Goldfish are very popular with all age groups as they are relatively easy to keep, making them the world’s most popular pet.
Goldfish fall into three main groups, the common, single and double tails.
It is recommended that common and single tailed fish are not mixed with fancy or double tailed fish. Double tailed fish are too fragile for some boisterous single tailed fish
Handling your Pet
When you take your fish home – leave them in the bag and float it in your tank for about 20 minutes. This will allow the fish to adjust to the difference in water temperature.
Gently tip your fish in to its new home or use a soft net to transfer them from the bag. Always take care not to knock the fish or do anything that is likely to cause stress. If your tank has a light – turn it off for a few hours.
Housing your Pet
The ideal shape of a fish tank is oblong, the length about twice the height; this gives a suitable surface to air ratio. The tank can be all glass, plastic (acrylic), or metal framed glass.
Set the tank where it will benefit from daylight, but do not put in direct sunlight as this may raise the temperature, which will reduce the amount of oxygen in the water and also cause excessive algae growth
A filter will help to improve the quality of the water and help to keep your pet healthy – fish will not survive in poor quality water. Beneficial bacteria are needed to help break down toxins in the water. In a new tank, these good bacteria will begin to establish itself within a few days – a filter will provide an ideal medium for the bacteria to live and multiply. Ideally set your tank up at least 24 hours before you add your fish – this will help the water to settle and will give the beneficial bacteria a head start. Adding a product such as tap safe will help to remove chlorine and harmful metals from new water. Bioactive products contain good bacteria; this will also help with water quality in a brand new tank.
You will need a layer of gravel in the bottom of your tank to provide a growing medium for the plants and to anchor them firmly in place. This is important, as goldfish enjoy rooting about the bottom of the tank in search of food. But ensure you thoroughly flush the gravel with a hose before putting it into your tank. Wash any live plants to remove any snails etc before adding to the tank.
The most suitable rocks for your aquarium are granite, slate and sandstone. Avoid rocks with sharp edges and those such as marble, limestone and soft sandstone. These rocks contain a high mineral content that will lead to alkaline for fish and plants.
There are also many plastic plants or ornaments which can also be used to decorate your tank. Wash these well before adding to your tank.
Goldfish will survive within the range of 0-22∞C (32-72∞F) but the most suitable is 8-18∞C (46-64∞C).
Feeding your Pet
There is large range of different types of food available for all different types of fish. The most popular is flakes as they float on the surface of the water before eventually sinking. Fish such as black moors or orandas should be fed by submerging the flakes under the water – this will help to avoid them taking air into the gut.
Do not over feed your fish – feed in small amounts daily, a good guide is if there is still food after 2 minutes you are over-feeding; uneaten food will be wasted and will add to the toxins in the water.
Good water quality is essential to keep your goldfish healthy. Always ensure that your filter is working correctly, this will help to remove harmful nitrites and ammonia. Regular water changes are important in a tank, in the 1st week you should change 10 – 20% of the water every 3 – 4 days, after this water changes of approximately 20% should be carried out weekly.
If you do start to have problems ensure that you find out exactly what the problem is because you may be causing more damage by guessing. Filter sponges should only be washed using the tanks water. Chlorine in tap water will kill beneficial bacteria which controls harmful toxins. Poor water quality will kill your fish if not treated quickly.
Most fish illness occurs when water quality is poor, therefore it is extremely important to maintain good water quality to prevent illness and aid recovery. Any carbon should be removed from a filter before treatment is carried out.
Fluke, gyrodactylus and dactylogrus; These are worm like parasites. Grey mucus film appears on the skin of the fish often accompanied by rapid gill movements. Haemorrhaging around the gills may occur
Fungus and fin rot: Cotton wool type growths appear on the fish, particualy on the fins. Like white spot, fungus can be fatal if left untreated. Treat with a recognised fungus treatment
Swim bladder: The fish will appear to lose balance and will swim abnormally (up side down or on its side). It is caused by an infection to the swim bladder – an organ that the fish use to maintain balance. It can be treated with a recognised swim bladder treatment