Newest Review: ... how the pet shop told us was best to do it and we had read on the internet that it was also a good idea. We then got just a couple of... more
Member Name: AngelaR76
Advantages: Relatively easy to look after, relaxing to watch
Disadvantages: Bigger tanks can be hard work
A few years ago I bought some orandas and this time I did things properly!
~ Tank ~
It is worth investing in a decent tank for your fish, you don't have to spend a fortune. A glass bowl simply won't do because it doesn't have any waste management and the water will become contaminated quickly and poison the fish. The size of the tank will depend on how many fish you have and how big they are. You can buy starter kits from around £20 and these include a small tank and all the accessories you need to go with it. Goldfish tend to grow in proportion to the size of their tank, so if you move them into a bigger one it is likely they will grow a bit!
You will definitely need a filter, this helps to keep the water clean and free of any waste that can become poisonous to the fish. Filters come in different sizes and types so you need one to suit the size of your tank. You will also need an air pump to circulate oxygen through the water. Adding waterweed to the tank can also help to keep the oxygen levels up which is healthy for the fish.
The bottom of the tank should be covered in gravel. Fish love to nose around in it and it comes in all kinds of colours so you can use it to brighten up your tank. I have found that some gravels are better than others. Some types can be very dusty and make the water cloudy if you don't rinse it thoroughly before adding it to the tank. You should do this anyway even if it doesn't appear dusty to get rid of anything that might contaminate the water. The size of the gravel should also be taken into consideration as I have had a couple of occassions where my fish have got gravel stuck in their mouth and I have had to remove it for them. I don't think it's a big problem though.
You can buy various ornaments to decorate you fish tank and to keep the fish amused, mine especially seemed to like having tunnels to swim through. The price of the toys vary and some can be quite expensive but if you use your imagination you can find things around the house or garden to use, as long as they won't harm the fish.
When cleaning the tank, never use any sort of detergent or bleach as this will kill the fish, even if you think you have rinsed it all off. Don't forget to clean the gravel thoroughly too. I find that this is easiest using a sieve or colinder and rinsing it under the tap or shower.
When putting fresh water into the tank, you need to treat it first to remove the chlorine which will harm or kill the fish. This is easy enough to do, you can buy bottles of liquid to treat it with from pet shops. Normally you just need to add a few drops or capfuls and it will work almost immediately.
After I had cleaned out my fish tank I would normally leave it to settle for a little while with the air pump on before putting the fish back in. This also gives the water a chance to adjust to room temperature.
~ Feeding ~
Goldfish are very easy to feed. Mine used to eat Tetrafin Flakes which provide them with a balanced and nutritional diet. They only need feeding once a day and should only be given as much as they can eat in one go. Any uneaten flakes should be removed from the tank with a net to help keep the water clean. Over-feeding the fish will result in the water becoming contaminated which will kill the fish. This is probably the most common mistake that people make with goldfish.
~ Breeding ~
I am no expert in breeding goldfish and have never set out to intentionally do so, however it did happen by accident with my two red and white orandas!
It is as good as impossible to determine the gendre of goldfish so if you have more than one there is always the chance that this might happen.
The first thing I noticed was that one of them started behaving quite aggressively towards the other, ramming her into the weeds with his head. After reading around on the internet I discovered that this is actually mating behaviour. One of the fish then began to look quite fat and lo and behold a short while later I came home from work to find the fish tank covered in little white eggs!
Not having the proper fish breeding equipment and not really knowing what to do I moved the adult fish into another tank to stop them eating the eggs. Eventually they hatched into little "fry" and I bought some Liquifry food (a liquid food for baby fish) to feed them with. Sadly over the next 3 months or so they gradually died out until there were none left.
The only advice I can give is to be aware that this can happen and to be more prepared than I was!
~ Illnesses ~
Again, I am no expert but my fish did become ill on a couple of occassions. Once when my filter wasn't working properly and the water became contaminated. Ill fish tend to float around on their side or upside down. They swim around like they have no sense of balance. If you see this happening then there is something wrong and the first thing to check is the water quality.
One of my chocolate orandas became ill with Dropsy. This is a very contageous disease with fish and it makes them swell up like a balloon and their scales stick outwards. You should immediately remove the sick fish from the tank before it spreads to the other fish. Sadly my oranda died from this, unfortunately by the time the symptoms of Dropsy become obvious it is often too late to save them.
~ My Opinion ~
Goldfish make good pets and if you have several of them it can become a bit of a hobby. I also find them very relaxing to sit and watch, it can be very therapeutic! The bigger the tank though the more work is involved in cleaning it so bear that in mind! They have a reputation for being easy to look after but that doesn't mean no work at all!
Summary: Good pets which can become a fun hobby, not so good for cuddling!
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