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Are Goldfish Good for Beginners? (Answered)

If you are wondering, are Goldfish good for beginners then you are in the right place.

I am going to answer the same question in this article.

Common Goldfish and comet Goldfish are very hardy fish so they are good beginner fish. But fancy varieties of Goldfish are not recommended to beginners.

Though common goldfish and comment goldfish are hardy fish, still, you’ll need to provide them with an ideal environment so they can survive and thrive in the tank.

Now I’m going to tell you everything you need to know to keep Goldfish successfully in your tank.

Keep reading…

Goldfish image with text "Are Goldfish Good for Beginners? (Answered)"

Why Goldfish are good for beginners?

There are a lot of varieties of Goldfish. The Common Goldfish and Comet Goldfish are very hardy so they are recommended to beginners.

These varieties of Goldfish are very forgiving when it comes to water parameters especially the water PH and water hardness.

Fancy varieties of Goldfish are not recommended to beginners because they need specific water conditions. And they are delicate.

Why Goldfish may not be an ideal aquarium fish for you?

Many experienced aquarists don’t actually recommend Goldfish to beginners> There are a few reasons for that.

1. Goldfish can grow pretty large

Do the Comet Goldfish and Common Goldfish variety are very hardy and forgiving, they can grow pretty large.

Common Goldfish can grow as large as 14 inches!

So, you will need to keep them in a larger tank.

To keep only a single Common Goldfish you will need at least a 20-gallon tank. And you will need to upgrade the tank as the fish grows.

2. Goldfish produce a lot of waste in the aquarium

Goldfish are not very good at digesting food. They produce a lot of waste in the aquarium.

The waste breaks down into ammonia. Further ammonia breaks down into nitrite and then nitrite breaks down into nitrate.

Now nitrate levels above 40 PPM is deadly for Goldfish. And to remove nitrate you’ll need to do a partial water change.

So if you want to keep Goldfish in your tank then you will need to keep up with the water changes regularly to remove move nitrate from the tank.

If you are not familiar with ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate then you should check out this article about fish tank cycling.

3. You will need to keep multiple Goldfish in the tank

Goldfish are very social fish. So ideally, you should have at least two Goldfish in your tank.

And as I mentioned earlier, Goldfish need a larger tank because they grow pretty large.

So if you want to keep two Goldfish in your aquarium then you will need to keep them in a large tank of at least 40 gallons. And you will also need to upgrade the tank as the fish grow.

Can you keep only a single Goldfish in a tank?

You can keep only a single Goldfish in a tank and it will survive. However, if you really want the Goldfish to thrive in your fish tank then ideally you should keep at least two Goldfish in your fish tank.

How to take care of Goldfish?

Goldfish image with text "How to take care of Goldfish?"

Now I am going to share with you some tips and information about taking care of Goldfish.

1. Choose Right tank size for your Goldfish

Choosing the right tank size is very important if you want to keep Goldfish successful in your aquarium.

Goldfish can get pretty large. And they can grow pretty fast.

Goldfish can get as large as 14 inches and it can live up to 25 years.

So, if you want to keep a single Goldfish, you will need at least a 20-gallon tank. And if you want to keep multiple Goldfish then you will need a larger tank.

A general rule of thumb to follow when it comes to tank size for Goldfish is 20 gallons for a single Goldfish and then 10 gallons for every additional Goldfish.

So if you want to keep three Goldfish in your aquarium then you will need at least a 40-gallon tank.

Also, you’ll need to upgrade the tank as the Goldfish grow in the tank.

When it comes to tank size for Goldfish, generally, the larger the tank the better.

One of the benefits of having a larger tank is that the water chemistry in a larger tank doesn’t change fast. So you’ll get more time to fix the water chemistry if it is not in the ideal range and bring it within the ideal range.

I’m going to talk in detail about the ideal water chemistry for a goldfish tank later in the article.

2. Cycle your fish tank

Goldfish image with text "Cycle your fish tank"

Once you have chosen the tank size for your Goldfish tank then, first of all, you will need to cycle the fish tank.

