Goldfish Tank Size
Goldfish Tank Size is very important. In a small tank, water conditions can occur rapidly, while too large a tank can be a burden for a beginner. I recommend at least investing in a 10 gallon. Choose a tank that has more water surface and less depth. Rectangular ones are better suited for Goldfish. Goldfish tend to require more space than other varieties of fish.
A Good Rule To Follow:
1 Fish Per 10-20 Gallons Of Water
Dangers of Using A Goldfish Bowl
You should never keep your goldfish in a fishbowl. It is too small, a nightmare to maintain, and often leaves your fish gasping for air. If you MUST keep your fish in a fishbowl for some reason, be sure that it is only filled halfway.
The reason for this is that a greater surface area allows more oxygen for the fish. A goldfish bowl filled to the top may have more water in it, but the surface area is much smaller. If you are in a bind you can use almost anything that is water tight to house your fish. Just make sure it is cleaned out and do not use detergent as it is deadly to fish! When you can invest in a bigger tank it is not that expensive and your fish will be much happier!
Goldfish Tank Location
Tank Location is important. Do Not place the tank near a heat source, direct sunlight, or cold drafts. Remember to place the tank in a location that permits servicing of the filters and performing general care. Goldfish are also sensitive to bumps and loud noise. The tank should be kept where the fish will be spared from excessive noise or thumping(stereos, speakers, etc.). A fish that is swimming around with jerky motions or jumping may be frightened! Even tapping on the glass can frighten your goldfish. All of these can cause unwanted stress to your fish, and should be avoided whenever possible.
Goldfish Tank Stand
When choosing a stand, make sure it is sturdy enough. 1 Gallon Of Water Weighs Approx 8 Lbs. There are stands made specifically for aquariums.
Aqueon Forge Aquarium Stand
Adding New Fish
Before adding the newly purchased fish you need to make sure the tank has reached a biological balance. If not, you could experience problems with your tank and your fish’s health! You should let the tank cycle for a few days. Do daily water checks to read the ammonia levels as well as the pH, nitrite and nitrates. This enables you to ensure that the filters, aeration, and heaters are working properly.
Adding new fish has a few requirements such as making sure the water in the aquarium is similar to the water in the bag with the new fish. Take some water from your existing tank and put some in the bag to acclimate the temperature for the new fish. Leave the fish in the bag for 15 minutes while floating in the tank. While the fish is in the bag if it shows signs of stress such as grasping at the surface immediately release it into the main tank. Don’t knowingly put a sick fish in with your existing fish or you could transmit disease and infection.
Related: Goldfish Names
Goldfish Aquarium Equipment
Heaters – Heaters are not a requirement for goldfish. However, I have found that my goldfish are more active when the water temperature remains near 74 degrees Fahrenheit. I suggest keeping the water temp steady year round. If the tank’s temperature fluctuates a lot, this could create stress for your fish resulting in illness. (such as Ick)
FREESEA Tank Heater with LED Display
Light – Lights create a well illuminated aquarium that allows better viewing and highlights color of your fish. You should leave the lights on at least 4 hours but no more than 10 hours each day. Goldfish have no eyelids, and will be shocked and stressed if lights are suddenly turned on. It is a good idea to always turn on room lights first. Fish do sleep every night and will get the best sleep when the lights are off. You should try to get them on a schedule and turn the lights off at approx. the same time each night!
If you leave the lights on around the clock the fish will find some time to rest during the day but will remain healthier if they are allowed to get some sleep at night. So make your fish a happy fish and turn off the lights each night! Goldfish are sensitive to light.
NICREW LED Aquarium Light
There are different types of aquarium light fixtures available. For example, striplights, full hood and canopy lights available in fluorescent and incandescent fixtures. Fluorescent fixtures produce more light per watt and give off less heat than incandescent bulbs. (see purchasing info here)
Filters – Filters come in various brands and types that will efficiently clean your tank. I would suggest that if your tank is larger than a 10 gallon investing in a undergravel system with powerheads, which creates a biological system within the gravel. I would also use an outside filter system. These use fibrous material and activated carbon which purifies and cleans the water.
AquaClear Aquarium Filtration System
Goldfish Tank Decorating
Decorating the tank is purely an individuals own preference. Gravel, decorative rocks, ornaments, and artificial plants as well as alive plants are a few choices. Avoid sharp objects in the tank or you may end up with a cut or injured fish. This is especially true with fancy species with hoods or bubble eyes.
