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Dr. Jungle's Animal Speak

Dr. Jungle's Animal Speak

Featured Pet of the Week: The Common Goldfish

Posted: 10 Jul 2011 07:45 PM PDT

The Common Goldfish

The Featured Pet of the Week is: The Common Goldfish!

Goldfish are well known fish that are great pets because they are very attractive, have great personalities with their keepers, and are "easy" to keep. This is definitely true, and for this reason the common goldfish, Carassius auratus auratus, is actually a great fish for beginners. Working in a pet store for a number of years, I have had my fair share of caring for goldfish as well as many other fish and animals.

When people would come into the pet store to get goldfish they generally wanted them for one of two purposes, as feeder fish or as pets. Goldfish are often a first pet for children. They are a fun, yet a fairly inexpensive introduction to the world of fish keeping, and pet keeping in general. I would then help them get all set up for their goldfish with an aquarium set-up, food and a care sheet.

Goldfish are quite colorful and can easily be found at almost any pet store. Common goldfish are inexpensive and make a great starter fish. They will eat almost any type of fish food offered to them and get along well with most other community fish. Though they are sometimes put in a goldfish bowl or a smaller aquarium when they are young, they do grow into large fish so will soon need a much larger aquarium. Goldfish can also do well in ponds. This is because they are naturally cold-water fish and don’t need to have strict temperature control like many tropical fish do. Common goldfish will also usually fare well with other pond fish, such as koi.

Goldfish are considered hardy and can survive in many conditions, but they must be provided with a good environment. The Common Goldfish can get quite large, over 12 inches when they are kept in large enough aquariums or ponds and in optimum conditions. Optimal conditions for goldfish are dependent on a lot of oxygen in the water, and good water quality. A habitat that is not optimal can not only stunt their growth, but will also decrease their lifespan. Small goldfish bowls or fish tanks that are too small will not provide optimum conditions and your pets won’t reach their potential full size.

Provide the best environment by keeping pet goldfish in a good-sized aquarium with a heater, proper filtration for good water quality, and other social fish as tank mates. This will keep them healthy for the duration of their lives. Of course, the more fish you plan to keep in your aquarium, the larger you will want it to be.

Goldfish need a lot of oxygen, so you will want to get a tank with a lot of surface area. Surface area helps to increase the amount of oxygen in the tank. Also, goldfish produce a lot of waste (in comparison to other fish), so you will want more water volume per fish to help keep it cleaner. It is recommended to start with at least a 20-gallon tank for your first goldfish, and then to increase it an additional 10 gallons for every additional goldfish. The general rule is that you should provide a minimum of 1 gallon of water for every 1 inch of fish length. But as the goldfish become larger, this rule doesn’t apply as well because larger fish consume more oxygen and produce even more waste.

Goldfish are very social creatures and thrive when living with other fish. Therefore, they do very well with other goldfish and a variety of community fish. They act as scavengers as well, and so if kept in a community tank, there is little need for other scavengers or bottom feeders. One thing to keep watch out for is to make sure they do not have any diseases – such as ich or parasites. Whenever adding new fish to an aquarium, watch for any signs of a problem and treat the aquarium accordingly.

In conclusion, if you would like to get a fish that is easy to care for and hardy, starting with goldfish may be the way to go! To learn more, visit the Common Goldfish page!

The World's 60 Deadliest Animals, a Lady With 700 Cats, and One Macaque in a Hot Tub

Nat Geo WILD Newsletter
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July 2011

Welcome to the premiere issue of the Nat Geo WILD newsletter, which includes monthly highlights on animal content and Nat Geo WILD programming. We hope it will be of interest to you. If, however, you would prefer not to receive future Nat Geo WILD mailings, simply click unsubscribe here or at the bottom of any of these messages.

Adventurer and naturalist Steve Backshall has one mission: to travel the globe in search of 60 of the world's deadliest animals. We'll experience close encounters with all kinds of wildlife and see what makes these animals "king" of their respective habitats.

View Deadly 60 Videos »

View Photos »

Full TV Schedule »

Photo: Deadly 60

Photo: Cheetah Quiz   There's a lot more to the cheetah than just raw speed. Test your cheetah smarts with this quiz.

Photo: Meet the African Elephant   Get a load of the world's largest land mammal.

Photo: Monkey Pictures   Feel the need to monkey around a little more? You've come to the right place.

Photo: The Lady With 700 Cats   Lynea Lattanzio devotes her home to keeping over 700 abandoned cats alive and healthy in hopes of adoption.

Photo: Big Bite Week   All this week, view some of our favorite specials on animals with the biggest bites, including lions, sharks, crocs, bears, and more!
Full TV Schedule »

Photo: The Invaders   A former cocaine drug lord's imported hippos are now thriving and breeding in Colombia, threatening the local habitat.
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NJ Bird Photos: Birds of New Jersey

NJ Bird Photos: Birds of New Jersey

Negri Nepote: Dickcissel and More

Posted: 10 Jul 2011 11:36 AM PDT

Dickcissel: Negri Nepote

Indigo Bunting
Indigo Bunting

Tree Swallow: Negri Nepote
Tree Swallow

Negri Nepote Butterfly

We had a nice little, local birding adventure this morning. Many things combined that influenced our lack of ambition for birding of late; poor spring migration turnout, lousy weather, and work and travel for Mike. We had such success at spotting what we set out for and more this morning, that it really renewed our enjoyment for birding. It was VERY hot, though, even early this morning, so we enjoyed for as long as we could out in the fields and then headed off for other adventures. As an aside, there is a blueberry bash this weekend at Terhune Farms, and Chris thinks the blueberry pie is the best piece of pie she's ever had!

Blue Jays in the bird bath.

Posted: 10 Jul 2011 11:20 AM PDT

Blue Jays In Bird BathBlue Jay

The bluejays are lovely to look at all year since their plumage is always a vibrant blue. While lovely to look at, we do often find them to be the bullies of the yard with their loud calls and obnoxious behavior. Babies are always cute, and even though they were making quite a racket, they were enjoying the yard and bath so much one day that even Chris couldn't help reaching for the camera.