We interrupt this weeks regularly scheduled programming for a brief anatomy lesson.

You may be surprised to know that goldfish-care takes a lot more than just buying a bowl and filling it with water (if you are an ethical caring person, which… as far as I’m concerned, every pet-owner is obligated to be). In fact, goldfish require a tank, aeration, a powerful filter, and nitrogen-cycled water (which can take a month — we’re on week three of cycling our empty tank right now [yes, I’m getting goldfish again, I’m very excited]). Another aspect of goldfish keeping that’s important is understanding how the anatomy of your goldfish affects its life. Many people buy goldfish and want to add different types of freshwater fish to the tank, but that’s highly discouraged. Goldfish are one of the highest ammonia producing fish out there, and it creates a large bio-load on the tank (which is also why they require so much space; 20gal per fish is relatively standard). Goldfish are happiest and healthiest with their own species.

Telescopes, for example, may swim slower in the tank than a ryukin because of their large eyes. All fancy goldfish will swim slower than comet or standard goldfish because of their modified body shape, meaning they won’t be able to reach food as fast and could be bullied by the faster fish. Bubble-eye and celestial goldfish shouldn’t be kept with other fish because they swim so slowly, and the tank decorations shouldn’t have sharp edges or bubble eye’s eye-sacks could be punctured. Fancy goldfish can have more swim-bladder problems as well (balance in the water/floating to the surface) because of their modified body shape, so making sure the water is safe and balanced with a freshwater test-kit and proper feeding techniques should be used.

There’s a lot more to goldfish keeping, but I just wanted to share some information. There’s a ton of misinformation about goldfish out there, and many people think they’re a simple and easy fish to keep, but they will live a very short and painful life if cared for improperly. Fancy goldfish can live 10-20 years when they’re well looked after!