Recent Posts

April Featured Fish: Goldfish


This month, let’s talk about goldfish. They’re an iconic pet fish. Many people have brought home a goldfish at some point in their lives, and there’s a good reason. These freshwater fish tend to be relatively easy to care for and brightly colored.

Let’s take a look at what makes goldfish unique and how to care for them.

Goldfish tolerate a wide temperature range

Unlike many other freshwater fish, goldfish are temperate, meaning they can live in warm or cool water. Because of that, you don’t have to heat their aquarium and can simply leave it at room temperature.

They come in many beautiful varieties

Multiple veiltail goldfish

There’s more than one type of goldfish, and not all of them even have the classic gold coloring. They can have different sizes, fin and tail shapes, and other distinguishing features. A few goldfish varieties include:

  • Veiltail
  • Fantail
  • Comet
  • Bubble eye
  • Lionhead
  • Celestial
  • Black moor
  • Oranda
  • Ryukin

They’re hardy and grow a lot

As long as you know fishcare basics, goldfish tend to be survivors. They’re not too picky about water conditions (that’s not to say you should be lax with water quality; it just may not kill them as quickly as other fish).

What some people may not realize is that given enough food and space, goldfish can actually grow much larger than their initial size. Some varieties grow as long as twelve inches, though the fancier types tend to be smaller, and the common goldfish reaches about six inches. They need at least a twenty-gallon tank, and it’s best to provide about ten more gallons of water per additional fish.

Lionhead goldfish

The goldfish in a bowl trope might seem cute, but it’s not enough space for these fish.

You can feed them a variety of foods

Goldfish are happy with pretty much any food you give them. Flake and pellet foods are common fare, but you can also give them brine shrimp. Here are a few food suggestions for your goldfish:

They sift through aquarium gravel

This can be a pro or a con depending on how you look at it. Some fish keepers find that goldfish sifting through the gravel makes the water cloudy, and then they consider these to be “messy” fish. But because they dig through the substrate for food, they actually help to keep the tank a bit cleaner. You may just want to provide filtration to keep the water clear.

Calico goldfish and black moor goldfish

Here are a couple aquarium filter options:

For each of these, you’ll also need Aqueon Large QuietFlow Replacement Filter Cartridges, which get changed every four to six weeks.

If you’re unsure which size aquarium filter is best for your tank and fish, you can come into The Tye-Dyed Iguana in Fairview Heights and ask our staff for recommendations.

Goldfish are often sold as feeder fish

In addition to being kept as pets, the smaller, more mundane looking goldfish are often used as feeder fish for larger carnivorous fish.

Come into The Tye-Dyed Iguana to check out the goldfish varieties we have available.