At some point or another, we fish-lovers will undoubtedly experience our beloved Goldfish kicking the bucket. Cashing in his chips. Taking the last train to glory. You get the picture. And the first sign is often seeing your finny friend floating at the top of the aquarium. Unfortunately, this is usually the first hint of tank trouble we actually notice.
After all, Goldfish are part of the carp family, a brood well known for its resistance to dirt naps, since they’re actually quite hardy. Flex those fins, Skipper! But this is of little consolation when your two-legged littlie is crying, your cat is licking his lips, and you’re thinking, Darn it, he was quite a catch.
The good news is, there are ways you can prevent your Goldfish from turning up his fins. And the best place to start, is to look for early warning signs.
Symptoms of a sicky fishy can include:
- Cloudy eyes
- Not interested in food
- Lethargy and not swimming about
- Erratic breathing
- Ragged or torn fins
- Spots, growths or ulcerations on the skin
If you spot any of these signs on Nemo, it’s time to test the water and take steps to fix it:
Keep temperature consistent.
Common Goldfish – or extraordinary ones, like yours – can live in non-heated tanks, but really don’t like fishy variations or extremes in temperature. So, you’ll want to make sure his tank is out of the direct sunlight, and not near a heater or air conditioner.
Swap your bowl for a tank.
The traditional, spherical Goldfish bowl is not really the top-of-the-line home, for Anchovie. Because the surface area is typically quite small, the water may not be getting enough oxygen. A tank is a much better option. Not only is it easier to clean, but you can let more oxygen in, using a small pump.
Don’t overfeed Oscar.
Take care not to stuff little Flash silly. Believe it or not, Goldfish actually don’t have stomachs, so food is basically processed straight through their bodies. If they’re overfed, poo-poo builds up. And if this isn’t cleaned up, it will rot, releasing deadly ammonia. Uneaten food left to float around should also be removed, to stop it from fouling the fish tank.
Keep your tank clean.
Cleaning your aquarium is critical to the wellbeing of your Goldfish, as is the water’s pH level. A pH of between 7.2 and 7.6 is ideal, and don’t worry – you can monitor this scientific stuff using a small test kit. If you notice a sudden sink in pH, all is not well in little Atlantis, and you may need to increase the oxygen level and make partial water changes.
Replacing about 15-20 percent of the water each week is a fish-tacular idea, to prevent the buildup of toxic chemicals. A good water conditioner will also keep the water nice and balanced for Jaws Jr. Live, healthy aquarium plants can additionally help reduce the chance of toxic buildups.
So, as you finned out, maintenance is the best thing you can do to keep your little carp alive and swimming. Spending a bit of time on TLC will not only help your Goldfish, but also reward you with hours of relaxation in front of your underwater world. Gloop, gloop!
Need more fish-sistence? Paddle around our website, beginning with maintaining your aquarium, and don’t miss our helpful videos that can make all your fish care go swimmingly. You can also head to our Blue Planet site for even more fins and fodder – we’ll hook you up. So, dive in!