No, this post isn’t literally going to tell you how to kill your fish! Rather, it’s actually a response to an article that I recently read that pretty much did describe how to do just that – kill a goldfish in a few easy steps. I realize that the intent of the original article was probably meant to be helpful, but unfortunately the majority of the advice that was given was pretty far out there.
If you would like to read the original article, “Learn How to Keep a Fish Alive,” you can do so here, at Every College Girl. Here is my explanation of the two points that frustrated me the most about the original article.
1. “When adding water to the fish bowl, don’t take it straight from the tap.”
Okay, so technically this is great advice – you should never add straight tap water to your fish tank set up. Untreated tap water will contain Chlorine, harmful heavy metals, and often Chloramine. However, my first bone to pick is that it is promoting the use of a fish bowl for a goldfish. Goldfish can’t live in a fish bowl. Period. It’s not a matter of if it will kill them – it’s a matter of when it will kill them.
Next, the original solution for making the tap water safe was to leave it out in a jar for 24 hours. This will not work to make the water safe! The Chlorine may disappear, but allowing the water to sit out will not get rid of Chloramine or heavy metals – both of which can easily poison your fish.
2. “Don’t clean out the tank, like ever.”
Excuse me, but what!? You have to maintain a clean tank – that’s one of the fundamental things that you agreed to when you took on the responsibility of keeping fish. Would you like to swim around in your own sewage? And second, fish don’t eat their bacteria. However, despite the fact that the original article had a very far-fetched explanation of the beneficial bacteria in your fish tank, I can see where this piece of advice originated from.
When your fish tank originally cycles, you are promoting the growth of a colony of beneficial bacteria. Once established, the bacteria are what keeps the Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate levels from sky rocketing and killing your fish. When you clean out a fish tank, you don’t want to remove large portions of the bacteria colony by cleaning too many of the hard, porous surfaces at one time - if you do, you will initiate a mini-cycle. Check out “How to Clean a Fish Tank,” for more information.
In conclusion, if you’re going to get a goldfish please don’t follow the tips offered in the original article! Instead, make sure you’ve done your research on how to properly care for goldfish before making the commitment. This includes purchasing a large enough fish tank, conducting frequent water changes, treating tap water with a quality water conditioner, and offering them a nutritious diet that doesn’t solely rely on goldfish flakes.
When I do water changes, I like to use Prime to condition the new tap water that I’m adding. I always treat the total amount of gallons in my fish tank, not just the amount of water that I’m replacing. For instance, when I do a 50% water change on a 50 gallon, I use the entire capful of conditioner to treat both the new and pre-existing fish tank water - not just 25 gallons.
If you would like to purchase a bottle of Prime, you can do so HERE.
Download my FREE guide that will help you troubleshoot your aquarium. You'll learn...
How to get rid of pest snails
What to do when fish gasp at the surface
...and much more