Goldfish in aquarium, everything you want to know

Goldfish is one of the most famous fish for the aquarium. Many children are given a goldfish as their first pet. Nice, in such a bowl in their room. Unfortunately, there is often a lack of knowledge, which means that these fish die far too quickly. A shame, that would not have been necessary if they had received the proper care and housing.

The most beautiful aquarium is a tank in which your fish have a good time. In which they can grow and show their natural behaviour. To offer them this environment, it is important that you first have the right knowledge about goldfish. Because only then can you set up your aquarium step by step for your goldfish and offer them a pleasant and animal-friendly life.

Goldfish is kept in both aquariums and ponds. They are related to the carp, but are not found in the wild. Thousands of years ago, the Chinese started breeding goldfish. Now this freshwater fish is farmed and kept as pets all over the world. If you do this in the right way, you can enjoy your goldfish for a long time.

Want to buy a fishbowl?

You buy a fishbowl, a layer of stones at the bottom, another water plant and your goldfish stay is ready. If only it were that simple. Despite the name, a fishbowl is not suitable for most fish. It is primarily a decorative piece and an accessible way to keep a fish as a pet. Unfortunately not in the most animal-friendly way.

A goldfish in a fishbowl is a pretty sight. The shape of the glass enlarges the fish, so you can see it well. But what do you think it would look like for your goldfish? He looks through distorting glass all day and sees only blurry, shadowy things passing by. It’s like looking at lenses that are way too strong all day long. You get a lot of stress from that.

And that’s not the only problem. The average fishbowl is way too small for a goldfish. There is little decoration, so your fish will soon be bored. Chances are he will get so bored that he doesn’t even feel like swimming around anymore and just floats silently in the bowl.

Want to buy Fishbowl Action? Do not do it

A fishbowl is quickly fetched. Even at the Action you can get a fishbowl for a small price. That is very inviting, but don’t do it. If you want to give your goldfish a nice and long life, choose a suitable aquarium.

Have goldfish necessary, a lot of oxygen, they get this from the water. A fishbowl is convex in shape. As a result, the water surface is not in proportion to the amount of water that is underneath. The water is also still standing, so that little oxygen enters the water. An oxygen plant can help, but it won’t produce nearly enough oxygen to make your goldfish happy.

Goldfish are real mess makers. They’re rooting in the soil and eat a lot. Without good filter will quickly pollute the water in your fishbowl. Due to the shape, it is actually not possible to connect a filter correctly in a fishbowl. The only other way to keep the fishbowl clean is to regularly empty it and clean it completely. Every time you do this it causes a lot of stress for your goldfish.

Fishbowl vs. Aquarium for your goldfish

Still unsure about a fishbowl or aquarium for your goldfish? Here are some facts in a row:
• An aquarium offers sufficient space and connection options for a good filter. This stimulates the purification of the water. This space is not present in a fishbowl.
• An aquarium has a larger water surface where oxygen can be absorbed. In a fishbowl the water surface is much smaller. You will need to water more often to maintain the oxygen level refresh
• In an aquarium you, have enough space for aquarium plants. They provide oxygen supply and offer your goldfish nice hiding places. In a fishbowl you can fit at most two, often poorly growing, plants. Aquarium plants belong in a healthy living environment.
• Goldfish is group animals. There is not enough space in a fishbowl for one fish, let alone several. The room will become polluted way too quickly. In a spacious aquarium your goldfish can swim around together.

Problems with keeping goldfish

Most problems with keeping goldfish are caused by improper housing or care. These problems are generally quite easy to avoid. If you only know about it:

Lack of space:

A goldfish needs space to grow. Therefore, make sure that the aquarium is large enough for your goldfish and his friends.

Oxygen deficiency:

Goldfish need a lot of oxygen. In a bowl there is not enough water surface to allow sufficient oxygen to dissolve in the water. The fish will, literally, come gasping for oxygen at the surface of the water. This is not healthy for a goldfish.

Aquatic plants:

Aquatic plants provide a natural balance in the water. They take CO2 and release oxygen. Well-growing aquatic plants contribute to a healthy living environment for your goldfish.

Water quality:

The water quality has a major impact on the health of your goldfish. Especially in small aquariums, the water values ​​will quickly deteriorate due to pollution. Think of feces and an excess of food, which dissolves in the water. The values ​​of hazardous substances, such as nitrite, can rise rapidly. That is deadly for your fish.

Feeding too much:

You can easily overfeed a goldfish and that happens regularly. Children love to throw food in the bowl several times a day. Goldfish like to eat and a lot, if they get the chance. But overfeeding is a leading cause of death. It is better to give small amounts of food at a time. If your fish don’t eat it within 5 minutes, you remove the rest from the tank. This way you prevent the aquarium water from polluting and too much nitrate gets into the water.

