Why Do Goldfish Die So Quickly and Unexpecidly
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Why Do Goldfish Die So Quickly and Unexpecidly

Ever wonder why your childÂ’s carnival goldfish dies within a few days to a month of getting it home? Most people donÂ’t know how exactly to take care of a goldfish since they are one of the most high maintenance fish out there!

Who doesn’t love goldfish when they’re little? I remember going to the fair with my mom and begging her for some money to play for a goldfish. I would stand there with my full concentration on those smaller than normal fish bowls and throw my ping pong ball with careful concentration, willing it to magically fall into a bowl instead of bouncing off the side. Whenever I did get balls in and win goldfish, I was very excited to name them and watch them swim around every day. Unfortunately, soon after, those fish would slowly die off one by one. I believe the longest living carnival-obtained fish I had, lived for about 6 or 7 months.

Why do carnival-obtained goldfish die so quickly after coming home and being put in a fishbowl? The answer was just covered in that question. They’re put in a fishbowl rather than in an aquarium with the right equipment. The reason for filters is to clean the water of fish waste, particles in the water, to remove nitrites, “aerate” the water and remove ammonia.

Think about how bad for your health tap water is. Think of the chemicals in tap water. Now think about how small your goldfish is and imagine how bad that is for them. That is why the pet store usually suggests different types of water treatments when you are buying an aquarium. In fact, they also have some water treatments available to use in still tap water as well.

Goldfish are under stress when transported out of their tank to the fair/carnival. They sit there in still water inside of plastic bags for hours until they’re lucky enough to go home with a new owner. (Sounds somewhat like the end of “Finding Nemo” doesn’t it?) When those goldfish are then transported to a home and shoved into a new environment, a fishbowl, they’re even under more stress.

Of course they say you should leave the goldfish in their own water for a few hours so they don’t go into shock, but most people get busy and completely forget about the fish. They think having a fish is a very easy job in that they can just feed it and change the water occasionally. Untrue. This is why most die. You must change the water in a still fish tank every few days or at least weekly. Why? The fish can get ammonia poisoning from the still water, their own waste, and the stress of being very active in a small tank.

The stress and ammonia poisoning will limit their lung capacity and they’ll pass away. Sad, but true. Goldfish shouldn’t be treated any less than other animals. Surely they can be quickly and replaced without being suspected before children find out their fish went belly up, the same vicious cycle will just happen to the new goldfish if the owner neglects to change the water.

If you’re going to keep a carnival fish in a fishbowl without proper filtration, I suggest changing the water more frequently than once a week, getting a bowl big enough to handle the fish so they won’t get stressed from a small environment as well as getting proper water treatments. (Chlorine removing treatment is one of the more important.) Make sure that the fish’s water is clear. If it gets cloudy, change immediately. With proper care, fish in a fish bowl can last a year or more. In an aquarium, a fish can last in upwards of 20 years. (Believe it or not.)

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Comments (3)

Hey There , My goldfish died totally unexpectedly. The day before my lovely Sammy Fish died , he was him nomral slef , swimming and begging for food. Of course I never fed him more than once a day ! The next morning he was swimming on his side , breathing with about 10sec gaps. He managed to make his way over to the far side of the tank where he died. Any ideas what caused this ?

Goldfish should never be kept in goldfish bowls, they need more room.  Rome even banned the practice of keeping them in bowls.


i have alot of gold fish in a big fish tank and they just died and we bought them yesterday