Does harvest, captive breeding, transport, or
being kept as a pet harm individual animals?
Some Cause for Concern
Ease of care of many non-traditional pets depends on the individual owner’s years of experience and knowledge caring for a particular species. For the purposes of this website, we have geared information toward the benefit of the beginner.
Goldfish are relatively easy to breed and keep in captivity. However they do require maintenance of proper water quality, temperature, and pH level. It is a common misconception that goldfish can be kept in fishbowls. Not only should the fish grow to a size much too large for a bowl but they also produce more ammonia than most fish and will fowl the water in a small container very quickly. This drastically reduces the oxygen available in the water and will cause the goldfish stress which can lead to illness and even death. Water should be changed using the appropriate technique every two weeks or so. Goldfish may live up to 30 years in captivity, requiring a long-term commitment of care. Regarding welfare, most breeding facilities are in Asia, so the fish must be shipped to pet stores in North America. In some instances, they are subjected to harsh conditions during transport and mortality in goldfish shipments can be high (up to 80%).
Goldfish are omnivorous. Most store-bought foods do not contain adequate plant matter and this can lead to intestinal problems and common swim bladder infections. For this reason, peas can serve as a great additive to a goldfish diet.
Before acquiring a goldfish, be sure to research its specific care requirements and be prepared to care for this animal for up to 30 years. If possible, purchase a goldfish that has been domestically bred to reduce the likelihood they have suffered during transport.