Keeping goldfish in an animal-friendly way

Keeping goldfish

As you can see, a goldfish in a fishbowl causes a lot of animal suffering. Of course you don’t want that. It is much more fun to provide your goldfish with a nice aquarium, in which it feels comfortable, can grow healthy and move freely.

The way many goldfish are kept shows that there is a regular lack of knowledge. Important knowledge you need to take good care of your goldfish.

How old does a goldfish live?

A healthy goldfish lives between 18 and 25 years old. There is even a known goldfish that has reached the extraordinary age of 49 years!
Unfortunately, goldfish in the Netherlands do not live that old, at most a few months or with a bit of luck a few years. Care and the living environment play an important role in this.

In a fishbowl they only live for half a year on average. If goldfish are kept in a spacious aquarium or pond of good quality and given the right care, they can easily live to be 20 years old!

Read Also: How long do goldfish live and why do they die prematurely?

How big does a goldfish get?

If you buy the goldfish, it’s a nice little creature. Then you do not expect that he can grow into a fish of 30 to 50 centimeters. Now you immediately understand that a goldfish does not fit in a fishbowl. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation being given when selling goldfish.

For example, a basin width of 80 centimeters is recommended at some points of sale. An adult goldfish can just swim around in this, on its own. For each goldfish you should count at least 50 liters of water, then you immediately know how large your aquarium should be.

Unfortunately, it is not true that goldfish adapt to the size of their bowl. It may seem that way from the outside. Goldfish in a small aquarium will not grow nearly as big as their peers, who do get the space. On the outside, they stop growing if their space is limited, but their insides continue to grow. As a result, the goldfish eventually dies. A good reason to give your goldfish the space they need.

Goldfish are group animals

A single goldfish in a bowl, it’s common. And that while goldfish are group animals. They like to live together with several congeners. They are social animals that appreciate the presence of conspecifics. Loneliness is also a reason why a goldfish will die more quickly on its own than if it lives with others of its own kind.

The more fish you want to put together, the bigger your tank should be. As mentioned, count at least 50 liters of water per fish. To form a group it is nice to put at least 3 goldfish together.

Goldfish are cold water fish

Goldfish are cold water fish and like aquarium water with a temperature between 10 and 22 degrees. This is true for most goldfish, only certain veil tails like warmer water. So you can keep goldfish in an aquarium at room temperature, without heating.

Goldfish is cold-blooded. That means they can’t regulate their own temperature. They take on the temperature of the water. Therefore, try to avoid sudden temperature changes in the water. Think, for example, of changing the water or the sun that heats up the aquarium water.

Aquarium for your goldfish

goldfish aquarium

When you think of a beautiful, peaceful tank full of plants when you think of an aquarium, you’ll have to make the switch when it comes to a goldfish aquarium. A goldfish aquarium cannot be compared with a tropical aquarium. Not only do goldfish live in cooler water, you also get a few underwater bulldozers.

You will have to adapt your tank to their behavior and they like nothing more than uprooting and eating plants. In addition, they are real polluters. They produce much more waste products than most fish. That is also something you should take into account. You will also have to remove these waste materials again. So make sure that the materials in your tank are easy to clean.

Because your goldfish can grow considerably, the aquarium will have to be large enough. They are good swimmers who like to move, they need space. Therefore, assume a container with a minimum length of 100 centimeters. Although goldfish can’t even reach their maximum length in it.

Which bedding do you choose for your goldfish?

Goldfish love to dig in the bottom. One breeding ground is therefore not useful for your plants. Your carefully decorated tank will soon be churned up by your goldfish. They pull your plants out of the ground with ease. An aquarium without soil is also easier to clean. An advantage for fish that pollute so much.

Yet you do not want to deprive the goldfish of their daytime activities. By putting something on the bottom of your tank, they can still toss and turn. If you choose fine gravel, they can go about their business without turning your entire tank upside down. The gravel quickly sinks back to the bottom, keeping your tank tidy. Make sure that the gravel is not sharp, otherwise they can injure themselves.

Make sure that no food and plant residues remain at the bottom of your tank. If this material starts to rot you can expect ammonia peaks and you don’t want that.

With or without plants in your goldfish aquarium?

If you have just planted your container nicely, your plants will suddenly float on the surface. That’s pretty frustrating. Especially if your carefully selected aquarium plants are also completely eaten.

You can set up your aquarium without plants. There is enough decoration material such as, driftwood and nicely shaped stones. If you still want plants in your aquarium, you have to be creative. Take Java fern for example and secure it to a stone or piece of wood. Place plants in vases or pots, choose floating plants or secure them to the glass with suction cups. This will prevent your goldfish from rooting out on the plants.

