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How much do goldfish cost? Consider money, time & space

Goldfish chasing

Goldfish are more than just a hobby.  They are pets.  And as with any pet, there are some things to consider before rushing to the pet store and impulsively buying one.  For example, you need to consider how much goldfish cost.

And not just in terms of money. You should think about how much goldfish cost in terms of time and space in your home too.

All responsible pet owners do their homework to see if a potential pet would be right for them.

So, if you haven’t yet bought a goldfish, but are thinking about buying one, good job for coming to this article before making a purchase!

We’re going to look at how much goldfish cost in terms of money, time and space, to hopefully help you decide whether you should get a goldfish.

How much do goldfish cost?

While goldfish themselves might not be expensive, the cost of tank supplies, food and equipment can really add up.

Assuming you are going to get all of your fish supplies new, we think you will need to spend at least:

  1. 20 gallon tank (new) – $42
  2. Tank Stand – $85
  3. Hood & Light – $35
  4. Filter – $40
  5. Substrate – $10
  6. Food – $10
  7. Water test kit – $30
  8. Siphon – $12
  9. Net – $5
  10. Fish (chain store) – $6

It’s likely that you will spend at least $275 on your goldfish hobby.

And that’s just to get started. Food, test kits and medicines will be an ongoing cost.

Plus, there’s the hidden cost of running the tank. Keeping a filter running 24/7, as well as lights and possibly other equipment, such as air pumps, will all add to your electricity bill.

Obviously prices will vary depending on where you buy your equipment and depending on what you choose.

Costs can be greatly reduced by purchasing previously owned equipment. However, there are always risks when cutting corners, such as a leaky tank or introducing parasites to your new tank.

How much do goldfish cost in terms of space?

Contrary to popular opinion, goldfish cannot live in bowls.  They need way more space than most people realize and must have a big tank to be healthy and happy.

If you are not planning on having an outdoor pond, you will need to get a tank that holds at least 20 gallons of water for one fancy goldfish. And at least 30 gallons for one Common or Comet goldfish.

This is because of how large they get and how much ammonia (toxic waste) they produce.

You will also need to find a spot in your house or apartment that has enough space for your tank.

Your tank location needs to be near an electrical outlet to support your tank’s equipment. Ideally, it should have a nearby source of natural light and be out of the way from highly trafficked areas to avoid getting bumped.

How much time and effort will you have to spend on your goldfish?

Time caring for your fish

As with all pets, a significant amount of work will be required in order to keep your goldfish alive and well.

Weekly water changes are necessary to maintain clean water, and every night your goldfish must be fed their dinner.

While these are the two main responsibilities that you will take on with your goldfish, there are always other things involved too. For example, checking on their physical condition to make sure they are healthy and observing their behavior to make sure they are not picking on each other.

Time researching goldfish care

Research is the most important commitment a goldfish owner must make if they want their fish to thrive.

There is a lot more to owning a goldfish than most people realize!

Research is the key when it comes to success with any pet.  If you are too busy to do the homework needed to understand how to care for a goldfish, you are too busy to own a goldfish in the first place!

Hopefully you have the time to browse this website and learn all there is to know about your new pet.

Would a Goldfish be a Good Pet for Me?

Pets are a lot of fun.  They provide companionship, entertainment and enjoyment.  You would be surprised at how attached you can get to them, and how quickly!  A pet provides something to care for and something to love.

Pets are also responsibilities.  They take work, attention and time. Sometimes they demand more than you think they should.  But that’s only because they need you!

It’s easy to get excited and caught up in dreaming about what you think the perfect pet would be, but sometimes reality is different than our imaginations.

That is why it is a good idea to know what you are getting into before making a decision.

Pets can cause heartache and regret when things aren’t a good fit.  Because goldfish can live quite a long time (over 40 years!), they are a big commitment and you should think carefully before getting your first fish.

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