Having a pet is one of the most fulfilling things in life. They teach you to become responsible while also giving you worthwhile companionship. And among the popular pets in the market, the goldfish is the usual first-time pet.
A common goldfish costs around $0.50 to $5.00, while more expensive sub-species such as the Tosakin Goldfish can sell for up to $600. Additionally, expect to pay around $100-$200 when you buy a tank and other accessories and decorations.
Aside from the acquisition costs for a pet goldfish, you should also be prepared to shoulder maintenance expenses, including water care, costs for goldfish food, and filtration fees. Fortunately, you came to the right place – read on and learn all about the costs of keeping a goldfish.
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Is Goldfish a Good Pet or Not?
Goldfish make great pets. In fact, they make one of the best starter pets for kids. They do not need much and are quite easy to care for. Also, goldfish are hypoallergenic since they do not have any fur. And while there is minimal interaction between the goldfish and its owner, there’s no denying that it lessens the feeling of being alone at home.
What Do I Need to Know Before Buying a Goldfish?
It’s easy to take care of a goldfish. But before you decide to get a goldfish, consider the following pointers to make sure you become a responsible goldfish owner:
A goldfish less than a year old has to be fed around two to three times a day. While goldfish food is not expensive, and feeding is not time-consuming, you have to ensure that the young goldfish gets enough food to grow into a healthy adults.
While taking care of a goldfish does not take up a lot of time in a day, they require weekly tank cleanup and a monthly filter cleanup. And if you plan to put multiple decorations in your tank, you should also consider cleaning them regularly to keep goldfish waste buildup. So before buying a goldfish, make sure you can commit to giving that much time for its regular maintenance.
Another point to consider before buying a goldfish is knowing how much water it needs. The often-used ratio is one gallon of water for every inch of fish. So if you have a 3-inch goldfish, he should swim in at least 3 gallons of water. Of course, this number grows as your goldfish reaches adulthood. You should also factor in the number of decorations you want to put in your tank.
Additionally, you should remember that tap water isn’t ideal for a goldfish since it contains chemicals that are harmful to your fish. Before making your goldfish swim in it, treat it with conditioners and additives that will help break down chemicals to make it livable for your goldfish.
When Should I Buy a Goldfish?
One of the best things about goldfish is that they are available all year round. With that said, you can buy a goldfish at any time. However, for the purpose of putting your goldfish in a pond, the best time to buy goldfish is between late spring and summer.
Are Goldfish Difficult to Maintain?
Goldfish are not difficult to maintain. Unlike other house pets, they do not require daily grooming or vacuuming. But, this does not mean that goldfish require no maintenance at all.
They do require weekly tank cleaning, monthly filter cleaning, and making sure that the water is at the ideal temperature. But even then, these maintenance tasks will not take too much of your time. The only exception is if you have a large tank filled with multiple decorations and accessories – because you have to clean them one by one once it’s filled with goldfish waste.
Goldfish Average Prices in Different Countries
How Much Does a Goldfish Cost in the US?
In the United States, you can get a comet goldfish for around $0.18. The comet goldfish is one of the most common species of goldfish, which is why it comes at an affordable price. On the other hand, other goldfish species are available for $5. On the other hand, fancier ones can be bought for $80 or higher.
How Much Does a Goldfish Cost in South Africa?
Goldfish in South Africa are a little pricier than those in the United States. Common goldfish species such as the comet goldfish are available for around $4. On the other hand, other less common species sell from $11 and up.
How Much Does a Goldfish Cost in the UK?
Goldfish in Ireland sells for around $2 to $20. It is quite a common starter pet in this country, which is why it is always available and quite affordable.
How Much Do Goldfish Cost in Ireland?
Goldfish in Ireland is also priced a bit more than in other countries but still within an affordable range. Expect to pay around $5 to $10 for one goldfish in Ireland.
How Much Do Goldfish Cost in Australia?
In Australia, you can buy a goldfish for as low as $0.20. However, some fancier breeds can be bought starting from $20.
How Much Does a Goldfish Cost in India?
Another country that sells goldfish at affordable prices is India. Common goldfish can be bought from sidewalks and pet stores, with prices ranging between $0.17 to $2.
How Much Does a Goldfish Cost in the Philippines?
In the Philippines, expect to pay around $3 to $7 when you buy a goldfish. It is also quite a common pet in this tropical country. This is why it is often sold at affordable prices.
How Much Do Goldfish Cost at Petsmart?
Petsmart is one of the most reliable stores where you can buy pets – and goldfish are no exception. At Petsmart, you can buy a comet goldfish for as low as $0.20. Some fancier species such as the Fantail, Ryukin, Oranda, and Black Moor are also available starting from $5.
