11 Things you can do TODAY to Keep your Goldfish Happy for Forever in your Aquarium

Several months ago I got my first aquarium. It was a pretty empty aquarium and I was looking at my Goldfish and wondering, what can I do today to keep my Goldfish happy?

So I did some research and came up with these 11 things.

Things To Do To Keep Your Goldfish Happy

11 Things you can do TODAY to Keep your Goldfish Happy for Forever in your Aquarium image

1. Add gravel in your aquarium

Gravel is the most common substrate used in the Goldfish tank.

Gravel not only provides an interesting look to your aquarium but it also has other benefits.

Gravel helps to emulate the natural habitat of a Goldfish which helps to reduce stress in Goldfish.

Probably the most important benefit of having gravel in an aquarium is that it provides a safe place for beneficial bacteria.

Without gravel, the beneficial bacteria can grow in the tank at other places. 

But then you will have to do frequent water changes so that the ammonia level will not build up in your aquarium.

If you have an overstocked aquarium then having gravel is a must to keep the ammonia levels low.

Besides, gravel helps to keep live plants in place and they also provide beneficial nutrients to your plans.

Lastly, gravel allows you to give your aquarium a unique and interesting look.

It also helps to hide unnecessary things in the aquarium that makes aquarium very pleasant to look at.

How to add gravel to your Goldfish tank

Before adding gravel in your Goldfish tank you should wash it thoroughly.

To do that take a new bucket that you never used with soap or any chemicals or buy a new one and keep it for your fish tank maintenance only.

Now wash the gravel and rinse it.

Before adding gravel in the tank, make sure that your aquarium is filled with at least one-third of the water.

Also, if you are planning to add any decorations like driftwood or any other ornament in your fish tank then you should put them first into the tank before adding the gravel.

Because the gravel will then provide it a good support and keep it in place.

Now add gravel in the fish tank and arrange it with your hands.

The gravel should be higher at the back and slightly lower at the front of the tank.

This will provide depth to your tank and it will look good.

How to clean a gravel

You can use a siphon to clean the gravel. 

You should use the siphon once a week or once in two weeks depending on how much debris gets collected in the gravel. Check out our recommended Vaccum Cleaner or Siphon

If you noticed you are gravel has algae on it then you should put it out and scrub it with a brush and then put it back in the aquarium.

2. Introduce Some Plants

You can add some plants to make your Goldfish happy. 

Goldfish are omnivorous scavengers so sometimes they like to munch on plants.

Besides plants have a lot of benefits.

Probably the most important benefit of having a live plant in your aquarium is that it provides oxygen to your Goldfish.

Goldfish’s natural habitat is consists of plants so it is always a great idea to emulate it in the aquarium.

The plants create an ecosystem in your aquarium and it helps to release stress from your Goldfish.

Plants also offer you to personalize your aquarium and give it a unique and interesting look.

Also, Goldfish like to sleep beside plants because it provides them a sense of security.

While buying live plants for your Goldfish aquarium you should make sure that it is compatible with Goldfish and the water condition in which Goldfish live.

Best plants for Goldfish tank

There is a decent variety of plants you can put in your Goldfish aquarium.

Anacharis

Anacharis

Image by Christina Cahalane under CC BY 2.0

Anacharis plants are commonly called water weeds.It is very hardy and easy to maintain.

It is is a free-floating plant and it looks good in the background of your aquarium.

This plant grows pretty fast which makes it ideal for your Goldfish because sometimes Goldfish like to munch on plants and they will not be able to eat this plant completely.

So it can survive for a long time in a Goldfish aquarium.

In fact, this plant grows so fast that you have to keep an eye on its growth because it can occupy all the space of your tank pretty quickly.

Anacharis plant consumes ammonia in the aquarium and releases oxygen which is a very good benefit of it.

Besides, this plant thrives in the water conditions a Goldfish require.

While buying this plant you should make sure that it has a vibrant green in color and it has a strong stem.

There will be some white roots coming out from Anacharis plants which is a normal thing and it is actually an indication that the plant is healthy.

Anubias

This is another beginner-friendly plant because it doesn’t require a lot of care.

This plant is great if you want to create some contrast in your aquarium because this plant is a bit greener than the other live plants.

Goldfish usually don’t like to snack on them so they can survive for a long time in your aquarium.

Also, this plant doesn’t require a lot of light.

When you add this plant in your aquarium just make sure that you are not burying their roots into the substrate because it will rot very quickly.

You can tie it to any decoration in your tank like driftwood.

Java fern

java fern

Java fern is one of the most popular plants to keep in a Goldfish aquarium.

