The goldfish in the goldfish bowl is probably the most iconic example of aquarists because the golden jewel in the glass is considered a decorative furnishing object.
However, this form of goldfish keeping is not particularly modern, because it is now long outdated from an animal welfare point of view.
The Goldfish Aquarium
In fact, goldfish in the aquarium belong to the somewhat more demanding care creatures, about whose needs you should think in advance.
Although keeping goldfish in a garden pond is relatively unproblematic, life in an aquarium is only conditionally suitable for goldfish
One factor for this is the large space requirement of the swimming animals. Only with large tanks from 100 centimeters edge length, you can think about the species-appropriate attitude of goldfish. Also, a suitable temperature range is not always easy to guarantee.
Apart from this, the goldfish in the aquarium is quite easy to care for and as long as you keep an eye on the special behavior of the carp species in time, an aquarium for goldfish will give you a lot of pleasure.
You should not expect a densely overgrown biotope tank, because most plants do not have a long life in a goldfish aquarium.
On the other hand, the variety of cultivars can become real eye-catchers themselves.
If you want to keep goldfish in your aquarium, you should choose one or more suitable breeding forms and healthy animals, so that you can enjoy your goldfish aquarium for a long time.
History Of Goldfish Keeping
Origins In Ancient China
The history of goldfish goes back to a long and well-documented tradition. Thus, the golden fish has already been reported in Chinese lore around the year 750 BC.
While in the beginning the keeping of goldfish was mainly reserved for the rich people, this custom spread all over China from the 13th century onwards and by the 16th century, it had become an almost everyday sight in all classes of the population.
Significant for the successful spread of goldfish keeping was the fact that goldfish can be kept not only in large ponds but also in water-filled containers.
Variety Of Colors And Shapes
In their native country, goldfish are still mostly kept in porcelain pots according to the old tradition, if no pond can be offered to them.
In this controllable form of keeping, not only new color varieties developed over time but also different shaped goldfish with veiltails, googly eyes, ulcer-like body appendages, or compressed spines.
In China, today about 400 different breeding forms of the goldfish are known, but only a fraction of them found their way to the German market. By the way, some of the exotic forms count as torture breeding in Germany.
The Conquest Of The World
In the 16th century, the first goldfish were finally exported abroad. Initially, the enthusiasm spread to neighboring Japan.
But the first goldfish also reached Europe as early as 1611. Via the English and French aristocratic houses, the goldfish finally reached the rest of Europe, including Germany.
Around 1780, the first goldfish arrived in Berlin. In the European ponds, the goldfish thrived and reproduced well. However, kept in containers in the home as a decorative element, they usually had a short life.
The Right Goldfish Aquarium
The Bigger The Better!
Many goldfish species grow quite large, usually reaching a size of 20 to 40 centimeters. Accordingly, an aquarium for goldfish should not fall below certain minimum dimensions.
Smaller species also prove to be agile, and should not be kept in a goldfish aquarium that is too small.
Per goldfish, you should calculate about 50 liters of water, whereby the smallest tank size for a species-appropriate attitude should not fall below 200 liters. Larger is always better, not only to give the goldfish enough room to move.
Contrary to the first intuition, a goldfish aquarium is easier to maintain the larger it is. The smaller the body of water, the more unstable the system runs and is more susceptible to outside interference.
You can read about what you should do about algae in your aquarium here.
In a large goldfish aquarium, a stable biological equilibrium can be established more quickly in terms of water chemistry but also temperatures.
You should keep this in mind if you want to buy a goldfish aquarium because especially beginners are generally better advised with a large tank.
The Goldfish Tank Is Outdated!
For years it was also fashionable in our country, so that the goldfish in the spherical glass decorated the apartment as a decorative interior, without being able to meet the needs of the fish itself.
Today we know that such a tank for the goldfish means cruelty to animals.
Often they care in the round accommodation and die after a few months or years. In comparison, a goldfish in an aquarium can reach an old age of up to 25 years if kept well.
Therefore, if you plan to buy a species-appropriate goldfish aquarium, you should give the goldfish bowl a wide berth.
The Appropriate Setup For Goldfish In The Aquarium
Minimalist And Functional
Goldfish are characterized by very high metabolism, which is why a powerful filter technology, in particular, should not be missing in your goldfish aquarium.
It is best to use a three-stage system, which mechanically removes dirt particles from the water and also eliminates odors and the excreted ammonia through chemical and biological filtration.
