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How can we take care of a Goldfish?

My son won a goldfish at a carnival today, and I'm totally clueless!! I googled a few sites and they suggested a 20 gallon water tank (for ONE fish?!?!), daily cleaning of the tank, etc... we just don't have the money to do all of that!! Right now our friend "Giddy the Goldfish" is in a flower vase. We don't have ANY money... no joke. We can't afford to go out to the store and get fish food, let alone a tank and all that. If we can make this thing survive until the 1st of the month, we can do fish food then.

In the meantime, what can I feed it, and is it okay to stay in the vase, or should I move it? Something about oxygenation and surface area... idk. We're not looking to create a goldfish oasis here, just looking to teach my son a little responsibility and let him enjoy a fish for a few months or so... :)


Asked by livn4hevn at 11:05 PM on Aug. 23, 2009 in Pets

Level 11 (622 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (8)
  • Set some water out now in another container and let it set at least 24 hours and the chlorine will dissipate and the temperature will stabilize so you can do the water change. If the water looks cloudy change it right away. Otherwise change it twice a week. If you put clean rocks in the bottom do not clean each week them since they will harbor good bacteria. If anything just rinse them with cool water. Just a pinch of food - eggs, peas or crushed cereal (until you get real fish food).

    Answer by Keksie at 10:12 AM on Aug. 24, 2009

  • I don't know much about the food, but the bowl, well, I had a goldfish as a child in a little globe type bowl that got cleaned I think once a week, and that was just moving the fish into a regular bowl with some of the water, and washing out the bowl in the sink, no testing the water or anything. So I don't know for sure, but I think the sight you were on was a little overboard.

    Answer by Petie at 11:11 PM on Aug. 23, 2009

  • haha we came into a fish and threw it into the bird bath in the backyard... This was about 3 years ago and its still alive... Plus there is a few more back there.. We dont feed them they eat the gunk on the side of the bath... I think the vase is fine as long as its not super duper tiny.

    Also Ive heard they can eat different veggies.. Like peas and spinach.. You may wanna look that up so the little guy doesnt go hungry

    Answer by firethearson at 11:22 PM on Aug. 23, 2009

  • You don't need much. A vase is fine. You can decorate with a few rocks you find (and wash) from outside. Avoid plant life though. Fish food for a small jar runs about $1.39 here and the food will last longer than the fish! You can feed them cooked peas or other assorted fruits and veggies, eggs, bread, and crackers. Mostly just don't over feed it - just a little 1-2 times a day.

    Answer by Drewlove at 11:26 PM on Aug. 23, 2009

  • Gold fish dont require much, unlike some tropical fish. Their water temperature can vary so they dont need a heater. They do however, require a filter unless you plan on cleaning their tank twice a week. They are very dirty fish and can pollute the water very fast. You will also need water conditioner since they do not do well with tap water which has chemicals in it that are harmful.
    Good luck...

    Answer by youngfirsttimer at 12:17 AM on Aug. 24, 2009

  • Gold fish are super easy to take care of. The vase you have him/her in is just fine, but change the water OFTEN.
    If you can't afford to feed the poor fish, then get rid of it!

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:33 AM on Aug. 24, 2009

  • I've had fish for over 20 years and goldfish are just as difficult as other fish. Period.
    A goldfish won at a carnival is going to get at the very least 14" long. The rules for GF are 2 inches of fish per gallon of water. That cute little guy NEEDS a 28 gallon tank in order to live.
    It is a myth that leaving water out dispels chlorine.. water evaporates and that is it.
    Goldfish are in the carp family and naturally produce a ton of ammonia off of their body. If you put a goldfish in a vase, it will most likely die within a day or two due to ammonia build up. It will literally burn the scales off of the fish's body.
    Please pm me if you have any questions.

    Answer by mcginnisc at 2:21 PM on Aug. 24, 2009

  • i disagree that it is a myth that leaving out water gets rid of the chlorine..... i was a zookeeper and that's what we did to condition the water for all of the reptiles, inc. alligators, turtles, iguanas, etc. and i do that for my beta and my goldfish and i have had 0 issues using that method. the one time i did use a water conditioner it actually killed my beta that i had for over 3 years and i was very sad :( but anyway, if you have it in a small tank you will have to change the water more frequently than if you had it in a bigger tank, so just fill up some empty milk jugs and let them sit for 2 days before you change his water. at the petstore they feed the fish zucchini (raw) a lot, but since you have a small tank you will have to change the water right away. fish food is much easier.... maybe dig around in the couch cushions and see if you can come up with like $1? their food is really cheap, but either way, gl

    Answer by princessbeth79 at 8:47 PM on Aug. 24, 2009