The Beginner’s Fun & Easy Guide to Goldfish Care

This is THE best guide to goldfish care on the planet.

If you’re an overwhelmed beginner wanting someone to show you the ropes, you’ll love this guide.

You can build a healthy goldfish community despite having:

Zero pet sitting jobs.

Zero goldfish-savvy connections.

Zero experience keeping fish.

I’m going to walk you through the EXACT steps you need to take to save your new goldfish from total disaster.

Step #1:

Boost Your Goldfish’s Quality of Life by Choosing The Right Tank Size

Let me begin:

First and foremost, you are going to need…

…A tank.

What size? It depends on the goldfish.

And how many.

There are two main kinds of goldfish: single-tailed and fancy.

Slender, single-tailed goldfish varieties grow so large (over a foot long, in fact) that they need 40 gallons each, and do best in ponds.comet-goldfish-tank copyWait, what?!

I know, it’s hard to believe they can start off so small and end up so huge.

They’ve even been known to outgrow tanks that are 6 feet long!

Just about any fish safe container will do. Glass, acrylic and even large plastic tubs like this 40 gallon one all offer different advantages. Your goldfish won’t care, as long as it has the space it needs.

Now:

Fancy goldfish (the ones with short bodies and double tails) reach 6 to 8 inches, so 10 to 20 gallons per fish is the rule of thumb.

fancy-goldfish-tank copyTheir size makes them much better suited to indoor aquariums.

You’re probably wondering:

“Can I keep my goldfish in a bowl?”

Sorry, but bowls are out of the question. You can read why here. (Don’t worry, I’ll wait.) goldfish-bowlAre you back? Great!

The bottom line?

My advice when choosing a goldfish tank is to get the biggest tank you can afford. You can even purchase them online, such as this 10 gallon or 20 gallon aquarium.

A bigger tank = healthier fish.

Healthier fish = happier owner.

Now that you know about properly stocking your aquarium, give yourself a high-five (and move on to step #2).

Step #2:

Stocking Up the Equipment You Need to Make Goldfish Keeping Easier

Here’s the deal:

Electricity is a relatively new concept.

For thousands of years, goldfish have been kept in containers without our modern technology.

So…

Filters AREN’T necessary.

But they do help.

Goldfish produce waste, and the toxins from their waste harms or kills them.

If you don’t want to be doing multiple water changes every week to remove those toxins, you will need a filter to help keep the water quality safe.

What size you get will depend on your tank size. hang-on-filterNot so fast!

You still will need to change the water. (We’ll get to that later.)

Filters provide a good place for beneficial bacteria to grow on. Sponge filters are a good option for that.

The beneficial bacteria are what help to keep your water safe.

For water changes, you will need a siphon. The kind that connects to the sink are great for tanks above 20 gallons large and will save you lots of back pain from hauling buckets.

Bubble stones are also nice for increasing oxygen.

Rumor has it fish like to play in them too.bubble-stoneTo operate it, you will need some airline tubing and an air pump. (These are also necessary for operating sponge filters.)

Both don’t cost much.air-pumpA 5 gallon bucket and a fish-safe sponge also comes in handy.

While we’re on the subject…

Aquarium nets can be helpful for rearranging décor in the tank, but I don’t recommend using them on your goldfish (chasing the fish around is stressful and they can get hurt). Clean, gentle hands do just fine.

This is important:

The quality of the water in the tank is probably one of the most critical factors in keeping your goldfish healthy.

Bad water = sick fish.

Using tap water? Don’t forget a water conditioner to get out the chlorine and other nasty chemicals. This water conditioner brand called Prime gets rid of both – and detoxifies ammonia to boot, which is very useful during cycling. But how do you know if the water has toxins in it?

You could watch as your goldies start dropping like flies…

… or you could test the water with a simple kit.

Your choice.

The liquid kind give you the most bang for your buck. water-testAs far as lighting goes:

If you choose to purchase a hood with a light, it’s a good idea to have a “lights out” policy at night so your fish can sleep.

Not all tanks need a tank stand, but if you want to view your fish at eye-level then it is a must. Besides, tanks located on the floor can be more tricky to clean. A full tank can weigh hundreds of pounds, so your stand needs to be able to hold that kind of weight.

Regarding temperature, you’ve probably heard this:

“Goldfish are cold water fish. They don’t need a heater.”

That’s not entirely true.

While they are natively river fish, the fancier kinds aren’t very tough.

There is also evidence that sickness is more common in colder water.

As long as there is enough oxygen in the water, goldfish do best in water in the low to high 70’s (F).

goldfish-temperature

Heaters (the shatter resistant kind are the best) also help to keep the temp steady.aquarium-heaterBefore you leave the fish store, there’s another thing you’d better not forget…[/fusion_text]

Step #3:

Picking Out the Right Food for Your Goldfish’s Needs

Some goldfish foods are just a bad idea no matter what.

