Goldfish are an ornamental type of fish which descended from the Crucian carp. It’s unclear exactly when they were domesticated, but it’s thought that there have been kept in Chinese homes since at least 800 AD. After 1650, these fish became popular in many other Far Eastern countries. Trade between Europe and the East and was common by this time and European merchants brought goldfish back to their native countries with them. They were usually housed outside, in ponds, at this time, but by the late 1800s they were more often kept indoors.
Goldfish tend to live for between 5 and 10 years.
Distribution and Habitat
Goldfish (Carassius auratus) live in well-vegetated lakes and pools from Eastern Europe right across to China.
Behaviour in the Wild
Mating season for the goldfish breed takes place during the summer months. The females have to put up with being chased around by groups of males, who are all vying to fertilise her. Goldfish in the wild have a varied diet of insect larvae, molluscs, crustaceans, and some vegetation.
What’s it like to keep a pet goldfish?
- Goldfish are way easy to maintain. You can even leave them for a long weekend vacation as goldfishes can survive on tiny particles of food in their tank.
- Goldfish are cheap. Fancy varieties of goldfishes cost as little as £1.
- Goldfish don’t need a heater as they only depend on warm water temperatures to flourish.
- Goldfish are not particularly picky about food.
- Goldfish inspire creativity to human beings.
- Watching goldfish moving around the aquarium can reduce anxiety and lower blood pressure. It’s been scientifically proven!
- Goldfish need a big aquarium and a powerful filter.
- Goldfish can’t be kept with tropical fish.
- Goldfish have sensitive digestive systems so they should not eat in load.
- Goldfish are plant-based so they love nibbling on and uprooting aquatic plants.
- They produce a lot of waste for a small fish, meaning they need cleaning out often.
Did you know?
Goldfish can’t close their eyes as they don’t have eyelids. This makes sleeping a little different as they sleep with their eyes open usually at the bottom of the water.
Goldfish don’t like to be kept in the dark and, unlike humans, they are able to see ultra-violet and infra-red light so they can see more colours than we can.
It isn’t true that goldfish have a three-second memory span, in fact, they can actually recall information for up to five months.