I just wanted to post a word of advice regarding our lovely oranda friends. I have a large tank with 5 orandas and one blackmoor who are doing well with the addition of live plants and a good filter. I ran into a situation with my oldest red cap oranda. As you know they tend to bottom feed and are very curious about the tank bottom. I had a medium size gravel on the aquarium floor. One day I came home and found that my sweet oranda (Baboy) had swallowed a rock and was unable to expel it on his own. I was extremely concerned and called a number of aquariums for some advice but to no avail. My fish was tiring and I had to take matters into my own hands. My fiance and I removed him from the tank and held him upside down and then gently massaged the rock forward. We were then able to remove the rock easily with tweezers. We were able to successfully remove the rock without injuring him, but it was a stressful and traumatic experience for both the fish and myself. In most cases gold fish will be able to expel small rocks on their own, but my fish managed to do this another three times and the rocks had to be forcefully removed! I quickly changed to sand and I would advise fellow keepers utilize sand over small gravel or rocks to avoid this situation.
I recently bought a 150 L tank and stocked it with 15 goldfishes - telescopes, ryukins, lionheads. During the process of setting up the tank, I learned some very valuable tips which others might find useful too. For one thing goldfishes are messy fishes which mean they produce a lot of ammonia, the healthy one at least. So if you do not intend to buy a decent filter, ie the canister type, then please do not keep goldfish. They will die eventaully from dirty polluted water. They also require a tank at least 75 L and it is always advisable to keep more than two. Once you have a bigger thank then you can keep more number of goldfishes in it. So if you are thinking about keeping goldfish in a bowl, do the goldfish a favor don't buy. The little guy will more than likely die from the bad enivornment. The other mistake people make with goldfish is that they feed them too much, so the more you feed them the more ammonia they produce. So just feed them once or twice a day with food that they can consume within five minutes. As long as you follow these simple rules, you will have happy and healthy goldfishes. I keep both tropical fish and goldfish and in my opinion goldfish beats tropical fish hand down. They swim gracefuly through water and they embody that classy look. I saw some comment on grotesqueness of fancy goldfishes. I, personally, believe that breeding of certain types of goldfish like bubble-eye and certain kind of lionhead should be stopped. The uniqueness of bubble eye does not serve any purpose to goldfish except it has been breed for human enjoyment. Furthermore, the bubble eye is filled with fluid not air so in the event that bubble burst imagine the consequense to the goldfish. So if you feel certain breed of goldfishes are bred unnaturally then please do not buy them. If no one buys them then the fish farms of the world would have no market to sell them. Putting the serious stuff aside, goldfish is a demanding fish but provide grace and beauty to your house. The chinese even believe they bring good luck.
I have an orange Comet Fantail goldfish that I think of as my "King Fish" and he's been with me for at least 4 years now. I'm now in a position where I've learned more about goldfish and fish in general. Growing up, like most people, I just figured goldfish were put in goldfish bowls because that's what you're supposed to do. I didn't know any different or better and I think the same can be said for the vast majority of people. My little guy has grown and I know he needs a new home because I don't have the space in my little studio apartment for a 100 L tank to house him properly. He's at least 5 cm long in the body now, with an additional 5 cm of flowing fantail. Even his fins have grown to be fantail-like and he's a very charming, active fish. His coloring is noticeably changed, he's going from bright orange to gold. So I'm looking for an adoptive parent who has a large enough tank or pond so he can grow and live long and prosper (:. I've gotten attached to him so it's not an easy task. But I have to consider his needs and, to me, he's not disposable. Now that the internet exists and educational webpages can be created, the public will learn that goldfish are not the best first fish for a kid, to be put in a small bowl and die in their own waste. Personally, I like the comet fantails and am perhaps a traditionalist in that sense. I don't find the boogly eyes and lumpy heads attractive and that's my own preference. I do think it needs to be emphasized for public education, though, that goldfish require large tanks in order to live out their lives healthy and happy. If you don't want to eventually have at least a 100 L tank for your mature goldfish, then don't get one.
When I was younger I started out in the fish keeping hobby with feeder goldfish. I had some that lived for 10 years in a big tank! I worked my way up and for the past 7 years I've been keeping tropical fish. For a long time all i had were tropical fishtanks. But a year ago my dad and i took on a project of building a pond in my backyard(a BIG project!) It is 1500 gallons and i thought it would be the perfect place for some goldfish! I now have 3 beautiful fancy goldfish in my pond(and am planning on purchasing more next spring.) I think that goldfish are the most happy in a pond. My fish swim and play and eat a whole variety of foods that they would never be able to get indoors. they're already bigger than i ever had any get to be in a tank. They've grown 5 inches over the summer! I think they are truely happy living with the frogs in the great outdoors!
I was bitten by the Fancy Goldfish bug a year ago, when I started working for my LFS. While I'm not taken with some of the stranger varieties like Celestials or Blubble Eyes, eh, to each their own. Now I suffer from the "just one more" syndrome and have several tanks going. I'm a sucker, I can't help it. A cute little wriggly butt ends up going home with me every time. A properly cared for Goldfish is a person's best friend. Fancy heads with wrens, or strange eye structure are very delicate fish and do require that their tanks be catered to them. Nix the bowl! And please, whatever you do, do not put your Betta (Siamease Fighting Fish) in with your Goldfish! Despite all the rumors you hear of people doing it sucessfully, it is just not a good idea. A Betta is truely a tropical fish and should have some form of water warmth while the Goldfish is a true cold water fish that would much rather belong to the polar bear club. I say this because most misinformed folk attempt to place a feed fish in a tiny tank with a Betta because the Betta is "boring" and doesn't swim around much. That is the nature of a Betta folk. Most often these little tanks are not well maintained, and due to the nature of the Goldfish metabolism, two fish in them end up killing both.
To me the common variety is by far the prettiest. I currently have 4 in a 200 L tank, the largest is about 25 cm. They share their home with a betta, a Cameroun fan shrimp and a banded peckoltia. They are very powerful looking when chasing down a piece of food and seem to love bananas. They are a very hardy fish, who will spend hours chasing each other around the tank. Mine seem to recognize me and will swim to the side of the tank where I am standing to beg for food. I find them very interactive and have trained them to eat from my hand. Overall I think these guys are the best fish to have.