Introduction: How to Make Your Goldfish Thrive @ Home

Picture of How to Make Your Goldfish Thrive @ Home

The goldfish bowl is an outdated fish torture device. Learn how to care for these fish properly.

Step 1: Tank Size

Picture of Tank Size

For (long bodied) common/comet/shubunkin goldfish you will need 200 litres (50 gallons) for the first one and 80 litres (20 gallons) for each additional.

For fancy goldfish (fantails,pearlscale,celestial etc) you should have 80 litres (20 gallons) for the first one and 40 litres (10 gallons) for each additional.

Long bodied goldfish and celestials should be kept in a species only tank.

Step 2: Filteration

Picture of Filteration

Like all fish goldfish need filtration.

You should buy a filter capable of filtering the tank water 10 times an hour.

So buy the most powerful filter you can afford.

You will also need to cycle the aquarium
This can take up to 4 weeks.

Step 3: Feeding

Picture of Feeding

A goldfish has a stomach about the size of its eye.

I would feed a small goldfish the amount it can consume in 2 minutes every day
and a large goldfish a larder amount daily.

Choose a goldfish food containing low amounts of flours and wheats and higher amounts of vegetation and meat such as worms and shrimp.

Step 4: Maintenance

Picture of Maintenance

# Do 25% water changes weekly using a siphon.

# Always use water dechlorinator. This removes the chlorine and chloramines. from the water.

# Add a little aquarium salt to help fight infection about 1 tsp per 20 litres (5 gallons).

# Wash out the filter cartridge in old tank water monthly. Do not rinse the cartridge so much that all the bacteria comes out of it, or you will have a re-cycle and your fish will die. Just rinse the cartridge a little so water flow is normal.

Step 5: Adding the Goldfish

Picture of Adding the Goldfish

Only add one fish a week so the filter can handle the bio load.

1. Float the bag the fish is in for 15 minutes.

2. Add 1 cup of your cycled aquarium water to the bag.

3. Wait 10 minutes.

4. Gently net the fish into the aquarium and discard the bag water.

Step 6: The End

Please comment, question and make suggestions so i can improve on my instructable.


goldfishandbetta (author)2015-01-07

My goldfish charlie and Jack will probably love it.

juicymoose (author)2012-01-15

yay thanks alot i have 1 black moor and organda and they are very happy!

gunman15 (author)2011-10-31

I'm getting some fish tomorrow, now im thinking bout some goldfish instead of tropicals lol.

fought piranhas (author)2010-03-05
Thanx!  I'm a new goldfish owner.  I have four beautiful, happy fat-belly goldfish.  I also have algae that makes my tank look dirty.  :(  Any suggestions on that, or should I just scrub it off at water change and quit my gripin'?
Grooby (author)fought piranhas2010-03-29

You might want to add Chinese Algae Eater fish to the tank one of the few cold water  algae eaters.
I found these in a fish Shop in Lower Hutt,  Wellington, New Zealand, it has been verry good cleaning the algae my tank. But dont know about other parts of the world.

I3uckwheat (author)Grooby2011-02-19

Every time i get an algae eater it just sits there and does nothing. i dont know why lol.

fought piranhas (author)Grooby2010-03-29
Thank you!  I ended up getting a  clown plecostamus, and he is doing a pretty good job on my algae. 
Grooby (author)fought piranhas2010-03-29

Cool, Now I should get another tank. just looked at at it and it looks like it would suit my tank better than my Chinese Algae Eater.  Thank you

fought piranhas (author)Grooby2010-03-31
No problem!   I have to tell you, though, you might not see much of your clown plecostamus!  Mine is SO shy.  He hides in a hole in my texas holey rock all day.  But, like I said, at night he does his job with the algae. :)  
Grooby (author)fought piranhas2010-03-31

My tends to hide as well but. he gets use to you in the room and starts cleaning away again.

Mirime (author)2010-03-31

about 6 years ago my sister got 4, 12-cent, feeder goldfish 3 died due to diseases and the last one is over 8 inches in length and is very picky about what he eats not mealworms but lots of crumbles and skeeter larva and he has a rubber duck named Spike to keep him from riping up the tank

sthealthraider (author)2009-07-31

the fish on the picture is sick D: it has cancer my fish swolowed too and died D: the owner of the fish store says it was cancer

manlyfish (author)sthealthraider2010-03-25

dude umm thats not cancer its ment to look like that

the fish in the instructable? the pearlscale? huh?

manlyfish (author)2010-03-25

i love how your fighting against goldfish abusement (even though i may have used feeder goldfish before...) and a full grown fish can go a week without eating just rember they are cold-blooded oh and being a cold water cypinid they need more space then tropical fish and they are very...messy

AquariumLover1976 (author)2010-03-02

I've been in the hobby of fish-keeping for four years now. When it comes to tank size requirements for goldfish, I've always followed the rule that applies to all goldfish species. One goldfish requires a minimum 30-gallon tank. Each additional goldfish added to the same tank increases the need for space by an additional 10-gallons.

 i do agree that it is good to have plenty of space..but i am 23 and have had goldfish since i was 6. by the time i was 15 i got into aquariums alot more. and by providing 5 gallons per goldfish it worx out till they are an adult. 5 gallons is plenty of room for a small goldfish. they grow quickly and even more quickly if you can afford to give them more room. you dont need a huge tank just for one goldfish however if you want to see it grow quick then go for it. i now make it a hobby to grow all kinds of fresh water fish.. especially goldfish and i keep most of mine in 55 gallon drums. but just having space isnt enough. you need to maintain their habitat. and you can find plenty of good ways on the net. so good luck with your tanks.

profquatermass (author)2008-10-29

Not strictly true. A goldfish has no stomach.

