Caring for Goldfish

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. October 23, 2016
Caring for Goldfish

Even if this species is known for being a very hardy fish that adapts well to varying conditions, it is still essential to provide basic care for your goldfish if you want it to survive and live a long life. Following some basic guidelines, this very popular fish can live from 2 to 4 years.

This AnimalWised article will go over the different aspects of caring for goldfish, including information about the aquarium - plants, gravel, aerating -, their diet and other important details that should be considered.

You may also be interested in: Caring for a Pug

An aquarium for goldfish

When talking about caring for goldfish, the most obvious thought that crosses all future owners' minds is the aquarium. After all, this is a fundamental aspect that greatly affects their quality of life. We have given them all a general review.

Size of the aquarium

A single goldfish must have a minimum of 40 litres of water in an aquarium that's at least 50 cm wide x 40 cm high x 30 cm deep (20 x 16 x 12 inches). If you are planning on keeping more than one goldfish, look for a larger aquarium proportional to these measurements.

Aquarium parameters

Other important details for your goldfish to feel at home in a suitable environment include the following:

  • pH: Between 6.5 and 8
  • GH: Between 10 and 15
  • Temperature: Between 12º C and 23º C (50º F and 74º F)

This information is here to show the maximum values that could support a goldfish. For example, above 32º C (86º F), your fish would be likely to die. Finding an intermediate point is best for your goldfish.


There are two things that can help you to provide the best care for your pet fish. An aerator is a basic component of the aquarium, very important for the survival of goldfish. It should be considered essential.

The other is a filter, perfect for keeping the aquarium in good hygiene. If you do not have a lot of time, this is a perfect choice to keep the fishbowl looking pretty the majority of the time.


Gravel is important because it has several functions. You can choose a chalky gravel such as coral sand, which is perfect for including vegetation if the grains are big enough. Finer gravel can also be used; neutral silica sand is recommended.


To start with, make sure you ask about the right plants for a goldfish aquarium. It's nice to enjoy a natural aquarium, but you should know that the goldfish can devour a variety of vegetation. Look out for those that are hard and tough, such as Anubias. You can also opt for plastic plants.

Decorating your aquarium can be a rewarding hobby if you get creative. Look for logs, objects or LED lights - there are some really fun and different options.

Caring for Goldfish - An aquarium for goldfish

Diet of the goldfish

The second aspect to consider is the diet of the goldfish, something that many people don't take into account even though it is tremendously important. The first thing you should know is that goldfish are omnivorous fish, which means there is a wide range of possibilities to feed them.

Until they are one year old you can feed your goldfish with flakes, a common product found in any pet shop. After that, to prevent swim bladder, you must start to feed your fish natural products, like small "balls" made from natural fish and vegetables. Boiling them is a good option. You can also choose red larvae and fruit, although the latter only occasionally.

In order to know the necessary amount for your fish, drop a large pinch of food and watch how much it eats in three minutes. The excess food will help you work out the exact amount and you can calculate it for the future.

Caring for Goldfish - Diet of the goldfish

Detecting diseases

You should monitor your goldfish regularly to rule out any diseases, especially if it lives with other fish. Also, be on the lookout for aggression towards other tank mates. Being attentive will help you keep your fish alive.

If you find an injured fish in the aquarium or it is acting strangely, the best thing is to place it in your "hospital tank". This has many benefits, as it is a small aquarium that prevents the spread of disease and allows the fish to rest.

Caring for Goldfish - Detecting diseases

If you want to read similar articles to Caring for Goldfish, we recommend you visit our Basic care category.

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