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Common Myths About Goldfish Debunked


General Advice



The humble goldfish is often misunderstood, although they make awesome family pets, they are often plagued by myths that insult their intelligence, and individual personalities. There are also many myths out their surrounding their care and housing.

Myth #1: Goldfish only have a 3 second memory

One of the most common myths about goldfish is that they only have a three-second memory. The common joke that by the time a goldfish has circled a bowl it has forgotten doing so. But this is very far from the truth a goldfish can hold memories for up to five months. they are not as dim witted as they are often portrayed and have a sense of time and routine. This is why you might notice they get excited in the morning before you get the food container out. As like humans they have a sort of body clock so they can remember their daily schedule, such as feeding times and when they lights get turned off and on.

Myth #2: Goldfish can be kept in bowls

Although goldfish are capable of surviving in a range of conditions, a bowl is not an ideal home for any type of fish. Goldfish grow to be very large and also create a lot of waste. So it is important to keep them in an aquarium with a proper filtration system, adequate aeration, with a big enough water volume to handle the waste that they produce.

Myth #3: Goldfish only grow to the size of their tank

It is commonly believed that goldfish will only grow to the size of their tank. Although there is an element of truth to this myth, in reality the size of the tank does not stop the goldfish from growing but it build up of waste and ammonia from poor water quality can stunt their growth. When properly cared for, goldfish never stop growing. A 'common goldfish' can can grow up to 45cm long. The minimum tank size per adult 'common goldfish' is 112 litres. But different types of goldfish grow at different rates, so it is important to know what size your fish grow to before purchasing it and to make sure you can provide it with the proper care it requires.

Myth #4: There is only one type of goldfish

Although goldfish are all one species, there are many different varieties of goldfish. These different varieties are all the result of years of selective breeding for the various traits we see today. The most common varieties of goldfish you see are fantails, lion heads, ryukins, comets, orandas, bubble eyes, and commons. These varieties can be put into two main categories hardy goldfish, and fancy goldfish. Hardy goldfish are slim bodied and have a single tail, whereas fancy goldfish have an egg shaped body and twin tails.

Myth #5: All goldfish species can live together

People often believe that all types of goldfish can live together. But this is not the case, it’s best not to have hardy goldfish and fancy goldfish housed in the same aquarium. As common or hardy goldfish are faster moving, and often dominate the access to food. They often tend to bully the slower moving fancy goldfish. So it is better to pick either common or fancy goldfish and stick to one type to avoid bullying and excess competition.

Myth #6: Goldfish do not live long

People often believe that goldfish do not have long life spans, but unfortunately this myth has come about due to early deaths caused the lack of knowledge of their proper care and living conditions. When correctly goldfish are some one of the longest living fish you out there! They are able to live for several decades when housed in the proper conditions, some goldfish have been recorded to live for close to 50 years.

Myth #7: Goldfish can only live in cold water

People often believe that goldfish are only able to live in cold-water but this is not the care. They are capable of surviving in both cold and warm conditions, but the optimum water temperature is around room temperature between 18-21. As when temperatures are above 23 degrees, goldfish can become lethargic and overheat. If you have higher temperatures in your goldfish tank, make sure you have vigorous aeration.

When kept in appropriate living right conditions, goldfish are a fantastic sort of fish to keep. They are hardy, forgiving for first timers, long-lived, and are available in a range of colours and varieties. But just like any pet it is important to learn as much as you can about them before you go out and bring one home. But when properly cared for, goldfish are a great choice for any fish-keeper regardless of their level of experience.