Apart from that, you would do well to decorate your goldfish aquarium rather minimally, because goldfish are not squeamish about furnishings, and rather appreciate unobstructed swimming space anyway.
You won’t be able to enjoy most aquatic plants for long, because the goldfish will eat them or dig them up.
You can line the bottom with normal or colored gravel. You should make sure that it has no sharp edges because goldfish like to dig and could otherwise injure themselves.
Demands Of The Goldfish On The Water Values
Temperature As A Challenge
In principle, goldfish in the aquarium are very undemanding with regard to water values. Unlike many tropical aquarium fish, you do not need a heater for your goldfish in the aquarium, because the cold-water fish is perfectly comfortable in temperatures up to 12 degrees.
It can also handle colder temperatures well at times, as evidenced by keeping goldfish in a winter pond. In fact, the maximum temperature is a critical factor for the goldfish in the aquarium. This should not exceed 23 degrees Celsius.
Especially in summer, this can be a problem that should not be underestimated, because water temperatures in an aquarium are more difficult to regulate downwards than upwards.
In case of emergency, cooling systems, more frequent water changes, or tricks such as frozen water bottles can help, but in long summers this can be expensive and cost a lot of time.
In any case, too harsh temperature jumps should be avoided, as this can lead to colds or respiratory distress in the goldfish.
If the water temperatures are right, the goldfish is adaptable and will do fine in almost any water. As with all aquarium fish, keep an eye on ammonium and nitrite levels, as they can break down to life-threatening ammonia.
Before you can buy your first goldfish for an aquarium, the tank must be well run-in after setup.
Only when the ammonium and nitrite levels have dropped to zero can the first inhabitants move in. You should also test the nitrite value regularly in the running aquarium, as it can rise due to excretions and food residues. Biological filter technology counteracts this.
Compared to water hardness, the goldfish in the aquarium is quite painless and can cope with most of the water usually coming out of the tap in Germany between 8 to 25° total hardness. Only extremely soft or hard water should be avoided.
The Species-appropriate Diet For Goldfish
Too Much Makes Ill
Not only in the aquarium goldfish are not food guards. They can eat practically at any time as long as food is available and hardly know a feeling of satiety.
In order to prevent unhealthy organ fatty degeneration of your goldfish and also not to harm the water quality unnecessarily, you should therefore limit the amount of food.
You should not offer your goldfish more than can be consumed in about one minute per feeding. You can feed small amounts several times a day instead of one large portion.
High Quality And Varied
High-quality flake or pellet food serves as basic food. You can also vary the food. Your goldfish in the aquarium will thank you for the variety.
You can supplement the conventional food with some lettuce, for example. Fast-growing aquatic plants are also well suited as supplementary fresh food.
For example, waterweed or floating duckweed can be grown in a separate tank and regularly thinned out for the goldfish. It is also worth asking other aquarium owners for excess plants.
Occasionally you may also spoil your goldfish with animal food such as frozen food or live mosquito larvae. However, do not make this a daily habit as this food is very high in energy.
Can The Goldfish Be Kept In Company?
Only For A Species Tank!
Goldfish are peaceful fish, which in principle can be socialized with other robust species with similar needs. However, only other coldwater fish are suitable for a goldfish aquarium due to their temperature requirements.
Most other species, however, grow even larger and are not suitable for aquarium keeping. It is, therefore, better if you decide on a species tank.
Anyway, goldfish offer such a large variety of species and shapes that you can create enough visual variety in a species tank if you want to.
Should You Get Goldfish In Your Aquarium?
Goldfish are a beautiful, calming sight in the aquarium with their numerous colors and shapes. However, you should not let this tempt you too quickly when deciding whether a goldfish aquarium is right for you.
Goldfish need space, which is why you need to buy and set up an appropriately sized goldfish aquarium to keep the animals happy. Also, keep in mind that too high water temperatures can become a serious problem in the summer.
Ideally, you should have a room for the goldfish aquarium that does not heat up too much even during hot periods. In case of emergency, you should also be prepared to actively lower the temperatures with a little effort.
If you can fulfill these two boundary conditions sufficient space and suitable water temperatures to the satisfaction of the goldfish in the aquarium in at least the next two decades, nothing speaks against setting up an aquarium for goldfish.
Because then the goldfish presents itself as a low-maintenance co-inhabitant, which can even build up a relationship with its owner.
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