Goldfish care

Goldfish care

Welcome to the world of goldfish! The goldfish is a freshwater fish and is a small, domesticated member of the carp family which is native to east Asia. The goldfish was first domesticated in China over a thousand years ago, with distinct breeds developing since then, varying in size, body shape and colour.

The Common Goldfish is the most popular pet for aquariums and ponds, and they only differ in colour from their closest relative — the carp. They come in a variety of colours including red, orange, white, gold, yellow and black. There are many other breeds of goldfish with different body shapes and different fin and eye configurations too. Each type of goldfish has its own specific requirements, and we're focusing on how to care for the common goldfish that you're most likely to have as a pet at home. 

Before choosing a goldfish as a pet consider the following:


As cute and pretty as your goldfish can be, you must not handle them. They have a slimy coating that protects them from bacteria, toxins and harmful substances — and if you touch them you will probably risk damaging it, and this can be life threatening to the fish. It is vital that you try your best not to do this — even a gentle brush may cause an upset to the slimy layer. 

Other conditions can affect their protective coat too, such as changes in the water temperature or a difference in chemicals. 

So however much you love your goldfish – you must not touch them.


Much like humans goldfish need their sleep! You will need to have a regular schedule so that the aquarium has a certain amount of light each day. Fish don't have eyelids so they can't shut off the light, but they need to rest so a good amount of time with the lights out will help them have a good nights sleep. You may find that you turn your lights off when you go to bed — so this would be the perfect time for your fish to rest too.

Living conditions

You must maintain a steady water temperature in your goldfish's aquarium. Their health can be compromised if the temperature drops below 10 degrees Celsius, so ideally you need to keep your water temperature between 20-24 degrees Celsius. If the temperature in your house considerably drops on a day to day basis it might be worth installing a heater into your tank. 


Be sure not to overfeed your goldfish as they will eat almost anything and don't know when to stop! Keep a regular feeding pattern of twice a day and this should make sure they're given enough food. You'll need to make sure you are going to be around to feed them. They'll eat anything from goldfish flakes and granules to fresh fruit and vegetables, so as long as you can give them a bit of variety, this should ensure they have a healthy diet and are able to thrive. 


Your goldfish will need a good amount of space to move about, swim and play in their tank. This will keep them happy and will give them a chance to behave as they normally would. Without ample space, they won't be able to thrive.

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Pet care advice