Goldfish are inexpensive to keep and relatively little time and effort needed to look after it. However they do not provide a great deal of companionship.

A goldfish needs 

  • Companionship - to be with other goldfish
  • To be fed goldfish food once a day with occasional bits of vegetable and live food such as daphnia (water fleas)
  • A big aquarium or pond, not too shallow, with a large surface area
  • Clean gravel at the bottom of the aquarium
  • To be placed away from direct sunlight and to have some overhead cover in a pond
  • Left over food to be removed after feeding
  • The aquarium water regularly changed, gravel washed and sides of the tank cleaned of algal growth (which is seen as a green 'slime' on the tank sides)
  • A ventilated aquarium cover to reduce evaporation and to provide protection from cats
  • Suitable cold water aquarium or pond plants
  • Artificial lighting or plenty of top light to encourage plant growth
  • Rocks and objects with smooth edges for cover and hiding
  • Removal of large numbers of autumn leaves from its pond
  • Part removal of ice from frozen ponds, but never with hammer blows
  • To be looked after at holiday times
  • Your time and interest for the rest of its life

Fact Sheet

25 years

Sexually mature
8-12 months

In season (When female is fertile with eggs and can be made pregnant)
April-September monthly spawning

Eggs laid
Many thousands

Gestation (Length of pregnancy)
Eggs hatch in four to fourteen days according to temperature

Fish should not be caught and moved by hand as this is very distressing for them and is likely to damage their scales. A large smooth net should be used if it is necessary to move them

Goldfish live in the wild in groups called shoals. They should be kept in the company of other goldfish

Health problems

Oxygen starvation
Caused by not enough dissolved oxygen in the water. Oxygen supply can be made better by changing the water, cleaning out the aquarium or pond, adding plants and using an air pump

Fungus disease
Indicated by white tufts on the body. Can be treated by adding an anti-fungus medication to the water

Trailing brown thread from the body. A more varied diet is needed, including vegetable matter and live food

White spot disease
Caused by a parasite (a tiny living thing which lives off other living things) which produces white spots on the body. Cures can be obtained from most pet shops

Remember if your pet is showing unusual symptoms bring it to your local vet.