Out of all the goldfish species, the Ryukin goldfish has a large hump in its body that rises up right after its head. This species of goldfish was man mad decades ago in the country of Japan. With the unique cosmetic appearance of the Ryukin, it is very popular in the aquarist community.
Goldfish are sometimes considered to be beginner level aquarium fish but there are very high levels of expertise where aquarists showcase their goldfish. The Ryukin is a common goldfish to build up the Beauty and appearance for these fish shows.
Basic Care for Beginners
The Ryukin species of Goldfish is a very hearty fish and easy to care for. The most common mistake done by aquarists is housing them in too small of aquariums. This fish loves to move around and has some girth to its body. A 20 gallon aquarium is advised to be used as a bare minimum size the the Ryukin. I would even personally recommend larger for better results.
Based on preference, you can get a Ryukin in a variety if colors. The very popular pure white, calico, orange, blues, and black. It really is the most diverse species of goldfish as far as color variations. Fish pond owners love these bright vivid colors on their fish and that’s why the Ryukin, Shubunkin, and the Koi are common favorites. All of these species easily grow 10-12 inches long making them great for pond habitat.
Food and Nutrition
All goldfish are omnivores and strong eaters. A relentless schedule of searching for any food to eat on a vigorous cycle. A goldfish kept in an aquarium could easily just eat itself to death.
Over feeding is a big time killer when it comes to goldfish. As humans, out only connection with fish is when we feed them. As we feel better about feeding our pets, we are also killing them when not done correctly. Feed a goldfish numerous times a day in small amounts in which they can consume in around 5 minutes or less.
Don’t be afraid to step outside the fish food spectrum. Thing of what a goldfish would eat in natural living habitat. Insects, plants, and worms they especially love. Common fruits and vegetables that humans eat can be fed to goldfish as well. Make sure not to leave pieces of food not eaten in the aquarium though. Decaying food causes nitrate levels to rise which in turn starves oxygen of the water.
Messy & Waste
Goldfish are naturally messy creatures. With the amount if food they feed on daily, it only makes sense for the waste and feces level to be high. This is why small aquariums don’t work out well with goldfish. The water volume versus waste coming in is not good for water oxygen levels.
High powered filters are always advised for goldfish aquariums. Don’t e afraid to buy an over sized filter. Bigger is better when it comes to water clarity. There are some alternatives to help keep your goldfish tank clean too. Live plants that absorb lots of ammonia will help the water by producing oxygen back into it.
Roommates & Tank mates
All fish get lonely be themselves and the Ryukin goldfish is no exception. It’s usually top priority on a new aquarists mind to get a new “friend” for their goldfish. Finding a friend for your goldfish is a great idea but you need to account for the extra needed space. Almost all goldfish species get to around 10 inches long and that means they need room to grow and move around.
The minimum size tank for a Ryukin is 20 gallons and for any additional goldfish will be 10 more gallons on top of that each. So two Ryukin goldfish will need a mandatory 40 gallons of aquarium. This is what people have a hard time understanding and this is why the goldfish death rate is at an all time high. These fish grow to almost a foot long. Give them the space they need. In comparison, it would be like a human living inside of a car for their entire lifetime.
When paired with other goldfish, you need to make sure that one or the other goldfish is not consuming all of the food. This commonly happens if one species of fish is a lot faster of a swimmer than the other. Example, the Blackmoor species of goldfish is a lot slower of swimmer than the the Ryukin. You would have to make sure all fish are getting their needed quantities versus one fish eating all the food. Something to be aware of when having different species of goldfish together in the same tank.
Bottom dwellers like catfish make for awesome tank mates as well. Not only do they get along great but the bottom dwellers help feed on algae and decay laying on the bottom of your aquarium. The closer your tank is to a “natural” habitat, the easier it will be to maintain in the long run.
The pH level of the water for your goldfish should be in the range of 6.5-7.5 and average in that for a stabile level. PH levels have to do with the amount of acidity in the water. Some counties and states are going to vary when it comes to water variables. Water temperature should should range from lower 60s to mid 70s in degrees Fahrenheit. Water testing is usually a bit out of the spectrum for beginners but lucky enough, goldfish are one of the toughest fish when it comes to water parameters. They are often even used to test out new tanks of habitat and for starting nitrogen cycles for new tanks.