Goldfish usually don’t like to eat them so they can survive in a Goldfish tank.

This plant can grow a maximum of 8 inches long so it will not take over your tank like Anacharis plant.

This plant requires moderate light to thrive and any fertilizer in small quantities for its proper growth.

You can keep this plant anywhere in the aquarium, just make sure that you are not burying their roots into the substrate because they can rot. Instead, tie them to any decoration in your aquarium.

The great part about this plant is that it can survive in an aquarium with high bio-load and it is snail resistant as well.

Overall, Java fern is a very good plan to put in your Goldfish aquarium.

Java moss

Java Moss doesn’t require a lot of attention which makes it beginners friendly.

Goldfish may snack on Java moss but if you keep your Goldfish well-fed then they can survive in a Goldfish tank.

This plant can live in any light conditions and it doesn’t require any fertilizers.

You can put this plant anywhere in the aquarium.

It doesn’t have roots so you can let it float in the aquarium or you can tie it to any ornament in your aquarium.

Hornwort

You can find this plant in almost any pet shop and it is very cheap as well.

This plant comes with unique shaped leaves that bring variety in your Goldfish tank.

It requires moderate light to thrive and if you sprinkle some fertilizers then in it can grow very healthy.

Goldfish like to nimble on it but it is quite a fast-growing plant so they can survive in a Goldfish tank.

This plant doesn’t have roots so you can bury it inside the gravel or you can tie them to any ornament in your tank.

Water sprite

Water spirit is a very good fast-growing live plants for Goldfish aquarium.

This plant grows pretty fast so you have to keep an eye on its growth.

Goldfish sometimes will snack on this plant but as this plant grows very fast it will definitely survive.

This plant requires a bright light so if you keep it floating on the surface of the tank then and it will most likely get a sufficient amount of light and lighting will not be a problem for you.

You can also root it in the substrate if you don’t want to let it float on the surface.

If you do select to root it then make sure that you have at least 2 to 3 inches of gravel so that its roots will have sufficient space to grow.

You should add a good quality fertilizer for the proper growth of the Water spirit.

Amazon sword

amazon sword

Amazon sword is a large plant so it is good for large Goldfish aquariums.

It is a pretty hardy plant and it grows pretty quickly which makes it ideal for Goldfish because even if Goldfish nibble on it, it will not get completely consumed.

This plant requires low to moderate light to thrive.

As this is a pretty large plant, you should keep it in the back of your aquarium.

Also, you should make sure that it is a bit away from other small plants so that other plants can also get light.

Nice deep substrate is a key to maintain a healthy Amazon sword so your aquarium should have at least 3 to 4 inches of substrate for its proper growth.

You can also add some fertilizers for a strong and healthy Amazon sword.

3. Improve Water Quality

Goldfish is a cold-water fish so you should maintain low water temperature in your aquarium.

There are some Goldfish breeds like Fantail Goldfish which are sensitive to cold water.

Also, the high water temperature can cause nerve damage in Goldfish.

The Ideal temperature for Goldfish is 62 to 75-degree Fahrenheit.

If you live in a cold region then you can install a heater in your aquarium to maintain the ideal temperature for your Goldfish. Check put our recommended heater.

You should regularly check the water temperature of your aquarium. If you noticed high water temperature then there are several ways to reduce the temperature of the water.

Ways to Reduce Water Temperature in an Aquarium

  1. When you notice a high temperature, you should turn off the lights and open the lid of your aquarium. This will help down the water a little bit.
  2. You can put some ice-cubes in a zip-closed bag and hang it inside the tank.
  3. You can put a table fan near the aquarium in a way that the air will blow along the surface of the tank
  4. If your fish tank is indirectly exposed to the sunlight or is in the room where there’s a lot of sunlight then you should move it to another room where there’s no sunlight or less sunlight, because sunlight raises the temperature of the water in the aquarium.

Goldfish really prefer soft water. The ideal pH for Goldfish in 7.0 to 7.4 pH.

Also, when you use tap water in your aquarium you should make sure that it is dechlorinated.

Chlorinated water is harmful to your Goldfish and there are several ways to dechlorinate the water.

Ways to Dechlorinate the Water in your Aquarium

  1. The simple way to dechlorinate water is to take tap water in a bucket and let it sit throughout the night. And then you can add it to your aquarium.
  2. You can dechlorinate the water by using a dechlorination agent. You can easily find it in pet stores or online. Check out our recommended Dechlorinating Agent
  3. Aerating the fish tank with an air pump not necessarily dechlorinates the water but it helps to remove chlorine from the water.

