goldfish.jpg

How Much Do You Think You Know About Goldfish

By BrentNpetco on Jul. 24, 2017

goldfish.jpg

How much do you think you know about goldfish? Taking care of this popular pet is not always as simple as you might think. Are you an amazing goldfish pet parent? Let's take a look at the ever-popular goldfish:

Goldfish ("Carassius auratus") are one of the most common pet types in the world and are one of the most commonly kept acquarium fish. They exist in plenty of pop culture references, including famous books by Dr. Seuss, movies like Disney's Pinocchio and TV shows like Sesame Street. Goldfish even show up in fine art from China and Japan. Domesticated goldfish have been kept in China for thousands of years. And, they have been bred for different characteristics, including but not limited to, finnage, body shape, size, color pattern and even eye shape.

Goldfish are members of the carp family (Cyprinidae). "Fancy Goldfish" refers to goldfish that have been specifically bred to enhance body characteristics like tail or head shape or to enhance coloration. Varieties of fancy goldfish include the Fantail or Ryukin, Veiltail, Globe-eye, Celestial, Bubble-eye or Toadhead, Pearlscale, Pompom, Lionhead or Ranchu, Black Moor and Oranda. Each variety may share commonalities with other varieties, but generally has at least one characteristic that sets it apart.

goldfish_3.jpg

Goldfish exist in more colors and patterns than their name implies. They are not tropical fish, but are sometimes incorrectly regarded as coldwater fish. Instead, “coolwater fish” is a much more appropriate term, as they prefer to be in mid-60 degree waters, but can survive in a wide spectrum of temperatures up to 75 degrees.

Goldfish also prefer slow currents similar to a lake and not currents like a fast-moving river. The fish prefer to drift and slowly swim around a tank rather than swim like they’re on a treadmill.

Gender
Determining the gender of a goldfish can be difficult before they reach maturity. There are a few methods of figuring this out, but we will focus on one distinct feature that distinguishes a mature male goldfish from a mature female goldfish.

On a goldfish’s gill covers (aka operculum) and the first ray of its pectoral fins, a male goldfish will develop breeding stars, or breeding tubercles. To the untrained eye, these may look like a disease or a parasite. Fear not, as this is natural for a male goldfish to have these stars or spots.

goldfish_2.jpg

Diet
Goldfish are opportunistic eaters, meaning they will eat any food given to them regardless if they are hungry or not. When feeding Goldfish, it’s important to refer to the feeding instructions on their fish food as not all foods are formulated the same. Uneaten food as well as excess eaten food could lead to bad water quality. A well-balanced Goldfish or Koi diet consists of flake, pellet, frozen or freeze-dried foods.

Goldfish need low carbohydrates, but a good amount of protein. A goldfish-specific flake or pellet will meet these requirements, but can also be supplemented with boiled peas or bits of lettuce leaves. On a positive note, goldfish will also eat and control fast-growing undesired plants such as duckweed.

Habitat
Goldfish do not grow as large as koi, which makes them a popular fish for aquariums, smaller ponds and water gardens. Despite popular belief, goldfish do not “grow to the size of their tank.” Goldfish can be kept in properly sized aquariums or ponds. They can be kept singly or in schools if the tank or pond is large enough.

Maintenance
Daily: check filter, water temperature and other equipment.
Weekly: check water quality at least once a week.
Monthly: change 10-25% of the total volume of water every 2-4 weeks, or as needed.
Introduce new inhabitants to the aquarium gradually.

Goldfish or koi?
What’s an easy way to distinguish a goldfish from koi? Koi have barbels (whiskers) by their mouths and goldfish do not. These barbels are covered with taste buds that allow koi to taste things without ingesting them. Let’s hear from all of our goldfish lovers out there – any fun facts or tips to share?

My goldfish wants new things. Especially new decor.

Want to know how to take care of your new goldfish?

I want my goldfish to thrive.

Let's talk best first pets.

Want to check out all the fish?