Take commercial flakes, for example.

As soon as they hit the water, flakes start leaching their ingredients, which can lead to water quality issues.

The fish also end up ingesting a lot of air as they eat them.

The result?

… A goldfish floating around from constipation.

Freeze-dried foods, like bloodworms, can also cause this problem.

That’s why I don’t recommend them.

Get a high quality moist goldfish food instead. (Hint: cheaper is rarely better.)

Pellets or gel food provides all of the nutrients goldfish need, AND they are digestible.

The best ones have lots of protein, fat, and very little fiber. The sinking kind of pellets are ideal.

But here’s the catcher:

No matter what you buy, processed foods (which are very rich) can’t make up a complete goldfish diet.

It would be like a person eating a cheeseburger every meal!

He’d be sick and overweight.

Fibrous veggies should actually make up the majority of their meals.

That’s why lettuce, spinach and kale are great ways to go.

Which brings us to the next step…

Step #4:

Select Tank Decorations for Beauty and Purpose

Here’s something we all agree on:

An empty aquarium is pretty boring.

Shelter gives goldfish a place to hide or rest. Plus it looks good.

Now, you can go completely crazy with buying artificial decorations and blow your wallet on an impressive display…

… But at the end of the day your fish might not even appreciate it.

Sometimes these even do more harm than good.

For example, sinking ships are a notorious cause of injury.sunken-shipGoldfish are pretty clumsy. Especially the ones with poor vision, like Telescopes and Bubble Eyes.

Their protruding eyes are damaged easily on sharp edges. In some cases, they come completely off. (Ouch!)

That’s where soft plants might offer a better route.

Fake plants can be pretty, but they don’t really offer much of interest to the fish.

May I make a suggestion?

Get some live aquarium plants for your tank.

They offer a realism that no fake plant can match.elodeaWant to know the best part?

The tender leaves make for healthy 24/7 snacking. As weird as it sounds, even the decaying parts are good eating!

Elodea (also called Anacharis) is a good choice, but there are many others. In fact, it’s hard to find plants that goldies won’t eat… but Anubias or Java Fern hold up pretty well.

Trust me – your fish will thank you for them!

Whatever plants you choose, be sure to wash it off in chlorinated water to disinfect it.

Now:

Should you get a substrate (a layer of sand, gravel or pebbles) to put at the bottom of the tank?

Well, there are pros and cons to anything you would use.

Gravel or river rocks are a popular look, but uneaten food and waste gets trapped in the spaces between them.

That makes them difficult (actually, IMPOSSIBLE) to keep clean.

They aren’t a good choice for goldfish.

Aquarium sand has been successfully used in a thin layer (just enough to cover the bottom). Goldfish will forage through it looking for something to eat.

While not as attractive, bare-bottom is the way most goldfish keepers prefer to go. That way they always know what is going on at the bottom and can keep the water clean.

As soon as you’ve stocked up on all of the equipment you need, it’s time to move on to the next step of the care guide…

Join the Fastest Growing Goldfish Group on Facebook

I started the Pure Goldfish Community as a way to give goldfish keepers a place to ask questions and share advice.

(Psst… we also secretly love posting photos/videos of our fish and aquariums to show each other just for fun 😉 )

It’s really  an awesome place to learn about how to care for goldfish.

People are learning so much thanks to the great members willing to spend their time helping others learn how to do the whole “goldfish thing.”

facebook-successshot

So many great topics come up every day – and we’d love to have you be a part.

You can check it out here.

Step #5:

Follow This Simple Strategy to Set Up Your Tank

Congratulations! You’ve gathered your materials. Now it’s time to put it all together.

I can already hear you saying,

“Where should I put my aquarium?”

Glad you asked.

Really, there are a lot of places that will work. You mainly want to avoid areas with high foot traffic and issues with temperature fluctuations.

Don’t forget:

You will need an electrical source and access to a sink. Keep in mind that you need to be able to get your hands into the tank from above!

Have you figured out where to put it yet? Wonderful! Time to place your filter, air stone and heater where you want them.

But don’t plug them in just yet or you might blow them up. 😉

If you picked out plants or other decorative objects, now is the time to figure out how you want everything aquascaped.

After you fill it with water, use your handy-dandy water conditioner to dose the entire volume of the tank.

Now you can plug in your equipment.

A Word of Caution

At this point in the process, many people will wait 20 minutes (or 24 hours, depending on what the pet store employee has told them) and then put goldfish in. Who wants to wait, right? But within a week or so, their fish is seriously ill - maybe even dead. This is because they did not cycle the tank first... ... or they did not do enough water changes to compensate for the lack of an established filter. Let me explain: Goldfish produce waste which quickly becomes toxic to them. Only two things can detoxify or remove it: water changes or a colony of good bacteria. Beneficial bacteria can help convert this waste into non-toxic forms through a process called the Nitrogen Cycle. Something called a 'fishless cycle' is done before adding any fish to build up a colony of good bacteria. If you have fish already, it's too late to go through this process. Expect to be doing very frequent water changes at least every other day for a few weeks until the colony gets established. But a filter won't ever do ALL the work for you - it just cuts it down some.
Now, something seems to be missing from your fully set up tank, doesn’t it?

