All About Goldfish - Simple Rules For Success

Goldfish keeping is not hard.  Discover how easy it is to have an aquarium or pond full of thriving fish.

Veiltail Oranda Goldfish.  Care requirements are high.Veiltail Oranda Goldfish

Last updated: 09-16-2023 by Grant Lord

Everything you need to know about Goldfish keeping; feeding, breeding, diseases, varieties, aquariums or ponds, this is the place to find it.

With over 45 years of experience, we can give you tips and secrets that experts and pet shop owners like to keep to themselves.

Most enthusiasts want to do more than just meet the basic needs of their fish.  If you're like me, you want to keep them in the best possible environment so they live a long and comfortable life.

And the longer you keep them, the more you realize that they have personalities and a memory far longer than 3 seconds!

5 Simple Rules To Keep Goldfish Successfully

By following these 5 simple rules you will avoid the most common problems new Goldfish keepers experience.

Rule One - Buy healthy Fish

Fish in pet stores tend to be kept in overcrowded, less than ideal conditions.  A stressed fish is more at risk of succumbing to disease.

You must quarantine newly purchased fish for at least two weeks.  Assume it has a disease and don’t mix it with others until the quarantine period is over.

More on how to choose healthy Goldfish

Goldfish Doctor mobile phone App on Google Play and Amazon Appstore.

Rule Two - Change Their Water Regularly

Even if you are running a filter, water quality drops over time because filters don't remove all toxins such as nitrates which are the bi-product of biological filtration. 

Watch Goldfish visibly perk up after a water change.

They are big eaters and produce a lot of waste compared to the average tropical fish.

More on water changes

Rule Three - Feed a Variety Of Foods

Goldfish, and especially the fancy varieties, require a balanced diet with lots of live food.  If you only feed your fish dry prepared foods available from the pet shop, they won't grow as fast, have as much color, or live as long as those fed a balanced diet that includes live food.

More on feeding Goldfish

Rule Four - Goldfish Need Room To Grow

Goldfish grow large in the right conditions.  It is a myth that they only grow to the size of their containers.  The reasons why they usually don't grow very large in bowls are because their water isn't changed often enough, they are fed poor quality food, and the oxygen levels are low because of the bowl shape.

I have seen very large fish in a very small aquarium because the owner changed the water every few days and an aerator was installed.

More on how much room Goldfish need

Rule Five - Don't Mix Varieties

By this I mean don't mix telescopic eyed Moors with single tailed Comets.  Guess who always gets to the food first?

Keep single tailed varieties together.  Keep twin tailed varieties together and keep any varieties that don't have normal eyes such as Moors together.

This stops the more developed varieties from slowly starving in an aquarium with mixed varieties.

Careful Regular Observation

Carefully observe your fish often for changes in appearance or behavior.

By noticing small changes early, you can quickly sort out any problem before it becomes a major health issue.

Goldfish Breeding Has Been Happening For Centuries

Goldfish have been cultivated by humans for centuries.  Starting with a drab silver gray fish the Chinese, then the Japanese transformed it through centuries of selective breeding into what it is today.  They now come in many colors, fin variations, body shapes and eye types that can rival the most exotic tropical and marine fish for beauty or bizarre looks.

After keeping them successfully for a while, thoughts turn to starting your own dynasty.

Breeding Goldfish is a fascinating (and often frustrating) hobby.  But having an aquarium or pond full of healthy, thriving, high quality fish that you have raised from eggs is very rewarding.

Information on the Web is Not Perfect

The Internet is a fantastic source of information.  Answers are quickly provided to questions asked in one of the many search engines.  Sometimes this information isn't quite as accurate as it could be.

For example, one fish website informs us that “after around two weeks, Goldfish fry (babies) are large enough to eat infusoria and newly hatched brine shrimp”.

Unfortunately inaccurate on both counts!

Fry can eat newly hatched Brine Shrimp and infusoria as soon as they have become free swimming, which is 1-2 days after hatching.

Why is this important?

Because the first two weeks of life are the most important for fry.  If they are stunted through poor or inadequate food at this early stage, they won’t ever catch up.

Unfortunately the Web makes anybody with a website an expert. Bad advice can go viral, spreading from site to site until it is taken as fact.

But how can you tell fact from fiction?  Easy, by making this site your first stop for information about Goldfish.

We only give advice that is based on many years of personal experience.

You Too Can Become An Expert

My definition of an expert is someone who has made mistakes and learnt from them.  I’ve made a lot of mistakes.  You can learn from the mistakes I made when first starting out keeping Goldfish.

These are simple mistakes everyone makes, but they often cause enthusiasts to give up fish keeping for good.

You can become an expert by using this website or the e-Book and learn secrets that the professional breeders and pet shop owners don’t want you to know.  Everything you need is right here: 

  • Know what to look for when buying fish
  • Find out which varieties can be kept together and which are not compatible
  • Keep them in the most suitable aquarium
  • Feed the best food and in the right quantity
  • Learn how to breed them, start your own dynasty
  • Discover how to raise fry to adulthood; breeding them is the easy part
  • Treat diseases; most are easily treated with cheap household chemicals. 

If you have just arrived home with a plastic bag full of fish, and want to know how to care for them, go to the page that explains how to introduce your fish to its new home

If you are doing some research before you purchase any fish, excellent start!

Go to the page on pre-purchase checks that discusses what to look for when making a purchase, especially from a pet shop.  It discusses compatibility issues and getting your precious cargo safely home.

Let’s start at the beginning…some basic information about Goldfish.

Top of Home page

Related Pages

Goldfish showing early signs of sickness

Goldfish Diseases Are Easily Prevented and Usually Treatable

Goldfish diseases are usually caused by poor living conditions but most are easily cured if caught in the early stages.

Bowls are not suitable for goldfish because their surface area is too small.

Goldfish Care | How To Avoid Basic Mistakes

Goldfish care is easy, but most goldfish die because their owners make basic mistakes, often thinking they are doing the right thing for their goldfish.

Celestial fry at 5 weeks

How to Breed Goldfish and Raise High Quality Fry

To be done successfully, Goldfish breeding requires the right preparation. That preparation starts in the prior autumn with lots of live food.