If you want to have a beautiful, colorful pet in your house, which lets you have your peace and solitude, yet proves to be a great companion when you are alone, then getting a goldfish is the best bet. It can help bring life to the most boring of homes as well. However before getting the pet, keep in mind the fact that the lifespan of your goldfish and the level of attachment formed between the two of you depends upon the amount of care you bestow upon it. Want to know how to care for your goldfish, to ensure its long and happy life? If yes, then read on.
Taking Care Of Your Goldfish
One of the most common mistakes that people make, while getting a goldfish for their house, is to put it in a tank of inappropriate size. If you want to give a good quality life to your fish, it is very necessary to provide it with a big tank, having a large surface area. If you were planning to get a bowl for it, remember that goldfish tend to grow quite large, at times reaching even one foot. It is advisable to 20- to 30-gallon tank for your goldfish. For each additional goldfish you might get, add another 10 gallons to that volume.
Hood & Light
Though majority of the people tend to overlook it, it is very important to have a hood for your goldfish tank. This is because the fish has a tendency to jump out of uncovered tanks and injure itself. The best way to prevent this is to get a hood for the tank. As for the lighting of the fish tank, fluorescent lighting is preferable to the incandescent one. This way, you will not only save on electricity, but also have the light give off less heat. Keep the light on for about 10 hours every day.
When it comes to the flooring of your goldfish tank, gravel is the best choice. One of the main reasons behind this is that it does not affect the pH of the water, unlike other substances (such as coral). Then, gravel proves to be an excellent surface for the growth of good bacteria, which break down the harmful waste elements produced inside the tank. So, it is better for you to get gravel flooring for the fish tank.
As regards the water to be used in your goldfish tank, the one with neutral pH (usually a 7 or just slightly higher) will be best. If your tap water fulfills this condition, you can make use of the same as well. In the initial days of establishing the tank, check the pH level regularly. If it rises or falls substantially, use buffers to solve the problems. Before adding new water to the tank, let it sit undisturbed for one whole day. It will help remove the chlorine present therein and also bring the water to the room temperature.
Since goldfish produce a lot of waste, resulting in an increase in the ammonia levels of the tank, you will have to make use of a good filtration system. In case you have a small tank and just one goldfish, under-gravel filter will be a good choice. Yet another option would comprise of a piggyback filter, which delivers all the three filtration methods - chemical, biological and mechanical. In case you have a large tank and more then one goldfish, canister filters will be the best bet.
In order to ensure a long and healthy life of your goldfish, it is very important to feed it properly. The fish's natural diet includes both meat and vegetable matter. In a tank, it would be the best to provide it with packaged goldfish food, several times a day. The adequate amount of food must be finished by the fish within five minutes. If it takes more time, it means that you are giving more food than required. Occasionally, give special treats, in the form of small worms, peas, lettuce or insect larvae, as well.