How Much Does a Goldfish Cost at Petco?
Expect to pay around $6 to $80 for a single goldfish at Petco. If you’re looking for a more exotic collection of goldfish, then head on to Petco. This pet store offers a variety of less common goldfish species, including the calico ryukin and the shubunkin goldfish.
How Much Do Goldfish Cost at Walmart?
It may come as a surprise, but Walmart also sells a variety of pet fish in select store locations. The retail chain sells goldfish starting from $0.30. On the other hand, less common ones can be bought for $5.
Keeping a Goldfish Cost
Aside from the cost of buying a goldfish, you should also be ready to shoulder other expenses to keep your goldfish happy and healthy. This includes fees for the initial setup, as well as monthly costs for food.
Like all other household pets, you should provide your goldfish with enough food for his survival. A can of fish food usually costs around $2 to $20, depending on the size. For example, a 2.2-ounce can of Tetra Goldfish Flakes retails for $6, while a 10.7-ounce jar of Cobalt Ultra Goldfish Pellets sells for less than $20. On average, expect to spend $20 on goldfish food every month.
- GOLDFISH FORMULATION: Specially designed for use as a staple...
- FOR DAILY FEEDING: Nutritionally balanced diet for optimal...
- PROCARE FORMULA: Helps support fish’s immune system for optimal...
- CLEAN AND CLEAR WATER FORMULA: Designed to be easily digested,...
- COLOR ENHANCING: Enhances the goldfish’s naturally brilliant...
The tank is one of the one-time initial setup costs you have to pay. Depending on the size and material, you can buy a tank for as low as $30 and as pricey as $200.
A basic 10-gallon starter tank like the Aqueon Standard Glass Rectangle Aquarium sells for around $40. On the other hand, aquariums with novelty designs, such as the 2-gallon stackable Umbra FishHotel retails for around $50 per piece.
- Glass and ABS Plastic 1.8 Gallons Mini Aquarium
- WOW EFFECT - Stackable fish tank with striking modern...
- EASY TO CLEAN - ABS plastic façade and asymmetrical windows...
- FOR SMALL FISHES - Perfect glass aquariums for small tropical...
- FITS ANY SPACE - This mini aquarium measures 7.5" wide x 7.5"...
You can even get customized tanks. However, expect to pay a bit more premium for these specialized tanks – usually around $500 or more.
Aside from the tank, you should also consider paying for filters, which should start at around $10. These filters help with getting rid of the buildup of ammonia and other toxic compounds from fish waste. Filters also function as an aerator to help your goldfish to breathe underwater. Thus, having a pump and filtration system in your fish tank is non-negotiable.
While on the subject of filtration, you should bear in mind that filters have to be cleaned at least once a month. Then, it can be replaced every three to six months, depending on the amount of waste it picks up. Overall, expect to spend around $100 a year on basic filters. This number can go higher if you want to opt for more complex filtration systems.
The MarineLand Penguin Bio-Wheel Power Filter is one of the filtration systems that often comes to mind. With its 3-stage filtration and multiple size options for different tanks, it’s undoubtedly one of the best in the market.
- Bio-Wheel technology delivers a three stage mechanical, chemical,...
- Certified flow rate of 75 GPH (gallons per hour), perfect for...
- The penguin power filter requires virtually no set-up, making it...
- Convenient penguin rite size "a" cartridge comes ready to use...
Another one-time initial setup costs to consider are the decorations that would go into your tank. The cost of decorations varies since it will depend on your taste, but expect to shell out around $10 to $30. Usual decorations include pebbles, a pack of which retails around $10. Another popular decoration is the underwater castle like the Penn-Plax Wizard's Castle or a shipwreck like the Aihotim Sunken Ship Aquarium Decor. These decorations may go for around $7 to $90, depending on the material used and size.
You should also invest in Water Conditioners and Additives like the API Tap Water Conditioner. These water conditioners usually cost around $5 or higher. Bear in mind that goldfish aren’t suited for tap water. Thus, it requires treatment to make it livable. That’s where Water Care comes in.
- Contains one (1) API TAP WATER CONDITIONER Aquarium Water...
- Neutralizes chlorine, chloramines and other chemicals to make tap...
- Prevents tap water chemicals from causing gill destruction,...
- Super strength, high concentration formula
- Use when adding or changing water and when adding new fish to...
And finally, you should know the cost of the star of your fish tank – the goldfish itself. As earlier discussed, you can buy a common goldfish for $0.20. On the other hand, exotic types can be bought for $100 and more.
How to Make Sure You Are Buying a Healthy Goldfish?
Check its activity. A good rule of thumb to help you determine if your goldfish is healthy is if it is swimming gracefully underwater. If the goldfish looks like it’s either too tired to swim or too frantic, then that means the fish is stressed out.
