Looking After Goldfish: Pet Care for Healthy Fish

Use These Tips for Setting Up Goldfish Tanks and Keeping Your Goldfish Healthy

Swimming goldfish

Goldfish may not be the most popular pet, but they are an excellent choice for people who enjoy caring for creatures that don't require walking, training,or kenneling. But have you considered what does goes into caring for goldfish?  If this is a responsibility you're willing to take on, read over this list of steps before running to the pet store. 

  1. Start with a healthy fish. You're headed for disaster if you come home with a sick fish, so look for a lively, colorful and swimming goldfish to purchase.
  2. Buy an appropriately-sized tank. You'll need something to let your goldfish live in, so an aquarium or a goldfish bowl is suggested. You can purchase these at your local pet store. You may wish to decorate your tank with plants and rocks and other accessories. But we'll stick to the basics for now. Just remember that whatever you put into your fish's tank should be rinsed first to remove any residue or harmful chemicals that might harm your fish.
  3. Fill your tank with fresh water. Luke-warm tap water is okay, as is purified water. Make sure that the water is at room temperature before you introduce the fish to the tank water--this may require you to fill the tank in advance of purchasing your goldfish. Even if your tank water has reached an acceptable temperature, don't release the fish directly into the water. Let them float in the plastic bag you brought them home from the store in and after a couple of hours, when the fish have acclimatized, you can release them in the new tank water. 
  4. Release your fish! Once you've let your fish hang out in its new environment within its bag, it's safe to release it into the new tank. It's recommended that you empty the pet store water into your tank as well, as it reminds your new pet of his old home and contains nutrients that will help keep your fish healthier longer.
  5. Maintain your fish's health. When you are first learning to look after a goldfish, the most important thing to consider is placement of the tank. As much as goldfish like sunlight, they don't like to be boiled. Go figure. So don't place your fish tank in direct sunlight, or you'll learn an unfortunate lesson about looking after goldfish. Feed your fish in moderation at least once a day, if not twice. (Always follows the suggestions on the side of the food container). Monitor your goldfish's behavior. If it ever seems lethargic or seems to be losing its fins, it is not well and needs immediate care.
  6. Maintain your tank. It is necessary to change the water in your goldfish's tank at least once a week, even if you only change half of it. Fresh water is like fresh air for your fish, and not cleaning the water would suffocate your fish. Depending on the size of your tank, you may also wish to install a filter or an aerator in the tank to increase the circulation of water. In turn, this will improve your fish's health. Clean the sides and contents of the tank often as well, to prevent algae growth.

It's not just the initial stages of looking after a goldfish that are crucial to the survival of your fish.Like any pet, proper care is an ongoing process. You need to get into the habit of feeding your goldfish daily and cleaning its tank weekly, and then you'll likely have a goldfish companion for many months or even years to come.


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