The food simply passes along its intestinal tract and what is not absorbed falls out.

So if you over feed your goldfish, you get masses of solid looking poo strings.
And as this hasn't had all the protein removed, it really pollutes the tank!

Most commercial goldfish food is designed for small young goldfish which do need a little higher than normal amounts of protein.

But once the fish is over say 3" in length, switch to a very low protein food like peas, etc. with animal protein fed only occasionally.

chuckr44 (author)profquatermass2008-10-30

The page below says goldfish have a stomach.

profquatermass (author)chuckr442008-10-30

If you read the page you refer more fully it also says on that page

"Fancy goldfish don't have a stomach like ours, it's more like an enlarged continuation of the intestine. "

or if you like a second opinion:

"food moves down through the esophagus to what would be the stomach if they had a stomach (which they don't). Muscles in the esophagus squeeze excess water out of the food. The goldfish intestional tract is a long tube."


"Goldfish differ from most tropical fish in that they lack a stomach, so they will produce more feces and wastes when an excessive amount of food is offered. Thus it is essential to feed them the proper amount of food and to regularly"


"Most unusual of all - even among fish - they have no stomach. "

I suppose some unknowing people call it a stomach because that's where the food goes first so surely it must be called the 'stomach'. :-)

Technically the first area after the esophagus (think throat) is called the "anterior intestinal bulb" in Goldfish. It's just gut. Not a stomach at all.

Koi are the same as are quite a few other fish.

With a goldfish, if you put in too much food, you get out food purée ;-)))


Goldfish DO Have stomaches! its a myth that their stomaches are the size of their eye and its a myth that they dont have stomaches. they have a stomach but its not like humans. their brains dont alert them when they get too full thats why they die what they are overfed. and yes i did alot of research on this and have asked some professionals at some of my local fish stores and they also have said that goldfish have stomaches

Sorry but you are still mistaken.

Yes it's a myth that they have stomachs the size of their eyes, just like it is a myth they have stomachs.

If you did a lot of research, then you'd be able to quote people, web sites and scientific papers that back you up like I did.

Sorry but saying you asked some staff in a fish shop doesn't cut it. It is well known that staff in local fish shops are usually non-qualified in any fish-based biology. But I'd be more than happy if you quote their name and cite their sources. :-)

Goldfish do not' 'have stomachs. Why do you persist in thinking they do?
All you have to do is walk up to a college or veterinary building and ask a Vet or fish biologist. They'll set you straight. :-)

maxiaxie (author)profquatermass2009-11-25

Now, goldfish DO NOT have stomachs. However, their intestines act like a stomach, filtering out nutrients. Just accept that.
And Profquatermass, stop acting like a baby and accept that some people believe urban legends. Do you believe that goldfish have 10-second memories? They don't. I've trained goldfish, koi carp and swordtails to respond to colours with different actions. My axolotls are now obsessed with the colour yellow that they attribute to feeding-time (though axolotls aren't fish, they're amphibians).

chuckr44 (author)profquatermass2008-10-30

Thanks for clarifying. I had never heard this before.

no they dont have stomaches but they do have intestins which work like stomaches, and it goes the same for koi

Of course they have intestines. I didn't say they didn't.

Tarantulady (author)2009-09-02

Did you know that goldfish bowls are illegal in some countries because it's considered cruel? I wish they'd do that in the US. Anyway, good job on this instructible.

profquatermass (author)2008-12-18

No I'm afraid you are wrong.

Did you not examine the URLs I gave below in earlier replies to cite my statement?

I repeat them here for you.

If you can find an authoritative source that backs your remark then I'm be only too glad to say you are right. :-)

does it really matter? if they do or don't have a stomache, they still poop a lot.

bassmonkey (author)2009-04-21

well done, i am a tropical fish dude, but everybody loves goldfish, you did a great yob (yes i did mean job)

chuckr44 (author)2008-10-06

Very good 'ible with good information for the most part. Some things need to be clarified, my comments below. First, I've had fish and shrimp since 2005. "A canister style filter is often considered the best." Not true. The best filter is the one you can afford, that works without breaking, and that moves water past the filter media. "You will also need to cycle the aquarium" True, but you didn't mention this takes 4 weeks. Some people claim it takes 2 weeks. But that's not true. "I would feed a small goldfish the amount it can consume in 2 minutes every second day." It's ok to feed them once every day. "# Always use water conditioner." Beginners, almost universally, would have no clue what "water conditioner" means and there are many products which claim to be "water conditioners". What this means is you should always use a dechlorinator that removes chlorine AND chloramines. "# Wash out the filter cartridge in old tank water monthly." Do not rinse the cartridge so much that all the bacteria comes out of it, or you will have a re-cycle and your fish will die. Just rinse the cartridge a little so water flow is normal.

profquatermass (author)chuckr442008-10-29

I'm impressed. You truly know your stuff.

Why not help us out at The Aquarium Wiki Encyclopaedia

Aqua-Man (author)chuckr442008-10-06

i have made the changes thanks

Doctor What (author)2008-10-06

Just thought I'd mention, the first fish looks like jello.

Aqua-Man (author)Doctor What2008-10-06


the first image is a pearl scale fish

if you think that weird have a look at the golf ball fish

About This Instructable



Bio: i like animals and saying weird things like are you speeling feshal today and i think you have drain bramage
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