Frequently Asked Questions
Fish is Gasping at Water Surface?
There two reasons this happens with fish. Either its a fluke deal that fish always do or else the fish is lacking oxygen. If your fish is lacking oxygen, you need to act a soon as possible. I would advise doing a 40% water change on your tank. After that, look into aerator Setups for aquariums. In most cases a person can get a full setup for under $10 U.S.
Does my Fish Tank need Gravel?
Not all fish tanks need gravel. The incentive to not using gravel includes a cleaner tank. Gravel in fish tanks houses bacteria like crazy. If you don’t keep up on your cleaning with a vacuum siphon, your tank will be extremely dirty. Gravel is basically for cosmetic effect in the long run of why aquarists use it.
What Size Tank for my New Fish?
As mentioned above, the bare minimum aquarium size I would advise a goldfish to live in would be 20 gallons. I understand not everyone has the sources available to go this large but a 20 gallon tank is already below the minimum size of 30 gallons that experts advise using. Goldfish from 8 to 12 inches and that is a large fish to have in captivity.
Aquarium is Cloudy? How to Fix?
Cloudy water is due to something not being right in the water. High ammonia, algae growth, and lots more reasons. I advise doing a 40% water change right away and continue everyday until the cloudiness goes away. There are lots of products that claim to fix this.. I personally try to stay away from them just because they’re not needed. Remember, new tanks can have clouded conditions for a couple of hours so ignore the water if your tank is just newly setup.
Good Live Plants for my Goldfish?
You will find that goldfish love to eat almost all live plants. If the plant could somehow be consumed by a goldfish, them they will find a way. Stronger plants with tough exteriors and strong sheer strength will be just fine. What many aquarists do is have the live plants in a smaller tank with other fish and when those plants over grow.. they trim the plant and feed trimmings to the goldfish. Plant trimmings to goldfish are a delectable treat.
How to Feed Vegetables to my Fish
There are lots of different ways to feed your goldfish different foods. Some aquarists grow live plants in non eating plant fish tanks and when the plants over grow, they trim the plants and feed trimmings to the goldfish. When my family eats fruits or vegetables at dinner time, I rinse small portions in the sink and feed them to my community with great results. Just think of anything this omnivore could get its hands on in the natural wild.
Fish Laying on Bottom of Tank..
A fish laying on the bottom of the aquarium is not always bad. A fish will sleep in that position so it’s easy to mistake that. If your sure that the fish is not sleeping though, precautions should be taken incase the fish is sick. I would immediately do a 40% water change on a daily basis until the fish seems better. Physically make sure your fish doesn’t have any cosmetic differences. A very common sickness known as “Ich” can devastate an aquarium.
What Kind of Gravel for my Setup?
Make sure to buy gravel designed for fish tanks specifically. We commonly hear stories of people using garden rocks or playground rocks or even gravel glass. These can cause lots of various issues with fish. Stick to the basics of aquarium gravel. It’s sold at all pet stores and costs are very cheap. Gravel is not a necessity to aquariums remember.
Do I Need a Gravel Vacuum or No?
Yes and No. Expert aquarists might be able to figure out equal bio loads for evening out gravel bacteria. For all that are not experts, use a gravel vacuum. They can save so much time and are easy to use. I have aquariums that I don’t even use filers on that I gravel vacuum once a week very good. This vacuum is a game changer when it comes to having a clean aquarium for water clarity.
What is an Aerator? Do I need One?
An aerator is a small air pump that runs air through small stones under water to implant oxygen into the water. You can make sure your aquarium has enough oxygen for your inhabitants to breath by spending $10 and using it. Very simple and effective. Don’t over estimate the power of a simple aerator.
Note: Image used on top of page is from Tom Bailey’s collection from over at PetFishTalk podcast. They do a great job of keeping us amused on their radio show. You guys are awesome!