Gold fishes grow rapidly, an inch per year, on average, usually. The growth rate is highly dependent on the environment, space and food given to it. A goldfish can grow to its fullest even in a fish tank, if proper care is provided. A baby pet goldfish can grow up to nearly twelve inches in a fish tank, with proper climatic conditions and food. Gold fishes grow through out their lives. Though the growth process slows down in later stages of life, it doesn’t stop completely.
Gold fishes grow to its fullest by the eight weeks of its birth. Till the eight weeks, it makes very fast progress. Then the growth slows down and from here, the gold fish continues to grow slowly through out its life span.
Gold fish eggs hatch by the fourth day generally. Tiny gold fishes about 4.5 mm in size can be seen swimming around by the fourth day.
By the second week, the fish will grow nearly 7mm.
The gold fish should ideally be 11 mm by now.
Here the growth rate starts slowing down, the fish would be 13.5 mm by the fourth week.
The growth rate is slow but steady and the fish is nearly 16mm in size.
By the sixth week, it should ideally be 18mm.
It will slowly grow till 22mm.
By the eight weeks, the fish will be nearly 24.5 mm in size.
Post the eighth week, there will be continuous growth. However, the growth is gradual and slow, often going unnoticed.
Gold fishes are messy creatures and the water gets dirty often.
- The water must be cleaned and replaced regularly.
- The dirty water has high amounts of nitrates and ammonia. Due to these, the fish might get poisoned or it may sustain a shock, thereby getting killed.
- A filtration system may be used. These filtration devices are easily available at the local pet stores and also on the internet.
- Using filtration devices alone is not enough. The water needs to be changed and the tank needs to be cleaned once or twice a week.
Gold fishes eat a variety of things such as algae, plants and some meat.
- It should be provided with proper food for proper growth. During the early years, the growth of a goldfish is faster than in the later stage. Hence during the early years more food should be provided which can be slowed down gradually in following years.
- They can be fed good quality fish food, which are usually in form of pellets or flakes.
- Gold fishes require high protein intake in order to grow, especially in the early stages. Protein can be provided to gold fishes through bloodworms, brine shrimp, daphnia and other such food, easily available at the local pet store or on the internet.
- Some fish food containing added vitamins, is also a good source of protein for gold fishes.
- Gold fishes are omnivorous creatures just like human being. Hence, some vegetables such as zucchini and fresh peas can be given to the fishes. This will prevent constipation, a very common problem in gold fishes.
- Often the fish food provides nutrients but doesn’t do much for the digestion process. These vegetables will catalyze the digestion procedure and help prevent constipation.
- It must also be kept in mind that fishes should not be over fed. Over feeding the fish will kill it. Ideally a gold fish needs to be fed about two to three times a day. Some algae can be left in the water for the fish to nibble on.
The Tank Should Not be Overcrowded
While a gold fish may survive well with certain species of fishes, keeping too many fishes with a growing gold fish will affect the growth rate of the gold fish.
Gold fishes are aggressive by nature and might spend the entire energy in defending its space and fighting for food. The energy, which should have been utilized in the growth of the fish, is thus wasted.
Gold fishes show rapid growth and hence the fish tank being used should be big enough to accommodate the growing fish. It is not economical to change tanks along with the growing fish. Therefore, it is suggested to opt for a big fish tank from the beginning itself.
Small spaces restrict the growth of a gold fish. While growing, if the gold fish is confined to a small area, the growth will be limited within the boundaries of the fish tank.
Though gold fishes will survive and do fine in a fish bowl, ideally it should be placed in a fish tank with a capacity of thirty gallons.
The temperature plays a pivotal role in the growth of all fishes including gold fishes.
- A goldfish will grow the best at a temperature of 71-degree Fahrenheit to 75-degree Fahrenheit. Gold fishes can endure low temperatures up to 65-degree Fahrenheit but lower temperature will cause hindrance in the growth.
- Lower temperature slows down the metabolism of the fish and hence growth slows down.
- Too high temperature is also harmful for the fish. Under no circumstances should the temperature go above 80-degree Fahrenheit.
- High temperatures will fasten the metabolism rate of the fish, causing it stress and illness. It might kill the fish too.
Keep a Check on Health
A regular check must be kept on the health of the goldfish. If the gold fish doesn’t grow at the regular rate, high chances are there that it has been infected with parasites. Immediate actions should be taken.
It is very important to take care of gold fishes, negligence may result in their death. Gold fishes, if given proper space, temperature and food can grow up to nearly 18 inches. The largest gold fish recorded was 18.7 inches in size, measured from snout to tail. It was owned by Joris Gijsbers, as of March, 2003.