Plants, such as the Java fern, do not like them and they will not eat them. Other plants they leave alone are Anubias varieties, Java moss, Cryptocoryne, Vallisneria and Hygrophila. They find duckweed and waterweed a tasty snack, but because of the faster growth you will not notice that they are eaten.

Oxygen plants for your goldfish aquarium

Goldfish need a lot of oxygen. Special oxygen plants can help with this. An additional advantage is that these plants help to keep the water clean and clear. They also effectively help you fight algae.

Waterweed is one of the best-known oxygenating plants in ponds and aquariums. They grow quickly and produce a lot of oxygen. They are easy to maintain and require little in addition to regular pruning. Shiny pondweed is a beautiful oxygenating plant that will not look out of place in your aquarium. In addition to producing oxygen, it makes your tank visibly more beautiful.

Hornwort is an explosively growing plant. The advantage of this is that it does not leave any nutrients for algae. It is also a good producer of oxygen. Spikeweed is a great plant to use against difficult algae. This plant also grows very fast. Prune regularly to prevent it from taking over your tank. Spikeweed has roots with which it is attached to the soil. Protect the plant from your scurrying goldfish and you will enjoy it for a long time.

Buying goldfish, what should you pay attention to?

You have chosen and decorated an aquarium. After setting up your aquarium, you gave the tank a rest for three weeks. You’ve tested the water and it’s ready to give your fish a good home.

Now it’s time to buy your goldfish. You don’t have to go to a specialty store to buy a goldfish. You can also buy goldfish at an average hardware store or garden center. Still, it is smart to look closely at the fish before you buy them. What exactly should you pay attention to when buying a goldfish?

1. Healthy and strong goldfish come from good breeders. Most specialty stores only do business with highly regarded breeders, so they know for sure that the fish are healthy. At a specialty store you will find many different types of fish and they know more about it. Here you can immediately ask all your questions and expect appropriate advice.

2. Take a good look at how the fish are kept. Do they swim in clean water? Or is the water cloudy and full of algae? Does the water stink? The way the fish are cared for can tell you a lot about how healthy they will be. When in doubt, it is better to buy your goldfish elsewhere.

3. Look closely at the fish. Does he look healthy, are there no scales missing, are there holes in his fins or other damage? A swollen belly, open scales, white spots, a curved back and sores can be signs that the fish is sick. Don’t take him. The other fish in the same tank can also be infected with this.

4. How does the fish behave? A healthy fish is beautifully bright in color and will be lively and curious. The fins are nicely extended, especially with veil tails this is something to watch out for.

How to put a goldfish in the aquarium

You have chosen your goldfish and taken it home with you. They are finally allowed in your aquarium. Don’t get too excited and give your new fish time to get used to it. Goldfish are cold-blooded. This means that they cannot regulate their own body temperature, as warm-blooded animals can.

They take the temperature of the water they swim in and do not like large temperature fluctuations. It is therefore important to slowly let your fish get used to the temperature in your aquarium. You have been given the fish in a plastic bag with water. Place them bag and all in your aquarium and let them warm up for a while. Let the bag sit for at least 15 to 30 minutes.

Then you can gently let the fish swim out of the bag. This is easier by keeping the bag horizontal in the aquarium. This will allow some water to run into the bag, so that your goldfish can swim better into the tank.

Feeding your goldfish

Feeding your goldfish is easy, you might think. However, many beginners make this mistake. A goldfish can eat itself to death. Goldfish are real omnivores. They eat both plant and animal foods. Just like us, they need sufficient protein, vitamins and minerals. A varied diet will keep your goldfish healthy.

The right food will keep your goldfish healthy and keep their beautiful, bright colors. Avoid feeding too much. Feed your goldfish only once a day. This food should be finished in 2 minutes. If your fish continue to look for food after that time, don’t be tempted to give more. They’ve really had enough.

Is there any uneaten food left behind after feeding? Remove this from the container with, for example, a scoop net. This prevents the food from rotting on the bottom and polluting your aquarium water.

What do goldfish eat?

As mentioned, goldfish are true omnivores. They eat both plants and animals, in the form of mosquito larvae and worms. But you can even give them different fruits and vegetables.
A varied diet is best for any living creature, including your goldfish.
How would you like it if you were given the same food every day? So have a nice change.

Special goldfish food

As a starting goldfish holder, you will soon be sent home with the standard jar of flake food or goldfish pellets. This food contains several nutrients that your goldfish need to stay healthy.

These flakes or granules are very handy and can be used as a basic food. In addition, you give other food once or twice a week. Your goldfish will thank you.

The goldfish food in the form of granules will sink. Flakes float easily. There are several stories that this can be unhealthy and even deadly for your goldfish, because they gasp while eating. Opinions are divided as to whether this is really the case. But just to be sure, you can only release the flakes under water, then it will be fine.

live food

You might not say it, but goldfish are real hunters. They are therefore happy with live food. You can buy live food at most pet stores. Here they have real live food, dried or frozen. Just what you find easier. You can even throw small flies or spiders that you catch in the house into your aquarium.

Read Also: Dry and live food for fish

Live food your goldfish will love:

  • Spiders
  • Small flies
  • Maggots
  • Mosquito larvae
  • Tubifex
  • Artemia

Feed from your own kitchen

You can also find enough food for your goldfish in your own kitchen. Several goldfish experts say that it is fine to feed fresh fruits and vegetables. This prevents constipation and diseases. And it contains a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, keeping your goldfish in top condition.

It is important that you cut the food into small pieces so that your fish can eat it well. Cook the vegetables before serving and remove the skins if necessary.

Fruits and vegetables that goldfish love:

  • Butter lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Zucchini
  • Corn
  • Garlic
  • Carrot
  • Cooked rice
  • Grape chunks
  • Apple

Different types of goldfish in aquarium

Goldfish come in different varieties. As a family of the carp, they are available in the standard golden yellow and orange-red colours. In addition, there are different breeding variants in color, different tails, eyes and the shape of the body. For example, these variants have a shorter body, double tail or other colors, such as black, red, blue and white.

Veiltails are also commonly kept goldfish. With their graceful, long, double tails and short bodies, they are beautiful to look at. Although the veiltail is also a goldfish, it does require different care. They are slow swimmers and they do not like low temperatures. As a result, they do less well in the pond. They certainly cannot hibernate there.

Some different types of goldfish:

  • The common goldfish
  • Comet tail
  • Veil tail
  • Sarasa
  • Jikin
  • Shubunkin
  • Oranda
  • Lionhead
  • Skygazer

Goldfish care

Goldfish are strong animals, but they do need proper care to age healthily. That means the aquarium should be big enough for your goldfish. Small fish grow to size and their habitat must be adapted accordingly.
If you want to keep goldfish in a pond, a part will certainly have to be at least one meter deep to get through the winter safely.

There is more to goldfish care than just feeding. You will also need to check the water quality regularly. Goldfish can live fine in an aquarium without heating element. It is important that the room temperature is reasonably stable, because they cannot withstand large temperature fluctuations. The warmer the water, the more active the fish will be. Below ten degrees the fish will hardly move and hardly eat.

Optimal water values

In a good aquarium a filter and relief not missing. The pH of the water is optimal when it is between seven and eight. The hardness of the water is well between six and sixteen DH.

You don’t have to fill your aquarium with expensive mineral water, water from the tap is fine. Make sure that it does not contain chlorine or other chemicals. That is poisonous to your fish. For example, don’t fill your aquarium with a bucket that has had cleaning agents used.
If you doubt the quality of the tap water, there are special products on the market that make tap water suitable for fish.

Aquatic plants are not only useful for the oxygen content in the water, they also help to remove waste products from the water. Excessive peaks of substances such as nitrate and nitrite can become dangerous for your fish. Aquatic plants help you process these substances.

Cleaning the aquarium

Never use cleaning agents to clean the aquarium. Just clean water and a scouring pad will suffice. Only use the scouring pad for your aquarium, so you can be sure that there are no cleaning agents on it.

To maintain good water quality, it is necessary to change part of the water every week. To do this, remove about a quarter of the water and replace it with clean tap water. Make sure that this water has approximately the same temperature, so that large temperature fluctuations are prevented.

Before changing the water, clean the windows. You can clean the bottom by vacuuming the dirt with a hose or special ‘vacuum cleaner’. Has the gravel become very dirty? Then place it in boiling water, rinse it and put it back in your tank. With such a major operation, it is better to temporarily put your fish in a separate tank to avoid too much stress.

Clean filter

You do not clean the filter of your aquarium at the same time as the rest of your tank. For example, do this a few days later. Then the filter still has time to filter loose, floating dirt from the water.

Never make the filter spotless. It is especially important that loose dirt is removed and rinsed away, so that your filter can work optimally again. Many bacteria live in the filter. These bacteria help you maintain good water quality. So be careful and don’t rinse them all away when you clean the filter.

Care of your aquarium plants

Not only your fish, but also your aquarium plants need care. Fast-growing plants will require regular pruning before they overgrow others. Healthy aquarium plants help you maintain good water quality and prevent excessive algae growth.

Regular pruning promotes healthy growth. In addition, your plants need sufficient nutrients. Special aquarium fertilizer is available for this. By dosing this regularly, your plants will remain beautiful and grow well.

Enjoying goldfish in aquarium

Goldfish are amazing animals and a real asset to your aquarium. Especially if you do it right, you will enjoy them for a long time. Do you run into problems or do you have questions about your goldfish? Do you have any other fun or useful tips for goldfish? Feel free to share it with us in the comments below.

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