The mistake beginners make is they don’t cycle their new tank before adding the fish.

Cycling your fish tank before adding the fish in the tank is important for not only Goldfish but for any fish you want to keep in a tank.

Cycling a fish tank is basically a process of housing beneficial bacteria in the tank so that the bacteria will convert the fish waste into to less harmful by-product which you will then need to remove by doing water changes.

If you want to know more about cycling a fish tank and how to cycle your fish tank check out this article.

3. Maintain the ideal water parameters in your Goldfish tank

Goldfish image with text "Maintain the ideal water parameters in your Goldfish tank"

You will need to maintain the water parameters of the water in your fish tank within specific ranges for proper growth and development of the Goldfish.

Always maintaining good water quality in your fish tank is one of the best things that you can do to keep your goldfish happy and healthy.

Here is the table showing the ideal water parameter range for Goldfish

Water ParametersValues
Ammonia0
Nitrite0
NitrateMax 40 PPM
Temperature 68° to 74° F (20° to 23° C)
KH70-140ppm
Hardness (GH)150 PPM
pH6.5-7.5

1. Ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate

All three i.e. ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate and harmful to Goldfish. However, ammonia and nitrite are deadly for goldfish.

Even a slight ammonia level in your fish tank can kill your goldfish. That’s why you don’t want any ammonia in your tank.

Nitrates are not as deadly as ammonia and nitrite. Goldfish can survive in a fish tank up to 40 ppm nitrate.

Once the nitrate level exceeds 40 ppm level, you’ll need to do a water change to reduce the nitrate level in your fish tank.

To make sure that your fish tank doesn’t contain any ammonia and nitrite, you’ll need to cycle your fish tank. 

You can read about cycling a fish tank here.

2. Maintain the temperature range between 68° to 74° F (20° to 23° C)

The ideal temperature range for goldfish is between 68° to 74° F (20° to 23° C). So, for proper growth and development of the fish, you should maintain the temperature of the water in the tank between this range. 

To continuously track the temperature of the water in your aquarium you’ll need to install a thermometer in your tank. Aquarium thermometers are very cheap you can get a digital or mercury thermometer from Amazon here.

If the temperature in your tank is less than 68° F or 20° C then you’ll need to install a heater to raise the temperature. 

I recommend Cobalt Aquatics Flat Neo-Therm Heater. It is a very reliable heater and it comes with a built-in thermostat. You can check it out at Amazon here.

If you noticed that the temperature in your tank is more than 74 F or 23 C then you’ll need to install an aquarium chiller or aquarium fan to your tank to reduce the temperature. 

You can buy an aquarium cooling fan for cheap at Amazon here

3. Maintain pH between 6.5-7.5

The ideal pH range for Goldfish is between 6.5-7.5. But goldfish can actually tolerate pH ranging from 5.0-9.0.

That being said, you should try to keep the pH range between the ideal range.

You can easily measure pH in your aquarium water using an aquarium water test kit (link to Amazon).

If the pH of your aquarium water is less than 6.5 then to raise the pH you can add crushed coral or dolomite gravel to your tank.

If the pH of your aquarium water is more than 7.5 then you can add natural driftwood to decrease the pH.

4. Maintain water KH range between 70-140ppm

KH acts as a buffer for pH swings. pH swings stress the fish. That’s why in your Goldfish tank you should try to maintain the KH between 70-140ppm or 4 to 8 dKH.

Too much KH is not bad for the fish. However, the KH should not be less than 2 dKH.

5. Maintain the water hardness (GH) of 150ppm

In your goldfish tank, you should maintain a water hardness of 150 ppm. 

You can easily measure the GH level in your aquarium water using an aquarium water test kit.

If you noticed the GH level is lower than 150ppm then you can increase the GH level using Seachem Equilibrium (link to Amazon).

On the other hand, if you noticed that the water GH of your aquarium water is more than 150 ppm, then you can reduce GH by adding Reverse Osmosis (RO) water while doing a water change.

4. How to choose healthy Goldfish fish for your tank?

There are a lot of beautiful varieties of Goldfish.