4. Feed a Variety of Foods to your Goldfish

Goldfish are omnivorous scavengers so in their natural habitat they eat insects, larvae, etc as well as plants.

So, you should emulate the same and feed them both vegetarian and non-vegetarian foods.

You can feed small insects, bloodworms, flakes, and pellets to fulfill their non-vegetarian diet.

You can also feed them various fruits and vegetables like chopped apples, grapes, blueberries, spinach, broccoli, etc.

Besides, Goldfish sometimes like to nibble on the live plants in the aquarium.

Ideally, you should feed them 2 to 3 times a day.

It is very easy to overfeed a Goldfish.

Goldfish don’t have a stomach so overfeeding them can cause severe problems.

You should feed them the amount of food equals to the size of their eyes. Or you should feed them the amount of food that they can consume within 2 minutes.

Also, you should pre-soak the fish food before feeding it to your Goldfish.

Take a plastic cup, add some aquarium water in it, then add fish food and then give it to your Goldfish.

The pre-soaked fish food will not dry up their swim bladder.

The dry swim bladder is very fatal and can cause death.

5. Increase Oxygen Levels in your Aquarium

Not only Goldfish but any fish requires a sufficient amount of oxygen for its proper growth.

There are various signs that can tell you if your Goldfish is not getting a sufficient amount of oxygen

Signs of Low Oxygen in the Aquarium

  • If you noticed your Goldfish is moving around less, this could be a sign of low oxygen in your aquarium.
  • If your Goldfish is coming on the surface of the tank gasping for air more frequently then it is a strong sign that your aquarium has low oxygen.
  • If you noticed the rapid gills moment of your Goldfish, this suggests a low oxygen level in your aquarium.
  • Goldfish even start to eat less when there is low oxygen in your aquarium.

The low oxygen level can cause breathing disorders in Goldfish.

If you found your aquarium has a low oxygen level then there are several ways to increase it.

Ways to Increase Oxygen in the Aquarium

  1. In the emergency, the simplest way to increase oxygen in the aquarium is by simply pouring down some water of your aquarium using a jar or pitcher from some height. By doing this, the water will get exposed to the air that will increase oxygen in your tank.
  2. You can use a spray bar to increase oxygen because it will expose the water to the air.
  3. You can also do a large water change to increase oxygen in your aquarium.
  4. Using an air pump is the simplest and most reliable way to increase oxygen in your aquarium. Check out our recommended Air Pump
  5. Elevated water temperature can also cause low oxygen in the aquarium. Because high-temperature water cannot hold as much oxygen as low-temperature water. So to lower the temperature of the water to increase the oxygen, put some ice-cubes in a zip-closed bag and hand it inside the aquarium.
  6. If you are noticing a low oxygen level in your aquarium during power cuts then you can use a battery-powered air pump to cope with this problem.

6. Introduce Goldfish in a Large Fish Tank.

Goldfish require a lot of space for their proper growth.

A single Goldfish requires about 20-gallon water for its optimum growth.

Or if you have a small fish there in 5 gallons per inch is a good rule to follow.

Goldfish require a large tank because Goldfish can grow very big.

In fact, the longest Goldfish is the world measured 18.7 inches long.

Also, they produce a lot of bioloads so a big tank can help to dilute the ammonia.

Goldfish cannot grow in a fishbowl because it is very small for them and their growth will be stunted in it.

The fishbowl also doesn’t provide a healthy environment for Goldfish.

Also, the Goldfish starter kit is very small for the Goldfish.

Overall, for the optimum growth of your Goldfish, you should keep your Goldfish in a large tank.

7. Create Stress-free Environment for your Goldfish

A high level of ammonia is very harmful to your Goldfish and it can cause death.

It really stresses the Goldfish, so you should always keep track of the ammonia level in your aquarium.

Ideally, your tank should not contain any ammonia but if the ammonia level in your aquarium is more than 0.2 mg then it is very harmful to your Goldfish.

The simplest way to track the ammonia level is by using an ammonia tracking stripe.

If you noticed high ammonia in your aquarium then there are several ways to reduce or get rid of it.

Ways to Reduce or Eliminate Ammonia from your Aquarium

  1. Overstocking causes a high ammonia level in the aquarium. So if you have too many Goldfish in a small tank then you should upgrade to a large tank. 20 gallons per Goldfish is a good role to follow or if you have small Goldfish then 5 gallons per inch is a good rule to follow.
  2. To reduce the ammonia in your tank immediately you can perform a partial water change of up to 30%.
  3. Uneaten food usually causes high ammonia in the fish tank. So you should remove it using a fishnet or siphon. 
  4. If the ammonia level in your aquarium is high due to the uneaten food then you should reduce the quantity of food you feed to your Goldfish. The amount of food your Goldfish can consume within 2 minutes is a good rule of thumb to follow or you should give the amount of food equals to the eyes of your Goldfish.