Step #6:

Adding Something Fishy to the Situation

A word of advice:

Most people get a 15¢ feeder fish for their first goldfish.

“Feeders” are really young common or comet goldfish.

And just about all of them harbor disease from overcrowding, causing them to die quickly.

That’s why feeders aren’t meant to be kept as pets… feeder-fish… and are mass-produced as reptile food.

Your pet goldfish should NEVER come out of a feeder tank.

After the cost of medications and a tank large enough for them to grow, your cheap fish ends up costing an arm and a leg! If you really want a common or comet goldfish, don't buy one housed in crowded conditions.
It can be hard to find a reliable source for quality goldfish.

Starting off with a sick fish (even if it’s not a feeder) from the get-go doesn’t usually end happily, especially for beginners.

Here’s the kicker:

Nearly all pet store goldfish are already sick or are on the verge of sickness.

The pet stores can’t afford to quarantine each shipment of fish for weeks and treat them for the host of diseases they are carrying before offering them for sale. All they can do is ship ’em in and ship ’em out.

They may look good now, but they have been passed through many stations and very stressed by the time they’ve arrived at their final destination. By the time they get home, they’re all but spent.

That’s why it’s so common to hear,

“My goldfish are ALWAYS DYING!”

What do you do if you just bought a pet store goldfish?

One word…

Quarantine.

You are going to need to treat your new fish for disease yourself.

And if you already have fish, you are going to need a separate tank to do this in so your new fish doesn’t contaminate the others.

Salt (for most parasites) is a good starting point

Dose the whole tank at .3% salinity – 1 tsp salt per gallon.

Expect the quarantine time to last 4 weeks.

Goldfish have a bad reputation for being short lived because people don’t quarantine.

And sometimes, even if you do quarantine, the fish is just too worn out to make it.

Now in reality, a healthy, quality fish can live decades.

But you have to start out with one.

Most people think that pet stores are their only option, so that’s where they buy their fish.

Actually, buying directly from a professional goldfish supplier online is easy and you don’t even have to go anywhere – plus the fish will be in far better condition than those at the crowded pet store.

goldfish-online

Best of all, your fish may already have been quarantined and will be far less stressed.

Always start off with a healthy fish, if you have the choice. You won’t regret it.

Listen, I get that those chain store cheap prices can look pretty appealing.

But remember:

You may pay more for one high-quality goldfish initially…

… But you save your money big time by not buying cheap goldfish after cheap goldfish. Not to mention the cost of medicating your sick fish. (It adds up!)

Now that you’ve got your beautiful new goldfish, here’s how you introduce him, her or them into the tank.

Float the bag in the water for 30 to 60 minutes to acclimate the temperature.

Open the bag. Please DON’T dump the yucky water from the bag into the tank.

Using clean hands, gently scoop up the fish and transfer it into the aquarium.

There you go!

It’s common for new fish to hide at the bottom for a bit as they adjust to their new surroundings.

They might just be a little skittish for a time. But they’ll perk up after a bit.

Step #7:

Here’s How to Regularly Care for Your Goldfish (And Make it Happy)

It would be great if there was an autopilot setting for goldfish care.

That way you could just set everything up, kick back and relax.

But when it comes to pet ownership, you’re totally at the wheel.

Your care (or lack of care) will determine whether they live or die.

The bottom line?

They NEED you.

Their lives are in your hands.

You are the one who determines how clean their water is, how crowded they are, if they have enough food, and what to do when they are sick.

So, you have some responsibilities to tend to if you want your goldfish to thrive.

Providing food for them is an obvious must.

As far as what they eat and how much, that is within your power.

The problem is, goldfish are just so fun to feed! It’s easy to keep giving them more and more and more. Whoa!

They never get full.

But too much food leads to a host of problems.

Whether they know it or not, they need you to be strong enough to LIMIT those rich pellets.

Make sure they always have access to vegetable material so they don’t feel hungry.

And just like cats need their litter boxes changed…

… goldfish need their water changed.

On a regular basis.

This is because the filter converts poisons in the water into a somewhat safer substance, but it can’t totally get rid of that substance.

That substance will just build up and build up until it starts harming your goldfish.

The Solution?

Replacing 90% of the tank’s water with fresh, clean water every week.

You can do this with that siphon you bought.

It’s ok to change the water every day, if need be.

Last but not least:

Keeping an eye on your fish is important to make sure that there are no weird things going on with them.

