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Common Goldfish: Complete Care Guide & More

Simply said, common goldfish are common. You may find them as prizes at fairs and carnivals, as well as in most pet stores' feeder tanks.

These are resilient fish, but they are often neglected by those seeking for pet fish since they are not viewed as particularly exotic or unique.

Nonetheless, goldfish make excellent companions and tankmates for other tranquil fish. They may become lively and identify the person who feeds them, even to the point of begging at the top or front of their tank when mealtimes arrive.

Continue reading "Common Goldfish: %year% Complete Care Guide Varieties, Lifespan & More" by BestForPets (bestforpets.org)  to discover more about the common goldfish.

Quick Facts about Common Goldfish

  • Species Name: Carassius auratus
  • Family: Cyprinidae
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Temperature: 65º – 75º F
  • Temperament: Peaceful, Friendly
  • Color Form: Orange, white, yellow, red and white, black and red, yellow and black, other combinations of these colors
  • Lifespan: 5 – 20 years
  • Size: 4” – 14”
  • Diet: Pellets, flakes, gel food, live food, frozen food, roughage
  • Minimum Tank Size: 5 gallons or 3-4x the length of fish in tank length
  • Tank Set-Up: Filter; Bare bottom, aquarium sand, or large smooth rocks; Goldfish-friendly plants; Smooth aquarium décor and hides
  • Compatibility: Other peaceful freshwater fish that cannot fit into the goldfish’s mouth

Common Goldfish Overview

Due to their resistance to bad water conditions and temperature fluctuations, as well as the ease with which they may be fed and cared for, common goldfish are an excellent choice for the beginning fishkeeper. With the proper water quality and food, ordinary goldfish may survive up to 20 years.

Nevertheless, this is a frequent fallacy. The oldest documented common goldfish survived for 43 years! They come in a variety of hues, and while their most typical orange-gold hue may appear dull, seeing their shimmering scales dart about an aquarium may be rather aesthetically beautiful.

Goldfish thrive in both indoor aquariums and outdoor ponds and can withstand temperatures ranging from below zero to at least 90 degrees Fahrenheit. They may flourish in a variety of aquarium, pond, and bowl environments as long as the water is regularly changed and treated to eliminate contaminants. In addition, they require a high-quality, diverse nutrition and a stimulating habitat, which may include tankmates, plants, and decorations.

Common goldfish are scavengers that require roughage to graze, such as arugula, romaine lettuce, and other herbs. They may consume aquarium plants, however they typically avoid anubias, java fern, and hornwort.

How Much Do Common Goldfish Cost?

Most pet stores sell common goldfish for less than $1, whereas internet merchants may charge as much as $10 or more, with costs often varied according on size.

The initial setup cost of a bowl or aquarium, food, a water testing kit, and water treatments will contribute to the expense of being a goldfish owner, even though the fish themselves may be affordable. A simple setup for one common goldfish costs around $50, while bigger aquariums and filtration systems can potentially cost hundreds of dollars.

Typical Behavior & Temperament

The majority of common goldfish are placid, making them excellent tankmates for other peaceful fish, however there are two notable exceptions to this rule.

The first occurs during the mating season, when male goldfish may pursue females until they are exhausted or injured.

The second method involves placing goldfish with fish that can fit in their jaws. They will consume fry, tiny adult fish, and other aquarium inhabitants such as shrimp. Offering plants and many places to hide can lessen the danger of injury and death in both scenarios.

Appearance & Varieties

There are several types of goldfish, such as ranchus, orandas, and bubble eyes. Common goldfish, comets, and shubunkins are types of non-fancy goldfish. Feeder tanks are typically supplied with common goldfish, although comets may also be present.

Other than pure orange, common goldfish have slender bodies and short fins, and come in a variety of color combinations. They are often orange or orange and black, although they can also be red, yellow, or white. They often consist of no more than two hues.

The only difference between normal goldfish and comets is that comets have larger tails and fins. Compared to comets, shubunkins have longer tails and a calico coloring. Infrequently spotted in feeder tanks are shubunkins.

How to Take Care of Common Goldfish

Before deciding to become a goldfish owner, there are some important factors to consider.

