you can tell that the oxygen level is decreasing if you notice the fish are gathering at the surface. You can fix this by lowering the temperature of the water. One possible cause is that the tank is exposed to sunlight or other heat sources such as lighting. Cover the tank from the sun or shut off the light to lower the water temperature. Other cause may be the varying pH level. Bubble wands, bubble disks and other airstones are good providers of oxygen inside the tank and they are also great decorations.
7. Proper Maintenance
Water at your fish tank should be replaced regularly at least once a week or if the need arises. Check its pH level, ammonia content, and nitrite and nitrate levels occasionally when you sense something is not normal in the tank or do it regularly every time you do the change of water. You must have a ready set of test kit every time you wash.
Even if you are a beginner, this tutorial on how to take care of goldfish is truly simple and could be done as easy as tying your shoe laces. It will not even cost you a fortune, what you can reap is an awesome joy and satisfaction once you achieve your goal of having a beautiful and scenic aquarium right at your home or your office. Anyone wishing to have their fish tank to be inhabited by goldfish must begin to realize that this activity is almost effortless but a worthwhile hobby that could indulge therapeutic effect on the mind and body.