Care Guide for GloFish – Fluorescent Fish for Beginners
Are you intrigued by the brightly colored fish that are sold at pet shops? GloFish(r) are an extremely popular fish among beginners because of their stunning rainbow colors, energetic behavior, and resilient ability to live in a wide range of water conditions. Learn how they got their bright fluorescent glow and how you can care for them to live a long, healthy life.
What is GloFish?
GloFish can be described as a variety of fish. 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. These special fluorescent genes cause the GloFish to vibrantly glow under blue light and does not appear to impact their quality of life.
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)
The husbandry for each species varies slightly, but in this article, we will try to generalize their care requirements.
GloFish tetras can glow under blue lighting and are genetically modified skirt tetras.
What are the colors for GloFish?
GloFish are dyed? They are not dye-injected and their bright coloration is a trait passed down from parent to child.
Is it legal to breed GloFish fish? 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? This varies from species to species. The average lifespan for betta fish is between 2-3 years and 13 years. Hobbyists can keep rainbow sharks, however.
How much do GloFish cost? GloFish are more expensive than their regular-colored counterparts. 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.
Smaller fish tanks with no plants will need more water changes and filter maintenance in order to ensure that your fish do not live in water contaminated by their 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 larger tank with more plants will help to keep the water clean and make your fish healthier.
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 require a heater to keep them warm. 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 are best kept together? To make your fish feel more at ease and less aggressive, you should get six or more of the same species. It is okay to have different colors. You could get six tetras of one color each and make a school of six. Tiger barbs are semi-aggressive fish and can attack other GloFish types. We recommend keeping them in a species-only aquarium that only contains tiger barbs.
GloFish Danios are fast-swimming, schooling fish that get along well with other peaceful, communitarian 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. Betta fish are also semi-aggressive and won’t do well with the other types of GloFish, so we recommend just getting one for a 5-gallon fish tank or bigger. You can find our recommendations here for tank mates you might keep with bettafish.
What does GloFish eat?
Glofish are easy to care for and will love a variety of healthy foods such as flakes and pellets. The only problem with betta fish is that they prefer to eat below the water surface. You can feed them floating betta pellets and freeze-dried foods.
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.
Are GloFish Hard 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. GloFish can become stressed and underweight after being purchased, making them more susceptible to illness. Choose GloFish with rounded bellies that swim well and don’t show any signs (e.g., white spots or ripped fins) or other 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.
We wish you the best 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.