I was chatting with some people about goldfish and, being a fish enthusiast, I realized that there are some common misconceptions with this popular wet pet.
A typical goldfish can live a lot longer then people may realize. In fact, a healthy, well maintained goldfish has been known to have a lifespan of up to 15 years!
Goldfish are like any other pets. You must take care of their health, feed them properly, and keep their environment clean.
A common misconception is that a goldfish will live fine in a bowl with no filtration. The truth is, a goldfish is a hearty animal, who not only eats a variety foods and plant matter, but also excretes all kinds of waste. This waste must either be filtered out, or removed from the bowl with regular water changes (see my other articles about the importance of water changes for fish). If not, the fish waste will become ammonia, which is toxic to fish. Therefore, it is best to have a goldfish in a filtered aquarium.
A goldfish also requires a lot of oxygen. With this in mind, it is important to have plenty of aeration in the tank. A simple air stone attached to a small aquarium air pump will work wonders for this fish.
In contrast to the tropical species, goldfish prefer cooler water so a mix of goldfish and tropical fish often causes problems. Either the goldfish are too warm or the tropicals are too cold. Goldfish are active diggers, so they can be destructive to plants and even some of the decor in your tank.
Goldfish are usually seen alone in many tanks, but actually prefer to be with other goldfish rather then being all by themselves in your aquarium.
With good, clean water, and proper care, your fish can live for a very long time.
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