Care Guide for Fancy Goldfish – Housing, Feeding, and More
Fancy fish (Carassius auratus), are beautiful freshwater fish of the carp family. They come in many shapes, colors and other traits. Fancy goldfish are not like common goldfish which have short tails and slim bodies. These fish have long, flowing tails and egg-shaped bodies. This is something that requires special attention. This care guide answers many of the questions we get most often about water piggies.
How big do Fancy Goldfish need a tank?
Appropriate aquarium size can be a point of contention among goldfish owners, but in general, we recommend 20 gallons of water volume per goldfish, with at least 10 gallons added for every other goldfish. One goldfish will outgrow a 20-gallon aquarium in five to six years. This will mean that you will have to change the water frequently to keep the tank clean. Whereas if you house five or six goldfish in a 60- or 70-gallon aquarium, the tank maintenance schedule will be more manageable.
Bigger is always better when it comes to goldfish tanks, so give them as much room as possible.
Consider the dimensions of your tank, in addition to the water volume. A squatter tank that has more water surface is better for goldfish. This is in contrast to a narrow, tall tank. Goldfish originated in China, where they were first introduced. They use large, wide bowls that have lots of surface area. This gives them more swimming space, and allows for more oxygen exchange. Bottom line: get the largest tank you can afford and make sure to regularly clean it.
Does Fancy Goldfish need a heater?
Cold water fish are goldfish because they can live at temperatures as low as 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit (10-21 degrees Celsius). This means that in a home with heating and air conditioning, there is no need to use a heater inside the aquarium because goldfish can live at room temperature. Many people who live in mild climates keep their fish in outdoor ponds all year.
Although you might not require a heater for goldfish, it is important to filter the water. Goldfish are very picky and produce lots of waste. Common choices include hang-on-back filters and sponge filters that have gentle flow and are easy to maintenance. Whichever filter you pick, make sure it creates good surface agitation to increase oxygenation for your goldfish.
What should I feed my Fancy Goldfish?
They will eat less quality food and the tank will need more water changes. If you feed a “cleaner” diet with frozen foods or duckweed, the aquarium requires less maintenance, and the fish display more vibrant coloration. We like to give our goldfish frozen brine shrimp, high quality pellets, and Repashy gel foods.
Bloating your goldfish can cause them to become overweight, so give them two small meals each day.
Overfeeding is more common than underfeeding. So don’t spoil your goldfish by giving them too many meals, even if they begging for food. Also, feeding smaller meals twice a day is better than giving them a large meal once a day, since goldfish can be prone to bloating issues. There’s an Internet adage is that goldfish should never be given floating foods because they will swallow too much air and cause bloat, but we have regularly fed floating foods for more than a decade and never had problems with any of our fish.
Why does my Goldfish Tank have cloudy water?
You could have several reasons. It could be caused by beneficial bacteria rapidly reproducing because of increased fish waste. The best course of action is to patiently wait a week without making any drastic changes to the aquarium, and the bacteria cloud will eventually disappear on its own.
Water that is cloudy from particulate floating in it may need to be changed. A clogged filter will not remove any debris. Use water test strips that are easy to use and change the water every time the nitrates exceed 50 ppm. It is a good idea to change 30 to 50% of the water each time. Once the nitrates reach 50 ppm again you should monitor this and create a weekly or monthly schedule. Of course, as the fish get bigger, they will produce more waste, so it may be worth getting them a larger tank, moving them to an outdoor pond, or rehoming them to someone with more space.
To extend the time between water changes and provide greater enrichment for the fish, we like to use live aquarium plants as decor. Given that goldfish do have a taste for veggies and like to churn up the substrate while searching for food, we have an entire article covering the best plants that are safe for goldfish. This list mainly includes rhizome plants such as anubias, ferns, and rocks that can be attached so they are not easily removed.
Robust, easy-to-grow aquarium plants can help absorb nitrogen waste compounds and reduce your maintenance frequency.
Why is my Goldfish acting strange? Is It Okay?
Because goldfish are quirky and have individual personalities, their behavior can be very different from one fish to another. It is important to check on your fish at least once daily when they are fed. This will allow you to learn about their habits and which ones are more active.
Check for any physical abnormalities, such as large wens growing over the eyes or white spots. These could indicate ich. You must ensure that everyone is happy and the fish don’t breed too aggressively. You’ll be able to keep your tank healthy by monitoring the temperature, pH, nitrates, and other factors at least once per week, even during holidays.
Because of this stigma, goldfish keepers are often discouraged from buying them. Goldfish are fairly hardy compared to more sensitive species, but you should still treat them with the same care you would give any other fish (e.g., regularly gravel vacuum the aquarium, service the filter, and test the water quality). There are two main points to keep in mind: a) they prefer cooler temperatures, and b) their size means they require a larger tank.