I would suggest purchasing plants in different sizes to create a natural look. This also allows the fish a place to seek refuge if needed (makes the fish feel more at ease, plus allows a place to seek refuge from the bright light when the tank lights first come on). I have found that artificial plants work better with goldfish, as they tend to be scavengers and dig up the plants.
Artificial plants can be cleaned in a solution of water and bleach. ( Just remember to rinse the plants extremely well) I have added plants such as anacharis to suction cup clips to the side of the tank for the fish to nibble on when they choose.
Bumiews 15pcs Aquarium Decorations
Gravel is a necessity if you choose to use an undergravel system. I would use enough gravel that the undergravel plate is covered about 2-2 1/2 inches in depth. Any color of gravel is okay; however, some colored gravel has been known to color the water. I recommend a natural gravel in a fairly fine size. (this ensures that if the goldfish ingests any it can be easily passed) It is important that gravel (and not crushed coral or coral sand) be used as a substrate in the goldfish aquarium.
Coral and shells are calcium-rich, and this will encourage the pH to rise. Gravel allows colonies of beneficial bacteria to thrive. This helps with the removal of ammonia and nitrites in your tank and creates more suitable living conditions for your fish. If your tank is newly setup, you only need to acquire a handful of gravel from an established tank. Take the established gravel and place it under the gravel in your tank and you have just placed some beneficial bacteria in your tank and gave it a head start in the entire bacterial process.
Spectrastone Premium Aquarium Gravel
Be sure to thoroughly rinse the gravel before placing it in the tank.
Use caution when using things that you have collected on the beach, or from your yard etc. They may contain soluble materials that could leach into your tank and pollute the water. Some examples are:
- sea shells
- builders gravel
- beach sand
- drift wood
Backgrounds are a very nice addition to the tank and make the tank’s look very nice!
Healthy “green” algae should be allowed to grow on rocks in the tank. If you find too much algae on the decorative rocks and items in the tank you can remove these items and place them in the sink and pour boiling water over them and then allow them to sit until they have cooled before placing them in the aquarium again. This will cause the algae to die and they will return to their original color within a few days…
Algae should be scraped from the sides of the tank glass with an algae scraper sponge. Never use metal to scrape with as it will scratch your glass. Besides NO metals should be placed in a tank or aquarium!
You should avoid using algae medications unless it has become uncontrollable. You could instead get an algae eater (Plecostomus, snail, etc).
If the tank has a greenish tint, more than likely it is caused by an excessive amount of algae growth. This could cause respiratory problems in your fish. If this has happened do a 50% water change and remove as much of the algae as possible. If within 2 days it has not helped do an additional 25% water change.
Add carbon filters and increase aeration for one day after the water change. The secret to maintaining a good healthy algae growth is to provide good water quality and lighting. Use an algae eater, and perform routine water changes and keep the glass scraped to control algae growth.
Tetra 3 Gallon Aquarium with Pedestal Base
Aeration and Filtration
The objects of this is to increase oxygen content of the water and provide a direct benefit to the fish as well as aiding the nitrification of waste products. Also, it is to remove waste material mechanically, chemically, and biologically.
Aeration must be carried out during the actual filtration process, or provided separately. The goal is to allow oxygen to diffuse into the water and waste gases (carbon dioxide and ammonia) to diffuse out. An air pump with an airstone or bubble wand (see below) are good choices.
Filtration is based on the idea of removing water from the aquarium and processing it to remove waste products and returning it to the aquarium while aerating at the same time. Usually these filters are a box type setup with some form of filter media such as carbon and floss or a pre-packaged carbon type filter. The water is usually drawn up by a stream of bubbles or a small electrically driven pump and ran through the filter media. These are used to remove dirt and debrie and provide water aeration as well as water circulation. The carbon that is associated with most pumps has two main functions:
- It absorbs waste material, which helps purify the water.
- It acts as a biological medium. It can become a bed for nitrifying bacteria.
Cleaning Your Newly Acquired Glass Tank
You will want to remove any dust or oil that is on the tank’s surface. You should not use any cleaners or you could cause your fish to become ill. Take a damp rag and some warm water and wash the tank out. You can also use the hose and wash it out. There are some special made cleaners for tanks that can be purchased at petstores. I have just always used the bathtub faucet or the hose and rinsed the tank very well.
