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Goldfish everything you need to know

Another wonderful fish for the beginner or advanced keeper goldfish come in a large variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. At times they may seem difficult to keep, but their care is fairly simple some difficulties owners have stem from overfeeding and under cleaning.

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The following guide is based on a bowl setup.

Goldfish Behaviour

  • Interactive with their tank friends
  • Always on the lookout for the next meal
  • Prefer cool water
  • Average life span 2+ years – record holder was 20+ years
  • Plan on 1 gallon per fish – however, based on their size, you may need to double or triple those guides.

Setting Up

  1. Rinse your bowl, gravel, and accessories well. Do not use any type of cleaner including soap. If necessary, you can dissolve a handful of salt in warm water and use this to soak and scrub out the bowl if it housed another fish or is in need. It saves time to have a dedicated bucket, cup, and other accessories to help with future cleanings.
  2. Consider using Aquarium Salt in your first water set-up to offset stress-related reactions* - as a guideline, use ¼ - ½ tsp. aquarium salt per gallon of water. Dissolve the salt first in warm water, then add it to conditioned water.
  3. Fill a clean, no soaped container with enough water to fill the bowl. Make sure the water isn’t too cold. Add water conditioner (a de-chlorinator).
  4. Add gravel, plants, etc, to your bowl and fill it with dechlorinated water.
  5. Allow the water to come to room temperature.
  6. Float your goldfish in its travel bag in the water for 10 minutes and release it.
  7. Place your goldfish in an area that protects it from direct heat, sun, or cold, but in an area where he/she can have interaction. They are social and curious.


  1. Feed your goldfish two times per day following the manufacturer’s directions.
  2. Feed slowly watching how much is consumed, if food is falling to the bottom before being eaten, then either slow down or stop. Overfeeding contributes to poor water quality and blockages.
  3. Goldfish food comes in pellets, flakes, and crisps. If you have a tank that houses faster and slower-moving goldfish, use a variety to keep the faster swimmers busy on the surface (pellets or crisps) this gives the slower swimmers (moors) more opportunity to find sinking flakes.


  1. Partial water changes are recommended at least once during the week as well as a full bowl change. Depending on your set-up, you should watch for the general water clarity and how your fish is behaving. Gasping at the surface is an indication of low oxygen and poor water quality.
  2. A partial water change means that you remove ¼ of the water from the bowl and replace it with fresh dechlorinated water that has come to room temperature before being added.
  3. A full bowl clean will mean following the same steps as a set-up. However, you’ll be removing your goldfish from the bowl using a net or a cup and placing it in a holding container. Remember to add a portion of the water your goldfish were kept in during cleaning. This water does have beneficial bacteria present that contribute to a healthy bowl.
  4. If you decide to continue with adding salt to the water, only add it during a full bowl clean.
Using an Aquarium Salt can support the immune response and prevent susceptibility to fungus, and infections, and keep your goldfish’s slime coat in good condition.

Some keepers use aquarium salts regularly to raise and lower salinity levels for optimum immune support. Other keepers utilize aquarium salt on an "as-needed basis" when transporting a new fish, or, for treating specific issues.

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