Pay attention to how they are swimming, where they are spending their time in the tank, and how they look.

Fortunately, watching your goldfish is fun and enjoyable! (That’s why we keep them, after all.)

Whenever you notice a change in appearance or behavior, do a water change.

A day shouldn’t go by where you don’t check on them, because sometimes a lot can change in a short period of time.

Before you go:

Now it’s Up to You…

Are you ready to give goldfish care a shot?

Then you definitely want to get the new step-by-step care guide that I just put together.

It contains all you will EVER need to learn about goldfish care so you can always know what to do.

Click the link below to take a look:

The Secrets to a Healthy Goldfish Revealed

Learn how to keep your goldfish alive and thriving using the only complete, accurate goldfish manual available today –
The Truth About Goldfish.

Tell Me More!
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82 Comments

  1. daniel November 18, 2015 at 11:39 pm - Reply

    how do I lower ammonia levels without buying anything

    • Clementine
      Clementine November 18, 2015 at 11:59 pm - Reply

      Good question, Daniel! It’s actually pretty easy and cheap: water changes 😉 You’ll need water conditioner for the tap, but it doesn’t take anything else from you except your time and labor. 😀

  2. Robert V December 12, 2015 at 1:55 am - Reply

    Hi I want to say thank you for the information a lot of it was very helpful. I have a question it might be dumb but I’m learning haha my question is when it comes to water current What GPH should I have it? I have all 6 of my 60 gallons at 150GPH is that good if I may ask. Thank you in advance. And another thing that just came to mind I have 6, 60 gallons and each one of them have about 6 comet goldfish is that safe or should I get more tanks haha. I have so much because I hate to see goldfish in a cramped box at the store just wait I g to get sick and die So I go out an buy them before putting them in a tank I have a 120gallon I put them in to make sure they have no illnesses

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 12, 2015 at 7:43 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Robert =) For fancy goldfish less GPH is really better, I don’t usually go by that when choosing a filter, personally I go by the size recommendation of the filter maker and aim for a bit smaller GPH than they say. The current can blow them around too much if you have double GPH, which some people recommend. As far as the tank size, comets get pretty large so they really need 40 gallons apiece. Honestly they are best suited for ponds but, if you have the space, you can keep them inside.

  3. Lyndsy December 12, 2015 at 3:47 pm - Reply

    Why 90% water change? That seems a bit much… as ammonia and nitrite and nitrate can stay at zero in proper sized tank and proper sized filter with 25-30% water change weekly….

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 12, 2015 at 7:49 pm - Reply

      In my opinion the more fresh water you give them the better. It encourages growth and optimal health. After all, in nature they have hundreds of times the water they get in captivity. But to each their own, as long as the fish is healthy and the parameters are good that’s what matters. =)

  4. Bevaun January 3, 2016 at 10:30 pm - Reply

    This was great! I love orandas and really would like to purchase some from a breeder rather than a pet store but all I can ever find is big orandas that I cant afford due mainly to the cost of shipping. Any thoughts on ways to help with this in my area? Arent there any breeders in Indiana?

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 3, 2016 at 10:41 pm - Reply

      Glad you enjoyed it, Bevaun =) How many are you looking for? We’ve currently got some beautiful Orandas directly from breeders with free shipping in our store. If you don’t see anything like what you are looking for I can probably hook you up 😉

  5. Cindy January 12, 2016 at 2:36 am - Reply

    I have a 55 gallon freshwater tank with 7 Shubunkins and 4 trapdoor snails. I have a 50 gallon and 10 gallon bio-wheel power filter. Is this tank big enough for these fish and do I have enough pumps for them?

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 12, 2016 at 4:48 am - Reply

      Hi Cindy! For 7 Shubbies, I’d try to aim for a larger tank if possible. They start out small but the recommended guidelines are 40 gallons per single-tail. 7 fish X 40 gallons per fish = 280 gallons, which is pretty big, but slim bodied goldfish get pretty large and need the space to thrive. A pond might be a good way to go, if that’s possible for you. If not you might consider trying to cut back the number of fish you have. It’s always better to have fewer goldfish but healthy ones than a lot of sick ones suffering from bad water, which is pretty hard to avoid with your current setup. If your tank was stocked at even 2 or 3 fish with very heavy filtration that would prove a challenge but you would be more likely to succeed. Hope that makes sense and glad to hear you care enough about your fish to want to do the right thing! 🙂

  6. Tyler Hosman February 2, 2016 at 11:28 am - Reply

    Hi, I am 11 and my goldfish Gilbert (he is a comet fish) has lived for 2 years in a goldfish bowl but now I bought him a standard 10 gallon fish tank. I got Gilbert from a carnival fair( shocker that he\\\’s stayed alive all this time). My sister got a new fish from the pet store so her fish was in with my fish in the brand new tank. Gilbert has been moving slow and has cloudy eyes so we took him out and put him back in the goldfish bowl, will this solve the problem? Can I put him back in the tank later? Is it possible my sister\\\’s fish brought a sickness from the pet store? My water conditioner is Aqua Safe plus, my filter is the brand grreat choice and it is a 10/20 gallon internal power filter, Is this enough or should I put another filter on the other end of the tank? Also my filter has a flow rate of 90 GPH. Before I inserted the new plants and rocks I ran them in hot, good or bad ? Please help me I don\\\’t want my fish to die because he has lived so long that he has grown close to my heart. Any tank tips? Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. P.S. I feed him flake food problem ?