Outside of glass: I use windex window cleaner to clean my glass on the outside of the tank. Just use caution when spraying so no chemicals get sprayed in the tank. Chemicals and fish do not mix!
Aqueon Aquarium Kit with SmartClean Technology
Leaky Goldfish Tank
If your tank has any type of leak, your must tend to this immediately. If not you could end up with a big disaster! If you are lucky, the leak will be near the top and you can siphon the water level to below the leak. You should drop the water level to 3 inches below leak. If the tank has a small leak between the sides of the glass, a temporary seal can be made with two-part epoxy. Mix the epoxy and apply it to the outside of the glass(never on the inside) where the water is leaking. NOTE: This is only temporary!
If the leak is near the bottom, or on the bottom and requires that you drain the entire tank, keep as much of the water in buckets or plastic containers as you possibly can. If you can leave enough water in the tank to keep the gravel wet you will keep your beneficial bacteria that is needed for a healthy aquarium.
Place the fish in containers and cover with towels. Try to add airstones to the containers housing the fish. Do not feed the fish during this time. (unless the repair takes more than 3 days)
If the room is cooler than what the tanks water was kept, wrap each container in towels. Turn up the room’s temp.
Goldfish Tank Repair
If the tank glass is broken, your will need new glass or a new tank altogether. If you attempt to fix it on your own, remember that silicone needs to be aquarium approved and takes 2 days at least to cure.
Replace the tank water with as much of the original tank water as you can, and start the filtration devices. Replace the carbon and floss if you use these. Run the filters for at least 2 hrs before adding the fish back in.
If you have had to replace the entire tank’s water, or the gravel has dried out, the tank may have to go through the complete bacteria process again.
Water Spills: If water has leaked onto your carpet, dry as much of it as possible with towels. Do not rub the carpet as this may cause the carpet to fray. Remove as much water as possible. If you have a wet-dry vac use this. Place fans on the area and this will help to dry out the area much faster. If you have spilt a lot of water you may have to rent a large wet vacum or steam cleaner from a business to remove the water.
Hygger Horizon Arc Shape Glass Aquarium Kit with Background
Goldfish Aquarium Water Chemistry
The single most important factor for a successful tank is maintaining optimum water conditions. The cause of most problems in a tank is poor water quality. In nature, small amounts of pollutants may not always cause adverse reactions. Given the small area of a tank, even small changes can affect an entire tank of fish within a few days.
Improperly maintained aquariums are a breeding ground for diseases. Once a disease is established it can reach epidemic proportions within a few days.
You must do routine water changes and maintain adequate water conditions at all times!
Factors for Proper Water Chemistry: Many individuals feel that doing water changes is all that is needed; however that is not correct. Temperatures need to be monitored, pH, nitrites, nitrates, ammonia, aeration, pollution, lighting, feeding, and overcrowding. Equipment must also be maintained properly.
Water changes: Routine water changes must be done. This is very important. Generally a 25% change every 2-3 weeks. Be sure before doing any water changes that the utensils are cleaned. Do not use soap. Use water treatment drops to remove the chlorine and other substances from the water.
Make sure that the aquarium equipment is working properly. Increase aeration for 1 day after making a water change.
Temperature: Water temp problems are usually caused by a faulty heater.
Water too hot: The tank should not be in the direct sunlight, or placed near a heat duct or heat register. To cool the tank water you could unplug the heater, place ice cubes in plastic bags and float them in the tank, or use plastic containers that are filled with frozen water.
Water too cold: Close windows, turn the heater on in the tank, and possibly the house as well. Wrap the tank with towels or blankets. Plastic containers can be added with warm water inside them.
Pollution: Over feeding or not doing routine water changes can create water pollution. Foul smelling water, cloudy or tinted water, debris on the tanks bottom, rotting, dead fish are all indications that the water is polluted. If this occurs you need to do a 50% water change. Increase aeration for 1 day whenever you perform a water change.
Overcrowding: A tank with too many fish can cause fighting among them, excessive fecal waste, and rapid oxygen loss. Remember goldfish require more room than other fish species. One goldfish to every 10-20 gallons of water.
