The most common coldwater fish is the gold fish and this fish has to be the most neglected fish on the market. This is because most people believe that you can just put a gold fish in a bowl and it’ll live for years.
Now you maybe thinking I did this and my gold fish lived for 3 – 5 years. So what’s the problem? Well the problem is that gold fish can live for 30 years in captivity and the smallest breeds can reach a size of 7 inches, while the largest breeds can reach a size of 18 inches.
It is important to keep the above information in mind as we are dealing with medium to large fish that produce massive amounts of waste when selecting your aquarium to house the gold fish you are going to buy. Of course bigger is better, so it’s worth getting the biggest aquarium you can one, afford, two place in your home and three maintain. Maintenance is made easier by housing your fish in a larger aquarium.
You should also ensure that the filter on your tank is more that capable of turning over water of at least twice the size of your aquarium per hour. For example in a 80 litre aquarium you filter and pump should turn over 240 litres per hour minimum. This helps to remove back toxins from the fish water.
A basic filter will include a sponge. If possible you should use a filter that uses bio-media as well as a sponge. Bio-media helps grow good bacteria for you tank. This will help lower nitrates and ammonia levels.
Now that you have purchased the tank that meets the requirements to keep the number of gold fish you want, it is time to decorate! Decorating the interior of the tank is the fun part. There are many,many different styles to explore. First things first, you need to choose a substrate. The substrate in a coldwater aquarium isn’t as important as it would be in a marine aquarium but this does not mean you can put anything you please in the bottom of your tank. The substrate in your aquarium will become a growing field for bacteria and this is important for the healthiness and stability of the tank.
The most popular substrate choice for a coldwater aquarium is gravel. Gravel is the most popular choice because of the array of bright colours that it can be purchased in. Another benefit of gravel is it is easy to clean with a siphon. You can simply push the siphon into the gravel to remove the waste that lies below, you can do this comfortably knowing that you are not going to remove your substrate from the bottom of your tank.
So now that you have chosen the substrate of your choice it is time to decide whether you are going to use real live plants or artificial plants. If you are looking for the easy route, you should choose the artificial option. You can purchase some great artificial plants that look very life like. You can plant artificial plants where you like in your aquarium, they are easy to clean and eliminate the need for fertilizer. Artificial plants will not use any oxygen in the aquarium. When purchasing artificial plants, please be aware of sharp edges, as this could cause a lot of damage to your fish.
Live plants help create a natural environment for your fish. They look great when well looked after. When purchasing live plants you need to be careful of snails, if your not you could find that your aquarium is overrun with snails within a few months. Live plants can help to reduce the nitrates in the water and they can act as a second food source for your fish. This sounds good but no one wants to look at a dying plant.
You’ve now added the substrate, plants and any other decorations of your choice to your aquarium. Now its time to fill the aquarium with water. Once full you need to turn on your filter.
You should now add your water conditioner. This will remove any toxins and metals from your water. We recommend that you wait 24-48 hours before adding your fish.
Before purchasing the fish that you desire please research their dietary requirements. It is possible to house fish that have varied dietary requirement but you must ensure that you have the right foods for your fish. Some of the fish you purchase may be herbivores, you cannot keep these fish if you are just going to feed the tank meat protein.
So what coldwater fish are available? We’ve spoken about the goldfish but there are number of other species of fish available. These fish fall into the bracket temperate. Temperate fish are a great alternative to goldfish.
Fish such as the Pearl Danio and Zebra Danio can tolerate temperatures in the mid 60’s. White Cloud Minnows also do well at lower temperatures.
Guppies and some Barbs such as the Golden Barb can also do well at lower temperatures. So remember when selecting your coldwater fish, you are not limit to just goldfish.
Do not buy your fish all in one go. Your aquarium will need time to cycle. For your first stocking of the aquarium we recommend that you only put a maximum of three fish into the tank. This will prevent an increase in ammonia, potentially causing your fish to become ill or even die.
Please note this is not our favored method as the water could be carrying pathogens. You can also test the aquatic stores water to ensure there isn’t too much difference between your water conditions and theirs. Option two pour the fish into a net allowing the extra water to flow into a bucket. You can then gently place your fish into the aquarium. We believe this to be a safer way of transferring your fish.