0 Kudos
9 Comments
Comments
by
‎04-01-2016 04:34 PM

WOW!  The goldfish pictured next to the blog's title seriously needs to be checked for hyperthyroidism or something with those big, poppy eyes!   Cat LOL   Woman LOL

WOW!  The goldfish pictured next to the blog's title seriously needs to be checked for hyperthyroidism or something with those big, poppy eyes!   Cat LOL   Woman LOL

Posted on Apr. 1, 2016
by
‎04-04-2016 10:08 AM

I often refer people to an article by Neale Monks from wetwebmedia regarding goldfish diet. It explains for me why so many goldfish, especially spherical-bodied strains like Ryukins and Pearlscales, so routinely run into digestive troubles, blockages and swim bladder problems. Particularly, it explains the frustration I often had trying to keep goldfish alive in the long-term--even when I kept them in very large tanks with great filtration and water maintenance. I agree with the author's premise, which he states plainly in the title "Goldfish May Be Popular, And They May Be Cheap, But That Doesn't Make Them Easy Aquarium Fish". 

Basically, the author is saying three things about feeding goldfish:

1. Commercial Goldfish food is a good treat, but not a good diet for goldfish.
2. Vegetable matter is necessary, not optional, for maintaining Goldfish health.
3. A better commercial food for Goldfish is spirulina based foods such as those for herbivores.


I no longer keep goldfish, but I wish I had encountered these ideas when I did. We are told that goldfish should live in excess of twenty years. I invariably lost my fish at about 5-6 years when they were still far from attaining their potential size.

Thanks for your article and information. I have included a quote from Monks' article below:

"Unlike the majority of tropical fish, which are more or less predatory animals that typically feed on aquatic invertebrates and insect larvae, goldfish are omnivores that consume significant amounts of plant material. Wild goldfish, like carp, root about the bottom of rivers and lakes sifting the mud for decaying plant material, algae, and a variety of small invertebrates such as worms and midge larvae.

In captivity, a diet containing a balance of vegetable and prepared foods is the ideal. When given nothing but prepared foods, such as flake food, goldfish tend to become constipated, evidenced by the long white strings of faeces that emerge from the vent. In severe cases, this can lead to a form of swim bladder disease where the fish is unable to swim properly and has a bloated appearance similar to dropsy. More will be said about curing these diseases later on, but for now the focus is on prevention.

About half the meals you give to your goldfish should simply be more or unprocessed plant material. Much of this can come from the kitchen. Cooked rice, blanched lettuce, canned or cooked peas, sushi Nori, spinach, and so on will all work well in this regard. Certain aquarium plants are also enjoyed by goldfish, and these can be used as a salad bar of sorts, left in the tank for the goldfish to graze on. Pondweed (Elodea and Egeria spp.) are the traditional options for this, but duckweed (Lemna spp.) is enjoyed too.

Perversely perhaps, standard issue goldfish flake and pellets should be used more as a treat than a staple. Most are based primarily on meat- and fish-meal, and these simply don't provide the amount of fibre that goldfish really need. A far better choice is to use vegetarian flake food of the type sold for livebearers. Typically made using Spirulina protein, this algae-based flake is readily accepted by goldfish and makes an excellent staple."

I often refer people to an article by Neale Monks from wetwebmedia regarding goldfish diet. It explains for me why so many goldfish, especially spherical-bodied strains like Ryukins and Pearlscales, so routinely run into digestive troubles, blockages and swim bladder problems. Particularly, it explains the frustration I often had trying to keep goldfish alive in the long-term--even when I kept them in very large tanks with great filtration and water maintenance. I agree with the author's premise, which he states plainly in the title "Goldfish May Be Popular, And They May Be Cheap, But That Doesn't Make Them Easy Aquarium Fish". 

Basically, the author is saying three things about feeding goldfish:

1. Commercial Goldfish food is a good treat, but not a good diet for goldfish.
2. Vegetable matter is necessary, not optional, for maintaining Goldfish health.
3. A better commercial food for Goldfish is spirulina based foods such as those for herbivores.


