HugePIf you’ve ever come home from the store with a wiggly, swimming, finned little friend, you know the pride and joy of being a new goldfish owner. In fact, you may feel a bit over prideful if you don’t feel overwhelmed, because not knowing the first thing about what you are undertaking is how the majority of people end up when they collapse under the weight of adoration and make the purchase. They think, as long as I have a container that doesn’t leak and some flakes, I’m good to go. How far from the truth that is, as they find out all too soon when a week later their precious pipsqueak is belly-up.

A goldfish, like any other pet, must have proper goldfish care if you are to keep it around your house for any length of time. The good news is, they can live for many years and will become like a member of the family if you do your part. It really is all on you, whether they thrive or are sickly. Everyone seems to have a soft spot for cute fish, even people who wouldn’t consider themselves “goldfish people.” Be that as it may, you will need to do some homework and research if you want to make sure your pet lasts and you aren’t left in tears or frequenting Walmart every month for a replacement, as many find themselves doing with those 15 cent feeder fish used as fodder for larger creatures and purchased in bulk.

That being said, let’s get into the basics of what your new fishy friend will need to ensure a long healthy and happy life to come:

1. You will need a fish tank

Most people don’t understand that goldfish can’t live in bowls and that the devices should be banned. That is because there are too many depictions of bowls and even key chains in society and this leads to the mass misunderstanding we see today. The only good things about bowls are in respect to the owner. People like them because they are a) cheap and b) they don’t take up much space. But would you want someone to choose YOUR home based on those two qualifications? Of course not. You are putting a living creature in that thing, not a succulent or candies. So treat the home of your fish like an actual living space, not a decoration.

2. You will need pellets or gel food

Flake foods are really not suitable for the digestive tract of a goldfish and should be discarded or given to tropical fish. If you can make your own, great, there are many fantastic recipes online to get you started, but on the other hand chances are you won’t know the nutritional needs of the fish so you may as well save your time and money and buy something.

3. You will need a budget

Goldfish are much more expensive than you’d think, and maybe a very large part of this expense comes from the water bill you will be paying every so often due to weekly water changes. Hopefully you can try to recycle the water on a garden or even your bath if you don’t have any discrepancies about that.

Those are just some of the basics to get you started. You could always visit this website for more details and lengthier articles on how to care for a goldfish with interesting graphics.