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The Goldfish Gazette, Issue #075-Care During COVID -19
March 26, 2020

Goldfish Care Tips

A Free Monthly Resource For Goldfish Enthusiasts
March 2020
Issue #075

In This Issue
Care During COVID - 19

COVID - 19 doesn't affect our Goldfish directly, but it may affect the care we are able to give them.

Care During COVID - 19

With the rapid spread of COVID - 19, this issue is a little earlier than usual, and not about the planned subject Feeding, which will be covered in a later issue.

The care we give our precious pets is based on the assumption that we have unlimited access to electricity, water, food and medications.

This may not be the case going forward.

With possible interruption of services and access to supplies, I have listed the key areas that are likely to be affected, and how to minimize the danger to our fish.


Filters must remain on continuously to provide food and oxygen for the large numbers of beneficial bacteria living in them, but electricity cuts do happen.

If a power cut is longer than 4 hours, disconnect the filter (remove a sponge/internal filter) otherwise it will pump billions of dead bacteria into the aquarium when the power comes back on, which will cause an ammonia spike shortly after.

Four hours applies if your water temperature is around 20 C (68 F), and your filter isn’t needing a clean. If water temperatures are higher, halve the hours.

If your water temperature is below 20 C and your filter is clean, the hours can be extended to 6.

If in any doubt, disconnect/remove the filter.

Clean the filter ready for when the electricity is restored. Fill it with clean aged water from the aquarium (put sponge/internal filters in a bucket) but don’t reconnect it unless you are sure the electricity will be restored within say 24 hours.

If the electricity isn’t restored within 24 hours, keep refreshing the filter water daily until it is restored. Use a bacteria booster such as API Stress Zyme® when the filter is running again.

Water Changes

Regular water changes are the difference between having few health problems with your fish, and not.

The trick is knowing when, and how much of a water change to make. You don’t want to be making unnecessary water changes if water is in short supply, nor do you want to make too few water changes which will lead to health issues.

The topic of water changes was covered in last month’s e-Zine so I won’t go into details here, suffice to say you need a water test kit to take away the guess work.

It may be beneficial to remove gravel and ornaments and have a bare tank as they are easier to keep clean. Put any live plants in pots as they are useful for removing nitrates.

Rainwater can be caught and stored in plastic (not metal or galvanized) containers but add a handful of salt before using it as rainwater contains insufficient minerals for fish life.


The number one medication all Goldfish keepers should have is salt. Plain 100% pure un-iodized cooking salt available from any food store for a few dollars. The salt should contain no other additives such as pouring agents. The label should say 100% pure salt.

The most effective solution is 0.3%, or one tablespoon per gallon or 3-4 grams per liter. This solution will be effective against bacterial and fungal attacks and protozoan parasites. It isn’t effective against flukes.

The salt should be added over a 24-hour period, one third immediately then one third in 12 hours and the last third 12 hours later.

The second medication needed is a Praziquantel based medication that will kill internal and protozoan parasites and flukes. API General Cure is Praziquantel based and is filter friendly.

With these two medications, you can cure 95% of Goldfish illnesses.

I would suggest not adding any fish to your collection unless you practice rigid quarantine procedures such as assuming the fish are carrying parasites and treating accordingly.


Gel foods such as Repashy Super Gold or Soilent Green are ideal if you are able to boil water. You can make up only what you need, and you won’t get any digestive or swim bladder problems. The powder will stay fresh until needed.

Dry prepared foods do go stale a few months after opening. I recommend feeding smaller amounts more often to avoid digestive problems, and always include some greens such as kale, spinach, shelled green peas or broccoli. Start feeding them these now so your fish become accustomed to the change in diet.

Live foods are also important for the fancy Goldfish keepers if feeding dry prepare foods. Examples are earthworms, mosquito wrigglers, daphnia, blood worms, tubifex and white worms.

Apart from tubifex worms, all the other live foods can be cultivated.

Read more about live foods and their culture here…

Finally, if you do have any concerns regarding your fish don’t hesitate to contact me directly.

Be safe, and assume everyone has the virus.

Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this e-zine and tell me what you think, or what topics you want covered.

Next Month's Topic

Feeding Enough?

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