I no longer keep goldfish, but I wish I had encountered these ideas when I did. We are told that goldfish should live in excess of twenty years. I invariably lost my fish at about 5-6 years when they were still far from attaining their potential size.

Thanks for your article and information. I have included a quote from Monks' article below:

"Unlike the majority of tropical fish, which are more or less predatory animals that typically feed on aquatic invertebrates and insect larvae, goldfish are omnivores that consume significant amounts of plant material. Wild goldfish, like carp, root about the bottom of rivers and lakes sifting the mud for decaying plant material, algae, and a variety of small invertebrates such as worms and midge larvae.

In captivity, a diet containing a balance of vegetable and prepared foods is the ideal. When given nothing but prepared foods, such as flake food, goldfish tend to become constipated, evidenced by the long white strings of faeces that emerge from the vent. In severe cases, this can lead to a form of swim bladder disease where the fish is unable to swim properly and has a bloated appearance similar to dropsy. More will be said about curing these diseases later on, but for now the focus is on prevention.

About half the meals you give to your goldfish should simply be more or unprocessed plant material. Much of this can come from the kitchen. Cooked rice, blanched lettuce, canned or cooked peas, sushi Nori, spinach, and so on will all work well in this regard. Certain aquarium plants are also enjoyed by goldfish, and these can be used as a salad bar of sorts, left in the tank for the goldfish to graze on. Pondweed (Elodea and Egeria spp.) are the traditional options for this, but duckweed (Lemna spp.) is enjoyed too.

Perversely perhaps, standard issue goldfish flake and pellets should be used more as a treat than a staple. Most are based primarily on meat- and fish-meal, and these simply don't provide the amount of fibre that goldfish really need. A far better choice is to use vegetarian flake food of the type sold for livebearers. Typically made using Spirulina protein, this algae-based flake is readily accepted by goldfish and makes an excellent staple."

Posted on Apr. 4, 2016
by
‎04-06-2016 08:38 PM
I had a calico fantail that got quite large and lived for 9yrs!
I had a calico fantail that got quite large and lived for 9yrs!
Posted on Apr. 6, 2016
by ISawAPuddyCat
‎04-18-2016 08:29 PM

I don't know if this is a "fun fact", but I think it is interesting and worth sharing:

People often wonder what is the right amount of food to give their fish and question if they are overfeeding their fish.  The "interesting" and best answer I've run across is something to the effect "you can't over feed your fish but you can over feed your tank"! [Don't remember the source]

 

If you are into writing about gold fish, it would be nice to have basic information about keeping fish in an outdoor pond.

I don't know if this is a "fun fact", but I think it is interesting and worth sharing:

People often wonder what is the right amount of food to give their fish and question if they are overfeeding their fish.  The "interesting" and best answer I've run across is something to the effect "you can't over feed your fish but you can over feed your tank"! [Don't remember the source]

 

If you are into writing about gold fish, it would be nice to have basic information about keeping fish in an outdoor pond.

Posted on Apr. 18, 2016
by
‎05-02-2016 01:04 PM
Can I keep them in fishbowl
Only want 2 goldfish black moor goldfish & fantail goldfish?
Can I keep them in fishbowl
Only want 2 goldfish black moor goldfish & fantail goldfish?
Posted on May. 2, 2016
by John Kastanos
‎05-08-2016 05:53 AM

Just a few comments. Goldfish require 20 gallons for the first and 10 for every other goldfish. They also cannot live properly with other types of fish except from bristlenose plecos, because of the other fishes' size, aggression, and temperature. 

DO NOT ONLY CHANGE THE WATER 2-4 WEEKS! Goldfish are really messy fish. THEY MUST HAVE A 25-50% WATER CHANGE EVERY WEEK! 

Just a few comments. Goldfish require 20 gallons for the first and 10 for every other goldfish. They also cannot live properly with other types of fish except from bristlenose plecos, because of the other fishes' size, aggression, and temperature. 

DO NOT ONLY CHANGE THE WATER 2-4 WEEKS! Goldfish are really messy fish. THEY MUST HAVE A 25-50% WATER CHANGE EVERY WEEK! 

