Factors to Consider Before Getting a Goldfish

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

For thousands of years, goldfish has been bred as a pet. It was in Asia where goldfish was first bred purely for enjoyment. Breeders would produce the finest goldfish based on its colors and pattern. Most goldfish sold in pet stores are bred in captivity. Goldfish makes an excellent pet because they are fairly easy to maintain. As long as the fish tank is clean and they get sufficient food, goldfish will thrive and live for years. However, before getting your own pet goldfish, keep these important factors in mind:

The Right Tank

Contrary to popular notion, goldfish cannot live in a fish bowl. In China where goldfish were originally domesticated, goldfish lived in large ponds. They are only viewed from the top, much like how koi fish are kept in Japan. The fact is, keeping any type of fish in a fish bowl is downright cruel. Although the fishbowl has clear glass for easy viewing, this containment is not designed with the health and welfare of the animal in mind.

For one thing, most fishbowls are so small; they do not provide enough room for the goldfish to swim. In addition, the design of the bowl is not ideal to fit a water filter. As such, the goldfish is left to swim in its own filth. If you plan to get goldfish as pets, get a large tank, one that’s fitted with a filter for clean water.

Life Span

For such small breed of fish, goldfish has surprisingly long lifespan. With proper care, a goldfish can live up to 10 to 20 years. Even more surprising, the oldest goldfish in the world died at the ripe old age of 43 years! If you plan to get goldfish as pets, know that caring for these animals require commitment.


Although goldfish are small compared to other breeds of fish, they need more room as they grow. Some breeds of goldfish can grow to about a foot or longer when they reach adulthood. The smallest species of goldfish can reach about six inches when fully mature. Do note that if the goldfish is not given enough room to grow, it will not reach its fullest size. To achieve their fullest size, the goldfish must have proper housing and a healthy diet.

The Price

Common goldfish, which is literally the most common of all goldfish breeds, are inexpensive and resilient. They can live up to 30 years or more and will reach about 24 inches in length. But fancy goldfish, which comes with longer fins and unique colors, are more expensive than average goldfish. Although caring for a goldfish is a relatively inexpensive hobby, collecting rare and/or fancy breeds will cost you more money.

Water Quality

Water quality is a critical part of your pet’s health. To maintain the best water quality, you’ll need to install the right filtration system to the tank. Just like any type of pet fish, goldfish require a filter to eliminate waste in the water. Goldfish, in particular, are voracious eaters. They produce a lot of waste that needs to be filtered out. A filtration system is also important to keep pollutants away such as ammonia, nitrates, and phosphates.