    • Clementine
      Clementine February 3, 2016 at 4:59 am - Reply

      Hey Tyler! It is possible your sister’s fish brought a sickness in, but it’s more likely that Gilbert’s tank got overloaded with having another fish in there and the water got dirty (dirty water can still be clear). When that happens goldfish start feeling and looking bad. My advice would be not to put him back in a bowl, because he definitely needs more space. If you can, get another tank large enough to hold Gilbert by himself. Because he is a comet goldfish he can get to be over a foot long if he gets the right care from you, so the bigger the better – 40 gallons is best. Be sure to change the water every day until he recovers. The filter on your 10 gallon is fine, as long as the tank gets its regular water changes.

      As far as flake food goes, it’s not my first choice because its hard to know how much you are actually feeding. Pellets are easier to keep track of in my opinion.

      Hope that helps 🙂

  7. Tyler Hosman February 3, 2016 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    thank you

  8. Denver February 13, 2016 at 1:05 am - Reply

    Are you kidding me? Heaters will kill a goldfish!!! And all fish need filters there is no no or maybe. DO NOT LISTEN TO THIS WEBSITE IT WAS PROBALY MADE BY A MAD 10 YEAR OLD!!!

    • Clementine
      Clementine February 13, 2016 at 4:32 am - Reply

      Those with experience using heaters for goldfish (including myself) understand that they do not kill goldfish when kept in the temperature range described. In fact, goldfish have been able to survive in water as hot as 90 degrees F in the summer outdoors.

      As far as filters go… you could keep a goldfish without a filter by compensating with water changes. As I said before they have been kept without them for thousands of years in captivity and it has been done. However it is no recommended for the average keeper.

      Oh, and I can assure you that I am not a mad 10 year old, Denver. 🙂

  9. abdul February 26, 2016 at 5:59 pm - Reply

    Does water conditioner kills good bacteria in the tank?

    • Clementine
      Clementine February 28, 2016 at 4:37 am - Reply

      Hey abdul! No, that’s what chlorine does. Water conditioner removes chlorine and other chemicals that would kill good bacteria.

  10. tiffydo May 15, 2016 at 12:31 am - Reply

    One of my comets are from the state fair. I wasn’t expecting to win it so I instantly freaked out not knowing how to care for it. Four years later he grew big and pretty from my binge research on goldfish. The other fish I won died after three years, my family members knew I was extremely upset and bought me four more from the pet store. One died after our cat got too interested and pulled him out. The other three are healthy fishies. One year and counting with them. Although I’m very lucky they didn’t die off.

    • Clementine
      Clementine May 15, 2016 at 11:33 pm - Reply

      Thanks for sharing your fish keeping story, tiffydo! Congrats on reaching your 1 year anniversary of being an excellent goldfish keeper.

  11. Rachel June 27, 2016 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this. It’s nice to have something simple and plainly written. I had tropical fish when I was younger but of course never knew anything about their care other than feeding them. I got excited about goldfish though when I won one at a canival but of course I did the typical thing of sticking it in a bowl thinking that was the right way.

    I’m very interested in getting a fish for my son (well we’ll probably share as he’s only little) but very much a beginner at it all.

    • Rachel June 27, 2016 at 3:48 pm - Reply

      Also just out of curiosity (because I’m thinking of starting small) is it better to get more than one goldfish do they get lonely? although I love the iconography of a goldfish I just wonder if it would be kinder to start with smaller fish that we could get a pair or more of. I just thought of my mother’s Guinea pigs and how they recommend to buy them in pairs I don’t see why fish couldn’t also get lonely.

      • Rachel June 27, 2016 at 4:07 pm - Reply

        Cold water fish I mean unless the heater costs are negligible I don’t know if I want to move to tropical fish though I do like the idea of a betta I used to love watching the one we had in our tropical tank

        • Clementine
          Clementine June 28, 2016 at 4:10 am - Reply

          You can find heaters fairly inexpensively online and at pet stores, it costs more to run them than it does to buy them. Do goldfish get lonely… they are schooling fish and do seem to appreciate the company, if you have adequate room. 🙂

        • maddykristine12 August 16, 2016 at 5:23 am - Reply

          I got my 300 watt heater for up to 99 gallons on amazon for $24, where as a pet store a heater for a 15 gallon was $45. Look on Amazon! They have good quality stuff for cheaper than pet stores.

