July 9, 2020
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1100 Ozark Fisheries Road
Stoutland, MO 65567

2195 State Road 37 North
Martinsville, IN 46151

Toll-Free: (800) 775-3474
Phone: (573) 381-0062
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Goldfish Information » Goldfish Health

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Goldfish Health

Goldfish are living animals - they require plenty of space, clean tempered water, oxygen and food to maintain good health.

The number of goldfish you may keep happy and healthy in an aquarium or bowl, depends entirely upon the surface area of water in your aquarium or bowl, size of bowl and aquarium, and the size of the goldfish. A good rule to follow - not less than 2 quarts of water for each inch of the body length of fish (don't count the length of the tail). Too many fish, or too large fish in too small a space is probably the greatest cause of loss because the goldfish use the available oxygen faster than it can be reabsorbed thru the surface and suffocate. If your goldfish come to the surface gulping air after frequent water changes, your aquarium is overcrowded. Remove one or more fish, and place in another container, or get a larger bowl or aquarium.

Goldfish will thrive in a wide range of temperatures, provided the change is gradual. Best temperature range from 65 to 72 degrees.

The cooler the water, the more oxygen it will hold or absorb, and the fish breathe less. As the water temperature increases over 70 degrees, the fish consume more oxygen, and the water will absorb less. An aerating pump and airstone is good insurance.

Goldfish should never be subjected to sudden changes in water temperatures - from cold to warm, or warm to cold. Their body thermostats do not react fast enough and they become shocked. Death may occur within a few hours.

Most any water fit for human consumption is okay for your goldfish, provided, that chlorine is removed. There are a number of de-chlorinators available today - either in liquid or tablet form - that will instantly remove the gas and make it suitable for your goldfish.

Goldfish, like any fish, require an abundance of oxygen. They get their oxygen from the water by passing it through their gills, just as we get oxygen by breathing air into our lungs. If the water is low in oxygen, or contains toxic gases such as chlorine, carbon dioxide, etc.. the goldfish will soon die.

Some water does not contain sufficient dissolved oxygen to maintain life for long. Water from the tap or deep wells is usually deficient in oxygen and should be aerated. Aerating your water not only helps increase the oxygen level for your goldfish, but helps to remove excess toxic gas such as chlorine or carbon dioxide.


If you have used proper precautions to remove chlorine from the water, provided a home large enough for the size and number of your finny pets, not over-fed or made sudden changes in water temperatures, you should be able to enjoy your pets for months and years. It is not uncommon for goldfish to live 10, 15 or 20 years, and their beauty increases with age.

While goldfish are not exempt from sickness, disobeying the laws of nature kill more goldfish than diseases.

If your goldfish appears listless, and the dorsal fin (the large fin on the back) folds up, it may be sick. One of the best home remedies is a salt bath. Prepare a salt bath by adding a tablespoon of plain, non iodized salt in a quart or so of water. Dip the goldfish from the bowl, and submerge in this salt bath for 20 to 30 seconds, then replace in the bowl.

Aquarium salt is available at most pet counters which is free of chemicals that might harm fish such as iodized, free flowing, etc.

Water quality for your goldfish aquarium or pond can be measured by the levels of ammonia and nitrites in the water, as well as your pH level. If any of these factors are not correct when introducing goldfish to a new or existing system, you will have problems.

As long as your goldfish swim happily beneath the surface of the water or dart to the surface after their food, you can be sure everything is alright.

If the goldfish come to the surface gasping for air, or the water turns milky or foul, your aquarium is overcrowded, you have overfed or a condition injurious to the goldfish has developed. Change water at once - as an added precaution give a salt bath, using one teaspoonful of salt per quart of water instead of one tablespoonful.