Check for bumps on its body. A healthy goldfish should have smooth and shiny scales. If it seems like it has bumps on some parts of its body, then it may have a hidden condition.
Check the fins. A healthy goldfish has fins that look straight and complete. If it seems like its fins have been eaten off or incomplete, there’s a chance that the goldfish is suffering from fin rot – a bacterial infection that often takes over because of a fish’s lowered immune system.
How to Save Money on Your Pet Goldfish?
Buy a common goldfish. As earlier established, common goldfish species are more affordable than exotic ones. But regardless of the price, they offer the same level of companionship that you can’t put a price tag on.
Invest in quality tanks, filters, and pumps. By paying more for high-quality tanks and accessories, you can expect them to last longer than affordable ones made of cheap material. Thus, you’ll eventually save up more money in the long run.
Buy generic. There are good quality generic-brand flakes and pellets that you can feed your pet goldfish. These are more affordable than their name-brand alternatives, but they nonetheless offer the same benefits.
How to Earn From a Goldfish?
The best way to earn from a goldfish is to breed them. It has been observed that a goldfish can lay between 100 to 1000 eggs. While the survival rate is not always 100%, you still get enough goldfish fry to take care of and sell once they are old enough. And you will especially earn more if you have an exotic goldfish.
How Long Do Goldfish Live?
A goldfish has an average lifespan ranging between 10 to 15 years. However, in some instances considering extraordinary care given to them, some pet goldfish are recorded to reach around 30 years old.
Can You Eat Goldfish?
Surprisingly, goldfish are edible. Goldfish are closely related to carp, which is a type of edible fish. But while goldfish can be safely eaten, it is not often advised to eat it for several reasons:
- Goldfish may not taste good. Carp is known for their muddy flavor, and the same can be said about goldfish. Plus, they will taste like what they eat – and pellets and flakes don’t seem appetizing.
- They are small yet very bony. As such, getting any meat out from them can be a challenge, so eating them can be quite frustrating.
How Big Can Goldfish Get?
On average, goldfish grow to around three to six inches. However, there are rare instances of goldfish growing up to 12 or 14 inches. Interestingly, there have been records and sightings of wild goldfish growing up to 18 inches.
What Do Goldfish Eat?
A pet goldfish is often given goldfish food like flakes and pellets. On occasion, you can also feed a goldfish boiled vegetables and brine shrimp to supplement its diet.
Interestingly, wild goldfish usually eat aquatic insects, algae, and worms. They are also known to nibble on underwater plants.
How to Take Care of a Goldfish?
Just like any other pet, goldfish also require being taken care of. The following are the pointers you have to remember when caring for a goldfish:
- Make sure to clean the tank at least once a week. This will get rid of any goldfish waste buildup that has settled on the glass.
- Clean the filters at least once a month. Aside from cleaning the tank, you should also clean the filters to make sure your fish doesn’t inhale toxic compounds like ammonia from its waste.
- Maintain the ideal water temperature for your goldfish. Goldfish thrive in cool water, so make sure that the tank’s water temperature lies between 68 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Make sure that your goldfish is properly fed. As a rule, you should feed a young goldfish around two to three times a day, while an adult goldfish can be fed at least once a day. As for the amount, observe how many flakes or pellets your goldfish can consume within two minutes. That will be your guide as to the quantity.
Is Goldfish Hard to Keep Alive?
Goldfish are not hard to keep alive. In fact, they are among the easiest animals to keep alive. As long as you feed them and clean their tank weekly, goldfish can live for up to 10 years.
Why Are Goldfish So Cheap?
Goldfish are known for being inexpensive. It mainly lies in the fact that they are quite common. They are often mass bred, and raising a goldfish is not as complicated as raising other domestic animals.
How Much Do Goldfish Crackers Cost?
The popular fish-shaped Goldfish Crackers retail for around $2.40 for a 6.6-ounce pack. You can also buy a box containing multiple small packs of Goldfish Crackers for around $100 to $130.
Goldfish are quite hardy and easy to care for. While they require regular tank cleaning, they do not demand a lot from you every day. The fact that they do not have fur also means that they make great pets for people with allergies. They’re also affordable – save for some rare species. Thus, it’s easy to see why they make great starter pets.
List of Sources
Wang, Y., et al. (2018). The Formation of the Goldfish-Like Fish Derived From Hybridization of Female Koi Carp × Male Blunt Snout Bream. Frontiers in Genetics.
Development of baitfish, goldfish, and ornamental fish hatchery methods. (2012). SRAC Twenty-fifth Annual Progress Report.
Street, R. (2002). Carassius auratus. Animal Diversity Web.
The Goldfish Sanctuary. Computer Science House.