  12. Mandy July 24, 2016 at 8:32 pm - Reply

    I’ve had my Black Moor Winston in a 5 gallon as he’s still quite small (1.5 inches), but am upgrading him to 10 gallons tomorrow. He keeps tearing his fins because the filter is too strong for his current digs. Unfortunately the lid I need is backordered, will he be okay for a bit without a lid? I want to get those fins healed up asap. Thanks!

    P.S. I use the API master test kit and check his water every few days and everything is good. I also spot clean poo with a turkey baster every day and do a partial water change every other day. Deep gravel vacuuming happens once a week to 50% of the aquarium. I alternate which side I vacuum so I don’t kill the bacterial colony. Despite his tears he seems like a happy, healthy and very active fish who loves his pellets but may love sweet peas and moss balls more. 🙂

    • Clementine
      Clementine July 25, 2016 at 4:20 am - Reply

      Yeah he won’t need a lid. Good that you are giving him a bigger tank. I’m concerned though because the filter shouldn’t cause tears even if it is strong. That sounds like an issue with water quality.

    • yelkcarb August 14, 2016 at 12:35 pm - Reply

      Hi Mandy. I just wanted to ask how long you’ve had your Black Moor in a the 5Gallon as I’m thinking of getting one. Hope Winstons well 😉

  13. Bob August 3, 2016 at 8:37 pm - Reply

    That’s a well crafted guide, easy to understand.
    I will send it to my grandson, he’s been asking about having a goldfish tank.
    He’s clever but that would be his first tank, so I’d like him understand before what it means to care for a pet.
    Thanks, Bob

    • Clementine
      Clementine August 4, 2016 at 3:22 am - Reply

      Thank you for your positive feedback, Bob! I hope your grandson finds it helpful. 🙂

  14. Ryan August 6, 2016 at 4:08 am - Reply

    Hi,
    Firstly thanks for the great guide!
    I’ve been thinking about getting an external filter with a UV light. Does having a UV filter reduce the amount of water changes required?
    Thanks,
    Ryan

    • Clementine
      Clementine August 6, 2016 at 4:27 am - Reply

      Thank you Ryan! No, UV is only for suspended bacteria, not for waste. I would save the money 🙂

  15. maddykristine12 August 16, 2016 at 5:19 am - Reply

    Where could I find a water siphon? I have a 75 gallon that i do bi weekly 50% change with a bucket on… but i cant seem to find siphon anywhere.

  16. Deruu Sonamm August 25, 2016 at 10:50 pm - Reply

    hello.. i loved reading your guide lines on goldfish keeping for beginners. My question is, if i plan to do everyday water change can i skip the nitrogen cycle in my fish tank which is 2. 5 gallon most probably before adding a goldfish??? i dont plan on getting filter system and a siphon.

    • Clementine
      Clementine August 26, 2016 at 5:00 am - Reply

      Hi Deruu! Happy to hear you liked it! 😀 A 2.5 gallon won’t ever cycle, because goldfish are too messy for them. They are better suited for betta fish. But, if you decide on getting a tank at least 10 gallons for one fancy goldfish, you will be off to a much better start (especially if you follow the methods outlined in the book for goldfish keeping). Hope this helps!

  17. Courtney September 7, 2016 at 4:32 am - Reply

    I have had 4 comet goldfish in my backyard pond for about a year now. I’m not for sure on the gallons but I would guess it’s about 200+. I originally had about 8 in there but only 4 survived the winter last year. I was hoping for an outdoor guide or a possible heater recommendation to help them survive this winter.

    • Clementine
      Clementine September 8, 2016 at 3:29 am - Reply

      Thanks for your suggestion, Courtney, I plan on writing one up when I have the time 🙂

  18. Flamingo September 19, 2016 at 11:42 pm - Reply

    if you do keep your fish in the water and it is a white goldfish is that ok or do we absolutely have to change to a tank?

    • Clementine
      Clementine September 21, 2016 at 4:36 am - Reply

      Yeah absolutely have to 😉

  19. alison October 16, 2016 at 8:42 am - Reply

    I have a single tail goldfish who is now over 12 years old and about 10 inches. He is in a 107 litre bio orb tank. 2weeks ago I stupidly emptied the whole tank out and got rid of all the media etc. He was okay for a week and the started acting strangely-darting about erratically, sitting on the bottom fin down etc. I took a water test and saw nitrates were high etc so did water changes to get it down.
    I am now doing about 25 percent changes a day and I believe the water is having a bacterial bloom as its cloudy. Could someone advise on feeding at this time-is it safe to change the sponge in the filter yet- should I continue with water changes. I have read so much that my head is spinning-thank you (I do not want to put him in a pond as has been suggested)

    • Clementine
      Clementine October 16, 2016 at 10:31 pm - Reply

      I wouldn’t feed at this time. Sponges shouldn’t be changed, only rinsed.

