Beginner's Guide to Keeping Goldfish

Goldfish Are Easy to Care for and a Great Hobby

Keeping Goldfish can be a fun and rewarding hobby. Be aware that it will require some weekly maintenance and you should be able to keep happy and healthy Goldfish for many years.

Gold fish have a life expectancy of five to ten years. If you do a good job maintaining their fish tank, you should have fun, beautiful fish for a long time. Make sure to feed them correctly and keep their water fresh and clear.

Starting a Gold fish Tank

If you a re a beginner to fish keeping, you will want to get a little bit educated about starting a new Goldfish tank. First, you should choose a large size fish tank. Goldfish like to eat a lot and are pretty messy. They also grow pretty large, so they will require a good amount of space.

You will probably want to start a twenty gallon fish tank for two to three Goldfish. No more than that, please. This will insure that waste does not build up inside the tank and gravel and that your Goldfish will remain healthy.

Setting Up the Tank

When starting any new fish tank, you should get everything in place before buying the fish. If you are going to put gravel on the bottom, you may want to put only a thin layer. This will make it easier to keep clean, as Goldfish tend to be messy. Make sure that you rinse the gravel thoroughly before placing it in the bottom of the tank.

Goldfish will eat live plants. However, this is not a bad thing for the fish. Keep in mind that if you choose to use live plants, you will have to replace them frequently. You may also want to wait until the water has aged a bit before adding them.

If you have some decorations, you should add them now. Make sure that you rinse them well before putting them into the tank. Also be sure that the goldfish have plenty of room to swim, as they as active fish. Give them a place or two to hide, and that should do nicely.

Adding the Water

Now that you have everything in place, you can add in the water. You will need to use a dechlorinator, as the chlorine in tap water is poisonous to fish. So is soap. Be sure not to use it on anything associated with your Goldfish.

Add the water slowly, as you don't want to disturb your decorations. Once the fish tank is filled up, you can turn on the filter. Make sure to use the correct filter media as recommended by the filter's manufacturer. Change it as often as recommended to keep your fish healthy.

Goldfish live at room temperature, so you will not need a heater. They are quite comfortable in temperatures from 68 to 80 degrees. However, they should not be exposed to rapid temperature changes.

Don't Add the Fish Just Yet

You might want to let the filter run in the new goldfish tank for a day or so to filter out any chemicals or dyes that might have been left on the gravel and decorations that you just added. Waiting to buy new fish can be one of the hardest things about fish keeping!

The Nitrogen Cycle

You need to add fish gradually. Fish excrete ammonia. If you add too many fish at once to a new fish tank, the water will not be seasoned enough to dissipate it. As the water in your Goldfish tank ages, it builds up beneficial bacteria that turn harmful chemicals excreted by the fish into harmless ones. However, this will take some time.

Start out with only one fish. The nitrogen cycle will not begin until you add the fish, so running an empty tank for several days will not help. Since your fish tank is brand new, you might want to consider making partial water changes of about 25 per cent of the total water volume every few days for the first week or so.

Feeding Your New Goldfish

You can find Goldfish food at almost any pet shop. Make sure to purchase some when you buy your first fish. Feed only a small amount. Especially at first. Any uneaten food will sink to the bottom and rot. Keep this to a minimum.

Watch your fish the first few times that you feed them. Feed only as much as they will eat in two to three minutes twice a day, or as recommended on the Goldfish food label.

Be especially careful not to overfeed when the Goldfish tank is new. This will cause excess build up of toxic chemicals and can kill your fish quickly.

Cloudy Fish Tank

As the water in your fish tank cycles through the nitrogen cycle, you may notice that is becomes very cloudy. Don't worry. This is normal. It should clear up in a few days to a week. However, do not add any new fish until the water is crystal clear again. This will be your signal that the nitrogen cycle is working and that the toxic chemicals are being converted to good ones.

Choosing Your Fish

There are many breeds of Goldfish to choose from. While your new fish tank is seasoning, take some time to browse some local pet shops. You will soon be familiar with the many common breeds. Most require similar care.

When looking for fish, be sure to check out all of the tanks in the store. Look to see if they look clean. Are there any dead fish in the tanks? If all looks well, you can probably consider it a safe store to buy from.

Never buy a fish which looks dull or has cloudy eyes. Make sure that the fish looks active, colorful and healthy. Look at its gills and see if there is any redness or swelling. These are signs of possible disease.

Go Fishing!

Once your tank has cleared up, you can add more fish. However, remember that Goldfish will grow large and they need a big space. Don't overcrowd the tank if you want to keep healthy fish. If you would like some more information regarding starting a new fish tank, be sure to read

Enjoy your new hobby. Watching the antics of your new Goldfish will be entertaining and fun. If you would like more information regarding maintenance or your Goldfish tank, check out Have fun with your new fish!

Published by L. Lark

I am a Realtor and Mortgage broker  View profile

  • Goldfish require a lot of space
  • Goldfish come in a huge variety of breeds and colors
  • Check out all the fish tanks in a pet shop before buying fish there
Gold fish can live for five to ten years if kept in good conditions.