Carnival Fish Part 1: Goldfish
It is the time of year when carnivals and fairs pop up across the land, with games and rides and fun for all (well the kids anyway). What that brings to mind here at TFP are all the unsuspecting parents who have suddenly become the proud new owners of a pet fish that their kids have won as prizes in these games, and need to know how to take care of them. Every year we sell thousands of fish to carnivals as game prizes, and then find many people who need help with their new “prizes” after they get them home.
Goldfish and Betta fish are the most commonly found in these games, so this carnival fish blog will give some basic information about the care of these fish. Part 1 will be about goldfish information and care.
Goldfish are peaceful fish that do well with other breeds of goldfish or other cold water fish. There are little to no issues with aggression, aside from the odd individual or “nippier” variety. It is not recommended to mix goldfish with tropical fish (tetras, guppies, etc) due to differences in water quality and temperature preferences. Goldfish prefer aquarium water temperatures from 60 – 74 degrees. Goldfish are commonly kept in outdoor ponds that will reach freezing temperatures in winter, provided it can not freeze solid, and a floating heater is used to insure constant gas exchange. Goldfish will tolerate a wide range of pH values, from 6.0 to 8.0, so long as conditions are stable.
Most types of goldfish will reach a maximum length of 6”- 8”, Comet and Shubunkin Goldfish can reach 12” or more. Goldfish can live up to 20 years given a proper diet and water conditions; there have been recorded accounts of goldfish living into their 40’s
Goldfish are easy to feed as the will accept virtually any types of fish food. Flakes or pellet formulas especially for goldfish are best. Avoid meaty foods, goldfish have a high vegetable requirement. Vegetable matter like algae sheets, cucumbers, or peas can be supplemented into the goldfish’s diet to help maintain optimal health.
Goldfish tend to be messy fish, with a big appetite, which leads to large amounts of waste. As a result monitoring goldfish’s water conditions is very important. It is not recommended to keep goldfish in unfiltered bowls, although it is possible if frequent (usually bi-weekly) water changes are consistently done and the water remains aerated. Live plants can be used, although they will usually end up eaten as the fish get bigger. The best environment for goldfish is an under stocked aquarium with ample filtration and regular maintenance.
I hope that this has helped all you new goldfish owners out there, or even peaked the interest of anyone that is considering keeping goldfish.
Until next blog