Goldfish might seem oh-so-commonplace in tanks and bowls today, but this wasn’t always the case. These cheery, friendly fish are actually products of tinkering with an ancient east Asian carp fish called the chi.
The silver-colored chi were a favorite food source. But every so often, chi would produce brightly-colored fry. These rare fish were often set free by local Buddhists who believed this act of mercy brought good favor.
Those early, lucky mutants are the domesticated goldfish of today. Modern goldfish breeds come in all sizes, shapes, and colors.
Goldfish Purchase Price
Goldfish can live a surprisingly long time. While 5 to 10 years is typical, 25 years isn’t unusual. And one amazing UK goldfish named Tish lived to be 43!
Released domestic pet goldfish have been recorded growing up to 2.5 feet long and weighing up to five pounds.
Because there are many goldfish breeds developed for the pet trade today, pricing can vary based on both breed and color. The following are some of the prices from different source in the country:
- Live Aquaria in Wisconsin – $6.99 to $26.99
- Dandy Orandas in Clarkson, Michigan – $29.99 to $245
- King Koi and Goldfish in California – $24.99 to $2499
Factors Affecting Goldfish Purchase Price
There are a number of factors that can impact the Goldfish price you pay and these are the following:
If you plan to breed goldfish, you will need to be sure you have at least one male and one female! The best way to tell gender is to wait until the fish is one year old and becomes ready to breed. That is when you will see distinguishing features.
Purchasing a pair of mixed gender adult goldfish from a knowledgeable breeder can make this process easier.
Some breeds are called “common” while others are termed “fancy.” About 15 breeds have become quite popular in the pet trade, but there are many more besides these.
In the wild, goldfish are typically less golden than olive. This is advantageous to their survival but not particularly eye-catching in a home tank.
In captivity, the array of goldfish colors can be breathtaking. Also, goldfish color is influenced by scale type and diet.
Buying from a reputable breeder can help ensure the species you buy is fairly priced for its color and size.
Live Aquaria offers free shipping for orders of $99 and up. Otherwise, shipping starts at $29.99.
Dandy Orandas ships based on ship-to location and uses Next Day Air. King Koi and Goldfish offers Next Day and Second Day Air for $45 to $65.
One-time Goldfish Costs
You can expect to incur these common costs when setting up your goldfish’s home habitat.
While goldfish can be kept in bowls, often, this is not an ideal environment for health and longevity. Proper tank size, filtration, and aeration will improve health, activity, and color.
Goldfish can grow quite sizable in adulthood. Aquarists recommend 20 gallons for a single fish and adding 10 gallons for each additional adult fish.
A 30-gallon aquarium like the SeaClear 30 Gallon Rectangular Show Aquarium Combos, Clear costs around $196.
The right lighting can highlight the beautiful colors of your goldfish breeds. Lighting starts at $30 for a tank-top version. A tank-cover version is a good choice for safety because goldfish can also jump!
- Filtration and aeration
Goldfish can be messy but clean water is essential for their health. A combo-filter using biological, mechanical, and chemical filtration is recommended. Prices start at $32.
Aeration is also important – you can get an aerator rated for up to 40 gallons starting at $10.
- Monitoring and testing
Testing and monitoring for nitrates, nitrites, pH, ammonia, and temperature will help ensure your tank environment remains healthy for your goldfish.
You can buy API Master Test Kits at around $23. A simple tank digital thermometer is priced at $7.
Goldfish are surprisingly hardy and can adapt to warmer or cooler waters. But they don’t do quite so well with temperature fluctuations. You may want to use a heater strategically to keep water temperature consistent.
Prices start at $18 for a submersible heater.
Freshwater aquarium sand makes a good tank substrate. Prices start at $22 for 20 pounds of sand.
Fake plants are the simplest choice so you don’t have to match plant pH needs with fish needs. Prices start at less than $3 for a single plastic plant.
- Tank mates
Goldfish can be kept alone or in groups. Be cautious when mixing types – this can create issues with disease. Common and fancy goldfish cannot be kept together.
Be aware that goldfish can be aggressive and may prey on tank mates. Minnows are a good choice because they are too quick for goldfish to catch. Prices start at around $3 for Golden White Cloud Minnows.
Ongoing Goldfish Costs
These are the most common ongoing care costs for keeping goldfish.
Goldfish are omnivores. Flake food is an easy way to ensure your goldfish get all their nutrients. You can purchase TetraFin Flakes Goldfish Food, 0.42-oz jar for $1.19.
Baby shrimp can aid digestion. Prices start at $1.74 for .35-oz jar. Bloodworms are great as well – prices start at $3.18 per .28-oz jar.
Goldfish can fall prey to a number of common ailments. If your pet goldfish needs to be seen by an aquatic veterinarian, expect to pay $20 to $80 per exam.