Caring for the Goldfish Bowl

My blogger buddy Jan over at the Poodle and Dog blog presented an interesting topic – how to care for one fish. Like the one fish you get as a gift, or win at a fair. The one that comes in a little bowl with no instructions.

Let’s take the most common 'one' fish, the goldfish. Many people arrive home with this funny, active creature, excited to have a new pet in the home. But, more often then not, they end up sending him the way of many others before, down the lonely road of a flushed toilet.

Keeping the fish alive, however, is possible. First, you need a couple of things: Food specially formulated for goldfish, and pure, clean water. There are several products that are relatively inexpensive you can buy to create the clean water. Tap water conditioner, or betta bowl conditioner for example, will easily do the trick.

When you first get the fish home, change the water in the bowl. Take the fish, and some of the original water, and put it in a container such as a plastic cup. Discard the rest of the water, rinse out the bowl with some hot water, and refill with new tap water. It is important when refilling with new water to try to match the temperature of the original water. Fish do not do well with sudden temperature changes, and it could cause shock ultimately killing the fish. If want to go the extra mile and use a thermometer, then go for it (just make sure to wash it off well before you were to use it somewhere else).

Once you have clean water that is about the same temperature, add some of tap water conditioner (follow the directions on the bottle). This conditioner removes harmful chlorine and other additives in the water that are harmful to fish.

After a few minutes, you can poor the fish back in the bowl. Pouring back some of the old water isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as some of the good bacteria that are in that water will be with the fish.

Make sure to feed your fish the proper food formulated specifically for goldfish to keep them healthy.

Fish give off a lot of waste, and basically have to live in their own filth. The wastes they secrete produces ammonia, which is toxic to the fish. Therefore, it is important to make the water changes mentioned above as frequently as possible.

Even after doing all of these things, however, you could still end up losing the fish. The reason is that you don’t know how the fish was treated before you received him, and how sick it might be when it arrives in your home.

Happy Fish Keeping!