Choosing Coldwater Fish as a Pet
Coldwater fish are fish that prefer to live in cooler water temperatures typically below 20*C. Therefore, they do not require a heater in their tank. These fish can also live in outdoor ponds, but they must be kept indoors during the winter.
This fish type tend to grow slower than tropical fish that live in warmer waters; but they are also quite hardy; and have longer life spans. They are quite easy to keep with some basic maintenance. The most common coldwater fishes are goldfish and koi fish.
Goldfish are available in many sizes, shapes, and colours. In short, it took breeders many centuries of selective breeding to create the countless different varieties of goldfish that we see today.
Common goldfish that can live in ponds are London and Bristol Shubunkins; Jikin; Wakin; Comet and some hardier fantail goldfish. Having plants in the pond is essential, as they act as part of the filtration system. In addition to this, they are also a food source for the fish. Plants in a pond also help to raise oxygen levels in the water for the fish to survive.
During winter, goldfish become sluggish, stop eating, and often stay on the bottom of the pond. This is completely normal; they become active again in the spring. A filter in a pond is important to clear waste and keep the pond clean.
Lifespan for Coldwater Fish
The lifespan for Coldwater fish like Goldfish & Koi is up to 10 years if they are carefully looked after.
- Yellow Goldfish (Classic Comets)
- Red Goldfish (Classic Comets)
- Classic Comet Shubunkins
- Classic Comet Sarasa
- Black Moor
- White Cloud Mountain Minnow (tropical or coldwater)
- Panda Moors
- Bubble Eyes
Goldfish are undoubtedly the best first pet for children. These fish are the most undemanding pet you could choose. They don’t require walking; no fear they’ll chew the sofa and minimum time required. All you have to do is clean their tank weekly and feed them once a day. We recommend goldfish for first time pets as they are low maintenance while nice and calming to watch.
Feeding your Goldfish
You only need to feed your goldfish once a day. It is important that you don’t feed them more than once a day otherwise you’re increasing the amount of waste your fish is producing; and also increasing the risk of over feeding. Remember your goldfish is an omnivorous scavenger which means it will eat anything so stick to only feeding the recommended amount once a day. After ten minutes of eating remove any leftover food from their tank. Provide a proper diet for your fish and it will increase their life expectancy and bolster their immune system.
We recommend you feed your fish high quality fish food once a day. As a treat you could feed your fish some frozen fish food available from Petmania.
Keeping your Fish Healthy & Clean
You should thoroughly clean your fish bowl every week. Have a net on hand to scoop out faeces or leftover food each day.
How to change the water:
- Catch your fish with a small net and place it in a smaller bowl full of room-temperature water from the original bowl.
- Empty the original fishbowl into the sink. Catch any rocks or other objects in a strainer.
- Rinse the bowl thoroughly with hot water, scrubbing the sides with a paper towel, if needed.
- Pour out the dirty water, and repeat with more hot water. This will help kill germs and bacteria.
- Clean your bowl using a chemical cleaner designed specifically for gold-fish bowls. Never use soap or detergent when washing a fishbowl.
- Rinse the bowl out thoroughly with cold water.
- Run cold water over the objects in the strainer (gravel, plastic plants) until they are clean. After that, return them to the bowl.
- Refill the bowl and let the new water sit for 24 hours to allow the chlorine in the tap water to evaporate and to bring the water to room temperature.
- Now you can return your fish to the original bowl.
Goldfish have a memory-span of at least three months and can distinguish between different shapes, colours and sounds. Fish respond to certain colours most evidently in relation to feeding. These fish learn to anticipate feedings provided they occur at around the same time every day.
Like almost any fish, goldfish are aware that they are prey animals. In order to feel comfortable, they need to have lots of hiding places, so make sure you put a fish ornament in their tank along with some fish plants and gravel.
Goldfish can be kept in the same tank as fish with similar care requirements and temperament, i.e. water temperature, size etc.
Take Me Home Checklist
If you are new to fishkeeping and are thinking of getting a coldwater fish tank, you will need the following equipment. Our OATA trained fish experts are on hand in store to help you to choose the right equipment; and are delighted to assist you in setting up and maintaining your fish tank.
- Fish Tank
- Tap Safe Water Treatment
• Safe Start Water Treatment
• Fish Net
• Fish Food
Remember – you will need to have your fish tank set up and cycling for 7 days before you add your new fish. See our section on water testing and acclimatisation for more information.