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Goldfish: 3 Myths Debunked

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Goldfish – the red/orange, happy-go-lucky pet that's content to spend its days swimming in circles. While the above perception of goldfish is a common one, it's one of just many myths surrounding these beautiful creatures. Below are three more common myths about goldfish and the facts behind them.

Myth #1: Goldfish Are a Great Starter Pet for Small Children

Fact: If a parent doesn't have the inclination or the time to properly teach the child about goldfish care and supervise it, it's best to hold off on getting one for until the child has more maturity.

Goldfish, just like any other house pet, require regular interaction and care. They need a lot more space than many realize (20 gallons for one goldfish) and because they're such social creatures, they're happiest in groups. Goldfish who live long lives usually have varied diets to meet all of their nutritional needs, and when those needs aren't met, goldfish can even get ill and require veterinarian care.

Myth #2: Goldfish Only Live for a Couple of Years

Fact: The average goldfish, when kept in proper conditions, can live for five to 10 years, but some have been known to live for a few decades!

While wild goldfish can live much longer than pet goldfish, it doesn't mean your goldfish is doomed to live a short existence. With the proper setup, diet, and veterinarian care, your goldfish can live a long and happy life. For the best odds of survival, it's important to have a tank that utilizes a filter, and it's also important that the water's pH balance be tested frequently to ensure suitable levels.

Myth #3: Goldfish Can Only Live with Other Goldfish

Fact: While not every fish is suited to live with each other, there's no reason that goldfish cannot live with other fish, as long as they have the same environmental requirements.

Goldfish are freshwater fish, so fish of the saltwater variety are obviously a no go. Other requirements include fish that can live in the same pH balance and water temperature, which is 6.0 to 8.5 pH and 55 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively. Minnows and danios are good companions, but make sure that neither is too small in comparison to the goldfish or they will become prey.  

Goldfish are wonderful creatures and can make amazing pets, but only under the right conditions. To learn more about goldfish care, consult with a veterinarian who specializes in fish care and treatment.