Goldfish Care 101
Goldfish care 101 article is to guide how to raise beautiful goldfish in the artificial home set up. It is a good idea to tap into the nature of goldfish before we talk about the setup. Fancy goldfish can grow up to 10+ inches in the natural pond where they can get various foods any time. These ponds are huge, don’t have any kind of filtration or fancy equipment but they good Ecology system. If we can provide the natural setup at home, our fish will be very happy at their artificial home and grow rapidly. It is also a win-win situation where fish are happy and owners are happy to see their giant beautiful fish. The big question is how we achieve that win-win situation.
Base on experience breeders’ discussion here, we will provide you the information to achieve the best goldfish care method. Space and water quality is the most important part to control in goldfish hobby. At adequate space, if you take care of water quality, water will take care of your fish. In general rule of thumb, you will need to provide 20 to 25 gallons of water per each fish which is about 3” long from snout to tail set. Addition to that goldfish, especially fancy goldfish, prefers to have horizontal swimming space. If you are comparing two tanks 45 gallon tank (36 ¼ x 12 5/8 x 23 ¾) and 40 gallon breeder tank (36 3/16 x 18 1/4 x 16 15/16), goldfish prefers 40 gallons breeder tanks. It has more surface area for fish to swim horizontally. It is also helping in gas exchange.
As a goldfish care taker, you need to know the water quality. You need to do the water change when the water quality is getting bad. A lot of people will suggest you to use Test kits ) but for us we use our eyes and noise to check the water quality. Here is an indicator of water quality which is use by one of the experience breeder, Rob. If you see foam on water surface or get ammonia smell (rotten, anaerobic, fishy smell) then you should do water change. Even you don’t see this signs but seeing fish gasping at the surface or blood streaks on their fins, it is time to do water change. We highly recommend you to do a big water change whenever you do it. Here is a link to the video guide of how to do 100% water change. If you follow the guide from the video, you can achieve 100% water change easily. DON’T WORRY, as a breeder, we do big water change all the time.
Feeding is very important in goldfish keeping as well. You need to feed enough food to your fish. I wouldn’t follow a suggestion that is less than 3 meals a day. You will end up with a skinny fish. How much to feed? King of ranchu from London, John Parker has a very detail on feed guide. Let see what John suggest. “The problem with feeding is that we are brought up to think that a pinch of food a day is adequate but the reality is that is a starvation diet. It might keep the water cleaner longer but the fish won't grow. Look at your fish and if they are different sizes (ignore tail) choose the average one. Weigh it - this might sound scarey but it's quick and simple. Use a digital kitchen scale (grams preferably), dampen a piece of paper kitchen towel, place on the scales, switch on and make sure the scales are set to zero. Place the fish on the scales and record its weight; return fish to water. Multiply that weight by the number of fish in the aquarium. Ideally feed the fish between 2% and 5% of their body weight each day - as you are not breeding or showing, start off with 2%. Therefore, for example, if your average fish weights 40 grams and you have 5 of them in the tank then total weight of fish equals 200 grams. 2% of 200 grams is 4 grams therefore you need to feed 4 grams of pellet/flake food each day. Frozen bloodworm and other foods can be fed IN ADDITION to this. When you know how much dried food you need to give to your fish you can then decide how best to feed it. Several small feeds is infinitely better than 1 or 2 large feeds so an automatic feeder is a good idea if you are away from home during the whole of the working day. Please remember that increased food = increased waste = additional water changes and that as the fish grow they will need more food. Weigh the average fish on a monthly basis and recalculate food requirement.” It is the best suggestion that I have seen in my life. If you are too busy to do the weight process, you can feed them three times a day with the amount of food they can consume within 3-4 minutes. If you have to go to work 9 to 5, you can feed your fish at 12noon by the help of auto feeder.
Here is your simple day to day goldfish care process. As soon as you wake up in the morning, check your fish, check your water. If everything is good, feed them. Otherwise, don’t give them morning meal and remember to do water change during the day. If you have a small mechanical filter running, you might end up doing water change once a week. It’s simple life with no worry for cycling or reading chemical indication..
Enjoy your fish journey..