Posted on May. 8, 2016
by Mark
‎05-15-2016 10:42 AM

I like how you ignore the extremely problematic and wide-spread issue of small tanks. To some people "appropriate" sized tanks would mean 10 gallons. People don't realize that most goldfish are really not even for tanks, and most require like 100 gallons or more. Petco makes lots of money off this ignorance, and clearly they don't want to address it. Even in their caresheet they say "20 gallon minimum" which is way too low for most. 

I like how you ignore the extremely problematic and wide-spread issue of small tanks. To some people "appropriate" sized tanks would mean 10 gallons. People don't realize that most goldfish are really not even for tanks, and most require like 100 gallons or more. Petco makes lots of money off this ignorance, and clearly they don't want to address it. Even in their caresheet they say "20 gallon minimum" which is way too low for most. 

Posted on May. 15, 2016
by goldfish
‎07-13-2017 05:53 AM

After reading your article, I am impressed and start finding more stuff like this and reached to a result where there are lots of videos of beautiful girls swallowing goldfish. It's amazing! http://www.goldfishswallowing.com.

After reading your article, I am impressed and start finding more stuff like this and reached to a result where there are lots of videos of beautiful girls swallowing goldfish. It's amazing! http://www.goldfishswallowing.com.

Posted on Jul. 13, 2017
by Albi B
‎08-03-2017 11:52 PM

Yup, love that it's conviently left out that goldfish are well beyond the scope of children's pets ir beginning aquarists. They require large tanks, lots of maintainence, and aren't compatible with 95% of other fish.

Please discourage people from taking home a goldfish if they are not willing to invest in everything it needs! It's such a sad thing to see people (especially kids) upset when Goldie dies in his fish bowl (and not to mention the short, underserved life of the fish.)

Yup, love that it's conviently left out that goldfish are well beyond the scope of children's pets ir beginning aquarists. They require large tanks, lots of maintainence, and aren't compatible with 95% of other fish.

Please discourage people from taking home a goldfish if they are not willing to invest in everything it needs! It's such a sad thing to see people (especially kids) upset when Goldie dies in his fish bowl (and not to mention the short, underserved life of the fish.)

Posted on Aug. 3, 2017
About the Author
  • Brent has always had an interest in pets of all types. Born and raised in Louisiana, he had many pets as a child, but his reptiles and his reef aquariums were his passion. He enjoyed learning what inhabitants needed in their environment to thrive. The road wasn’t always easy, but with each problem Brent, found new solutions. Brent began working for Petco in 2004 as a store associate, where he worked mainly in the aquatics and reptile department. In December 2012, Brent graduated with his MBA and was offered a job at Petco’s National Support Center in San Diego, CA. In his role as Live Aquatics Vendor Coordinator, he worked with Petco vendors to bring in new aquatic species as well as update the current in-store habitats based on compatibility. In August of 2013, Brent became the Associate Merchandise Manager for Live Aquatics. He assists in overseeing Petco’s full assortment of live aquatic and reptile SKUs, choosing the aquatic life sold in every Petco. He is the proud pet parent to a miniature Australian Shepherd and his favorite hobby is caring for his established reef tank.
Latest Blog Posts

DIY Strawberry Orange Popsicles for Your Dog

By PetcoBlogger on Aug. 17, 2017
Treat your dog to some refreshing popsicles that they are sure to love. By replacing the wood popsicle stick with rawhide twist sticks, your dog can e...

5 Helpful Tricks for Capturing Perfect Photos of Your Cat

By PetcoBlogger on Aug. 15, 2017
In the eyes of every pet parent, their cat is the most beautiful animal to ever walk to the earth. But anyone who has ever tried to photograph a cat,...

Attention All Cat Parents: Here’s How and Why You Should Manage Fleas and Ticks

By CarolineGolon on Aug. 14, 2017
The last thing you want to discover on your cat are fleas or ticks. These external parasites are not only annoying all year round, they can also trans...