Goldfish Care Sheet

  1. Mike

    Mike Fishlore Admin Moderator Member

    Goldfish Caresheet


    Hey guys i would like to add a care-sheet on goldfish, hope it will help everyone. U can add your suggestions here, please. [Neville]

    Huge waste producers

    Goldfish are heavy waste producers [Neville]


    Do not overfeed them or they will die, because they have a poor digestion system, give them food only they can consume within a minute; twice a day.

    Feed them sinking food, or pre-soak the food in a separate bowl in tank water. Giving them floating flakes puts them at risk of developing a swim bladder disease. [Armadillo]


    Best tankmates for a goldfish is other goldfish. don't keep them with fin nippers like barbs. [Neville]

    Goldfish are long-finned slow movers, have big mouths, have specific temperature requirements and are huge polluters. This makes them unsuitable tank mates for any:
    tropical fish (temperature requirements)
    faster fish (most fish are faster, that includes seemingly innocent cleaner fish such as butterfly loaches)
    small fish or inverts (goldfish could swallow them easily)
    In other words, keep goldfish with... goldfish. [Armadillo]

    Larger freshwater minnows seem to get along well with my goldfish and do a good job of eating what the goldfish miss.[michaelb323]

    A couple of options for tank mates for goldies are mosquito fish (or other small temperate water minnows) and American Flag Fish.[gremlin]

    Temperatures under 10C and over 25C are detrimental to the goldfish. As are sudden swings in temperature (e.g. unheated night/day difference, on-off air conditioning). A heater keeping the temperature at a steady 22C is recommended. [Armadillo]

    Also, it's not so much that goldfish need cold water, it's more that they don't need heating, and prefer seasonal shifts in temperature. Goldfish even do well in summers when their water reaches 80+ degrees. [Sirdarksol]


    pH 6-7.5 [Neville]


    Grows up to 6" or more [Neville]

    'Goldfish may grow to a maximum length of 23 inches (59 cm) and a maximum weight of 9.9 pounds (4.5 kg)' [Armadillo]

    Light regime

    Keep the lights on for 8-10 hrs only, goldfish rest at night [Neville]

    Volume recommendation

    Contrary to popular opinion, goldfish need space and filtration. [Sirdarksol]

    A well recognised estimate in the hobby is 20G for the first goldfish, and an additional 10G per additional goldfish. This seems surprising, but knowing that the possible lifespan of a goldfish is 20 years, their life in reduced volume could explain why such a lifespan is so rarely seen. A goldfish is a huge waste producer, and its growth will be stunted. [Armadillo]

    No kind of goldfish can go in a small tank for too long...they get really big. I had 8 fancy goldfish in 20g...they were tiny but once I learned more I realized with amount of goldfish I had at the time...we needed the 120g we have now. So I sold them...I really didn't want a huge goldfish tank. [Allie]

    Fancy goldfish should do fine with the 20 gallon for the first and 10 gallon for each additional goldie. However, the faster moving common, comet, and shubunkin goldfish need additional space. 30 gallons for the first, and an additional 15 - 20 gallon per additional goldie would be better. Also, they need room to swim and turn around as they can easily grow to a foot long (or more) within 2-3 years. Also, it is not a good idea to keep the two types of goldfish together as the faster moving ones will eat all the food before the slower fancy goldfish can get to it.[gremlin]

    Goldfish and plants

    Goldfish will eat your plants. There are only a few, such as java ferns, that don't interest goldfish. [Sirdarksol]


    The main body of the care-sheet was prepared by Neville.

    The care-sheet was standardized and edited by Armadillo.

    Other contributors are credited next to their text in the care-sheet.

    Want to add something?

    We welcome additions to the care-sheet. To contribute a tip or warning, add a post to this thread and we will integrate it to the main body of the care-sheet with your name next to it. If you are quoting from a reference, please credit the author. [Armadillo]

    *Accidentally deleted by Mike (Doh!) re-adding

  2. M

    Mamajin Fishlore VIP Member

    Tip: If you feed a quality food like New Life Spectrum pellets then there is no need to presoak the food. NLS food is very easy to digest and turns to mush within minutes of being eaten. [Source]
  3. Akari_32

    Akari_32 Fishlore Legend Member

  4. tanki60o

    tanki60o Member Member

    I have to add that soaking food removes all the water soluble nutrients like carbs
  5. G

    Goldiegirl5 Initiate Member

    Just would like to add my thoughts on this sheet for those who are interested. By and large the info is pretty accurate but there are a few things I would like to raise an objection to:

    Starting with the "Huge Waste Producers" Label... actually goldfish do not produce more waste for their body size than tropical fish. That is a myth, people are just shocked by the waste load because they are used to guppy-sized poops. :p See Goldfish Myths Debunked for further explanation.

    That they have a poor digestive system is also a label I would contend with. Perhaps the fancy body of the goldfish, being more compact as it is, makes food more likely to become impacted, but the actual digestive process is very efficient - when they are fed correctly. They are meant to be foragers in the wild, constantly eating in small amounts.

    A pH of 6 is far too acidic for goldfish. It is recommended to be very near to 7.4, the same pH as human blood. They tolerate hard water much better than soft water.

    This is a good care sheet about goldfish for beginners detailing some of the important points.

    Anyway just wanted to share my $0.02, ;)
  6. tanki60o

    tanki60o Member Member

    I strongly disagree with pre-soaking food. It removes a lot of nutrients. I recommend brands like Repashy Soilent Green, Omega One Goldfish Sinking Pellets, or New Life Spectrum Goldfish Pellets. Also, the biggest ever goldfish got 18 inches big, 23 inches is a huge myth, and very very very few exceed 12 inches, fancies get usually at most 5 inches.