When contemplating how to take care of a goldfish, a few simple things should be kept in mind. Taking care of a goldfish should be easy and fun. Goldfish are peaceful and undemanding creatures who like to live in schools. They’re members of the carp family. A wild carp is grayish yellow to grayish silver but domestic goldfish have been bred to be all manner of colors. Some have flowing long fins like scarves, or tumors on their heads and pop-eyes. Goldfish like still or quietly flowing water with lots of vegetation and can adapt to room temperature water, though they’re considered a cold water fish. A goldfish can live happily with other cold water fish as well as its own species.
What You Need to Take Care of a Goldfish:
- A glass aquarium large enough to hold however many fish you want. Rule of thumb is 20 gallons of water per goldfish.
- Fish food. Goldfish are omnivores and eat animal and plant food such as daphnia and algae.
- A water filter with a large centrifugal pump.
- An aerator.
- Thermocouple thermometer.
- Fluorescent aquarium light.
- Two pairs of stainless steel or plastic forceps for removing debris from the tank.
- At least one fishnet.
- A siphon for removal of debris.
- Bottle brushes for cleaning tubes, pipes, etc.
- Substrate for the tank, like sand or gravel.
- Aquatic plants.
- Fresh water.
- Set up the tank and put the goldfish in. Put in the gravel, plants, rocks, filters, water etc., first, of course. Water should come from a spring or the tap and must be free of chlorine.
- Feed judiciously. Give enough food to satisfy the goldfish but not so much that the excess food can contaminate the water. Three or four flakes per fish, or as much as they eat within two or three minutes is good—it's better to underfeed than overfeed.
- Adjust the lighting. Turn on the lights during the day and turn them off at night to be in sync with your goldfish’s natural rhythms. A 3500K to 6500K light is good for a goldfish.
- Check the water temperature regularly. Goldfish can’t tolerate water that’s too hot. 50 degrees F is ideal.
- Check the pH and water hardness. Goldfish can tolerate a range of pH and water hardness, or minerals dissolved in the water, but neither shouldn’t be extreme (i.e. the pH shouldn’t be very basic or very acidic). A pH of neutral 7 is about right.