Are you looking for a proper tank for your goldfish? Don’t get fooled by their small size, what begins as a little fish can quickly enlarge to the size of a dinner plate. This means that a 5 gallon tank can quickly become useless. Keep on reading as we’ll discuss what is the best tank size for goldfish, and how you should plan for their huge, mature growth.
What Size Is Best for a Goldfish Aquarium?
Prior to anything else, determine how many goldfish you want to keep. You can start out with just one goldfish and eventually keep two, three, or more. However, the more fish you have, the more space they will require, so keep that in mind. When they are only a few inches long, you can get away with 20 gallons per fish. Yes, this means that 5 gallon, and 10 gallon tanks won’t help you.
Why do you need a large tank? Goldfish are untidy fish with an insatiable appetite and poor feed-to-mass conversion. This basically means they produce a lot of ammonia for the amount of food they consume. Ammonia is the primary nitrogenous waste produced by fish and the first step in the nitrogen cycle. Since goldfish produce a lot of ammonia, adding more water to the tank will significantly improve your fish’s general health. Ammonia buildup in the water can cause stress or even death in the fish.
A 20-gallon tank is just the beginning, though! Expect to upgrade to a 50, 75, or even 100-gallon tank for one goldfish as they grow. It takes a lot of space for a standard comet goldfish to swim because they can get as big as a dinner plate, or up to 16 inches long. Fancy goldfish varieties don’t grow as big, and if they have trouble swimming, a significant tank upgrade might not be necessary.
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What Do Goldfish Need In Their Aquarium?
In order to thrive, goldfish need a lot of filtration and a spacious aquarium. Your filtration system needs to be a little bit bigger than what is advised for the size of your tank if you have a standard, long-body goldfish like a comet, sarasa, or shubunkin. Keep in mind that goldfish produce a lot of waste, so extra filtration is very useful. However, many fancy varieties of goldfish do not have strong swimming abilities, so strong currents from excessive filters can easily stress them out. The best way to achieve adequate filtration without overpowering water currents is to baffle or reroute filter outflows to your tank’s longest angle.
Your fish should be able to swim comfortably and easily turn around in the tank if it is long enough. Artificial decorations are permitted as long as they do not obstruct your fish’s ability to swim or turn around. Also, any caves you use should be temporary because your fish may outgrow them quickly.
You can keep live plants with goldfish if you properly quarantine them. They might introduce bacteria and parasites if they come from aquarium systems with other fish. A two-week quarantine in a tank without any fish will stop the life cycles of parasites. By adding a little aquarium plant fertilizer now, you can give your new plants a boost. However, don’t get too attached to your plants because goldfish are famously known as redecorators and plant eaters.
How Do You Know If Your Goldfish Needs a Bigger Tank?
Goldfish do not grow solely to fit their container. This is a myth. You can expect your fish to reach its full size in a few years if it is kept in the right conditions and fed well.
Poor water quality is the most common sign that a goldfish has outgrown its tank. An established aquarium may have nitrite or ammonia, which shows that your filtration system is unable to cope with your fish’s waste production. While you can temporarily increase filtration, a larger tank is a far better long-term solution.
A goldfish having trouble turning around is another indication that it is running out of space. Actually, small aquariums can cause some fish to develop spine curvature. Another indication that it’s time for a larger tank is when a fish’s tail hits the bottom during feeding time in shallow aquariums. Fortunately, as long as the fish were not kept in the old tank for too long, the spinal problems should go away once you relocate them to a new, larger tank.
Another sign that your fish is running out of space is bruises and missing scales. Until you can afford a new tank, you can buy some time by clearing out the decor and allowing your fish more space to swim.
Tips to Maintain Goldfish at Current Size
You must pay close attention to your fish’s diet if you want to keep them in their current tank and at their present size. Your fish will gain weight more quickly on diets high in protein than they would on a diet low in protein. Rapid growth can also result from overconsuming a low protein diet.
The optimal feeding technique for goldfish is to give them a pellet meal with between 30 and 35% protein. Your fish will need to be fed once or twice a day, depending on the water temperature. Feed your fish once daily if the temperature is below 74F (23C). If the temperature is above 74F(23C) feed your fish twice a day. Your fish will burn more calories swimming around if the water is warmer since it will speed up their metabolism.
Feed your fish a few pellets at a time during feeding time. Before adding a few more, let them finish the pellets they already have. After many rounds of light feeding or a few minutes, the majority of goldfish will slow down or cease eating. You should then stop eating. When feeding your fish, always keep a close eye on them rather than just throwing food in and leaving. It’s a good idea to observe your fish during feeding time to see how they behave and how hungry they are, as well as to determine whether anything seems off.
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