Re: If you are a beginner to goldfish keeping..
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2010, 03:28:21 AM »
A good filter. Ideally rated for bigger tanks than yours! For instance, a 20 gallon tank would do wonderfully with a filter for a 30-40 gallon.
Aeration. Buy an air pump, a piece of cord and an air stone. Goldfish need loads of oxygen!
Water changes. Don't clean your fish to death! Bigger changes every day could be harmful both to fish and the beneficial bacteria. Regular, weekly water changes are crucial for good water quality and healthy fish. Clean the gravel whenever you can too, it can contain lots of waste from the fish.
Water conditioning. It's very important to add a water conditioner to the new water when changing it for your fish, if your tap water contains harmful substances like chloramines or heavy metals that could be dangerous for your fish.
Water tests!!!!!! Very, very important and very, very underrated! Keep a test kit with at least pH, KH, Nitrites, Nitrates and Ammonia. Ammonia, nitrites and nitrates are especially important to keep an eye on while cycling your tank.
WHENEVER YOUR FISH IS ACTING STRANGE, TEST THE WATER FIRST! Don't run buying medicine right away for this and that that you found on the internet. Treating when all the fish would need is a water change might do more harm than good.
Get a book. It's incredible how much you can learn from a good goldfish book! Most of them cover all of the important parts about goldfish health and care. For example "Fancy Goldfish" by Richard Hess is a very good book. I've learned most of the things I know about disease from this. It covers all the symptoms a fish can have, bacterial -, viral infections, parasites, water quality - and environmental threats to goldfish. Cause even if you ask someone on the internet about the "black spots" or the "red marks" on your fish, nobody but you knows exactly what the fish looks and acts like, and so it's important to look at pictures in a book about fish sicknesses. Then you can ask for treatment methods if you can't find any in the book.
High quality, varied diet. This is especially important for egg-shaped goldfish, to avoid constipation. Feeding them with different feed every day is also promoting their immune system and resistance to stress. Keep two-three different kinds of staple foods, sinking or floating pellets, flakes, granules, pills... take any kind you prefer for your fish, but make sure that it's from a reputable manufacturer.
Freeze-dried or frozen live foods are also very important to allow the fish to grow big, healthy and beautiful, make sure you buy some of that too. Freeze dried bloodworms is a good way to start (:
Veggies like peas, lettuce, cucumber, zucchini and the like are also appreciated by goldfish! Give them a little piece of this occasionally and see what your fish likes more. Fruits like oranges should also be good as they contain lots of C-Vitamin!
DO NOT OVERFEED. Only feed your goldfish small amounts of food 3-4 times a day. These fish can't store nutrition as they don't have any stomach, and it's important that you give them the nutrition at a regular basis and only as much as your fish can eat in 2 minutes or so.
Last but not least: The fish is a living creature. If you can't take good care of your fish because of lack of time or whatever reason you may have. Don't get any. They're just like a dog or a cat, and if you're not prepared to spend some extra time with them during the weeks at least for the water changes and for checking up the system, don't be surprised if the fish gets sick or even dies.
I think that's it... (: