Goldfish are cold-blooded and their metabolism rate depends upon water temperature. These hardy, freshwater fish belong to the species Carassius auratus.
Goldfish is a small member of the carp family. There are more than 500 species of goldfish found throughout the world. Some major varieties of goldfish are Bubble Eye, Calico, Black Moor, Shubunkin, Ryukin, Panda Moor, etc.
Goldfish requires subtropical to tropical climate. It lives in the freshwater bodies with a pH of 6.0-8.0, preferably 7.5. It needs a temperature range of about 40-90°F. A goldfish is about 3-6 inches in length. The largest goldfish can be 12-16 inches in size and about 3 kg in weight. Its appearance depends upon location, temperature, food and other factors. It has a paired pectoral and pelvic fins with one dorsal, anal and caudal fin. The average lifespan of a goldfish is about 5-10 years.
One of the most interesting facts about goldfish is the study of its vision. It is the most researched among all the other fish. By using a technique called "positive reinforcement", goldfish can be trained to recognize and to react to various colored light signals or to also perform tricks accordingly. Fish recognize their owners in relation to feeding. Certain methods if adopted everyday can generate a coordinated behavior from the goldfish.
Wild goldfish live in the lakes, ponds and other water holes. They can be found in still and moving water. They have darker and paler color shades.
Goldfish come in different colors such as gold, pink and bronze. They possess the sub-colors such as calico and metallic.
They are omnivorous. Their diet includes plankton, insects, detritus, larvae, worms, lettuce, plants, peas, tiny mammals, small birds, amphibians and reptiles. They need more carbohydrates and less proteins in their diets.
The reproduction cycle of goldfish is quite typical. It starts when the male fish mates with the female fish. Then, the female lays almost thousands of eggs. The eggs hatch within 48-72 hours. Breeding occurs in indoor pools or aquariums throughout the year. When in nature, it takes place most during the summer. No parental care is seen. These fish become sexually mature at the age of 2. However, their period of maturation depends upon sufficient nutrition, water temperature and some other envir
Goldfish usually tend to live in groups. If they are released into the water in nature, they breed very rapidly. Their large population can disturb the native population. They are considered to be pests for other fish population. They are ideal as an aquarium fish.
If you wish to keep the goldfish in the aquarium, then you should be very careful about its feeding, cleanliness and maintenance of the aquarium. You need to use a good water preparation chemical. Since goldfish doesn't like to live alone, keep at least two goldfish in the aquarium.
They display an amazing appetite and as such can gobble up how much ever you give them. Avoid overfeeding the fish and add only enough quantity of food to be eaten fully within 2-5 minutes. Beyond that it will just result in polluting the aquarium with fish excreta.
To provide variety in their food, you can also feed them mashed peas (skin removed) and blanched leaves of vegetables. As a delicacy, brine shrimp and spirulina are good for the digestive system of the fish.
They normally compete with others of their kind when it comes to food. There are faster varieties like common, comets, etc., that can easily finish all the food before other fancy varieties can reach it. Hence, care should be taken to combine only those that have a similar body type and swimming characteristics.
In general, the ocean rule says that small fish serve as food for larger ones. This stands true in case of goldfish as well. Fish bigger in size like the 'pike' and the 'perch' prey on them. When in a pond they easily fall prey to fish-eating birds due to their attractive color. If you have a pet cat or raccoons at home, care should be taken as goldfish are one of their favorites.
"Memory of a goldfish" is a phrase often used jokingly to define short memory span. On the contrary, they have rather, a good memory span of 3-4 months and sometimes even more. This fact is proven by many scientists around the world.
Goldfish should never be kept in small bowls. They need a spacious environment with high oxygen levels.
Goldfish are also considered to be lucky and to bring good fortune to the ones who own them. So, if you wish to own a goldfish and pet it in your household aquarium, you should instantly go for it without wasting much time.