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5 things you need to know before you get a goldfish

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Goldfish were developed in China for export to Japan and America, where they were further developed into more varieties, now almost 125. Locally, the comet goldfish, which is gold and orange in colour, is the most common. Another locally available goldfish type is the black moor. Goldfish can bring life and colour to your home. Here are a few tips for keeping these fish.

1. Aquarium or Bowl?

Bowls are not the ideal home for your goldfish or any fish. Fish kept in bowls will have reduced life expectancy due to insufficient oxygen, excess ammonia buildup and worse still you can’t keep more than one goldfish.

If you use an aquarium, there are a few accessories you will need. Some gravel, a few underwater plants and some fish toys.

Keep your gravel size bigger than a goldfish can swallow. You will also need advice on which fish types can be bred in one aquarium. Aquariums can cost anything from Sh10,000.

2. Buy Your Fish

Most major malls in Nairobi and outside Nairobi have at least one pet store. Once you buy the goldfish, they should pack it in a special plastic bag. The fish can stay alive in the bag for up to 8 hours. Goldfish can cost anything from Sh600.

3. Water

Your goldfish will die if you expose it to chlorine. You need to de-chlorinate the water you use. De-chlorinating can be done by keeping the water in a dark cupboard for about 4 days or get some water previously stored in any container. Alternatively, you can buy a de-chlorinator solution from the pet shop.

Cleaning the water

Until you have kept a fish, the phrase “cleaning your water” will not make any sense. Water gets dirty from food, fish poop and ammonia. Fish kept in bowls require a water change once or twice a week because of the rapid ammonia build-up. Fish kept in aquariums need a change once every 2 weeks.

4. Food

Goldfish die from overeating, who knew there was such a thing? They eat flakes sold in pet stores. Only feed your fish what it can eat up in under 4 minutes. Take out the excess food or they will eat till they kill themselves.

5. Health

If your goldfish gets ill, you will have to isolate her from the other fish until she gets better to avoid infecting the rest. Their fins are delicate. Avoid sharp objects in your aquarium.

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