Fancy goldfish can be a beautiful addition to your aquarium and can also be very hardy. I had these beauties for about 8 years. One fan-tail lived for about that span, becoming quite large and having some vibrant colors. The other varieties can be quite interesting as well, but most of these fish can be a little clumsy on the surface; they do tend to hunt around for awhile before actually finding the food. Fancy goldfish delight in live plants such as elodea, and quickly feast on them in a matter of weeks. The only problem with this is that they may gobble them up before they have a chance to reproduce, which is saying something, since elodea is a fast grower. Goldfish can be very fun to feed, since if you keep with it, they will readily take food from your fingers. There are some important things to remember when keeping these fish:
#1: Always obtain them from a reliable dealer. The worst way to start off your experience with goldfish is to get a couple that are diseased; goldfish can be very difficult to cure once they contract an illness. Common ailments include the common ick and the dreaded dropsy.
#2: Goldfish must be provided with a good biological filtration system to thrive. Once, I went away on vacation and used an automatic feeder. Unfortunately, it malfunctioned and dumped way too much food into the aquarium, which quickly caused the ammonia levels to rise up. This weakened the fish, which contracted illnesses and, despite my efforts, died. A good powerfilter and optionally an undergravel filter is a good combo for maintaining biological stability. Also, when going away on a long vacation, a good idea is to have someone vacuum your aquarium water and check on your fish and equipment. With proper care, fancy goldfish can become wonderful wet pets. After some experience, try some of the unique varieties. They can develop amazing finnage and colors. Enjoy!
About a year ago, I started a small tank and, after having made multiple mistakes involving 2 goldfish and numerous tropicals in that one tiny tank, I am now 5 more tanks to the good and one of them houses those same 2 goldfish plus 4 more. I can't seem to stop buying goldfish now and have decided to make them my predominant species. I can't entirely give up on my tropicals, but I think I can cut back a little to make room for my sweet goldies. At present I have one male fantail (Foxfire), an oranda (Priestess), a lionhead (Puppy), a black moor (Onix), and two baby butterfly panda orandas who do not yet have names. A word of caution to those of you with algae problems with goldies: be EXTREMELY cautious if you decide to add an algae eater of any kind to your tank. My lionhead isn't the most rambunctious little fish and the Chinese algae eater, plecostomus, and gold mystery snail all saw fit to suck the slime coating, tail fin, and scales off of my precious little puppy. It took me forever to figure out what was happening to her, I thought she had some sort of disease. When solving algae problems with gold fish, I strongly recommend a gentle algae scrubber and a little, properly applied elbow grease.
I love the many varieties of goldfish. The lovely, graceful fins, the wonderful peculiarities, and gorgeous color combinations, including the coppery chocolate, a phenomenonal color! Fancies should be kept together according to type. For example, those who can't see well or are awkward, like pearscales because of their roundness, should live together so that all can eat. Orandas, ranchus and lionheads do well together. In my opinion, ryukins, among the most beautiful, should be kept segregated from other types, as they are often aggressive. I use a canister and a hanging filter; make up to 1/3 water changes every week, feed judiciously and variously, and am thinking of adding a UV sterilizer as a disease prevention measure. I also respect the 40 liter per goldfish MINIMUM requirement to keep good water quality, which is THE most important thing to do for goldfish to live long. It's work, but I don't mind. Goldfish can become rather personable and responsive, especially if they were procured from a high quality breeder and were raised healthily. They are so cute when they wiggle over to you and nuzzle the tank like puppies. It's a satisfying feeling when you open the door to your home, and they swim over to the side where you are and wiggle their greetings!
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