Care Guide for GloFish – Fluorescent Fish for Beginners
You may have seen brightly-colored fish in a pet shop and wondered what they were. Because of their vibrant rainbow colors and energetic behavior, GloFish(r), are a popular fish for beginners. They can also live in many different water conditions. How did they get their fluorescent glow? And how to care for them so that they live a long healthy life.
What is GloFish and how can I help?
GloFish is not one species of fish, but a collection of freshwater fish that have been genetically modified using fluorescent protein genes that are naturally found in corals, jellyfish, and sea anemones. They were originally developed by scientists to study genetics and help detect certain pollutants in the water, but their dazzling appearance made them a popular addition to the aquarium fish industry. The GloFish glows under blue light thanks to their fluorescent genes. This does not seem to affect their quality of living.
Currently, GloFish are available in the following options, but more varieties and colors are being developed on a regular basis.
– Zebra danios (Danio rerio) – Black skirt tetras (Gymnocorymbus ternetzi) – Tiger barbs (Puntius tetrazona) – Rainbow shark (Epalzeorhynchos frenatum) – Betta fish (Betta splendens)
Although each species’ husbandry is different, this article will attempt to provide a generalized overview.
GloFish tetras, which are genetically modified black tetras with blue glow, can be found under blue lighting.
What color GloFish are you looking for? At the moment, they come with Moonrise Pink, Starfire Red Sunburst Orange Electric Green, Cosmic Blue and Galactic Purple.
Is GloFish dye-injected? Because they are not injected with dye, their brilliant coloration is a hereditary trait that is passed on from parent to offspring.
Is it against the law to breed GloFish GloFish LLC has trademarked and patent GloFish. This means only GloFish LLC affiliates can legally breed and sell them. If your fish accidentally reproduce in your home or school aquarium, it is not a problem. However, the sale, barter, or trade of GloFish offspring by hobbyists and other unlicensed entities is strictly prohibited.
What’s the average lifespan of GloFishes? It all depends on what species you have, but they generally live between 3-5 and 5-7 years. The lifespan of betta fish is usually between 2 and 3 years. However, some hobbyists have been able to keep rainbow sharks for up to 13 year.
How much do GloFish cost? GloFish can be more expensive than normal-colored fish. At the time of this article, they range in cost from $6.49 for a GloFish danio to $24.99 for a premium male GloFish betta.
How Do You Set Up a GloFish Aquarium?
Most GloFish aquarium kits are quite small, where 10 or 20 gallons seems to the biggest size that is available at mainstream pet stores. However, most GloFish are very active and need to be kept in 20- to 40-gallon aquariums or larger. Also, the blue light that comes with GloFish tanks does not grow aquarium plants very well, which means you may need to add lots of aquarium decorations and fake plants to prevent any aggression among your fish.
GloFish still look very colorful under normal white light and would do well in a beautiful planted aquarium.
A smaller fish tank with no plants will require lots of water changes and filter maintenance to make sure your fish are not living in water polluted by their own waste. Use water test strips to check the water quality and determine if your tank needs cleaning. If possible, buy a bigger aquarium that is not specifically for GloFish. You can use it as long as the aquarium has a “moonlight”, setting that emits blue light, and a white light setting. Then you can add low light aquarium plants that grow under white light during the daytime and naturally consume the toxic nitrogen chemicals produced by your fish’s waste. A large fish tank with many plants will keep your fish’s health better and the water more clean.
Should I turn off my GloFish light? Yes, do not leave the blue light on for 24 hours a day because the fish need to sleep in the dark at night and algae can grow if you turn on the aquarium light more than 12 hours a day. If you find that your fish tank is experiencing green water or excessive algae growth, use a power outlet timer for the aquarium light and number the amount of hours the light is on each day.
GloFish need to be heated. If you keep them at a room temperature of 68-72degF (20-22degC), the continuous stress of being too cold can cause them to get sick. A simple aquarium heater will automatically take care of the temperature for you.
How many GloFish should you keep together? You should keep at least six GloFish together. Tetras, barbs, and danios are schooling fish. This will make them more comfortable and reduce aggression. It is okay to have different colors. You could for instance get one tetra each of the following colors to form a six-member school. Tiger barbs can attack other GloFish types, making them semi-aggressive fish. We recommend keeping them in a species-only aquarium that only contains tiger barbs.
GloFish danios are a fast-swimming schooling fish that get along with other peaceful, community fish.
Rainbow sharks grow up to 6 inches (15 cm) long and can be a bit territorial, so we only recommend getting one for a 29-gallon or larger aquarium. The semi-aggressive Betta fish won’t get along with other GloFish species, so we recommend only getting one for a 5-gallon tank. See our recommendations for tank mates that you could keep with betta fish.
What are GloFish’s favorite foods?
Fortunately, Glofish are very easy to feed and would love it if you provided them a diverse variety of nutritious foods to eat, such as flakes, pellets, frozen foods, and gel food. One caveat is that Betta fish prefer to be fed from the water surface. Instead of giving them frozen food, betta pellets or freeze-dried foods, you can try floating betta.
Feed different kinds of fish foods each week to ensure that your GloFish get all the essential nutrients they need for optimal health and coloration.
GloFish are difficult to keep alive
The developers of GloFish deliberately chose the hardiest, most beginner-friendly species possible to make GloFish, so in general, they are fairly bulletproof as long as you keep their aquarium clean and feed them well. However, newly purchased GloFish are sometimes underweight and stressed out, which makes them more susceptible to illnesses. GloFish should be able to swim well, have rounded bellies and not exhibit unusual behavior. We recommend quarantining all new fish that you bring into your home to prevent the potential spread of disease to your aquariums and to treat them more easily with medication if needed. Also, make sure to keep them in larger aquariums of at least 5 gallons for a betta fish, 20 gallons for tetras and danios, 30 gallons for tiger barbs, and 30-40 gallons for a rainbow shark.
Best of luck with your new GloFish. Our Aquarium Co-Op retail store does not sell GloFish because we believe there is already a huge variety of colorful fish in nature to choose from. To order aquarium fish online, check out our recommended fish sellers below.