For some people caring for fish comes easily. It depends on a many things. One of them is how much pet experience you have. Goldfish are a good pet for beginners because they are easy to care for, they are tough and can survive unreasonable treatment. None the less there are some things that people don't think about when they bring Goldie home from the fair. So here are some simple steps to go through when you bring home your new pet.
- Things to remember when buying fish tank supplies -
1.) Take a sample of your tap water to your local pet store or vet and ask them how you can make it more appropriate for a goldfish. Most places will offer some free testing and give you information on products to condition your water. Some of these may be things such as dechlorinizer, chemicals to adjust your pH balance, and some cosmetic things such as AquaSafe aquarium conditioner which will not only make your water more comfortable for your fish but may keep things from looking unsightly.
2.) Remember the standard rule of thumb, 10 gallons to each fish. This may seem a little roomy if your fish are reasonably small but they will be happier and grow to be bigger if you abide to this generalization. But if you have say a 20 gallon tank and 3 fish they won't die a tragic death of overpopulation.
3.) Buy some nice decorations for your tank. Contrary to popular belief goldfish won't live happy in a tank under ten gallons because they do need room to swim and grow. Yes this means getting rid of the goldfish bowl. It is important to have interesting things in your goldfish's home. Things like decorations and a variety in their diet. Someone once recommended rearranging the ornaments, plants, rocks etc every month and by doing so giving them something new to explore. And changing their diet could mean switching food brands or feeding them dry frozen foods like corn or peas as well as freeze dried foods like brine shrimp, blood worms, and other fish foods.
4.) Be careful when choosing gravel or sand for the bottom of your tank. Another common rule on fish is that the gravel should be small enough for them to swallow completely or two big to get in their mouths because choking goldfish are not uncommon. Be sure to rinse the gravel thoroughly just like all other decorations before putting it in the tank, it cuts down on dust.
5.) If your tank is 20 gallons or over I would strongly suggest buying live plants to put in your tank because the goldfish love live plants so much more than fake ones. The reason I say 20 gallons and up is that it can get crowded with a ten gallon and might be ok with a 15 but that's entirely my opinion and personal prefrence. It depends on how large the plants are also! Some plants are goldfish edible meaning that it gives the goldfish something to snack on all day long. However, some goldfish like plants too much and will eat them entirely! Do a bit of research before buying. In my tank I have some anacharys which is a nice hearty plant that will withstand much nibbling.
6.) Remember that with fish that get this big they also produce alot of waste. This means that you'll need a power filter. As I've learned from experience that an undergravel filter won't do you any good. All they do for a goldfish tank is create a space under the gravel for goldfish poop to get caught and rot down there... I have an AquaClear 200 on my 20 gallon tank and two Emperor 280's on my 50 gallon tank. A filter that hangs on the outside and pours back in that is also specifically designated for your sized tank is your best bet. Discuss this with you local pet store! Some highly preferred filters are AquaClear, Penguine BioWheel, and Whisper,
7.) When choosing decoration for your tank, avoid shells. Shells break down over time, releasing chemicals into the water which are toxic to freshwater fish. So if you like that natural look, go for the fake shells. They are much more safer and won't polute the tank.