  20. Sy November 4, 2016 at 5:37 am - Reply

    Hello, I will buy a goldfish in the near future but can’t decide of what kind of goldfish for a beginner like me. I really want a goldfish with really beautiful floaty fins like the veiltail…I was thinking of getting a veiltail but I heard they’re rare and not really a beginner fish….:( help?

    • Clementine
      Clementine November 5, 2016 at 10:48 pm - Reply

      Some orandas have really long fins 🙂

  21. Ren November 11, 2016 at 6:53 pm - Reply

    Hi! Is it required to add water conditioner whenever I change the water? And also how long should the fishless cycle take? Is 2-3 weeks ok?

    • Clementine
      Clementine November 13, 2016 at 1:00 am - Reply

      Yes, you need water conditioner each time. Fishless cycling usually takes 3-4 weeks.

  22. lexi November 27, 2016 at 10:38 pm - Reply

    I’m doing a science fair project about how peas can cure swim bladders disease in gold fish. Got some advice on how to house it and wear to find a fish with the disease?

    • Clementine
      Clementine November 27, 2016 at 11:45 pm - Reply

      Peas can help ease constipation (which results in the swim bladder being impacted, and can cause buoyancy trouble, sometimes called swim bladder disease), but actual SBD is sometimes very complicated and in some cases not diet-related. The trouble is more common among fancy goldfish rather than common fair fish. A fish floating upside-down is the telltale sign of constipation. It will need a tank and the setup described in the article 🙂

  23. Lily December 3, 2016 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    My goldfish, who has lost his coloring, which I have had for 8 years, has been living in a 5 gallon tank for most of his life. I have never used a filter in his water, and I’m wondering if I could put a filter in after all of these years. Would that hurt the fish or harm him?

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 4, 2016 at 3:09 am - Reply

      It would only help, but would need to cycle first.

  24. loulou December 4, 2016 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    great article, very helpful. my brother wants a goldfish but my family is concerned how much it will cost. my friend owns three fish in a five gallon tank but they are very happy. do you have any pointers for what the minimum size of a goldfish tank is? thank you for all, GO GOLDFISH!

    • Clementine
      Clementine December 4, 2016 at 8:34 pm - Reply

      Goldfish are way cheaper than most pets but they do require some investment for their well-being. For tank size info, please check out this article 🙂

  25. oreo December 31, 2016 at 2:50 am - Reply

    i have a 10 gallon tank and had 1 black telescope goldfish in it. unfortunately he got sick and the pet store offered to take him back to try and save him. hopefully he lives 🙂 i recently bought a 30 gallon tank and was planning to put 2 black telescope goldfish in it after the holiday break (after i cycle the tank for 1+ weeks). I still have the 10 gallon tank and was planning to use it as my hospital tank. when i am quarantining my fish should i separate them into the 2 different tanks of can i put them into the main tank and quarantine them together. i have would buy them form a pet store ( a store i trust and have had fish from them last for 11+ years) and they would be coming from the same tank. hopefully that wasn’t too confusing 🙂

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 5, 2017 at 6:59 pm - Reply

      I hope he recovers soon! 🙂

    • oreo January 6, 2017 at 2:43 am - Reply

      should i quarantine them in 2 separate tanks?? knowing the situation above

      • Clementine
        Clementine January 13, 2017 at 6:30 pm - Reply

        I would separate them 🙂

  26. natasha January 8, 2017 at 5:37 pm - Reply

    Wow,great info there,thanks. Its my desire to network with my fellow natural aquaristics.

  27. Mary January 17, 2017 at 7:06 pm - Reply

    My son won 2 goldfish at the rodeo and they told him to use bottled water when he cleans the tank. His Grandma just got him a small tank for now.

    • Clementine
      Clementine January 22, 2017 at 10:11 pm - Reply

      Goldfish do much better in tanks 🙂

  28. oreo March 5, 2017 at 4:09 am - Reply

    Hi,

    I have 2 questions:

    1 – should I cycle my tank with my driftwood and live plants or without them?

    2 – should the hospital tank be cycled too? If so, would this mean my hospital tank would always need to be running?

    Thanks so much 🙂

    • Clementine
      Clementine March 7, 2017 at 4:56 pm - Reply

      1 – Either or

      2 – Yes

  29. Mary March 7, 2017 at 4:23 pm - Reply

    I have had goldfish in an outside pond for about three years now. They seem healthy but I noticed there are some bumps on two of them. We filter the water and change as needed. Is this common in older goldfish?

    • Clementine
      Clementine March 7, 2017 at 4:58 pm - Reply

      It might be tumors.