  • Tank/Aquarium Size: Goldfish may survive in virtually any bowl, aquarium, or pond containing at least one gallon of water, but they thrive in larger environments. A smaller aquarium will require more frequent water changes to maintain water quality. Also, larger areas facilitate a more exciting workplace.
  • Water Temperature: Although common goldfish prefer water temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit, they can thrive in a wide temperature range. They can withstand subfreezing conditions if there is a breach in the ice through which they may obtain oxygen. In chilly water, often about 50 degrees Fahrenheit, goldfish develop a semi-hibernation known as torpor. During torpor, their metabolism decreases substantially, and they often consume very little or nothing. It is essential to maintain adequate oxygen circulation in the water while goldfish are dormant.
  • Goldfish may even endure water temperatures of 90 degrees Fahrenheit or more if the water is deep enough and has sufficient shade. Although a heater is not necessary for indoor installations, it is advised to maintain a reasonable water temperature. The optimal pH range for a goldfish tank is between 7.0 to 8.4, however goldfish may thrive at pH levels outside of this range.
  • Substrate: Tiny gravel is not suggested as a substrate for goldfish, since big pieces can become caught in their jaws, necessitating human intervention to remove them and prevent damage or death. Some goldfish owners prefer an aquarium with no substrate for convenience of cleaning, however aquarium sand is also acceptable. Bought river boulders may be used for both indoor and outdoor aquariums if they are fully cleaned and have no sharp edges to minimize fish harm. To minimize the spread of parasites and illness, it is vital to avoid collecting pebbles and plants from local streams.
  • Plants: Goldfish are unlikely to consume plants such as anubias, java ferns, hornwort, moneywort, and Amazon swords. They favor plants including duckweed, frogbit, and salvinia. Other plants, including as pothos, tradescantia, and bamboo, can be grown on the surface of the water.
  • Lighting: Goldfish require at least several hours of light every day. If natural light is available, it is ideal, but placing the aquarium in direct sunlight might cause an algal growth. If natural light is unavailable, artificial light will suffice, although “lights out” is essential for simulating natural sleep/wake cycles.
  • Filtration: Filtration gathers big particles floating in the water, such as garbage and uneaten food, but filtration systems also promote the growth of beneficial microorganisms required to avoid ammonia and nitrogen accumulation.

Are Common Goldfish Good Tank Mates?

When putting goldfish into a tank, they should float in a bag until the water in the bag is the same temperature as the water in the tank, in order to prevent potentially fatal temperature shock. It is normally suggested to quarantine young fish for two to four weeks in a separate container to avoid the spread of any disease or parasites they may have.

Common goldfish are often quiet and make excellent tankmates for other peaceful species, such as platys, danios, and guppies. Tank dividers might be useful if goldfish or other fish in the aquarium exhibit aggressive behavior.

When selecting tankmates for goldfish, it is essential to evaluate if the demands of both fish are compatible. Avoid tropical fish with water temperature needs exceeding 74 degrees Fahrenheit, since this would keep the water warmer than goldfish want.

Aggressive fish, like as cichlids, must be avoided, since they will kill goldfish. There have been instances of mollies nibbling on the fins of goldfish and Plecostomus fish sucking off the protective slime layer of goldfish; hence, these species should also be avoided.

What to Feed Your Common Goldfish

The majority of goldfish feeds are developed with lifelong health in mind, although some fail to satisfy all nutritional requirements. Combining pellets or flakes with fruits and vegetables, especially roughage like as leafy greens, is advised for goldfish.

Look for high-quality sinking pellets and flakes with minimum wheat or maize fillers containing marine proteins fish would find in the wild, such as shrimp and other fish.

Keeping Your Common Goldfish Healthy

Maintaining the health of common goldfish is simple so long as a good feed is supplied and water quality is maintained. It is essential to obtain a water test kit, such as the API Freshwater Master Test Kit, to monitor water parameters such as ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, and pH.

Keeping your goldfish happy and healthy is as simple as removing garbage from the water, doing frequent water changes, and maintaining a reasonable water temperature.

Locating a veterinarian who cares for goldfish might be difficult; thus, contact local exotics and agricultural veterinarians for further information.


When goldfish that have been kept in cold water long enough to enter torpor are brought to warm water, they frequently initiate spawning efforts. Typically, girls are pursued, sometimes resulting in damage.

So, it may be necessary to separate fish, provide hiding areas, or remove potentially hazardous décor. If you wish to breed your goldfish, you must remove the charcoal from the filter to enhance the concentration of pheromones in the water.

To improve the likelihood of egg fertilization, a 2:1 male-to-female ratio and roughly 12 hours of light each day are advised. More feeding may be required to enhance egg production.

Fertilized eggs should be transferred to a separate tank to prevent their consumption. If the eggs succeed in surviving with the fish, the fry will very definitely be consumed.

Are Common Goldfish Suitable For Your Aquarium?

Who knew that ordinary goldfish were so intricate? Goldfish are a fantastic option for fish keepers of all skill levels because to their hardiness and accessibility, but it may sound like a lot and does take some maintenance. When we were children keeping carnival goldfish in a bowl, we’ve learned a lot about fish maintenance, but that just makes them more pleasant.

Common goldfish may bring a sense of fulfillment and are a welcome addition to a family or community aquarium. Experimenting with fresh fruits and veggies on goldfish and seeing their preferences and personalities is entertaining and exciting.

It is essential to remember that common goldfish are living organisms, not throwaway short-term amusements. Kids may spend at least a decade with your family, so be prepared to provide them with the greatest life possible.

Final Thought

The article “Common Goldfish: Comprehensive Care Guide Varieties, Lifespan & More” by BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has hopefully helped you understand more about goldfish. Now it is up to you to determine whether this fish was born for your home.

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Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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