Looking after your fish is all about the water
The article is about Looking after your fish is all about the water. At some point in your life, you have probably owned a fish as a pet or lived in a house where someone has kept one and for many the humble goldfish is their first introduction to pet ownership. Goldfish can be particularly long-lived creatures and according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the oldest goldfish in captivity was called Tish from the UK who lived to the ripe old age of 43!
Although goldfish are certainly one of the easiest pets to keep, there is more to it than just buying a fish and filling the tank up with water so here are some basic rules to follow to ensure that your fish remains happy and healthy.
Always try to purchase the largest aquarium or bowl that you can afford as the more water you have the easier the fish are to keep as the chemistry of the water changes at a much slower rate. If you are planning on keeping a fish in a bowl then choose a bowl that holds a minimum of 3 litres. In bowls and aquariums without filters, I would recommend that you keep one fish for every 5 litres of water and change about one half of the water each week.
Where possible, choose an aquarium that has a filter. Filters not only help to keep the water clear, but they also hold beneficial bacteria that assist in breaking down the waste of the fish and it also means that you can change about one third of the water every two weeks so there is less work involved.
You should never change all of the water, as this can be very stressful for the fish and is a common reason for fish dieing. Changing all of the water is a little like us moving house every week, imagine how stressful that would be! Although tap water is good for us to drink, it is not always safe for fish to live in so prior to using it, we need to condition the tap water to remove the chlorine chloramines. There are many products on the market that do this and it is just a matter of adding the correct amount of water conditioner then using it.
Goldfish also benefit from the addition of a salt-based conditioner to the water as this assists in preventing disease in the fish. Checking the pH of the water on regular basis is also important as a pH that is too high or too low can affect the health of the fish.
Probably the number one killer of goldfish is over feeding. Too much food doesn’t make the fish get big and fat and die from an obesity related illness. It actually pollutes the water this is what brings about their demise. Fish should be fed enough food to so that it is consumed in about 30 seconds to a minute and there should never be any uneaten food on the bottom of the aquarium.
These are very basic rules to keeping goldfish healthy, but if you want more information or are having some problems with your aquarium, why not drop into the store and talk with one of our qualified aquaculturalists with a sample of water from your aquarium and we will test it for free.