8. Clean your Fish Tank

A clean fish tank not only looks good but it is beneficial for the health of your Goldfish.

There are several ways to maintain a clean fish tank.

Ways to Maintain a Clean Fish Tank

  1. Use of Filter – If you have a small tank (up to 20 gallons) then a powerful HOB filter is sufficient to keep your aquarium clean. But if you have a big fish tank then you should go for a canister filter.
  2. Used a Siphon – To clean the debris and unnecessary waste from the gravel of your fish tank you can use a siphon. You should use it once a week or once in 2 weeks depending on the amount of waste material your aquarium has.
  3. Cleaning Mates – you can keep Plecos and Cory cats with your Goldfish to keep your fish tank clean. Plecos feed on the algae so it will help to remove algae from your aquarium and Cory cats are bottom feeder so they will keep the gravel clean.
  4. Water Change-You should also regularly do a partial water change of about 30% of your aquarium on a monthly basis to keep your tank clean.

9. Improve the Lighting of your Aquarium

Most beginners overlook the lighting of their aquarium.

In their natural habitat, Goldfish get light during the day and they usually sleep at night.

So you should also emulate the same in your aquarium.

You should keep the lights of your aquarium on for at least 12 hours a day.

This will help Goldfish to maintain their daily cycle.

If you have a planted aquarium then depending on the plants you will have to adjust the lighting of your aquarium.

For example, Java Moss can survive in any light condition, on the other hand, Amazon sword requires a lot of light to thrive in an aquarium.

Also, you should not keep the lights of your aquarium on for more than 12 hours.

Goldfish like to sleep in a quiet and dark environment which is usually at night so you should keep the lights of your aquarium off during the night.

10. Add Some Decorations or Ornaments in your Aquarium

Goldfish are very active fish and they like to explore new things.

So you should regularly introduce new ornaments or decorations in your aquarium.

This will keep your Goldfish engaged.

The decorations also offer you to personalize your aquarium and give it a unique and interesting look.

11. Test your Aquarium Water

As you can see, there are various factors that affect the growth of Goldfish.

And you should maintain a healthy environment in your fish tank for the proper growth of your Goldfish.

To do that, you should regularly perform various tests to know the water quality of your aquarium and keep track of it by writing it down in a journal.

Ammonia

Ammonia is very harmful to your Goldfish. It can be very fatal and it can even cause the death of your goldfish.

So, you should always keep track of ammonia levels in your aquarium.

Ideally, your aquarium should not contain any ammonia but if the ammonia level in your aquarium is more than 0.2 mg then it is very harmful to your Goldfish.

The best way to test ammonia is by using an ammonia testing stripe.

Temperature

Goldfish is a cold-water fish so you should maintain cold water in your aquarium.

Also, some Goldfish like Fantail Goldfish is sensitive to very cold water.

And water temperature can cause nerve damage in Goldfish.

So you should maintain the ideal temperature for you are Goldfish for its optimum growth.

The ideal temperature for Goldfish in 62 to 72-degree Fahrenheit.

You should regularly test the water temperature using a thermometer to keep track of the temperature and write it down in the journal.

Check out our recommended Thermometer

Water PH

pH is the acid-base balance of the water.

This is usually the most overlooked factor when it comes to testing the water of the fish tank.

But it is a very important factor to test because it can cause stress in the Goldfish and it can even cause death.

The ideal pH for a Goldfish aquarium is 7.0 to 7.4 pH.

The pH of the water changes over the period of time so you should regularly keep track of it.

You should check the pH of the water at least once a month and note down in the journal.

Oxygen

Maintaining an optimum level of oxygen in a fish tank is very important.

A low oxygen level can cause the death of your Goldfish very fast.

The best way to measure the dissolved oxygen in the water is by using a dissolved oxygen meter.

But it is quite expensive so there are some other ways to know if your aquarium has a low oxygen level or not.

Basically, there are various signs that can show a low oxygen level in the aquarium.

Signs of Low Oxygen in your Aquarium

  • If you noticed your Goldfish coming on the surface of your fish tank frequently gasping for air then it is a sign that you are aquarium has low oxygen.
  • If you noticed your Goldfish is moving around less then this could be a sign that your fish tank has low oxygen.
  • If you noticed the rapid gills moment of your Goldfish then this is the sign that your aquarium has low oxygen levels.

So you should regularly pay attention to the behavior of your Goldfish to know if your fish tank has a low oxygen level or not.

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