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Home > Goldfish > Why You Should Have a Goldfish in Your Life: 11 Fun Reasons

Why You Should Have a Goldfish in Your Life: 11 Fun Reasons

goldfish in planted aquarium

Goldfish are a common first pet for people. Parents often buy these orange-hued fish for their children as a way to teach them responsibility and discipline. But these beautiful fish often fall to the wayside once children become older, getting replaced by other pets like dogs and cats.

Goldfish are more than just a great first pet, though. They have plenty of benefits to offer their owners. Keep reading to find 11 reasons why you need to consider getting a goldfish in your life!


The 11 Reasons You Should Have a Goldfish in Your Life

1. They’re Easier to Care for Than Other Pets

Cats and dogs are very high-maintenance pets, whether their owners want to admit it or not. Goldfish, on the other hand, are not. They won’t chew up your shoes or eat your kid’s homework. They won’t get you into trouble with your neighbors when they lurk into their yard or shed their fur all over your furniture and clothes. They don’t demand daily walks or require expensive procedures like spaying or neutering.

Goldfish only really demand that you take care of their tank. There is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to aquariums, water and filtration systems, and tank temperatures, but once you get those down to a science, keeping a goldfish is easy.

When you go away on vacation, you don’t need to hire an expensive pet sitter or pay big fees to board your fish. Automatic feeders can get set up to keep your goldfish fed during your trip.

goldfish in a fish tank
Image Credit: Tinh Nguyen, Unsplash

2. They’re Cheap to Own

Owning a goldfish is much cheaper than owning a cat or a dog. While the initial tank set-up can get pricey, the fish itself is often just pennies to buy. You’ll need to invest in a tank filter, substrate, and décor for their aquarium, but these costs are nothing compared to the estimated annual cost of dog ownership at $3,242 per year or the cost of cat ownership at $2,083 per year.

3. Aquariums Can Reduce Anxiety

It’s no secret that our pets bring so much joy into our lives. Studies show that pets can alleviate stress, improve mood, reduce depression and loneliness, improve our overall well-being, and provide long-term help for people who struggle with their mental health. It should come as no surprise, then, that owning a pet fish can provide many mental health benefits for the owner.

Studies suggest that owning a home aquarium can not only promote relaxation but also reduce anxiety.

Goldfish filter
Image Credit: Zinaida Zakharova, Shutterstock

4. They Won’t Hurt You

Any cat owner can attest to the fact that they’ve been bitten or scratched by their cat at some point. Dog owners can also scratch with sharp nails and bite. Goldfish, on the other hand, are unlikely to harm you at all. The worst you’ll feel is a slight nibble near the mouth of your fish.

Fish are also allergy-friendly, so if you’ve been dying to bring home a pet, but your allergies are holding you back, a goldfish is a great option.

5. They Can Live a Long Time

Goldfish typically live between 10 to 15 years. However, with proper care, some varieties have been known to reach up to 30 years of age. In fact, the oldest goldfish ever recorded died when it was 43 years old.

Most goldfish don’t live that long, however, as inexperienced owners provide inadequate housing conditions.

goldfish in aquarium
Image Credit: seaonweb, Shutterstock

6. They’re Quiet

A dog’s bark can get you into a lot of trouble if you live near someone who isn’t afraid to call the animal bylaw officers when your dog is barking. A cat that meows incessantly can become quite annoying over time.

Goldfish are a completely silent pet. The only sound you’ll hear as a goldfish owner is the slight humming of their filtration system. This makes them a great companion for your bedroom or even your work-from-home office.

7. They Have Many Different Looks

Goldfish don’t only come in the classic gold/orange color. There are over 200 different breeds of goldfish with a wide variety of coloring and body shapes.

The common goldfish is the one that most people think of. They can come in a wide array of colors, from red to brown to yellow and even black. The most common, of course, is shiny orange. The second most common coloring for a common goldfish is a mix of white, red, and orange.

“Fancy Goldfish” are double-tailed. They have two caudal fins and two anal fins. These are pricier and can cost upwards of $35 per fish.

Check out our guide on 30 common goldfish varieties for more information and photos.

lion head goldfish
Image Credit: Tina Designs, Pixabay

8. They’re a Great Learning Experience

While we wouldn’t recommend someone with zero fish-keeping experience jump into it without first researching the art of keeping fish. There is a bit of a science to getting the water levels exactly as they need to be for your fish to thrive. That said, goldfish are among the easiest aquatic pets to keep once you know how to curate the water atmosphere.

Many people get goldfish as the first pet for their children. Kids can learn responsibility and discipline through aquarium maintenance and fish feeding. Plus, it can encourage creativity as you let your child’s imagination run wild while decorating the tank.

If you do choose to get goldfish for your children, you must be hands-on in the care, too.

9. They Beautify Your Home

When you have a goldfish, you have to have an aquarium for it to live. Aquariums are a beautiful piece of home décor that can add a lot of personality to your space. You can choose to decorate it how you wish and can even bring a little bit of nature indoors by using your tank as an underwater garden of sorts.

two goldfish with different color pigments
Image Credit: Juan Carlos Palau Díaz, Pixabay

10. They Can Have Tank Mates

Goldfish can be a gateway pet to other aquatic creatures. Many first-time goldfish owners will start with one and add more goldfish over time. Most experts recommend keeping at least two goldfish in an aquarium so they have companionship and are motivated to stay active.

If you’re ready to add another non-goldfish fish to your aquarium, you need to select them carefully. You shouldn’t add an aggressive species that will pick on your existing fish. Steer clear of fish that are exceedingly small or spiny as your goldfish might unknowingly eat smaller fish or get spines stuck in their gill plate.

Great tank mates include:
  • Hillstream Loach
  • Dojo Loach
  • White Cloud Mountain Minnows
  • Ricefish
  • Hoplo Catfish
  • Danios
  • Gold Medaka (if they’re larger than your goldfish’s mouth)

11. They’re Smart

Not many people know that goldfish are extremely smart little creatures.

There is a misconception that goldfish have very short memory, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. They can remember things for weeks, months, and even years! Their memories are so impressive that goldfish are often used as a model for scientists studying memory in fish. Studies suggest that fish can recognize a familiar human face from countless other new faces.

Goldfish are so intelligent, in fact, that they can be trained to do tricks.

A mostly white lionchu goldfish looking right into the camera
Image Credit: Sardo Michael, Shutterstock


Final Thoughts

Goldfish make fantastic pets for people of all ages and walks of life. Keeping goldfish is a rewarding adventure and one that we think everyone should experience at some point in their life. Whether you’re a first-time or life-long pet owner, keeping a goldfish (or two) should be on your bucket list!

Featured Image Credit: Decha Photography, Shutterstock

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