Aeration: This is a necessary step for your tank. It gives the animals oxygen. The deeper the tank the more powerful of an airpump you will need. Always increase aeration when temperatures are over 80 degrees.
Place the airpump above water level if possible. This will keep the water from being siphoned if the pump fails.
pH: The pH test determines whether your tank water is too acidic or too alkaline. Acceptable ranges for freshwater is a reading of 6.8-7.3. You should get a pH testing kit from your petstore. They have charts and the necessary vials inside to check the waters quality and conditions.
Water Hardness: Water hardness is not a problem with established tanks. If water hardness is a major problem for you, you will probably have to get a water softener for your household use.
Lighting: The tank should receive at least 4 hours of light each day. Indirect sunlight can be used during the day, while using fluorescent bulbs during the evening. Avoid incandescent lights as they put off heat.
Algae growth is also an essential part of a healthy tank. Algae needs light to grow. The key to this is knowing if you are providing the proper amount of light. Brown algae indicates too much light or insufficient lighting, whereas, green algae indicates proper lighting. Excessive algae is too much lighting.
GloFish Fish Tank Kit with All Essentials
Goldfish Tank Algae Eaters (plecostomus)
A lot of people like the idea of adding an algae eater to the tank to keep the slime away. Well that is great, unless you get a rather large pleco who takes a liking to your fish’s slime coat. These sucker fish will suck on the sides of the fish causing a great deal of damage. They leave the fish with a huge sore and other problems could arise from this. It is best to keep the algae eater small or keep a watchful eye on it. If you notice it chasing your goldfish around and sucking on them it is time to find it a new home!
Goldfish Tank Poisoning
Because of the small area in which fish live while being housed in tanks, the slightest amount of toxin can become lethal to fish.
Toxic Substances: Toxins to fish can be both obvious and concealed forms.
- chemicals were used around the tank (bug spray, perfumes, aerosol cans, fireplace smoke, cigarette smoke)
- metallic objects
- over medication of main tank
- non-approved aquarium sealant that has not been properly cured.
Other toxic poisoning can be the result of heavily chlorinated water that you have used to replace tank water with, unsanitized rocks, decorations, oil leaking from filters in the tank. In unsanitary tanks, debrie that is rotting on the bottom can create hydrogen sulphide poisoning, which in turn robs the water of the needed oxygen. (this will be noticed when the tank smells of rotten eggs)
Nitrites, Nitrates, Ammonia, and the Beneficial Biological Filter: The beginning of the cycle starts with fish wastes, and uneaten food being trapped in the gravel and decaying. This forms bacteria and ammonium(ammonia). As the bacteria level rises, it begins to turn into nitrites(nitrite ions). At this stage the ammonia level and nitrite level can be lethal to more delicate fish. After this occurs, the bacteria turns the nitrites into less toxic nitrates. Nitrite and ammonia levels will then suddenly drop to near zero and the biological filter cycle is finished. You then have a well established tank!
Fish that are more sensitive to water conditions can now be safely added to the established tank. The length of time needed to completely cycle a tank depends on the tank’s size, how many fish are in it, the amount of oxygen the tank is receiving. The cycle can be as fast as 1 week to several weeks.
MarineLand Glass Aquarium Kit with Hidden Filtration and LED Lighting System
Main Goldfish Tank Medicating
Since drugs can upset the beneficial biological filter in the tank it is not recommended to medicate the main tank. If you have no other choice, it is suggested to follow all manufacturer’s directions closely. (a 50 gallon tank does not hold 50 gallons of water). The water is displaced due to the gravel, decorations, equipment, animals, etc.
Before you add medication to the main tank:
- Remove the carbon from the filters
- Remove all live plants, live animals, sponges, etc.
- Increase aeration during the treatment period. (some medications deplete oxygen from the water)
After the treatment period:
- Return all equipment to normal conditions and perform a 50% water change.
- If you have treated the main tank with copper, much of it will have become bound in the bottom gravel. Gently stir up the gravel and siphon out the debris when making water changes.
- Replace the carbon and floss in the filters to help rid the tank of the medication.
- Keep aeration increased for an additional 2 days.
After 1 day of running the tank water through the carbon filters, return the live plants, and aquatic animals if any to the tank. If they have an adverse reaction to the tank do an immediate 80% water change.