last updated September 2018
Goldfish are extremely pretty and pets that are relatively easy to take care of. They are perfect “first pets” for small children yet they’re also beloved by many adults all over the world.
Just the basics caring for goldfish
- They live in fresh water and can survive perfectly well in room temperature water. This means that heaters are not necessary.
- Keeping a goldfish aquarium can be quite easy. It just needs to be cleaned about once a week and as long as this is done there’s no need to have an electric filter in the tank to recycle the water. However we recommend a filter for the long term best care of your fish. You can buy an inexpensive air stone which will help to oxygenate the tank, creating bubbles and movement in the water.
- Goldfish can live alone or with many other fish. Although they do much better with a friend, so try to get at least 2.
- They are peaceful members of the carp family and require very little care aside from being fed daily.
- Contrary to popular belief, goldfish can live a long time. Some varieties can live about 10 years!
- Unfortunately, many goldfish are kept in tanks that are too small and that stunts their growth and shortens their lifespan considerably. A tiny little bowl is not sufficient for a healthy goldfish. In order to ensure the fish is healthy it can be kept in a tank for a short while that’s at the very least 1 or 2 gallons. 5 gallons should be your minimum size for 1 fish.
Goldfish are educational for children
Parents who home school should be especially aware of the educational merits that owning a pet can have for a child.
It teaches them responsibility and raises their awareness of, and compassion for other creatures.
Choosing a pet goldfish can be a lot of fun. Your child should help choose a tank and decorate it before the fish arrive (gravel, plants and little figures for your fish to swim around or hide in are important for any tank).
Children should also be able to choose which fish they want and help choosing the names. At least 2 fish is highly recommended. Fish get lonely.
Feeding and tank cleaning tasks should be considered the child’s duty if they’re the primary owner but Mom and Dad should be prepared to offer reminders or do the job every so often.
A goldfish is a relatively easy pet to care for but it still requires attention and love in order to thrive in your home and become a part of the family.
It’s certainly a worthwhile endeavor to teach your child about animals and give these cute little water-dwelling creatures a loving place to call home.
Goldfish are great pets for all ages
Although goldfish are popular prizes at carnivals and fairs, this is a less-than-pristine environment to get a fish from. Fish get stressed in the hectic and cramped conditions of the tiny fair bowls and they don’t tend to live longer than a few days.
When buying a pet goldfish make sure you go to a reputable location where the fish look healthy.
Tip: Alert fish swim quickly and that appear agile.