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 sheet answers some of the most frequently asked questions we get about these beloved water piggies.
What size tank does Fancy Goldfish require?
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.
When it comes to goldfish tanks and their needs, bigger is better. Give them as much space as you can.
Consider the dimensions of your tank, in addition to the water volume. Goldfish prefer a squatter tank with more water surface area (and not a tall, narrow tank). In China where goldfish were first developed, they often use giant, wide bowls with lots of surface area because it provides the fish more swimming space and more gas exchange for increased oxygen. Bottom line: Get the biggest tank you can afford, and clean it regularly.
Are Fancy Goldfish in Need of 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 live in mild climates and keep their goldfish year-round in outdoor ponds.
You may not need to heat your fish, but filtration is essential as goldfish are avid eaters and can produce a lot waste. Common choices include hang-on-back filters and sponge filters that have gentle flow and are easy to maintenance. No matter what filter you choose, ensure that it produces good surface agitation to increase oxygenation.
What should I feed my Fancy Goldfish?
Fish that are fed low quality food tend to be more difficult to digest, so they will require more frequent water changes and get more dirty. If you feed a “cleaner” diet with frozen foods or duckweed, the aquarium requires less maintenance, and the fish display more vibrant coloration. We love to feed our goldfish frozen brine shrimps, high quality pellets and Repashy Gel Foods.
Overfeeding your goldfish may cause you to feel bloated. Give them two small meals per 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. A smaller meal twice per day is better than a big one once per day because goldfish can become bloated easily. The Internet says that floating foods should not be fed to goldfish as they can swallow too much air, which can cause them to bloat. However, we have been feeding floating foods for over a decade without any problems.
Why is my Goldfish tank cloudy?
It could be caused by several things. If the tank is newly set up or you added a lot of new goldfish recently, the cloudiness could be a bacterial bloom as the beneficial bacteria is rapidly reproducing in response to an increase in 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.
If the water is cloudy because of too much particulate floating in the water, consider doing a water change and cleaning the filter because a clogged-up filter can no longer effectively remove debris from the tank. It is a good idea to get water test strips. We suggest changing the water when the nitrates reach 50 ppm. Try changing 30% to 50% of the water at a time, monitor how long it takes for the nitrates to reach 50 ppm again, and then develop a weekly or monthly schedule based on the results. You should know that fish will get larger and produce more waste. If you have the space, it is worth purchasing a larger tank or moving them to an outside pond.
To extend the time between water changes and provide greater enrichment for the fish, we like to use live aquarium plants as decor. We have an entire article on safe plants for goldfish, as they have a love for vegetables and will churn up substrate to search for food. Most of the plants are rhizome, such as anubias or ferns. They can be attached to rock and driftwood so that they cannot be removed.
Robust, easy-to-grow aquarium plants can help absorb nitrogen waste compounds and reduce your maintenance frequency.
Why are my Goldfish acting weird? Is it okay?
Goldfish are funny creatures that have their own unique personalities and idiosyncrasies, so what may be normal behavior for one fish may be quite abnormal for another fish. 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.
You should look out for signs of ich, such as large wens that have grown over the eyes and white spots. You must ensure that everyone is happy and the fish don’t breed too aggressively. Monitor the temperature, pH, and nitrates at least once a week (even during the holiday season), and you’ll have a successful tank.
There’s a bit of a stigma around goldfish keeping because beginners will buy them, get the wrong advice, put them in a small bowl, and never do water changes… resulting in dying fish. 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). They prefer cooler temperatures than other fish in the pet shop and require larger tanks.