Goldfish Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

Goldfish are a common pet that many people own. This lesson will teach you about goldfish, how to care for them and what they eat. You will also learn some interesting facts about these fish.

What are Goldfish?

They look at you with big, bulgy eyes and seem to follow your every move. Is it something creepy staring at you from the bushes? No! It's a goldfish!

Goldfish are a golden yellow or orange fish that live in fish tanks or man-made ponds as pets. They are freshwater fish, meaning they live in water that isn't salty.


The reason their eyes look bulgy is because they don't have eyelids and can't blink, but they have great eyesight and can see up to sixteen feet away.

Just like people, goldfish need oxygen to live, but they don't breathe in air using lungs, like we do. They take water in through their mouth and push it out through their gills, which are special organs with openings near their head. The oxygen they need stays in their body.

Goldfish originally came from China over 1,000 years ago. There are now hundreds of different types of goldfish around the world that come in many different combinations and shades of yellow and orange.

Where do Goldfish Live?

Goldfish like space to wiggle around in, not small fish bowls. If they are kept in a larger-sized tank, with clean water and enough oxygen, goldfish can live up to about 30 years old. Don't try to touch them, though, because you might hurt their skin and make them sick.

Goldfish in the right-sized tank
Goldfish in a Tank

Not all goldfish live in tanks. Some people keep goldfish in man-made ponds in their yard for decoration. They are actually pretty tough little fish and can even survive when the temperatures get cold, though they like it best when it's not too warm and not too cold.

Pet goldfish should never be released into natural ponds, however. If they survive, they might eat the food and crowd out the fish that were already there.

Instead of one goldfish, get two - just like you like hanging out with your friends, goldfish like to be around other goldfish, too. They enjoy having other goldfish in their home.

What do Goldfish Eat?

Imagine how hard the dentist would have to work to clean your teeth if they were in your throat. Good thing you're not a goldfish, because that's where their teeth are! These teeth mash up food that the goldfish has eaten.

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