But for beginners, I recommend going for Comet Goldfish or Common Goldfish because they are the hardiest varieties of Goldfish to take care of.

If you are buying Goldfish from your local store then here are a few things you should look for while choosing the fish for your aquarium.

  • Choose a Goldfish which is actively moving in the water and is not sitting idle near the bottom of the fish tank or at the top of the fish tank. Because thsi behavior suggest that the fish is more likely suffering from a swim bladder disease.
  • Watch out for any a signs of disease such as bloody scales or small white spots throughout the body or any red marks on the body.
  • If you can test the water quality of the tank then test the eater and see if the tank contain any ammonia. Also check if the water parameters are in the ideal range that the Goldfish need. And don’t choose a Goldfish from a tank which doesn’t have the water parameters in the ideal range or contains ammonia.
  • Also don’t choose any fish from the tank where you found any other fish suffering from any type of disease. Because fish diseases spread very quickly in the tank. So even if the fish that you chose from such tank seems healthy it may not be.

5. Acclimate your new fish

Once you have chosen the fish and brought it to your home, before adding the fish in your aquarium, you will need to acclimate the fish.

To acclimate the fish, first of all, turn off the light and remove the lid from the aquarium.

Now hold the plastic bag that contains the fish on the surface of the water of your aquarium for about 10-15 minutes.

Now open the plastic bag and make a few turns from the open end of the plastic bag to make a ring and keep the bag suspended on the water.

Now you will need to add about a half cup of water from your aquarium into the bag. This is important to get the fish acclimated to the water chemistry in your aquarium.

Now wait for about 10 to 15 minutes and add again add about a half cup of water from your aquarium into the bag and wait for about 10 to 15 minutes.

After that, take out the fish from the bag using a fishnet and put the fish in your aquarium.

Now make sure not to add the water from the bag in your aquarium because there is a possibility that the water is contaminated. And may contain any pathogens which could get transferred into your fish tank.

6. Feed high-quality food to your Goldfish

Goldfish image with text "Feed high-quality food to your Goldfish"

Goldfish are omnivorous so they can eat most of the fish food you put in the fish tank.

However, Goldfish do have specific dietary needs.

Goldfish need a high carbohydrate to protein diet.

There are a lot of specialized fish foods made for Goldfish. So you should only feed such foods to your Goldfish

My recommended Goldfish food for proper growth and development of your Goldfish

Besides commercial fish food, you can also feed vegetables to your goldfish. Here’s the list of all the human foods you can feed to your goldfish.

7. Keep up with the regular maintenance of your goldfish tank

Goldfish image with text "Keep up with the regular maintenance of your goldfish tank"

To maintain the ideal environment in your tank for goldfish, you’ll need to keep up with the regular maintenance of the fish tank.

I’ve divided the maintenance tasks on a frequency basis – Daily, Weekly, and Monthly

Daily maintenance tasks

  • After feeding food, you should remove the uneaten food from the tank.
  • You should also observe the behavior of your fish and make a note if you noticed any abnormal behavior. This is important to spot any disease at an early stage.
  • You should also have a look at your aquarium water thermometer and make sure that the temperature is in the ideal range.

Weekly maintenance tasks

  • You should do a partial water change of 30 to 50% of your aquarium water on a weekly basis.
  • You should remove any uneaten food and debris trapped in the substrate by siphoning the substrate
  • If you notice any algae in your tank – on the glass wall of the tank or on any decorations in your tank then you should clean it.
  • Also, you should wipe the outside glass of your tank.
  • You should also test all the water parameters in your tank like temperature, pH, KH, GH, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate. You can easily measure all the water parameters using an aquarium water test kit (link to Amazon)

Monthly maintenance tasks

Conclusion

Overall, goldfish are good beginner fish. They are very hardy and forgiving when it comes to water parameters. 

You’ll just need to keep them in a large enough tank because they can grow pretty large.

Besides, you’ll also need to keep up with the regular maintenance of the tank and feed high-quality food to keep your goldfish happy and healthy.

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