Why Goldfish don't belong in Bowls
For years now, pet stores have been selling goldfish bowls and telling customers that goldfish can live in them. This brings us to the following question. Do goldfish belong in bowls? This is false for many reasons. First, every goldfish needs at least 10 gallons of water. In order for your goldfish to survive, you also need great filtration and a healthy living environment.
The 10 gallons per goldfish rule. It's a simple rule but it is rarely applied. The fact that many big pet stores sell fish bowls and don't know much about fish in general is one of the major problems when it comes to an overstocked tank. Why goldfish need ten gallons of water can get a bit complicated. Goldfish are one of the messiest fish you can own. This is the major reason these fish need ten gallons. To elaborate, the waste they produce becomes ammonium which is very dangerous for any fish. If there's too much ammonium in your tank your fish will eventfully die. To get ride of the ammonium you can do two things. You can either do a water change or you can cycle your tank. The cycling of a tank is actually a natural occurrence. Your tank develops beneficial bacteria that can get rid of the ammonium in your aquarium. It will transform it into nitrites. These nitrites are also dangerous for your fish but thankfully nature gets rid of this toxin too. Nitrites becomes nitrates and these are not dangerous for fish as long as you do weekly water changes which is my next point. Once a week you need to change at least 10% to 20% of your water. To do a water change, you should use a gravel siphon. It will get rid of most waste that your filter hasn't picked up from the bottom. If you cycle your tank and do weekly water changes, you're off to a great start.
If you're going to keep your fish healthy you need a good filter. There are many kinds of filters. There's the underground filter, an under gravel filter is just a piece of plastic that sits on the bottom of the aquarium and lets water flow between it's plate and the bottom of the aquarium. There is a tube that is attached to this bottom piece, known as the intake tube. Gravel is placed on top of the filter providing filtration. Water is pulled down to the bottom of the tank, through the gravel, and then flows back up to the top. This allows the water to be filtrated and beneficial bacteria to be created. You also have the Power Filter. This filter is a chamber that sits on the outside of the tank and Hangs in the inside. In projects the water like a water fall. The water is pushed threw a filter cartage which is a kind of floss which stop debris from entering the tank. In this cartage their is also some carbon, it is used to get rid of some harmful toxins. You can also get a bio-wheel filter. It is just like a power filter, but the water hits a bio-wheel before it re-entering the tank. The bio-wheel is simply a rotating biological filter that removes ammonia and nitrite faster. These three filters are usually for smaller aquariums. If you have a bigger aquarium, let's say a fifty five gallons you need a more powerful filter. One of your options is a canister filter. This filter allows you to achieve maximum efficiency (biological, chemical and mechanical) filtration using a variety of filter media. You do this by using such things as carbon and other substances that allow you to store your beneficial bacteria. This design of filtration divides the media into different levels which contain baskets that allow you to adjust what type of media you have and the proportion you need. The canister filter is located outside of your aquarium. The last type is a wet-dry filter. It is also complete under-the-tank, the wet/dry filter once again offers mechanical, chemical and biological filtration for superior water quality. This powerful filter like the bio-wheel filter has a bio-wheel that removes nitrite and ammonia. It also like many other filters has carbon and additional media of your choice.
Now you know more about filters and the process that your tank will go through to be a living environment for your goldfish. Here are a few more things you need to know about goldfish. Besides the filter, you need a few more things. Goldfish need light just like us. You also will need light if you have live plants in the tank. You should leave the lights on at least 5 hours but no more than 10 hours each day. Fish do sleep every night and will get the best sleep when the lights are off. If you leave the lights on all the time the fish will still sleep during the day but they stay healthier when they are allowed to get some sleep at night. You fish also need extra oxygen. Even if there's oxygen in water it is a good idea to have an air pump. It will make an enormous difference. Many people think that all fish need is a heater in their aquarium. The fact of the matter is that a heater is not necessary when it comes to goldfish. Goldfish can live in temperatures of 78 Fahrenheit to just below freezing. When it comes to decorating the tank, it's purely your own preference. Gravel, decorative rocks, ornaments, and plants are the few choices that you have to make. You should avoid sharp objects in the tank that may end up cutting or injured your fish.
No fish will ever be able to live in a bowl. It doesn't contain the right amount of water and your fish will produce too much waste. But most importantly, your fish will not live for long and will be unhappy. Please, do us fish people a favor, don't keep your fish in a bowl.