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Goldfish: Tropical Fish Profiles

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SOMETHING FISHY: Freshwater Tropical Fish Profiles: Goldfish

GOLDFISH are possibly the most widely-kept fish species due to their hardiness and availability. They come in all different shapes and sizes – from the mutant looking to the fancy varieties. They are a highly versatile fish species, capable of living in temperatures close to freezing. They are also not fussy about water conditions and will accept all manner of foods.

GoldfishIt is often recommended that goldfish shouldn’t be kept with other tropical fish varieties. One reason is that they are very messy fish that produce a lot of waste and will also uproot and eat plants. Another reason is that the metabolism of goldfish increases the warmer the water is in which they are kept. This can cause a gluttonous appetite resulting in the goldfish growing quicker and perhaps eating more than their fair share of food.

There is also the risk of overfeeding goldfish in an aquarium. They can become constipated if they eat too much, which can cause swim bladder. Goldfish can lose their balance if they get swim bladder and may be found floating upside down. A lot of amateur goldfish keepers assume their fish is dead and often flush or bury it while it’s still alive! If a goldfish with swim bladder is left for a day or two they will often right themselves.

Hobbyists interested in keeping goldfish should also know that it is a long-term commitment. Many varieties can live up to 30 years and will also grow quite large if kept in a heated aquarium. Below are two of the more popular goldfish varieties.

Tropical Fish Profiles: Fancy Goldfish

  • Fancy GoldfishLifespan: 10 – 30 years
  • Temperature: 5°C – 27°C
  • Tank Region: All over the tank
  • Temperament/Behavior: Very peaceful
  • Size: 8-13 cm (3-5 inches) but can get bigger
  • Diet: Omnivorous. Will gladly accept most fish foods.
  • Origin/Habitat: China originally, then Japan and Asia.
  • Breeding: Lay their eggs on vegetation on the bottom of the tank.
  • Gender: Males have small white spots called tubercles around their gills when ready to spawn. Females are noticeably larger when swelling with eggs and the males may start to chase the females around the tank.

The Goldfish is a favorite for many. They are usually very hardy – capable of living in temperatures ranging from 4°C to 32°C. Being Chinese, Goldfish have extremely long lifespans if cared for properly, so getting one can be a long-term commitment. Many varieties of Goldfish are available with varied markings. Fancy varieties and colours include gold, orange, white and black.

Tropical Fish Profiles: Black Moor Goldfish

  • Black MoorLifespan: 10 – 30 years
  • Size: 10 – 25cm (4 – 10 inches)
  • Tank Region: All over the tank
  • Origin/Habitat: Central Asia and China.
  • Breeding: Egg layers that spawn readily in the right conditions.
  • Temperament/Behavior: Very peaceful and a great community fish.
  • Temperature: Very hardy. Can tolerate temperatures close to freezing.
  • Diet: A very happy eater. It is not hard to get your Black Moor Goldfish into accepting all kinds of food.
  • Gender: Although is it impossible to sex Goldfish when they are young and not in breeding season, the male is usually smaller and more slender that the female.

The Black Moor is a type of goldfish that has a beautiful velvety look and bulging, telescopic eyes. Most Black Moors stay black but their colour can change with age. They can be gray or black and they can revert to a metallic orange when kept in warmer water. Since their eye-sight is far from perfect, they may need a little extra help to find their food.

Goldfish generally produce a lot of waste, so good filtration is essential for maintaining the water quality of the aquarium. Regular water changes are strongly recommended to keep these fish healthy. Goldfish are very social animals and thrive in a community. Not only are they a great community fish, but they are great scavengers as well. Provide a large gravel substrate to keep your Goldfish occupied and they will help vacuum your substrate.

More Tropical Fish Care Posts:

A beginner’s guide to keeping tropical fish

SOMETHING FISHY: A beginner’s guide to keeping tropical fish

EVERYONE should have a pet. Some people may be put off by the idea of having to clean up poop or be woken up by loud squawking every day, but your choice of pet doesn’t necessarily have to be something cuddly that you can play catch with or teach to talk.

pearl gouramiTropical fish are a great alternative. Not only are fish therapeutically pleasing and interesting animals, but they can be very easy to look after and maintain. You may consider pet fish as boring but you will be amazed at the variety, colours and characters inherent in tropical fish.

I have been keeping tropical fish since my childhood years and have learnt a great deal regarding what to get and how to look after a great array of fishy friends.

Starting off

If you wish to invest in your first tropical fish tank it’s a good idea to go large. Starting off small is not necessarily easier and once you get into such a hobby (and your fish grow) you will want to upgrade, which can be a mission and comes at a cost.

black moor goldfishInvest in a large, rectangular shaped tank (30 liters is a good volume) and first ensure that you have a good place to house it. A fish tank stand is a good idea but ensure that the tank will rest at a comfortable eye-level.

It is also important to keep your tank away from direct sunlight as this will encourage rapid algae growth. You don’t want to have to scrap away algae in order to have a good look at who is inside.

Keep your setup as varied as possible. It’s best to have sections of both soft and gravel substrate. Keep your tank well planted and create lots of hiding places such as caves, tubes and rock tunnels, and decorate as you see fit.

The Nitrogen Cycle

Once your tank is filled up with de-chlorinated water and you have finished creating your own underwater Eden, there is a short waiting period to endure. With a heater installed and set between 25-27 degrees Celsius, and a good filter running, you tank will begin to perform a nitrogen cycle. Your local pet store will provide you with instructions on how to do this correctly.

ghost knife fishAfter completing the above you are now ready to get your first tropical fish! It is always a good idea to only get a few at first and ensure that they are perfectly cheerful before getting more. It is also very important to research each tropical fish species beforehand to understand their needs and requirements and temperament with other fish.

There is tons of info available on the web – written by dedicated tropical fish hobbyists who are more than willing to give expert advice to beginners. However, I can recommend the following families as good fishy pets for the beginner: Corydoras, Gouramis, Loaches, Black Ghost Knife fish, Ramirezis, Algae Eaters and Tetras.

The following post: Something Fishy, consists of tropical fish profiles (including all the info you’ll need for good care) of the following:

  • Fire Eel
  • Angelfish
  • Clown Loach
  • Glass Catfish
  • dwarf gouramiJulii Corydora
  • Red Tail Shark
  • Pearl Gourami
  • Fancy Goldfish
  • Dwarf Gourami
  • Bronze Corydora
  • Black Ghost Knife
  • Pleco (Algae Eater)
  • Banded Kuhli Loach
  • Black Moor Goldfish
  • Blue Ramirezi (Blue Ram)

If you’re interested in starting your own hobby in tropical fish I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have. Otherwise here are some great resources: