Won a goldfish at a fair / carnival ? Help here!

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Site Team
Apr 4, 2012
Northern Colorado, USA
First steps in keeping a "prize" Goldfish.

Goldfish are animals which live in water of course. :)

Water from the sink or faucet is chlorinated / treated with things to make it safe for people to drink, with chemicals often Chlorine and Chloramines. These are NOT SAFE for fish.

The additives in water kills them, in essence burns / destroys their gills which are used to breathe oxygen and they can no longer get enough oxygen and will die a suffering, painful death.

If you want super detailed information about keeping your water safe learn here...

If you now are the keeper of a new pet Goldfish you can use plastic gallons of spring water for the fish because the chemicals are removed. **Do not use high alkaline water or distilled water.

There is a very good dechlorinator which treats the tap water and it is called Prime water conditioner.


Especially in the summer many water companies use chloramine to kill things in the drinking water to make it "safe" for drinking. Some dechlorinators do not treat Chloramine. It is a extra strength chemical which lasts longer in the water than chlorine.

Some well water may contain heavy metals or other contaminants (hoping not, but possible) and those are harmful to fish as well.

There are many fish water treatments which will handle Chlorine and Chloramine which is great for a start.

If you can, a minimum size tank would be 10 gallons to start but if you have the ability a 20G long tank (or larger) would be so much better for the fish. And it will, before too long need a bigger tank anyway.

Keeping a Goldfish in a larger tank means that the safe water quality which is critical for your pet to live a better life, is easier with more water.

Tiny amount of water, equals huge chance for deadly errors since there is less water volume. Large amount of water means you have more room in the learning phase of fish keeping.

You can sometimes find a tank at a resale, thrift store, Restore or on online classifieds, sales and giveaway sites. **Check for leaks before putting it inside the house.

If you can't do that financially, a plastic tote could work. Often you can see the gallons listed on the sides. It must be clean and not have kept cleaners and chemicals in it which could harm the fish. You can use vinegar to clean with a fresh sponge or wipe rinse until you can not smell the vinegar and rinse a few more times to be safe.

A new fish needs proper basic care.

An Air pump and filter are very beneficial for a goldfish. A fish "bowl" would be an emergency container for it, not a home. This type of goldfish can get over 12 inches long, obviously not in a little bowl though.

Here is an article which helps you learn about caring for fish. There are other links regarding fish keeping there, and many more at the link below this one.



Signing up to be a member here is free. You need to be 13 or older (or you will not be able to join personally until 13, a parent or guardian can help you learn. And reading and I believe you can search past topics /questions as well, just not ask questions.)

The fair Goldfish /GF which gets very large gets longer in their body size than a fancy GF and here is an article which talks about GF size.


Additionally, getting the new fish used to the water in the new tank, is something which many people forget about.

Article regarding acclimating the fish to the new water...
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Others with helpful insights add in any other helps.

And parents of children who won fish it is alright to be mad, irritated, disgusted or secretly delighted to get a fish because you have wanted to keep fish yourself.
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It's that time of year again.

Hello new goldfish pet owners.

Welcome. It can be a tough start and so much to learn so quickly. Fish really are fabulous.
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