Did you know that your goldfish can live for over 10 years? Under the right conditions he can live even longer but most never make it past the first year! If you want your goldfish to live long and healthy lives, you've got to provide the proper environment.
It's a common misconception that a goldfish can live in a tiny bowl. In order for him to survive for any length of time, you'll need to do frequent water changes and cleanings of the bowl – that's a lot of work and living in a bowl is not much fun so it's best to keep your fish in a regular tank with a proper filtration system.
The size of your tank depends on how many goldfish you want to keep in it. A good rule of thumb is to allocate about 7 gallons of water per fish, so if you want 5 goldfish a 35 gallon tank is recommended. It's better to keep fish in a long tank that has plenty of surface to air space as goldfish like to have a lot of oxygen in their water. A tall hexagon shaped tank will not be the best tank for these fish.
Goldfish like their water to be a little on the cool side – between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit so in most cases a heater is not necessary. You should, however have a thermometer in the tank and take the appropriate measures if the temperature gets above 72 degrees as higher temperatures can make your fish more susceptible to disease. Bear in mind that most other tropical fish like their water on the warm side, so you will have to be careful what fish you put in the tank with your goldfish.
Provide the goldfish tank with a filtration system that is appropriate for the size of the tank. If you are keeping the fancy tailed goldfish, do not use a system that will provide too much current as this can make it difficult for them to swim around. You'll also want to provide periodic water changes as you should with any tank.
One of the main reasons that fish become sick is due to poor water quality. To keep your goldfish healthy, make sure you provide the filtration and water changes but also be careful about overcrowding and overfeeding. Too many fish or too much decaying food and waste will cause the water in your tank to become toxic to your fish.
Keeping goldfish can be a wonderful hobby and with minimal work, you can get a tank up and keep it running with healthy fish.