  30. itah April 4, 2017 at 9:06 am - Reply

    Hi!..i have a 12 gallon tank i guess with about 15 goldfish..when changing water,leaving the 10% of it,do i have to add a water conditioner in the 90% water i will be adding?..thank you!

    • Clementine
      Clementine April 16, 2017 at 10:10 pm - Reply

      Too many fish :O But yes, you want to add conditioner to the 90% water.

  31. sonia kukreja April 6, 2017 at 1:53 pm - Reply

    Hi, yesterday i bought 8 gold fishes and one black fish for cemented fish tank. But after 10 mins all gold fish died. We again cleaned the tank and bought new fishes. But again my fishes are dying one by one. My fish tank is lying in my balcony. Could you please suggest where we are going wrong.

    • Clementine
      Clementine April 16, 2017 at 10:11 pm - Reply

      Did you treat the water first?

  32. Cheyenne May 19, 2017 at 9:21 pm - Reply

    I’m about to get a goldfish from a friend! She’s moving away and can’t take him with her. She’s owned him for 4 or 5 years, and i was wondering: When I get him home, is it a good idea to add some of his existing tank water (or, say, a decor piece from his old tank) to the new tank to help with the bacterial situation? I don’t have time to do a full cycling of the tank (I have about three days before he’s gonna move in) and I want to make sure I can make the most of the time I have! You said not to dump the water from the transport baggie into the tank, but I was wondering if it was a good idea to make an exception in this scenario? Thanks in advance for your help, I’ve learned a lot of important info from you!

    • Clementine
      Clementine May 20, 2017 at 4:40 pm - Reply

      Use the his old filter media. The water doesn’t have any good bacteria in it. Glad you’ve found the site helpful 🙂

  33. Danielle May 28, 2017 at 4:17 am - Reply

    My tank has one shubunkin and one comet. I have gravel in there, but I’m wondering if it would be better for my fishy babies to remove the gravel. I’m new at this and want to do what’s best for them.

    • Clementine
      Clementine May 29, 2017 at 10:23 pm - Reply

      Yes remove the gravel 🙂

  34. Kate Nickeson June 19, 2017 at 8:19 pm - Reply

    Hi i have 2 bubble eyed goldfish and one of his bubbles got sucked into the filter and popped, what can I do to hopefully ease some of his pain?

    • Clementine
      Clementine June 24, 2017 at 9:22 pm - Reply

      Answered you on the Bubble Eye article 🙂

  35. Kate Nickeson June 19, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

    Hi i have 2 bubble eyed goldfish and the other one is twitching and jerking around… Otherwise he’s active and normal.. What should I do

    • Clementine
      Clementine June 24, 2017 at 9:22 pm - Reply

      Test for ammonia right away.

  36. Mae August 12, 2017 at 8:22 pm - Reply

    Hi, so I just bought my first fish from Walmart, and he’s a goldfish. I didn’t know any of this before, and he’s in a bowl. I won’t be able to afford a tank for a little while, I don’t want him to die too early, how long do I have to buy that tank?

    Rating: 5
    • Clementine
      Clementine August 12, 2017 at 10:11 pm - Reply

      I’d definitely recommend as soon as possible, and also you will want to make sure that you don’t run into New Tank Syndrome which is common with new setups.

  37. Mur September 1, 2017 at 4:51 pm - Reply

    Hello! Thank you so much for your advices! I would like to ask a question. I have 5 adult orandas and 2 baby orandas. Sometimes one of the small orandas keep tickling the adult orandas. What does that mean? Is it a danger for the adults? Do I have to worry about it?
    Thank you for taking your time.

    Rating: 5
    • Clementine
      Clementine September 2, 2017 at 11:49 pm - Reply

      The babies shouldn’t cause any real problems 🙂

  38. Elizabeth September 5, 2017 at 8:32 pm - Reply

    Hi,
    I have just bought a new tank and filter for my goldfish. I am kind of confused on the whole tank cycling process, since one person just said to let the new tank and it’s filter run for a week and then put my goldfish in the new tank.
    Just want to make sure my goldfish won’t get sick.

    Rating: 5
    • Clementine
      Clementine September 9, 2017 at 9:07 pm - Reply

      Yeah what they told you won’t work to cycle the tank. You have to add ammonia over the course of several weeks until you get nitrates.

  39. Sarjona September 16, 2017 at 8:07 pm - Reply

    We just got a fish from a park fair and a family selling it. My guess is that it was in a small container for about 5 hours…? And now we might leave it there for an hour or so. Should we try to get it or ASAP or can it stay there a little longer? Is this a sustainable source? Do you have any suggestions about what to do next?

    Rating: 5
    • Clementine
      Clementine September 24, 2017 at 11:32 pm - Reply

      Hey Sarjona, sorry for the late reply. I hope you have a good size tank to put it in, or a pond 🙂

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