A relatively small member of the carp family, the goldfish is a domesticated version of a duller-coloured carp native to East Asia. Goldfish were domesticated first over a thousand years ago in China. Since then, several distinct breeds of goldfish have been developed. Goldfish breeds vary quite a lot in size, body shape, fin configuration and colouration (several combinations of white, yellow, orange, red, brown, and black are known).
Clever little fish
Goldfish have a memory-span of at least three months, despite the common mistake that they have a three-second memory. Goldfish can even distinguish between different colours, shapes and sounds. Goldfish vision is one of the most studied of all vision in fishes. Goldfish can be trained to recognize, and to react to, light signals of different colours through positive reinforcement or even to perform tricks. Fish can respond to certain colours most evidently in relation to feeding. Fish learn to anticipate feedings; this is of course only if they are feed around the same time every day.
Feeding these fish
In the wild, the diet of this species consists of different crustaceans, insects and various plants. Like most fish, goldfish are opportunistic feeders and will not stop eating on their own accord. Overfeeding can be detrimental to their health, typically by blocking their intestines. Goldfish-specific food will have less protein and more carbohydrate than normal fish food. Two different types are sold—flakes that float, and pellets that sink. Fish enthusiasts can supplement this diet with shelled peas (with outer skins removed), blanched green leafy vegetables, and bloodworms. The addition of some brine shrimp in a young goldfish’s diet would be beneficial. Goldfish preferences will vary, as is the same with all animals.
As it is with most carp, goldfish tend to produce quite a large amount of waste. This will release some harmful chemicals into the aquarium water. Don’t let this waste build up. It can happen over a short period of time and will ultimately lead to your goldfish’s death. Make sure to keep your tank clean and the bigger the tank the better.
The goldfish is considered to be as a coldwater fish. This means it can live in unheated aquarium, or a temperature that humans can tolerate. But rapid changes in temperature can kill them, especially if the tank is on the smaller side. So try to keep your tank at a constant temperature and remember that dim lighting can lead to your goldfish losing their colour.
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