Goldfish are some of the most remarkable creatures in the world, although they may not seem like it. They can be trained how to do tricks, push levers for food, tell time, and even remember their owners, tankmates and other information for months!
They are much more enjoyable than some people give them credit for. However, none of these things are conceivable if they are not adequately cared for, provided an adequate aquarium or if they are living in an inhospitable environment. It is our duty as their owners to give them a life where they can thrive!
What kinds of aquariums are on the market today?
Aquariums are available in various shapes, sizes and material. They generally range from the small fish bowl (usually starting at 2.5-gallons) to a much larger aquarium (they can be found up to 210-gallons).
Let’s dive in to the various fish tank sizes and which size is a better fit for you!
Fish Tank Sizes:
A 2.5-Gallon aquarium is hardly an “aquarium” at all. These tiny fish bowls are not recommended for goldfish of any size. In fact, they are hardly suitable for any living thing, the exception being if you were interested in growing a live aquarium plant.
The 5.5-Gallon aquariums are more suitable for fish breeds that must live alone, the Betta Fish is a good example of this. However, if you are planning to only own a Betta Fish then you should consider buying a larger tank so that he will be healthier, more comfortable, and overall happier.
Aquariums that are 10-Gallons to 20-Gallons are recommended as the “starting point” when considering goldfish as pets. There should never be more than a solitary goldfish in these sizes, and these aquariums are not recommended as long-term homes.
If you only wish to own a single goldfish, and they are still small in size, then, by all means, purchase an aquarium that falls in this category. However, you should be prepared to buy a larger tank as he grows.
30-Gallon aquariums are an even better option for a single goldfish or for two small goldfish. While they are small, two goldfish may do well in this size, however, you should be prepared to purchase a more suitable tank.
If you are interested in having happy and healthy goldfish then you should follow this rule of thumb: Each goldfish requires a minimum of 20-Gallons of water. Following this rule means that two healthy goldfish can live happily in a 40-Gallon aquarium (minimum).
50-Gallon to 60-Gallon aquariums is recommended for three goldfish (four small goldfish). If you are interested in having six to eight goldfish then you should be looking for aquariums in the 120-Gallon and 160-Gallon range.
The extremists that would like a large amount of goldfish and other inhabitants should be seeking a special 210-Gallon aquarium.
When trying to determine which size is right for you, there are multiple factors to consider. One of which includes how much space do you have for an aquarium.
If you only have room for a 40-Gallon aquarium then do not expect to bring home 10 goldfish. If you have a large amount of space to work with then you may be able to own more goldfish in a larger tank.
Fish Tank Shapes:
Another factor to consider is what shape you want your aquarium to be. They come in various shapes including hexagon, rectangle, and bowl shapes. You may be interested in an aquarium that is hexagon shaped simply because it isn’t very common.
However, these tanks can be hazardous to certain goldfish breeds. This is especially true of any goldfish breed that is considered delicate, such as the Bubble Eyed Fancy Goldfish and the Lionhead Fancy Goldfish. These goldfish would be much happier in a rectangle shaped aquarium.
Rectangle shaped aquariums are recommended for goldfish in general because they provide more surface area for swimming, growing as well as more oxygen in the water.
However, if you are dead set on owning a hexagon shaped aquarium and haven’t decided on your goldfish yet then you should steer clear of the delicate fish and check out the hardier goldfish breeds such as the Common Goldfish, the Comet, and the Shubunkin. These breeds are agile swimmers and have slender bodies that are not as delicate as other goldfish breeds.
Avoid aquariums that have more height than they have length, especially if you plan on owning goldfish. Goldfish require surface area as opposed to depth. This is yet another reason to choose an aquarium that is rectangle shaped.
Fish Tank Materials:
Aquariums can be bought in glass or acrylic. Glass aquariums are scratch resistant, less expensive, non-porous and will not turn yellow. However, they are considerably heavier. Acrylic aquariums are lighter, however; they can scratch easily, are more expensive, may distort the visualization, and can become yellow over time.
Wall mounted aquariums vs. Standing floor aquariums:
Wall mounted aquariums are a great option if you are limited with floor space. They are compact, and designed beautifully. They are also in a perfect location if you are concerned with safety of young children or the elderly. However, they are much more difficult to clean than aquariums on a stand.
They usually require someone to stand on a stool to clean it and that can be dangerous for the owner and others around them. These aquariums are usually smaller than stand aquariums and therefore, they can be contaminated quicker (and then needing to be cleaned more often). Wall mounted tanks can only contain certain species of fish. Naturally small fish may do well in this design, whereas fish that can grow quite large would not thrive as much. Wall mounted tanks are much more costly.
Floor stand aquariums will use potentially valuable floor space, are not as compact, and are a standard design. However, they are a better choice for most species of fish because they provide surface area, room to grow, plenty of oxygen and room to swim. If you are considering owning goldfish then a floor stand aquarium is the way to go.
What breeds of goldfish can I own?
There are approximately 125 different goldfish breeds. Only 15 of these fancy goldfish are commonly available here in the United States. If you are willing to pay the money, then you can technically own any type of goldfish that you desire, as long as you provide the corresponding environment. The only limitation is whether or not the fish you are interested in are fast swimmers or slow swimmers.
Goldfish are naturally docile creatures and are hardly ever aggressive unless they feel highly threatened. However, feeding time becomes a great competition between the fast and slow swimmers. This is a competition that slow swimmers will never win. Therefore, choose similar swimmers for your tank.
If you are interested in slender goldfish such as the Comet, then you can include Shubunkin Goldfish, Common goldfish, and other Comets in the aquarium.
If you take an interest in the Ranchu Goldfish, then you should consider the Lionhead, Oranda, Pearlscale or other “handicapped” goldfish. This will ensure that there is little to no competition during feeding time.